Spring High School senior Kiara Simon gets a hug from Texas State representative Kelly Tallerine during the district’s National College Signing Day event at Westfield High School.
HOUSTON – May 4, 2017 – Seniors stepping onto the basketball court at the Westfield High School gymnasium drew cheers for academic aspirations, rather than athletic achievements during Spring ISD’s National College Signing Day event. The celebration brought students from Spring, Dekaney and Westfield High School together under one roof as counselors from the three schools called seniors individually to center court.
Representatives from about a dozen colleges and universities offered T-shirts and congratulations to the students who will be attending their campuses after high school graduation. The event is part of a national Reach Higher Initiative, started by Michelle Obama in 2014 to place a spotlight on students who plan to continue their education.
After the students returned to the bleachers, they were reminded by Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, chief of school leadership and student support services, that they were participating in a nationwide event and their years of preparation have made this possible.
“Think about the significance of this day, and think about the significance of attending a college or university of your choice. As young people you have so many choices in front of you, but the most important choice that you are making is the choice to continue your education,” said Hinojosa.
Dr. Clara Lauderdale, a college connections counselor at Westfield and one of the emcees during the celebration, said that combining the three high schools’ celebrations into one large one was an idea that everyone liked.
“We wanted to all get together so we can see that we all have the same goals and dreams to reach higher … and that’s our theme here: Reaching Higher Together,” said Lauderdale.
It’s a theme that has personal meaning for Westfield senior Emily Huynh. Her family has lived in Spring for more than a generation. She attended the same three Spring ISD schools as her mother — Westfield High School, Wells Middle School and Reynolds Elementary which was still named Oak Creek Elementary during those years.
Huynh plans on attending the University of Texas at Austin to study psychology. After receiving a T-shirt and pen from their representative, she said the event helps her and her classmates realize that they have a wide-open future and that it is near. She said combining the three schools at one celebration added to the experience.
“It’s great! Some of the girls are going to UT from the other high schools and I got to meet them today. So we can hang out on campus sometime; it’ll be great,” said Huynh.