Travis Early College High School Officially Celebrates Blue Ribbon Award
Blue ribbons adorned the gate that surrounded Travis Early High School one bright but cool morning. Inside the school gym, about 400 students sat cross-legged on the floor, cheering, laughing, and clapping. This was going to be a special day.
Soon mariachis from Brackenridge High School strolled in beneath an arch of blue and white balloons and began serenading the crowd. At once, the place erupted into loud applause. The event Travis Early College High School had been waiting to celebrate had begun.
Travis was officially celebrating being recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education.
Joining Travis students, faculty, and staff were academic partners from San Antonio College, representatives from the San Antonio Independent School District, the Alamo Colleges District, as well as the office of State Senator Jose Menendez.
After the mariachis finished playing, Adrianna Arredondo, principal of Travis, welcomed everyone to the festive ceremony.
"This is the big day we have been working towards," said Arredondo, addressing the students. "This award is for you."
Arredondo thanked the students for their perseverance and determination and recognized students, parents, and teachers for working together toward the goal of gradation.
Dr. Robert Vela, President of San Antonio College, spoke to the students and gave them a charge to continue their pathway to success. "You students have now touched excellence and that has to be a cornerstone of everything you do from now on," he said.
"Celebrate and have fun - responsibly - for the next couple of days. Then refocus and say 'what's next?'"
Cassandra Vara, an English teacher at Travis, spoke on how much of the success at the high school was due, in part, to the tight community formed by the students, staff and teachers. She said everyone worked hard to make sure the students succeeded.
"Our students demonstrate an inspired resilience and that resilience motivates the teachers," Vara said. She added that the true reward for the teachers was to see former Travis students enroll and graduate from four-year universities and become leaders in the community.
"The true identity of Travis is in the students," said Armando Hernandez, junior class president. While he spoke on the great opportunities that came from a small school and the importance of camaraderie, Hernandez said Travis was defined by the hard work accomplished by his fellow students.
"It's in our passion to achieve, our determination to succeed, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and each other."
As the ceremony came to an end, a representative from the office of State Senator Jose Menendez presented Arredondo an official Certificate of Recognition from the Texas Senate honoring Travis for being named a national Blue Ribbon School.
The celebration continued into the afternoon as Travis held a cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers for students, teachers, and staff.