Westfield High School Senior Carol Hernandez held her pen as she and her classmates prepared to sign a letter of intent that will take them away to college, and then bring them back to Spring ISD.
“It’s our first official contract, and it’s very important,” she said.
Hernandez and her classmates from Westfield, Spring and Dekaney High Schools gathered at the Randall Reed Center to participate in the district’s Future Educators Signing Ceremony. The program was started in 2015 to encourage graduates of Spring ISD’s education pathway to return to the district to teach after completing their university program.
“We came up with the idea, because it’s part of Spring ISD’s ‘grow your own,’ said Career and Technical Education Director Cynthia Williams. She explained that this program is a partnership between her CTE Department and the district’s Office of Human Resources and Human Capital Accountability.
“Once they leave high school, they are kind of done with CTE, but HR still keeps in contact with them so they can come back and do their student teaching, if they have to do observations, they can even work as substitute teachers if they are in the area,” said Williams.
Spring ISD Board President Rhonda Newhouse spoke to the students who sat behind tables draped in their school colors at the front of the Randall Reed Center. She reminded the education pathway seniors that conducting lengthy job searches after obtaining their college degrees would not be a factor for them.
“We are offering you the opportunity to come back and work for Spring ISD. You haven’t even graduated from high school and you already have a contract to work after graduation from college,” said Newhouse as she stood in front of Hernandez at her Westfield table.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Tameka Williams-Bruce told the students that she was proud of the students who want to return and help their district.
“We believe in you as students, but we also believe in you beyond today,” said Williams-Bruce, adding, “We need top quality people in our classrooms. We need the best of the best. Who better than our own?”
Superintendent Rodney Watson fist-bumped with each of the students and challenged them to remember their best teachers from kindergarten through their senior year.
“I challenge you to be just as good or better as your favorite teacher,” said Watson.
Carol Hernandez said she has a lot of good teachers to remember. She has attended the district since she was in elementary school and will be able to understand the Spring students that she may be teaching in the same classrooms where she was once taught.
“Hopefully, I’ll change lives for the better. That’s my goal,” said Hernandez.
In all, 25 education pathway students signed the letters that will hopefully bring them home to Spring to teach in the future. They include:
Dekaney High School: Emily Alvarenga, Lilian Reyes, Allison Bonilla, Tabitha Harris, Alicia Montesino, Leslie Chavez, Sofia Medellin, Merlynn Washington and Darryan Woods.
Spring High School: Jaylen Casas, Makenna Freund and Ayanna Curvey.
Westfield High School: Luis Amaya, Raevyn Davis, Alexia Dirden, Carol Hernandez, Mia Jordan, Sedrick Lewis, Gabriela Lopez, Hayli Scott, Beronia Taylor, Diamond Dillon, Rosa Carrillo, Josie Gutierrez and Asma Siddiqi.
Among those students, six were awarded college scholarships, thanks to donations from community members and Spring ISD administrators. The students are as follows:
- Asma Siddiqi, Westfield, In Memory of Rev. Willard & Virginia Wellman, donated by Michelle Braaten. Attending Lone Star College – North Harris.
- Darryan Woods, Dekaney, In Memory of Brenda Green, donated by Leonard and Sherry Dunlap. Attending Lone Star College.
- Lillian Reyes, Dekaney, In Honor of Mario Hinojosa, donated by Dr. Lupita Hinojosa. Attending Houston Baptist University.
- Leslie Chavez, Dekaney, In Honor of our Future Educator Students and In Memory of Barbara Perkins, donated by Dr. Tameka Williams-Bruce and Shelia Redmon-Jones. Attending Lone Star College.
- Carol Hernandez, Westfield, In Honor of the Office of Human Resources & Human Capital and Spring ISD Board of Trustees, donated by Dr. Julie Hill. Attending the University of Houston.
- Raevyn Davis, Westfield, In Honor of Dr. Rodney Watson and the Spring ISD Board of Trustees, donated by Dr. Julie Hill. Attending Lamar University.