The KISD Career Center honored 10 top students as the best of the best, representing each of the programs housed in the 2-year-old school.

The ceremony Monday doubled as an appreciation to the school’s Fort Hood Adopt-A-School unit, the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade.

Col. David Mauser and Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Berry handed out the large framed awards, which the battalion commander said indicate students demonstrate the core values of the U.S. Army.

“These are our future leaders,” Mauser pointed out before stepping to the stage. He shared with the audience the core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

The following students received awards from the indicated programs:

Victoria Hastings (agriculture), Jennifer Coulomb (arts audio visual), Sebastian Rodriguez (automotive technician), Vaish Jiles (construction management), Joseph Taylor (cosmetology), Miranda Adams (career prep), Lance Dugger (education and training), Stephanie Jackson (health science), Justin Price (information technology) and Tristan Trujillo (welding).

Each received a nomination from his or her teacher or group of teachers based on overall performance, including GPA, dedication, behavior, character and ethics.

“It’s the first award I ever received,” said Adams, representing career preparation, which teaches a variety of life skills, including budgeting and preparing taxes.

Taylor, representing cosmetology, said the award was validation of hard work. “It means everything I’ve worked for has paid off,” he said. “My sacrifices are not in vain.”

Coulomb, the arts and audio/visual winner, said she was excited to receive an award for doing what she enjoys most. “I’m happy to get this award. It’s meaningful to me,” she said of the program. “I can get early experience that puts me two years ahead.”

“It’s definitely a big honor,” said Trujillo, receiving the award for the welding program. “It means a lot. I’ve done everything I can in welding. I’ve worked really hard.

“Welding has been important to me,” he said. “It’s given me a reason to come to school and to keep my grades up.”

Hastings received the award from the agriculture program. “It’s really nice. I’ve worked hard in (certified veterinarian assistant). I feel like I’m in a program a lot bigger than what a regular campus could provide.”

“It’s a surprise,” said Jiles, the construction management winner. “It shows that hard work pays off, that people notice what you do. This program is about opportunity. You get what you put in.”

“It really is an honor to be seen by your director as the top student,” said Dugger, who won the award for the education and training program. “It shows that hard work pays off.”

(1) comment


What fantastic kids! I'm so proud of them.

It's so nice to see kids honored for their work, especially kids in the vocational programs who work very hard learning trades and skills that will be useful to all of us every day and whose efforts are often ignored by the general public. Being a great welder is not as flashy as being a high school football star, but who is more likely to be a keystone member of our community? So kudos to all! Congratulations!

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