CYPRESS RIDGE STUDENT WINS KPRC SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP
Cypress Ridge High School graduating senior Silvia Navarrete was among the Houston-area high school students selected to receive a KPRC 2 Senior Scholarship, sponsored by Texas Mattress Makers.
Throughout the spring, KPRC representatives are traveling to various high schools to surprise students with $2,500 scholarships to a college of their choice. Morning anchor and CFISD alumna Rachel McNeill presented Navarrete with a scholarship on Feb. 17.
The giveaway aired during the KPRC morning news on Feb. 22. Navarrete was nominated by her counselor, Jessica Jensen.
“Silvia is amazing,” Jensen said. “She does what she needs to get it done. She serves in her community, and now it’s time to give back to her.”
Navarrete, who offers her time with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, plans to attend Sam Houston State University and major in psychology.
“I feel very honored,” Navarrete said. “There are many other top students in this school who are qualified for this scholarship. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity and can’t thank Mrs. Jensen enough.”
ADAM ELEMENTARY STUDENT RECOGNIZED FOR LIFE-SAVING ACTIONS
An Adam Elementary School student’s quick response to a scary playground incident has earned him a hero’s welcome from classmates and the local community.
Fourth-grade student Raul Izaguirre was playing nearby when he saw his friend, fellow fourth-grader Nikolaus Bock, caught in a life-threatening snare. Bock was using a jump rope as a pretend fishing pole while atop a high slide on the playground on Feb. 2. When he attempted to travel down the slide, one end of the rope caught on the equipment while the other tightened around his neck.
“I felt tingling and then a few seconds later my eyes started to close,” Bock said.
Izaguirre ascended the ladder and released the rope from the platform, allowing his friend to slide to safety. Although Bock was taken to the hospital for further testing, his mother called the school before the end of the day to let them know he would be OK. He returned the following week in a neck brace, but is expected to fully recover from the incident.
Bock’s family wanted to honor Izaguirre for his life-saving actions, and on Feb. 9 they went to the school where there was a recognition ceremony with fourth-grade students. Classmates chanted “Ra-ul! Ra-ul!,” to celebrate their local hero.
“When they started chanting, I had to turn around because I was getting teary,” Beth May, Adam principal said. “It takes a lot of wherewithal for a child to be that aware of what’s going on and to jump into action instead of appealing for help. He’s been very low-key about the whole thing and doesn’t understand why people are making a big deal out of this. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do.”
Bock’s mother, Christie, made signs that read “Thank You Raul” and “Our Hero” at the ceremony, which was featured on ABC 13 news.
“Those precious seconds could have turned into an eternity for our family. We’re so grateful that Raul jumped into action,” Christie said.
CYPRESS WOODS SENIOR RISES TO FENCING GREATNESS
From the time she first laid eyes on a 9-year-old Isabelle Elizondo, fencing instructor Delfina Perka knew the Cypress Woods High School senior was something special.
“She had the heart of a warrior,” said Perka, who has coached her for nine years. “She never gave up, even in a foil.”
The then-Farney Elementary School student advanced all the way to the finals in the USA Fencing U10 National Championships, continuing a family tradition of fencing excellence. Her mother, Karen, fenced in her youth, and her uncle was captain of the Air Force fencing team.
While balancing academics, the AP Scholar with Distinction and National Hispanic Scholar puts in about 15 practice hours a week at the Salle Mauro Fencing Academy in Bellaire.
The hard work has paid off. As a Cypress Woods freshman, she won the U14 National Championship, and as a sophomore she qualified for one of 20 spots on the USA women’s team. As a junior she qualified for the U17 National Team and competed in the Cadet World Championships in Bourges, France, finishing 10th in U17 Women’s Foil. She also won a Cadet Circuit World Cup that year in Budapest, Hungary. As a senior she fulfilled a long-time goal of signing a fencing scholarship with Notre Dame University.
Elizondo credits a good sense of timing and strong footwork as ingredients that have led to her success. The left-hander who is now competing in the U20 division has 48 wins in 56 matches.
Prior to heading off to Notre Dame, Elizondo will compete in the Senior National Championships in April and the Summer Nationals in July. Her goal in college is to win four years of national championships and make another national team.
“I think it would be awesome to go to the Olympics, too,” she said. “But it’s one step
at a time.”
CYPRESS RIDGE STUDENTS SIGN NAMES TO SPACE-BOUND EQUIPMENT
A NASA representative visited Cypress Ridge High School on March 1 to allow career and technical education (CTE) students to sign a piece of equipment bound for the International Space Station. Students involved with the NASA HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program signed a student-made single stowage locker brought by Marcie Dickson, NASA HUNCH Johnson Space Center (JSC) softgoods manager.
The Cypress Ridge students have been working since last summer on manufacturing a new model of sleeping bag liners for ISS inhabitants.
“We wanted to appreciate the students who have worked on all our flight projects,” Dickson said. “This is a unique opportunity to sign a piece of flight hardware and say, ‘Hey, my name is in space.’ The feedback from the crew is that they enjoy when they open it up and see it.”
Now in its 13th year, the HUNCH program allows students to fabricate real-world products for NASA as they apply their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, while working in teams and thinking creatively.
HUNCH students from across the nation, including Cypress Woods High School, helped manufacture parts for the stowage lockers, which will be used for complex scientific experiments, long-term testing applications hardware, medical and biological items and critical spare parts for ISS and crew members.
The lockers will be added to the ISS inventory with the cargo mission contract and used as needed by the ISS program. According to Dickson, the locker signed by Cypress Ridge students will likely be launched and delivered to the ISS within the next year.
Cypress Ridge has completed and delivered 15 sleeping bag liners for the space station, with another 10 close to being complete.
CY CREEK SENIOR CELEBRATES FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS OF TMEA ALL-STATE HONOR
For the fourth and final time, Cypress Creek High School senior Andrés Bryan has achieved his goal of Texas Music Education Association (TMEA) All-State Band and has risen to an almost-unachievable status.
Bryan found interest in band in the sixth grade. His mother encouraged him and his twin brother, Tomás, to sign up for band since she saw how much fun marching band could be in high school. After looking through the options of instruments, Bryan decided on the clarinet.
“In fifth grade when you do the fine arts election recruitment thing for the middle school we looked at two different instruments. The flute was my first choice, the oboe was my second, then clarinet,” Bryan said. “I picked the clarinet because I had too many orthodontic appliances in my mouth that playing the other two would be near impossible.”
For seven years Bryan has practiced and worked to perfect his clarinet skills as much as possible. With plenty of support, he has accomplished four years as an all-state band member.
“I honestly have to thank my band directors and private lesson teacher for helping me with all the things that could be fixed,” Bryan said. “It took a team to build the final product essentially.”
According to band director Brian Drake, only 1 percent of students who enter the competition gain recognition as an All-State musician. Bryan has not only become part of that 1 percent; he has become only the fourth student in Drake’s career to become a TMEA all-stater every year of high school.
“Their hard work and diligence are unparalleled,” Drake said. “I would equate being selected as an all-state musician to being a National Merit finalist. I would equate being a four year all-state musician to earning a perfect score on the SAT.”
Even though Bryan has no plans of continuing a career in music after high school, he still wants to keep playing his clarinet.
“Seven years has been a lot of time to put into practicing and making something good out of it,” Bryan said. “So even though I’m not majoring in music, I will always continue to find ways to play my clarinet.”
Text by Libby Sullivan, Cypress Creek HS
Category: Schools, Sports, Students