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Top Accolades of the 2023-2024 School Year from Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy

Top Accolades of the 2023-2024 School Year from Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy
Sarah Rak

With the end of the school year, we want to recognize our CTE students for a job well done as they have competed and championed important events and milestones this year at the Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy. 

Did you know that approximately 3,300 students attend the GBCCA? Did you know that this school offers 12 career clusters, multiple programs of study and 44 different professional certifications?

More than 550 seniors received a graduation cord and more than 880 high school students earned professional certifications. A few examples of the certifications achieved by our students include Certified Medical Assistant, EKG Technician, Floral certification and Non-Commissioned Security Officer certification. 

In addition to professional certifications, many students are also state, national and even international winners of CTE competitions in everything from law, robotics, FFA, culinary arts, architecture, fashion, marketing, merchandising, business, EMT, sports nutrition, teaching and the BBQ team!

Below are the outstanding accomplishments our students achieved this school year.

Business Professionals of America Represent Rockwall at Nationals

Twenty-one students in Business Professionals of America competed among 6,400 students from 26 states and three countries in the 2024 National Leadership Conference in May at Chicago. Led by advisors Naposhi Amos, Jeff Burkham, Marcia Eddy and Misty Rayson, many BPA students placed at nationals. Congratulations to the following students:


  • Casey O., 3rd Place: Advanced Desktop Publishing
  • Maureen F., 14th Place: Fundamentals of Desktop Publishing


  • Network Design Team, 4th Place: Micah S., Roman P.
  • Visual Design Team, 4th Place: Arissa H., Holly N., Casey O., Riley R.
  • Computer Animation Team, 5th Place: Aidan C., Isaac F.
  • Broadcast News Production Team, 5th Place: Jake G., Jacob K., Camdyn L.
  • Podcast Production Team, state winner: Sebastian B., Jacob G., Harrison M., Jayson W.


  • Multimedia and Promotion, 1st Place: Camdyn L.
  • Software Engineering Team, 6th Place: Andrew H., Birt F., Sergio P., Richard D.
  • Multimedia and Promotion Team, 7th Place: Sebastian B., Jacob G., Harrison M., Jayson W.
  • 2D Animation Team, 8th Place: Alexa L., Roman P.
  • Branding Team: Veronica E., Valeria G., Alexandria Y.

FCCLA Fashion Design Students Make Their Way to Nationals

Congratulations to the fashion design students who placed at the FCCLA State Leadership Conference in April and will advance to the national competition in Seattle, Wash. in July. Sophia B. earned 1st place in Fashion Construction, Level 2; Raleigh M. earned 2nd place in Fashion Design, Level 2; and Gracie Z. earned 1st place in Fashion Design, Level 3.

DECA Students State Finalists, International Qualifiers

Led by their advisors, Dori Brown and Alisha Bridges, a total of 23 GBCCA students competed against more than 6,000 students at DECA State Career Develop Conference (CDC). Three seniors won State Finalist and two advanced as International Qualifiers competing at the DECA International Competition (ICDC) in Anaheim, CA. The International Qualifiers worked hard to improve their knowledge and application of learning for their exam and role-play performances for their Marketing Communications event at the ICDC.

  • State Finalist and International Alternate: Caleb T. (RHHS, Sr.) - Accounting Applications
  • State Finalists and International Qualifiers: Skyler M. (RHHS, Sr.) - Marketing Communications
  • Simone S. (RHHS, Sr.) - Marketing Communications

Technology Student Association Students Place at State Competition

The Technology Student Association State competition was held in Fort Worth in April. Led by their advisor Kim Card, these architecture students worked diligently and successfully represented GBCCA. We are so proud to recognize them for placing at the state competition.

