Oct 13, 2013 | 1489 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work completed by middle school, high school students


AUSTIN — Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today honored Matthew Roberts, a senior from McKinney High School in McKinney, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s first GROW award of the 2013-2014 school year. The award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work to middle and high school students who demonstrate leadership and excellence inside and outside the classroom.


“I congratulate Matthew Roberts for earning the GROW award,” Commissioner Staples said. “The future of our great state rests in the hands of students like Matt who embody the character and work ethic that will continue to keep Texas at the forefront of today’s competitive global economy.”


Matt is dedicated to his studies. His grade point average ranks him 12th out of 498 students in the senior class. Matt is enrolled in some of the most academically-demanding courses offered at his school and has received top scores on course exams, which has allowed him to earn college credits while still in high school.


In addition to his scholastic achievements, Matt has distinguished himself among his peers by demonstrating leadership in his school activities, as well as through his commitment to community service. Football and band are two of Matt’s loves. He is a kicker and punter on the varsity football team, and also a member of the school’s drumline. It is a common sight on Friday nights to see Matt take off his football helmet at halftime and throw his snare drum over his shoulder to join the band for their halftime performance.


Matt is currently enrolled in a welding class to gain skills that he can use on his grandfather’s farm. During the summer, he lends a hand to his grandfather on the farm by feeding cattle, fixing fences and baling hay, as well as tending to any other jobs that arise.


“I would like to thank Mrs. Horvath for nominating me for this award in the first place,” Matt said. “I am honored to receive the GROW award from the Texas Department of Agriculture. My family has been dedicated to agriculture for generations. The time spent on my grandfather’s farm has taught me the value of hard work and prepared me for the future.”


Matt has received his school’s Green Cord Service award for volunteering more than 100 hours of community service each year. Also impressive, he earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do during his freshman year.


“Matt is an exemplary student and role model for his peers,” said Theresa Horvath, McKinney High School teacher. “From the moment I met him during his freshman year, I could sense his focused, positive personality. His self-motivation and leadership are evident through his choice of rigorous courses and his involvement in school activities. He is clearly a positive role model to all who see him on the football field, in class and around the community. I am so glad that I've had the pleasure to get to know him!”


Matt plans to play football in college and major in Aerospace Engineering. He is currently applying to the University of Texas, Georgia Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Arizona State University, Stanford and Oklahoma University. For more on Matt’s accomplishments, click here.


Commissioner Staples established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in either their academic or extracurricular activities. To nominate a promising middle or high school student, visit the TDA website at One GROW award winner is chosen monthly throughout the academic school year.


Applications for next month’s award are due Nov. 1, 2013.
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