Angelina College Visual and Performing Arts Hosts Scholarship Ceremony

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Gary Stallard
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.

Scholarship recipients pose during Angelina College’s Visual and Performing Arts signing ceremony at the Angelina Center for the Arts Gallery. Pictured with the students are (bottom left) AC president Dr. Michael Simon and (bottom right) VPA division director Beckie Compton. (AC News Service photo)

Angelina College’s Visual and Performing Arts Division this week held a ceremony recognizing area students who signed scholarships with various areas of the program.

A total of 18 students signed with Graphic Arts, Visual Arts, Music (either Band or Chorale) or Theater.

VPA division director Beckie Compton said the event is as much a welcome as an announcement.

“We’re calling this our Scholarship Signing Event, and it’s only the second time we’ve done this for our Visual and Performing Arts students who are receiving scholarships for the coming year,” Compton said. “For us, it’s the time to get to meet our students and their families and congratulate them while making it official.

“For the students, we want them to know this is a special time for them. We want them to know they have a support system, and that we’re really excited to have them here.”

The incoming students not only will have the opportunity to hone their personal skills in the arts, but also learn of the numerous career opportunities in those areas. Whether the student is intent on making his or her form of art an actual profession, or is simply exploring his or her creative side, the scholarships and the courses will ensure each artist has the opportunity to develop.

“Most of these scholarships come from our VPA funds, but some of the students are also receiving some of the endowed scholarships listed on our web site,” Compton said.

“We’ve been able to offer scholarships to both majors and non-majors in those areas. Some of the students may not choose to major in a specific area, but they can still receive scholarships for being involved.”

The students recognized in the recent ceremony (along with the hometowns of record and their Arts focus) include the following: Haley Drahos (Huntington), Music-Chorale; Erik Baltazar (Hudson), Music-Band; Eryn Forrest (Lufkin), Theater; Jared Huber (Nacogdoches), Music-Chorale; Madeline Gipson (Lufkin), Theater; Matthew Ledbeter (Diboll), Graphic Arts; Isacc Rojas (Lufkin), Graphic Arts; Miguel Rodriguez (Lufkin), Graphic Arts; Victoria Steptoe (Lufkin), Graphic Arts; Jazlynn Deltoro (Lufkin), Visual Arts; Collin Fuller (Nacogdoches), Visual Arts; Brooke Engbrecht (Nacogdoches), Visual Arts; Jaylen Sowell (Lufkin), Music-Chorale; Elizabeth “Lily” Varner (Lufkin), Music-Chorale; Kevin Solis (Lufkin), Visual Arts; Jacob Anderson (Lufkin), Music-Chorale; Faith Clark (Lufkin), Theater; and Robyn Assuncao (Livingston), Graphic Arts.

For further information on AC’s Visual and Performing Arts programs and potential scholarships, contact Beckie Compton at

For any other information on AC programs and scholarships, contact Krista Brown at

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