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Presidential Scholars

Burris, Isaac
Burris was recently awarded the Pearson Prize, a premiere citation given only to ten community college students nation-wide. A graduate of Mount Pleasant High School (MPHS), his paper on the "Varangian Option" for slaves in Texas won fourth place in the state-wide Caldwell competition. He presented work at the Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC) on South Padre Island in April, and he has won an invitation to present at the 2015 meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). He won third Place and $200 at the 2015 McGraw Hill Poster contest, and he was elected Vice President for District III of Phi Theta Kappa of Texas, during the national PTK meeting in San Antonio.

Morgan Capps
Capps was the 2014 Valedictorian at Jefferson Christian Academy. She won $100 and fourth place at the 2014 Northeast Texas Poetry Contest, $200 with the Elizabeth Chitsey Prize for 2015, and second place and a $300 state Caldwell Award for her path-breaking paper on Texas governors, Ma and Pa Ferguson. She received the latter in Corpus Christi at the State Webb Society, the student auxiliary of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). Capp's essay is the source of the 2016 Honors Film. Capps also presented work at the GPHC. Her work has been accepted for a presentation at the 50th-anniversary meeting of the NCHC in Chicago.

Cailee Davidson
Was a top 2015 graduate and athlete of Harmony High School, and represents a family that has now had two generations of A-students attend NTCC. At Harmony, Davidson played varsity volleyball, basketball, and softball advancing to the playoffs in each sport. She was a member of the student council, a National Honor Society (NHS) treasurer, and a winner of an All-American Scholar Award.

Angelica Fuentes
A graduate of MPHS, Fuentes became a secretary of the NTCC Honors Student Council, and president of the BioChem Pre-Professionals. Her paper on "Constructing the Selena Legend" has set a precedent for NTCC. After her spirited presentation at the GPHC, Fuentes' work was included in the fall meeting of the East Texas Historical Association, a conference usually reserved for professors and graduate students. Fuentes also won and participated in an REU research fellowship. Her work concerned the "Synthesis of Ammonium Ionic Liquid Supported Ligands and their Application in Michael Reaction."

Elizabeth Griffin
Griffin is the oldest daughter and student of the "Griffin Academy," a now renowned homeschooled family in Pittsburg whose offspring have won many notable regional and national awards at NTCC. As a high school student, Griffin won Presidential and Horizon Awards from the NTCC Faculty Senate. She has played important roles in several productions of Theatre Northeast. She has also been the most active participant in the film culture of Honors Northeast in its history, acting in the films of 2012 to 2014, working as the primary make-up artist, writing much of the script of the coming 2016 film, and appearing in a central role as Ouida Ferguson.

Cruz Gallegos
Gallegos was the 2015 Valedictorian of Daingerfield High School (DHS). He ran varsity cross country three years, played in the band, ran varsity track, and was the NHS and senior class president. He also belonged to the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). This past summer he was elected as the 2015 Cypress Bank Scholar, and with the new laptop that was assigned to him will be the producer of the 2016 honors film on the Fergusons of Texas.

Presley McClendon
McClendon left a mark at MPHS as a color guard expert and top student writer. She was a winner of the Titus Country Fair Scholarship, and the Martha Laird Good Citizenship Award. She served as secretary of the Health Organization of Students of America.

Melody Mott
Mott, a graduate of MPHS, is half Japanese, and is familiar with several languages. She was the winner of the Texas Music Scholar Award, a Rotary Club Student of the Month for April, and several other scholarships. She was a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the All Region mixed choir (twice), the NHS, the Mount Pleasant Belle Canto Varsity Choir, Future Business Leaders of America, and other associations.

Cassia Rose
A graduate of Winnsboro High School, Rose has starred in leading regional roles, as Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde at the Winnsboro Arts Center, as the Northeast Texas heroine, Harriet Potter Ames, in the 2015 honors film, as "Annelle" in the Theatre Northeast production of Steel Magnolias at NTCC, and she will appear as "Ma Ferguson" in the 2016 film of Honors Northeast. Rose will present her work on regional film culture at the NCHC. Her work on "legendary housewives" of Northeast Texas brought her $100 in the 2015 McGraw Hill poster contest, a presentation over K-Lake radio, and presentations before the Native Plant Society of Texas, the Texas Webb Society, and the GPHC.

Jessica Velazquez
Velazquez graduated third in her class at Mount Vernon (MVHS). Her essay on mechanized depopulation in Texas agriculture was accepted for inclusion in 2016, in the journal, Touchstone, published by the Texas State Historical Society. She presented work at the 2015 GPHC meeting, and will present twice at the NCHC. In 2015, she played "Sophia Mayfield" in the Honors film on Harriet Potter, and presented her character in the 2014 Fall Meeting of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Jessica is the Director of the coming 2016 film on Ma and Pa Ferguson.

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This page last updated by A. Yox on 09/24/2015

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