2023-2024 University High School Student of the Month

  • University High School

    February Student of the Month


    Education and Training - Jae Juan Harris

    Hey everyone, my name is Jae Juan Harris and I was selected as the Student of the Month for the Academy of Education. I selected the Academy of Education during my 8th-grade year because I knew I wanted to be a teacher and head coach one day. I’ve had some very special teachers cross my path and with their encouragement and guidance, I’ve accepted a full-ride scholarship to San Angelo State to play football and major in Education.

    During my freshman year, I dealt with a lot. I lost the most important person in my life, my momma. I was in total disbelief, and it gave me a wake-up call about what's more important than me. My two little sisters and I moved in with my great-grandmother, MaMa, the heartbeat of our family. I know she had a hassle trying to support us, but she never let us know. I was 14 and trying to find small jobs to help with bills. Sadly, she passed away just after 2 years and once again I moved. School was my comfort zone because I was surrounded by adults and friends that cared about me. All of this set the stage for my high school career and knowing that an education would help me become successful. 

    Sports came naturally to me and I excelled in football. Coach Felix and Coach Gibson were instrumental in keeping me on the right track. Ms. Stucky, Ms. Gunn, Ms. Barber, Ms. English, and Ms. Baier made sure I participated in our Career and Technology Student Organization, TAFE. I appreciate their leadership and encouragement. Each year I would compete at TAFE Regionals and each year I made it to the State. This year I plan on making it to Nationals in Washington D.C. These opportunities helped to keep me active and motivated in school. 

    The Academy of Education gave me the chance to work in elementary classrooms, which was an amazing experience. One of my placements was with a PE teacher who was passionate about her students. This rotation lit a passion for teaching within me. Her students were always eager to learn and this impressed me. This experience just assured me that I wanted to be the same type of teacher.


    January Students of the Month

    Josie Beltran

    Law and Public Service - Josie Beltran

    While being an Ambassador for the Academy of Law and Criminal Justice at University High School for the past two years, I have utilized the experiences and opportunities presented to me by learning from them and expanding my knowledge. My interest in pursuing Public Service did not spark up out of a random guess or leap of faith. I remember being in my 8th-grade class and being inspired by the Ambassadors for the Criminal Justice program who came to speak at our school. Being amazed by the opportunities we would have in high school, and the skills that we would learn, and because of those students who came to present to the class, I enrolled in public service when I became a freshman in high school. That is what I hope to do for young students. I hope to inspire students like I was inspired when I was 13 years old. I have gone above and beyond my call of duty and I have truly 􀀁flourished as a CTE student. I have had the opportunity of accompanying our local police department in carrying out day-to-day law enforcement duties such as executing a typical traffic stop or securing a warrant. I was also able to see the process by which people were admitted into the care of the law. I feel as though it has truly made me shift my attention towards working in the law enforcement field or something similar to it. The internship that I undertook greatly influenced my decision when it came to my future. Observing those law enforcement officers and forensic scientists at work just sparked my interest. But, the thing that truly inspired me was the children's department that helps child victims in the dawning steps of whatever legal process they have to go through. It touched my heart differently and holds a lot more personal and sentimental value when compared to everything else that law enforcement may do. My passion would not have sparked if it was not for the Law Enforcement pathway at University High School, and those CTE students that came to my 8th-grade class to tell me about the Academy. 


    GWAMA Construction: Treaveon Allen


    I have had the honor to be nominated as Student of the Month by Mrs. Novosad, who teaches construction at GWAMA (Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy). I am currently in my senior year of high school and scheduled to graduate in May 2024. Being at GWAMA has taught me so much I never thought to imagine throughout the three years I have been here.

    The reason I chose to come to GWAMA is because it seemed like it could give me alternate routes to take after high school. I chose to do construction because I felt it would give me the most opportunity to do work close to home, since there is a lot of construction in the Waco area. I also chose GWAMA because it would teach skills that would be good to know in the future.

    At GWAMA I am currently building a tiny house with my classmates. Not only are we building it

    but we are also designing it. I would like to thank Mrs. Novosad for believing in me, and nominating me for Student of the Month. I would like to thank Dr. McCall for allowing me to be here and participate at GWAMA for the three years I was here. Lastly, I would like to thank GWAMA as a whole, for teaching me how to be a better person.

    December Student of the Month

    UHS Student of the Month

    Carla Escobedo

    I have been in the Business program for my entire high school years, and this program has been helpful as well as important to me for many reasons. I have developed a strong understanding in business throughout this year. Not only has it been helpful but it has been important to me for my future. I say this because I have had the opportunity to learn more and more about business and the reality behind it. The reason why I am saying this is because it has taught me how to manage my money and balance it out,and it has come to my understanding that in the business program you just have to have backup plans, and that has taught me to have backup plans in anything that I am doing. This business program is helpful for the real world. It shows us how to become a good leader and have good communication skills as well as other skills  which are really important. Overall this program has been helpful/important to me because it has taught me skills on entrepreneurship which is what I am looking forward to in the future and all the information I am getting from this program can be helpful to me. I would like to thank Mr.Pierce he has been helpful to me since freshman year and has provided me with great information that had to do with taxes as well as other information. Also Mr. Hoefer has been very helpful in a way that has encouraged me to look forward to doing my own research on developing more understanding in business. He has also always provided us with information about actual business in the real world or important people in entrepreneurship which to me is important, because me as a student can see what I have learned so far is actually beneficial out there. Overall University has also been helpful for having the taxing program which allows us to actually have a visual on how taxes work. University has also been helpful for providing us the students with the business program and has given us the students the opportunity to be a part of the business program.

