Outstanding WATC Students Recognized at UAFS

watc student awards

Western Arkansas Technical Center students who received a Certificate of Proficiency in welding.


Students attending the Western Arkansas Technical Center at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith have been recognized for superior achievement in a special awards ceremony which included the announcement of Outstanding WATC Students, Director’s Honor Roll, SkillsUSA Gold Star Members and Starfish Awards.


The Outstanding WATC Students included students attending classes on the UAFS campus as well as students from the programs offered by WATC in a satellite center located on the Waldron High School campus in Waldron, AR.


The 2017 Outstanding WATC Students are:


  • Joseph Harwood of Van Buren, Van Buren High School, Automotive Technology
  • July Parish or Mansfield, Mansfield High School, Computer Graphic Technology
  • Kyle Self of Fort Smith, Southside High School, Computer Engineering
  • Ryan Waldrop of Van Buren, Alma High School, Criminal Justice
  • Kaitlyn Finch of Van Buren, Van Buren High School, Early Childhood Education
  • Haley Gilstrap of Alma, Alma High School, Electronics Technology
  • Peyton Parker of Van Buren, Van Buren High School, Graphic Design
  • Shayla Smithson of Lavaca, Lavaca High School, Health Sciences
  • Ruthie Reyman of Waldron, Waldron High School, Health Sciences
  • Andrew Rogers of Van Buren, Van Buren High School, Welding Technology


To be nominated for outstanding student awards, students must have a minimum of 3.00 cumulative grade point average at UAFS, have completed a minimum of one semester and be currently enrolled in the program for which the award is given, be eligible to walk in their high school graduation for the current year, be in good standing with the WATC program and have demonstrated honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic.


Along with a plaque, outstanding WATC students received a $500 book scholarship to continue their education at UAFS.


WATC Starfish Awards were presented to students who went above and beyond expectations, exuded passion for the WATC program and helping peers succeed, and demonstrated exemplary leadership skills. Two Starfish Awards, along with a $500 book scholarship to UAFS, were presented to Rachael Keomany (Fort Smith, Northside High School), and Shariesa Feimster (Huntington, Mansfield High School).


In addition to the Outstanding Student Awards and Starfish Awards, WATC Director's Honor Roll Awards were presented to 89 students who exhibited outstanding academic achievement with a grade point average higher than 3.75 while attending WATC classes.


Students receiving the Director's Honor Roll Award were:


Alma: Haley Gilstrap, Thomas Long, and Ryley Parker of Alma High School; Haley Petty of Van Buren High School; Allison Rogers of Alma High School


Booneville: Adrianna Mott and Jesse Scott of Booneville High School


Charleston: Johnathon Singleton of Charleston High School


Fort Smith: Sidney Bieker of Greenwood High School; Makayla Carter of Hackett High School; Hector Figueroa, Erica Guzman, Tykia Johnson, Rachael Keomany, Callie Lasiter, Aleah Reves, and Jennifer Souvandy of Northside High School; Madeline Burgin, Tanner Coleman, Zechariah Fingerhut, Linsey Franklin, Kenleigh Godwin, Faith Greenfield, Emily Johnston, Micah Murdock, Katie Ogdon, Payton Oxford, Daniela Reyes, Jennifer Reyes, Briley Rosamond, Kyle Self, Marissa Stevens, Tori Taylor, Alesha Thach, and Tyce Yarborough of Southside High School


Greenwood: Ward Breeden, madison Franks, Madison Oelke, Destiny Strozier, Michaiah Tompkins, and Kyler Tracy of Greenwood High School


Hackett: Zoe Leonard of Greenwood High School; Britnee Null, Whitney Silva, and Stacy Spalding of Hackett High School


Huntington: Kara Chronister, Shariesa Feimster, and Eden Jones of Mansfield High School


Lavaca: Shayla Smithson of Lavaca High School


Mansfield: July Parish and Bailey Walker of Mansfield High School


Mulberry: Nicholas Marrone of Van Buren High School


Paris: Smart Vang of County Line High School


Parks: Danielle Randolph of Waldron High School


Ratcliff: Mackenzie Conney of County Line High School


Rudy: Zachery Goodlin of County Line High School


Scranton: Valerie Nguyen of Scranton High School


Van Buren: Jacob Burton, Abigail Crelia, Brandon Cross, Jacob Evans, Katelyn Evans, Kaitlyn Finch, Carter Freeze, Tayler Glover, Joseph Harwood, Dawson Love, Brayden Moore, Kai Mortensen, Logan Osman, Chandler Petray, Andrew Rogers, and Peyton Weege of Van Buren High School


Waldron: Daisy Akins, Lori Gallup, Emily Haga, Hannah Hale, Cameron Harris, James Hayden, Adora Kiatoukaysy, Lucas McCullough, Alexie Mortimore, Ruthie Reyman, Madison Riddle, Adrianna Slater, Elizabeth Soisouvanh, Tori Staggs, and Zerek Stewart of Waldron High School


SkillsUSA Gold Star Members are students who earned more than 25 participation points throughout the school year. Students collect point by attending SkillsUSA functions and volunteering in the community. These students earn a $300 book scholarship to UAFS. Recipients include:


  • Brandon Cross of Van Buren, Van Buren High School
  • Laichia Moua of Cecil, County Line High School
  • Jesus Mejia of Waldron, Waldron High School
  • Alesha Thach of Fort Smith, Southside High School
  • Abigail Welborn of Van Buren, Van Buren High School
  • Smart Vang of Paris, County Line High School


Additionally, scholarships were awarded to WATC students who placed first in the recently completed Arkansas SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference and “Early Step” scholarships were given to selected high school juniors, allowing them to enroll in English Composition during the summer term.


The Western Arkansas Technical Center at UAFS is an area secondary center serving a five-county area. WATC provides area high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn college credits in automotive technology, computer graphic technology, criminal justice, early childhood education, electronics technology, engineering, graphic design, health sciences, information technology and welding technology.


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.


Article by Sarah Green, WATC Program Coordinator
Date Posted: 
Friday, May 5, 2017
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