Corpus Christi ISD held their 13th annual Partner in Education Recognition and Awards ceremony Thursday.
The ceremony was held virtually via YouTube live streaming due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honorees included members in the CCISD community, individuals and local businesses. Jennifer Ayala, a senior at Harold T. Branch Academy, was the recipient of the James A. Ragan Youth Leadership Award, which recognizes a student in the district who builds partnerships by supporting the community in various ways and works for the benefit of their fellow students.
Ayala, originally from El Salvador, said she is thankful for all CCISD has done to help her achieve all her goals.
“When I came to this country, I was 11 years old and didn’t know how to speak English,” Ayala said. “But with the help of teachers and staff, I developed a sense of leadership and confidence.”
Other awards included Service Learning for Achievement going to Lonestar TRS, LLC; Advocate for Partnerships to Webb Elementary assistant principal Kimberly Ellis; Health Awareness to CCISD director of student health services Veronica Sisk; Partnership of the Year to Life Martial Arts and Role Model and Volunteerism to Meadowbrook Elementary volunteer Raniah Hana.
In a Facebook post, Lonestar TRS, LLC said it is proud to be accepting the award.
“We pride ourselves on making an impact in the education system and giving back to the community who has given us so much,” the business said.
Sisk said it is meaningful to be recognized by the district on the work her and her team has done regarding COVID-19 and the pandemic.
“I’ve got a great team that has worked so hard this year to make sure our students are safe and healthy,” Sisk said.
Having nominated community partners and volunteers in the past to be recognized, Ellis said she was surprised she was considered for one of the awards.
“That in itself was just a complete humbling announcement to me,” Ellis said. “I personally just feel so fortunate to work at Webb, where not only our students, staff and parents, but our community partners are so ready and willing to support us. I’m just fortunate enough to be a small piece of that.”
John Oliva covers education and community news in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times.