Waukee Students Receive Belin-Blank Recognition

Waukee Community School District students were honored at the Belin-Blank Recognition Ceremony at the University of Iowa on Oct. 8.

Prairieview eighth graders Arya Karnik, Caroline Montz, Kylie Mossberg, Michael Stogdill, Timberline ninth graders Arjun Thattankandy, Emma Vande Krol and Timberline eighth grader Palin Narsian were among the 400 honored from Iowa and across the country at the ceremony.


Waukee student Arya Karnik and Waukee teacher Suzanne Myers-Laird at the Belin-Blank Recognition Ceremony

Students were selected through one of Belin-Blank’s honorary programs or their talent search. Narsian, Montz, Mossberg, Stogdill, Krol and Karnik were recognized for their participation in the Blank Scholars Institute(BSI), a one-week science and arts study program hosted at the University of Iowa in the summer. Thattankandy for was recognized for his ACT score.

Each student was encouraged to invite one teacher to walk across the stage with them. For Karnik, this was Waukee Elementary extended learning program (ELP) teacher Suzanne Myers-Laird. Other teachers from the district invited were Luke Lichty from South Middle School, Hannah Ludwig from Waukee Middle School and Matt Robie from Grant Ragan Elementary.

“I’d like to thank Mrs. Laird and Mrs. Wouters along with all my teachers for encouraging and helping me excel throughout my school life; the positive impact they had on me can’t and never will be erased,” Karnik said.

The University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld and Dean Dan Clay from the College of Education started the ceremony by speaking to the students, teachers and guests about the overall importance of education and the reason why having a program for intelligent and gifted students is essential with keynote speakers Christie Vilsack and Richard Su following suit.

Created by educators Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank, Belin Blank Center is a branch of the College of Education at the University of Iowa dedicated to honoring talented, intelligent students all around the world. The program hopes to encourage the next generation to lead and create an innovative future through research, advocacy, and technology.