Community news: Sept. 20, 2013

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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013 12:01 am

MCC Dance Company excels at NDA camp

Nineteen members of the McLennan Community College Dance Company attended NDA (National Dance Alliance) Collegiate Camp in Dallas on the campus of SMU this summer.

Captains for 2013-14 are sophomores Erika Julien from Copperas Cove, Michelle Lack from Pear-land, Mariah Mueller from Killeen and Raegan Riegel from Temple. Colonel this year is Tori Salazar from Midway High School.

The team received third place in team dance competition and were awarded a bronze bid to nationals, which will be held in Daytona Beach, Fla., in April 2014. The dancers also came home with a Spirit Award.

In Division I, Sam Houston State won the team dance competition. Among its dancers this year are five former Dance Company members: Emily Mitchell, Chelsea Chatham, Rylie Vaught, Mackenzie Unger and Bailey Sherrard, who won the “Top Gun Leaps” award as well as being selected All-American for her second time.

In Division IA, Texas Tech won the team dance competition with SMU taking second place.

In Division II, Blinn College won the team dance competition with OCU coming in second and the MCC Dance Company received third.

McLennan dancers Tori Salazar and Erika Julienwere named All-Americans for 2013. They represent the 27th and 28 MCC dancers who have been selected as NDA All-Americans.

Sandy Hinton photos

MCC Dance Company members at the NDA Camp are (front row, from left) Aliyah Harris, Katie Morton, Capt. Erika Julien, Col. Tori Salazar, Capt. Mariah Mueller, Capt. Raegan Riegel, Cassidy Larkin, Shelby Bradley, (back row) Ashlyn Miller, Jennifer Tucker, Alex Thomas, Allie Stockton, Shay Schottelin, Capt. Michelle Lack, Brooke Turner, Jesika Benavides, Christina Garza, Alyssa Calderon and Jasmine Beeson. Not pictured is Jenny Nance.

Named as NDA All Americans are Erika Julien (left) and Tori Salazar.

2013 Distinguished Alumnus

Travis Poe, of Mont Belvieu in the Houston area, was recently awarded the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the McLennan Highlander Alumni Association.

Poe, a 1981 graduate of Wortham High School, trained under founder James Henderson in the McLennan Theatre program for two years before transferring to the University of Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1985.

He also earned a master’s degree from Lamar University in 2002. Poe is now in his 28th year as theater director at Barbers Hill High School, where he and his students have earned 26 regional appearances and 18 state appearances in University Interscholastic League One-Act Play competitions.

He and his students were named state champions in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2010 and 2012.

Poe is widely known as a guest director and clinician at theater festivals throughout the state. Among many other honors, he was recipient of the Texas Educational Theatre Association’s Founder’s Award, a prestigious recognition for service to theater in Texas.

His parents, Wayne and Aggie Poe, live in China Spring.

MCC photo

McLennan Community College President Johnette McKown (left) and Highlander Alumni Association Director Kim Patterson (right) with Distinguished Alumnus Travis Poe.

2013 Distinguished Young Leader

Joseph Mabbitt, of Waco, recently was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Young Leader Award from the McLennan Highlander Alumni Association.

Mabbitt was the 2009 salutatorian of his graduating class at Parkview Christian Academy. He completed an associate of arts degree in music (with honors) at McLennan Community College in May and is now a student at Baylor University.

While at MCC, Mabbitt served as a student ambassador and performed in the McLennan Chorale and Tartan Chamber Singers. He also served as president and vice president of the student chapters of MENC and MTNA, both national music education associations, and he was elected to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

At Baylor, Mabbitt is studying Russian and participating in the Air Force ROTC program. He plans a career in the Air Force as a pilot or as an intelligence officer specializing in Russian linguistics.

He is the son of Yong McNabb, of Waco.

MCC photo

McLennan Community College President Johnette McKown (left) and Highlander Alumni Association Director Kim Patterson (right) with Distinguished Young Leader Award winner Joseph Mabbitt.

McGregor Homecoming Court

Members of the 2013 McGregor High School Homecoming Court are (from left) Allyson Jacobs, freshman; Amanda King, junior; Alishia Betts, senior; Homecoming Queen Kaci Thane, senior; Skylar Jackson, senior; Heather Bess, senior; and Victoria Valdez, sophomore. Kaci is the daughter of Peggy and David Thane.

James Lenamon photo

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