    November Student of the Month

    Student of the Month

    Fran (Neo) Diaz, UHS

    Academy of Arts, Audio Visuals, and Technology Communications

    Being chosen for Student of the Month is a delightful surprise. I didn’t know this was a recognition given, and despite always trying my best to surpass my own expectations for myself, I’ve always believed there were others who were better. Even so, it gives me great satisfaction to be recognized for the things I’ve done. Thus, I use this opportunity to let my mind free and speak of the wonders and passion I have in this academy. Being born within the Digital Age, I’ve had a keen interest in technology since I was young. Although technology such as game consoles, smartphones, and computers were considered luxury items, I still desired to learn them. Through the internet, I was not only capable of seeing how the internet would change drastically over so few years, but also gained a desire to become part of this change. Ultimately, this led to me choosing this academy, which allows for opportunities within the World Wide Web. Not having a lot of money when younger delayed all my plans regarding technology; however, that has no longer become the case as everyone within the academy has been gifted access to desktop computers and Adobe applications. I’ve taken advantage of what I’ve been provided with and have made connections with people through the internet and even online businesses. Using skills I’ve learned such as photography, graphic design, professional communications, web designing, and audio, I have gained many connections with amazing and impressive people. Within this academy, and with the help of amazing educators, I’ve learned to do many things alongside my peers. From taking photos, to learning components of podcasts, to creating personal ID badges, to flyers, to inspirational quotes, to engraving, all the way to creating logos for the school’s Audio/Video department. Having a fair degree of understanding as a student, I’ve decided to do my fair share of help by aiding any underclassmen who come in during the morning before school for tutoring these past few months. As a student who prefers to be aware of what the plan for the day is and one that dislikes havoc, I tend to take the initiative for leading or volunteering to do anything whenever there is not someone better fit for the job. As so, I’ve gained respect from my peers and have been sought out for guidance or simple aid. Being at that time of life where I am still young yet still expected to grow up, I’ve still no idea as to what I plan to do with the rest of my life. I most likely will choose to pursue a future career in technology. However, this is only the beginning of my life and one of many interests I have. In the end, I am grateful to have been granted the opportunity to attend this academy and all that it has given me, as well as be chosen as student of the month.

    October Student of the Month

    Greater Waco Advance Health Care Academy

    October Student

    Christian Boggess from UHS:

    The healthcare industry is all about helping people and it’s been an important part of my calling in life. It’s important because as an African American, I’m fully aware of the misinformation and concern that people who look like me experience when thinking about the healthcare system. I’m excited to finish my high school journey with a CMA so that I can be a part of making a difference across the community. It will be an honor to serve people and help them live longer and fuller lives. The academy has helped me enjoy the transition into the healthcare field by surrounding me with teachers who are passionate about supporting teens like me on our journey. It’s also embedded a strong sense of curiosity through understanding medical theory and applying what I’ve learned through hands-on learning experiences. Finally, it’s helped me to think about my own needs through lessons about responsibility, curiosity, teamwork and leadership. I want to become an emergency room nurse because I have a deep passion for helping people during critical moments. The fast-paced and unpredictable nature of the ER appeals to me, as it requires quick thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to provide immediate care to those in need. Being able to make a difference and provide comfort to patients and their families during emergencies is incredibly fulfilling, and I'm drawn to the sense of urgency and teamwork that comes with this role.


    September Student of the Month


    UHS Automotive Student

    Enrique Rangel, UHS


    Hello, my name is Enrique Rangel, and I have been nominated by Mr. Engelbrecht for student of the month for September. Mr.Engelbrecht teaches automotive technology, which is in the academy of automotive technology. I'm in his 4th and 5th-period classes, and Mr. E teaches us with passion! He is always there when anyone is having trouble with classroom work or working on vehicles. I am a senior at University High School, and I play center for UHS football. I also do powerlifting, varsity cheer, and softball management. I plan to go to TSTC to learn about welding, and for secondary training, learn the automotive field to be a technician. I would like to earn a degree in those two fields. When I finish, these two careers will be beneficial in my life, especially since there is a lot of money to be made primarily in the automotive field. The people in my life that will help me accomplish these goals are my family and supporting friends. I will need to be ambitious and responsible. I have great support from my family members. One advantage that I have is that I grew up with my dad, and he always told me “You always have to work for what you want.” He also has helped me learn how to work on cars and trucks. My dad was very helpful to me in knowing the different parts of the vehicles and diagnosing different problems.