Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Employee Campaign Scholarships – A New Record!

Forty-three graduating seniors who are the sons and daughters of Spring Branch ISD employees received scholarships this year through the Employee Campaign Scholarship program, which is supported by donations from district employees.

Individual student scholarships of $1,000 were awarded May 16 during the Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF) 2014 Bright Stars of SBISD, Celebrating Academic Excellence awards program and dinner. The annual celebration highlights students and teachers across SBISD. It was held at the Westin Houston, Memorial City Hotel.

When employees were asked in August 2013 to contribute to SBEF’s Employee Campaign scholarship fund, they eagerly responded. Throughout the school year, SBISD staff members contribute to the SBEF Employee Campaign, funding scholarships for SBISD graduates who are children of district employees.

 “The response was so great that we awarded a $1,000 scholarship to every applicant – a record 43 graduates. We are thrilled!” said Cece Thompson, SBEF executive director.

2014 Employee Campaign Student Scholarships   

Oksana Aviles, Westchester Academy – Oksana plans to attend the Universidad Vasco de Quiroga in Michoacan, Mexico, where she hopes to study medicine. She was a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Student Council and the Interact Club. Her mom, Maria Orozco, is employed at Westwood Elementary.

Clementine Berrenger, Stratford High – At Stratford High, Clementine was involved in Marching Band where she was named to All-Region Band and was a state-level ensemble qualifier. She was a counselor and leader in training at Camp Flaming Arrow. She will attend the University of Houston and study mathematics. Her mom, Carla Berranger, works at Cornerstone Academy.

Louis Birdsong, Stratford High – Louis ends his years at Stratford High with a record of accomplishment that includes Varsity Football, Student Council, Young Life, Stratford Playhouse and the Boy Scouts, where he earned Eagle Scout honors. He volunteers in Memorial Drive United Methodist Church work camps. He will attend Texas A&M University in College Station where he plans to study landscape architecture. His mom, Judy Birdsong, works at Pine Shadows Elementary.

William Collier, Stratford HighWill’s goal is to attend the University of Texas at Austin to study business.  At Stratford he was a member of football team and the Ultimate Frisbee Club.  He received the distinction of serving as a member of the teen judging panel for the Rice University Business Plan Competition in 2013.  He has volunteered extensively with work camps and outreach programs through Memorial Drive United Methodist Church.  His mom, Joanne Collier, is a teacher at the Wildcat Way School for Early Learning.

Jonathan Colon, Stratford High – In high school, Jonathan was involved in Business Professionals of America, where he earned medals in Human Resource Management and was a state qualifier. A strong leader in the classroom, instructor Mary Jackson says that he “leads by example.” He will attend Houston Community College, where he plans to study business. His mom, Julia Colon, works at Woodview Elementary School. 

Samuel Cordova, Stratford High – Samuel ends his high school years as captain of the Varsity Swim Team, and member of the Stratford Leadership Council and Spanish Club. He will attend Trinity University in San Antonio, where he will study engineering and business. His mom, Julia Cordova, teaches at Cornerstone Academy.

Kelly Cuevas, Stratford High – Kelly plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio and study studio art. A four-year letterman and senior captain in Soccer, the senior was a member of Stratford Leadership Council and Spanish Club. Kelly’s mom, Mary Cuevas, is employed at Northbrook High School.

McGregor Dalton, Stratford High – McGregor is an Honor Thespian and active member of Stratford Playhouse and a member of Collegium, the varsity choir, as well as Vocal Chords, an a cappella group. He won a Tommy Tune award for Best Ensemble, and he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. McGregor was a member of Young Life, National Honor Society, and he was a Memorial Drive United Methodist youth work camp volunteer. He’ll attend Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., and major in musical theater. His mom, Katherine Dalton, works at Valley Oaks Elementary.

Fiona Fahey, Stratford High – Captain of the Varsity Cross Country team, Fiona was also a member of Varsity Track, Junior Varsity Lacrosse, Symphony Orchestra and Junior Girls. She plans to attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock and study medicine. Her father, Michael Fahey, works at Stratford High School.

Alexis Frederick, Stratford High – Alexis will attend the University of Texas in Austin, where she plans to study business and finance. She is a member of many groups and associations: National Honor Society, Spartanaire Dance Team, Academy of Finance, Student Council, Business Professionals of America, and Lacrosse. A National Merit Commended Scholar, she volunteers with Ronald McDonald House and the City-Wide Club. Her mom, Cynthia Frederick, is employed at Nottingham Elementary.

