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Siblings bond over books, good grades

By Carolina Astrain
March 16, 2013 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 15, 2013 at 10:16 p.m.

Siblings Kayla and Harrison Garrett are past recipients of the Victoria school district's Board Excellence Award.

VISD 2013 Board Excellence Award Winners

Aloe Elementary School

fifth grade: Rahni Hingoranee, Dawson Holly, Jacob Padron, Elizabeth Pena, Edward Rodriguez, Jade Thomas

Chandler Elementary School

fifth grade: Isaiah Aragon, Shelby Austin, Jaden Charleston, David Keyser, Morgan Kimbrough, Kallie McLeod

Crain Elementary School

fifth grade: Logan Blanton, Kaylee Cavazos, Antonio Murillo, Lazaro Perez, Cyra Smith

De Leon Elementary School

fifth grade: Isaiah Davis, Grace Hunt, Kendall Karnowski, Jalyssa Lewis, Blake McManus, Trent Nieto

Dudley Elementary School

fifth grade: Daniela Azevedo, Cristina Cervantes, Sadie Duran, Aysha Izaguirre, Sienna Sims

F.W. Gross Elementary School

fifth grade: April Garcia, Chalee Inmon, Keilan Rader, Adrian Rodriguez, Alazai Tapia

Guadalupe Elementary School

fifth grade: Kamryn Reese Barnett, Joshua Ray Campos, Dylan Duwayne Perkins

Hopkins Academy

fifth grade: Audriana Cervantez, Alondra Marquez, Juan Mujica, Melissa Santa Maria, Mary Villarreal

Mission Valley Elementary School

fifth grade: Elizabeth Adams, Kastin Heinold, Nathan Umphres

O'Connor Elementary School

fifth grade: Madison Barnes, Madison Escalante, Destiny Hodge, Mallory Perez, Brenae Williams

Rowland Elementary School

fifth grade: Andre Amison, Darren Cano, Gabrielle Huber, Paden McDonald, Macey Murray

Schorlemmer Elementary School

fifth grade: Julia Clark, Rama Hamoudah, Jenna Schaefer, Sage Spivey, Isabell Veit

Shields Elementary School

fifth grade: Michael Asuncion, Alyssa Gamez, Ean Palmquist, Cassidy Verde, Christopher Wagner

Smith Elementary School

fifth grade: Jagar Ashton Peyton Stephens, Lizette Alejandra Tavares, Emerald Marie Trevino, Alyssa Eraine Villarreal, Leilani Janae Wimbush-Gay

Torres Elementary School

fifth grade: Mikayla Dinkins, Jazmine Estrada, Isaiah Garcia, Angela Robles, Karina Sanchez

Vickers Elementary School

fifth grade: Piper Elizabeth Kallman, Dawson Cade Mozisek, Peyton Elizabeth Quimby, Madison Joy Samford, Brittany LeAnn Usoff, Branton Allen Winkenwerder

William Wood Elementary School

fifth grade: Emileigh Kate Burow, Kirk Richard Fitzsimmons, Michael Joseph Powell

Cade Middle School

sixth grade: Akeitha Green, Grant Henry, Marcus Hermes, Zoie Lowery, Ariana Mendoza, Ansliee Stehling, Mariana Velasquez

seventh grade: John Buchanan, Michael DiSanto III, Emily Lowery, Vy Nguyen, Blake Schmidt

eighth grade: Peyton Dailey, Kassandra Gongora, Xochitlinda Gonzalez, Varshini Kumar, Travis Tadlock

Howell Middle School

sixth grade: William Conway, Gabriel Domingo, Therese Eamiguel, Lauren Johnson, Kagan Migl

seventh grade: Benjamin Biles, Lauren Cortez, Sarah Diebel, James Janecka, Peyton Williams

eighth grade: Samantha Beck, Edward Ebner, Elizabeth Martinez, Daniel Shay, Claire Wang

Patti Welder Middle Magnet School

sixth grade: Erica Rose Bosquez, Jacynth Belangue Cuison, Marco Malone Dileo, Emery Rose Flores, Charles William Settles

seventh grade: Erick Aaron Cruz, Yu Feng Liang, Megan Michelle Marek, Ashton Marie Maughan, Cheyenne Kate Migl

eighth grade: Cross Antonio Chambers, Kathryn Victoria Delgado, Esmeralda Lizbeth Mazuca, Jeremiah Nathaniel Mendez, Kaitlin Sky Sulak