  • Architectural Model Design (Beginner): Adeline B. (2nd), Ellie G. (3rd), Lauren R. (5th)
  • Architectural Model Design (Experienced): Landon H. (1st). Austin S. (2nd)
  • Interior Design-Residential (Beginner): Avery S. (4th)
  • Architectural Design Group Model: Alexis B., Allie B., Justin C., Riley G. (8th)
  • CAD-Architecture: Landon H. (3rd)

Black Hawk Robotics Team Ranked Top 10 in State

The Rockwall-Heath High School Black Hawk Robotics Team 3310, led by their coaches Nicole Harvey and Kyla Baker, competed against the top 86 teams in the state at the 2024 UIL First Robotics Championship in Houston. Team 3310 won 2nd place in their event, placing them 9th in Texas. This outstanding finish qualified 3310 to compete in the World Championship. Congratulations to Black Hawk Robotics!

Full Metal Jackets Robotics Team Secure Spot in State Competition

The Rockwall High School Robotics Team 1296, Full Metal Jackets, led by their coaches David Smith and Melissa Bunch, concluded their season with remarkable achievements at the UIL State Robotics Tournament. Competing among a pool of over 200 teams, Team 1296 secured an impressive 14th place in the state rankings earning them a spot at the UIL 2024 First Robotics World Championship. At the State Tournament, David Smith, a long-time mentor and GBCCA teacher, earned the prestigious Woodie Flowers finalist title because of his invaluable guidance and mentorship. Congratulations to the Full Metal Jackets!

Law Students Shine at State Competition

This season the GBCCA law team competed at the Texas Public Service Teachers’ Association (TXPSTA) State competition in Houston, TX. Twenty-seven GBCCA students competed against more than 400 students statewide in a variety of law related events. The following students earned awards at the state competition: 

  • Opening Statements: 2nd Place, Presley D. (RHS) and 3rd Place, Keaton S. (RHHS)
  • Closing Statements: 1st Place, Christa K. (RHS) and 2nd Place, Keaton S. (RHS)
  • Building Search Team: 3rd Place, Sofia E. (RHS), Amiee O. (RHS), Makayla S. (RHHS) and Megan P. (RHHS)
  • Police Agility-Female: 1st Place Makayla S. (RHHS) and 2nd Place Emerson W. (RHS)
  • Felony Traffic Stop (4 Man Team): 3rd place Faith L. (RHHS), Richard S. (RHHS), and Josh D. (RHHS)

Congratulations to the team sponsors Don Williams, Dan Nelson, James Dupuch, Laine Wich, and Karyn Nyholm - GBCCA; Marcia Hasenyager - RHHS; and Keith Allen – RHS

TAFE Students Heading to Nationals in July

Students in the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) made the grade at the state competition in February, and two students will be competing in the national competition in July in Washington D.C.

Congratulations to Adri and Kassidy who present their public service announcement on teacher recruitment at the national competition. Congratulations as well to Kaylee who placed 4th at state, making her the first in the program to place in the top 5 at state.

Culinary Students Whisk Their Way to State

The Culinary ProStart competition brings together high school students from all across the state and is an opportunity for students to showcase their culinary skills in a real-world setting. On March 7-10, our team of five students traveled to Waco and competed against 40 other schools. Not only did our students place 2nd but each student also received a total of $12,500 in scholarships. Congratulations to students:
• Amelia I. - RHS
• Jaylin A. - RHS
• Ian G. - RHS
• Lily L. - RHHS
• Aaron R. – RHHS

Congratulations to Team Sponsors: Mason Estrada, Rachel Bristow, and Cody Hayes.

FCCLA Culinary Students Are Heading to Nationals

The FCCLA culinary chapter competed at the FCCLA State Leadership Conference in April. Of the five students who competed, four placed and three are national qualifiers! Kennedy J. participated in Texas Cupcake Presentation Level 2 and placed 3rd. Montana W., Jaime R., and Lauren D. participated in Food Innovations Level 2 and placed 1st in the state making them a national qualifier! They will be representing the great state of Texas in Seattle, Wash. in July. The FCCLA Culinary team is lead by Chef Chris Rivera.

BBQ Student Smokes Competition, Earns Grand Champion Status

The High School BBQ Champions, led by coaches Sean Hill and Chandler Romero, competed in the 2024 State Championship in Round Rock. Grand Champion Jackson J. was the Texas 3rd place winner for ribs at State. This win helped place Team Smoke in the top 20 out of 98 teams. Congratulations!