• 20-21 WHS CTE Students of the Month

    April - May Student of the Month
    Tionni Sheppard


    My name is Tionni (Ti-on-ni) Sheppard. If you cannot pronounce that, then call me Little Navy (that nickname came from Sergeant Major or First Sergeant). I got that nickname because my mom was in the Navy. I was born on June 17, 2005, in Waco, Texas, and spent ages 5-10 in Camden, Arkansas. I have a brother that is 20 years old, and he is currently a sophomore in college at UAPB in Pine Bluff, Arkansas which is an HBCU. Yes, we are both sophomores. I am 15 years old, in the 10th grade, and technically in college. I am very outgoing at times, and I love to help people. I am very dedicated, driven, and passionate about what I do. I am very self-disciplined and hard on myself. I make straight A’s, although I am a huge procrastinator. I like to do hair and nails. I consider those my hobbies because I am always changing my mind and, those two things are the only things I have stuck with. I am a Let 2 and I plan to be in JROTC until I graduate. I am in Choir and have been in it since 7th grade. I was a cheerleader and was in the National Junior Honors Society. I am very proud of my grades which have been straight A’s for the last 3 or so years. I have won many honor roll awards and perfect attendance awards (my parents are very serious about my education and, so am I). I am in my second year of taking Dual Credit classes which is why I am technically in college so I will be graduating with my high school diploma and an associate's degree. After I graduate High School, I plan on becoming a Neonatal Nurse, so I do plan on going to college. For me to become an N.N, I have to become a Registered Nurse and, then I have to gain experience in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which leads me to take an exam.


    April - May Student of the Month
    Santiago Hernandez
    Academy of Welding - GWAMA


    The GWAMA program has taught me the needed skills to be able to produce in the work force. The teachers are great and are dedicated that their students are engaged in their learning. Over the years GWAMA has become almost like a second home to me. The program has shaped me into a better person. A person ready to take on the world.

    March Student of the Month
    Sandy Ramirez
    Academy of Electronics & Robotics - GWAMA


    When I first entered GWAMA in my sophomore year, I knew it would help me better understand my chosen career. I met people from different schools with different careers from mine but under the manufacturing category. I also met people with similar careers as mine that have been in my class since we started. Even though I’m in an academy separated from my home campus, I still have a regular high school experience.

    In my first year in robotics, I learned how to build a robot with parts given to us. I already knew the parts given to us because I did something similar my freshman year but this time we wouldn’t be following instructions on building the robot. We would be building our own robot; each team had their own ideas on how to build their robots and none looked the same. We also learned how to program our robots to move forward, back, and pick things up. The programming was difficult because it was different for each robot. Each robot needed a program to fit its design. I did manage to learn how to program fairly well and I’m still proud of that.

    The robotics class also had an electronics class where we learned about electronics. We learned about Ohms and Amps and how electricity flows through circuit boards. We also learned how to make circuit boards ourselves. We learned how to solder and even had little projects where we soldered a circuit board to make it light up with led lights and, sometimes, move around.

    In my math class we learned how to use circular saws and drills because the teacher used the lessons to also teach us how to find measurements that we needed for construction. I’m not very good at construction, especially drilling in screws but it’s useful to have the skills and the lessons did help us when we didn’t have the measurements. My second year we had regular math class but we had fun and learned different strategies to find measurements that I am using in my third year.

    I feel like my time in GWAMA has helped me understand my career better and it also taught me a few skills that I could use in the future. There were times where they talked to us about college and helped us pick the one we wanted to go to. I picked Texas State Technical College (TSTC) because it has the classes I need. They also taught us how to prepare for job interviews and they gave us practice with people from big companies. GWAMA has helped me prepare for college and future jobs.


    February Student of the Month
    Jaiden Graham
    Academy of Education and Training


    My name is Jaiden Graham, I am a senior at Waco High School and the 1st Lieutenant of the Scarlet Line Drill Team. I am currently an Intern participating the Academy of Education & Training. The program here as WHS has allowed to begin pursuing my passion in working with children and what it takes to become a Social Worker. My future plans is to begin my Kilgore College then transfer to a 4-Year University to obtain my degree in Social Work.

