Spotlight on Tiana - Recipient of Above and Beyond Award
Congratulations to Houston High School Senior, Tiana, who was recently awarded the Above and Beyond Award. "The annual Above and Beyond Award spotlights area high-school seniors who have either overcome adversity or given selflessly to their community." [source]
On March 5, The Winona Daily News published a story about Tiana titled, ABOVE AND BEYOND: Houston senior overcomes disabilities, finds companion for next step
, which describes Tiana's journey dealing with birth defects and health challenges. As the article explains, "Tiana has spent a lifetime beating odds, defying those who ever used the words wouldn’t or couldn’t when describing her."
Throughout the article are indications of Tiana's spirit. Words like persevered, coped, excelled, impressive, and confident are used to describe a young woman who has continued to shine and remain optimistic while overcoming each hurdle in her life.
Those who have worked with Tiana at Houston High School also shared congratulations, praises, and well wishes for their student and friend. Clearly, Tiana is "one in a million" in more ways than one.
"I have the privilege of teaching this young woman twice a day this year. I can't think of a better recipient of this award. Five years ago she entered my classroom and my heart and I have loved teaching her and being around her ever since. What an outstanding young woman. A true testament to perseverance and determination."
~ Mrs. Jacqueline Mathers, HHS Teacher
"I’ve known Tiana a long time. She has grown so much, matured and shown herself to be organized, hard working, determined, and optimistic. We’re going to miss Tiana next year, but we’re excited about the fact that she’s going to Winona State. She’s going to do wonderful things there."
~ Mrs. Dionne Schoh, HHS Teacher
"Tiana is a fun student to have in class. She has a great sense of humor and is always up for a challenge. Tiana understands her limitations, but does not let them set her apart or keep her from reaching her goals. She has a good head on her shoulders that will take her far in life."
~ Mrs. Lisa Daoust, HHS Teacher
"Tiana is a hardworking student. She keeps doing her best and if life knocks her down or sets up a block she gives it all she has to keep going and succeeds. She has always brought a smile with her to school. Of course she has her days like we all do but she gets the work done she needs to and comes back the next day or week to take it on again. I admire Tiana so much for her courage, kindness and strength. I wish her good luck and success when she heads to Winona for college."
~ Mrs. Cindy Flatin, HHS Paraprofessional
"Ever since I’ve known Tiana she has demonstrated independence. I’m not at all surprised by the success she has found in school, being accepted to Winona State, and her diligence in training her dog Hero. Probably one of the funniest moments I remember having with Tiana was when she needed to work on coloring in those maze-style adult coloring books. The purpose was to induce a seizure while she was wearing her monitor so the doctors could study the event. Normally I’d only heard Tiana speak positively of any circumstance she faced, but this one day she just blurted out, “those books suck!” I can only imagine how stress-producing that was for her, knowing she may have another seizure at school and to hear her, for once, candidly speak of the situation was just plain funny to those us us who were with her that day. She always has a smile - no matter what. And when she needs assistance she doesn’t seem to hesitate to ask. Words do not come easily to describe how incredibly proud I am of Tiana and her achievements. This young lady is sure to shine wherever she lands in life."
~ Mrs. Rose Sires, HHS Office Manager
"I can't think of a more deserving girl than Tiana, and what a lucky dog." :-)
~ Krin Abraham, Superintendent