Students of the Month, 2017-2018

  • Congratulations to all our University HS CTE Students of the Month

May 2018

 Isaac Galindo

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Isaac Galindo

Senior - Engineering

When I first walked into my engineering class, I didn’t know what to expect.  It was the first period of the first day of my first year of high school.  At best, I thought I would just be able to get by.  At worst, I would fail.  Little did I know that I was in the best of hands for my education.  The STEM program at University High School took me through all the steps required to begin my pursuit of an engineering degree.  Though I sometimes failed at accomplishing my goals, I was reassured that my progress was never in vain and that failure is a sort of teacher that never stops teaching in the world of engineering.  In the words of Dave Kelly, the CEO of IDEO, one “must fail often in order to succeed sooner.”  I remember my first project was to build a wooden bridge that could bear a load.  I recall the several attempts we made as our bridge collapsed.  Another project we completed involved programming a robot to stack three blocks on top of one another, provided we programmed it properly.  My experience in the STEM program is one that will never be paralleled or exceeded and I suggest that all who are interested in STEM follow that interest.  The pathway in a STEM profession is one with great promise and reward.  My intentions are to enlist in the United States Army and pursue a career in oceanic engineering. 

April 2018

 Jackelyn Lopez

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Jackelyn Lopez

Senior - Culinary Arts

It is an honor being chosen to participate in the amazing Academy of Culinary Arts.  Because I am the oldest child, cooking has always been a big part of my life.  Since the day I turned 10, I have been helping my mom cook for dinners, parties and reunions.  Cooking isn’t my only interest, I also like to help others.  Last year, I attended GWAHCA and earned my C.N.A.  I loved going to nursing homes and working with patients. 

I hope to be an RN.  I will be attending MCC after high school.  I think MCC is a great start to enter the Medical. Field.  Most of my family is in the medical field.  My sister is a RN, my brother is working to become a surgical tech and my cousin is a C.N.A.  I plan to follow in their footsteps. 

I am honored to be chosen the student of the month.

March 2018

 Vincent Higareda

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Vincent Higareda

Junior - UHS Academy of Welding (GWAMA)

My name is Vincent Higareda and I am a junior at University High School. I am also a first year student at the GWAMA Welding Academy. GWAMA has been a great choice for me because it has helped me to prepare for life after high school. The skills that I am learning will benefit myself and my family. The dual credit classes I am taking at GWAMA have also allowed me to realize that college at TSTC is something that I might want to consider as well.

GWAMA has provided me opportunities to accomplish the things that I want to do in life.

February 2018

 Alexia Galaviz

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Alexia Galaviz

Senior - Academy of Education and Training

When my mother was thirteen years old, she began picking vegetables in a field as a migrant worker. My mother was the Mexican version of an average teenage drop-out. Education was not available to her due to being one out of ten people to live in one house in King City, California. She needed to provide for her family so she went to work most of her day. Today she is currently a mail carrier and earning more than enough to provide for her family. Her dream has always been to send me to school to get the education she never received. I'm making sure I do anything and everything possible to accomplish this dream of hers simply because my ultimate dream is to make my mother proud. I can just imagine the day I graduate from Sam Houston State University and hear my mother say, “you did it Lex, for us!” 

In addition to making my mother proud, I have always dreamed of returning to WISD and teaching second grade at any local elementary school.  My ultimate teaching dream however is to become a missionary teacher and aid kids overseas or in urban areas to receive the education they deserve. My mom has inspired me to do this since she has done the same for me. She has pushed herself to help somebody else out. I was inspired to become a missionary because I went to Germany during the Summer of 2016, and met Syrian refugees.  My favorite memory is talking to and praying for them, or simply just laughing with them. Although there was a language barrier, just seeing the looks on their faces was enough to help me understand that I wanted to receive an education for them.

If I were to look back on my life in thirty years, I would consider myself successful if I were to be teaching in my own second grade class and traveling during the summers to reach out to more kids. I would consider myself successful if every time I visited my mother, she just has a radiant smile on her face. The people that I need to help me on this journey would be my parents, my teachers, and anybody else who wants to assist and support me on my educational journey. 

