Upon graduating from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and environmental design, Alfonso Montoya began his professional career with PBK Architects. In this role, he worked through designing and constructing Memorial High School’s (MHS) renovated field house.
A field house Montoya knew all too well from his high school days as a football player at MHS.
Montoya later joined Pfluger Architects, a company specializing in school projects. There, he worked on the construction of Hunters Creek Elementary and Frostwood Elementary’s broadcast studio.
After working with Spring Branch ISD, Montoya decided to join the team.
“It was the culmination of 15 years of being an architectural designer and the recent interaction with the SBISD Planning and Construction team that prompted my interest in joining the district,” said Montoya. “Having been involved in all phases of new and renovation construction work made it natural for me to want to become part of the SBISD family once again, first as a student and now as an employee.”
As a project manager, Montoya oversees construction projects across the district. He notes that he admires his team’s Collective Greatness and is always excited to work alongside them to reach challenging goals.
Looking back on his years as a student in SBISD, Montoya recalls two especially influential teachers. He notes that Ms. Cossey, his kindergarten teacher at Ridgecrest Elementary, made learning fun and helped develop his foundation and Limitless Curiosity. She always kept him eager to learn more. Additionally, Ms. Ruthstrom, his eighth-grade teacher at Landrum Middle, pushed him to reach higher and encouraged him to always believe in his abilities.
“Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Cossey. It was great to see one of the educators that helped mold me!” added Montoya. “I believe every teacher along my path instilled in me a belief that I could succeed if I really put my mind to it. When challenging academic times arose, I was never told to quit, it was always the opposite – I was encouraged to dig deeper and try harder for those positive outcomes.”
While at Valley Oaks Elementary, Montoya was invited into the Gifted and Talented program. He was part of the program through middle and high school, which helped spark his creativity. Montoya expressed himself through handcrafting and art and even took a weld shop class at Landrum.
During his high school years, Montoya was unsure of what to study. He notes that he was not fully aware of the opportunities the Guthrie Center provided but now wishes that he would have “explored the wonders that the Guthrie Center holds.”
SBISD’s Guthrie Center provides Career and Technical Education programs that allow students to explore career pathways while utilizing real-world practices and evolving skill sets, attitudes and behaviors. Programs offered include Architecture and Construction, Health Science, Information Technology and many more.
Montoya is no longer a student, but his Limitless Curiosity doesn’t stop, as he prioritizes having the essential knowledge of the various systems and products installed.
One example is the Agricultural Science Center, which as part of the 2022 Bond Program will receive classroom, lab, facility and technology improvements. Montoya notes that he has learned much about the logistics needed for students to thrive in the environment and how the daily human-animal interactions can be optimized in the renovated campus.
“Given that I have a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation, I constantly complete learning lectures and presentations related to construction projects. These lectures keep me informed on the latest strategies or products that innovate in construction and are better for the environment,” said Montoya. “Additionally, the continual involvement of various projects in SBISD keeps me motivated and eager to learn more.”
To all new to the district, Montoya encourages them to get to know each other and always ask questions, “as there are no dumb questions but only great answers to be revealed!”
Learn about Spring Branch ISD staff and their commitment to Every Child. Read their stories here.