Bright Futures: Puerto’s behind the scenes work recognized

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Memorial High School senior Annie Puerto is a take charge, behind the scenes kind of person whose involvement in band, academics, organizations and her church go to create successful events.

In addition, her upbeat personality shines for others to see.

“Smiling as she enters, Annie Puerto brings sunshine into every classroom at Memorial High School. Her positive attitude encourages those around her,” Halye Keeney, Puerto’s English teacher, said. “She is a very diligent student who balances her academics with her extracurricular activities. Here on campus her activities include band manager, student council and a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee. Off campus she stays busy working with her church.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Puerto doesn’t play an instrument but has many friends in the band. When she learned she could still be part of the band, she jumped at the idea. She works closely with the band director, Trent Johnson, where she acts as a helper of sorts and records the field shows to be viewed later for any mistakes.

“Her duties as band manager involve organization, patience and hard work,” Keeney said. “Our school has won many awards for their outstanding performances; Annie is proud to be a part of the behind the scenes team that provide support for them.”

Her work on the student advisory council began when she was in the eighth grade.

“We meet and try to go over what’s good at all of the schools and if there’s a problem we try to fix it,” Puerto said. “We may have a friend say we’re having a problem and will bring it to the advisory committee.”

One such issue tackled more than a year ago dealt with high school students being required to wear uniforms. Changes were made and now only elementary and middle school students wear uniforms.

A perk of being on the committee is the chance to apply for scholarships, she said.

She is also a member of the student council where she and fellow students discuss school policies and make plans for future pursuits for all the students, her teacher said, adding that Puerto’s level-headed outlook balances and adds to the success of Memorial.

“Her activities call for clear thinking and the ability to work with others to set and accomplish goals,” Keeney said.

Puerto is in the top of her class and although she doesn’t know her current ranking she guesses she is in the top 25.

She is currently taking five advanced placement courses and took a tour of Lamar University-Beaumont while looking towards the future. She plans to attend LU and work towards becoming a physician’s assistant.

“When I was young I had my mind set. I wanted to be a doctor and that’s wasn’t going to change,” she said. “Then after a friend got sock I realized a physician’s assistant has more on-on-one contact with patients. I really, really think this is for me.”

Puerto is also a skilled artist who won a first place ribbon for a painting she submitted for the South Texas State Fair some years ago. That skill, coupled with her organizational skills have helped at both her church and at home.

Puerto is a member of Centro de Avivamiento where she is involved in the youth group.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “We decorate for events such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and the church anniversary.”

Her artistic and organizational skills came in handy while planning her sister’s quinceanera. The event, celebrating her sister’s coming of age at 15, includes the girl wearing an elaborate ball gown, a court of honored friends, formal wear, music and more.

“While we were planning it my mom realized we didn’t have a praise dance so I taught my sister and four others the praise dance,” she said of the Christian based event.

Annie Puerto is the daughter of Laritssa Cruz.