By Editor Terry Hagerty
Three Cedar Creek High School seniors soon to graduate are inspiring examples of students who are reaching high when it comes to their futures. Yahaira Luevano is headed to Texas State University in San Marcos and already knows what she wants to do for a career. “I’ve always been interested in business. I have a good personality and I can sell that product,” Yahaira said with admirable confidence during a recent interview of three members of the CCHS Class of 2017. In addition to concentrating on academics at CCHS – and being in the National Honor Society – Yahaira also stayed quite busy with extra-curricular activities. She’s been a dancer with the school’s Ballet Folklorico since eighth grade. “I’m very dedicated to it. It involves a lot of practice and I had to manage my time very well even though I was tired at times,” she said. Yahaira will be a pioneer of sorts in her family when she heads off to Texas State in the fall. “I’m the first family member to go to a university,” she said. Her older brother, who attended Bastrop HighSchool ,went to a career-technical school after he graduated. Yahaira has been able to catch her breath during her senior year. “My senior year has been relaxing,” Yahaira said, because most of her requirements for college preparation/applications – such as the S.A.T. test – were accomplished during her junior year. But that’s not to say she’s given up diligent study during her senior year. She cited teacher Pamela Ferris (Practical Writing and “Quad C”) as a strong influence, especially for improving her writing skills and getting her involved in Quad C.
Kirsten Watson is ball of energy with a sparkling smile. She has chosen to serve her country in the United States Air Force, which she will enter in late June. “I’m officially in, I’m sworn in,” Kirsten said proudly during an interview. She said she wanted a break, for now, from more intensive book studies. “I know I do not have the focused mind to dedicate to studies right now. I need some adventure! I wanted to get away from books for a while, plus the military benefits are great,” Kirsten said. But she hasn’t abandoned academics. She’s signed up for four years with the Air Force during which she wants to obtain a college degree. An example of another focused CCHS student, Kirsten was able to balance her studies with after-school activities. She was a National Honor Society member for her junior and senior years. Within NHS she was the Community Service Group Project Leader. “I’m the organizer for all our community service projects,” she said of her leadership position.Teachers and administrators also made their impression on Kirsten. She cited teacher Matthew Birch (English III, AP Language & Composition, AP American Studies) for his encouragement: “He pushed me to think for myself and not to be led blindly,” Kirsten said. And in studying literature Kirsten said Mr. Birch had encouraged students “to see that even the smallest things can have the biggest meanings.” She also praised BISD Superintendent Steve Murray. “He has been very encouraging throughout the two years I have known him. He was very student focused.” She added it was “rare to see someone so high up (in administration) to be interested in our input and our well-being.” Kirsten said she was also grateful that Murray had let her know that joining the military “is not a downgrade from going to college” but a career path with much honor.
Luis Corona is a student with a visual bent. He plans to attend The Art Institute of Austin to study video production in about a year. However, he is already quite an accomplished video producer, having helped conceive and shoot a promotional video for the staff of the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce. (The 5-minute video is entitled, “Hello from the Chamber side” and can be viewed on the Chamber’s website, bastropchamber.com) Luis plans to take the plunge into full-time video production right after graduation. “I’m starting my own video-production company,” he said. But Luis said he also wants to solidify his professional/academic training, which is why he plans to eventually enroll in The Art Institute, which is a branch of The Art Institute of Houston. He said the Art Institute will give him more video-digital experience plus the advantage of attending jobs fairs where he can land additional projects and connect with other video professionals. Luis credited CCHS audio/video production teacher and campus webmaster Roberto Rodriguez for getting him interested in video production. Luis was also a member of CCHS’s Ballet Folklorico Orgullo Mexicano for two years. He said instructor Sarah Limon was a huge influence. Luis said he had never been in a dance class before, but that Limon had helped him learn “team building” with the dance group. (Photos by Terry Hagerty)