The Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent John Craft honored three students and one school counselor at the latest board meeting Tuesday.
Peebles Elementary School Counselor Judy Hughes and Ellison High School student Adriana Klerner were led by creative talent and spirit, but also with the help of a dog named Max.
Just over two years ago, Hughes rescued Max. With the approval of Peebles Principal Gayle Dudley, Hughes started taking the dog to school with her.
Judy noticed that Max seemed to instinctively seek out and find children who needed a calming presence.
The counselor, who is known at Peebles Elementary as “Miss Hugs,” decided to write Max’s story. Hughes worked on writing down the story of Max’s origin for a year. The story tells of Max’s transformation from a hyper, attention-deprived dog to a well-adjusted therapy dog going to school and helping children.
Hughes still needed an illustrator for her book, and through Ellison High School art teacher Angela Caddell, the counselor learned about Ellison student named Adriana Klerner, who is now an Ellison High School senior.
Hughes and Klerner debuted their new book entitled “Max’s Great Adventure” after four months. A book signing at Barnes and Noble will be set up this spring.
Harker Heights High School senior Mark Styles was also honored for his acceptance into the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Styles is a fourth year JROTC cadet.
Styles was a member of the varsity football team and is ranked in the top 10 percent of his senior class, according to KISD.
“He clearly embodies the qualities and personal character traits that JROTC strives to develop in young people,” said chief communication officer Terry Abbott. “These are traits such as loyalty to the nation, school and JROTC program; respect for self and others; and selfless service.”
William Duran, a senior at Killeen High School, has been accepted to the United States Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. He received his nomination from Congressman John Carter.
Duran is currently the highest ranked student by grade point average in the senior class at Killeen High School, according to KISD. Duran will focus his studies on engineering.
“We salute Killeen High School’s Will Duran for his accomplishments and his selection for admission to the United States Air Force Academy,” Abbott said.