The Tribune-Herald presents the second installment of the top high school graduates in McLennan County this year.

Graduates are presented in alphabetical order by school. More will be showcased next Sunday. Some schools and students have not provided information or photographs. Those graduates will be recognized if their information is received.

To ask questions, email or call 757-5750.


Methodist Children's Home

Methodist Home val Parker


Valedictorian: Athina Parker

Family: Ramona Parker (grandmother)

College plans: McLennan Community College to study biology and pursue career in Marine biology or zoology.

Top achievements: Charles W. & Mariam Hawes Academic Excellence Award; MCH Responsibility Award; Bulldog Pride Award; MCH scholarship; completed dual-credit courses and earned six college credits.

Methodist Home sal Rister


Salutatorian: Nicholas Rister

Family: Renee Rister (mother), Johnny Rister (grandfather).

College plans: Texas State Technical College and pursue career in welding.

Top achievements: Chapter Star in Agri-science Award; Ag Mechanics Design and Fabrication Award; Charles W. & Mariam Hawes Academic Excellence Award and scholarship; FFA Showmanship Award; received MCH, Walter B. Dossett Jr. and Texan Success Scholarships.


Moody High School

Moody val Bounds


Valedictorian: Elizabeth Bounds

Parents: Rhonda and Jesse Bounds

College plans: Texas State University.

Top achievements: State powerlifting champion (2017); Fellowship of Christian Athletes; All-District softball first team (3 years); All-State Academic Elite Team; class president.

Moody sal McNiel


Salutatorian: Alexander McNiel

Parents: Borka and Robert McNiel

College plans: Texas State Technical College.

Top achievements: National BETA Club, UIL academics participant; football.


Robinson High School

Robinson val Pizarro


Valedictorian: Briana Pizarro

Parents: Pete Pizarro and Disha Rodriguez

College plans: Texas A&M, majoring in biology.

Top achievements: Einstein Award; National Honor Society; McLennan Scholar; Honor Blanket recipient; Link Leader; UIL academics participant; FCCLA; yearbook staff; student council.

Robinson sal Hoelscher


Salutatorian: Natalie Hoeschler

Parents: Lisa and Glenn Hoelscher

College plans: Texas A&M, majoring in animal science.

Top achievements: Miss Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo (2016); senior class president; 4-H vice chairman for District 8; National Honor Society president; student council president; Texas 4-H livestock ambassador; Rocket softball.


Valley Mills High School

Valley Mills val Arias


Valedictorian: Monica Arias

Parents: Maria Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez

College plans: Tarleton State University Honors College, majoring in biomedical sciences (pre-med).

Top achievements: National Honor Society president; straight A’s throughout high school; being accepted to Honors College at Tarleton State; graduating with 21 college credits; qualifying for regionals in computer applications.

Valley Mills sal Fabela


Salutatorian: Jennifer Fabela

Parents: Maria Fabela and Jose Fabela

College plans: Texas State University, majoring in chemistry on a pre-pharmacy degree plan and minoring in Spanish.

Top achievements: Best World History Student Award (2015); Best U.S. History Student Award (2016); Student of the Month (2015, 2016); Rotary Club Youth Citizenship Award recipient; Area One-Act Play qualifier (2017).


Vanguard College Preparatory School

Vanguard Hamilton


Academic Excellence Award: Amir Hamilton

Parents: Nashim and Bruce Hamilton

College plans: Harvard University.

Top achievements: Student council (4 years and co-president senior year); National Merit Commended Scholar; AP Scholar with Distinction; Challenge Team captain; debate team captain; Mock Trial team (4 years); varsity tennis (3 years); varsity soccer (3 years); National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; Vanguard Self Starter Award (2016).

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