By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
Tuesday evening excited seniors and their proud parents, teachers, and friends came to the first Senior Awards Banquet for Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow. During the banquet students received awards, scholarships, and special honors as well as enjoyed a senior video by Cameron Hernandez. Caleb Cable and Alyssa Callin were officially recognized as the Salutatorian and Valedictorian respectively.
“This is a celebration of our students,” said New Tech Principal Jill Ross. “This is our school’s first graduating class. We’ve never done this before and we’re so happy to have a bigger crowd than we expected.”
Students ranking within the top 15 percent of the class were honored with gold medals and ribbons. Those in the top 2 percent are designated summa cum laude, the highest distinction and received gold ribbons. Caleb Cable and Alyssa Callin received the highest distinction.
Students ranking in the next 3 percent of the class were designated magna cum laude, with great distinction and received red ribbons. These students included Logan Hardin, Austin Maddox, and Caleb Parr. Students ranking in the next 5 percent received distinction as cum laude graduates and received a white ribbon. These students included Breanna Barber, Andrew Beckendorf, Kaleb Easley, Colin Munroe, Timothy Reynolds, and Mariah Trevino. Students in the following 5 percent are designated as graduating with honors and received a black ribbon. Honor students included Carolina Alvarez, Prince Fisher, Matthew McKinnon, Samuel Pilkington, and Katelyn Sotello.
Cords were given to students who have ranked in the top 10 percent of their class for the entire year. A white cord denotes Freshman year, a red cord denotes Sophomore year, a black cord denotes Junior year, and a platinum cord denotes Senior year.
The following students received cords for the following academic years. Matthew McKinnon: 10th grade. Samuel Pilkington: 9th grade. Mariah Trevino: 12th grade. Andrew Beckendorf: 11th and 12th grades. Prince Fisher: 9th and 10th grades.
The following students received cords for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades: Breanna Barber, Caleb Cable, Alyssa Callin, Kaleb Easley, Logan Hardin, Austin Maddox, Colin Munroe, Caleb Parr, and Timothy Reynolds.
National Honor Society members were also honored at the banquet. In order to be a member, a student must obtain as well as maintain a GPA of 95 or better. The following NHS members will be receiving gold cords and white stoles to wear at graduation: Carolina Alvarez, Breanna Barber, Andrew Beckendorf, Caleb Cable, Akyssa Callin, Kaleb Easley, Alex Fasolino, Makayla Ferman, Prince Fisher, Hunter Haagsma, Logan Hardin, Josh Jaden, Bobby Johnson, Dylan Jones, Austin Maddox, Micah Marshall, Matthew McKinnon, Colin Munroe, Leslie Nicholson, Caleb Parr, Samuel Pilkington, Timothy Reynolds, Cooper Ross, Katlyn Sotello, Mariah Trevino, Robert Yarbrough, and Patience White.
Various local scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors to include scholarships from B.E.E.F., the local American Legion Post, BISD Transportation, Heart of Texas Corvette Club, the Rotary Club, the National Guard, BCYC Belle of Belton Boys and Girls Club Leadership, and the Kiwanis Club.
Additionally, eighteen students were given recognition for other scholarships they earned while applying for scholarships. The awards given for these non-local scholarships totaled more than $265,000.
Classmates also voted on superlative futures for their fellow students and the Student Choice Awards were given along with a New Tech latitude and longitude T-shirt as a “reminder that New Tech is that place that made it possible for you to navigate any path you choose,” said Susan Sobehrad, the Instructional Facilitator at New Tech.
The Student Choice Awards and their recipients are as follows. Most likely to cure cancer: Caleb Cable. Most likely to die in a fit of laughter: Leslie Nicholson. Most likely to host a talk show: Orlando Scott. Most likely to score a record deal: Logan Hardin and Austin Maddox. Most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse: Grant Tuggle. Most likely to invent time travel: Tim Reynolds. Most likely to be an undercover superhero: Dylan Jones. Most likely to be president: Alyssa Callin. Most likely to walk the red carpet: Matt McKinnon. Most likely to be a model: Nadia Longoria. Most likely to beat a tiger in a cage fight: Chris Scott. Best eyes: Patience White. Best temperament: Prince Fisher. Best taste in music: Dakarai Reed. Best sense of humor: Stephen Hanna. Best hair: Caden Munoz. Best siblings: Mark and Mariah Trevino. Best couple: Carolina Alvarez and Austin Maddox. Best dressed: Deran Tolbert. Most kind: Katelyn Stello. Most creative: Jordan Cruz.
“Getting to Thursday is what these students have been working towards for a very long time,” said Ross. “I want you to know that it’s really about you Seniors. We want you to leave Belton New Tech and take the legacy that you started and go into the world and we want you to let people know what it means to be committed to public service and committed to your community, and your family and friends around you because that’s what you’ve learned over these four years. We’re really excited for you.”
“As you leave high school, remember where you’ve been,” said Sobehrad. “Think back to your beginnings at New Tech, and think about how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown as learners, as problem-solvers, as someone who has something to contribute to society. Your past prepares you for your future, so always remember New Tech as that place that has set the stage for all of the accomplishments that are yet to come for each and every one of you.”