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National - board recognizes scholars
Posted in on February 23, 2024

150 students celebrated for academic achievement

February Arlington ISD Board of Trustees meetings seem to last longer and longer every year.

That’s a good thing.

For the third consecutive year, the district set a record for the number of high school students honored for achieving either National Merit Semifinalist or College Board recognition.

This year, eight high schools totaled 150 students being honored. That tops the record of 141 who were honored last year. The 141 crushed the then record of 61 the district honored for the 2021-22 school year.

As was the case last year, the numbers were so big that the district had to honor them over two board meetings. The celebration wrapped up Thursday night as 74 students and their parents were invited to the board meeting to be recognized.

“Board meetings don’t get any better than the ones we had this month,” Arlington ISD superintendent Dr. Matt Smith said. “Every one of our staff members has the goal of setting our students up for success. To see them reach an honor like this is a testament to our staff, the students and the support they get from home.”

The district had three National Merit Semifinalists this year and 147 students who were honored for receiving African American, Indigenous or Hispanic Recognition from the College Board.

Of the 150, two received more than one honor.

Each student was invited to a board meeting along with their family members and had a chance to thank whoever they wanted for helping them achieve the honor, with several singling out their principals and counselors.

The students have big plans, with biology, engineering and computer science the top college choices of the group. They also started in the Arlington ISD at a young age, with 81 of them beginning their Arlington ISD careers in pre-K or kindergarten.

Their interests outside the classroom are diverse, too. Arlington College and Career senior Skylar Evans (National African American Recognition) is an aspiring filmmaker who has a short film coming out soon. Bowie High School’s Sean Nwaeke (National African American Recognition) wants to be an orthopedist and for a good reason. He’s already had five surgeries on the same leg. Martin’s Gabriel Espinoza (National Hispanic Recognition) is a certified welder, and Sam Houston’s Karimou Djibo (National African American Recognition) wants to go to TCU and his favorite color is yellow.

Each of the students is now a member of the 2023-24 Arlington ISD Wall of Fame. They will be honored at the Wall of Fame event June 3.