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MISD Celebrates Standout Seniors and Inspirational Teachers at Annual Distinguished Student Awards Dinner

Article|
Shane Mauldin|
Thursday, May 16, 2024
Article Note:
Click the above image to download the 2024 Distinguished Student Awards program. (PDF)
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • The McKinney ISD 2024 Distinguished Student Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center.

McKinney, Texas – The spring storms that forecasters predicted would spoil everyone’s evening politely steered south and east of McKinney on Wednesday, May 8, as MISD officials, teachers, principals, community leaders, students and family members poured into the MISD Community Event Center for one of the district’s most anticipated annual events—the MISD Distinguished Student Awards (DSA) dinner.

Pratt at the podium speaking

McKinney ISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt at the 2024 MISD Distinguished Student Awards Dinner held on Wednesday, May 8, at the MISD Community Event Center

Held each spring, the DSA calls forth 45 remarkable seniors from McKinney Boyd High School, McKinney High School and McKinney North High School to honor them for not only academic achievement but also for their commitment and dedication in a specific area—English, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Career & Technology, Foreign Language, Fine Arts or Athletics—as well as At-Large honorees and the Valedictorian and Salutatorian. The Distinguished Student Award is the highest award that MISD bestows upon a student.

While the DSA honorees were chosen by the faculty at their respective schools, each of them in turn had the opportunity to name one teacher who made the most significant impact on them over the course of their academic career. Those teachers were honored with the MISD Inspirational Teacher Award.

smiling in a casual group photo before the event

Accomplished McKinney North swimmer Camille Murray (second from right) who received a Distinguished Student Award for Athletics stops for a photo with her coach and Inspirational Teacher Award recipient Stephanie Cusack and family.

Once the assembled guests had made their way through the dinner serving line  and were seated, MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt welcomed everyone, and shortly the evening’s proceedings began in earnest.

“Our Distinguished Student Dinner is one of my favorite events of the year,” Pratt said. “We celebrate distinguished students from each high school in many different categories. They in turn celebrate a teacher who has been inspirational in their educational journey. So, in one night we celebrate some of our best students and teachers.”

2024 MISD Distinguished Students and Inspirational Teachers

English Honors

Grace Garner · McKinney Boyd High School · English
Inspirational Teacher · Tamara Resmini

Group on stage smiling for camera

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Tamara Resmini, Grace Garner, Board Vice President Amy Dankel


Aila Azizolli · McKinney High School · English
Inspirational Teacher · Scott Patterson

on stage in group smiling for photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Scott Patterson, Aila Azizolli, Board Vice President Amy Dankel


Rachel Martin · McKinney North High School · English
Inspirational Teacher · Elizabeth Whittington

on stage sharing a hug

(left) Elizabeth Whittington and Rachel Martin

Science Honors

Carly Hunt · McKinney Boyd High School · Science
Inspirational Teacher · Tamara Resmini

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Tamara Resmini, Carly Hunt, Board Vice President Amy Dankel


Jackson Davis · McKinney High School · Science
Inspirational Teacher · Stone Drulman

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Jackson Davis, McKinney High School Principal Dr. Paula Kent, Board Vice President Amy Dankel


Branden Bingham · McKinney North High School · Science
Inspirational Teacher · Faisal Khan

On stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Branden Bingham, Faisal Khan, Board Vice President Amy Dankel

Social Studies Honors

Alena Villalon · McKinney Boyd High School · Social Studies
Inspirational Teacher · Randy Bilyeu

Alena looking over her shoulder at Dankel and smiling

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Randy Bilyeu, Alena Villalon, Board Vice President Amy Dankel

Zainakai Blair-Roberts · McKinney High School · Social Studies
Inspirational Teacher · Mark Bayer

on stage smiling in group photo with teacher and student with arm around each other's shoulder

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Mark Bayer, Zainakai Blair-Roberts, Board Vice President Amy Dankel


Olivia Zottneck · McKinney North High School · Social Studies
Inspirational Teacher · Cynthia Povliches

on stage in group shot smiling

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Cynthia Povliches, Olivia Zottneck, Board Vice President Amy Dankel

Mathematics Honors

Haylee Chapman · McKinney Boyd High School · Mathematics
Inspirational Teacher · Stefanie McCarthy

On stage smiling in group shot

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Stefanie McCarthy, Haylee Chapman, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca


Isabel Norton · McKinney High School · Mathematics
Inspirational Teacher · Theresa Horvath

Horvath and Norton hugging on stage

Theresa Horvath (left) and Isabel Norton


Joshua Duty · McKinney North High School · Mathematics
Inspirational Teacher · Gary Williams

Duty and Williams sharing a fist bump on stage

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Joshua Duty, Gary Williams, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca

Career & Technology Honors

Beck Warren · McKinney Boyd High School · Career & Technology
Inspirational Teacher · James Martin

on stage smiling in group shot

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Beck Warren, James Martin, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca


Charlie Taylor · McKinney High School 
· Career & Technology
Inspirational Teacher · Curtis Christian

on stage smiling in group shot

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Curtis Christian, Charlie Taylor, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca


Danica Anaya · McKinney North High School · Career & Technology
Inspirational Teacher · Doug Woodall

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Danica Anaya, McKinney North High School Principal Jae Gaskill, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca

Foreign Language Honors

Aaron Shortt · McKinney Boyd High School · Foreign Language
Inspirational Teacher · Joshua Volenik

