Santa Gertrudis School - King Ranch Campus

Leah Varela is a second grade student at the King Ranch campus of Santa Gertrudis School. She is the daughter of Daniella and Gabriel Varela.

Leah is involved with karate, soccer and UIL activities, and her favorite subject is math. Her greatest influences are her parents.

Leah plans for a future career as a paleontologist, and wants to attend Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she will study math and science.

Santa Gertrudis School - Santa Rosa

Kathryn McKinney is an eighth grade student at the Santa Rosa campus of Santa Gertrudis School. She is the daughter of Julie and Thomas McKinney.

Kathryn is involved in the National Junior Honor Society, cross-country, volleyball, UIL activities, altar serving and SHACC. She said her favorite subject in school is “all of them.”

After high school, Kathryn plans to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas on her path to becoming a pediatrician. She said her greatest influences in life are Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale.

“Kate is a great young lady to have in class,” English teacher Alex Munoz said. “She is helpful, caring and honest. Her smile can light up the classroom.

“She exudes excellence and I can’t wait to see what her future holds, because I know it will be awesome,” Munoz added.

Academy High School

Jacob Espinoza is a junior at Academy High School. He is the son of Joe Espinoza and Jeannie Flores-Espinoza.

Jacob, whose favorite subject is math, is the junior class vice-president and has performed in the all-area band. He is also involved with football, cross-country, baseball and track and field.

While he is undecided as to which college or university he plans to attend or his field of study, Jacob said he will “go to college and push myself to be the best I can be in everything I do.”

Jacob said his greatest influence in life is former Navy SEAL David Goggins, who he said “has pushed himself to the limit every day to defy the odds and become the ‘toughest man alive.’”

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