(From left to right) Timothy A. Isaly, Principal Early College High School; Major Norma Cabanas, ROA Chapter President-Dallas/Ft. Worth; Jessica Cabanas, Graduating Senior Class of 2020; Carolyn Glover Hockley, ROA Family Support Group; Col. Ralph Hockley, ROA Dept of Texas Membership Chairman.
ROA, doing business as the Reserve Organization of America, proudly presented the first in the nation “ROA-Family Support Group Award” plaque to the Texas Early College High School of Carrollton-Farmers-Branch School on May 22, 2020. Individual certificates were awarded to school staff: Timothy A. Isaly – Principal; Nikita D. Fisher – Counselor; Maria C. Ramos - Admin Records; Jaime Wegscheider – English and Journalism Teacher; Susan Freid – Mathematics Teacher; and Nabil M. Khawla – Science Teacher.
The ROA awards were presented by Carolyn Glover Hockley, Col. Ralph M Hockley and Maj. Norma Cabanas of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter, Dept of Texas. ROA headquartered in Washington, D.C. welcomed the new ROA Family Support Group and its mission to assist and help sustain the Reserves, the National Guard, and their families in the Fall of 2019.
This new ROA award was established to recognize the Silent Angels who seek no recognition but who go above and beyond the requirements in support of the Uniformed Service members of the Reserve and National Guard. These include the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
After three overseas deployments from September 2015 to July 2019, and now most recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic response mission out of Grande Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex, Cabanas of Carrollton stated that, “The Early College High School’s Principal, Faculty and Staff went above and beyond to ensure and help steady her daughter - Jessica’s daily challenges." Deployments are not only hard on the military member(s), but also on their families. Schools play an integral part in keeping the military child steady, focused, and supported.
During one of those deployments, Mr. Meason Kolkhorst from Long Middle School was the first angel who assisted Jessica in completing her high school enrollment to Early College High School. During the few phone calls while deployed, Jessica shared many stories of other teachers who helped: Shawne Poplar; Richard Lewis; Jahee Kong; Swanson; Judith Tepper; and Patrick Pulliam. Each assisted her in getting through some rough times. It was the school staff that helped fill the mommy shoes.
Cabanas stated, “Whether school staff realized it or not, their direct and indirect support made a difference to the whole family.” At the time of the first deployment in 2015, Jessica was only 14 and attending middle school. With mom and sister Jennifer, both in the Army, with Dad and Jessica at home in Carrollton, and her closest relatives 1,300 miles away, life was difficult for this teenager.
Simple tasks were not an option for Jessica - she had to help with meals and cleaning, be responsible for going to bed and getting up for school and doing her homework. Cabanas said that she is 100 percent sure it was the motivation and inspiration of the school that kept Jessica focused. Graduating in May, Jessica Cabanas plans to continue her college education at University of Texas in Dallas.
Principals, teachers, and counselors make a big difference in a student’s success or failure - and life.
Each of the recognized school staff went above and beyond to support the family of one citizen warrior – a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve. ROA’s Family Support Group recognizes the giant steps attained by the 2020 graduates at the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD - Early College High School; we congratulate each one. This year, in particular, is a special time for all graduates.