Principal’s Recognition Award: Thea Gonzales

By Sammy Butera

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Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of 13 stories about this semester’s Principal’s Recognition Award winners who were recognized on Wednesday, April 20 for outstanding achievement in specific programs. Senior Thea Gonzales received the Fine & Applied Arts-Choir Award and was nominated by Ms. Amy Branhal.

Being able to live your dream is not accomplished by many, but senior Thea Gonzales can say that she is living her dream each and every day. Singing on a public bus is where Gonzales’ journey all started. It then continued its way though the halls of Niles West with the help of choir director Amy Branhal.

“My sophomore year I was singing on the bus until a complete stranger approached me telling me I had a beautiful voice and ever since then thats where my whole singing career began,” Gonzalez said. “After talking to my counselor about possibly adding a choir class to my schedule the only possible way was being apart of the mens’ choir but it honestly didn’t matter cause all I wanted to do was sing. I was only apart of the mens’ choir for one semester and then was given the opportunity to join Master’s Choir where I fully developed my skills.”

While in Master’s Choir Gonzales found she had a natural ability to lead others while being recognized by her beautiful talent.

“Thea is a tremendous leader. She’s the type of person that people want to follow. She is super knowledgeable and involved with everything going on not just in the choir room but around the school as well. Most of all she is excellent in her craft, she has been apart of the Poetry Slam, ACDA Honors Choir, and District Seven Choir. The thing that really stand outs the most about Thea is that she is just a overall great human being, that treats everyone with the decency and respect they deserve,” Choral Director Amy Branhal said.

After four years of working extremely hard Gonzales was very excited about knowing that all her hard work and dedication didn’t go unrecognized.

“It feels surreal because when you’re doing the work and when you’re participating in these activities you don’t really think about what you’re going to get back, you don’t think about your awards the only thing you think about is that moment. This whole time it was just about me doing what I love and just being apart of these fantastic programs is enough for me,” Gonzales said.

Previous installment in the series: 

Jackie Chis  –  https://www.nileswestnews.org/features/principals-recognition-award-jackie-chis/