Seniors Present Bell Awards to Those Who Influenced Them

by Ronnie Zamora/LFCISD

Los Fresnos High School seniors turned the tables on teachers and other district staff members by presenting them with Bell Awards at the Employee Awards Banquet April 25.

The top ten academic students and three others from different school programs spoke at the lectern – sometimes getting emotional – about the person who impacted their education most.

Three students selected their mothers who are district staff members.

The following represents excerpts from their presentation speeches.

Isis Delgado, #1-ranked student: Bell award recipient Antonio Padilla, principal, Los Cuates Middle School

He went above and beyond the usual science curriculum when I was in middle school by providing additional resources and making this subject feasible to learn. His charisma and patience removed any traces of dread I had for science from the years prior. His performance in the classroom as a teacher and a district administrator has shaped many lives. He will forever be the teacher whom I owe it all to.

Enrique Valencia, #2-ranked student: Recipient Gladys Galarza (Yzaguirre), substitute teacher (mother)

She transformed me into the man and student I am today. She taught me the values of hard work, supported me through my toughest times, but most importantly kept me motivated. Throughout my academic career, she worked two jobs. Yet she trusted me to try my hardest. The trust and confidence in me helped guide me through high school.

Juan Pablo Alvarado, #3-ranked student: Misty Heredia, LFHS physics teacher

She truly cares about her students and has inspired me to do put forth my all in both academics and extracurricular activities. Because of her, I committed myself to UIL Science and Science Bowl to be the best student the I could possibly be. Because of her personality and character, I spend the majority of my day at school in her classroom.

Kaitlyn Mata, #4-ranked student: David Rivera, LFHS Science teacher

Without him, I could not have decided to leave the sport I love to prepare for my future as a paramedic. Without him, I would not have had the courage to accept my Air Force scholarship and set my goal to commission as an officer in the Air Force. He guided me when I most needed it, he listened when I needed someone to listen, and he was a friend when I most needed one.

Allison Spier, #5-ranked student: Veronica Gaytan, LFHS Social Studies teacher

She takes time to understand her students which ultimately allows her to recognize when they need guidance in their toughest times. She was able to give me perspective as I chased my dream of balancing a competitive collegiate sport with high-level academics. She is one of the reasons I didn’t give up and found my perfect match for both.

Jose Carlos, #6-ranked student: Edith Garza, Los Fresnos United Spanish teacher

I would have not succeeded without the support, dedication and unwavering belief of the person who coached me in UIL Current Events. Despite my many failures, she never gave up on me, and did whatever she could to make sure I was prepared. She laughed with me, cried with me, and taught me that with enough hard work, you can succeed.

Emma Stambaugh, #7-ranked student: Michelle Stambaugh, LFHS Counselor (mother)

When I struggled with school when I was young, you never let me fall through the cracks. Your support and love is endless. I could stand up and tell you every great thing you’ve ever done but for now, just know that they are not forgotten. You’re the best counselor and best mom. Without you, my achievements would not have been possible.

Robert Waters, #8-ranked student: Eric Bernal, LFHS Agriculture Science teacher

He was always ready to lend a helping hand even in the odd hours after school. He would donate his time taking us students on extracurricular activity trips and sharing his life advice to those who needed it most. He has a unique way of teaching that makes students more independent and decisive, allowing students to learn at their own pace.

Christopher Rivera, #9-ranked student: Arnold Garcia, LFHS Social Studies teacher

Trophies do no justice to the man I proudly call my teacher. He represents the ideals that I find most important to academic success – perspective, curiosity and work ethic. This man speaks pure gold. By moving curricular rigor with personal confidence in his students, he empowers our form of AP level instruction. I implore everyone to invest in your children’s education like he did.

Alyssa Peralez, #10-ranked student: Carol Peralez, Liberty Memorial Middle School office clerk (representing parents, pictured)

Both of my parents are the foundation of my success. They have accompanied me on endless adventures and are always supportive of my decisions. Their discipline is proven through my successes and I cannot thank them enough. They have prepared me for all my future endeavors and I am extremely blessed to have them as my loving parents.

Mariella Gonzalez Davila: Belsa Altamirano, Las Yescas Elementary School instructional office (former teacher)

She has been one of my major inspirations who has contributed to my success in school and life. She has created a huge impact within my life because of all the knowledge she has given me inside and outside the classroom. She has taught me to strive for everything I desire no matter what. She has treated me as I was her daughter since the first school day.

Jorge Moya: Cruz Omar Gonzales, LFHS agriculture science teacher

Not only did he teach me everything I know about my competition, he also instilled a passion for competing. Other than being my coach, he was my biggest supporter. Whether I was having a bad day or I just needed someone to listen, I’m glad that he was part of my journey through FFA.

Alfredo Jalife: Lupita Clement, LFHS Special Education teacher

My academic journey and success would not be so great without her. Her determination inspired me to become the person that I am today. I am so thankful for her because with her leadership, our On the Job Training program helped me become more independent.

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