Growing up, George Arreguin, Jr. watched his mom, who owns in-home daycare, do her job of educating children every day. Now, he is blazing his own path to continue that tradition as an educator.
And after four years at the University of Texas Permian Basin, the senior at Westfield High School already has a job already lined up—back here at Spring ISD.
At Thursday’s Future Educators Signing Ceremony, hosted by the Spring ISD Career and Technical Education department, 24 students in total from three high schools – Westfield, Dekaney, and Spring – signed letters of intent that offer them “preferential hiring” once they have graduated and are certified to teach.
For Arreguin, Jr. it’s a chance to share his love of education and engineering.
“I’m super excited. I’m going to be able to teach all the little ones, make them become someone important,” Arreguin, Jr. said. “I’ll be able to give back to those kids who want to be engineers. I’m proud to say that I can come back to Spring ISD.”
He plans to major in education and engineering, with the goal to help spread the message of engineering and start a program dedicated to that field.
For his father, George Arreguin, the signing ceremony was an emotional day.
The military veteran was deployed overseas when his son was born, so showing up for these types of events is especially important.
“I have to be with him all the way. I missed a lot at the beginning when he was born because I was in the military and I was deployed,” Arreguin said. “I am proud that they see a potential in him, and excited that they can work together and make it happen.”
At the signing ceremony, administrators and leaders from across Spring ISD were present to show their support of the home-grown talent.
“The last several years have been hard on us educators,” Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa said. “That’s why we are so proud of each and every one of you, for wanting to dedicate your life to education. We’re all here celebrating you and saying we are proud of you and will support you all the way through.”
The event. Hosted annually by the Career and Technical Education department, highlights the students as well as the educational pathways that led them here. According to Cynthia Williams, director of CTE, it is a special event for the department and the district.
“This event has special value because it is a way to celebrate the academic achievements of our students,” Williams said. “It showcases the CTE pathways across the district while also highlighting college and career readiness programs. We are proud of each and every student here.”
Spring ISD Board of Trustees members were also present, including President Justin Durant. Her reasons for supporting future educators are both professional and personal.
“My father dedicated his life to education and community service, much as you all plan to do,” Durant said. “I know firsthand the long hours and extreme dedication it takes to be a successful and effective educator. But the legacy of a great teacher — inspiring and pushing students to their highest potential — lasts forever.”
The guest speaker for the event, Jo’NeiQui’a Powers, shared her own journey to becoming a teacher, which included four failed attempts at the teacher certification test.
That determination paid off. Powers has been teaching for four years at Roberson Middle School as a math teacher. During her first year, she was named the Rookie Teacher of the Year for that campus. The next year, only her second as a teacher, she was named the 2020 Teacher of the Year for the entire district.
“With each failure, I learned something new. I learned that if I was going to teach, I was going to have to learn from that,” Powers said. “Those failures allow me to better understand my students when they struggle.”
It’s a sentiment that Arreguin, Jr. can relate to, both as a future educator and as a student. Asked for his future plans, the senior put it simply.
“In four years, I’ll be back,” he said.
The following students were recognized at the Future Educators Signing Ceremony (students with italicized names were also scholarship recipients):
Dekaney High School
- Brianna Harris, Lone Star College – North Harris
- Tatyana Thibodeaux, Texas Southern University
- Ibad Latif, Lone Star College – North Harris
- Kelly Lopez, Houston Baptist University
- Jadarachelle Nochez, Lone Star College – North Harris
- Elibeth Chevez Gonzalez, Lone Star College – North Harris
Spring High School
- Audrey Cowan, Lasell University
- Joey Fussell, Texas A&M – Kingsville
- Jocelyn Gomez Mascorro, Lone Star College – North Harris
- Kara Martinez, University of Houston
- Madison Cline, Lone Star College – North Harris
- Jewel Gilbert, Lone Star College – North Harris
- Aaliyah Harris, Texas Southern University
Westfield High School
- America Arriaga Rebolledo, Lone Star College
- George Arreguin, Jr., University of Texas Permian Basin
- Brittany Castro, Lone Star College
- Aamna Cheema, Lone Star College
- Arielle Cooper, Texas Southern University
- Armanii Davis, Lone Star College
- Alicia Johnson, Sam Houston State University
- E’Vanisha Latin, Texas Southern University
- Gloria Reyes, Sam Houston State University
- Crystina Jones, Texas Southern University
- Eveln Segovia, Lone Star College