Monday, December 5, 2016

Eighth-graders Prep for Future Careers

More than 2,300 eighth-graders from Spring Branch ISD middle schools and a charter program began identifying their future educational paths and career options during a special program hosted recently by the district and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.

Watch the video >>

The two-day program, called JA Inspire, was held at Spring Branch Middle School, and included hundreds of eighth-graders from all SBISD middle school campuses, as well as KIPP Courage charter program students who are based at the Landrum campus. It was held Nov. 16 and 17.

JA Inspire is designed as an interactive, three-section rotating program for students to expose them to the great variety of local career and training, college and career-related opportunities available to them.

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Eighth-graders gathered inside the Spring Branch Middle auditorium to hear about the “soft skills” they will need to meet, greet and interview successfully. They also heard directly from adults working in a variety of fields about how they gained job opportunities and made a career choice during industry panel presentations.

Finally, dozens of local companies, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations helped students ask questions and gain face-to-face information about their firms and organizations in a traditional career-fair setting inside the middle school gym.

“There is a perceived divide between education and the worlds of work so what we are trying to do here is work with districts, and with students and teachers, to build a bridge,” said Rick Franke, president of JA of Southeast Texas.

JA Inspire builds a bridge between education and these young people as they prep for going to work. This helps kids understand that there really is a place for them out there. A lot of these students will go on to a four-year college, but it’s also very important for them to understand that there are many jobs that don’t require a four-year college degree,” he also said.

SBISD’s single-focused T-2-4 goal calls for district graduates to be prepared for a four-level set of opportunities – military training, technical certification, or a two- or four-year college degree. The career fair’s industry presentations, career station displays and focus on soft skills also supports high school endorsement tracks that are part of Texas House Bill 5.

"JA Inspire highlighted one of SBISD’s greatest strengths – our community’s investment in our students. The Collaborative Spirit of all partners helped create meaningful experiences for our students throughout these two days," said Abby Walker, district Coordinator for Strategic Partnerships and Volunteer Programs.

"This event was a unique opportunity for students to gain awareness and understanding of the various opportunities available to them, as well as begin to forge connections with local industry professionals – something that would not have been possible without the gift of our partners’ time, talent and treasure," she also said.

“We have so many opportunities and different openings in so many fields, it’s just crazy,” said Meoshe Hennesy with NRG Company, one of the businesses set up in the school gym. “We want to get them all prepared for college, and let them know that if you take four years to follow through, here’s the opportunities you have and how much you can make.”

Many working professionals counseled students to take more than annual salary or pay scale into consideration in what may be a major career and life choice.

“Think about who you are and what you are passionate about, not about how you’ll make a lot of money,” educator and artist Diane Rios said in one gathering. “I want you to know that wherever you come from, whatever you desire to do, that is really possible for you!”

Memorial Middle eighth-grader Zane Pramudji knows exactly what he wants to do. He aims to earn an engineering degree like his father, and add either a medical or electrical engineering degree onto his professional portfolio.

His father is an engineer and patent attorney. Zane has a patent pending. His mom has a medical degree.

“I think it’s important for schools to have career fairs like this because if they don’t we may have more people living at home with their parents,” he said. “It’s also real important that we all provide for ourselves and society.”

Valeria Justo of Northbrook Middle school has her college and career plan, too. “I would like to be an anesthesiologist. It would be an opportunity for me to have the medical career I want, and to make some money,” she said.

“This career fair gives us options and helps us all prepare for the future,” she adds.

JA Inspire is presented by:
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP
  • Offshore Technology Conference
  • Lyondellbasel
  • Spectra Energy
  • Quanta Services
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Dow
  • Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas
JA Inspire in SBISD was made possible through the support of these local underwriting partners:
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Community Health Choice
  • Chick-fil-A at I-10 and Silber Rd.
  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America
  • NOV
  • BP
  • HR Houston Human Resource Management Association

Ridgecrest Stars in the Classroom Award

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing visited Ridgecrest Elementary to recognize First Community Credit Union Stars in the Classroom recipients Lorenza Garay and Danielle Potts.

