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IT IS UNCOMMON FOR A STUDENT TO MAKE THEIR PRESENCE FELT ON CAMPUS TO THE DEGREE THAT SHELBY KOUBA HAS AT CROSBY HIGH SCHOOL.
Throughout her time spent as a Cougar, Kouba’s proficiency in academics and her extra-curriculars, particularly Future Farmers of America (FFA), makes her one of the most accomplished seniors on campus.
Considering she is the President of Texas FFA Area III, as well as the recipient of the Lone Star degree, which is the highest level of membership the State FFA Association can bestow, it is clear how passionate Kouba is about the field.
However, it took her some time to realize this was what she was meant for.
“I started out my entire life doing cheerleading,” she said. “But, after joining FFA, I learned that my purpose is in the agriculture industry and sustaining society in the business side of it.”
Not only is Kouba a high-ranking member of the school’s FFA program, she is among the select few Crosby students to be a part of the AP Scholars program.
“I grew up showing animals, so my family always pushed me to do my best whenever I was raising swine, chicken or cattle,” said Kouba. “So, as I matured, they also encouraged me to push myself in academics and I was able to eventually become self-motivated to succeed in whatever path I choose.”
Given that she found her calling in life, paired with her irrefutable intellect, she plans on working in the agriculture business one day. What better place to go to college than Texas A&M.
“I’m going to be a first-generation Aggie,” Kouba said. “I’m very outgoing and I think I fit the bill for what an Aggie is. I’m going to major in AgriBusiness and minor in Ag-Communications. The end goal is to be a Public Relations Manager for the food production industry.”
In addition to her work with the Crosby FFA and AP Scholars programs, a significant portion of Kouba’s free time is spent at the rodeo.
“I participate in both the Texas High School Rodeo Association and the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association, which attend local rodeos all across the state,” she said. “I barrel race on my mare, Barbie, and we do pretty well. It can be a lot of fun.”
And what inspires the Crosby senior to pursue her dreams?
“That has to be my mom,” said Kouba. “She has motivated me to follow my heart, especially when I was going through a bit of a rough patch. Deciding whether or not to do cheer or FFA was a difficult crossroads for me, and she pushed me towards an industry that’s going to serve me well in the long-term.”
Crosby ISD’s motto is “Tradition...With a Future,” which is certainly something Shelby Kouba embodies. She’ll carry on that sentiment as she advances to Texas A&M and beyond.
THEATER ARTS ARE AMONG THE MANY EXTRACURRICULARS CROSBY HIGH SCHOOL PLACES A SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON, GIVEN THE FACT THAT IT GIVES SEVERAL COUGARS THE CHANCE TO SHINE UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AND VENTURE OUTSIDE THEIR COMFORT ZONE.
One student in particular, senior Grace Kay, has created quite the presence on-stage. One in which she has developed through her experiences dating back to her childhood.
“I’ve been doing Theater since I was about eight years old,” said Kay. “My first show was actually at Crosby Theater with [Joseph] Blanchard. I remember when I was a kid, I would perform in the Christmas shows and plenty of others. So, I’ve always just been really passionate about it. At school, I was always really quiet, and Theater has been my outlet to be myself and perform.”
Kay has played significant roles in various Crosby shows, including her personal favorite “Godspell” during her freshman year, as well as the more recent production of “Annie”, in which Kay was the lead actress.
Given her background in the performing arts and her penchant for expressive creativity, it seems only fitting that Kay will be attending a school that fosters their students’ creative abilities – Columbia College in Chicago.
“I’m not entirely sure why the school spoke to me the way it did,” she said. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve just been drawn to northern cities and I really love the ‘hustle and bustle’ lifestyle of Chicago. I’m going to be studying Audio Arts because I love music and want to help create more of it by collaborating with other artists. That’s something I’ve picked up from Theater.”
Theater production is comparable to the functions of a clock.
It only works when all the parts work together in unison, which is exactly what Kay appreciates the most from her time in the Crosby program.
“Some of my favorite moments are when I did shows with everyone,” Kay said. “It’s really fun...not even the performing part. I would say it’s just preparing with everyone and getting everything together for the shows we would put on.”
Despite the fact that the “quiet girl,” who turned out to be a star on the stage, will be moving up north in the coming months, she will always have a soft place for Crosby.
“I will definitely miss the ‘small-town’ community of Crosby,” said Kay. “That’s obviously something Chicago can’t offer, so I’m going to miss the fact that people care deeply about each other and what goes on in the town. That kind of unity can be really hard to find and that’s why being in Crosby was so special to me.”