Noah Barnard and Giovanna Pena aren’t your average students. Both in their third year at Athlos Leadership Academy in Brownsville, TX, Noah and Giovanna stood out due to their excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and leadership. Not only have Noah and Giovanna’s successes been noticed by their teachers and coaches, but their peers also recognize their strong leadership skills and look to the two as role models in the classroom and beyond.
Noah is a ninth-grade student who was recognized for his outstanding achievements academically, as well as his excellence in athletics and chess. Noah attributes his successes to Performance Character traits such as grit, and the support he receives from his teachers, coaches, and friends at Athlos. During his first year at the school, Noah lost his uncle to cancer and turned to his school community to help him through this difficult time.
“It was an extremely hard time for me, but my friends and coaches were very kind and supportive,” Noah said. “Without them, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today.”
Aside from a strong support system, Noah has embraced Performance Character traits and is a strong model of grit, initiative, and leadership.
“Noah has been able to utilize his character traits academically and socially,” said Ms. Lopez, seventh grade teacher at Athlos Leadership Academy. “He has learned how to be a leader and take initiative when helping his classmates. He has demonstrated grit in all of his subjects and to successfully complete his goals.”
To his peers, Noah is a charismatic, optimistic, and inspiring leader.
“Noah is definitely a model student that a lot of kids look toward for leadership,” said Ms. Orozco, history teacher at Athlos Leadership Academy. “He is known amongst my other students as a very smart, hardworking kid.”
Ms. Lopez agrees, stating Noah goes above and beyond to motivate students, caring not just about himself, but others as well.
“He is the best role model,” she said.
Noah’s dream is to pursue a career as a video game designer and is thriving in the mobile application development class offered at Athlos Leadership Academy, bringing him one step closer to achieving his goal.
Giovanna is an eleventh-grade student who has been recognized for her excellence in both academics and athletics. As a member of the cross country team and the National Honor Society, Giovanna excels at balancing academic and athletic life. She is a straight A student in all of her classes and is always willing to go the extra mile to meet her teachers’ expectations.
“Giovanna Pena is an exemplary student academically and athletically,” said Coach Puente, sports performance coach/head cross country and track coach at Athlos Leadership Academy. “Not only is she one of the top students in her class, she has earned first place district champion in the IDEA Cross Country League for two consecutive years. Her success has come along with the understanding of what it means to be a student athlete — student comes first — and has learned to manage both her duties and responsibilities to excel both in the classroom and in sports.”
Giovanna attributes her successes to her coaches, teachers, peers, and her Performance Character education.
“These traits, no matter what they may be, have helped me academically, personally, and in sports by showing me how to be a better person for myself and for those around me,” Giovanna said.
Being motivated, self-driven, and goal-oriented led Giovanna to begin taking dual enrollment courses and AP courses to gain college credit. She is also involved with the Character Ambassadors, a group of high school students who helps the younger students understand Performance Character traits.
“So far, Giovanna’s path to success is the simple idea that she never gives up,” said Mr. Gomez, AP language teacher at Athlos Leadership Academy. “She is steady and persistent in all she does.”
Giovanna’s teachers and her peers agree that she stands apart because she is cheerful, humble, respectful, and trustworthy.
“Giovanna displays a level of maturity and discipline that is acknowledged and appreciated by all of her teachers and the administration; however, she is known as a friendly and good-natured person,” said Mr. Ferguson, history/AP teacher at Athlos Leadership Academy. “I have known Giovanna since our opening year, and I know Giovanna to be a natural leader who shows humility and determination.”