The top 40 graduating seniors from Van Buren High School were applauded for their academic achievements at the annual academic recognition banquet.

Hosted by the Van Buren School District Education Foundation, the banquet was at VBHS on April 26.

Karen Pharis, general manager of Fort Smith Radio Group, recognized the students and their favorite teachers as they crossed the stage in the Commons at the high school.

Debbie Thomas, director of the education foundation, congratulated the students, pointing out that their hard work is paying off.

“We are here to celebrate all the students who are here and the people that got you here,” Thomas said. “Now it is time to choose wisely on which path you will take.”

VBSD Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat said the students had to work through many challenges to be among the top 40 students at Van Buren High School.

“The district appreciates everyone’s commitment to our students, who are among the greatest representatives of our community and the Van Buren School District,” Jeffcoat said. “They are our future leaders.”

High school principal Eddie Tipton said the community is in really good hands with a group of motivated students.

Education foundation president Nathan Hurst congratulated the students and the teachers who are making a lasting impression on “truly incredible students.”

The top 40 students and their favorite teachers are:

Ashtyn Adams - Brenda Taylor; Kelton Almond - Jennifer Almond; Gavin Ball - Chelsea Harrell; Katherine Barnwell - Kevin Porter; Layne Bolton - Stephanie Dunn; Chase Brandenburg - Joe McClean; Isaiah Brown - Karen Mohr-Robinson; Haley Caudle - Dana Clark; Madison Childress - Dusti Hurst; Daisy Connor - Rod Ray; Shelby Dahlem - Lisa Moose; Caroline Davis - Karen Allen; Taylor Glover - Teri Burton; Reema Gopal - Na Khuu; Joseph Hamby - Erin Perryman; Mitchell Hammond - Teddy McMurray; Michael Paul Harwood - Greg Werner; Andrew Henry - Starlene Duggan; Ryan Hewett - Paige Hammond; Ashlen Hill - Jessica Fisher.

Hattie Howard - Tracy Marion; Zachary Irwin - Deena Dunn; Breanna Jordan - Sherie Cormack; Shaylyn Kroth - Jeff Belcher; Emily Wren Lanier - Laura Rogers; Sydney Markham - Amy Brady; Honey Matevia - Angie Thompson; Morgan McCaleb - Danielle Trent; Megan McGinnis - Tracy Cline; Jayden Mendez - Emily Albertson; Kai Mortenson - Missy Hefner; Lauren Elise Null - Rebecca Carlson; Caitlin Perry - Susan Hicks; Katherine Risley - Danielle Ross; Jacob Six - Dustin Chambers; Paige Smith - Teri McBrayer; Garrett Spears - Vivian Owen; Gabrielle Vatthanatham - Joan Porter; Riley Watkins - Brad Rotert; and Kayla Young - Mari Newby.