The Tribune-Herald presents the second installment of the top high school graduates in McLennan County this year. The final group will be showcased June 16.
Graduates are presented in alphabetical order by school. Some schools have yet to provide information or photographs. Those graduates will be recognized after their information is received.
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LIVE OAK CLASSICAL
Valedictorian • Luke Garst
Parents: Eddie and Tammy Garst
Plans: Attend Baylor University in the Business Fellows Program, majoring in accounting and economics.
Achievements: DAR Good Citizen Award; National Honor Society (10th-12th grades); first place in mechanical engineering at Central Texas Science and Engineering Fairs at local and regional levels; TAPPS 2A boys doubles tennis state champion; TAPPS 3A Academic All-State tennis.
Editor’s note: Live Oak recognizes only one top graduate.
Valedictorian • Olivia Pankonien
Parents: Gene and Nannette Pankonien
Plans: Attend Texas A&M University, majoring in animal science with a minor in nutrition.
Achievements: Brazos Education Foundation Scholarship; Rotary Club of Waco Youth Citizenship finalist; Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo Scholarship; Texas FFA Lone Star Degree; Texas 4-H Gold Star Award.
Salutatorian • Vicky Gerik
Parents: Jilji Gerik and the late Eugene Gerik Jr.
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College and major in business.
Achievements: National Honor Society; FFA; Barbara Lynette Potts Memorial Scholarship; Marion Martin Award; Mart Ministerial Alliance Scholarship; St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Scholarship.
Valedictorian • Haeun Moon
Parents: Sungho and Sojung Moon
Plans: Attend Harvard University in the fall, majoring in international relations. She is interested in incorporating the arts into diplomacy.
Achievements: National Merit Scholarship Award, National AP Scholar; National Young Arts Winner for Music (2018); “From the Top’s” Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award; National Honor Society president.
Salutatorian • Nathaniel Hejduk
Parents: Matthew and Julia Hejduk
Plans: Attend Rice University, majoring in computer science.
Achievements: National Merit Finalist; AP Scholar with Distinction; WordWright champion; member of Meistersingers and Chamber Singers; National Honor Society vice president.
Valedictorian • Elizabeth Perkins
Parents: Tracy and Heather Perkins
Plans: Attend McLennan Community College, then transfer to university on a tennis scholarship. Wants to become art teacher and coach.
Achievements: Waco Rotary Youth Citizen; Smoaky’s Academic All Star; Lions Club academic recognition; Academic All-State golf; National Honor Society.
Salutatorian • Maggie McGriff
Parents: Paulisa Mathison and Thomas McGriff
Plans: Attend the University of Texas at Arlington and pursue a bachelor’s in nursing, specializing in trauma.
Achievements: A honor roll; band president; FCCLA vice president; serves veterans by playing taps and placing flags at cemeteries.
RAPOPORT MEYER HIGH
Valedictorian • Riley Sloan
Parents: Melissa and Stephen Sloan
Plans: Attend Baylor University, majoring in social work and minoring in psychology.
Achievements: Baylor University Invitation to Excellence Scholarship; 2019 Waco Rotary Club Youth Citizenship Award finalist; National Honor Society secretary; student body president.
Salutatorian • Victoria Williams
Family: Suporia Williams (mother) and Dannie Archie (grandfather)
Plans: Attend the University of Texas at Arlington to study nursing in the Honors College.
Achievements: Brazos Education Foundation Scholarship ($16,000); Alpha Kappa Alpha Scholarship; earned associate of arts degree from McLennan Community College; student body vice president; National Honor Society treasurer.
REICHER CATHOLIC HIGH
Valedictorian • Matthew Mendiola
Parents: Mike and Dianne Mendiola
Plans: Attend Trinity University, majoring in math and computer science
Achievements: Trinity Tower Full Tuition Scholarship; Bishop Reicher Award; Waco Rotary Youth Citizenship Award nominee; FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Worlds division finalist; National Merit Commended Student.
Salutatorian • Elizabeth “Essie” Klausmeyer
Parents: Devin and Rizalia Klausmeyer
Plans: Attend Baylor University, majoring in economics.
Achievements: National Hispanic Scholar; Baylor Invitation to Excellence Scholarship; National Spanish Exam medalist; All-District first-team basketball selection; Jose Alonzo Award.
Valedictorian • Steven Searcy
Parents: Steve and Christy Searcy
Plans: Attend Tarleton State University to study kinesiology.
Achievements: Academic All-State first-team selection for baseball and football.
Salutatorian • Chandler Dodge
Parents: Ronnie and Carla Dodge
Plans: Attend Texas State University to major in exercise and sports science and become a coach/teacher.
Achievements: Most Representative Senior; Student Council president; National Honor Society president; Academic All-State first-team baseball selection; Phi Theta Kappa at MCC, graduating with 30 college credit hours.
Valedictorian • Kaegan Walker
Parents: Stephen and Dawn Walker
Plans: Attend Texas A&M University, majoring in mechanical engineering.
Achievements: Texas Sports Writers Association All-State volleyball second team (2017); Super Centex volleyball first team (2017, 2018); senior class president; National Honor Society vice president; Link leader.
Salutatorian • Claire Crow
Parents: J.C. and Jennifer Crow
Plans: Attend Texas A&M University, majoring in nutrition.
Achievements: National Honor Society president; Texas 4-H District 8 vice chairman; State Healthy Texas Youth ambassador; Heart of Texas Junior Cycling; Student Council.
The Tribune-Herald presents the third and final installment of the top high school graduates in McLennan County this year. Previous groups wer…