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MPISD – News

MPHS Culinary Arts students advancing to state (L to R) Isai Baltazar, Cecilia Garcia, Kenia Cuellar, Hailey Benyshek

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS Culinary Arts students advance to the state

Mount Pleasant High School Culinary Arts competed at the SkillsUSA Region III meeting in Waco, TX, on February 7-8 in the Commercial Baking Job Exhibit and the hands-on Baking and Cooking categories. Four students will move on to the State competition.

The team of seniors Hailey Benyshek and Kenia Cuellar placed 1st for their 3-5 tier cake. Senior Isai Baltazar placed 1st with his sourdough bread and Mexican Sweet Bread. And junior Cecilia Garcia also placed 1st for her 3-5 tier cake.

Placing 2nd but not advancing to the state was junior Maria Carrillo for her 1-3 tier cake.

Additional competitors for MPHS included Matt Braudaway, Jose Chavez, Andrea Medina, and Rebekah Garrett.

Baltazar, Benyshek, Cuellar, and Garcia will compete at the SkillsUSA state competition in April in Corpus Christi. Chef Kathleen Anker teaches the MPHS Culinary Arts classes.


Photo L to R

MPHS Principal Craig Bailey, Sam Pearson, MPHS Senior Counselor Jerilyn Goolsby


Kelly Cowan

Mount Pleasant High School senior named National Merit Finalist

Mount Pleasant High School senior, Sam Pearson, has advanced to Finalist standing in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program, a distinction that places him in a group representing less than one percent of U.S. high school graduating seniors.

Pearson now advances through the application phase and will compete for one of three types of National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2020. Considered are all finalists for a one-time $2500 scholarship on a state representational basis. Considered are finalists who meet specific criteria of a company or business sponsor for one of about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.

And finally, finalists who meet specific criteria may be considered for one of about 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards to be financed by U.S. colleges and universities that have made sponsor arrangements with national Merit Scholarship Corporation. Scholarship extensions start in mid-March.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 PSAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

For a junior to become a Finalist, the Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Texas A&M at Commerce has recently accepted Pearson to the Honors program. He is the son of David and Kim Pearson.