Celebrating exemplary students who personify the Optimist spirit.
2020 Student Optimists of the Year
JT Cienga, Tison Middle School Optimist Boy of the Year 2020
JT Cienega is Tison Middle School’s Optimist Boy of the Year 2020. JT is the son of Jesse and Brandi Cienga. JT has two siblings, Carly and Hannah. His favorite subjects are Science and History. JT enjoys playing baseball and football, fishing and spending time with family. He enjoys all sports but mostly baseball. JT was a National Junior Honor Society applicant for 2019-2020 and was on the A Honor Roll. He played on the A Football Team and took all PAP classes in 8th grade. JT hopes to be a Major League baseball player or an engineer. Mrs. Baird, Keyboarding teacher says JT is a great student to have in class. HE has expectations for himself that he works to achieve. JT, JT, he’s the best, Working hard, he never rests, Fishing, baseball, football, too AND he’s an exceptional Roo! Congratulations to JT Cienga, Tison Middle School Optimist Boy of the Year 2020.
Julia Huggins, Tison Middle School Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
Julia Huggins is Tison Middle School’s Optimist Girl of the Year 2020. Julia is the daughter of Tim and Anne Huggins. Bryant, Nick, Audrey, Gabbie and Courtney are Julia’s siblings. Her favorite subjects are Math and Science. Julia’s hobbies include reading, dancing, camping, boating, fishing, cooking, paddle boating, theatre and singing. She participates in competitive dance at Footworks Performing Arts Center as well as playing volleyball, basketball, track and is a member of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and is a Martin Musicals Alumni. Julia was an Executive Council in Student Council, played volleyball and took all PAP classes at Tison. In both 6th and 7th grade, she was awarded Science Award; Individuality Award in 7th grade and is a member of the touring dance troupe, Hollywood Vibe Crew. Julia would like to be Valedictorian of her high school class then attend Stanford University where she plans to major in physics. She would like to eventually work in the aerospace field, hopefully NASA! Congratulations to Julia Huggins, Tison Middle School Optimist Girl of the Year 2020.
Konnor Nickerson, Crockett Optimist Boy of Year 2020
When select Crockett staff were asked to describe this individual, many used the term kind. They also said he was polite, mannerly, and respectful. This young man goes above and beyond to help others. During the fall semester, the 5th grade was going on a Citizenship trip to Cici’s Pizza and this young man brought in an envelope with directions to use any extra money to help pay for others who could not afford the trip. Mrs. Winkelman contacted his mom to tell her thank you for sending the extra money to help other kiddos but she was not aware that he had brought his own money to help others get to go. He is always the first one to offer help to a peer when they are struggling on assignments, shares supplies when other students can’t find what they need, and is the first to offer a word of encouragement to friends for a job well done. This student is a basketball loving kiddo, who loves math, and hopes to be a dentist one day. He has recently found his love for gardening and is growing all kinds of plants. He works hard in and out of the classroom. His positivity radiates to others and is infectious to those around him. If he is having a bad day, you would not be able to tell, as his smile goes on for miles. Congratulations to Konnor!
Kylie Baruch, Crockett Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
This student is described by Crockett Staff as hard working, curious, spunky and adventurous. She thinks outside the box when presented with tough questions. She is a friend to all and gives encouragement to all around her. She makes sure other students are not being left out on the playground and will go out of her way to lend a helping hand to students and staff. This young lady has a spark of creativity that resonates through any task she seeks to accomplish. Her most recent mystery, “The Man in Yellow” showed the 5th grade teachers and Facebook just how creative she can be. She is always up for a challenge in and out of the classroom. She recently created a new vehicle called the Nest, that was powered by electrical energy and preserves heat energy, and had solar reacting paint. When involved in group work, this student takes a leadership role, helps keep everyone on task, and makes sure that the work they complete is top notch. Congratulations to Kylie!
Finn Gardiner, Curtis’ Optimist Boy of the Year 2020
Finn Gardiner is the youngest son of Casey and William Gardiner. He is an avid reader, plays baseball and basketball and has a love for learning like no other. An optimist is hopeful and confident about the future and that describes Finn. He is confident in the things he knows and he wants to learn to more about everything. He helps facilitate the class and his peers in all subjects. Finn is an amazing young with a gift of intelligence combined with a good honest heart. Congratulations to Finn Gardiner.
Maggie Kramer, Curtis’ Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
Maggie Kramer is the daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Kramer. Maggie is absolutely the sweetest and kindest, young woman who walks the halls of Curtis Elementary. Maggie is trustworthy, funny, and enjoys life each day. She is a genuine friend to all. The thing about Maggie has the best work ethic ever seen according to her teachers; she works hard and never gives up. One definition of an optimist is to bring out the best in oneself and those around them and that is Maggie Kramer. She brings out the best in her teachers and her friends. Congratulations to Maggie Kramer.
Adrian Arevalo, Ikard Optimist Boy of the Year 2020
When you think of all of the qualities that a teacher wishes to have in a student, you think of students like Adrian Arevalo. He is an outstanding, polite, and driven young man; a self-starter that always looks for a way to help his teachers and his friends. When Adrian sees something that needs to be taken care of, he does it without hesitation. This year he will be receiving the Golden Superintendent’s Volunteer Service Award for 112 hours of service to Ikard Elementary, Saint Stephen Catholic Church, events with the Blue Belles, and concession stand work. Adrian has been an Ikard Kangaroo ever since Kindergarten and has been a part of many organizations. This year he joined the first ever Roos in Action Committee and was a student PTA Member. He also served as a Student Ambassador. Adrian is a great citizen with a bright future on the horizon!
