Recognizing Special Education Aides

By Camille Zamarripa

When it comes to the Special Education department, teachers aren’t students’ only source of help.

“The aides dealing with the Special ED students deal with lots of behaviors of different kinds, which means they have to be versatile,” Special Education Coordinator Krystal Duncan said.   The aides play a large role in the success of the Special Education Department. In total, there are 14 aides who work in the the Special Education Department.

The aides can be see everywhere depending on where a student needs to be.         

“I see the aides a lot in between classes, right after classes end, and in the halls before class,’’ Assistant Principal James Barton said.

    These aides spend the entire day helping students in unique ways because a lot of the students need a variety of resources. They are willing to devote all their time to the students and those who need one-on-one help.

   “They are the most willing people to help someone walk or even read a passage out loud,” Barton said.

  Students take notice of this each day and learn from this.

   “They really are shaping the way young people treat others who have different needs,” Barton said.

The aides help the students get out of their comfort zone and explore new things. “It’s great to see and makes you smile just to see the growth that children have,” Duncan said.

These aides impact the student’s lives.

“They really make a big stride because of the aides that work with them everyday,” Duncan said. Not only do the students and teachers who are in the Special Education department see the service that the aides give to the students, but also the entire student body, “We just want them to know that they are seen and appreciated,” Barton said.

Buckingham Can’t Slam

By Alyssa Rodriguez

Abigail Buckingham (no.5) posing with her fellow varsity team mates

Abigail Buckingham (no.5) posing with her fellow varsity team mates

Senior varsity volleyball player Abigail Lynn Buckingham first tore her anterior cruciate ligament (tissue that connects femur to the tibia) in her sophomore year.

“During my sophomore year of club, I tore my ACL for the first time and UT was supportive,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham tore her ACL again, but this time she didn’t get the same reassurance from UT.

“This time UT was not happy and did not believe I could come back again,” Buckingham said.

UT still gave Buckingham the scholarship, but it came with a price due to her injury.

“They still offered my scholarship but basically said I would likely never play, and I could not overcome this injury twice, and they advised me to consider other schools,” Buckingham said.

This not only affected Buckingham, but it also caused her family to worry.

“My family went through a lot of stress; there was for the first time uncertainty about college and arguments about different programs and what they offered,” Buckingham said.

Throughout this conflict, she still had her family, coaches, and friends supporting her through this situation.

“For the most part, my friends, family, and coaches were beyond supportive; they helped me so much get through everything, and I could not have done it without them by my side,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham’s coach Desiree Lara knew how hard she tried to be this successful and couldn’t explain the remorse that she felt.

“There are no words that I can express the pain I felt for her and her family; I know how passionate she is and has been at such a young age,” Lara said.

Lara knew the position that Buckingham was in, but still knew without hesitance that she would recover and come back stronger.

“There is no doubt in my mind that she will be back; everything she has to endure is what drives her to never settle,” Lara said.

A good friend Loren Guerra personally saw how Buckingham felt and how she went through this tough time.

“I knew how hard she worked to come back from the first one, and I was just so upset because she’s an amazing person and didn’t deserve what happened to her,” Guerra said.

Luckily she found another chance of pursuing her volleyball career..

“I always wanted to stay in Texas; TCU contacted me about this a week after this happened and told me they had a full scholarship, and knew I could come back from this injury and had full faith it  would not be a problem,” Buckingham said.

She soon fell in love with the school, and now she has a chance to show UT what they are going miss out on.

“I fell in love with the school, and even more than that, I get to play against Texas the next year,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham knew that in this situation she may have lost an opportunity, but she received an even better one.

“I wanted to prove them wrong more then anything, and I would never want to play for a team that doubted me,” Buckingham said.   

WC Best Global Citizens

By Jasmine Realme

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that slowly eats away at the protective covering of nerves. Multiple sclerosis has no cure, but geography teacher Amy Robbins is determined to raise awareness and money.

“My sister Laura was diagnosed in August of 2012,” Robbins said. “This mission of mine to bring personal issues into my passion for teaching kids to be global citizens has really changed my perspective on the importance of my job.”

Robbin’s has done a project every year in class about the disease to spread awareness to her students. She also has a fundraiser group called “WC Best Global Citizens,” where students and volunteers raise money and participate in walks all around San Antonio.

“The walk was a lot of fun,” junior Granger Simpson said. “At the walk, we mainly just set up, decorated our team tent, and participated in the activities, including a spirit contest, and then we all ran or walked the 5k. It was a great thing to be a part of.”

In Robbin’s class, she use to have her students do an in-class project which would be all about Multiple Sclerosis. Robbins has stopped this project due to the fact that she wanted to treat her freshman classes like an AP class to prepare them for the upcoming years.

“The students created informational magazines that comprised of several different components from graphs to epidemiology studies to symptoms to support,” Robbins said. “This year we didn’t do a project, so the involvement is more on a volunteer basis.”

During all of the chaos of work and taking care of her sister, Robbins still finds the time to remind herself that this disease has made a very huge impact in her life and many others too.

“I have learned a lot about humanity, the giving spirit, the ability to push kids in the classroom, and for the most part, get a positive outcome,” Robbins said. “I also believe God used this disease to bring our family closer and has given me a renewed passion for the importance of teaching and passion for what I do everyday.”

Quidditch Queen

By Amirah Beal

When English teacher Loyce Collenback is not teaching, she spends her time doing what she loves: playing Quidditch, which is a contact-sport based off of the fictional book series Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.  

“It’s basically exactly the same as it’s played in Harry Potter, except the rules are more refined for ground,” Collenback said.  “If you put Rugby and Dodgeball together, you’d get quidditch. It’s a very physical sport, and you have to start playing being athletic and not a nerd, otherwise you’d get tackled or injured immediately. In fact, we just lost one of our chasers to a broken collar bone.”

Some students aren’t able to separate the book from the sport.

“I saw it in a movie, and it looks cool. I just think it’s  very immature,” junior Alyssa Opperman said. “It’s a little over-dramatic; it  doesn’t seem like a sport people or adults would play. I mean it’s their life, and they can do what they want, but I would never play it.”

These opinions don’t affect Collenback’s determination and dedication for the sport.

“Our team is pretty good this year; I play six hours a week,” Collenback said. “Last regional tournament we made it to the  National Cup and are going  on April 16-17 in South Carolina; this will be my third time going to the National Cup. We won our first two games against Texas State and Texas A&M. All the teams who got bids come together and play each other, and whoever wins are the champions. I am just worried that I will get injured between now and then. My team has a great chance to win the National Cup, so there’s a lot of pressure for me to perform.”  

Being on this team has really helped Collenback grow and bloom as a person.

“I found out about quidditch after seeing my best friend play, who was captain for Texas Techs quidditch team,” Collenback said. “I was a UTSA  masters student at the time and didn’t have many friends, so I joined UTSA’s quidditch team. Once I graduated, I joined a community team, and I love my team; we are all like family.”

Teachers have been very supportive toward Collenback’s love for quidditch and have even invested time to see what it’s all about.

“You can tell quiddich brings Collenback much joy as well as the team because they’re all Harry Potter nerds,” English teacher Brianna Johnson said. “Collenback is the coolest coworker, and I am nothing but happy for her success. When I first saw her play, I was in awe that the sport even existed! Harry Potter, the best series of all time, comes to life in front of your eyes what more could you want?”

Teaching can be very stressful on Collenback, so quidditch is definitely a reliever.

“I love hitting people,” Collenback said. “I love taking all of my frustration and stress from school and taking it out on other people on the field.”


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