The Academy of Education fits into my plans for the future because I am going to be a teacher.   I have learned skills that I need to be successful when working in a classroom.  The importance of literacy, conscious discipline and writing lesson plans and implementing them with the Trojan Tykes has been such a valuable lesson.  The Academy of Education has allowed me to gain real life experiences that I will treasure forever.   The rotations to middle and elementary schools just validated the drive within me to become a teacher.  The expectations set by my teachers will help me to be the professional I want to be.  The Academy of Education is vital for not only my future but the future of others.  The saying “Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions” is so true and it makes we want to become one of the best in this great profession.


January 2018

 Lizbeth Duarte-Tavera

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Lizbeth Duarte-Tavera

Junior - Academy of Law and Criminal Justice

My name is Lizbeth Duarte-Tavera and I am a Junior in the Academy of Law and Criminal Justice at University High School. Sometimes I wonder how the world has become ever since rules and guidelines were implemented to maintain the stability of our country and yet there is still people who try to go against them to destroy the system. I, on the other hand, believe that the rules and guidelines are good things to keep the world from going out of control.  So, I follow the rules and the laws of the American legal system. With these rules I myself imagine that the world will become a better place, but that is not how it truly is because not everyone is perfect and we all make mistakes that are serious. I try not to believe that our world has come to that, but it has and we try our best to fix these issues by making laws to regulate these problems. We even try to contribute to our community by risking our lives and putting ourselves in danger for others. 

  Therefore, when I began as a student in the criminal justice program at University High School with Coach Martinez for Law Enforcement and Ms. Palladino for Court Systems and Practices, I grew a much stronger interest in the legal system because I learned more about the structure of the law and how it all works. It made me understand the types of crimes that criminals commit in my Law Enforcement class and how they are prosecuted in my Courts class. I started to get answers from my teachers of how the law and the court can play their respective roles in solving the issues of this world by putting criminals into jail and stopping them from hurting others. I did not think that there was more to just labeling a person guilty, but there is and it is a process in which evidence and paperwork collide with police officers needing probable cause to obtain a search warrant for a house. 

To recognize that these small things can play a huge role in making our world better helps me to understand that a tiny thing like me can do so much more by being part of the legal system. It inspires me to maybe one day defend a client from being charged with penalties or save a victim from harm done to them. It helps a lot to be part of a class where we are able to do hands-on situations like re-enact scenarios that will help make us more comfortable and prepared for our future careers in real-life as part of the police force or the legal field.

I am so grateful for the values of self-discipline and intrinsic motivation my teachers helped to instilled in me since I came to University High School. It has given me the ability to think critically and independently. Most especially, it has provided me with a work ethic worthy of becoming an Academic Achiever as well as a successful student in my chosen Academy. 

My Academy teachers selected me to travel to Washington, D.C., in March of 2018 to attend the 2018 National Civics and Law Academy hosted by the American Bar Association. While it has been an honor to just have been selected to attend this event, it will be such a privilege and an amazing experience to visit such places as Capitol Hill, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Department of State all of which will enlighten my experience in pursuing a law-related career.

December 2017

 Lessitte Canales

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Lessitte Canales

Senior - Ron E. Smith Academy of Business and Finance

Thinking back to the end of my eighth grade year I can easily remember the day I filled out my schedule request form for my freshman year after browsing the variety of academies at University High School that I could choose from. There wasn't a single academy that suited my interests except for the courses offered in the Academy of Business & Finance.

Coming into my freshman year I had so many emotions that I had to face and overcome such as fear of being pushed around by seniors, the fear of my classes being too hard, the anxiety that I would get due to the amount of students in our school, and simply just the fear of stepping out of my comfort zone. Little did I know that my Freshman year would be the start of a new me and the beginning of discovering the person I wanted to become. The Academy of Business and Finance, while complex, opened my eyes to so many different career fields that could be career possibilities for me in the future. 

My freshman year, I took Principles of Business Marketing and Finance and also learned to prepare income taxes. That year I was so intrigued that I stayed after school every tax day for as long as I could. Since then, I have taken Banking and Finance, Accounting, and Practice of Business Management. At the end of my sophomore year, I had the incredible opportunity to work as a volunteer in the Trojan Branch of our school’s Credit Union. I had to apply like any normal applicant, attend an interview, and then if hired, attend training in the summer for three weeks. Beginning in my junior year, I was able to actually use the skills I learned at Educators Credit Union and put them into use in our school’s branch where I would be dealing with teachers, administrators, and students. Along with working in the Trojan Branch, I took accounting which taught me a great deal about business and personal finance. In my final year in high school, I get to continue doing taxes, finish out this year working in the Credit Union, and put my past achievements to use with college applications and scholarships.

