COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Independent School District literally rolled out the red carpet for its top performing high school seniors Tuesday night.

The district recognized 45 seniors from Copperas Cove High School at its sixth annual Senior Walk of Fame. The event, organized by the Copperas Cove Education Foundation, is a dinner and awards ceremony to honor the top 10 percent of the graduating class of 2013.

“We are here because of you, and we are for you,” said Bradi Diaz, the foundation’s president. “It’s an honor to recognize you tonight.”

For the students in attendance, the ceremony was a symbol that their hard work to achieve academic excellence had paid off.

“It feels really great to have people recognize how hard you work,” said Rachel Heintzel, an 18-year-old Cove High School senior. “It’s really exciting to know you reached that goal.”

For Heintzel, and the other students honored Tuesday night, that goal was the result of tireless study throughout all four years of high school.

“It can be challenging, and there’s a lot of trial and error to find the right balance,” said Heintzel, who plans on attending the University of Texas at Dallas to study biology after graduation. “It is a lot of work, but if you are willing to work hard, it really pays off in the end.”

Heintzel and her peers weren’t the only ones honored at the event. All students honored also were asked to pick a teacher they felt had the biggest impact on their life to be recognized with them.

“You have a tremendous support network around you,” Joseph Burns, the Cove district superintendent, told students.

That support network included educators like Thomas Munn, a CCHS social studies teacher chosen by Heintzel. Munn said he was happy to see his students succeed and be recognized for their achievements.

“One of her best qualities is her willingness to overcome a problem,” he said of Heintzel. “She was always willing to take on a challenge.”

Burns thanked the teachers and their students and expressed his confidence in the quality of students that Cove ISD graduates.

“We are here to congratulate you for you efforts,” Burns told the students. “You are well prepared to face the challenges of life.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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