Thursday, February 28, 2013

Character Without Question

Northbrook High School senior Sandra Lara has perfect grades and a $20,000 scholarship award. A National Honor Society member, she is planning for the future as a physician’s assistant, but she still finds hours to volunteer with Hollibrook Elementary students and the Spring Spirit youth baseball organization.
“I really love to help around my community. I love to help others, and I really don’t want to see others fail,” Sandra says.

An active Health Occupations Service Organization (HOSA) member, she was accepted at six separate state colleges and universities, but a Century Scholarship award says it all. “We’re an Aggie-based family,” she says.

Superintendent Klussmann Offers Congratulations
Her brother attends Texas A&M University in College Station. She will join him there this fall with the school’s top scholarship award.
“She is very intelligent,” her mother, Rosa Aguilar, says. “She is really an obedient and a calm child. She does everything so well. I am so proud of her.”

Sandra Lara and 45 other Spring Branch ISD students earned Character Without Question Awards during a Feb. 25 reception and Board of Trustees meeting.

The awards are given to students for outstanding acts of character witnessed or documented by the campus principal, counselor, teachers or fellow students.

Memorial Middle School eighth-grader Frank Yang has received the award twice now, once at the middle school he attends, and earlier as a fifth-grader at Rummel Creek Elementary.

Even though lightning has struck twice, he’s not sure why he was named. “I was so surprised,” he says. “I do want to be the best person that I can be, but there are also many other students with better character, I think.”

“We teach our children to be good citizens,” says his father, C.P. Yang, who traces family roots back to Taiwan. “We try to teach Frank to appreciate the teacher and all the others in the school. We teach respect. But he is a teenager, too.”

One award recipient, second-grader Genesis Mendez, rolled across the auditorium stage Monday at Northbrook High School and accepted her honor with a big smile for all, even Superintendent of Schools Duncan Klussmann, Ed.D. Genesis has been a paraplegic since she was 3 months old.

“You are receiving this award because of the outstanding character and positive actions that you have demonstrated to your teachers and fellow students,” stated the Superintendent in a letter to all student award recipients.

“According to them, you are responsible citizens who show respect, caring and kindness to everyone and are always ready to ‘do the right thing’ in all situations. You truly make a difference in your school, your community, and in the lives of others.”

Students were selected based on an enduring commitment to the following traits: honesty and integrity; responsibility and dependability; respect; perseverance and effort; courage; and caring and kindness.

This year’s Character Without Question Award winners are:

Schools for Early Learning
  • Robert Lopez, Bear Blvd. School for Early Learning
  • Andres Archaga, Lion Lane School for Early Learning
  • Cesar Castillo, Panda Path School for Early Learning
  • Mariana Baltazar, Tiger Trail School for Early Learning
  • Murphy Jones, Wildcat Way School for Early Learning
Elementary Campuses
  • Emmy Phan, 5th grade, Buffalo Creek
  • Anna Van Os, 5th grade, Bunker Hill
  • Celeste Garcia, 5th grade, Cedar Brook
  • Sara Garcia, 2nd grade, Edgewood
  • Scott Fonseka, 5th grade, Frostwood
  • Genesis Mendez, 2nd grade, Hollibrook
  • Vanessa Barrera, 5th grade, Housman
  • Grace Wilson, 5th grade, Hunters Creek
  • Isa Khajeh, 4th grade, Meadow Wood
  • Daniela Perez, 5th grade, Memorial Drive
  • Kaitlin Small, 5th grade, Nottingham
  • Kaylee Duran, 5th grade, Pine Shadows
  • Andrea Sproule, 5th grade, Ridgecrest
  • Michael Goolsby, 5th grade, Rummel Creek
  • Jatzyri Torres, 5th grade, Shadow Oaks
  • Daniel Martinez, 4th grade, Sherwood
  • Sujeyli Rocha, 5th grade, Spring Branch
  • Maria Carrizales, 5th grade, Spring Shadows
  • Mustapha Khan, 5th grade, Terrace
  • David S. Kim, 3rd grade, Thornwood
  • Daniel Cruz, 4th grade, Treasure Forest
  • Payton Hill, 5th grade, Valley Oaks
  • Carlos Gonzalez, 4th grade, Westwood
  • Brett Payne, 4th grade, Wilchester
  • Pedro Zavala, 5th grade, Woodview

Middle School Campuses
  • Michaela Barroga, 8th grade, Cornerstone
  • Jesus Perez, 8th grade, Landrum
  • Frank Yang, 8th grade, Memorial
  • Lexi Morin, 8th grade, Northbrook
  • August Schwanauer, 8th grade, Spring Branch
  • Jacob Sloan, 8th grade, Spring Forest
  • Katie Dickerson, 8th grade, Spring Oaks
  • Chase Gonsoulin, 8th grade, Spring Woods
  • Jordan Meza, 8th grade, Westchester Academy for International Studies

High School Campuses
  • Yancy Elguezabal, 9th grade, Academy of Choice
  • Samantha Moon, 12th grade, Guthrie Center
  • Corinne Nordt, 11th grade, Memorial
  • Sandra Lara, 12th grade, Northbrook
  • Felix Hernandez Alvarado, 10th grade, Spring Woods
  • Jimmieria Chillis, 12th grade, Stratford
  • Katrina Benwell, 12th grade, WAIS



  1. Spring Forest is very proud of Jacob Sloan! Not many people know, but Jacob gave up playing basketball in the 2013 season because the SFMS Playhouse's production of "Annie" needed a Daddy Warbucks last fall. Jacob took on the role, gave up basketball, AND sang in front of the whole school. Way to go, Jake! We're all super proud of you!

  2. Theresa Trevino is an outstanding teacher!

  3. Spring Branch ISD seems to be modeling private schools where character is concerned. They are going above and beyond grades and test scores. I am pleased to have a child in the school district. Keep up the great work.


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