“I love my ‘kids.’ They keep me young and offer a different perspective to my world...." Olivia Rendon | Photo courtesy EPISD

Andress student activities manager is top in the region

The Texas Association of Student Councils District IX named Andress’ Olivia Rendon as its Student Council Advisor of the Year. Some of her students and fellow SAMs surprised her with socially-distant drive by celebration today to congratulate and honor her.

“It is a great honor to have been nominated and then voted on by my peers to receive this award,” Rendon said. “Receiving this award makes me feel like all my hard work is recognized by my peers and that means a great deal to me, mostly because the other advisors are the only people that know how hard this job really is.”

Coronado High SAM Renee Aguirre nominated Rendon for the honor recognizing her as a support system for SAMs districtwide and thanking her for her genuine offers to help 24/7 ­– especially with new SAMs navigating their first year on the job.

“She is the first one to respond to our texts when we are in desperate need of help and she is always willing to take the time to sit and explaining StuCo processes and procedures,” Aguirre said in her nomination letter. “Olivia is patient and kind and always has her students’ best interests at heart. I have seen first-hand how she works with her students and helps them become strong, self-motivated leaders.”

Rendon, a proud 1993 Andress Golden Eagle grad, is in her seventh year as the student activities manager at her alma mater where she began teaching in 2002.

“It was a dream come true to be able to return to my alma mater and serve my community,” said Rendon who taught world geography, world history and US history prior to becoming a SAM.

Her favorite part of her job? The students of, course.

“I love my ‘kids.’ They keep me young and offer a different perspective to my world.  I love to see them mature and grow in their leadership roles,” she said. “They also challenge me to become a better person and teacher. I love their enthusiasm and spirit.  I truly love everything about my job. I love the late nights, early mornings, pep rallies, homecomings, games, senior events.”

But her favorite event: “I absolutely love graduation.”

“Graduation is a time where I get to see the students achieve a milestone that they have worked so hard for.  Graduation day is always a bitter sweet moment.  I am happy to see them spread their wings and fly but also sad to see them leave.  I try to get to know as many students as I possibly can on campus, so when they graduate it’s not just a name on a card that I have put in a row, but a student that I watched grow for four years.”

Story by Reneé de Santos – EPISD