HPHS 2020 Blanket Award Recipients Reflect On Senior Year

The class of 2020 Blanket Award winners together completed more than 600 hours of community service and an average GPA of 4.249.

Senior class president Isabella Yates named Margaret Chambless and Campbell Saustad the recipients of the award, which was first presented in 1938 and recognizes student achievement in the areas of character, leadership, scholarship, and service, during Highland Park High School’s virtual honor’s day program.

“They each spent an average of almost three hours every day every school day honoring their athletic prowess, perfecting their artistry, practicing their leadership abilities or exploring the depths of their commitments to others through these activities and still (maintained) an average GPA of 4.249,” Yates said.

Chambless is a Cum Laude graduate and will attend the University of Texas in the fall to study Special Education. She is the recipient of the SEPAC Peer Tutor Scholarship, the Barbara Lomax Hitzelberger Leadership Scholarship and the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. She was recognized as a Maximum Office for Student Council, Captain of the Year and was a finalist for Best Buddies Texas “Chapter President of the Year.”

“I love Highland Park, and I’ve loved every minute of serving our school and community. It’s a truly special place with amazing people,” Chambless said. “This semester has been crazy! Between quarantine, online school, and graduating I have been busy, but I’ve also had a lot of time with my family. It’s been great to spend time with them since I’m going to college in the fall. I’m studying Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. My favorite part of high school was serving our Special Needs students, and I will miss them so much next year! They are some of my best friends, and I can’t wait to come back and visit them next year.”

Saustad is a Magna Cum Laude graduate and will attend Wake Forest University. He is the recipient of “The Inspired by Tradition” 2007 (State Finalist) HPHS Football Scholarship, the Doak Walker Scholarship, and the Silver “H” Award for Student Council. He served as the class of 2020 treasurer and was selected as a Texas Boys State Representative by HPHS faculty and counselors. 

“Being one of the recipients of this year’s Blanket Award has been a huge blessing for my family and me. My parents were in the room with me during the online awards show when the class president announced I had won. The look on my mom’s face was one I’ll never forget, and we had a special family moment after all the awards had been announced. It is a memory I will always cherish. I can think of tons of classmates that were deserving of the Blanket award, so the fact that I was chosen made me feel all the more honored,” Saustad said. “Concerning this semester, it was quite a whirlwind. I think I can speak for all of the seniors when I say we were expecting a more relaxed, easy semester, which is usually how things go for high school seniors. However, the changes brought upon by school canceling and online classes were a blessing in disguise. Everybody wanted a normal second semester, but we became stronger as people by being forced to adapt to changes. We learned that life isn’t always going to be straightforward and how you expect it to be, which is a great lesson to have learned when you’re about to go into your freshman year of college. I sincerely believe that the class of 2020 is one of the strongest groups to have graduated from Highland Park, and I look forward to seeing what we accomplish in the future.”

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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