Students working on projects that affect community

Steele student council raises funds for new park

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – It is a tough challenge when the New Braunfels Canyon High School Cougars and Steele High School Knights face off in a football district matchup. The players’ fellow students are also taking on tough challenges in the classroom.

The Canyon Cougars' art students teamed up with members of the criminal justice program for a lesson in recognition and observation skills.

The criminal justice students were allowed to see a photo of a robbery suspect for 30 seconds and afterward, they had to relay the information they could remember to the art student, who would use the information to create a sketch drawing of the subject.

"Recalling from memory is probably the hardest thing," said Christian Armendariz, a junior criminal justice student.

Repeating what they could remember to the artist was not easy for either party.

"You have to be very specific with features, like jaw line and nose structure. Everything from lips, eyes, tattoos, everything," said Nicholas Handock, a junior art student.

The students had less than an hour to collaborate on the drawing and in the end, recall and comparison proved to be a key to a successful rendering.

"One thing I told him: 'He looked like Mario from ‘Mario and Luigi.’ And he nailed it," Armendariz said.

Most of the sketches were pretty close and there were a couple that were spot on. The suspect would have been able to be identified using the sketch.

At Steele, the student council is drawing a connection to its community.

"The student council is not just a student organization within our schools. It is also an organization where we go outside and help the community," said Hannah Valentine, president of the student council.

The 80-member student council at Steele is active in its community, especially with the elementary schools.

One project the members took on is how to teach the elementary students how to stay safe during Halloween. They have also helped raise funds for the Callen Hughs Foundation, an organization that is trying to build a park in New Braunfels for kids with special needs. The council hosted a father-daughter dance and raised $10,000 for the foundation.

"(It) gives the younger students a role model to look up to, like, 'Hey, once I get there, I want to serve my community as well,’" Valentine said about the younger students.

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