More than anything the teachers of this academy have provided me with opportunities to help me grow as a person and continue to grow my confidence and develop personal communication skills through programs such as the 2017 WISD Summer Internship and being president of our school’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America. They continue to stress the importance of community service, integrity, and that good character comes from developing good habits. I feel like this academy has given me a good starting point as I continue to pursue my education after graduation. To date I have over 277 volunteer hours through our tax program alone, not including FBLA or JROTC, and am hoping to add to that before I graduate this June. When that day arrives. I will be sad to leave this place, these teachers, and my friends, but I will be grateful for my time here.

November 2017

 Dylan Chapman

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Dylan Chapman

Senior - Academy of Arts, AV and Communication

The audio-video production class at University High School taught by Mr. Taverner has greatly benefited me as a student. This class has taught me many valuable skills that I know I will use for the remainder of my life, because the career path I have chosen will involve these technologies. I want to major in Broadcast Journalism, and be a radio/TV sports commentator. There are so many things Mr. T has taught me that will be the foundation for the skills I have to use in this profession. For starters, I will have to be comfortable on camera as I do interviews and other analysis on camera in this field. I have had hours of priceless practice on camera in this class, doing anything from being an anchor on our morning news show, to interviewing people for school related videos. This has allowed me to establish a comfort zone in front of the camera, that I will be able to utilize for the remainder of my career. I currently have an internship at ESPN Central Texas Radio, and as I continue to learn how to edit and cut interviews for the show, I have already learned the base of these skills in this class. I can’t even express to you how important this class has been to me, and how important the skills it taught me will remain to be throughout my professional career. I would definitely recommend this course to any student that plans to major in a media related subject

October 2017

 Diana Vargas

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Diana Vargas

Senior - Academy of Health Science - GWAHCA 
 
As a freshman I began classes in the Academy of Health Science at University High School. That is when I first began to have an interest in wanting to learn about health care careers and the health care environment. The classes in my freshman and sophomore years taught me about the different body systems, medical terminology, and nutrition, which was a great preparation for my career at GWAHCA.
 
Now, as a senior participating in the Practicum of Health Science class at the Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy, I attend clinical rotations at the two local hospitals, as well as theory class on campus. My current capstone course is building on the skills and experience obtained through the first year program, where I was able to complete clinicals at local nursing homes and obtained my CNA certification at the end of the year.

While I was doing my clinical rotations last year, I had a resident who was always excited to see us on clinical days. I was able to care for her and get to know her better, learning she had no family to come visit, and that was another reason she enjoyed our clinical days so much. This experience, and being able to brighten someone’s day by just simply caring for them, helped to grow my passion for health care and solidified my desire to become an RN. My goal after high school is to work at the local hospital as a CNA, while obtaining my BSN, either here in Waco or at UMHB in Belton.

September 2017

 Gustavo Gutierrez

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Gustavo Gutierrez

Senior - Academy of Automotive Technology

Hello my name is Gustavo Gutierrez and I have been nominated by Mr. Engelbrecht for student of the month of September.
Mr. Engelbrecht teaches advanced automotive technology which is the academy of technology. I'm in his 1st and 2nd period, and he teaches it with passion, and he is always there when you're having trouble on any certain vehicle in relation to automotive.
My dreams of the future are to be working for a national or even worldwide company related to my field of degree of diesel technology or automotive technology. Also I would like to do the collision repair program.
For me to consider my life to be prosperous, thirty years from now and looking back, I would have to have had finished high school, and college in the diesel technician program, and the Automotive program at Texas State Technical College for me to consider my life successful.
The people in my life that I need to accomplish these goals are my family and supporting friends, also I will need to be ambitious and have support from family members. One advantage that I have is that I grew up with a step-father that worked gasoline cars and trucks and also diesel vehicles. This also has helped me learn how to work on cars/trucks, and know the different parts on the vehicles. And also diagnose different problems
This academy fits into my plans because it gives me the experience I need for the real world and how it's going to be in an actual shop somewhere. I’m really glad that UHS offers the Automotive program, and so many other academies’. UHS will have made me into the successful man I plan to be someday.