A teacher librarian and kindergarten teacher at Ridgecrest Elementary School were both honored with Stars in the Classroom awards by an area credit union recently. Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing visited the campus and surprised the two instructors.

Honored with First Community Credit Union Stars in the Classroom recognitions were librarian Lorenza Garay and kindergarten teacher Danielle Potts. The Spring Branch ISD employees were nominated by students and received prizes, including autographed Houston Texans footballs.

Watch KPRC2 video >>

Stars in the Classroom is an ongoing partnership between First Community Credit Union and the Houston Texans. The recognition program honors 10 instructors all over the Houston area for the difference they make at their schools. Students nominate teachers during an annual campaign. At present, the nomination process is closed.

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“I was very surprised,” said Mrs. Potts, who is teaching kindergarten for the first time. She was a third-grade teacher for five years, and also taught fifth grade a year. She has taught in SBISD for three years, and she also taught in Spring ISD.

Ridgecrest fourth-grader Arianna Flores nominated her. Mrs. Pott’s family was at the school to surprise her on Nov. 29, too. She was nominated by first-grader Nydia Perez.

“I’ve been nominated as Teacher of the Year several times, and that is great. Being nominated by a student for me is a great honor because that truly is why we’re here – to help students learn and grow,” she said.

Campus librarian Lorenza Garay was totally surprised when her name was announced. Officials with the school, credit union and Houston Texans had set up for the recognition event inside her library without ever letting on that she was one of the Stars in the Classroom award winners.

She was anxious, in fact, that her husband Julio had stopped by to drop off a set of household keys, but didn’t appear to want to leave. “I really thought that he might get me in trouble,” she recalls, laughing.

Mrs. Garay taught fourth- and fifth-graders at Ridgecrest for five years before taking on the library’s instructional and regular duties. Before joining the school’s teaching staff, she worked at Neighborhood Centers Inc. for eight years.

She favors teaching and the classroom over more administrative duties, which led her to Ridgecrest.

“I do feel that it was a calling for me to be here. I think that the excitement and curiosity of kids is just so empowering. I love to see students have that moment in life when they get it, and when someone believes in them. I don’t get that from working with adults,” she said.

Mrs. Garay also received an autographed football. Both teachers also received tickets for the Dec. 24 game between the Texans and Cincinnati Bengals.

Friday, December 2, 2016

SBEF Hosts Spectacular Winter Wonderland Gala

Left to right:  David & Mary Beth McIver and Lisa and Bill Schwartz
Spring Branch Education Foundation raised a record-setting $172,000 at its annual gala. Co-chairs Melissa and Mano DeAyala and Sheri and Wayne Gross were all smiles on Nov. 19 when they welcomed excited guests to the Winter Wonderland gala. The Omni Riverway ballroom was transformed into a fairyland of twinkling lights and winter expanses warmed by guests eager to support grants and scholarships for Spring Branch ISD students.

SBISD PTAs made the evening a huge success by donating unique gift baskets to the evening’s silent auction. The 28 baskets brought in $7,095. When it was time to raise the paddles to fund scholarships, guests were eager and donated $13,150!

Gala attendees enjoyed aerialists and an artist, vied with friends over exceptional auction items, played unique games and danced to the tunes of The NiteBeat Band. The pre-Thanksgiving extravaganza kicked off the holiday season in style, thanks in large part to presenting sponsor HEB.

Left to right:  Melissa (Co-chair) and Mano DeAyala and Sheri (Co-chair) and Wayne Gross

About Spring Branch Education Foundation:
Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting SBISD students and educators. It partners with the district and community to fund programs that enhance education and prepare students for the future. In 2015, dewey & associates ranked SBEF 17th in the nation among K-12 education foundations and number one in its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Since 1993, the Foundation has donated more than $10 million to the district. SBEF is a 501(c)3 organization; all donations are tax deductible.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chapelwood Foundation Celebrates Scholarship Recipients, Programs

Dr. Zachary Hodges (left), President, HCC Northwest; Hunter Clay, Stratford High School graduate and Chapelwood Foundation scholarship recipient; Teresa Cannon, Executive Director, Chapelwood Foundation; and Dr. Scott Muri, Superintendent, Spring Branch ISD.

