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Crosby High School’s stormy Graduation Ceremony ended with fireworks

Crosby’s 2021 senior class top 5 (1.3%) graduates out of 381. L-R: Valedictorian Hannah Trisha Restauro, Salutatorian Anouk Ochoa, #3. Isaiah David-Albert Jamail, #4. Rayli Eilers & #5. Jessi Martinez. Hannah is majoring in chemical engineering, and Jessi is majoring in engineering, both heading to Texas A & M. Anouk & Rayli are majoring in psychology, and Isaiah is majoring in Finance & Management Information Systems. They’re heading to University of Texas. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Crosby, TX. – Friday, May 28, 2021 at the Crosby ISD football stadium, better known as “The Jungle” for the home of the school’s Cougar mascot, approximately 8,000 family members and friends poured into the stands for the 2020-2021 commencement ceremony.

The weather forecast for the 7 PM event had the possibility of thunderstorms and as predicted, the rains came. Thousands of umbrellas were quickly put to use while the graduates were kept indoors out of the storm. I could hear prayers offered to stop the rain. Well, it stopped, and the rest of the ceremony was without a drop.

As the school band played, the 381 high school students marched onto the field and took their seats, using a safe distance between them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sterling-White hosts Memorial Day services

Solemn ceremony as the Memorial Wreath is laid at the Wall of Honor by Crosby JROTC at SterlingWhite Cemetery in a day to remember those that served their country and those that made the sacrifice that others might have freedom.

HIGHLANDS – Near perfect weather was a great omen for a day of remembrance at Sterling-White Cemetery on Monday.

Welcome from Daisy Bordeau, Managing Partner, followed the pledge of allegiance from Boy Scout Troop #264. Den Webelos directed by Walter Mosley proffered the mood of reverence.

Pastor Jerry Hovater brought the mood in focus.

“I will be reaching not preaching when I get up there today,” said Pastor Hovater before service began. “Reaching for those who need solace.”

TEA releases statistics on local middle schools

AUSTIN – Urgent to the education process is work on educating 6th through 8th Graders. On April 22 the Texas Senate added more legislation to keep students up with the nation as focus shifts on testing to determine proficiency in a year when less than expected students are yet returning to the classrooms. Updated TEA statistics have been released concerning Crosby Middle and Highlands Junior High. Both are remarkably similar and surprising in differences. Highlands Junior High has a student population of 1,185. The student population of Crosby Middle is 1,428.

In Highlands, 46% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 38% scored at or above that level for reading. At Crosby Middle, 60% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 39% scored at or above that level for reading.

Rodeo pageant unfolds bloom of youth

The Crosby Fair & Rodeo held their annual Rodeo Pageant featuring cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo dress and rodeo clowns of kids aged 0-8 in twelve categories last Saturday. This year Rachel Hicks has taken the reins, but Lanette Armstrong (having lead multiple successful pageants) was still present and helpful as boys and girls paraded before a substantial crowd to show their charisma.

Each of the 58 contestants deservedly received a trophy for their participation. Twelve first place contestants get to ride inside the Rock’n C Arena on both nights of this year’s Crosby Fair & Rodeo and the Crosby Fair & Rodeo Parade to be held June 5.

Highlands Rotary awards 19 scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS pose for a group picture after the banquet, speeches, and awards. Pictured with the scholars are Rotarians Jerry Fallin (President Elect) and Dr. Larry White (Scholarship Chairman). Not pictured, Andy Scott, club president.

Highlands Rotary Club held their annual Scholarship Banquet last Monday night, and awarded 19 scholarships totaling $32,500.

In spite of heavy rains and very inclement weather, the venue of the Baytown Boat Club on Highlands Clear Lake Road was full to capacity, with scholarship recipients, family and friends, and Rotarians and their families.

The scholarships are a result of the funds raised primarily at the club’s Annual Chili Feast in February. At this event, a new vehicle is raffled off to a $100 ticket holder, along with 13 other prizes, and the net proceeds are used for the scholarships and other community projects.

Jose Jimenez wins North Shore Rotary Raffle

At left, Rotarian Shawn Silman reads the name on Ticket #25, and Jose Jimenez is the winner of a new vehicle in the raffle. club president Lowell Everitt, right, pulled each of the 25 tickets for Shawn.

