Comanche National Bank Salutes Rylie McGinnis

COMANCHE NATIONAL BANK SPONSOR

Madison Hagood (winner along with Rylie) and Rylie

Madison Hagood (winner along with Rylie) and Rylie

Home owned and locally operated, the Comanche National Bank continues to spotlight young people from the Comanche community who seem to continually go above and beyond that which is expected of them, and Rylie McGinnis is no exception to that rule, not by a long shot.

You’ve probably seen her name a lot lately, considering that Rylie McGinnis was a large part of why the Comanche Maiden softball team made it into the state playoffs for the first time in Comanche softball history. From there, it was on to the end of the school year and then, Rylie boarded a plane headed for Washington D.C., leaving the rest of us in her dust!

Of course, as always, a lot of hard work that most of us did not know about had gone on months beforehand, and it was that hard work that won Rylie her 10 days in the nation’s capital.

So, you want to know how it all happened, right? I did too so I invited the soon to be senior beauty to join me on my sofa while she told me all about it and apparently, the first thing that Rylie McGinnis did was to write an essay…an essay that she did NOT want to write!

At 1600...well, you know which avenue!

At 1600…well, you know which avenue!

“The essay was the first step in the chance to be a part of the Texas Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. It is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and the topic our coop gave us was ‘Creative Ways to Conserve Energy,’” she smiled, and I knew immediately what was coming. After all, I did not teach high school all of those years for nothing!

“It just looked like so much work, and it was right in the middle of volleyball season. Originally, I had no intention of signing up to compete, but Mrs. Hermesmeyer pushed me to do it and even though I did not want to, I eventually decided that I would,” the dimpled smile came again, bigger this time.

From the winning essays, students were chosen to compete in the final round of the contest, which was the speaking portion. At the time of the speaking contest, contestants presented what was basically an oral rendition of their papers. Both Rylie and Comanche’s other brilliant winner, Madison Hagood, also showed slide show presentations with their speeches, which she admits probably worked to their advantage.

Along with their speeches, contestants were asked to give their answers to questions they were provided at the time their winning essays were chosen.

Enjoying the fabulous Washington Zoo

Enjoying the fabulous Washington Zoo

“These were free response questions that we had to stand and answer according to our research on them,” Rylie explained.

As an aside here, I can tell you from the standpoint of one who used to coach these contestants, the contest is difficult and the subject matter is something that is typically “over the heads” of most high school students. To win such a contest is a tremendous honor. More than that, for a student from small-town Texas to be handed a 10-day trip to the nation’s capital is a life-changing event. Rylie did not disagree with me at all.

“I’m just so thankful to the Coop for sending me, and to Mrs. Hermesmeyer for pushing me. I gained such an appreciation for people in all states. It is easy to be in Comanche, Texas and think that everyone else is just like us, and then you see just how big the world actually is. It was wonderful!”

According to Rylie, Amanda and Adam Talley were the perfect chaperones as the group toured places like the Smithsonian, the Capitol, the Holocaust Museum, the White House, the Washington Zoo, Arlington Cemetery, and attended several dances and receptions.

And then, the very petite girl with the perpetual little smile dimpled for the last time as she went on to say, “Comanche does seem a lot smaller than it did…BUT the people are definitely a lot friendly here. I’m never gonna live anywhere but Texas!”

And I’m thinking that the folks at Comanche National aren’t a bit sad to hear her say just that! :)

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About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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