hat is the value of
education? That question
could be answered several ways. One
person might point to the federal
or state funding given to schools
while another might use the salaries
graduates earn in their careers. But
perhaps the most important measure
is the impact on students’ lives
through teachers, clubs and trade
skills learned. Thanks to Rowlett High
School, Class of 2017 graduate Nadia
Andu will soon pursue a newfound
Moving to the area before her
senior year, Andu always thought
she would continue the family
tradition of studying medicine. She
planned to go to college and knew
how important a well-rounded
resume was to the admission process.
But she did not have any clubs or
associations to include. Andu came
to RHS from private and charter
schools where she did not have the
opportunity to join these kinds of
groups. At Rowlett, Andu chose DECA
from the school’s numerous offerings.
Little did she know, that decision
would change her life.
“Joining DECA helped me see what
I was good at and impacted what I
want to do in the future,” she said.
“I’ve always thought about business,
and having a business or nonprofit,
but I didn’t know how to get into that
and didn’t know much about it.”
ECA is a student organization
that prepares emerging leaders
and entrepreneurs for careers in
marketing, finance, hospitality and
management. Andu’s participation
not only gave her the inspiration to
start a nonprofit that helps inner-city
children but international acclaim, as
Annual DECA competitions test
members’ knowledge and skill.
This spring, Andu reigned supreme
d re a m c a re e r
d r ive s s t u d e n
But quality instruction from
at district and state contests in
the Quick Service Restaurant
Management category. She advanced
to international competition in April
where she was challenged to manage
and market hypothetical business
This real-world experience will no
doubt prove invaluable as Andu works
toward her new dream.
RHS teacher and DECA advisor Larry
Wilson, as well as the opportunity
to join more than 200 Career and
Technical Education classes and
clubs, can also be credited in part
with her future success.
In Garland ISD, the value of
education is priceless, and its impact
can be seen across the globe. What’s
your #ChooseGarlandISD story?
GHS, SMU partner
Garland High School engineering students are experiencing real-world
application, thanks to an initiative fueled by Southern Methodist University
(SMU). The Smart Infrastructure Innovation Initiative (S3i) brings the high
schoolers and their collegiate counterparts together to work on a city of
“We had an idea of trying to blur the lines between an engineering
student in high school and an engineering student in college. We wanted to
allow these two types of students to interact with each other and work on
research projects that have significant value,” said GHS teacher Nicole Story.
“SMU is researching structural impairment detection. We needed a bridge
to work on, and the city was really supportive and wanting to participate.”
A meeting with the city’s engineer led to the Briarwood bridge project.
Throughout the year, GHS and SMU students met every A day to work on
the assignment, conducting experiments using sensors, collecting data
and recording their findings. Considering recent headlines about bridges
collapsing, the project is both relevant and enlightening.
“This brings the calculations we do in the classroom to the real world.
Working on it makes us aware of how safe the bridges are,” said sophomore
Randy Arias. “We are learning how to take data and how to apply that data
to see if this bridge is safe for use. This project also shows us how to work as
a team and work with professional colleagues.”
Story hopes to expand S3i’s impact to nonengineering students, as
well. The project produced a creative space in Story’s classroom named
“We want to open up this space before or after school and have students
take ownership of it without the fear of failure,” Story said. “The whole motto
of our Innovation Gym is, ‘I don’t know. Let’s figure it out.’”