At its January meeting, the Spring ISD Board of Trustees recognized 15 current and former Spring ISD students who were selected by the iWRITE Literacy Organization and The Bryan Museum in Galveston as winners whose work would be published in “I Am Texas,” a seven-foot-tall book and attempt to publish the largest book in the world, featuring the writing and artwork of students.
The “I Am Texas” publishing contest, which was sponsored by H-E-B, Phillips 66 and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, among others, invited students to enter short stories, poetry and artwork that told their unique Texas story. The book will become a part of the New York Times bestselling “Ordinary People Change the World” series from author and illustrator team Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos.
“Thousands of students participated in the contest,” Assistant Superintendent of Administration Tracey Walker told trustees during her remarks at the board meeting. “Ultimately, 1,000 winners were selected for inclusion in the final published volume.”
Winning students from across the state were honored at a special “I Am Texas” book launch and book signing event at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston on Nov. 5, 2022, where each student received their own (regular-sized) copy of the full published book.
Also in November, representatives from the Guinness World Records officially decreed “I Am Texas” to be “the largest published book in the world.” As an ode to Texas from the perspective of its youth, the seven-foot-tall book aims to capture “what the Lone Star State means to 1,000 young Texans in grades 3-12 from more than 80 school districts, through short and long stories, poetry, and artwork,” according to a statement from the iWRITE Literacy Organization.
After making its public debut at the H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade in November, the large, world-record-winning copy of “I Am Texas” embarked on a yearlong tour of the state, beginning at The Bryan Museum in Galveston, where it was featured over the holidays. Future stops on the book’s tour will include, among others, the Phillips 66 headquarters in Houston, the Dallas Historical Society, the Alamo in San Antonio, and the State Capitol in Austin, where it will make an appearance in March.
“We’re very proud of all of our students who took part in this contest,” Walker said, before naming the winning students from Spring ISD, together with their submission titles.
The Spring ISD students chosen for inclusion in the published book are as follows:
- Malay Bazaldua, 11th grade, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, Artwork title: “Boots for Joy”
- Latavia Eugene, 8th grade, Claughton Middle School, Artwork title: “Texas: Home of the Best Food”
- Alexia Rodriguez Flores, 4th grade, Thompson Elementary School, Artwork title: “The Cactus Family”
- Amy Garcia, 6th grade, Twin Creeks Middle School, Artwork title: “Morning Feed”
- Kristel Ixtamalic, 5th grade, Donna Lewis Elementary, Artwork title: “Working at Sunrise”
- Aizak Lewis, Class of 2022 graduate, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, Artwork title: “A Maestro’s Melody”
- Jeremiah Lindsay, 10th grade, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, Artwork title: “A Sharecropper’s Daydreams”
- Lucas Marquez, 10th grade, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, Artwork title: “A Bull’s Last Tribute”
- Derwin Martinez, 5th grade, Smith Elementary, Artwork title: “Farm Fun”
- Jade McKissic, 12th grade, Spring High School, Poem title: “As I Cruise and Peruse”
- Astrid Mendioza, 6th grade, Twin Creeks Middle School, Artwork title: “Sunny Bouquet”
- Juan Montes Jr., 5th grade, Meyer Elementary School, Artwork title: “The Wild West”
- Madelynn Russell, Class of 2022 graduate, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, Artwork title: “Music Is The Language Of The Heart And Soul”
- Omar Tellez, 11th grade, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, Artwork title: “Horsin’ Around”
- Jeckson Ticas, 7th grade, Claughton Middle School, Artwork title: “The Texas Landmarks”