    My dream for the future is to be a Licensed Social Worker to help kids, give them a better life and for them to feel safe and loved in their environment. 

    When I look back in thirty years I would want to feel proud of myself and that I did my best to keep kids safe and for them to feel safe that I moved them from a home and to give them a better life. That would make me so proud and it will make me feel like I changed someone's life for the better. 

    I always wanted to do social work because as a person I’ve experienced and seen what the other kids go through and it made me want to help kids like others like me.

    For you to be a social worker you need to be a strong empathetic and most of all patience. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it. You need to have communication skills and that professional commitment to help meet the needs of all people, especially our future which are the children. Working and empowering the kids of the future has always been my passion.  

    I am currently in the Instructional Practices Course, which helps me obtain skills and knowledge in the Education and Training field. It also helps me step out of my comfort zone and makes me a stronger person, and teaches me how to understand others. The class taught me how to speak to others and how to help people who are struggling and it gets me ready to be a future teacher, counselor or a social worker.


    January Student of the Month

    Devin Nichols


    GWAMA Academy of Construction Science

    Jan 2

    My name is Devin Nichols and Mr. Carpenter has nominated me as student of the month for January. The CTE course I am in is Construction Science. I am in his morning class and this is my third year in his class. I have greatly enjoyed my time learning the construction industry and feel very prepared to go forward after my high school graduation and seek employment in the construction science industry.

    Construction science is important to me because I enjoy it and I can provide a service to others through the skills I have learned and will continue to learn in each job I have. It also provides opportunities for employment and I can further my skills by enrolling in higher education and completing a degree in a wide variety of fields that make up the construction science industry.  My plans for the future are graduate high school, to be employed by a prosperous construction company and enjoy what I do.

    January Student of the Month

    Jairo Romero Gonzalez


    Academy of Criminal Justice


    I am Jairo Romero Gonzalez and I am the first born out of five children in my family.  I knew at a young age that I would take the risks and trials first and be able to guide my siblings to help them make decisions in opportunities that I had but did not take them. The reason I did not take them was that I did not know due to me coming to the United States at a young age and not knowing how to speak English, which was a downside for me, and I would struggle in the following years. But that wouldn't bring me down and now that I’m here I have seen the great differences of my origin country and the U.S. which I was privileged to be in to help me grow into a successful person. Back in Mexico, I would hear people talk about the American Dream and how great it was. However, when I saw how life is here, it is not how they told me it was, money growing on trees and walking on gold, it was something that was earned and not given. I realized that at a young age, and now I am a proud business owner with my dad at only 18 years of age while still in high school which to me was and still is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. But even though I may seem to have my life already set up, I still felt that this wasn't for me, don't get me wrong I love my business but I want to also do a job I may be passionate about and do good in the community to help because I look around and see other people who has come from the same background as me and some of them take for granted and skip the opportunities they have and just go have fun instead of finishing their priorities first, even see this with 1 generation of Americans from immigrant families. Therefore, it really was not until my sophomore year that I really wanted to do. In my sophomore year I had Coach Lewis for a law class which taught me how the criminal justice system works which was pretty interesting, it really caught my attention and said to myself this is how I can do something for my community. Then later into the semester, we had a guest speaker from Waco PD, Officer Sophie Martinez, who got me interested in doing the junior Police Academy in the summer of 2019.  I have to say that was one of the greatest experiences and a big factor to where my career will be heading. From there I became passionate about the Criminal Justice system and want to join law enforcement for the better of the community. I know I will not be able to save the world but at least I can help the community I love. Even now, the criminal justice system needs more help than ever with many people rebelling and losing respect, the interest I have for this future wants to go and be their friend and help them learn of this system. Back in Mexico Law enforcement is corrupt and many youth are falling into drugs and gangs, and many youth here will fall into it soon and that is why I want to join Law Enforcement, to protect and Serve but also to save today's youth. These Criminal Justice classes will for sure help and benefit those who want to follow the great footsteps into the future as I am doing right now.

    December Student of the Month

    Alysa Aguilar


    Academy of Business and Marketing

    WHS December

    My name is Alysa Aguilar and Ms.Moss nominated me for the CTE student of the month for December. Ms.Moss teaches Social Media Marketing which is in the academy of Business and Marketing. 

