WHHS Alumnus Completes Air Force Academy, Earns Commission
Valentin Hinojosa, a 2014 Western Hills High School graduate and former WHHS cadet and group commander of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFJROTC) unit, was recently commissioned a U.S. Air Force second lieutenant.
He is among nearly 1,000 cadets commissioned second lieutenant at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony, Thursday, May 30 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. President Donald Trump, who spoke at the graduation, saluted and shook hands with each graduating cadet.
2nd Lt. Hinojosa completed his time at the USAF Academy earning the honor of Military Distinction and a bachelor’s degree in business and management with a minor in Spanish.
Master Sgt. Joe Ayala, a WHHS Air Force instructor, represented WHHS at the graduation ceremony, presenting the newly commissioned second lieutenant with the “First Salute” of his Air Force career. It’s a tradition in which a newly commissioned officer is first saluted by an enlisted service member who has had a great impact on them.
“The faculty of WHHS could not be more proud of this young man, what he has achieved and what he will go on to achieve as a protector of our freedom,” said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Russell W. Malesky, senior aerospace science instructor at Western Hills High.
Local Engineer to Share His Inspiring Story with FWISD English Learners
Oscar Vazquez, a subject of the motion picture and The New York Times bestselling book “Spare Parts,” will speak to 100 Fort Worth ISD students participating in a Summer STEM Camp for English Learners, June 19.
Mr. Vazquez came to United States from Mexico undocumented as a child. He was part of a high school robotics program in Arizona that went on to win a national competition beating out programs like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2009, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Arizona University. He went on to gain his U.S. citizenship and enlist in the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of sergeant, and serve in Afghanistan. Sgt. Vazquez currently lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and works for BNSF Railway.
Written by Joshua Davis, “Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream,” is the story of four Latinx teenagers who built an underwater robot that won the 2004 Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California -Santa Barbara, beating out collegiate engineers backed by major corporations. The inspiring story went onto to become a documentary and 2015 motion picture that starred George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis and Marisa Tomei.
On June 19, in a Sid Richardson Lecture Hall at Texas Christian University, Sgt. Vazquez will share this inspiring story with English Learners and discuss college and career opportunities available to students. FWISD ESL officials say they believe Mr. Vazquez’s inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and finding success in the United States will resonate with students.
“This is a great opportunity for our kids to hear an inspiring story of success,” said Dr. Karen Neal, interim ESL director.
Students participating in the Summer STEM Camp for English Learners are developing an understanding of science concepts as they learn strategies for listening, speaking, reading and writing challenging texts in English. They are also reading excerpts from the book “Spare Parts.”
YMLA Student Completes Service Project As Part of Leadership Council Participation
Riley Knapp, a rising senior at Fort Worth ISD’s Young Men’s Leadership Academy, recently created and led a service project as part of his participation on nonprofit Education in Action’s 2018-2019 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.
Riley, with the help of seven classmates provided food for the homeless. The project “Sandwiches for the Homeless with After School Programs,” provided 250 ham and cheese sandwiches to people staying at the Presbyterian Night Shelter.
“I learned that for projects where there’s a large quantity involved, you need to think ahead about the logistics and the best way to pull it off,” Riley told Education in Action officials.
Riley is among 72 students across Texas to receive “a certificate of merit for their dedication to developing their leadership skills and their service to the community,” according to an Education in Action statement. He completed the weeklong Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camp and was invited to join the alumni council which provides students with leadership training throughout the school year and encourages youth to identifying a need in their community, create and lead at least two others in a service project.
Click here for more details about the council and other participants.
Dual Language Summer Conference Registration Underway
Registration is currently underway for the third annual Fort Worth ISD Dual Language Summer Conference.
The two-day event, slated for August 7 and 8 at the Region XI Education Service Center, 1451 S. Cherry Lane in White Settlement, is open to pre-kindergarten-fifth grade dual language teachers. Registration started June 3, and teachers may sign up to attend the conference via Eduphoria.
This year’s theme is “Reflecting on Our Past, Present and Future in Order to Continue Making a Difference.” The conference is sponsored by the FWISD Multilingual Program, which is celebrating 50 years of bilingual education this year.
Teachers will learn strategies for empowering English Learners to become bilingual, bicultural and biliterate, according to conference organizers.
FWISD Dual Language Enrichment Hosts Summer Programs
Fort Worth ISD’s Dual Language Enrichment Program is hosting two student summer camps.
Current kindergarten through fourth-grade students enrolled in Spanish Immersion and Dual Language One- and Two-Way Programs will participate in the Dual Language Immersion Summer Camp, which takes place June 10-27 at Morningside Elementary. This year’s theme is Fort Worth architecture.
Participating students will be provided breakfast and lunch but must have transportation to and from camp.
The Dual Language Program is also hosting its Bilingual Special Language Summer School, June 4-July 3 at D. McRae, M.H. Moore and Rosemont elementary schools. The summer program assists students in developing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through English and Spanish instruction. Current Spanish-speaking Limited English Proficient pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students who qualify for the Dual Language Program for the 2019-2020 school year are slated to participate.
“As during the school year, math will be taught in English using second language acquisition methodology while literacy, science and social studies are taught in Spanish,” according to the Dual Language website.
Students were required to preregister for the camps.