There were cheerleaders. The dance team came. The band played. Students were on their feet.

Was it a pep rally for the basketball team? Nope. It was a big awards ceremony at Houston's Nimitz High School for… word learning! That's right, the Cougars pulled out all the stops to celebrate their back-to-back monthly Vocabulary Bowl victories. The event was all about giving some well-deserved recognition for Nimitz's amazing commitment to vocabulary learning and literacy improvement.

School spirit at Nimitz High School

Dr. Crystal Watson, principal of Nimitz High School, connected her students' dreams for the future to their success in school today. "It's cool to be smart," she told them, a sentiment that's clearly a part of the school culture.

Dr. Watson, school principal

She praised her students for earning this recognition for academic excellence at a national level, reminding the audience that the Cougars beat thousands of other schools from across the country for this honor. History teacher Mr. Terrell and ELA teachers Ms. Buckholts and Mr. Fuentes congratulated their learners as well, telling them this success is "only the beginning."

Mr. Terrell, Ms. Buckholts and Mr. Fuentes offer praise and encouragement

Folks from the Team awarded Nimitz two glorious green banners, as well as medals for the top students: Evelio Sosa Ramos, Natalie Cruz, Maria Mena, Gladys Barrera Gonzalez, Damian Silva, Derick Ofori, Olanrewaju "Michael" Popoola, Paul Solis, and Oscar Perez Torres.

Proud Cougars with the Team

Some of the medal-winners could not attend the ceremony because they were down the street taking their college midterms! It turns out that seventeen members of Nimitz's 2017 graduating class will not only earn their high school diploma this spring, but an Associates Degree from Lone Star College as well.

Some of Nimitz's top students: Paul Solis, Evelio Sosa Ramos, Natalie Cruz, and "Michael" Popoola

The Team thanks Dr. Watson and Nimitz High School for hosting this celebration and for welcoming us to participate. Congratulations again, Cougars. We agree with your teachers — this is just the beginning of your success in the Vocabulary Bowl and as life-long learners.