This year at Westwood, students and administration strived to create a culture — aiming for an environment where students can foster a variety of talents — reflective of the school’s academic, athletic, and moral strength. As the second semester comes to an end, the nomination of Mr. and Miss Westwood, two seniors that best encompass school spirit, indicates a continuation in tradition. Toward the end of May, it was announced that Ethan Twining ‘17 and Pia Cadar ‘17 were chosen to represent the school.
Twining, Mr. Westwood, admitted that he wasn’t expecting to win, since a lot of people were nominated. However, he feels that it was an amazing experience that teachers voted for him, and it was a nice end to his senior year.
“It’s just really special to me getting nominated by teachers,” Twining said. “I’ve really focused on developing relationships with my teachers, so having that as validation is kind of neat.”
In addition to playing football, Twining served as the secretary in National Honor Society (NHS), which highlights his appreciation for his community and passion for helping others.
“[My advice for high schoolers] is to get involved in something that you’re passionate about and make high school enjoyable,” Twining said. “You have to be here for four years, so you might as well enjoy it.”
In the fall, he plans on studying business honors at Texas A&M University.
Cadar, Miss Westwood, who was just as surprised to win, is grateful she’s been given the chance to represent her school.
“It shows that hard work pays off, and I’ve been so involved in this school,” Cadar said. “It’s just so cool that teachers appreciate me, and it’s been really meaningful.”
Cadar was the food bank director of NHS, helping to give back to less fortunate individuals at Westwood, collecting canned goods and other non-perishable foods.
“The students [at Westwood] are amazing, and I [will miss] the whole atmosphere,” Cadar said. “Especially this year, since we all wanted to come and help each other when someone was hurt or when the fire at the Westwood apartments happened.”
Despite all of her happy memories at Westwood, Cadar has anticipated graduating for a long time.
“I’m so excited, I can’t wait,” Cadar said. “My mom isn’t excited about it, but I’m just so ready to move onto college and have this new experience.”
Cadar will be attending the University of Texas at Austin this fall, with plans to major in neuroscience. She hopes to do some undergraduate research before going to medical school to become a doctor, specializing in the obstetrics and gynaecology field.
“I’m thinking OB/GYN, because I’ve shadowed one, and it was really cool,” Cadar said. “Once I become a doctor, I really hope to work with Doctors Without Borders. That would be my final goal.”
Aside from both being officers in NHS, Twining and Cadar are also involved in Peers Reaching Out and Sharing (PROS) — a part of the Texas Peer Assistance & Leadership (PAL) program — which trains high school upperclassmen to serve their community in different ways. Twining and Cadar went through a rigorous application process, including interviews, in order to be accepted. During their seventh blocks, PROS members work one-on-one with a student, help teachers in their classrooms, tutor students, or become a friend to a child who has been identified as “at risk”.
“One thing I learned from high school is that everything is going to work out in the end,” Cadar said. “You might have a really stressful week, but it’s going to be fine in the end. That’s just something to remember going through all of your years at Westwood.”
Twining and Cadar will always be remembered as dedicated and hard-working Warriors, and despite leaving for college this fall, their influence on the school and students will remain at Westwood.
Contributions by Amy Vo