HOUSTON – June 7, 2020 – In a year when many senior activities have been cancelled or postponed, Honda of Spring General Manager Jason Jackson wanted to make sure one lucky Spring ISD graduate got to drive away in a new vehicle as part of the dealership’s longstanding Smart Kid Cool Car partnership with the district.
On Sunday, with students staying socially distanced in their assigned parking spots rather than gathering inside the dealership for games and snacks, the excitement remained the same, as nearly 200 turned out to learn who would be this year’s winner.
“This year has really been anything but ordinary,” Jackson told the students. “Who thought you would finish your senior year at home? Nobody.
“Well, Honda of Spring is committed to supporting our local community and Spring ISD,” Jackson said. “There’s no better way to do that than invest in the future. You seniors here today are the future. Give yourself a round of applause.”
The annual event, celebrated with honking horns and cheers, was months in the making. Students entering the drawing had to meet a long list of requirements: maintaining a cumulative 2.5 GPA, passing all state-required End of Course exams, maintaining a 95-percent attendance rate, completing 25 hours of volunteer service in the Spring community, having no out-of-school discipline infractions, and completing the required post-secondary planning assignments.
“The students you see here today are the ones who did the work to get here,” said Spring ISD Dr. Rodney E. Watson, who applauded those in attendance and thanked Honda of Spring for donating the car and hosting the event.
“Nothing beats seeing the excitement on the student’s face who wins this brand-new car,” he said. “In years past we’ve had winners talk about the importance of the car in getting them to college or to work. The vehicle right here will make a big difference in the life of one of our scholars, and we’re extremely grateful to Honda of Spring.”
Among those in attendance at Smart Kid Cool Car were the principals from all five Spring ISD high schools, and trustees Jana Gonzalez and Board President Rhonda Newhouse, who outlined how this year’s drawing was done differently because of COVID-19.
To minimize any contact with paper, the district conducted the drawing online using special software and under the observation of the district’s Internal Auditor. In all, 215 students qualified to enter the drawing.
“I just want to tell every student in the parking lot today how proud I am of you for making it to this point,” Newhouse said. “Completing all the requirements isn’t easy but it shows your perseverance, and I’m confident that all of you will be successful in whatever you choose to do next.”
At the end of the short program, the winner’s name was drawn. Carl Wunsche Sr. High School senior Erion Spencer ran through the crowd to accept the keys to her new car. When asked for a few words, Spencer stood speechless.
“I’m really excited because I’m commuting to U of H, so I really needed a car,” said Spencer. “When the envelope was opening, I was envisioning my name being called.”
Erion’s mother was nearly as excited as her daughter. “I am beyond excited,” said Tameca Spencer. “That’s an understatement.”
She said her daughter was deserving of the prize, as she had worked hard all year and was committed to doing well in school. “She’s an awesome kid,” she said.
Tameca Spencer said she is especially grateful that her daughter will have a reliable vehicle to drive to and from the University of Houston.
Wunsche Principal Andria Schur also echoed comments that it was fitting for Erion to win the car. “She’s got the kindest heart,” Schur said. “She’s such a giver and always wanted to do more for our campus.”
Four other students won tablets: Juan Angel Pereira Mungia of Spring Early College Academy, Amna Khan of Wunsche High School, Malachai Christian Jones of Westfield High School and Maegan Madison Ford, also of Spring Early College Academy.
During his remarks, Jackson told the students they were all winners, regardless of whether they got a prize at Sunday’s event.
“You’re the reason Honda of Spring is involved in Smart Kid Cool Car,” he said. “Donating this car has hopefully motivated you to work hard, get better grades and be involved in the community, which will help you for the rest of your life.”
Spencer says she plans on majoring in construction management at the University of Houston and wants to build within the community she calls home. When describing her senior year of high school, Spencer says she learned a valuable lesson.
“Senior year was very stressful, but I learned it’s okay to ask for help,” Spencer said. “I always try to do things on my own, but it’s okay to ask a teacher or a classmate for help.”
Visit www.springisd.org/smartkidcoolcar for a list of all the students eligible for the contest and records of the online drawings for the 2020 Honda Civic LX and four new tablets.