Stroman Middle School

sixth grade: Michea Bell, Sarah Fikac, Tooba Haris, Yoeni Huerta, Chloe Vivian

seventh grade: Amber Acuna, Avery Krohn, Corban Ramos, Gabrielle Valenzuela, Jonathan Zelaya

eighth grade: Alexandrea Arciba, Marissa Boutin, Analissa Cruz, James Easton, John Sanchez, Alanah Torres

Liberty Academy

ninth grade: Reid Goodwine, Taylor Hamilton, Danielle Jenkins

10th grade: Kimberly Fortner, Logan Nelson, Dalia Salas

11th grade: Alondra Acuna, Bailey Mendoza, Sophia Muzquiz

12th grade: Brenda Garrett, Isabella Muzquiz, Tiffany Salinas

Victoria East High School

ninth grade: Olivia Carroll, Katie Carter, Star Chambers, Laurynn Garcia, Kelly Hoff, Carmen Leos, Amber Martinez, Mashhood Nielsen, Meagan Roy, Jasmine Yang

10th grade: Erica Ronshell Barnett, Evan Eshan, Summer Danielle Gregurek, Kaylee Huang, Angelica Lopez, Alan Olmos, Austin James Smolik, Teresa Wang, Case Dane Winter,

Rachel Kaylin Wood

11th grade: Albert Chen, Alyse Dominguez, Andrew Jing Lam, Paige Nicole Mareth, Shahed Nielsen, Carolyn Michelle Norris, Iliana Lorraine Reyna, Heidi Ann Shay, Monica Danielle Smith, Florence Ming-Yin Sung

12th grade: Aubrey Bleier, Greta Carlson, Melissa Clark, Jehu Garcia, Heather Grosenbacher, Claire Hickner, Tori Lev, Steven Lin, Kylie Newbern, Hailey Stirneman

Victoria West High School

ninth grade: David Ross Braune Jr., Kevin Michael Clark, Shelby Nicole Hardt, Lucas Austin Kabela, Jacob Cole Albert Lieber, Bao Duy Nguyen, Joseph Michael Rigdon, Brenna Nicole Sestak, Jessica Leigh Shaulis, Jacqueline Joan Van Metre

10th grade: Emma Marie Andruss, Natalie Lauren Clark, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Benjamin Luke Fogal, Kayla Paige Garrett, Marlen Levario, Rebecca Katelyn Moore, Benjamin Andrew Morgan, Zoe Bo-Yee Ng , Kavita Amy Pradip Parekh

11th grade: Charles Ray Bennett, Kindle Katherine Burns, Sage Marie Harrison, Ellen Marie Hermes, Rachel Anne Innocenti, Katharine Stuart Klimist, Charlsa Ann Matson, Daniella Jenean Navarro, Breanna Belle Newyear, Breanna Jo Takacs

12th grade: Taylor Jae Anderson, Andrea Michelle De Los Santos, Heather Michelle Donovan, Ashley Renee Fajkus, Cabott James Hanes, Malorey Ann Kresta, Garrett Cole Rother, Christobal Andres Saenz, Ashton Lane Slaughter, Aaron James Zapalac

IF YOU GO

WHAT: VISD Board Excellence Awards

WHEN: 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday

WHERE: VISD Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive

Harrison Garrett, 19, remembers when he first felt like he could start having real conversations with his younger sister, Kayla Garrett, 15.

All it took was a few reads of "Harry Potter," to help bridge a relationship strained by three years of maturity and life experience.

"We were able to develop a common ground through books," the Baylor University freshman said. "'Harry Potter' was the first book we shared in common, and the 'Legend of Drizzt' brought us even closer."

Ever since she can remember, the Victoria West High School sophomore said, she's always looked up to her older brother.

While sipping away on frappuccinos Thursday afternoon at Starbucks off Navarro Street and Zac Lentz Highway, the Garrett siblings wore sterling silver necklaces only worn by Victoria West marching band members.

When asked what they stood for, Garrett responded in serious tone, "The first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club."

Garrett was in town for spring break from Waco.

"He's always been an inspiration to me because he's not afraid to be who he is and express his ideas," Kayla said. "It's not so much that I live under a shadow, but more like I have to fulfill one."

Kayla said she is tied for the sophomore salutatorian spot at her high school.

The eldest brother walked away from his high school graduation as salutatorian and a six-time recipient of the Victoria school district Board Excellence Award.

The award is given to students for achieving good grades, a minimum amount of unexcused absences and overall conduct.

"Sibling rivalry is a social convention," remarked the freshman mechanical engineering major. "There's a difference between being competitive and making it all about the competition."

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