Top 10 Spotlight: Sergio Montoya Brings Pride to Humble Family

Top 10 Spotlight: Sergio Montoya Brings Pride to Humble Family
Posted on 05/28/2015
This is the image for the news article titled Top 10 Spotlight: Sergio Montoya Brings Pride to Humble FamilySergio Montoya comes from a humble family.

The youngest of eight children to Rodrigo and Herminia Montoya, none of his seven brothers and sisters went to college. His parents do not speak English.

Through it all, Sergio is the fourth-ranked student in the Los Fresnos High School Class of 2015.

His academic success can be attributed to his self-determination. 

"Education was very important to me," Sergio said. "I just felt the need to help my family escape the economic level we came into. We were not very affluent but I wanted to help my family reach the American dream."

He remembers his younger days growing up in rural San Benito and attending Las Yescas Elementary School. There is a five-year gap between himself and his next-oldest sibling.

"I had a lot of hand-me down clothes," he remembers. "But because my brothers and sisters were older, it was nice that I had my parents to myself more. They probably paid more attention to me, so I want them to be proud of me."

At Liberty Memorial Middle School, he was the top-ranked student for two years.

It was at Liberty in sixth grade where he found a passion -- playing the French Horn in the band.

"I was just a beginner in the sixth grade, but I grew to love it and just kept going at it."

Sergio's family could not afford to buy the instrument, so he has been using instruments provided by the schools he has attended ever since to build an impressive music résumé. 

Sergio has been a member of the LFHS Falcon Band since he was a freshman and was chosen to the All-Region Band three years.

Last spring, he was selected as one of three drum majors, and served as the Head Drum Major. When the LFHS Marching Band played at halftime during football games, Sergio was on the center podium directing the 250-member contingent.

"A drum major sets an example for the other band members," he said. "You lead the band on to the field, and lead the tempo of the music. I would have never guessed in sixth grade that I would be a drum major as a senior."

Band members must sharpen their skills by practicing at home as well. Sergio would play at home until about 10 p.m. when his parents wanted to go to bed.

He managed to balance his French Horn practice with a strict academic routine.

"It's all time management. Every chance I got to study, I would study, whether it was bus rides, during lunch, or between classes. If I had school work to do at home, that would be a priority. But I would always be busy at home -- either doing homework or practicing."

He realizes that he will be giving up his band career to focus on his studies when he attends The University of Texas at Austin. He is uncertain of his specific major, although it will relate to science or mathematics.

Sergio, who was a Texas Music Educators Association Scholar and an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Honors, realizes his academic prowess is a gift.

"I learn and comprehend a little bit faster, when other students can't. It's hard to explain.

"My advice to students, especially in middle school, is to pursue what you want to. The main focus is reading. You should explore your imagination through reading."

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