When U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta shook her hand, tears began to well up in Diana Barrera’s eyes as she walked the graduation stage of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. A 2008 graduate of Harlingen High School, Barrera earned an officer ranking of ensign with her graduation of the Naval Academy, a rare accomplishment for an Hispanic female, she said.
Edgar Chacon, a brazen senior at Harlingen High School, paces his afternoons in the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Central Administration building by breaking from his computer screen to walk the halls. When he's away from his computer, resting his eyes and mind, Chacon carries himself with confidence, stopping along the way to chat with his peers in other office rooms.
Harlingen High School senior Randy Bermea won gold in the 300-meter hurdles at the Texas State Track Meet with a time of 36:87. Bound for the University of California at Berkley this fall on a track scholarship, Randy also won the bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles event with a time of 14 seconds.
The cowgirl boots and hat won't be coming off anytime soon for Arika Barajas, who was recently selected as a member of the Strutters, the Texas State University drill team. The captain for the Cardettes in 2011-2012 couldn't be happier for the opportunity to continue performing and dancing at the college level, she said.
Gabriela Peña's family believes some teachers may just be born with a special gene. Her grandfather, aunts and uncle all became teachers working in Mexico and the United States, she said. Peña, a Los Fresnos and Houston native who has been working at Harlingen High School for eight years, received the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award from the National Society of High School Scholars, an international organization that recognizes academic excellence at the high school level in over 120 countries.