Westfield High School senior Kenia Hernandez, who plans to attend Sam Houston State University following graduation, is among twenty education pathway students signing letters of intent to return to Spring ISD after college to teach.
HOUSTON – June 5, 2020 – Twenty Spring ISD graduating seniors have signed letters of intent to return to the district to teach once they graduate from college with their education degree. The students, who signed the letters and cheered each other on during a special online event held May 22, have all successfully completed the district’s education career pathway, participated in the Texas Association of Future Educators, and have stated their intention to return to Spring ISD to teach in the district after college.
“There’s no place like home,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Deeone McKeithan while addressing the students during the online event. “Spring ISD is your home, and we want you to come back home and make sure that you are able to contribute to the community and the environment in which you grew up.”
The future educators’ signing day event is part of Spring ISD’s “grow your own” approach, which aims to make sure that the district’s staff includes highly qualified teachers with a connection to the local community. McKeithan went on to congratulate the students for completing all the necessary requirements to attain their Educational Aide certification through the Texas Education Agency, with the district covering all the certification fees. After they successfully complete their college studies, Spring ISD will offer the students preference when hiring for certified first-year teaching positions.
The 2020 education pathway seniors are the first group from Spring ISD graduating fully prepared to become certified educational aides. The certification means the students are eligible, if they choose, to work in Texas schools while they are in college.
“That’s a testament to all the work that you did in high school, all the courses that you took in the pathway to get you to this point,” said Chief of School Leadership and Student Support Services Dr. Lupita Hinojosa. “You can actually work as a paraprofessional here in Spring ISD with that certification while you’re going to school.”
The online event, hosted by Human Capital and Accountability Officer Dr. Tameka Williams-Bruce, also featured remarks from Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson, Director of Career and Technical Education Cynthia Williams and Board of Trustees President Rhonda Newhouse. Education pathway teachers, counselors, campus administrators and trustees also tuned in for the online celebration.
“We are so proud of you, and we’re so proud that you have the opportunity to come back to Spring ISD after graduating and work,” Newhouse said. “We welcome you in education.”
The superintendent, meanwhile, encouraged the seniors to take the time to consider what kind of teacher they want to become.
“When you’re thinking about your favorite teacher, or you’re thinking about the best experiences you’ve had in class,” Watson said, “think about those teachers that really made it interesting and worthwhile for you in your classrooms, and make sure that you are one of those teachers yourself as you go into the field of education.”
The speakers all praised the group’s resiliency and dedication in the face of the COVID-19 closures and the disruptions to senior year, but said they wouldn’t miss the chance to congratulate the future Spring ISD educators.
“Though our current environment doesn’t allow us to be together, we didn’t want to miss this opportunity to celebrate each and every one of you,” Williams said.
Following are names of seniors who signed letters of intent and the colleges they plan to attend.
Dekaney High School – Aliyah Carter-Adams, Texas Southern University; Daylon Miller, University of Texas at Austin; Jenniffer Lopez, Sweet Briar College; Juan Flores Mejia, Lone Star College; Kimesha Collier, Lone Star College; KyLyn Collins, Prairie View A&M University; Lilia Vasquez, Lone Star College.
Spring High School – Alicia Thompson, Lone Star College-Tomball; Amanda Recinos, Texas State; Aryuana Wilson, Prairie View A&M University; Consuelo Vasconcelos, Prairie View A&M University; Makayla Lawrence, Texas Tech; Mykala Martinez, Lone Star College-Montgomery; Sophia Mokracek, Lone Star College-Tomball; Zuri Hamlet, Prairie View A&M University.
Westfield High School – Elian Ascencio, Lone Star College; Kenia Hernandez, Sam Houston State University; Raiza Magbunal, University of Houston; Vanessa Benitez, Sam Houston State University; Mekhia Atchison, Lone Star College.