Since January 1984, the Board has recognized students and staff for major accomplishments beyond the District with Points of Pride awards. ABCD awards are presented to individuals or groups that go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
Spotlight – Board honors Westfield, Dekaney football teams for outstanding regular season and playoff performance
The Board recognized coaching staff and players from the Westfield High School and Dekaney High School football teams for their performance in this year’s UIL post-season playoffs.
“I’m here tonight to recognize two fantastic football teams that had great seasons this year,” said Director of Athletics Armando Jacinto before inviting the coaches and a select group of players from each team to come forward.
The Westfield Mustangs Varsity Football Team finished the season 12-2 and were State Quarterfinalists and undefeated District Champs, earning a number of District 14-6A postseason accolades for players and coaching staff, including “Coach of the Year” honors for Head Coach Matt Meekins and “Coaching Staff of the Year” for the Westfield team’s leadership, which also includes Offensive Coordinator Stephen Hill and Defensive Coordinator Desmar Black. The Touchdown Club of Houston also nominated Meekins for its area-wide Coach of the Year award, to be announced later in December.
Additional District 14-6A postseason accolades for Mustangs players included:
- Preston Hatter - MVP
- Bryson Balka - Co-MVP, Defense
- Da’John Palomo - Return Specialist
- 13 All-District 1st Team Selections
- 6 All-District 2nd Team Selections
- 33 Academic All-District Selections
- 8 Academic All-State 2nd Team Selections
The Dekaney Wildcats Varsity Football Team finished their season 9-4 and were Regional Semifinalists, taking 2nd place in District, while also collecting postseason accolades as voted on by coaching staff from across District 14-6A. The Wildcats are led by Head Coach Anthony Williams, Offensive Coordinator Jermaine Mills, and Defensive Coordinator Rodney Cephus.
Postseason District 14-6A accolades for Dekaney Wildcats players included:
- Ty Morris - Co-MVP, Defense
- Tanook Hines - Newcomer of the Year
- Brandon Joseph - All-Purpose
- 7 All-District 1st Team Selections
- 11 All-District 2nd Team Selections
Jacinto thanked trustees for their ongoing support of district athletics programs, and spoke briefly about how Planet Ford Stadium, opened in late 2019, had helped inspire team spirit in the Spring ISD community while also bringing out the best in student-athletes from all three of the district’s comprehensive high schools, which collectively have enjoyed a roughly 88% home game win rate since the new stadium opened.
“It’s really something to be proud of,” Jacinto said.
Trustees also added their praise, celebrating the teams’ winning records and the impressive number of players selected for Academic All-District and Academic All-State teams. Board President Justine Durant said it was exciting to see students excelling both on and off the field.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to say how very proud we are of you,” Durant told players and coaching staff, “and I’m excited – after watching you guys out on the field – to sit here and be so close so we can tell you personally that we’re proud of you!”
Spotlight – Spotlight – 2022 Superintendent’s Holiday Card Contest Winners
Trustees got into the holiday spirit with a Spotlight recognition honoring the winners in the 2022 Superintendent’s Holiday Card Contest. The three highest-placing students attended the meeting to be recognized for their work in this year’s contest, and each student also received a bag of art supplies to support their creativity, together with a display print of their artwork to keep.
“We had great entries this year,” said Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark, explaining to the trustees that the first round of the competition saw hundreds of submissions come in from secondary students across the district.
Each year, the contest alternates between the elementary and secondary level. This year’s holiday card contest featured the artwork of secondary students, many of whom started working on their submissions in their art classes early in the fall semester, leading up to the judging rounds and final selection of the winning artwork.
District campuses began with their own card competitions, then each school submitted semi-finalists for judging in the districtwide event, with approximately 60 pieces still in competition during the first districtwide round, before the finalists and winners were eventually chosen.
The top three winners for 2022 are:
1st Place: Sheccid Ramirez, 11th Grade
School: Spring High School
Teacher: Brenda Guardiola
2nd Place: Giselle Corona Mejia, 10th Grade
School: Dekaney High School
Teacher: Dulce Guajardo
3rd Place: Kennedy Archer, 12th Grade
School: Spring High School
Teacher: Brenda Guardiola
“Tonight would not have been possible without the amazing support of our parents and our families,” Clark said. “We also know this level of accomplishment doesn’t happen without great, great leadership at the campus level. At this time we’d also like to thank the incredible support of Spring High School – under the direction of Principal [Pablo] Resendiz – and Mr. Alonzo Reynolds III from Dekaney High School is here, too. Thank you all for your support.”
The trustees expressed their admiration for the students’ artistic skill as well as their commitment to developing their craft.
“I’d just like to say congratulations; we’re so very proud of you,” said Board President Justine Durant. “I’m just amazed at the intricate detail that’s in your paintings.”
Spotlight – Jenkins Elementary School Music Teacher Shantrice Holly
The Board also recognized Jenkins Elementary School music teacher Shantrice Holly, who was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants to perform with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) as part of the symphony’s biennial “Extra Credit” concert featuring a select group of music educators from across the country performing together onstage with SLSO musicians at the historic Powell Hall auditorium in the heart of downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
On Friday, October 7th, Holly participated as a trumpet player in this year’s official Extra Credit concert in St. Louis, under the baton of SLSO Music Director Stéphane Denève.
“Every other year, the symphony invites just a handful of incredible educators from across the nation to join them onstage for a professional performance,” said Spring ISD Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark. “This is the pinnacle of every musician’s dream – there is no higher level.”
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra originally launched the event in 2017 to honor the important work of school music educators. A second Extra Credit event was held in 2019, followed by a three-year pause during the pandemic before this year’s concert.
“As a leading orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is committed to supporting music educators who are the front line in inspiring students to get involved and stay involved in music,” said SLSO President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard in a statement. “Extra Credit is a highly visible way for the SLSO to spotlight educators’ remarkable musical talents, honor the work they do to instill a love of music in their students, and provide them with a reinvigorating artistic experience.”
The unique concert experience draws large crowds to Powell Hall, and since its inception, the SLSO musicians and their music educator guest artists have come together to perform works by composers including Alexander Borodin, Antonín Dvořák, Edvard Grieg, Modest Mussorgsky, Maurice Ravel, Bedřich Smetana, Dmitri Shostakovich, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovksy, and John Williams.
During his remarks at the board meeting, Clark told trustees how Holly continuously goes above and beyond to support other teachers both in Spring SID and across the profession – including in the early days of the pandemic, when Holly participated in a project sponsored by Carnegie Hall in New York to provide support and guidance for music teachers around the country working quickly to adapt their lessons and music instruction for online environments.
More recently, Holly received an invite from Grammy Nominee Ronnie Garrett — who is also Tyler Perry’s musical director – to join his Simply Irresistible band and play her trumpet with the group for a charity ball in Dallas.
Still, Holly said that at the end of the day she gets her greatest satisfaction from her work with her students in Spring ISD, where she is now in her fourteenth year as a teacher.
“I just really like to share the art and the gift of music with my kids, especially minority children, and I think it’s important for little brown girls to know that they can play brass instruments, too,” Holly said. “So I like to share that with my students and let them know that they can do it, too, that music is for everybody.”