Dragon SRT students earn state honors

Dragon SRT students earn state honors
Posted on 04/08/2019
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With the clock ticking, Kevin Venegas had to run down a suspect, identify him from others milling around the area then make a safe arrest, all the while keeping himself and bystanders out of harm’s way.

And Kevin, a junior at Nacogdoches High School, did it so well last month in College Station he won the championship for foot pursuit, part of the Texas Public Services Association’s statewide competition.

Kevin is part of the Student Response Team, a club based within the Career & Technical Education program offered at NHS.

Senior Callie Ford and junior Sachiel Luna joined Kevin at the competition in College Station. Callie and Sachiel finished third in the state in criminal case analysis.

“You run fast and get them,” Kevin said, describing the competition in foot pursuit. “Then be smart when making the arrest.”

TPSA is a career and technical student organization that provides law, public safety, corrections and security students with real world career preparation, experience, training and competition opportunities.

All three NHS students are intent on law enforcement being a part of their future. Callie, who graduates next month, will go to Angelina College before transferring to either Texas A&M or Mississippi State (she wants to be a veterinarian or game warden).

Kevin will also go to Angelina College, intent on becoming a law enforcement officer, with an eye towards being a state trooper.

For Sachiel, who’s a junior like Kevin, the military is part of her plan for at least a couple years after graduation, then a criminal justice degree at Sam Houston State University before moving along to the FBI, and ultimately, a career in law.

This was Callie’s and Sachiel’s return to TPSA; last year was the first time NHS students qualified for the state competition. In 2018, Callie and Sachiel barely knew each other when paired as a case analysis team, but it worked. “We just clicked,” they said.

After failing to place in state a year ago, Callie and Sachiel earned a third place finish this time around. Their event involves structuring a case from the initial call to law enforcement all the way through preparation for trial.

“The dedication of these students – of all our students in the club – is phenomenal,” said Monica Hill, the NHS instructor who teaches six law enforcement-related courses and is advisor for Dragon SRT. “These students put in a tremendous amount of work and have such wonderful attitudes.”

Dragon SRT at NHS was started by former instructor Mike Claude; Hill took over this year as advisor. There are about 30 students that are members of Dragon SRT (Callie and Sachiel serve as co-chairs).

The three state qualifiers want to see the club grow in numbers and acknowledgement around the school. “We’re proud of how far the club has come,” said Callie.

“Few people really know what we do,” Kevin added.

What they did this year is win.

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