NTCC Honors announces class of 2013-2014
by J. WEBER
Oct 08, 2013 | 1158 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

NTCC Honors announces class of 2013-2014

The Northeast Texas Community College Honors Program is pleased to announce its Honors Students for the 2013-2014 school year. This includes nine Presidential Scholars and nine Honors Scholars.

NTCC Honors was founded in the spring of 2007. Geared to attract top high school graduates and college students, the program has prospered thanks to a network of loyal supporters both in and out of the college. Each year, NTCC honors students have attended and presented research at the Great Plains Honors Council and the National Collegiate Honors Council. NTCC Presidential Scholars have won eight state Caldwell Awards, six regional Boe Awards, and on the national level, four Coca Cola Gold Awards, a Hites, two Jack Kent Cooke scholarships, and a Guistwhite Award.  NTCC Scholars also have published numerous essays in Texas journals.

Presidential Scholars are the top scholarship winners who receive tuition, fees, and textbooks. Honors Scholars receive $1,000 scholarships and are identified as “rising stars.” They participate in all NTCC Honors activities and seminars. Students are selected by the NTCC Honors Committee based upon academic performance, a personal essay and letters of recommendation. The program furnishes all honors students with high-end laptops. Since its beginning, generous community sponsors have financed free trips in the spring and fall, special award opportunities, and graduation gifts.

“This year’s sophomore class of Honors Students at NTCC is, I believe, the best we have ever had. Four have won major cash awards on the national or regional level, and five have been invited to present work at the upcoming meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council.  Over all, we are thankful to have a great group of young people who are giving their best to achieve academic success, and even beyond that, distinguish themselves in creative scholarly and artistic work,” Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director, said.

Aside from receiving a scholarship to attend NTCC, entering Scholars will enroll in two special six-hour seminars, one in the fall and one in the spring. All honors students participate in the fall Northeast Texas Poetry contest, the spring McGraw Hill Poster contest, and submit papers for major state, regional and national awards and publications.

The NTCC Presidential Scholars for the 2013-2014 school  year are as follows:

Kayleah Cumpian

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Cumpian was a top graduate of Mount Pleasant High School who won academic blankets in biology and Spanish, two first-place medals for UIL Social Studies, Rotary Student of the Month, and awards in Net Olé.  She was a reporter for the National Honor Society, and a member of the National Technical Honors Society.  After 27 hours of dual enrollment at NTCC, she has a 3.8 GPA.  Cumpian appears in several roles in the NTCC Honors film on Wright Patman, and has already performed other service work with the Smart Girls Conference, and local food pantry.

Lauren Fennimore

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Fennimore was a top graduate of Chapel Hill High School who won several UIL awards in State Solo and Ensemble, and Computer Science.  She has already taken 31 hours of dual-enrollment credit at NTCC and has a 4.0 GPA.  At Chapel Hill she was a member of the Cross Country Team, Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society, the choir, and the Spanish Club.  In the new NTCC Film she appears as Pauline Patman, the wife of the famous Northeast Texas Congressman. She has volunteered for the Carroll Shelby Automotive Program at NTCC, the Special Olympics, and the Titus County Fair.

Noah Griffin

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Griffin was homeschooled in the “Griffin Academy,” a single family in Pittsburg whose “alumni” include two major NTCC prize winners.  Griffin was the winner of the 2013 State of Texas Caldwell Award for his portrait of the father of prohibition, Morris Sheppard.  He recently became one of 70 international winners of the Leaders of Promise, an award sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa. He was the NTCC 2013 Portz Nominee, he came in fourth place in the 2013 McGraw Hill Poster Competition, and came in second in the 2013 NTCC Talent Show as a pianist.  He appears in the 2012 Honors Film as an associate of Morris Sheppard, and stars in the 2013 film as Wright Patman.  He was on the panel that introduced the premiere of the Morris Sheppard film in Mount Pleasant.  He has received invitations to speak at the 2013 meetings of the Great Plains Honors Council, and the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).  Among his references is Senator Connie Mack of Florida who was Morris Sheppard’s grandson.

Sam Fraley

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Paul Pewitt High School surprised everyone in a 2013 UIL contest, beating the much larger Mount Pleasant High School in Math/Science.  A big reason was Sam Fraley, who would later place in State UIL.  In UIL, he has won awards in Science, Calculator Applications, Mathematics,and Number Sense.  Fraley was a member at Paul Pewitt of Band, Cross Country, UIL Academics, and Track.  He received awards in chemistry and physics, and was a member of the National Honor Society. He appears in the 2013 Honors Film as Seymour Harris, an advisor to Wright Patman.  A favorite hobby—he has visited 60 national parks, monuments, memorials, battlegrounds, and other historic sites.

Ricky Huitema

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A top graduate of Pittsburg High School, Huitema was the winner of the 2012 Northeast Texas Poetry Contest for his work, “As the Morning Sun.”  His poem was published in the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune, and he presented it over the air on K-Lake radio.  He also placed second in the 2013 McGraw Hill poster contest, winning $300 for his work on “virtuous insubordination” in Texas.  He presented this work also at West Texas A&M University in April at the Great Plains Honors Council.  Huitema was on the team which traveled to Austin to research the life of Wright Patman, and appears in the film as Lyndon Baines Johnson.  He will present ideas on film research at an upcoming panel discussion of the NCHC in November.  Huitema aspires to become a petroleum engineer.

