From the shortest to the tallest, 49 Spring Branch ISD students enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade were honored recently at the 17th annual Character Without Question Award ceremony.

This year’s annual award presentation was conducted at the Feb. 24 Board of Trustees meeting. Youth of all ages were honored during a special event presentation and reception that attracted hundreds of family members.

SBISD’s Character Without Question Award honors students who exhibit a variety of complimentary character traits and habits. These include honesty and integrity, responsibility and dependability, respect, perseverance and effort, courage, caring and kindness, and citizenship and civic virtue.

Students were nominated by a teacher, counselor, school administrator or another student. A panel of campus staff members interviewed nominees, asking them questions related to character, personal ethics and decision making, and respect for others.

“These outstanding students represent the best of the best – outstanding students from every SBISD school who exemplify the foundational beliefs upon which these awards were established 17 years ago – that people can and do care for each other, that trustworthiness, respect and honesty are accepted values, and that all of us have the capacity to move beyond self,” SBISD Associate Superintendent for Community Relations Linda Buchman said in introductory event remarks.

“From our youngest pre-kindergartners to our high schoolers who are preparing to head off into the next chapters of their lives, these students demonstrate to their teachers, their principals and their peers what it means to be a person of the highest character,” she also said. “They give of themselves selflessly in their schools, in their community and in the lives of others.”

As a part of this year’s honors, all student award winners received Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss, as well as a framed recognition item.


The awards presentation program and pre-event reception are supported by Wells Fargo and the Spring Branch Education Foundation.

Wells Fargo Regional President and Spring Branch Education Foundation member Tom DeBesse congratulated student honorees. “All of our winners are great leaders, showing great character to the kids who look up to them,” he told the gathering.

Additional support was provided by Northbrook High School and staff. Refreshments were prepared by students in the CTED (Career & Technical Education for the Disabled) program, based at the Guthrie Center.

Community Relations Program Specialist Katie Redd and Paul Bryant with SBISD Communications provided advance event planning and publication support.

Redd, who works closely with schools and award winners, views this recognition as one of the most important celebrations in the district.

“It shows to the students present, those nominated, and all of their families that of all the things to win awards for, having good character is of the utmost importance,” she said. “It also honors parents who have raised kids of good character, but who may not get enough recognition for that hard work.”

See photos from the event.

2020 Character Without Question Award Recipients

Schools for Early Learning (Prekindergarten)

Bear Boulevard – Kimberly Yepiz, Pre-K4
Lion Lane – Edith Herrrera Vivas, Pre-K4
Panda Path – Sophia Hernandez, Pre-K4
Tiger Trail – Katie Bryant, Pre-K4
Wildcat Way – Charles Luberger, Pre-K4

Elementary Campuses

Buffalo Creek – Miguel Garcia, 5th Grade
Bunker Hill – Nathan Isgur, 5th
Cedar Brook – Sofia Redman, 5th
Edgewood – Yubi Romero, 5th
Frostwood – Iman Iqbal, 5th
Hollibrook – Allison Ramirez, 5th
Housman – Johana Cruz, 5th
Hunters Creek – Samantha Bailie, 5th
Meadow Wood – Sage Biehl, 5th
Memorial Drive – Wesley Howard, 5th
Nottingham – Camille Warren, 5th
Pine Shadows – Silvestre Flores Campos, 5th
Ridgecrest – Milepszi Neri Baltazar, 4th
Rummel Creek – Elyse Simmons, 5th
Shadow Oaks – Francisco Garcia Rodriguez, 4th
Sherwood – Gerardo Carrillo, 4th
Spring Branch Academic Institute – Sarah Tran, 5th
Spring Branch – D’Andre Paul, 2nd
Spring Shadows – Gabriella Hernandez, 5th
Terrace – De’Mar Foster, 5th
Thornwood – Kimberly Aguilar, 4th
Treasure Forest – Stephanie Alvarado, 5th
Valley Oaks – Sophia Lozada, 5th
Westwood – Giovani Gomez Gorgonio, 5th
Wilchester – Richmond So, 5th
Woodview – Leslie Yarro, 5th

Middle School Campuses

Academy of Choice – Cristopher Melendez, 8th Grade
Cornerstone Academy – Joshua Petzold, 8th
Landrum Middle – Aliyanna Meza, 8th
Memorial Middle – William Meadows, 8th
Northbrook Middle – Zoe Rojas, 8th
Spring Branch Academic Institute – Lucille Hamilton, 8th
Spring Branch Middle – Keith Jones, 8th
Spring Forest Middle – Rawan Al Saleh, 8th
Spring Oaks Middle – Damian Altamirano, 8th
Spring Woods Middle – Leonardo Carmona, 7th
Westchester Academy – Amy Mireles, 6th

High School Campuses

Academy of Choice – Juan Moreno, 11th Grade
Guthrie Center for Excellence – Annie Valicek, 12th
Memorial High – Sofia Alvarez, 11th
Northbrook High – Madeleina Ramirez, 12th
Spring Woods High – Caroline Sparks, 12th
Stratford High – Van Heitmann, 12th
Westchester Academy, Stephanie Martinez, 11th