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Aaron Shortt, Joshua Volenik, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca


Jonathan Mikesell · McKinney High School · Foreign Language
Inspirational Teacher · Theresia Dipalma

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Jonathan Mikesell, Theresia Dipalma, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca


Selim Gurkas · McKinney North High School · Foreign Language
Inspirational Teacher · CJ Shelton

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Selim Gurkas, CJ Shelton, Board Secretary Harvey Oaxaca

Fine Arts Honors

Darren Chan · McKinney Boyd High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Lindsey Henderson

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Darren Chan, Lindsey Henderson, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Anya Purdin · McKinney Boyd High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Michael Graber

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McKinney Boyd High School Principal Dr. Jennifer Peirson, Anya Purdin, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Joshua Rabady · McKinney Boyd High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Jonathan Pitzer

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Jonathan Pitzer, Joshua Rabady, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Emma Berndt · McKinney High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Richard McGowan

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Emma Berndt, McKinney High School Principal Dr. Paula Kent, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Graysen Malek · McKinney High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Deanne Shaw

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Deanne Shaw, Graysen Malek, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Alejandro Zavala · McKinney High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Brandon Fisher

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Brandon Fisher, Alejandro Zavala, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Tonderai Mukahanana · McKinney North High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Michael Reed

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Tonderai Mukahanana, Michael Reed, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Peter Stuckmann · McKinney North High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Keegan Arnold

Arnold and Stuckmann fist bumping on stage during award presentation

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Keegan Arnold, Peter Stuckmann, Trustee Lynn Sperry


Leo Yamauchi · McKinney North High School · Fine Arts
Inspirational Teacher · Lamar Smith

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Lamar Smith, Leo Yamauchi, Trustee Lynn Sperry

Athletics Honors

Savanna Luther · McKinney Boyd High School · Athletics
Inspirational Teacher · Jill Nicklas

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Jill Nicklas, Savanna Luther, Trustee Larry Jagours


Caleb Millard · McKinney Boyd High School · Athletics
Inspirational Teacher · Keith Pierce

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Caleb Millard, Keith Pierce, Trustee Larry Jagours


Samantha Tillson · McKinney High School · Athletics
Inspirational Teacher · Deb Harris

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Samantha Tillson, Deb Harris, Trustee Larry Jagours


Patrick Means · McKinney High School · Athletics
Inspirational Teacher · Jacob Parr

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Patrick Means, Jacob Parr, Trustee Larry Jagours


Camille Murray · McKinney North High School · Athletics
Inspirational Teacher · Stephanie Cusack

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Camille Murray, Stephanie Cusack, Trustee Larry Jagours


Jayden Walker · McKinney North High School · Athletics
Inspirational Teacher · Melvin Crosby

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Jayden Walker, Melvin Crosby, Trustee Larry Jagours

At-Large Honors

Emma Peirson · McKinney Boyd High School · At-Large
Inspirational Teacher · Caris Dunn

Peirson and Dunn looking at each other on stage and laughing

Emma Peirson (left) and Caris Dunn


Isaiah Williams · McKinney Boyd High School · At-Large
Inspirational Teacher · Lanai Child

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Isaiah Williams, Lanai Child, Trustee Larry Jagours


Blanca Ramos · McKinney High School · At-Large
Inspirational Teacher · Yaryzza Lira

Ramos and Lira looking at each other and laughing on stage

Blanca Ramos (left) and Yaryzza Lira


John Merrell · McKinney High School · At-Large
Inspirational Teacher · Theresa Horvath

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Theresa Horvath, John Merrell, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell


Kaelyn Hamilton · McKinney North High School · At-Large
Inspirational Teacher · Veronica Reed-Hamilton

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Kaelyn Hamilton, Veronica Reed-Hamilton, Trustee Larry Jagours


Jack Garza · McKinney North High School · At-Large
Inspirational Teacher · Deanne Pratt

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Deanne Pratt, Jack Garza, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell

Salutatorian Honors

Nisal Rajapakshe Gamage · McKinney Boyd High School · Salutatorian
Inspirational Teacher · Tamara Resmini

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Tamara Resmini, Salutatorian Nisal Rajapakshe Gamage, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell


Bailey Yu · McKinney High School · Salutatorian
Inspirational Teacher · Dr. Jeff Cranmore

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Dr. Jeff Cranmore, Salutatorian Bailey Yu, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell


Benjamin Edwards · McKinney North High School · Salutatorian
Inspirational Teacher · CJ Shelton

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Salutatorian Benjamin Edwards, CJ Shelton, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell

Valedictorian Honors

Matthew Johnson · McKinney Boyd High School · Valedictorian
Inspirational Teacher · Dr. Robert Peterson

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Dr. Robert Peterson, Valedictorian Matthew Johnson, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell


Nora Kristufek · McKinney High School · Valedictorian
Inspirational Teacher · Theresa Horvath

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Theresa Horvath, Valedictorian Nora Kristufek, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell


Sohee Kim · McKinney North High School · Valedictorian
Inspirational Teacher · Shruti Mehrotra

on stage smiling in group photo

(l-r) Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Valedictorian Sohee Kim, Shruti Mehrotra, Trustee Stephanie O’Dell

Need Help?

If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

Article Note:
Click the above image to download the 2024 Distinguished Student Awards program. (PDF)

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