    Personally, I have had a positive experience in this academy. Ms.Moss has contributed greatly to this because she has never failed to let me know she is proud of me and it means a lot. This shows that Ms.Moss loves her job and truly cares about her students. 

    Something I truly enjoy is working with kids. Because of this, I want to be a Social Worker when I get older. What has motivated me to work toward this goal is my youngest sister who is on the spectrum. Over the years, I have sat with my sister during her therapies, and yes there are challenges but we always overcome them. Experiencing this, I know I can do all that is needed to become a social worker. Especially with the support, I receive from my family and my teachers. What I hope to do is make a change in someone's life and push them to be better like Ms.Moss has done for me. 


    November Student of the Month

    Hesten Mirick


    Academy of Arts, AV and Communication


    Receiving student of the month means everything to me.  It shows that I am doing everything I can to accomplish my dreams and goals. The skills I have received at Waco High School have shaped my future and will definitely have a great foundation for my future projects in college. Therefore, I have an advantage leaving high school and taking my knowledge into my career in the upcoming years. I want to thank the school, the community and especially my teachers in all my classes because they are amazing and hardworking people that are helping me understand my future and potential. 

    The world of imagination is something everyone wants to fully understand and create to his or her design. Starting with the foundation course, Principles of Arts, Audio/Visual Technology & Communication, it has led me to an understanding that I have the ability to achieve my dream of creating animation, film, special effects, etc. in the world of Hollywood. As I moved from Principles to AAVTC into Animation, I learned the understanding of a camera, even the creation of a 3D plane inside of a program morphing it into something that shows who you are and your sense of style of design. Everyone has a unique feature when it comes to a project, to a rhythm of events that holds a deeper meaning or simply the way the environment is structured.

    When I was younger, I absorbed everything in the world of animation, I would spend hours on end watching dumb videos on the internet and researching every little thing I possibly could that went into them. I would always get involved with the stories people told and created from the ground up pushing into their universe and understanding who they are as a person and their ideas that followed. The concept of making a world with your laws and creations roaming free has always inspired me to do more with my creativity and attempt to make something out of it. I got into animation for the fact that I could control everything and tell a story without relying on a team of actors and a good stage crew. The stories I could come up with and spend time analyzing really helped me see how I wanted to take my animation knowledge. Everything that had to do with movement and dynamic facial expressions is what I enjoyed the most. I was like being a director of my own reality.

    Growing up I was always fascinated with film. The way the camera showed something more than what is told by the characters. Also, the way a story is structured to the style of a director has always intrigued me. When I was first exposed to a movie that grabbed my attention and threw me into a completely new world, was when I first saw Star Wars. It opened many possibilities to what I could accomplish with animation and an amazing sense of creativity. My imagination became more than just a tool. I begged my grandparents to buy me a little camera that I would soon heavily abuse in the years to follow. I would paint on my siblings and make them look like the zombies from George A. Romero’s Dawn of the dead, and film my own take on the unique undead story with a hint of Sam Raimi’s evil dead. My stories were all over the place until I found out about the CTE programs at Waco High School.

    The Classes showed me more about the world of film design and everything that comes with it. I learned about script writing and plot design, the lights and important rules for camera and scenery. I finally understood everything about the crews and system that goes into all aspects when creating movies. The way directors made the movies and the rules of design that went into the basic blueprints are important. Every creator has their own unique taste when it comes to a creation of their own. I would practice forming my own style when I would create models and worlds in Blender. That is what hooked me into the society of animation that Star Wars once did.

