San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 3rd, 2010
SMBA bestows 'Academy Awards'


San Marcos Baptist Academy’s (SMBA’s) Distinguished Service Award was given by the SMBA Alumni Council to ten students in recognition of their overall excellence. Front, left to right: director of alumni affairs Madeline De Long, Hannah Paul, Cooper Allan, Emma Hartsock, Ji Hoon “Paul” Suk. Middle row, left to right: Tiara Hansen, Rebecca Cox, Chris Germer, Zenan “Jackie” Chen, SMBA Alumni Council Andy Casey. Back row, left to right: Kim Panter and Daniel Sexton.


San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA) recently celebrated the varied accomplishment of students at an end-of-the-year “Academy Awards Ceremony.”

Among the award recipients were the students receiving the Distinguished Service Award. The award is given out annually by the SMBA Alumni Council to students in grades 7-11 who display all-around excellence. The students are selected by faculty and staff. This year’s award winners were seventh graders Hannah Paul and Cooper Allan, eighth graders Emma Hartsock and Ji Hoon “Paul” Suk, ninth graders Rebecca Cox and Chris Germer, tenth graders Tiara Hansen and Daniel Sexton and eleventh graders Kim Panther and Zenan “Jackie” Chen.

Six students were selected for athletic honors. The Mike Kipp Christian Athletes of the Year were John Myers and Kristi Allison. The Mannie Foster Athlete of the Year Award, recognizing students for character, effort, teamwork, and attitude, went to Mark Hamm, Melanie Isaacs and Taylor Teis.

The top honor offered by the SMBA Athletics Department is the Bob Jennings Athletics Director’s Award. This year’s honoree was Chloe Rocha for her consistent display of character, effort, teamwork, and positive attitude.

Fine Arts awards include Hoang Phung and Caitlyn Scott receiving Outstanding Artist Awards and Luke Smithers, who garnered the Outstanding Artist in Photography Award.

In music, Tina Chen received the Roy Bryan and Kathleen Crouch Award in Piano and Darby Rollins was awarded the Woody Herman Jazz Award. The highest award for a jazz musician, the Louis Armstrong Award, was given to Kevin Lin. Alex Vletas won the second highest award for a band student, the Patrick Gilmore Award, while Young Soo Kwon was awarded the highest award, the John Phillips Sousa Award.

Alyssa Shallenberger was given the Fine Arts Chairman Award for Music Leadership in recognition for her contributions to the band program for the past six years, and the 2010 Director’s Choice Award for Theatre went to Nolan Rutland.

Schallenberger was also presented with the Larry Roberts Memorial Award for Excellence in Social Studies.

Honor Roll certificates for the spring semester were presented to Timothy Chang, Serena Huang, Min Jung Kim and Lily Li, while Gilt Edge Honor Roll awards were given to Tiara Hansen, Emma Hartsock, Conley Li, Dawn Moon, Hannah Paul, Carl Rindahl, Luke Smithers and Peter Wang. Smithers was also a recipient of the All-Year Honor Roll, while Tiara Hansen, Emma Hartsock, Hannah Paul, Carl Rindah, and Peter Wang received the All-Year Gilt Edge Award.

Guidance Counselor Lynne Ritchie recognized seniors who have received scholarship offers from colleges and universities, as well as from several local service groups, including the Rotary Friday Club, the Rotary Club of San Marcos, the Lions Club of San Marcos, and the local Optimist Club. Students receiving scholarships were Kristi Allison, Chloe Rocha, Siqi Liang, Maggie Boylan, Vishal Singh, Sam Boothby, Changbin Cheng, Alyona Hansen, Jungqing Liu, Alyssa Shallenberger, Michael Young and Collin Cook.

Colleges and universities offering scholarships to SMBA students include the  University of North Texas,  Baylor University, Loyola University, University of Dallas, West Texas A&M, Texas A&M Kingsville, University of the Incarnate Word, Trinity University,  Howard Payne University, Schreiner University,Valley Forge Military College in Pennsylvania, Barry University in Florida, and Ithaca College in New York. The total amount of scholarship offers for Academy seniors was close to $800,000.

The awards ended on a note of fun with class favorites being announced and awarded. The coveted Mr. and Miss SMBA awards were presented to Alex Vletas and Kristi Allison.

Other class favorites included  seventh graders Cooper Allan and Ava Garcia, eighth graders Jamie Lambert, Kendall Nighbert and Ethan Deschner, ninth graders Justin Lamontagne and Kayla Chandler, tenth graders Memo Borrego and Tiara Hansen, and eleventh graders Jeb Yearwood and Taylor Teis.

Mr. and Miss Middle School were Ethan Deschner and Jamie Lambert.


Alyssa Shallenberger of Buda, a San Marcos Academy senior, receives the Larry Roberts Memorial Award for Excellence in Social Studies from Gwen Hanna, chair of the History Department.

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