The annual Arkansas Scholars Banquet will honor 152 Van Buren High School seniors at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Commons at VBHS.
The Van Buren Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, in conjunction with the Van Buren School District, will honor the scholars at the dinner.
Arkansas Scholars is a prestigious distinction given only to graduates who have achieved a 95 percent or better attendance record in their four years of high school. The students must also have a “C” or higher average, and have completed all of the required courses to graduate in four years.
Each scholar is presented with a certificate at the banquet and awarded a medallion to wear at graduation.
This year’s event will feature Jiajing Thach as its keynote speaker. Using his background as inspiration, Thach will focus on “Educators, Parents, and Peers: Recognizing Your Mission Support Element.”
Thach is a 2003 graduate of Van Buren High School, who has devoted his post-secondary career in service to his country. Jiajing graduated from West Point Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. He completed flight training at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. While overseas, Jiajing conducted 128 combat flight missions.
A decorated veteran, Jiajing has been honored with both Army Commendation and Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Having completed active duty service at the rank of captain, Jiajing will now attend law school at the University of Arkansas beginning in fall 2017.
Presenting sponsors for this year’s banquet at Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus and University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. Hope’s Creek Retirement Center is the medallion sponsor.
Table sponsors are Citizens Bank & Trust Co., Heritage United Methodist Church, Jimmy Bell Real Estate, Press Argus-Courier, Sparks Medical Center - Van Buren, SPMI - My HR Professionals and Strategic Realty.
This year’s Arkansas scholars are:
Emilee Aaron, Joshua Aden, Luis Aguilar, Taylor Ajtun, Anakaren Alarcon, Alexis Ansbro, Martiny Aphay, Lond Barlow, Ashley Beaver, Beau Beckner, Bryan Bell, Jay Bell, Mayleena Benham, Baylee Berry, Allison Bonds, Taylor Boyle, Hamon Brammer, Jordan Brodie, Payton Bromley, Ashley Brownlow, Katlyn Bruso, Christian Burcham, Alexandrea Burney, Stacie Bynum, Dianna Castillo, Connor Catron, Alison Centeno, Lauren Cervantes, Katie Chenoweth, Caleb Christensen, Raven Clark, Mikayla Conley, Jaelyn Cooper, Betsy Corona, Maxwell Criswell.
Also, Katie Damas, Natalie Davis, Norman Davis, Tannor Davis, Madison Diaz, Ethan Elliott, Hayden Ellis, Alexis Engel, Luis Espinosa, Keley Estrada, Cameron Fergeson, Logan Fergeson, Kaitlyn Finch, Sara Flurry, Taytelan Freeman, Nicholas Friend, Peytin Garrett, Raegan Giberson, Gregory Gladden, Priya Gopal, Amber Gordon, Bailee Griffiths, Sydney Grizzle, Jeanie Guo, Peyten Harden, Kate Harvey, Karsten Hatton, Kindsey Haynes, Samantha Hester, Ashleigh Hightower, Kayla Ho, Jason Hoang, Cameron Hoffman, Haley Hogan, Eathan Holmes, Cassidy Howard, Kade Huckabee.
Also, Jennifer James, Jessica Jenkins, Halie Jennen, Kianna Jimenez, Bailey Jones, Dilon Jones, Ellie Keosengphachanh, Skyler Lambert, Weston Burke Landon, Allison Lemley, Ashley Lewis, Fernando Lopez, Zachary Lopez, Dawson Love, Lynna Luff, Miles Malone, Tiffany Manikham, Krista Marquis, Sarah Marr, Katelyn Mathis, James Mayton, Stephanie McFadden, Macy McGill, Makayla McMillan, Georgia Means, Angie Mejia, Baylor Miles, Brayden Moore, Devin Moore, Lacey Moore, Mikaela Moore, Macey Moore-Corbley, Harriet Morrison, Terri Morse.
Also, Braylin Neal, Emily Nguyen, Addie Outlaw, Enda Pacheco, Chandler Petray, Harmony Pettigrew, Jackie Phrakousonh, Celsia Pirir, Bret Plunkett, Jenna Poague, Kyle Porter, Andrew Reed, Destiny Releford, Darla Riddle, Jinhui Roberson, Ethan Rogers, Cindy Sackpraseuth, David Schrouf, Madison Seewald, Savannah Selman, Hayden Sexton, Elizabeth Shipley, Adyson Shewmaker, McKennah Sikes, Kennedie Smith, Alani Snowden.
And, Stephanie Sotelo, Devin Sparks, Samuel Steinsiek, Peyton Stell, Angel Stephens, Danielle Stone, Lauren Suggs, Garyn Swilling, Ja’Cory Taylor, Ashlyn Tuck, Jet Turner, Simon Tursky, Payton Wahman, Courtney Walters, John Wasson, Luke Whitlow, Daria Wiederkehr, Catherine Williams, Taylor Williams and Seth Willyard.