Como-Pickton High School seniors Monday night raked in $291,800 in scholarships and monetary awards during the annual awards assembly. Students are expected to earn $31,500 in additional funding before all is said and done. Seniors and early graduates were also recognized for classroom achievements, academic standing both this year and cumulatively over the last four years, as well as other honors and distinctions.
The top 10 students based on their senior grade point average only were from first through 10th, Juan Amaro, Cristina Hernandez, Amy Tovar, Berenice Ledezma, Tanner Potts, Justin Radney, Joey Satterfield, Cody Raleigh (an early graduate), Madelynn Windham and Jose Guerrero (also known as Jose Guerrero Blanco). These students were awarded a white cord to wear at graduation designating the honor.
The top students based on their cumulative grade point average for all high school grades were Juan Amaro, valedictorian with a 5.8933 GPA; Cristina Hernandez, salutatorian with a 5.8592 GPA; Justin Radney, third with a 5.7655 GPA; Berenice Ledezma, fourth with a 5.6786 GPA; Cody Raleigh, fifth with a 5.6760 GPA; Joey Satterfield, sixth with a 5.5377 GPA; Eduardo Grimaldi, seventh with a 5.5096 GPA; Tanner Potts, eighth with a 5.4622 GPA; Jose Guerrero, ninth with a 5.4093 GPA; and Amy Tovar, 10th with a 5.3745 GPA. These students were awarded a gold cord to wear at graduation denoting this honor.
The big awards for the night, in the amount of $128,000 each, went to Private Rafael Grimaldi and Private Jose Guerrero from the Texas Army National Guard. Sgt. William Pyles, when presenting the awards, noted that while the amount appears to be a “ton of money” for education and to help them move forward in their careers, much greater is the “sacrifice these two are making.” They are among 0.01 percent of Americans who choose to “defend our country” as members of the National Guard.
Pvt. Guerrero and Pvt. Grimaldi also received a red cord from Carter Blood Care to wear at graduation denoting them as Red Cord Honors Program participants, awarded to students who donate blood. Guerrero is also a member of the National Honor Society, on the AB Honor Roll and was recognized for his participation in UIL, while Rafael Grimaldi was recognized for his participation in UIL.
Valedictorian Juan Amaro was presented an $8,000 Texas Education Agency Honor Graduate Scholarship, recognized as a member of the National Honor Society and for being on the AB Honor Roll all year. He also received from Carter Blood Care a red cord to wear at graduation recognizing him as a Red Cord Honors Program participant, for his donation of blood which helps to save lives, and was recognized for his participation in UIL.
Amaro, salutatorian Cristina Hernandez, Justin Radney, Berenice Ledezma and Cody Raleigh were each awarded a $2,000 Texas Top 10 percent Scholarship based on their cumulative ranking in their 2013 graduating class. The scholarship is renewable for four years for up to $8,000. Students receiving this award need only contact the financial aid department at college; their eligibility will be designated on their final transcript, CPCISD Counselor Laurie Bult noted.
Salutatorian Hernandez was also received the gold cord designating her as a member of the National Honor Society and for her participation in UIL. She and Kealie Allen were also recognized as the only seniors to make the A Honor Roll all year. Allen also received a $200 Northeast Texas Community College Counselor/Principal Scholarship.
Raleigh is an early graduate and recognized for making the AB Honor Roll. Other early graduates include Kolten Bryce Bennett, Mayra Castaneda and Selvin Hernandez.
Radney was also recognized with a gold cord for National Honor Society, a red cord for Carter Blood Care’s Red Cord Honors Program and for being on the AB Honor Roll for the year. Ledesma also received a gold cord denoting her involvement in National Honor Society and red cord denoting Red Cord Honors Program involvement.
