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Annual CTE Scholarship Luncheon Honors 13 Spring ISD Scholarship Recipients

HOUSTON – May 2, 2019 – Student achievement and community support were center stage at the Spring ISD Career and Technology Education Scholarship Luncheon on April 26. Annually, community members, business partners, district administrators and staff come out in large numbers to show their commitment to helping senior CTE students pursue a post-secondary education and celebrate their academic achievement.

Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson congratulated the student scholarship recipients and thanked the sponsors who took time out of their busy schedule to attend the luncheon. The event featured this year’s 13 student scholarship recipients along with live and silent auctions that raise funds for future scholarships and enhance the CTE program across the district.

“Over the past four or five years, we have been able to grow our CTE offerings by over 127 percent,” Watson said. “That is absolutely phenomenal. With that, we really hope to provide more opportunities for our students within our CTE pathways.”

The CTE program at Dekaney, Spring and Westfield high schools offer up to 22 career pathways, while Carl Wunsche Sr. High School integrates core academics with career pathway exploration.

Keynote speaker Steve Lam, a Westfield High School alumnus and past CTE scholarship recipient, credited the CTE program with helping him decide to switch from a medical career pathway to business and marketing, which appealed to him more.

“The first lesson of the CTE program was how to be curious,” said Lam who went on to say he had been on autopilot his whole life doing what others wanted him to do and be, and for the first time, after entering the CTE program in high school, he had been asked what he wanted to do. “That’s what makes CTE so powerful,” Lam said. “It really turned my mind from being passive to active. It made me want to know everything. That has opened up so many doors for me.”

Lam tried a lot of different career pathways before he eventually realized that he wanted to be in business and marketing. “It is safe to say that I am doing now what I always wanted to do when I was in high school,” said Lam, who currently works as a marketing strategist for Target at their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and also works in the Live Programming and Entertainment Department for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This year’s scholarship winners all plan to attend colleges or universities to pursue a variety of careers, ranging from agriculture engineering to neuroscience.

The 2019 CTE $1,000 Scholarship recipients are:

Grant Bennett, Spring High School, will be attending Tarleton State University to pursue a major in Agriculture Engineering. His scholarship sponsor is Houston CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village.

Esu Ekeruche, Westfield High School, will be attending Texas A&M University to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Her scholarship sponsor is Boyer, Inc.

Mark Christopher Francis Jr., Westfield High School, is headed to Prairie View A&M University to major in Education. His scholarship sponsor is the Spring ISD Fun Run Committee.

Kiera Gardner, Dekaney High School, will attend Texas Southern University to pursue a degree in Human Services with the intent of working in Child Protective Services. Her scholarship sponsor is Houston CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village.

Leslie Hernandez, Westfield High School, will start her education at Lone Star College and then transfer to the University of Houston to pursue a degree in Education. Her scholarship sponsor is the Donna Lewis Family in Memoriam of Paul Lewis.

Lanae Jenkins, Westfield High School, will attend the University of Texas at Dallas and major in Computer Science with a minor in Business Management. Her scholarship sponsor is Comcast.

Alexis Jones, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, has been accepted by the University of Texas at Arlington where she will major in Kinesiology and Exercise Science to help prepare her for a career in Physical Therapy. Her scholarship sponsor is Bentley & Associates.

Cindy Keeya, Spring High School, will attend Yale University to major in Neuroscience and Math. Her scholarship sponsor is Spring ISD Fun Run Committee.

Simone Marshall, Westfield High School, will attend the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a degree in Psychology. Her scholarship sponsor is Spring ISD Fun Run Committee.

Annanda Martins, Dekaney High School, will attend the Aguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Her scholarship sponsor is Houston CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village.

Kristopher Orellana, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, will start his education at Lone Star College where he will become a Radiologic Technologist. His scholarship sponsor is Clunn Acoustical Systems.

Citclari Perez, Dekaney High School, will attend the University of Houston to pursue a major in Political Science, focusing on Pre-Law. Her scholarship sponsor is Houston CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village.

Evelyn Wendt, Spring High School, will attend Texas A&M University in the fall to pursue a degree in Engineering. Her scholarship sponsor is CenterPoint Energy.

In addition to student scholarships, funds raised by the CTE Advisory Board during the past decade have provided teachers with program scholarships for classroom innovation, and certification scholarships for students pursuing industry certifications.