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Belton ISD Seniors Achieve National Academic Honors

Belton ISD has seven seniors recognized this year through the National Merit Program and the National Hispanic Recognition Program.

“Shining the spotlight on each of these exceptional students is important. Their individual accomplishments on the PSAT are impressive,” said Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon. “Their success exemplifies the District’s focus on stretching our highest achieving academic students and our mission to provide an education that challenges all of our students to excel.”

Belton High School seniors Marcus Ake, Jacob Jimenez, Bradin McDonald and Peter Morris, along with Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow senior Sarah Batson were named National Merit Commended Scholars for 2019. Ranked in the top 5 percent in the nation for their scores on the PSAT, these students have all participated in Belton ISD’s Superintendent Scholars program.

Marcus Ake is the son of proud parents Arthur and Ania Ake of Belton. Marcus actively participates in National Honor Society, International Thespian Society, UIL Academics, as well as Centex Storm Club Soccer, and Indoor Soccer. While also balancing a job at Mathnasium as an instructor, Marcus achieved a perfect SAT Math Score. Upon graduation, Marcus plans to attend Oklahoma University to major in meteorology, with a minor in German.

*Jacob Jimenez is the son of Raymon and Amy Jimenez of Belton. Jacob is the President of Key Club, Secretary of the Belton Youth Advisory Committee, a Service Officer in National Honor Society, and a member of Student Council. He competes in Track, Cross Country, and Ultimate Frisbee. Jacob organizes and leads several volunteer groups that are formed to meet the spiritual and physical needs of underprivileged youths in Bell County. Jacob, who was named both a National Merit Commended Scholar and National Hispanic Scholar, intends to pursue degrees in  Architecture and Engineering and is still weighing his options on which university to attend.

Bradin McDonald is the son of Darin and Stephanie McDonald of Belton. He is a member of National Honor Society, vice chairman of the Belton Youth Advisory Commission, and is an AP Scholar.   He was a delegate to Texas Boys State and also competed in cross country for 3 years. He is active in his youth group, volunteering at the Love of Christ Food Pantry and a local nursing home. He also works as a tutor at Kumon. Bradin plans to attend Harding University to major in Biology/PreMed before attending medical school.

Peter Morris is the son of Stephen Morris and Iva Ivanova of Temple. He is a member of the National Honor Society and UIL Academics and is the current Parliamentarian of the Belton Future Engineers of America. Peter has competed at the state level in the 2018 SkillsUSA Mobile Robotics Technology Competition and has volunteered with Matthew 25: Ministries and the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. After graduating, Peter plans to pursue a major in either Biomedical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering at either Texas A&M University or the University of Texas.

Sarah Batson is the daughter of Jennifer Batson and Jeffrey Batson of Belton. She is a member of Belton High School’s UIL Speech and Debate team and actively participates in Belton New Tech’s BEST and FIRST Robotics teams. She has served as an officer in National Honor Society. Upon graduation, she plans to attend the University of Texas to double major in Government and Economics as a member of the Plan II honors program.

The College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students who score in the top 5,000 from over 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT.  Belton High School seniors Jacob Jimenez* and Mariah Montgomery along with BNTH@W senior Maia Borchardt have earned the distinction as a Hispanic Scholar for 2019.

Mariah Montgomery is the daughter of Andy Montgomery and Dr. Rosario Montgomery of Belton. She is a member of the Belton High School Orchestra, ASTRA Club, and she is the treasurer of the National Honor Society and vice president of Key Club.  While being heavily involved in school, Mariah also plays viola for her church orchestra, regularly volunteers for community organizations, and tutors younger students.  Mariah plans to attend a four-year university to study biochemistry and music.

Maia Borchardt is the daughter of Brian and Ana Borchardt of Belton. An active member of the Marching 100 and the Belton Drumline, she serves as section leader of the bass drum line. Maia is involved in several other school organizations at Belton New Tech, including Key Club, where she serves as Co-President, National Honor Society, where she serves as Vice President, and the school's Student Leadership Council. Maia has been active in UIL academics and currently ranks second in her class.

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By Elizabeth Cox
October 16, 2018