    Animation brought me to a point in my life that I was interested not just in the film itself but the style the creators implemented into their stories. Getting into style led me to a director named Hayao Miyazaki. Hayao Miyazaki is a director of many animated movies and would always tell the story to a realistic fiction, which included in his films everything from realism to humor. He would add realism to animation, for example, the way a character would cut into a melon was with force and friction so it was never a smooth cut. This helped me push my limits in animation and formed my cartoony but serious style in my work. My animation class is everything I enjoy about movies and Hollywood, when I step into this class it sucks me in and brings me to a safe space where I learn more about the course of film itself.



    whs oct   

    October Student of the Month

    Makayla Hector


    Academy of Health Science - GWAHCA  

    Throughout my Sophomore year of high school I wanted to be involved in a medical program that provided hands-on training then I had the pleasure of hearing a lecture about the Greater Waco Advanced Healthcare Academy which kindled my curiosity. Once the lecture was over I spoke to the representative of the academy about the courses that are given at the Greater Waco Advanced Healthcare Academy and the environment in which these classes are given in was described also. That day I made the decision to attend the GWAHCA so I could build a stable foundation for my future in medicine. This program has helped me prepare for my future in a professional setting by providing programs in which you are placed in situations that your body language and tone of voice are being observed by other individuals. At this academy the CTSO that I have taken part of is HOSA this program which helps students develop skills like teamwork and communication.     

    Furthermore outside of this academy the community service that I have taken part of are through the National Honor Society which include volunteering at Fuzzy Friends. The life experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today would be moving to Puerto Rico, an island in which the primary language is English, I was 6 years old and I had recently moved to an unfamiliar place where the majority of its population only speak Spanish. The challenge that I had to overcome was breaking a communication barrier by learning how to speak Spanish this challenge at the beginning seemed overwhelming but now this ability to communicate with non bilingual people that I may encounter is beneficial to my personal and professional life.



    October Student of the Month

    David Romero  


    Academy of Automotive Technology

    Taking the Automotive program at Waco Highschool has changed my life for the better. Coming into high school my freshman year, I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue when I graduate from high school. At first I only took the automotive classes not thinking that I wanted to make a career out of it, but only because it was the only class I thought I would be most interested in out of the other CTE classes. During this time, I got a part time job at a restaurant as a busser on the weekends only getting around ten to sixteen hours a week since I was still young. I started saving some money with the job that I was working to eventually buy a pick-up truck in the near future. As time went on I gained more knowledge about vehicles, such as how to maintain your vehicle, how to change tires, what kind of fluids a vehicle has, ect. 

    Sophomore year was when I saved enough money to buy my very first pickup truck which is a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado. It was in poor condition when I purchased it, but with the stuff I learned so far in my automotive classes I was able to fix it up and made it run. A lot of the stuff I did at home such as a battery replacement, oil change, coolant flush and replacement, and headlight replacement. All the lessons I was being taught in my automotive class were going into use in fixing my vehicle. It was when I realized that this is the career path I wanted to pursue after I graduated.  My goal after high school is to go to college and get my associates degree from TSTC; get as much experience possible and work at a shop or dealership as an intern and later move up as a technician. 

    Junior year in high school was when I started bringing my truck to school. I got permission from my automotive teacher Mr.Campos to bring my truck to the shop which was usually Fridays to work on it. I started putting in more money into my truck and put in more hours at my job and eventually got a second job at a halloween store which was only temporary to make some extra money to invest in my truck. It was also my Junior year when TSTC introduced a dual-credit automotive program at Waco High. It gave me and other students the opportunity to get college credits for TSTC and get a headstart whenever we graduate high school and go to college. I tried to put in the most attention I possibly could to learn more about cars and how to make a career out of it. Spring break 2020 was when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. Schools shut down, classes were moved digitally so everything was now taught on computer. All of the lessons were moved to online and it was pretty intimidating because we were basically put on the spot and tried to learn the material with the instructions laid there without a teacher having to explain to us. It definitely made it hard for me to learn because I am more of a hands on learner than a computer or book learner. Even with that obstacle I managed to pass all my classes and passed my final for automotive which was an ASE test for Maintenance and Light Repair. 

    This year is my last year of high school, my senior year. We had the chance to come to school or stay home and do online school. Of course I chose to come to school because I know that if I do online school; I would have not done all of my work or put it on the back burner and play video games instead. Of course because of the COVID-19 pandemic they put some restrictions on the school. We don’t have as much shop time as we did previous years, and almost all the work is done on computers. Either way I am not gonna let that affect me on pursuing my career. 

    I want to give thanks to all the automotive teachers at Waco High on nominating me for student of the month. Mr.Chavez, Mr.Penny, Mr.Daugherty and Mr.Campos.