The Chapelwood Foundation’s biannual “Path With a Purpose” scholarship luncheon on Oct. 18 at Chapelwood United Methodist Church honored recent collegiate recipients while building awareness of the transformative community outreach program.

Several Spring Branch ISD students were recognized during the luncheon and program, including Hunter Clay, a Stratford High School graduate who has been able to pursue a college degree because of help from the Chapelwood Foundation.

The Foundation’s Scholarship Program targets and identifies highly performing Houston area high school students who lack the financial resources necessary to attend college and take the next step to higher education.

SBISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri spoke regarding the strong partnership between the district and Chapelwood United Methodist Church, and the specific ways in which the program fills the void for these students.

 “Spring Branch ISD is incredibly fortunate that Chapelwood United Methodist Church and its members place a high priority on investing in the education of our 35,000 students,” Muri said. “The Foundation’s deep and sustained generosity to fill both financial and resource gaps through college scholarships and mentoring assures that more of our graduates fulfill their potential and helps us meet our T-2-4 goal for Every Child. “Muri spoke of the “village” and how Every Child can benefit from his or her village. “Because of this ministry at Chapelwood,” he said, “many more of our children have the right people in their village.”

Current scholarship recipient Hunter Clay spoke about the impact the support of the Foundation has had on his life. A former Stratford High School (SBISD) student, Hunter is putting himself through school and is attending Blinn College and will transfer to Sam Houston State to major in accounting.

“Without the support from the Foundation, I truly do not know where I would be today,” Clay said.  “More than just the money, the Foundation has provided such a network of people to guide me to where I want to go and how to get there. Everyone should be given a chance to attain higher education no matter the situation or background they have.”

Another SBISD student, Northbrook High School graduate Elizabeth Torres Santiago, spoke via video about her gratitude for the Chapelwood Foundation and the help provided her. A student at the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and the first in her family to go to college, Santiago said that it’s important to her that her 4-year-old sister both sees her in college and sees her graduate.

The keynote address, “Reflections on Higher Education,” was given by Dr. Zachary R. Hodges, President of Houston Community College-Northwest, which includes HCC’s Spring Branch campus. Hodges said that “human capital development equals economic development, which equals community development. The more people (earn), the more they give back … why wouldn’t we want everybody to go to college?”

Since its inception in 2005, the Foundation Scholarship Program has awarded approximately $765,528 in scholarships to 186 student scholars providing them with much needed assistance to reach their higher education goals. Foundation scholarships are offered for the entire college experience and are renewable each semester if the student maintains a 2.5 GPA and participates in a community service project.

 All students in the Foundation’s Scholarship Program have a connection to either a Chapelwood member or a Chapelwood ministry.  The majority of the students in the program come from the Collegiate Challenge Program at Northbrook High School in Spring Branch ISD in which mentors are assigned to students and help them navigate the college admissions and scholarship application process. Criteria for student applicants includes stellar academic achievement as well as a high level of financial need.  Although the majority of recipients come from SBISD, students from Katy ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Aldine ISD are also represented.

 “As Executive Director of the Foundation, I have had the privilege of walking beside and glimpsing the amazing character of these hard-working, motivated, courageous students as they daily take the difficult steps to move beyond the limitations imposed by poverty and life circumstances,” said Teresa Cannon.  “They are changing the world for themselves individually as well as for their families for generations to come as many are the first in their family to attend college.”

The Chapelwood Foundation is a permanent endowment program which serves as a ministry of Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Valued at more than $6 million dollars, the Foundation annually awards grants and scholarships of up to 5 percent of its three-year average assets to selected missions and ministries.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

National Signing Day

Signing Day

Memorial HS state tennis team, 2016 UIL 6A State Runner-Up

Nine student-athletes at Memorial High School signed NCAA National Letters of Intent recently, signaling their intent to bring the college or university recruitment process to an end and to focus on the next chapter in their athletic-academic lives.