Arielle Garcia, Spring Woods High – At Spring Woods High, Arielle was a member of the Yearbook staff and National Honor Society. She has volunteered at Pine Shadows Elementary and with NewSpring Art Studio. She will attend Houston Community College and study fine arts. Her goal is to be an art teacher. Her mom, Irene Garcia, works at Pine Shadows Elementary.

Christoper Heiser, Spring Woods High – As an athlete, Christopher was active in Football and Track & Field, where he reached regionals in shot put and discus, and stands as a three-time AAU Nationals qualifier in Track & Field. A cheerleader and a theater member, he plans to study mechanical engineering and technology. His father, John Heiser, works at Spring Woods High.

Hector Hernandez, Spring Woods HighHector plans to study petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He was a three-year letterman on the Varsity Baseball team,  and was selected to All-District 1st team. Hector volunteers as an assistant coach with the West Houston Girls Softball Association and volunteered during ACE program summer school enrichment. He was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Student Council and Senior Men. His mom, Marcela Hernandez, is employed at Spring Shadows Elementary.

Jacqueline John, Stratford High – At Stratford High, Jacqueline was active in Marching and Concert Bands, Honors Band and Orchestra. She was co-editor of the Yearbook, National Honor Society and Link Crew, and volunteered at Houston Public Library and Nottingham Elementary. She has been accepted into the Honors College at Texas A& M University in College Station and pursue an industrial engineering degree with a minor in Music. Her mom, Kandi Bartling, works at Cornerstone Academy.

Adam Kassir, Westchester Academy – Adam will attend Rice University, where he will study Biological Sciences with a focus on premed. A National Merit Commended Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar and valedictorian, Adam was president of the National Science Honor Society and a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Model United Nations and Westchester League of Champions. His mom, Patricia Kassir, is employed at The Bendwood School.  

William Klussmann, Stratford High – A staff photographer with Stratford’s newspaper, Will earned the Bravo Award. He plans to attend Oklahoma University and study history, combined with advanced studies in photography. His interests include the Peace Corps. His father, Duncan Klussmann, is SBISD Superintendent of Schools.

Austin Lee, Spring Woods High – Austin Lee will attend Texas A&M University in College Station and study geo-sciences. He was a member of Varsity Tennis team, Chess Club and Senior Men. He earned 24 college-hour credits through the dual-credit Early College Program. A Black Belt in martial arts, he is also a performing member of the Phan Academy of Martial Arts. His mom, Kathy Lee, works at Westwood Elementary.

Rachel Loving, Westchester Academy – A member of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, Rachel served as group historian. She was member of the following: National Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and Model United Nations. She was assistant group leader with her church’s Vacation Bible School. She plans to study engineering at the University of Texas at Austin or at Texas A&M University in College Station. Her father, Travis Loving, works at Westchester Academy.

Christian McLane, Memorial High – Christian’s interests have included the Memorial Mustang Outreach Bunch (MMOB), Symphonic and Jazz bands, Orchestra, and Swim, Water Polo and Track teams. He was the Marching Band drum captain, and earned an Eagle Scout award. He will attend Texas A&M University at College Station, where he plans to study aerospace engineering. His mom, Mary Ellen Ledgard, is employed at Memorial High.

Jonathan Martinez, Stratford High – Jonathan will study architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a competitor in the Michael G. Meyers Design Competition and the Harvard Debate Invitational. An Academy of Science and Engineering member, Jonathan served as co-president of the Junior Engineering Technology Society. He was a member of the National Honor and National Technical Honor societies, and he served as president of the Symphonic Orchestra at Stratford High. He has volunteered at the Children’s Museum District and Houston Food Bank. He has tutored violin students at Spring Woods Middle School and mentored a Memorial Middle School student. Jonathan is a two-time recipient of the Character Without Question award. His mother, Carolina Martinez, works at Pine Shadows Elementary.

Amy Mata, Stratford High – Amy will study French and Italian languages at the University of Houston. A member of the Film and Photography Club, United International Cultures Club and Model United Nations, Amy was president of the Spanish and Project Nice clubs, and head sound engineer for Stratford Playhouse productions. She volunteers at Houston CAPS and at other city events. Her mom, Rosalva Huerta, works at Academy of Choice.

