Northwest prepares for graduation after exciting 2018-19 school year

When Northwest High School graduates the Class of 2019 on June 3, it will do so following an exciting school year filled with accomplishments.

Principal Carrie Jackson, in her first year at Northwest, said Northwest prides itself on helping students become well-rounded across academics, athletics and fine arts, as well as keeping them involved in their community.

“Northwest has felt like home since the moment students arrived for the new school year, because the passion they have for their school is unmatched,” she said. “It’s always exhilarating to see a student’s hard work pay off in awards, but it’s also about the mentality they bring to our halls. We have students who spend a lot of time helping others, such as our annual Big Event, and they focus on helping others, which will always be important in life.”

The Big Event, now in its eighth year at Northwest, serves as a one-day, student-run service project, allowing hundreds of students to give back to their communities. Students this year painted houses, mowed lawns, fixed fences and helped others in a variety of ways.

Students aren’t the only members of the Northwest community active in maintaining a positive school environment. In August, the National Parent Teacher Association named Northwest to its list of 2018-20 Schools of Excellence in the United States. The Northwest PTSA, which features parents, teachers and students, earned the award for its work to “enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.”

Academic success has similarly remained a strong point for the school, perhaps best exemplified by the work of Jeremy Rawe’s student-run television program, NHSTV. For the fourth consecutive year, Student Television Network named NHSTV the top student-run live show in the Southwest U.S.

Mr. Rawe said the consistent accolades serve as a testament to the work-ready skills students have simply through their involvement in the program.

“I’m proudest of how our broadcast program gives students a competitive advantage after high school,” he said. “They enter college or go directly into the workforce having produced a live broadcast each day. They know how to shoot and edit video, write news copy, anchor and run all of the technical equipment. Our facility rivals that of most colleges and universities in our region, as it is all industry-standard technology. This gives our students an edge over other students.”

Athletic and fine arts accomplishments continued during the 2018-19 school year as well, capped by another individual state championship in wrestling. Junior student-athlete Aiden Jean earned gold in the UIL wrestling 182-pound boys division, while three of his teammates also earned medals (Madison Brown, Landon Brown and Ayanna Potter). Their coach, Jessica Fresh, was named 5A Girls Coach of the Year at the state meet as well.

The girls golf team made their own trip to their sport’s UIL state tournament following a regional championship. In another team sport, the school’s boys basketball team fell just short of a third consecutive trip to the state tournament after falling in the regional tournament final.

On the fine arts side, Northwest’s theatre program again garnered accolades, receiving six nominations in the prestigious Betty Lynn Buckley Awards, one of the top theatre competitions in the state. The program’s one-act play similarly performed strongly, earning a state alternate finish in the UIL competition after advancing to the regional competition.

Principal Jackson said the school’s athletic and fine arts accomplishments showcase how students go above and beyond academics and thrive with extracurricular activities.

“I love attending extracurricular events, because it’s always fun to see students in their element,” she said. “Every student has a passion for something, and it’s important that we balance academics with that. School should be a rewarding experience that requires an effort to become better, and I will never grow tired of seeing our students succeed and have that experience.”

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