The School Zone: News

Cedar Brook Elementary Counselor Vanessa Navarrete
with University of St. Thomas diploma


As Spring Branch ISD celebrates GenTX week (short for Generation TX), November 16-20, we are spotlighting the college and career paths of some school counselors across the district who have planned college-awareness activities for students and families.

From an undergraduate degree in business from South Texas College, to a promising career in retail, to a confining cubicle amidst engineers at an aerospace company, it finally dawned on Vanessa Navarrete that a career in education was the direction she wanted to go.

When she moved to the Houston area from south Texas, she worked for and earned a teaching certification from Pasadena ISD. There she taught Kindergarten for five years.

“I knew I wanted to do more for the kids,” said Navarrete about what prompted the next stage of her career. “I saw so many kids with stressors in their lives, whose parents had been deported, and more.”

She completed a counseling program at the University of St. Thomas, and landed a counselor position at Shadow Oaks Elementary in Spring Branch ISD.

She is now in the same role at Cedar Brook Elementary. 

Because Navarrete’s own career path took such a winding road, she is now better able to guide young people to realize they need to be ready for wherever life takes them.

“I love what I do,” said Navarrete said with a smile during a recent hectic week. 

With a guide and advisor like Vanessa Navarrete, it is very likely the students at Cedar Brook will be prepared to realize their own T-2-4 achievements.


Here are a few of the activities planned for GenTX week, November 16-20, at Cedar Brook:

  • Teachers will share their own education journey with their students, wear college attire, discuss how to prepare for college and even take students on virtual tours of colleges.
  • Navarrete provided book suggestions to teachers to  set the stage for students to complete career goal setting activities, including learning how to prepare “my first resume” by the fourth and fifth graders.
  • “Read to Succeed” day will feature opportunities for students to practice reading non-fiction, which is a skill needed for secondary and college coursework.
  • There will also be a vocational day during the week when the students dress up in career-related costumes that represent who they would like to be when they grow up.

Parent U Zoom session for families of students in grades K-2:

  • Nov. 12, Navigating the ReadSBISD Parent Guide, Zoom presentati6-7 p.m., English or Spanish. More details and registration link here.

Parent U Zoom events during GenTX week, to support SBISD’s T-2-4 Goal:

  • Nov. 17: Scholarships 101, 6-7 p.m., English and Spanish
  • Nov. 18: Military Roundtable, 6-7 p.m., English and Spanish
  • Nov. 19: Certification, Apprenticeship and Technical Programs, 6-7 p.m., English and Spanish

Register here

  • FamilyE3