Charles Matthew, Spring Woods High – Charles Matthew plans to study engineering or business at the University of Houston. As a three-year letterman on Swim Team, he was a regional medalist and a three-time regional qualifier. He earned 24 college-hour credits through the dual-credit Early College Program. Charles now works at Kroger. His mom, Diana Shannon, works on the Westchester Academy in SBISD’s Performing Arts Dept.

Daniel McGuire, Stratford High – A Stratford Playhouse performer who also played Football and managed Girls Varsity Basketball, Daniel was a Link Crew member who also volunteered for Vacation Bible School at First United Methodist and Sharpstown Baptist churches. He was a Habitat for Humanity volunteer builder. Daniel will attend Houston Baptist University and study history and aviation. His mom, Amy McGuire, works at Valley Oaks Elementary.

Alexandria Miller, Westchester AcademyAlexandria’s accomplishments include playing Cinderella and leading the WAIS Thespian Society as president. She served on the Executive Board for National Spanish Honor Society and was a member of Interact, Advanced Choir and National Honor Society. Alexandria served as a Fish Camp coordinator, and she volunteers in Vacation Bible School, at the Houston Zoo and at Camp Discovery Summer School. She plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station where she will major in theater arts with a minor in Spanish. Her mom, Barbie Miller, is employed at Edgewood Elementary.      

Niall Miner, Westchester Academy – Niall will attend the Colorado School of Mines, where he will study mechanical engineering. Secretary and treasurer for the National Honor Society and vice president of the Math Honor Society, Niall also served as the treasurer of the Science National Honor Society. His mom, Caroline Miner, works at Cedar Brook Elementary.

Kaung Myat, Northbrook High – After earning his degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M in Kingsville, Kaung plans to serve in the military. He was named the Most Outstanding Student in Digital Art and Animation. He was also named Volunteer of the Year and Most Outstanding Volunteer with the Buddhist Association. Involved in Football and Track, he had perfect attendance for his last three years. His parent, Dawlele Myint, works at Northbrook High.

Brandon Montano, Westchester Academy – Brandon will soon attend Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. His dream is to be a professional actor. He was a member of Student Council, Drama Club, Interact, Spanish Honor Society and Thespian Society where he took part in several theater productions. His mom, Susan Aronstein, is retired.

Ernesto Najero, Spring Woods High – Ernesto plans to study computer programming at the University of Houston. A Varsity Tennis member and tuba player in the Marching Band, he is a youth leader at Young Nak Presbyterian Church, where he serves on the praise and worship team. He has also completed missions in Houston and Austin. His mom, Maria Najera, is employed at Pine Shadows Elementary.

Lorenzo Pacheco, Memorial High – At Memorial High, Lorenzo has been a member of Orchestra, National Honor Society, Anime Club and Academic Challenge. He has perfect attendance during high school. He plans to attend Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and study biology and chemistry. His mom, Lisa Tames, works at Memorial High.

Jenny Payton, Stratford High – Jenny Payton will attend Baylor University in Waco, where she will study biology and premed. A Varsity Debate member and team historian, she was a member of the National Forensics League’s (NFL) Outstanding Distinction Team and an alternate for national tournament. A Bronze Award Girl Scout, she was a Vacation Bible School leader at two churches, and an after school program volunteer. Her mom, Jodi Howard, is employed at Nottingham Elementary.

Jacob Pennington, Stratford High – A member of the student newspaper, French Club and Theater Crew, Jacob earned the Bravo Award in English. He’s involved in Memorial Drive United Methodist Church’s Youth Group, and he has attended many summer work camps. Jacob, who aims to be a psychiatrist, will attend Lone Star Community College this fall. His mom, Pamela Pennington, works at Bunker Hill Elementary.

Sergio Razo, Spring Woods High – Sergio will study sports management or electrical engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station. Captain of the Junior Varsity Soccer team, he earned the high school’s Scholar Athlete Award. Sergio took part in the Early College dual credit program at Houston Community College (HCC) Spring Branch, earning college credits. His father, Raul Razo, works in the SBISD Maintenance Dept.

Riley Reese, Memorial High – A member of the National Honor Society, Varsity Soccer team, Mustang Mentors, and Latin and Endurance clubs, Riley was also named an Academic All-District student. She earned Gold and Silver Awards in Girl Scouts. At Texas A&M University in College Station, Riley plans to study veterinarian medicine. Her mom, Rhonda Reese, is employed at Memorial High.

