'Be the storm': FBISD alums working at Hightower High School have a message for students

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Thursday, August 11, 2022
'Be the storm': FBISD alums have a message for students
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ABC13 Reporter Brianna Conner returned to her high school in FBISD to discuss the new school year with administrators and staff.

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Wednesday was the first day of school in the Fort Bend Independent School District.

That district produced ABC13's own Briana Conner, who graduated from Hightower High School. She went back to campus to talk with administrators and staff about the new school year.

Their message for Hurricanes getting ready to head back to class is "Be the storm." Principal Andre Roberson explained what it means.

"You go be the storm. You let everybody know you're a force. When you're a force and take advantage of opportunities, you're going to be successful," Roberson said.

At Hightower, the school likes to call itself a triple threat. Teachers push high schoolers to achieve in fine arts, academics, and athletics.

"My job as the head football coach is to provide structure and a culture of excellence. You always want to make a difference in the community that you're a part of. The community that helped shape, mold, and made you the person you are today," head football coach Cornelius Anthony said.

Anthony is from Missouri City and graduated from FBISD. He is one of at least a dozen teachers and administrators at Hightower who came out of Fort Bend schools.

"I've been lucky enough to hire Fort Bend graduates who want to come back to Hightower and be part of this community and do what's best for these students. That's very powerful to me, and I enjoy every minute of it," Roberson said.

He is part of that same group of educators who can point to their own lives as an example for students to look up to and learn from.

"Sometimes, I was that kid back in the day that was lost. FBISD strives to equip and inspire students. It kind of built that foundation for me. It gave me the confidence to be a leader. Now, I'm trying to make sure it goes to our students, as well," Associate Principal Erik Smith said.

While on campus, Briana got a surprise visit from the teacher who gave that confidence to a young Hurricane and Hi-Light. Mrs. Lakeisha McGowan directed the dance team and enforced discipline. She also created team traditions that have lasted.

"We're a unique campus in FBISD because we have programs that are suitable for all students. We want to keep that diversity. We want students to come to our campus from all backgrounds. We have programs that open up to students from across the district to come to be part of HHS," Roberson said.

Hightower is an open campus with homegrown staff who welcome students from across the district and even alum.

For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.