Memorial High student-athlete signings on Nov. 9 included:
  • Justin Collins, Rice University, baseball
  • Christian Roa, Texas A&M University, baseball
  • Brent Bishop, Mercer University, Macon, Ga., lacrosse
  • Kayla Keeling, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, softball
  • Carli Jones, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, softball
  • Blaire Evans, University of Texas at Dallas, softball
  • Lauen Coerver, Blinn College, Brenham, Texas, softball
  • Cooper Wozencraft, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., swimming
  • Alexis Pratt, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, La., volleyball
Devin Fahey, SHS State Qualifier, and Coach Tony Brillon at state meet

In addition to the Nov. 9 signings, Stratford High School officials report that player Sam Miller made a commitment to play college football at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

His college signing and presentation may occur later this fall, district officials said.

Eagle Scouts

Turner Snelling, Carson Barker, Caleb Touchstone and Harris Cooley recently earned their Eagle Scout awards. Photo: Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, courtesy of Memorial Examiner

Four high school students from Spring Branch ISD were named Eagle Scouts recently at a Court of Honor ceremony held at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.

The new Eagle Scouts are Turner Snelling, a senior, and juniors Carson Baker and Caleb Touchstone, all of Stratford High School, and senior Harris Cooley of Memorial High School.

To earn Scouting’s highest honor, the four SBISD students all undertook and accomplished special projects for area groups, nonprofit organizations and a church. The projects include:

  • Turner Snelling followed his passion for animals by building two large raccoon habitats and 24 squirrel boxes. He raised $1,600 and then led 14 Scouts and volunteers to finish the project in three weekends. The Wildlife Center for Texas, the project beneficiary, has recognized the project as an outstanding Eagle Scout project.
  • Carson Barker led 10 other Scouts to build four picnic tables and assemble a bike rack for the Outreach Center of West Houston, which is affiliated with a well-known local group, Family Point Ministry.
  • Caleb Touchstone installed a rock garden, planted flower beds and shrubs, and installed a new American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant patio for Vita-Living, a group that assists individuals with mental and physical handicaps.
  • Harris Cooley, working with Memorial Drive Lutheran Church, built four new benches for an outdoor gathering area at the church. He also built an outdoor ga-ga pit, an octagonal shaped, wooden ball playing structure for children.
The four new Eagle Scouts were honored in a Boy Scout Troop 642 ceremony held Oct. 19.

Veterans Day in Spring Branch ISD

Some of the sights and sounds associated with the recent Veterans Day in Spring Branch ISD ranged from fun hallway parades and library receptions at elementary schools to the 16th annual school-wide recognition event for veterans and families held at Spring Forest Middle, one of the biggest gatherings held in west Houston.

At Nottingham Elementary this year, the Student Council sponsored a first annual A Salute to Heroes with more than a dozen veterans related to students or staff, as well as first responders from SBISD’s Police Dept. and from Precinct 5 Constable offices showing up for their Nov. 11 special program.

Local military veterans and first responders paraded through the hallways while a rendition of Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA played through the PA system.

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Students lined the hallways, waving flags and cheering on their guests, who were high-fived throughout the school’s brightly decorated corridors.

At a later breakfast reception, Student Council members handed out certificates of thanks to veterans, police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Campus counselor Stacey Zubair helped organized the event, which she described as beautiful. “Most of those in attendance couldn’t help but shed a tear as our local brave men and women were honored,” she said.

At nearby Spring Forest Middle School, hundreds of students, staff and community members gathered for the 16th year in a row to honor the U.S. military veterans and family members who gather there for an early breakfast and formal program.

One compelling and emotionally charged moment every year at Spring Forest is an opening program march by veterans into the school’s gym where each vet earns the warm, enveloping applause of hundreds. The applause continues for many minutes, as long as the veterans keep coming.

Student Council members host the program and have key speaking roles. Local and even state-level politicians often make a point of attending.

This year’s guest speaker was retired U.S. Army Col. Bernie McCabe, grandfather of a Spring Forest Middle student. His awards include the Silver Star, two Bronze Star Medals for Valor and three Purple Hearts.

One highlight this year was a big student and staff fundraising effort. They raised $15,700, well over an initial $10,000 goal, for the Patriot Paws chapter at Texas A&M University. The College Station-based group trains local service dogs for returning vets who have special needs.

