| Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, 8:27 p.m.

Alex Portis has made it halfway through Food Network's “Kids Baking Championship.”

A Monroeville resident, Alex, 12, survived another elimination round on Monday's episode. He and the show's other young bakers were challenged to make three dozen French macarons and stack the confections 5 inches high.

They are competing for $25,000 and the title of Kids Baking Champion.

“Last night's episode, he kept commenting about how stressful it was,” said Audrey Portis, his mother. “It's tough trying to make so many macarons and then stack them.”

Audrey said on Tuesday that the family still is receiving a lot of calls after each episode congratulating Alex on his success on the show.

She also said Alex is gaining popularity on social media.

“We found out yesterday that he has a pretty decent Twitter following,” she said. “Everybody loves how focused and calm and cool he is on TV.”

Audrey said Alex still keeps in touch with the other kids from the show.

“It's really, really sweet how they support each other now,” Audrey said.

Even with the competition, Alex has managed to make the honor roll at Gateway Middle School.

Audrey said he has remained focused through all of the attention.

“Alex always stays pretty focused,” she said.

“I think that's why he does so well with baking because when he is on task he follows it.”

Members of Gateway School Board and Monroeville Council recognized Alex at their January meetings, wishing him the best throughout the competition.

“Kids Baking Championship” airs at 8 p.m. Mondays.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 412-871-2369 or ebalser@tribweb.com.