Student of the Year presented by HEB and The First National Bank of Central Texas

Since 2016, the Greater Hewitt Chamber has partnered with Midway ISD to choose one student at each campus to be recognized as the Student of the Year. The campus faculty has selected past winners for their kindness, leadership, compassion, academic achievements, community involvement and extracurricular activities. Congratulations to our Students of the Year! Be sure to scroll to the bottom to check out the video shot by Hip Pixel Media.


2024-2025 – Sponsorship Opportunities coming this Fall.


Brighton Boyd, Woodway Elementary

Brighton Boyd is the daughter of Lee and Kristy Boyd of Woodway. Brighton is pure joy. She lights up any room she walks into with her sweet smile and dimples.  She is a leader, kind, caring and radiates happiness to everyone around her. She has worked incredibly hard to overcome dyslexia and become a great reader and all around student. Brighton loves being active and plays select soccer, basketball, and does gymnastics. She was chosen for the listening skills UIL team this year and loved competing. She is also a member of the Purposeful Panthers leadership team at Woodway. Brighton loves school, being with her friends and animals. She always gives 100% effort at anything she does and is so honored to be the 2023 student of the year for Woodway Elementary.

Meredith Bennett, Chapel Park Elementary

Meredith Bennett is the daughter of Douglas and Holly Bennett. She is the third born of four children in the family.  Meredith is enjoying her first year as a 5th grader at Chapel Park Elementary.  This being Chapel Park’s inaugural year, she has enjoyed making new friends and participating in the school’s spelling bee and CPE’s 5th-grade book club.  This fall she was a cheerleader for the Hewitt Broncos where she won the good attitude award. She has just finished a season of playing basketball with Midway Premier League.  As a follower of Christ, she is active in youth ministry and the altar server ministry at St. Jerome Catholic Church. In her free time, she loves modeling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.  Meredith is a dedicated student who loves learning, is helpful, and is kind.

Cara McMillan, Midway High School

Cara McMillan is the daughter of Aaron and Kimberly McMillan of Waco. Cara is a National Merit Commended Scholar, National Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, and she is active in the Spanish Club, UIL Literary Criticism Team, Varsity Golf team, and Debate team for Policy and Congress. She is a four-year Spirit of Midway recipient, 2022 Teen Leadership Waco graduate, and an active community volunteer in the National Charity League. Cara frequently volunteers at Mission Waco and is an active member of her church, First Baptist Woodway. Cara has a heart for missions, the arts, and languages. In the future, Cara plans to attend either University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, or the University of Texas to double major in International Economics and East Asian Studies.

Jayla Elise Stewart, Midway Middle School

Jayla Stewart is the daughter of James Stewart Jr. and Ebony Stewart of McGregor. She is a 1st chair Alto TMEA Region 8 MHS Choir member and Texas Science & Engineering Fair State Finalist. Her school activities include choir, dance, volleyball, basketball, track, FFA, and STEM club. She is a member of Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church and serves on the Praise Dance Team and Church Choir. Jayla aspires to attend Texas A&M or Texas Tech to be a veterinarian.

Lawson Copp, Hewitt Elementary

Lawson is the son of Jody and Melissa Copp of Woodway. He was the September 2022 Student of the Month at Hewitt Elementary, 2022 Make-A-Wish Recipient, February 2019 Student of the Month at Woodway Elementary, met Chip and Joanna Gaines and Tim Tebow as his family was built a fully accessible home that aired on the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” in January 2018, and threw out 1st pitch at a Houston Astros game in August 2016. In addition to being a member of 2022/23 Hewitt Elementary Kindness Club, Lawson has been an athlete in Rise Adaptive Sports in Dallas and No Limitations in Waco and has played Challenger Little League baseball.  He attends Texas Lions Camp and Camp Blessing Texas as a camper during the summers.  He attended a basketball camp at Texas A&M University for disabled athletes called Buzz’s Bunch.  

