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Belton High School's Top Graduates Excited About Future

Belton High School’s top graduating seniors say working smarter, not harder, was a secret to their success in achieving the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the class of over 700 students.

Valedictorian Jackson Belobrajdic and salutatorian Matthew Salazar were called to Principal Ben Smith’s office on Tuesday morning where they learned the good news.

“School is for learning how to solve problems rather than just solving the example problem,” Belobrajdic said. “So sometimes finding shortcuts is not always the best way to go. I also think it makes it easier when your main motivation to learn is coming from yourself and not someone else.”

Relationships were also important. Belobrajdic and Salazar credit teachers, friends and family for supporting them throughout their academic careers. 

“I’ve had a lot of great teachers along the way in high school and even before then that have prepared me to do all this,” Belobrajdic said. “It’s really nice to have teachers you can talk to one-on-one or before or after school.”

Belobrajdic, the son of DJ and Lindsay Belobrajdic, participated in orchestra, UIL Academics and the National Honor Society. He made history twice this year by being the first Belton ISD student to earn a place in the All-State Orchestra and the first to medal in the science category of the UIL Academic State Competition.

Salazar, the son of Steve and Susie Salazar, was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in UIL Academics, where he has won medals in math and current events. In his free time, Salazar enjoyed playing guitar. 

The two met in sixth grade at Lake Belton Middle School and will both continue their education at Texas A&M University — Belobrajdic to study engineering and Salazar to study architecture.    

“Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed creating things,” Salazar said. “At first I considered studying engineering, but I also have always really liked art. I see architecture as a way of combining building with my love of art and beauty. I hope it’s a good fit for me.”

Principal Smith said the class of 2022 has achieved so much despite obstacles thrown at them.

“This is a class of students who had a regular freshman year followed by three years of unprecedented events,” Smith said. “Jackson and Matthew were both huge leaders on campus, and I know they’ll launch into the world and do great things.”

BHS graduation ceremonies will take place at 1 p.m. on May 26 at the Bell County Expo Center. For more information, visit

May 19, 2022