Xandi Vela, Ikard Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
Xandi Vela is a determined, polite, and motivated young lady. She has been an exemplary Ikard Kangaroo since the second grade. She is in the Gifted and Talented Program and a Student Ambassador. Xandi is a great citizen and a self-starter; she volunteered most of the school year from 7:00-7:30 in Mrs. Williams’ classroom where she helped organize the classroom, set up for experiments and helped tutor students. Each morning she would find extra jobs to keep helping. She was a library aide for Mrs. Burrows during part of her lunch and recess. Xandi will be receiving the Bronze Superintendent’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 30 hours of service. Xandi is a member of First United Methodist Church where she is active in First Kids and Difference Makers. Recently, Xandi made and delivered “Care Boxes” for patients in area nursing homes. Xandi is the kind of student every teacher hopes to have in their class. She has a great future in store for her!
Weston Pickard, Martin Optimist Boy of the Year 2020
Weston Pickard was born January 15, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. Fun fact, he was born on the same day Captain Sully landed the plane in the Hudson River. Weston has been a student at Mary Martin since Kindergarten and has made many friends and lots of great memories. He enjoys being outdoors, playing basketball, Fortnite, hanging out with his dog, Ryder, and going to the lake, but his real passion is playing baseball. Weston has played baseball since he was 4 years old. Like all other little boys who play baseball he hopes to grow up and play in the MLB one day. Congratulations to Weston!
Paris McCrory, Martin Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
Paris Renee' McCrory entered into this world on 3/11/09, to Lessley & Sean McCrory. Her beautiful blue eyes and golden blonde hair was breathtaking. She has always had a kind spirit and playful heart. Her giggle is undeniable and infectious. She loves her big brother Reno with her whole being and is his biggest fan. Paris began her academic success at age 3, when she started Pre-K at Weatherford Christian School. There her Christian foundation blossomed from Pre-K through Kindergarten. At the time of first grade, she officially transitioned to Mary Martin. Although she missed her WCS friends, she also gained new Mary Martin friends. Every teacher along her path has encouraged her, inspired her, and lifted her up to her best potential. Although Paris gets support at home, she has always been self-driven and motivated to succeed. Paris is respectful, helpful, and always forgiving. Her hobbies include reading, dancing, singing, swimming and drawing. She has been a proud cast member of Martin Musicals for the past four years. Her final year at Mary Martin included additional responsibilities such as Safety Patrol and Library Squad. Paris denies having a favorite teacher. She simply states, "I will miss them all. I love them!" Paris’ mother states:” I look forward to watching her grow into the Christian woman God has called her to be. I am blessed to have Paris as my daughter. I wish her joy, happiness, and a successful future. There is nothing she cannot do.” Paris aspires to become a Certified Wound Specialist Physician (CWSP) following college. Congratulations to Paris!
Javier Ibarra, Seguin Elementary Optimist Boy of the Year 2020
A few thoughts from Javier Ibarra, Seguin’s Boy of the Year 2020:
My favorite thing about going to school is learning, but also spending time with my friends and all of my teachers. I really like to go outside and play soccer too. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor because I really enjoy helping people. I try to do that a lot at school, especially with my teachers! I do want to go to college, but I’m not sure where yet. My heroes are my 5th grade teachers. They love us so much and always want to teach us, even when some kids do not want to learn. They never give up on us. My favorite memories of 5th grade are any time I got to help out in the classroom after finishing my work. Helping my teacher’s and friends is my favorite thing to do!
Riley Henze, Seguin Elementary Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
Here is what Riley Henze, Seguin’s Optimist Girl of the Year 2020 has to say:
Coming to Seguin was hard. Staying was easy, because I have amazing friend’s and teachers! That is the one thing that will never change. Outside of school, I visit friends a lot, and ride my new horse which is really fun! I still can’t decide if I want to be a teacher or a horse trainer when I grow up, I have always loved both horses and school. I have not thought of college much, but I think I want to go to Weatherford College. I do get inspired, but I don’t know if I have a “role model” in my world. I think for myself and am definitely a leader, not a follower. I make my life full of wonderful memories on my adventure! I could never choose a favorite 5th Grade memory. They are all amazing! So forgetting is IMPOSSIBLE!
Raul Gonzalez, Wright Elementary Optimist Boy of the Year 2020
Raul is the son of Cassandra and Raul Gonzalez. He has two sisters and one brother. Both sisters currently attend WISD. Raul loves baseball and fishing. His favorite subjects are mat and Social Studies.
When Raul grows up, he aspires to play Major League Baseball. As advice for future 5th graders, Raul says, “ Do as much thinking as you can instead of just guessing to finish before anyone else. Think the question through then answer it. Take your time and always finish what you have started.” Great advice for all of us not just 5th graders! Congratulations to Wright Elementary Optimist Boy of the Year 2020, Raul Gonzalez!
Libby Jester, Wright Elementary Optimist Girl of the Year 2020
Libby Jester is the daughter of John and Stephanie Jester as well as the little sister of Weston and Ella. She enjoys painting, playing outside, spending time with animals, and dancing. Libby has attended Wright Elementary since Kindergarten and likes meeting new classmates. Someone that Libby considers a hero is her math teacher, Mr. Thomas. He helped change the way he thinks about math by being humorous, patient, and kind. Congratulations to Wright Elementary Optimist Girl of the Year 2020, Libby Jester!