Lawson volunteers for activities at Central Christian Church in Waco, such as reading scriptures or participating in youth activities.  He is a Make-A-Wish Ambassador, Raising Wheels Foundation Ambassador, HopeKids Ambassador and a Representative of Variety-The Children’s Charity of Texas.  Lawson is also an Advocate for Protect Texas Fragile Kids and has attended multiple events and spoken to lawmakers at the Texas State Capitol.

Emma Park, Castleman Creek Elementary

Emma Park is the daughter of Moises and Hannah Park of Waco. Emma was born and raised in MA, but a Texan at heart is the oldest of four girls.  At a young age, she developed a thirst for travel having grandparents in Japan and Bolivia.  Emma has a deep appreciation for different cultures and languages and takes deep pride in her Korean and Hispanic heritage.  She is an active member of Korean Church of Waco.  Emma is a natural caretaker, eager to serve others in real and meaningful ways. Though seemingly shy and wise beyond her years, Emma is still a child at heart with interests like K-Pop and anime. Her additional hobbies include baking, reading, writing, violin, and soccer.  She is a member of the GT program and participates in UIL. She aspires to be a Special Education teacher just like her mother. 

McKenzie Bennett, Spring Valley Elementary

McKenzie is a 5th grade student at Spring Valley Elementary.  She is kind, respectful, outgoing, joyful, and a friend to everyone.  McKenzie enjoys church, sports, agriculture, serving others, and spending time outdoors.  She loves showing sheep through Midway Jr. FFA and raising her goats and chickens at home.  Outside of school, she spends many hours volunteering with her family with their foundation, JMB Fishing Foundation.  Through the foundation, they help serve children and families that are experiencing childhood cancer, and other illnesses.  McKenzie has received the kindness award, “purposeful people” award, and was selected as a nominee for SOY last school year.  She is on the Flag/safety patrol team and participates on the UIL ready writing team.  McKenzie aspires to be a Game Warden when she grows up, as she loves all things outdoors! McKenzie is a leader and has a huge heart for others. She is always looking for her next opportunity to help make the world a better place! 

Kaitlyn Lovorn, Speegleville Elementary

Kaitlyn Lovorn, daughter of Allyn and Tonya Lovorn of Waco, is a 5th grader at Speegleville Elementary where she is involved in the Tech Tribe, Library League, KSPE News Crew, and was a member of four Academic UIL Teams. She is a leader at her school and a straight A student that loves learning about animals and doing science experiments. She is very inquisitive and is always curious about how the world works. Outside of school, Kaitlyn is involved in the Youth Chorus of Central Texas and has studied piano and music theory since Kindergarten. Last summer, she was selected to be a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association’s Elementary Honor Choir. Kaitlyn is a great big sister to two siblings and is a friend to everyone.

Jeanelle Hammond, South Bosque Elementary

Jeanelle is a sweet, dedicated and result oriented daughter of Harriet Oppong and Oswald Hammond of Woodway. The youngest of the Hammond family, she has been an inspiration since birth. Her focus and commitment in accomplishing tasks is outstanding. A few of Jeanelle’s awards include Spelling Bee, Ready Writing, Honesty, Honor Guard award and so on. A longtime member of the GT program (from multiple states), she is leading the South Bosque “Weave It Wednesday Passion Project” that weaves mats from plastic bags for the homeless. She loves to play the violin, sing and read challenging books. She is committed to get into Harvard and fulfill her aspiration of becoming a Neurosurgeon. Jeanelle absolutely believes in Hardwork and Dedication!

Eduardo Abad Zavala, River Valley Middle School

Eduardo Abad Zavala is the son of Norma Zavala and Constantino Romero of McGregor. Eduardo has placed 1st in UIL Number Sense three years in a row. He is part of the District Championship 7th grade soccer team and soccer club. He also runs track and placed 1st in 1600 and 2400 meter run for 7th grade. Eduardo also serves the community as a Goodwill ambassador.

Berkley Turk, Park Hill Elementary

Berkley Turk is the daughter of Kelsey and Jon Turk of Lorena. She is a Park Hill recipient of the Respect Award and multiple Character Awards. Berkeley serves as a School Ambassador and competes in UIL Academics. Her community activities include ballet at Ignite Dance and community service picking up trash