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.

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 in Waldron, Ark.

The Outstanding WATC Students are:

* Zackary McClain of Van Buren, Van Buren High School, Automotive Technology

* Travis Norris of Booneville, Booneville High School, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design

* Kelsea Caldwell of Mountainburg, Alma High School, Criminal Justice

* Khanhny Patoumma of Fort Smith, Southside High School, Early Childhood Education

* Jesse Dyer of Booneville, Booneville High School, Electronics Technology

* Talia Blanton of Bonanza, Hackett High School, Graphic Design

* Perla Rodriguez of Fort Smith, Northside High School, General Health

* Benjamin Truong, Advanced Health

* Stephen King of Van Buren, Van Buren High School, Information Technology

* William "Trey" Cooksey of Fort Smith, Southside High School, Pre-engineering

* Dillon Dugan of Hackett, Hackett High School, Welding

* Guadalupe Palasios, Waldron High School, Waldron Health Science

To be nominated for the awards, students must have a minimum of 3.00 cumulative grade point average at UAFS, have completed a minimum of one semester in the program for which the award is given, be eligible to walk in their high school graduation for the current year, be currently enrolled in the program for which the award is given, 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 UA Fort Smith.

In addition to the Outstanding Student Awards, WATC also awarded Director’s Honor Roll Awards to students who have had outstanding academic achievement while attending WATC classes.

Among students receiving the Director’s Award were: Bethanny Barkley, Jordan Christensen, Brenna McCartney, Talia Blanton, Samantha Tristan and Veronica Tristan, all from Hackett High School; Heather Daigle, Gavin Dundee, Grayson Goodwin, Victoria Muncrief, Mattie Nelson, Ariel Wheeler, Caitlin Williams, Ashley Woodey and Inoli Wright, all from Greenwood High School; Krista Smith from Hartford High School.

In addition, scholarships were awarded to WATC students who placed first, second or third in the recently completed State SkillsUSA championships. Book scholarships were awarded to those who actively participated in SkillsUSA, and "Early Step" scholarships were given to selected high school juniors, allowing them to enroll in Freshman English during the summer semester.

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-aided drafting and design, criminal justice, early childhood education, electronics technology, engineering, graphic design, health sciences, information technology and welding technology.