Six Reasons To Celebrate


1. A family affair

The Valedictorian and Salutatorian at Mansfield’s Frontier High School can be excused if they had something of a rivaly en route to top honors at the school this year. They’ve had something of a rivalry from the day they were born.

Rachel Tse, the 2016 Valedictorian, and Sarah Tse, this year’s Salutatorian, are twins. The Tse sisters both plan to attend the University of Texas at Dallas next year, with Rachel eyeing a major in Graphic Design and Marketing and Sarah set to major in Management Info Systems.

2. A McDermott Scholar at Nolan

Mark De Los Santos, Valedictorian of Nolan High School, was named a McDermott Scholar. McDermott Scholars receive one of the more generous undergraduate merit awards in the nation, valued at over $240,000 for non-Texas residents and over $150,000 for Texas residents. It includes full University of Texas Dallas tuition and fees, monthly stipends, textbook stipends, funds for study abroad and professional development, cohort trips, Dallas arts events and travel home expenses.

With UT Dallas’ rigorous education, leadership training, cultural enrichment and personalized opportunities, De Los Santos and his fellow McDermott Scholars will be provided the skills training and experience to succeed as leaders.

The 2016 Class of McDermott Scholars is made up of 12 women and 15 men with 10 students from Texas, 16 from 15 other states, and one from the Netherlands. Collectively, this class has an average two-part SAT score of 1543.

3. Youth is served

Donyea Grayson crossed the stage during Mansfield Lake Ridge High School graduation ceremonies at the age of 15. Grayson plans to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the fall and has been admitted into the UCLA Academic Advancement Program (AAP). She also made the UCLA Cheer Squad of 10 females.

4. Smart, fast & strong

The Oakridge School had the three National Merit Finalists and six senior student-athletes who have committed to play collegiate athletics next year. Among the National Merit Finalists are Blake Miranda, who also was a National Hispanic Scholar, and who plans to attend Washington University in St. Louis; Jason Nguyen, who plans to the University of Texas at Austin; and Anuj Ramakrishnan, who plans to attend Georgia Tech.

The athletes who plan to compete at the collegiate level are Garrett Echols, who signed to play Division III Soccer at the University of Dallas; Nick Kurth, who signed to play Division III Soccer at Southwestern University; and Barron Wortham, who will be a preferred walk-on for football at University of Texas at El Paso.

In addition to Echols, Kurth and Wortham, earlier this year Parker Welch signed to play Division I football at Valparaiso University, Marcella De Vuono signed to play Division I volleyball at Florida Atlantic University, and Cailey Cobb signed with Sweet Briar College to ride on its hunt seat equestrian team.

5. An engineer in the making

Oscar Morales, a student at St. Maria Goretti Catholic School, was selected to participate in the Entry to Engineering Day Camp at the University of Texas Arlington. The camp is for 6th-8th graders and is a weeklong day camp where attendees get exposed to different branches of engineering. Morales was among only 50 students who were selected out of 130 applicants, based on responses on the application, grades for this year and last and an evaluation form from their respective math teachers.

Another St. Maria Goretti student, Marcos Franco, was named the 2015-2016 Trojan award winner, as the school’s outstanding athlete. And teacher Beth Belcher was the recipient of the Univeristy of Dallas’ 2016 Distinguished Graduate Award.

6. Singing at Carnegie Hall

This year, the Oakridge Upper School A Cappella Choir went to New York City to perform with three other schools at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. In their downtime in The Big Apple, the students attended Broadway musicals, visited Central Park and took in the sights and sounds of the country’s largest city.