Tanner Potts was presented two scholarships, a $1,000 National FFA Scholarship sponsored by Fastline magazine and a $4,000 San Antonio Ag Mechanics Show Scholarship. Teacher Michael Bowen, who announced the awards, noted that the Fastline scholarship, like all FFA scholarships, was very competitive, including entries from FFA students across the country. The San Antonio scholarship is from an ag mechanics project Potts and two other students built and won their division with at the San Antonio livestock show two years ago. The full scholarship award was $12,000, split between all three students. Potts was also recognized for being on the AB Honor Roll all year.
Receiving a $1,000 Career College and Schools of Texas Scholarship and a $1,000 Imagine America Scholarship each were Cody Coberly, Dakota Johnson, Dakota Scanlon and Daniel Wetzel. CP teacher Michael Bowen, when presenting the award, noted that the award can be used at any career or technical school throughout the state to help students pursuing technical degrees. He described the recipients as “very talented in their respective fields,” noting they represented craftsmen, artists and mechanics.
Wetzel and was also recognized with a red cord for the Red Cord Honors Program. He and Haley Hines were recognized as the only seniors to have perfect attendance. Hines was also recognized for her involvement in UIL.
Aldyn Green, Matthew Sharp and Bryce Steele each received a $500 Como-Pickton Athletic Booster Club Scholarship. Green was also a recipient of the gold cord denoting involvement in the National Honor Society and recognized for participation in UIL. Steele was recognized for making the AB Honor Roll for the year.
Receiving a $2,500 Finnis and Onree Attlesey and Garland and Sweet Gamblin Scholarship was Elena Ochoa. She received a gold cord to wear at graduation denoting her involvement in the National Honor Society.
Jacob Mowat was presented the $500 Gus Garrison Masonic Lodge Scholarship. Counselor Bult noted that the person who contacted her about the award indicated the award may double, as it’s very likely the Grand Lodge of Texas will match the local lodge’s award amount.
Bult presented the $100 Pathway to Scholarship Counseling Department Award to Joey Satterfield; the award was for participation in the Pathway to Scholarship program and workshop. Satterfield also received a gold cord for National Honor Society, red cord for Red Cord Honors Program and was recognized for being on the AB Honor Roll.
One Como-Pickton student will be awarded a Memorial College Scholarship sponsored by Custom Shutters, but that presentation and naming of the student will be at a later time, Bult noted.
Victoria Fuller was recognized by librarian Marilyn Powers as the Top Reader. She read 25 books, racking up 288 points. She also an officer on the High School Book Club “Biblio” and “a pleasure to have in the library,” Powers noted. Fuller also was recognized by Carter Blood Care for the Red Cord Honors Program
Eduardo Grimaldi was recognized with both a gold cord for National Honor Society and a red cord for Red Cord Honors Program. He was also recognized for his participation in UIL. Carlos Alonso and Nathan Kyle Castorena also received red cords for the Red Cord Honors Program.
Madelynn Windham, Amy Tovar and Yoan Preciado also received gold cords for National Honor Society and being on the AB Honor Roll. Daci Lashay Keith was also recognized as part of the National Honor Society. Also named for the AB Honor Roll were Lauren Ashley Thomas, Justin Dayne Simmons, Corbin Michael Flora and Leah Brooke Fuller.
Numerous students received from various teachers classroom awards for overall highest average, academic awards for having the next to highest averages, and Principal’s Awards to recognize students who went “above and beyond in the classroom but who may not have the highest GPA.”
All seniors and early graduates were given a medal noting them as CPHS seniors and a gift bag with small items to commemorate their senior year. The senior class also includes Keeley Marie Devitt, Kaci Nekole Fields, Alejandro Gutierrez, Ryan A. Humphrey, Jose Ricardo Mejia, Maria Genesis Mercado, Adam Keegan Moore, DeQuavian Mosley, Ricardo Salazar, Oscar Salazar, Jessica Dianne Stinson, Joshua Eric Taylor, River Wade Watts and James Andy Wilfred.
Following the awards presentations, the seniors were invited to enjoy cake and refreshments with their families.
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