19th annual Academic Recognition Banquet held virtually and 2 other stories from Comal ISD

Comal ISD will continue online learning through the remainder of the school year. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Comal ISD will continue online learning through the remainder of the school year. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Comal ISD will continue online learning through the remainder of the school year. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Catch up on the latest news from Comal ISD.

19th annual Academic Recognition Banquet hosted virtually

Each year since 2001, Comal ISD has honored top academically ranked graduating seniors during the Annual Academic Recognition Banquet.

Due to school closures and social distancing efforts, the 19th annual banquet was hosted virtually and can be viewed online.

This year’s banquet was held in honor of Jan Heckendorn, who helped found and create the Comal Education Foundation and was involved in the banquet for 17 years.

The top students from each high school chose one mentor to honor at the ceremony and are listed below.

Canyon High School:

  • Neeraj Akula honoring Michelle Koehl

  • Andrew Barclay honoring Haylie Sansom

  • Kristin Clark honoring Jimmy Keresztury

  • Alexandra Everett honoring Jamey Leeber

  • Aidan Feagler honoring Brad Arnold

  • Isaac Hawkins honoring Kevin Randle

  • Harley Johnson honoring Trevor Balmer

  • ‘Alex’ Hsiang-An Kuo honoring Gary Anderson

  • Megha Patel honoring Heather Sanders

  • Kathryn Schulze honoring Leanne Blackwell

  • Hunter Technik honoring Kayla Kitchens

  • Kobe Vargas honoring Jackson Wolek

  • Chris Williams honoring Vaughn Chestnutt

  • Trinity Williford honoring Jessica Galindo

Canyon Lake High School:

  • Megan Allison honoring Amanda Custy-Schaas

  • Mia Allison honoring Agatha Bennett

  • Amanda Diaz honoring Robert Ceyanes

  • Cassidy Felps honoring Kim Clemons

  • Jessica M. Gore honoring Israel Pena

  • Mason Lee honoring Kellie Schatte

  • Madeleine Morris honoring Charles Van Houten

  • Lainee Moses honoring Kim Moses

  • Orion Petronilo honoring Mary Beth Gallagher

  • Andrew Pipkin honoring Ryan Tierney

  • Brandon Robinson honoring Jennifer Robinson

  • Tristan Rodgers honoring Tina Platt

  • Kalani Thorpe honoring Therese Pilzner

  • Dylan Wells honoring Caleb Hoffmann

  • Nash Young honoring Angie Mickey

Memorial Early College High School with St. Philip’s College:

  • KeiLi Buckner honoring Tia Weidenfeller

  • Josephine Tesauro honoring Francine Miller-Sallese

  • Emma Vequist honoring Natalie Black

  • Kyle Weidenfeller honoring Jennifer Fey

  • Clayton Wiegel honoring Robert Ramirez

Smithson Valley High School:

  • Madeline Aguilar honoring Cory De Boest

  • Jordan Auld honoring Michael Saberian

  • Alastair Craythorne honoring Commander Michael Mullen

  • Rachel Dziuba honoring Jason Adkins, world history

  • Tayla Glass honoring Vincent Giordanelli

  • Jacqueline LaFond honoring Shauna Douglass

  • Kassidy LaForge honoring Lauren Dowlearn

  • Mayle Lester honoring Rodney Murray

  • James Mendez honoring Jonathan McKinley

  • Joshua Nelson honoring Keven Harshbarger

  • Audrey Pauletti honoring Laquita Sellers

  • Quincy Smith honoring Erin Shephard

  • Alyssa Wagner honoring Kathryn Rutledge

  • Colby Wright honoring Dora Rodriguez

  • William Yancosek honoring Lucy Capt

Memorial Early College High School ranks in top 10 high schools in San Antonio area

According to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best High Schools rankings, published April 21, Memorial Early College High School with St. Philip’s College was named one of the top 10 high schools in the San Antonio area.

Established in 2009, the school transitioned to a project-based learning model in 2014 and recently received a score of 99 out of 100 from the Texas Education Agency for how it prepares students for life after high school.

MECHS is one of only three high schools in the nation to be designated as both an early college high school and a new tech network high school.

Graduates from MECHS receive both a distinguished high school diploma and an associate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning upon graduation.

“We are proud of the successful mode we have been able to establish at MECHS,” Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim said in a press release. “We are looking to replicate this model throughout the district beginning with a second school of choice which will be co-located with Spring Branch Middle School this fall.”

Smithson Valley High School, Canyon High School and Canyon Lake High School also received “Best” rankings from the U.S. News report.

Comal ISD celebrates School Lunch Hero Day

May 1 marked School Lunch Hero Day, a national program which honors school nutrition professionals who work to ensure students are well-fed every day.

According to No Kid Hungry, 1 in every 7 children in the United States lives with hunger, and 23% of children in Texas are categorized as “food-insecure,” according to Feeding America statistics.

School breakfast and lunch programs are a primary way for students to receive healthy food during the school year, and the men and women who make and distribute those meals play a role in ensuring the health of students, according to No Kid Hungry.

Since Comal ISD began its breakfast and lunch meal pickup program in response to the coronavirus pandemic and school closures, the district’s child nutrition staff has served over 121,500 meals at 10 locations throughout the county.

“These ‘lunch ladies and men’ are part of the essential frontline workers who are making a difference in the lives of so many in their communities during this challenging time,” CISD Communications Specialist Salwa Lanford said in a press release. “This year, more than ever, their efforts should be celebrated.”
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.