Pumped up for STAAR

Texas Rangers, Troopers encourage students to be ready

LA FERIA — What could have been a regular pep rally to prepare for the STAAR test, was instead an event hosted by local leaders to give students courage.

With a room full of inspirational leaders, the event turned into an opportunity for the fifth and sixth graders in attendance to ask questions and start a conversation about setting short-term goals and setting high but realistic expectations.

The room was pumped up with music, and was originally intended to be a motivational speech from local Texas state troopers and Texas Rangers to make sure children were not scared of their tests.

According to Wikipedia, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, commonly referred to as STAAR, are a series of standardized tests used in Texas public primary and secondary schools to assess a student’s achievements and knowledge learned in the grade level.

Dr. Yvette Cantu, Principal at Noemi Dominguez Elementary, prepared the event alongside Alma Martinez-Botello, their PTO secretary, to make children feel ready for testing days.

“It turned into them sharing their own stories of how they became Rangers and what school was like when they were little and how through education and hard work, all of them have gotten to where they are today,” Cantu said.

The local agents also shared with the students information about their lives and gave them insight into the hardships they have to endure in their jobs.

“It turned into a really good connection of career readiness and what kids need to do to be able to get there,” Cantu said.

“They all spoke the same message about how through hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish anything.”

Agents also explained there are different branches of law enforcement which they can choose if the students want to follow that career route.

Even though the pep talk was to show support for their upcoming STAAR test, it turned inspirational.

Presley Becerra, 11, asked a female Ranger what it was like to have a job like hers. Presley said she hopes to one day become an agent or a marine biologist.

“I asked if her job was dangerous and if she ever got scared,” Presley said.

“It sounded to me like she had to be fierce, and when she explained about handling murders, it made me not be scared anymore.”