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Elite status

Aubrey High School senior Kalina Histand loves animals and manages a menagerie at home: frog, salamanders, geckos, dogs, cats and fish. She also works at a pet store in Denton.

At school, she manages several activities and academics, and her achievement in academics has helped her become a National Merit semifinalist.

Histand, 17, ranked second in her class, now will apply for National Merit finalist. She expects to be notified about her application in January. Students’ PSAT scores qualify them for semifinalist status.

“It was really exciting, because I know that it really opened a lot of doors for me in terms of where I could go to college,” Histand said of gaining semifinalist status. “If this thing (finalist) goes through, then I don’t have to worry so much about the money part of college. I can just go where I want to go and study what I want to study and not have to worry about that part of it. It was pretty exciting because that means a lot.”

Histand has considered Texas A&M University, Texas A&M-Galveston, University of North Texas, University of Central Florida and University of Dallas.

She would like to study biology, the subject that has interested her the most in high school. But she also likes computer programming, so biotechnology might be an option.

“I really love animals and so I’d love to do some form of research to help animals, maybe helping wildlife or sea life especially,” she said. “Working in a sea life rescue place, doing research there, would really be cool.”

Histand said she has focused on her academic career and said her dedication has been worth it. (Histand’s boyfriend, Zane Perkins, who plays on the football team, is ranked third in the class.)

At AHS, she is the UIL Academic vice president and student body vice president and is involved in the swim team and FFA. In FFA, she has shown rabbits and has done artwork and, among other activities, has been involved in leadership and career development. She has shown artwork at the Denton County Fair and plans on entering the Fort Worth Stock Show this year.

“I’m pretty involved in FFA,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite activities.”

Rona Balderas, counselor for juniors and seniors at AHS, said Histand is an outstanding student who is “very humble,” dedicated to studying and can go far in life.

The school is excited to have a Merit scholar, Balderas said.

“It’s very rare to be a National Merit Scholar, and we’re very proud of her and we’re excited that she is bringing this kind of recognition to Aubrey High School,” Balderas said.

She is the daughter of Kristine Turner and Ivan Histand.

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