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Ten Waco ISD Students Receive National Academic Honors

Photo from (L to R):
Deborah Hammond, Piper Woodward, Vania Gonzalez, Karla Suarez, Julio Ortega, Archie Hatten, James Burnias and Tionni Sheppard
Not pictured:  Brandon Vega and William Barbee


Waco ISD is proud to announce that 10 students have earned national academic honors from the College Board, the highest number of awardees in Waco ISD’s history. Three students are being recognized for the National African American Recognition Award (NAARA) and seven students are recipients of the National Hispanic Recognition Award (NHRA). Seven of the 10 students are also Waco ISD Superintendent Scholars. 

The College Board has awarded 62,000 students from across the country with academic honors from College Board National Recognition Programs. For the 2022 award, more than 180,000 students from all 50 states were eligible to apply. Students who take eligible administrations of the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or AP Exams are considered for the awards. To qualify, they must also identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous, or attend high school in a rural area or small town.

University High School award recipients include Archie Hatten V who earned the NAARA and Karla Suarez and Vania Gonzalez who received the NHRA recognition.

Waco High School awardees include Deborah Hammond and Tionni Sheppard who earned the NAARA. Brandon Vega, James Burnias, Julio Ortega, Piper Woodward, and William Barbee received academic honors via the NHRA program.

“I am so proud of this group of students for their academic achievements. It’s a huge accomplishment and the most award recipients Waco ISD has had,” said Dr. Susan Kincannon, Waco ISD Superintendent. “They have worked extremely hard and it’s nice to see that work recognized in a way that will positively impact their future,” said Kincannon.