dsc_0762The Donna Independent School District has launched a marketing campaign designed to recognize students who excel in academics.

Donna ISD Superintendent Fernando Castillo and his administrative team unveiled a promotional tool they hope will bring attention to members of the district’s National Honor Society (NHS). The nation’s premiere organization recognizes outstanding high school students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of academics, scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

The idea to promote NHS came from Castillo. He felt it was time for the district’s academic achievers to be in the spotlight. “Too often we as adults get so driven with extra-curricular events such as football, basketball and band,” Castillo said. “They promote themselves with T-shirts and signs that demonstrate their pride. NHS has a very rigid and rigorous criterion so what we wanted to do is come up with something for the NHS students to take home and display proudly.”

Donna North High School National Honor Society

That something comes in the form of a yard sign. “We came up with yard signs for NHS members who represent Donna High School and Donna North High School,” Castillo said. “The signs display the schools’ logos, as well as a larger logo of the National Honor Society’s emblem and the school year. We had them made professionally and distributed to each one of the students to take home to display.”

The NHS presidents from Donna High and Donna North said the district’s gesture is very much appreciated by them and their NHS classmates.

“I was very amazed,” said Marco D’Anthony Hernandez, Donna High’s NHS President. “I was very proud because these students have worked very hard. They have to maintain a 90 or above in all their classes. They have to have very good attendance and they have to be the outstanding stars of their campuses so for these students to be recognized, it’s just amazing. Now they feel that their hard work is paying off.”

“I’m very excited that academics is finally getting a little bit of the spotlight,” said Dori Gonzales, Donna North’s NHS President. “Like Superintendent Castillo said, a lot of the focus is put on athletics and NHS members who work hard day in and day out on their studies don’t get the recognition. So I’m very excited that we’re finally getting this little piece of spot light.”

Donna High NHS President Marco D’Anthony Hernandez & Donna North HS NHS President Dori Gonzales

The students said their parents will be proud too. “It’s going to make them feel very proud when my neighbors pass by or just people pass by and see the sign,” Hernandez said. “They’re going to know that an NHS student lives there, in particular a Donna ISD student. I think that’s what it’s all about because Donna ISD has by far the best students in any district.”

“I think my parents are going to be excited about it,” Gonzales said. “I know my dad likes this kind of thing. He likes to see the awards that I get so I know that they’ll both be excited to put this in front of the house.”

Castillo said this is one way of showing the community that Donna ISD has top-notch students. “If it can make somebody’s head turn, then I think we’ve accomplished our task,” Castillo said. “We want to publicize this to get recognition to these individuals not only at school but now at home. A student can be living in a nice brick home or in a small mobile home, but at the end of the day that’s not what makes an intelligent individual. It’s going to be the student’s mind and their grades. These kiddos are the ones who have demonstrated that thus far.”