Editor’s note: This feature is dedicated to profiling Van Horn High School Alumni and updating locals on what became of them after graduation. The Advocate welcomes information for publication on VHHS Alumni and will try to highlight two Van Horn Eagles every week.
My name is Kyla Brookshier, and I graduated from Van Horn High School in 1993. Right after high school, I attended Southwest Texas State University. I competed in Poetry and Prose Interpretation on the Speech and Debate team at SWTSU in my freshmen year. I stopped going to school after my sophomore year and entered the workforce. I worked for two high-end residential construction companies as the Construction Coordinator and the Human Resources Coordinator for ten years.
Over the span of those ten years, I got married and had two very handsome sons. I got divorced about eight years ago and thus began the wild adventures of a single mom. I loved working in construction, but there was always something missing. My dream in high school was to follow in my Speech and Debate Coach’s footsteps and be a high school speech teacher and the Speech and Debate coach. Ms. Pam Young was such an inspiration to me and I’ve always wanted to support, inspire and motivate students the way she did. I decided to go back to school and finish what I started. It’s never too late to follow your dream, right? So, at the age of 34 as the single mother of a six-year-old and a three-year-old and with my family over 400 miles away, I returned to Texas State University.
I initially started with a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Theatre, but I soon found out that because of all the “fun” I had when I was eighteen years old in college, I didn’t possess the GPA I needed to take the upper level Communication classes. The only thing I could do was to take more Theatre classes. I was able to bring my GPA up by taking the Theatre classes and had taken so many classes that it was now possible to be a double major in Communication Studies and Theatre. I went in to get one degree and was going to end up with two. I learned as a single mom that had I not been so social the first time around, college would not have been difficult. That’s not to say that my kids didn’t keep me busy.
While going to school fulltime, I worked for The Center for P-16 Initiatives at Texas State. My job consisted of me going to a high school in the area and working with the College and Career Advisor. I pulled Juniors and Seniors out of class and helped them with college readiness. I basically made sure they applied to college, helped them with financial aide, college essays and scholarships. It was great and really cemented my dream of wanting to be a high school teacher.
I graduated from Texas State University on December 15, 2012, the day before my 38th birthday. It really was the BEST birthday present I could give myself, and I couldn’t have done it without my parents help. They may have been over 400 miles away, but they were always there for me when I needed them.
Graduating from college wasn’t just for me; it was for my kids too. I wanted my kids to understand the importance of an education and that if you want something bad enough, you do what you need to do to accomplish it, and you should never give up on your dreams or let someone tell you it’s not possible. There were times that the boys were sick and couldn’t go to school. My family was too far away to help me with the boys, so I had to take them to class with me because I HAD to go to school. I guess you can say they’ve been to college, too! My hope is that experience will stick with them and they will have the desire to go to college as well.
I got my first teaching job at Seguin High School in August 2014 as the Professional Communications teacher. There were not enough students signed up for the Debate class so if I wanted a debate team, I had to figure out a way to put one together. I had five people on my team. It wasn’t a big team, but it was a team and I was officially a Speech and Debate Coach. August of 2015 was different; I had 40 students sign up for my Debate class because they liked me as a teacher and wanted to take another one of my classes. It was great! I’m now in my third year as a Professional Communications teacher and Speech and Debate Coach at Seguin High School. I absolutely love what I do and I’m literally living out my dream that took me twenty years to accomplish.
My son Logan is 13 and in the eighth grade. He plays football and runs track for the school. He also plays baseball for the city of San Marcos. My son Lucas is 10 and in the fifth grade. He is currently playing Pop Warner football. He’s on the student council at his school and part of the GT program. I have an amazing boyfriend of four years who works for Juvenile Probation and has a wonderful family. Life is pretty good at the moment!