Matthew Jordan

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Jordan was the 2012 Salutatorian at Pittsburg High School.  Last year, he was the guiding force behind NTCC’s first-ever first-place group award State of Texas Caldwell Prize for his work on Caddo pottery.  He also was a driving force behind a winning Whatley Enhancement grant proposal to visit the Caddo nation and other important Indian sites in Oklahoma.  In the spring of 2013, he took this trip, and in the summer, visited the sizable collection of Caddo pottery at the TexasArcheological Research Laboratory in Austin.  He presented work on Caddo pottery at the 2013 Great Plains Honors Council meeting at West Texas A&M University.  He has received an invitation to speak about the Caddo at the 2013 NCHC Meeting in New Orleans.  He appears in several roles in the 2013 film on Wright Patman, and will be one of the co-producers of the film.  He has a 4.0 GPA, and was the second-place winner of the 2012 Northeast Texas Poetry Competition.

Stephen Milburn

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An early graduate of Mount Pleasant High School, Milburn was the winner of the $200 Elizabeth Chitsey Award for rank improvement in NTCC honors.  He maintains a 3.9 GPA after one year at NTCC.  He has received an invitation to speak at the 2013 NCHC meeting for his work comparing Bedouins with Cowboys.  He was the first student in NTCC history to stage a major campaign for an international office in Phi Theta Kappa, and recently, he was one of six recipients of the Dr. Mary Hood STAR Scholarship.  This scholarship honors returning community college students in the Texas region who show outstanding promise as leaders and as scholars.

Tyler Reynolds

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Reynolds was a top graduate of Pittsburg High School.  Reynolds was a member of the National Honors Society, the varsity baseball team, and DECA.  He has a 4.0 GPA after twelve hours of dual enrollment at NTCC.  He was on the executive council of the 2013 Honors Film on Wright Patman, and is serving as co-producer.

Alisha Richardson

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Richardson has maintained a 4.0 GPA after one year at NTCC.  Originally homeschooled, and from Avinger, she has been on the executive council of two NTCC Honors Film initiatives, serving both times as the Director of Costumes.  She presented work on the Morris Sheppard film, in which she also appeared as Sheppard’s wife–Lucille, at the 2012 Fall Meeting of the Webb Historical Society at Sam Houston State, and at the Mount Pleasant Premiere of the film.  She has been invited to present work both on the films and on her scholarly work concerning Lady Bird Johnson at the 2013 NCHC meeting in NewOrleans.  She also won third place in the 2013 McGraw-Hill Poster contest for her work on music and learning.

The NTCC Honors Scholars for the 2013-2014 school year are as follows:

Elyse Coleman

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Coleman was homeschooled in a small town near Gilmer. She has interned with a physician in Longview who specializes in sleep apnea, and has devoted long hours in helping to open a thrift shop to support the women’s shelter in Longview.  She has a particular aptitude for Bible quizzes and would like to be a missionary nurse.

Zachary Davis

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Davis is a “gifted-and-talented” graduate of Pittsburg schools.  In High School, he was a member of the award-winning Robotics team, the National Honor Society, and Mount Pleasant TAG.   After 24 hours at NTCC in dual enrollment, he has a 3.9 GPA.

Ashley Hall

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Hall is Texas Regional District III Vice-President of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Such a position in the hierarchy of PTK has only been attained one other time in the history of NTCC. In this capacity, Hall traveled last summer to a leadership conference in Philadelphia, and to several community colleges in the northeast Texas region.  She has served at an orphanage at Terekeka, South Sudan, and for Titus County Cares.  Last year, she participated both in the Strategic Planning Taskforce at NTCC, and in the Student Government Association.

Kaitlyn Klepfer

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Klepfer received one of the top ACT scores of students at Mount Pleasant in 2013.  She was a member of varsity tennis, the venture crew, and the National Honor Society.  Mr. Marty Newman, the English teacher at Mount Pleasant, was particularly impressed with Klepfer’s creativity, and ability to think “outside the box.”

Ana Martinez

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Martinez is an aspiring math major who was one of the leaders of the Mount Pleasant High School UIL team in 2012-2013, in math and science.  She was a member of the National Honor Society, and the National Technical Honor Society.  She has a 4.0 GPA in dual enrollment classes at NTCC.

Lilith Penn

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Penn is a graduate of Poteet High School in Mesquite, who has come to live in Northeast Texas.  In her first year at NTCC, several professors were impressed by the length and creativity of her research papers.  She had a 4.0 GPA in all of her college classes after her first year.

Maria Perez

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Perez is a graduate of Paul Pewitt High School and a winner of the John and Janet Bryan Morris County Scholarship and the Charles and Paulette Smith Morris County Scholarship.  An immigrant to the United States, teachers have been impressed by Perez’s alacrity in learning English, and her strong will to learn.

Scot Pitzer

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Pitzer was Paul Pewitt’s other “success story” in their climb to the State finals in UIL Science in the spring of 2013.  He was the winner of the Garden Club’s Scholarship, and the Retired Teacher’s Scholarship at Paul Pewitt.

Cheyenne Shoemaker

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Shoemaker was a graduate of Valliant High School in Oklahoma.  Since coming to Northeast Texas and living in Omaha, she has compiled a 4.0 GPA at NTCC.  In the upcoming Honors film on Wright Patman, she plays the congressman’s mother, Emma, along with other roles.

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