Christian Rice, Spring Woods High – Christian Rice will attend Yale University this fall and study political science and global studies. A president and vice president of Speech and Debate Team, the 2014 class valedictorian served as a Junior Achievement officer. Christian won Superior, Excellent and Outstanding ratings in Orchestra. He took part in the district’s T-2-4 Greater Houston Partnership Workforce Development Committee. His mom, Armandina Rice, works at Westwood Elementary.

Domenique Rieder-Gasca, Memorial High – Domenique’s accomplishments included participation in the following groups: Memorial Mustang Outreach Bunch, Health Occupations Students of America, Memorial Markettes Dance Team, the National Honor and National Science honor societies, Club FACE, and the St. Cecilia Life Teen program. She volunteered at Vacation Bible School and also at Spring Shadows Elementary. Her mom, Elizabeth Gasca, works at Spring Shadows Elementary. She will attend Baylor University in Waco, and is interested in a career in speech pathology.

Ashley Rodriguez, Westchester Academy – A member of Student Council, Interact Club, Spanish Honor Society and the Art Honor Society, Ashley has worked at Michelangelo’s Italian Restaurant and at Idea Lab Kids for summer camps and birthday parties. She will attend the University of Houston-Downtown and study health and nutrition. Her goal is a registered nursing degree. Her mom, Diana Rodriguez, works at Westchester Academy.

Kylie Schaper, Stratford High – Kylie will attend Texas A&M University at College Station and study community health. Her memberships include: Student Council for four years; Cheerleading; Business Professionals of America; Link Crew; Academy of Finance; and National Charity League. She was president of Tri-Theta Girls Group, and a Character Without Question student finalist. Kylie took part in work camps with Memorial Drive United Methodist Church’s youth group. She is the daughter of Kristy and Wayne Schaper, Jr., who are both employed in SBISD.

Maria Serrano, Stratford High – Maria’s membership activities have included Memorial Mustang Outreach Bunch, National Honor Society, Sophomore and Junior Girls, Spartanaire Drill Team, Stratford Oaks and Stratford Buddies. She was vice president of social events with Tri-Theta Girls Group. She will attend the University of Texas at Austin and study public relations. Her mom, Mary Serrano-Martinez, works at Spring Woods Middle.

Leslie Solis, Northbrook High – Leslie Solis will attend Texas State University and major in English. A member of the Volleyball Team, she was a member of Student Council, Spring Branch Humanitarian Society and National Honor Society. She was a Character Without Question Award winner this year. She volunteers at the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen, and is training to be a counselor at Camp Victory. Her mom, Sandra Solis, works at Edgewood Elementary.

Kristine Tarawe, Memorial High – Kristine has earned Bronze, Silver and Gold awards through Girl Scouts. She was a YMCA junior counselor, and she entered several pieces of art in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. She will study media arts and animation at the Art Institute of Houston. Her mom, Jennifer Gilpin, is employed at Memorial High.

Shawn Taylor, Stratford High – A Volleyball Captain, she was also named First Team, All District. In addition to Basketball, she is a member of Link Crew, Stratford Oaks, Tri Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Stratford Leadership Council. Shawn was named All District Academic Team, and has coached a girls team with Memorial Drive United Methodist Church. Shawn will attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., and study mass communications.  

Andrew Whitten, Spring Woods High – Andrew Whitten will attend Texas Lutheran University in Seguin to study occupational therapy. He was one of the captains of the Baseball Team and has received an academic scholarship from Texas Lutheran to play baseball there. He has been a member of Tallowood Baptist, Senior Men, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was involved earlier in Varsity Mixed Chorale and Student Council. Andrew works at D-Bat Baseball Academy. He recently was named to 1st Team All District 2014 Baseball for 22-4A.  He is the only varsity baseball player from SBISD to be named to the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association All star 4A team for 2014. His mom, Cyndi Whitten, works in SBISD’s Accountability & Research Department in Program Evaluation and Research. 

Ashley Wood, Stratford High – Ashley will attend Texas A&M University to study business. Her interests and associations have included Lacrosse, Academy of Finance, National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America and Best Buddies. She was secretary of the Tri-Theta Girls Spirit Group, and volunteered in the Super Place Camp for kids with special needs and Vacation Bible School. Her mom, Kim Wood, works at Memorial Middle School.


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