We’re loving the *slightly* cooler temperatures and slow slide into the holiday season. Before we all say farewell for Thanksgiving break, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on all we’re thankful for at Texas OnCourse:
- The amazing Texas middle and high school students, parents, and guardians we serve
- The tireless educators doing invaluable work – including teachers, counselors, librarians, school support staff, and more
- The internal team at Texas OnCourse, united in providing college and career readiness resources for all Texas students
- Our leader fellows, who serve as statewide support in helping us achieve our vision: to ensure that every Texas student, no matter where they come from or where they’re going, has a plan for what’s next after high school
We’d like you to meet a few members of our newest cohort of leader fellows who make an impact in their educational communities.
These counselors, advisers, and teachers support their colleagues – like you – on college and career readiness advising. Looking for ways to connect and collaborate with like-minded colleagues all over the state? Join the Texas College and Career Planning Source Facebook group!
Sherce Hampton is a school counselor in the Killeen ISD. She represents Region 12.
TXOC: What’s your favorite thing about your role?
SH: I love empowering students. I love helping students realize they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.
Crystal Castañeda is a college and career adviser in the Harlingen CISD. She represents Region 1.
TXOC: What drew you to working in education?
CC: After college, I began working with Advise TX, a program that works to increase the number of first-generation, low-income, and/or underrepresented students who apply to, enter, and complete college. I fell in love with college advising and advocating for students through Advise TX. When I was in high school, we didn't have the support at my school or help with completing college applications. It’s very exciting that school districts are creating a college culture and postsecondary goals for students.
Jason Byrd is a professional counselor in the Denton ISD. He represents Region 11.
TXOC: What do you like to do in your free time?
JB: I spend as much time as I can with my wife and two boys. We can usually be found outside – either in our backyard, venturing on hikes around the area, or traveling to our national parks. When possible, I also enjoy woodworking and BBQ.
Trisha Fiene-Spain is a counselor in the Coppell ISD. She represents Region 10.
TXOC: What’s your favorite book?
TFS: Now this is a hard one, for a girl who really enjoys reading. I would have to say Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is close to the top of the list. I also really enjoyed The Hate U Give and 5 Feet Apart.
Our leader fellows connect colleagues to our resources, including the Texas OnCourse Academy, a free online professional development resource for college and career advising.