Lakoda, a 1-year old Labrador in training, attended the Spring Forest program. In honor of this year’s Patriot Paws gift, Texas A&M volunteers plan to appear at the school on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and announce that their next service dog trained will be named by the SBISD middle school.

Patriot Paws administrator Sarah Porper notes that service dogs can have a healing and calming effect on veterans, some of whom return to civilian life with anxieties and even panic attacks due to their experiences. Service dogs can save lives, too.

“They can be trained to get wheel chairs. They can get medicine bottles. There are dogs that get phones. One of the vets we serve had a stroke, and his dog picked up and brought a phone to him and he dialed 9-1-1,” she said.

Spring Forest Middle’s Jana Gwinn has helped organize this event for many years. Heritage Texas Properties and the school PTA play a key role as sponsors and day event volunteers.
Many other SBISD campuses support local or neighborhood campus events much like Nottingham Elementary.

Coach of the Year Leads Stratford High Runners

The boys cross country coach at Stratford High School was honored recently as the University Interscholastic League(UIL) Coach of the Year.

Tony Brillon, an eight-year coach at Stratford High, earned his recognition during a special presentation held at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock, Texas, soon after the annual state cross country meet concluded.

Brillon has been the Spartans head boys cross country and track & field coach for the past seven years.

A biology teacher, Brillon has coached state-level winning teams four times in the past seven years, and his teams won back to back state championships in 2013 and 2014. Two of his runners have also earned top individual state meet awards.

“It’s just a tremendous honor as there are so many great coaches out there. I really believe it’s really the kids who deserve this award,” Brillon said. “You are a great coach only if you have great kids, and there has been quite a lot of team success at Stratford.”

“Average kids can do great things,” he also said. “It comes down to training in the cross country field, coupled with drive and work ethic.”

At just 53, Brillon already has a storied coaching career and a life story shaped by strong personal decision-making.

He has taught and also coached cross country for more than 20 years in Cypress-Fairbanks and Katy ISDs, and in middle and high schools in The Woodlands.

To serve his country, he took a four-year teaching break and worked for U.S. Navy’s Combat Information Control (CIC) in radar and intercept technology.

His passion for formal science, as well as the science and art of coaching runners, found expression in a bachelor’s degree from Beaumont-based Lamar University, located in southeast Texas. “I always knew that I wanted to be coach, but I loved science,” he recalls.

SBISD Executive Director of Athletics Paige Hershey said the district is fortunate to have Coach Brillon at Stratford High and in the district.

“He has made great contributions to the success of our athletic program, and he’s never let that success deter him from continuing to want to do and to be more. He doesn’t rest on his laurels,” Executive Director Hershey said.

Coach Brillon is set apart by his own work ethic, drive and desire to do it all. As a head coach, Hershey said he learned to channel more of his time to coaching all of Stratford’s runners, and let go of superficial distractions involved with race-day or district-level duties.

Few people may know that Brillon helped coached Stratford football while heading up the state-winning cross country program, and also teaching biology. “That’s just the kind of guy Coach Brillon is. That’s an example of his desire to give of himself to his school and athletic program,” Hershey said.

Former SBISD coach Jason Reed, who is now with Katy ISD, encouraged Brillon to join him at Stratford cross country based on his high reputation for managing an effective, full-time running program.

“Not too many people are going to outwork Coach Brillon, He is a great motivator who holds kids accountable, and the kids love him for it,” Reed said.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Aladdin Jr. Showcases District Collaborative Spirit

“The show must go on!” It’s a famous saying in world theater, but at one recent middle school musical production, the line proved both prophetic and a testament to one school district’s strengthening commitment to its core values.

Cornerstone Academy’s entire cast and crew learned the real-world meaning of the district’s Collaborative Spirit core value as three performances of Aladdin Jr. were held recently at Spring Woods High School.

Cornerstone Academy students and staff have made a temporary “home” in the old Edgewood Elementary facility, or East Transition Campus, as a new middle school campus is built at their Spring Branch Education Center site on Westview.

The middle school’s planned production of Aladdin Jr. began in August after a 30-member cast and 11 crew members were selected by audition. The East Transition campus lacks an auditorium rehearsal space so the middle schoolers improvised.

