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Home News-Telegram News Yantis seniors receive more than $260,000 in scholarships, education awards

Yantis seniors receive more than $260,000 in scholarships, education awards

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Yantis High School seniors Thursday night were recognized for receiving more than $260,750 in scholarships and educational aid at the annual Yantis Academic Awards.


The largest individual award went to a senior intending to become part of the 0.01 percent of the population who serve in the Texas Army National Guard. Sgt. William Pyles presented Mark Carrasco with a $128,000 award for scholarships and benefits to be distributed over the next few years of his service. Pyles noted it was a pleasure to present the award to Private First Class Carrasco on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day.

Principal Michael Alphin also announced Carrasco and Maria Garcia as recipients of $500 Yantis Booster Club scholarships.

Carrasco and Yantis High School Class of 2013 valedictorian David Shirley each received a scholarship award from Lake Country Neighbor; the presenter Thursday noted that the social outreach group gave a total of $17,000 in scholarship funds, an amount distributed to seniors at Alba-Golden, Emory Rains and Yantis high schools.

Carassco and classmates Kayla Davis and Jesus Sandoval were each selected to receive a $250 Ron McKinney Little Dribblers Scholarship, as well.

Davis and Dereck Large each received a $12,000 Presidential Honors Scholarship from Tyler Junior College, which pays full tuition for two years at TJC, noted presenter Mark Gartman.

Large was one of three Yantis seniors presented City National Bank scholarships. Large’s mother works for CNB in Yantis, so he received a $500 award given to employees’ children. Taelor Rawson received a $1,000 CNB Scholarship and YHS Class of 2013 salutatorian Samantha Dodgen a $1,500 CNB Scholarship.

Dodgen also received a $56,000 President’s Gold Scholarship for academic excellence from Baylor University, which will be awarded in increments of about $7,000 a semester for up to eight semesters.

Rawson also received an academic scholarship from Hardin Simmons University and received a Herf Jones Principal’s Award, given to students who combine academic excellence and community leadership.

Dodgen and Shirley were among 15 students in Peoples Telephone Coop’s service area to receive a scholarship from the company. Lisa Webber presented each with a $1,000 People Telephone Scholarship.

Shirley, Dodgen, Jesus Sandoval and Rawson each received a Lake Fork Lions Club Scholarship. Club member Beth Stribley awarded Dodgen $1,000 and presented the three others $500 each. 

Dodgen, Maggie Green and Rawson each received Pilot Club of Quitman awards. Dodgen received $1,000. Sharon Brooks noted that ordinarily, the club is only able to award one scholarship, but thanks to the community’s generous support of their fundraisers over the last year, were able to give an additional $1,000 this year. Green and Rawson were selected to receive $500 scholarships each based on their intent to go into a field that supports Pilot Club’s focus area — brain health. Both indicated they plan on going into fields that help people in those areas, Brooks noted.

Yantis Masonic Lodge No. 382 officials Gordon Krantz, Ed Mallory and Tommy Neff presented Green, Dodgen  and teacher Laurie Steward with certificates and medals recognizing them as Mirabeau B. Lamar award winners, given in honor of  the second president of the Republic of Texas, a Mason who was hailed as the “father of Texas education.” The award recognizes a teacher and students who display academic excellence in work, school and home. Shirley  was also presented a $1,000 Yantis Masonic Lodge No. 382 Scholarship.

Carter BloodCare  donor consultant Tessie Lovelace awarded Carrasco, Rawson, Shirley,  Green, Cynthia Favela, Martha Fernandez, Melissa Garcia, Corey Harrison, Karley Roe and Joshua Tutor Red Cord Honors Program certificates and noted each will receive a red cord to wear during graduation to recognize them for donating blood twice this year. Lovelace also offered thanks to all the students, faculty and parents for their donation of blood, which made YHS the top performing 1A high school in Lovelace’s territory for contributing the most blood. “It literally means they gave their blood, sweat and tears,” Alphin laughed.

Shirley also was presented a $500 American Legion Scholarship from member Jerry Poe, who recognized Shirley as having attended and graduated from Boys State program last year. He, too, received State Farm’s Texas Scholar Award.

Each member of the senior class — which also includes Joe Gonzalez, Charles Holder, Gaby Rosales, Kali Shoemaker, Brandon Simpson, Yesenia Vargas and Kathryn Weeks — was also awarded a certificate of congratulations from St. Rep. Bryan Hughes. Graduation will be tonight at 7 p.m. at Lake Fork Baptist Church.

Students who contributed to the middle school and high school’s points total which resulted in each campus taking the district academic UIL championship were also recognized by UIL coordinator Chip Mathews. Yantis ISD won all three levels of academic UIL titles, including the elementary, this year.

The 14 students who made up the two robotics teams — the French Toast Mafia and the Ninja Turtles — were also recognized for their competitive achievements. FTM won the motivate award and came in second, while NT won the inspire award and advanced to region in Dallas, where they made it to the finalists round. JaNan Straznicky and Laurie Steward were robotics sponsors.

Two Yantis students, not seniors, were recognized for having perfect attendance. Freshman Cristo Sanchez was on hand to receive his award Thursday night from Alphin. Ironically, Alphin noted, Dallas Scott was unable to attend the awards program.

Alphin also recognized Amber Bagwell as the valedictorian and Kelsey Huie as the salutatorian of Yantis Middle School eighth grade class. Both gave their top student speeches during the program.




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