Students from across the district gathered at Booker Elementary School’s auditorium on Thursday as part of Spring ISD’s 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Contest Celebration. The event showcased student art and writing pieces honoring several Latin American countries.
“In Spring ISD, diversity is one of our core values, and we are ecstatic to share our students’ appreciation for our Hispanic culture,” said Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Samba Goddard, who oversaw the event.
The event included a gallery walk, a presentation of colors from the Dekaney High School Navy JROTC Color Guard, a live music performance from Westfield High School students, and remarks from Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa and Spring ISD Board of Trustees Vice President Winford Adams Jr.
“We are a district of many cultures and many races, but we are one Spring ISD,” Hinojosa said, “and coming here today to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month just enhances how important it is to us in Spring ISD.”
With Houston being home to the nation’s fourth-largest Hispanic and Latino population, Spring ISD has been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month using the hashtag #CelebremosSpring to promote this year’s theme, “UNIDOS: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.”
The Hispanic Heritage Contest encourages students and parents to embrace and be proud of their culture, from featuring staff members on social media to hosting various campus activities, such as spirit weeks, parades and performances. The superintendent especially thanked parents for supporting their students and encouraging them to come together as one to celebrate the diversity of Spring ISD.
“Coming here tonight shows our students that we value education,” Hinojosa said. “For me to be the daughter of immigrants, born in South Texas, and now to stand before you as the superintendent of Spring ISD tells you that education is the door to success. At Spring ISD, we are ensuring that all of our students succeed with your support. Because if I did it, all of our students can do it!”
Following Hinojosa’s message of joy and celebration, districtwide 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place award winners received a medal or trophy and had the opportunity to be recognized individually and be photographed with their award. For photos from the event, click here, and for the list of winners, see below.
The evening was full of excitement as proud parents cheered for their children and took family photos. Many expressed excitement at being able to share in the event with their students.
“These events are significant, first because they take us into account, they promote unity among Hispanics, and most importantly, they teach our children about their history,” said Alicia Mora, parent of Anderson Elementary School fifth grader Natalia Mora.
“It is a great opportunity for our children to learn about our culture and express their art and writing,” said Fabiola Pastrana, parent of Carl Wunsche Sr. High School sophomore Sebastian Pastrana. “It increases the self-esteem of our children and mine as a proud parent.”
Also in attendance was Sofia Guarnero, another proud parent and Spring ISD employee at Booker Elementary School. Guarnero said she believes that opportunities for students to research and think about their own heritage – together with the heritages of others – can help them make important connections between the past and the present.
“To be honest, I had no idea about the history of the piñatas, and through the project, we discovered so many things, like back in the day, piñatas used to be made out of clay. It was also really good to talk with other people when doing the project,” Guarnero said.
The Hispanic Heritage Month Contest was made possible through the collaboration of departments including Curriculum, Multilingual, Family and Community Engagement, Performing and Visual Arts, Communications, Technology, and Languages other than English (LOTE).
The event was also made possible by a number of community partners, including: Mariana De Gortari, Barnes & Noble; Pam Irby, Koala Care; Richard Gomez, Lakeshore Learning Materials; Terry Rasmussen, Imagine Learning Edgenuity; Nathalie Montes, CyHou Realty; and Roger Bridgwater, Harris County Precinct 3.
Spring ISD’s 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Contest winners are:
1st Place Winners:
- Pre K -2 (Art Only) Anthony Aviles, Eickenroht Elementary School
- 3-5 (Art) Angley Fuentes, Northgate Crossing, Elementary School
- 3-5 (Writing) Nehemiah Bourgoun, Booker Elementary School
- 6-8 (Art) Leslie Villatoro, Wells Middle School
- 6-8 (Writing) Isaiah Zacharaiah Salinas, Claughton Middle School
- 9-12 (Art) Kensi Soler, Dekaney High School
- 9-12 (Writing) Kendra Perez, Wunsche High School
2nd Place Winners:
- Pre K-2 (Art Only) Cali Hayes, Cooper Elementary School
- 3-5 (Art) Aaron Carcamo, Eickenroht Elementary School
- 3-5 (Writing) Clara Burton, Northgate Crossing Elementary School
- 6-8 (Art) Julieta Vargas, Dueitt Middle School
- 6-8 (Writing) Jessica Celis, Wells Middle School
- 9-12 (Art) Giselle Corona, Dekaney High School
- 9-12 (Writing) Sebastian Pastrana, Wunsche High School
3rd Place Winners:
- Pre K-2 (Art Only) Bhea Linantad, Meyer Elementary School
- 3-5 (Art) Zoha Naqrl, Beneke Elementary School
- 3-5 (Writing) Kendallyn Dias, Cooper Elementary School
- 6-8 (Art) Gustavo Rodriguez, Roberson Middle School
- 6-8 (Writing) Abigail Sanchez, Spring Leadership Academy
- 9-12 (Art) Isaias Seda, Wunsche High School
- 9-12 (Writing) Brandon Aguilar, Westfield High School