During halftime of the Paris Junior College men’s basketball game against Kilgore College on March 1, 2023, the nominees for Mr. and Miss PJC were announced and the winners named.
PJC faculty and staff nominate students for this honor and the student body making the final vote. To be nominated, students must be graduating sophomores with a minimum of 12 semester hours in the current semester and 45 hours completed, and having at least a 2.75 GPA.
Paris Junior College sophomores Meilana Lopez and Ryan Davis were named Mr. & Miss PJC 2023 during halftime.
Meilana Lopez, the daughter of Kim and Vince Lopez of Whittier, California, is a 2021 graduate of Wittier Christian High School. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the two-year college honor society, been named to the PJC Dean’s List and President’s List, and is a two-year member of the PJC Softball Team. She plans to continue her softball career and her psychology studies at a four-year university.
Ryan Davis, the son of Jennifer and Jonathan Davis of Waco, Texas, is a 2021 graduate of Midway High School. He is a member of PTK, the Student Government Association and of the PJC Baseball Team. He has been named to the President’s List three times. He plans to continue playing baseball at a four-year university and continue studying criminal justice.
Other nominees for Mr. and Miss PJC included:
Brendan V. Batchelder is the son of Maria Batchelder of Denver, Colorado and a 2015 graduate of Denver Center for International Studies. He is a member of PTK, Student Government Association (SGA), Texas Student Advisory Council, the 2023 All-Texas Academic Team, and been named twice to the President’s List. He represented PJC in Austin at Community College Day 2023. He plans to transfer to the biomedical sciences program at Texas A&M University, and apply to medical school after that.
Coreion Jeffrey is the son of Dayna Heise of Paris, Texas and a 2021 graduate of North Lamar High School. He is currently enrolled in the PJC Vocational Nursing Program. He plans to continue in the LVN to RN program, then obtain his Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
Kelsey Keierleber is the daughter of Meg and Daniel Keierleber of Plano, Texas and a 2021 graduate of Plano East High School. She is a member of PTK, SGA, and of the PJC Softball Team. She was named 2022 Second Team All Conference Utility Freshman, to the NJCAA Academic First Team, and been listed three times on the President’s List. She plans to continue playing softball at a four-year university and getting a journalism degree with the goal of becoming a sports broadcaster.
Jax Ortiz is the son of Scott and Rachael Ortiz of Rockwall, Texas, and a 2021 graduate of Rockwall-Heath High School. He is a member of the PJC Baseball Team and plans to transfer to a four-year university to study neurology.
Originally from Como, Italy, Sara Pacifici is a 2020 graduate of Commerce High School. She is a member of Delta Psi Omega, the national drama honor society, and active in PJC’s drama program. She had roles in the 8th Annual Pyro Playfest, “Sherlock Holmes and the 1st Baker Street Irregular,” and was stage manager for “Young Frankenstein The Musical.” She plans to transfer to the University of Houston to major in performing arts with a minor in psychology. Later she she will pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology with the goal of becoming a drama therapist.
Samantha Puente is the daughter of Michele Bailey and Edward Puente of Plano, Texas, and a 2021 graduate of Hebron High School. She is a member of PTK, SGA, and of the PJC Softball Team, as well as twice being named to the President’s List. She plans to continue playing softball at a four-year university to get her degree in physical therapy in hopes of working with children and young adults.
Nykesha Sanders is the daughter of Frank and Nedra Sanders of Detroit, Michigan and a 2021 graduate of Chandler Park Academy. She is a member of PTK, been named twice to the President’s List, and is a two-year member of the PJC Women’s Basketball Team. She will transfer to Texas A&M University – Commerce to continue her basketball career and major in kinesiology.
Jacob Thomas is the son of Brandon and Chey Thomas of Paris, Texas, and a 2021 graduate of Paris High School. He is SGA president and a member of PTK. He represented PJC in Austin at Community College Day 2023. After graduation, he plans to live long and be happy.
Photo Cutline: PJC sophomores Ryan Davis and Meilana Lopez are the 2023 Mr. & Miss Paris Junior College.