“We rehearsed all of the scenes, dances and music inside the former kindergarten classroom, which also doubled as a costume closet, set building and painting area, and as a storage unit,” recalls Cornerstone theater arts teacher Juli Pendergrass.

“Imagine students learning a dance in a space a fourth of the real stage without sets, without curtains, without exits, without a backstage area and without lights. The cast and crew leaned to use their imaginations,” she said.

Spring Woods High School graciously provided the middle school students with a full week of auditorium time – enough for four rehearsals and two performance days in early November.

On Nov. 7, SBISD’s Maintenance Dept. transported Cornerstone sets and costumes to the Spring Woods High stage. The Cornerstone director gave permission to crew members to miss a few classes so they could set up for the rehearsal. Student actors joined them after school.

“We definitely got a taste of what it would be like to be part of a touring show – such hard work, but a rewarding experience,” Pendergrass said.

Three separate performances of Aladdin Jr. were held Nov. 11-12. The cast and crew favorite was the daytime show for prekindergarten and kindergartens from Cedar Brook, Housman and Valley Oaks elementaries.

Some of the wide-eyed, eager audience members wore Aladdin-style tall hats and Jasmine tiaras. The matinee for several elementary schools has been a Cornerstone Academy tradition – one that proves the show still goes on!

“We learned firsthand what collaboration in SBISD does look like. Middle school students, who had taken a district school bus, performed for elementary students, who had also taken SBISD buses, in a high school auditorium where the sets and costumes were transported by district Maintenance, or even borrowed from other SBISD schools,” Pendergrass said.

The Aladdin Jr. cast and crew at Cornerstone Academy included:

Narrators – Sabine Waldron, Kori Jane Spaulding, Leah Holewyne, Eliza Khan
Jasmine – Hanna Landa
Aladdin – Dylan Dial
Genie – Bianca Gordon
Jafar – Sergio Castagnoli
Iago – Zac Gould
Sultan – Omar Diaz
Razoul – Cassie Harbison
Guards – Nicholas Rhew, Jackson Dixon, Callum Glover, Parker Webster
Harem Girls – Kaylee Terrell, Ava Shea, Victoria Turner
Shopkeepers – Julia Chapman, Katie Donnel, Emily Gomez
Townspeople – Mona Darvishi, Lucia Romo
Matron – Lulu Sawaf
Prince Baba of Ganoush – Ethan Schmidt
Prince Dahdu Rahn-Rahn – Ben Stelmak
(The) Prince Formerly Known as the Artist – Devon Schwartz
Thief – Kyle Zoboroski
Carpet – Zari Abraham
Snake Charmer – Micah Gordon

Stage Managers – Kate Crow, Solana Ripple
Sound – Sam Puhala
Lights – Laurie Trevino
Costumes – Emily Camden, Ednaliz Pereira
Props – Carrie Humphrey
Backstage – Quillan Ham, Chris Vukadin
Spotlights – Jack Hopper, Lee Seelig

All-State Orchestra Nominees Named

Stratford High Orchestra violinists Isabella Bengochea, on left, a senior, and Catherine Wu, a freshman
Two Stratford High Orchestra violinists have been selected for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Orchestra, the highest honor awarded across Texas for excellence in music.

Chosen for the TMEA All-State Orchestra are Isabella Bengochea, a senior, and Catherine Wu, a freshman.

All-State Orchestra is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Every year, more than 1,500 high school students are selected by TMEA for performing ensembles in band, orchestra and choir through highly competitive auditions.

A series of auditions winnow down tens of thousands of students to the “best” in state. Small groups of judges begin the individual ranking system.

At this time, All-State winners in band and choir have not yet been announced.

Bengochea and Wu will travel to San Antonio in February to rehearse and then perform with highly rated students like them at the TMEA convention. Students rehearse with a nationally recognized conductor and then perform at convention.

Orchestra students from only two high schools in TMEA’s Region 27 have been named All-State nominees for the 2016-17 school year, according to a local music official.

Michael Fahey is the orchestra director at Stratford High School.