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The 411: Youth

La Vernia High School announces seniors in the spotlight

La Vernia High School announces seniors in the spotlight
La Vernia High School seniors Christin Thompson (from left), Aleana Purcell, Eric Mercado, and Brandon Padier receive recognition Feb. 29 at the La Vernia ISD school board meeting from Principal Cheryl Barron (second from right).

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March 14, 2012
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During the Feb. 29 La Vernia Independent School District school board meeting, high school Principal Cheryl Barron presented four students to the board for the monthly Senior Spotlight. This month’s seniors include Brandon Padier, Eric Mercado, Aleana Purcell, and Christin Thompson. Each student spoke of their high school accomplishments and future plans.

Brandon is the son of Brian and Martha Padier and Randy and Terrie Leonard.

Brandon’s school activities include band, speech and debate, and National Honor Society.

Brandon is also a member of the “Sake of Twenty” youth praise band at First Baptist Church in La Vernia as well as the “Good People” band.

Brandon has performed as a piano soloist in the UIL All-State competition two years in a row. He has diverse musical abilities that include guitar, piano, and trombone.

Upon graduation in June, Brandon plans to pursue a career in music performance.

Eric is the son of Lindi and Bill Mercado.

Eric has been active in tennis, speech and debate, UIL current events, video tech, theater arts, and VASE.

He currently has a mentorship at Southwest Research Institute, which is assisting him in building the same HV power supply found in satellites. Eric also oversees his own small design business.

Eric is also active in his church youth group. He has participated in community activities at Sayers Animal Hospital, La Vernia voting polls, and the “YES” program during the summer.

Upon graduation, Eric plans to obtain his pilot license and major in electrical engineering at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Aleana Purcell is the daughter of Eva and Larry Purcell.

Aleana has been active in yearbook. She has been a member of the LVHS varsity cheerleading and softball teams.

She is an active member in her church choir and has also been a counselor during Vacation Bible School.

Aleana has assisted in entertaining the elderly at an adult enrichment center in San Angelo and has also helped build a laundry facility for elderly women in La Vernia. She also ministered to those in need in Mons, Belgium.

Aleana is the daughter of a military family and has lived in South Korea, Japan, and Belgium. She has attended three different high schools and has enjoyed experiencing the different cultures.

Upon graduation, Aleana plans to attend Austin College in Sherman, where she will study foreign affairs and utilize her degree to pursue a career with the State Department or with an embassy in a Francophone country.

Christin is the daughter of David and Paula Thompson.

Christin is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, FFA, and the International Order of Rainbow for girls (a Masonic youth group) Schertz’s Assembly No. 280.

Christin has volunteered in multiple community projects in La Vernia, such as being a buddy for the challenger team, playing Miss Claus for the LV fire department, and assisting at the nursing home, and has taught classes during Vacation Bible School. She has also tutored many of her peers in chemistry.

Christin recently received a trophy as the best female debater in her division among 200 other students in Texas when invited to attend the House of Representatives in Austin to debate six mock bills.

Christin has been attending Northeast Lake View College since she was 15 years old, taking pre-med classes. She will receive an associate degree this year. (Christin has been the only La Vernia student so far to attend college under early enrollment.)

Despite the demands of her extracurricular and academic activities, she also works in San Antonio as a medical technician at Webb’s Eye Associates.

Upon graduation, Christin plans to attend the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, where she will work toward a Ph.D. to become an optometrist specializing in eye diseases.

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