Meet the Dell City High Class of 2022 – Esteban Morales
For the Dell City High Class of 2022, the end is in sight. Graduation is June 3rd, and for our two seniors, it's both a culmination, and the dawn of something new. Cougar senior Esteban Morales is approaching it with both gratitude for his unique experiences here, and a sense of confidence and clarity about where he's headed.
“It feels good that I'm finally here,” Morales said. “But I also don't want to leave.”
Morales began at the Dell City School in kindergarten. He knows that the close-knit, personal connections he's had here with teachers and fellow students are special.
“Everybody is a community, a family here,” Morales said. “We're all together. Even small colleges are big compared to here, so it won't be the same. I'm going to miss the environment.”
The intimate nature of the Dell City School, and the opportunity to participate in every aspect of school life at a high level, have given Morales some of his most treasured experiences. Morales has been an important part of Cougar athletics – he's played basketball each year since junior-high, and six-man football when the school has fielded a team.
“My first touchdown, my first three-pointer – those experiences stand out,” Morales said. “I'm pretty sure that at a big school it wouldn't have happened, because there's so much competition out in the world.”
But academics have been the centerpiece for Morales – he's been a disciplined and rigorous student, taking dual-credit college courses during high school. He plans to attend either the University of Texas at El Paso or Texas Tech University next year. And he has a clear sense of the career he wants to pursue.
“I'm really enthused by technology,” Morales said, “and that's the future. I think I'm capable of doing that as a career.”
Morales plans to focus on coding, or another aspect of information technology. It fits his interests – but his father, Marcos, is also the longtime engineering manager and network IT specialist for Dell Telephone, and Morales has grown up learning about the field. And his math teacher at Dell City High, Clement Boakye, has also been an important influence.
Morales said Mr. B has challenged and inspired him. And he said Boakye's impact has gone beyond the classroom.
“He really believes in me,” Morales said of Mr. B. “He's like a father or a brother figure – which is really amazing to have at school. He's always there for me, in school and out of school, and he wants the best for me at all times. And he actually pushes me.”
Another school staffer who's made a powerful impression is Joe Czubinski – social studies and history teacher, and athletics director and coach. Morales said Coach Ski's commitment to students as individuals, in the classroom and in sports, has lifted him up.
“He's always there for the students – he puts them first,” Morales said. “He wants the best for you. He'll get on you if you're not behaving – but he just has an amazing atmosphere around him. He's been amazing throughout my years here – in sports and academics, and out of school.”
The Cougar Class of 2022 had four members when Morales started high school – now, it's just Morales and classmate Shania Vargas. But Morales said there are upsides to such a small class.
“It feels nice to have one-on-one time with our teachers,” he said. “It's a closer connection. We get to actually know the work, to get into it, to be able to get the knowledge fully. While if there's a bigger class, you might not know something, and the teacher might not know that either, because he's trying to help everybody out at the same time.”
Morales said he's also indebted to his mother, Diana, and to his friends at school, for his success in high school.
As much as Morales has valued the Dell City School's small, close-knit community, he's also curious about bigger places. Dissenting from his family's allegiance to the Dallas Cowboys, Morales has long been a New York Giants fan. And he feels the romance and pull of America's biggest metropolis.
“I've always liked the idea of New York,” Morales said. “Although it's overpopulated and there are so many people around, I just like the idea of living there, or possibly New Jersey.”
The IT career Morales plans to pursue could give him the opportunity to work remotely, and to make a good living. It fits into the future and the family life he envisions for himself.
“With this type of work, so you can live wherever you want and be doing your job,” he said. “And you could be making a lot of money – which is what I want to do: to be able to have my own house, to not worry about financial problems and to be able to have a family.”
Congratulations, Stevie, on graduation – and we can't wait to see you move into the next chapters of your life!