North Shore Rotarians gathered last Saturday afternoon at Turner Chevrolet in Crosby, to pull raffle tickets for their benefit Raffle event, and award prizes.

The raffle this year was in place of their annual Catfish Fry and Crawfish Broil, which they did not hold because of the health concerns from the COVID19 pandemic.

In spite of that, and due to the hard work of the members of the club, they were able to sell over a thousand tickets, which will fund their projects in Harris County and internationally for the next year. The club through ticket sales, sponsorships, live and silent auctions typically raises several hundred thousand dollars, which allow them to put the money back into the community for projects, scholarships and more. They are strong supporters of FFA programs in three school districts, and other educational projects.

Vondenstein shows COVID isn’t a flu

Mrs Vonderstein expressdes thanks and recounts some struggles Colby has surmounted as he stands beside her and having thanked all supporters.

CROSBY – A benefit for “Colby Strong” Vondenstein was held at the Crosby Fair & Rodeo pavilion last Saturday.

Colby Vondenstein, 24, an in-shape husband and father of three, contracted COVID-19 after last Christmas and as a result had a double lung and a kidney transplant. He had no underlying health conditions. His family caught the bug too, but they recovered while Colby deteriorated. Doctors in February said he probably only had days to live.

Sandy Mendez, his mother, chatted with the Star-Courier at the benefit before Colby made an appearance on a walker to thank supporters and attribute his stunning recovering to his prayer warrior supporters. Mendez stated, “We are holding this to help with medical bills. It is going to be a long recovery, and he is going to be out of work for about a year.”

Caregiving answers chronic dog dumping

Jancie Ivey trains “Seeing Eye Companions” and spoke with Amanda Sherrod, stray dog rescue hero, at the Gazebo located in front of Newport Subdivision last Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Chiquita Aurora Espinosa’a Quince/Sweet 16 Charity Event.

CROSBY – Those of us with a heart for dogs were encouraged last Saturday to learn that a local lady is working diligently to find homes for strays and dogs being dropped off in east Harris County from that big city to the West.

Most in Crosby believe there is a special place in the Inferno for folks that abandon fur babies in the wild, but Amanda Sherrod has started a Foster and Rescue Care Charity to help our canine friends.

The kick-off for her charity was the Chiquita Aurora Espinosa’s Quince/Sweet 16 Charity Event sponsored by the Espinosas. There was cake, punch and water for the humans and a doggie party bag for each attending dog with keepsake pictures. A raffle was held for prizes for dog and their humans. Guests were asked to bring an item such as bowls, collars, leashes, blankets, preferred food like Purina Pro Plan to benefit the Foster and Rescue Care.

May 1 Election results

Goose Creek CISD, Lee College, Highlands Water District voted

HIGHLANDS – The local water district HC WCID-001 director’s election was to pick three of four candidates on the ballot. The voting concluded with Harvey Little finishing first with 75 votes, Kenneth Boudreaux taking 73 and John H. Wright getting 55. Ana Cantu also ran and received 18 votes.

Goose Creek CISD had four incumbents up for re-election. Richard Clem went unchallenged in Single Member District 4. Incumbent Howard E. Sampson of District 1 survived a challenge with 214 votes against Jeff Minson, who received 69 votes. Agustin Loredo III received 118 votes but challenger Mercedes Renteria III got 168 for Single Member District 2. She seems to have most benefitted from early voting.

Former Crosby Superintendent Don Hendrix dies


CROSBY – Don Hendrix, well known and respected educator and former Crosby ISD superintendent, passed away in peace at his home on April 28, 2021.

Hendrix had a 42-year career in education culminating with 22 of those years as superintendent of Crosby Independent School District. He cared deeply for the Crosby community. During his tenure, he was a driving force for academic excellence at CISD by raising expectations, establishing full-day kindergarten, half day PreK and a first-rate college preparatory program using the College Board PreAP model. Chairing University Interscholastic League’s Legislative Council and a fixture at Crosby football and basketball games, Don believed in the power of extracurricular activities to enrich the education and citizenship of all Texas children.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 1 pm at the Sterling-White Funeral Home 11011 Crosby-Lynchburg Rd Highlands, TX 77562. Visitation will begin two hours earlier from 11am-1pm.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that his legacy be honored with a contribution to the Dr. Don Hendrix Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Crosby Education Foundation to benefit Crosby students in the pursuit of their dreams.