Tuesday, 05 February 2013 by Keith Bahlmann
Ninety-one Belton High School sophomore, junior and senior students were honored at the Academic Awards banquet on Thurs., Jan. 17, for being in the top five percent of their class from the previous year. Featured speakers were BHS graduates Rachel Brooks O'Hern and her husband army Capt. Larkin O'Hern. Capt. O'Hern spoke from his experiences in being injured in Afghanistan in Dec. 2010. He told the students that excellence is a choice and that they must surround themselves with those who would challenge them to be greater and do better, to never give up or stop trying, and to be willing to "step outside the parallel bars."
The Academic Awards recognition began in 1985. Sophomore students honored this year were: Samantha Beevers, Jessica Bonner, Tristan Boss, Angelique Butler, Koral Captain, Elizabeth Dolan, Kale Evans, Reagan Francis, Manolo Guillen, Kevin Hauger, Marissa Heffley, Mark Jennings, Samantha Kagel, Nishanth Lavendra, Emily Lin, Travis Moore, Kathleen Myron, Paige Pruett, Grant Read, Kayla roach, Casie Robinson, Caroline Rock, Emma Soard, Kayla Sohns, Madison Vincent, Chad Wallace, Riley Wesson, Bretta Winters, Paige Woodson.
Junior students honored were: Nick Amato, Macy Banfield, Ethan Becker, Margueret Betbeze, Dustin Chen, Shelby Clemons, Jacob Daugherty, John Edwards, Brittan Elliott, Gus Farek, Jacob Fitzwater, Madison Goldston, Brooke Haugeberg, Manuel Hernandez, John Jennings, Sarah Lairmore, Connor Leigh, Montana Minnis, Kelly Moore, Machaela Moore, Megan Nitcher, Marie Nugpo, Ryan Parker, Hannah Pavel, Carlton Rice II, Tess Rudasill, Christopher Sauceda, Luke Simerly, Samantha Stapper, Samantha Waggoner, Christian-Daniel Wilson.
Senior students recognized were: Mitch Anderson*, Alexandra Askland, Dusti Bridges*, Spencer Brown*, Austin Couillard*, Jacob deKeratry*, Rebecca Easley*, Ashley Ellis*, Kendra Emerson*, Zayn Evans*, Anna Greenberg, Jessica Hagen*, Carlynn Hickenbotham*, Lauren Hutchens*, Grace Hutchinson*, Caleb Jones, Ryan Jones*, Carlee Kemp*, Magdalene Kramer*, Bharath Lavendra*, Melissa Montgomery*, Charles Norton*, Connor Przybylski, Joshua Reynolds*, Peter Shelburne*, Lucy Soerens*, Kyler Tormey*, Antony Velasquez*, Maggie Villamaria*, Laith Wahab. (* indicating those recognized all three years.)
Sophomore students received a red hooded sweatshirt. Junior students had a choice of a red letter jacket or plaque. Senior students had a choice of red letter jacket or blanket.
Also recognized were National Merit Semi-Finalists – Mitchell Anderson and Lucy Soerens; Commended Scholars – Bharath Lavendra, James Murphy, and Joshua Reynolds; Hispanic Scholars – Jacob deKeratry and Melissa Montgomery; and National Achievement Scholars – Carlynn Hichenbotham and Jordan Pender.
Senior honorees were able to select a teacher who had the greatest impact on them during their school career and invite them to the banquet and be featured in the Senior Tribute Booklet. Sponsors for this event were Baird/Williams Construction, First Texas Bank of Belton, and McLane Corporation.