Area students recognized

Harker Heights senior Merissa Mertinez, left, Killeen senior Brandon Sullivan and Killeen senior Christine Page were presented with plaques and $1,000 checks during an Exchange Club of Killeen meeting honoring area students Monday, May 6, 2013, at Yank Sing in Killeen. Martinez was recognized as the female student of the year, while Sullivan was recognized as the male student of the year and Page was recognized with the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence award.

Exchange Club of Killeen members recognized three local high school students Monday at their annual Student of the Year awards ceremony.

The organization handed out certificates, plaques and scholarships to the Killeen Independent School District students for their academic achievements, as well as their contributions to the community by way of service projects and extracurricular activities.

“We are very honored to be able to recognize the students that are here today,” said Charlie Guidry, the club’s president-elect and youth chairman. “We have a lot of phenomenal students at KISD and in surrounding districts.”

This year, the organization awarded its male Student of the Year award to Killeen High School senior Brandon Sullivan.

Sullivan, who participated in a number of service projects and after-school activities including serving in student government and working with Habitat for Humanity, said he plans to study computer science at the University of North Texas after graduation.

“I’m glad I was able to help my community,” he said. “I was very excited when I heard that I won.”

The award for female Student of the Year went to Harker Heights High School senior Merissa Martinez, who said she plans to attend St. Edward’s University, where she wants to study English and writing.

“I really felt honored that they chose me,” she said. “It’s nice to see that your hard work is appreciated.”

The Exchange Club of Killeen awarded its Accepting the Challenge of Excellence to KHS senior Christine Page. The award is given to a student who overcomes personal hardship to make graduation, with the intention of attending college.

“As students, we want to strive to be the very best we can be,” said Page, who wants to study nursing at Texas A&M University. “Even when we face all the challenges that life throws at us.”

The three students were awarded a $1,000 scholarship and nominated for more scholarships at the Exchange Club’s regional level. “We are very proud of you,” said John Craft, the Killeen school district’s deputy superintendent. “You set the example and tone of what we hope to emulate for all of our students.”

This is the 10th year the Exchange Club of Killeen has given out the awards.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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