Port Aransas High School
Port Aransas, TX
The National Honor Society (NHS) is pleased to announce the selection of Dana Hawkins as the NHS Rynearson Adviser of the Year. Ms. Hawkins has served as the NHS adviser at Port Aransas High School for the past four years, but her impact as an educator goes far beyond her school and NHS.
Elementary principal Keyle Garcie reflected on her impact on their small school district. “Let me be clear, I know her. Everyone in the district does; she is amazing! Whenever and wherever there is a need, she is more than happy to help! You will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated, joyful, funny, gifted, hardworking, or kind educator. She is deeply committed to building relationships with each and every single student. Students from years back stay in touch with her and often reach out to share successes or to ask for wisdom or encouragement.”
Ms. Hawkins has left a lasting impact on former students and their families as well. One parent recalled the act of kindness from Ms. Hawkins that still resonates with her family: “As the parent of one of her former students, I thank Dana Hawkins daily. Especially when I walk past the beautiful, personalized frame she made for my son! It is adorned with these words, ‘AMAZING! IMPORTANT! UNIQUE! KIND! PRECIOUS!’ and has his photograph right in the center. … In our home, it sits in full view, unlike the beloved toddler pictures he has made me hide, so that he is reminded that he is all of the things that his teacher saw in him that year.”
Ms. Hawkins uses her role as NHS adviser to shape the character of her members. She challenges them to set educational and career goals beyond high school, to be leaders among their peers and become compassionate leaders. Her officers submitted a joint letter of recommendation. In it, they recall her influence: “She constantly reminds her members to keep in mind how we plan to further our educational career, whether through college or vocational schooling. She has exceeded the expectations of any sponsor by…ensuring our chapter leaves a continuing impact on our community through service. … She has been an exemplary sponsor, which we believe is the reason why we can call the Port Aransas Chapter exemplary. She has high expectations for each member while still giving us room to grow in our own ways.”
We are grateful for Ms. Hawkins’ dedication and commitment to the ideals of National Honor Society—scholarship, service, leadership and character—and are honored to select her as this year’s NHS Rynearson Adviser of the Year.