Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Celebrating the Class of 2024: Veronica Paz


I cherish this community and how it has allowed me to bring out the best in myself through its support and encouragement.

What did you enjoy most about going to school in Spring Branch ISD (SBISD)?

I enjoyed the people the most. Moving to Houston from Venezuela and starting eighth grade at Spring Oaks Middle (SOM), I didn't know anyone. Initially, I was in a classroom with non-English speakers, where I felt comfortable speaking Spanish. However, a few days later, I was moved to academic classes as I already spoke English. It was in these classes that I experienced entering a room where I knew no one and didn't understand what was going on. During my first English class with Ms. Russell, I cried because I didn't understand her instructions. She kindly explained things at my pace, which helped me tremendously. From there, my journey unfolded. I dislike feeling lost, so every day I made an effort to understand what was happening.

At Spring Woods High (SWHS), I began joining clubs and classes that sparked my interest and where I met my friends. I enjoy going to class because, despite the sometimes tedious work, I do it with people I've grown to love. I now enter rooms recognizing most faces, and if there are some I don't know, I've learned not to be afraid to get to know them. I cherish this community and how it has allowed me to bring out the best in myself through its support and encouragement.

During your high school years, in which activities did you participate?

I participated in various activities. I joined Book Club during my freshman year and later participated in art through photography and drawing, yearbook, newspaper, Meditation Club, Peer Mentoring Club, Speech and Debate, NHS, Emerge, the District Improvement Team, ALAS, and during summer, I volunteered twice for Camp Invention and participated in a summer legal institute in Washington D.C.

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen about to start high school?

My advice would be: get involved, be prepared, and prioritize sleep. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to pursue until I started joining clubs and classes that provided me experiences to discover myself. Extracurricular activities are not only a great way to uncover passions but also to find friendships and create a support network.

Stay on top of your classes, ask questions, take challenging courses, and learn to manage your time effectively to balance academics, personal time, and sleep. Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining energy and productivity. I recommend doing as much as you can until a reasonable time and leaving the rest for the next day to ensure you're energized and focused.

What will you miss most about SBISD?

I will miss the people the most. I've built a support network within this district, and saying goodbye is difficult. My teachers, friends, counselors, mentors, and school staff have guided me through the unknown world of American high schools and colleges. I wouldn't be who I am today without SOMS and SWHS. The people I've met and who have helped me are like family to me. I can't express enough how grateful I am for them. My successes are also theirs because without their help, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

What is one fun or surprising fact about you?

One fun or surprising fact about me is that my birthday is on Halloween! I celebrated my 18th birthday by going trick-or-treating for the first time with my friend Bethany around our neighborhood.

Where are you headed next?

My next stop is Rice University, where I plan to major in political science and seek experiences to build my pathway towards becoming a lawyer.

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🎉 Join us in celebrating Veronica Paz from SBISD's Class of 2024! From Venezuela to Houston, her journey exemplifies resilience. Next stop: Rice University, where she'll pursue her passion for political science. Congratulations, Veronica! 🌟 #SBISDProud