The NBISD Education Foundation has inducted three new members as Distinguished Alumni during their annual banquet held Sept. 4 at the McKenna Events Center. This year’s honorees include: Kahala Crayton, Joe Castilleja, and Heather (Woods) Sanders.
The three distinguished alumni will also be honored during halftime at the varsity football game against Canyon on Sept. 8.
Kahala Crayton – Class of 1992
Kahala Crayton graduated from New Braunfels High School in 1992. During her time at NBHS, she was president of the French Club. She also was involved in Drama Club, Speech and Debate Club, Band, Student Council and as a Secretary Senior Class Officer.
After graduating, she attended Baylor University, where she was a Baylor Belle. She then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Later, she attended Texas State University, where she graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication. She also has attended the University of California, Davis in pursuit of her Doctorate.
Crayton has had an extensive and impressive career in various education communities.
Some of the positions she has held include: Faculty Development Program Lead for Alamo Colleges District; Adjunct Faculty in Speech and Communication for Alamo Colleges; Adjunct Faculty in Communication for Solano Community College in Fairfield, California; Research Assistant at the Davis Humanities Institute; Staff and Education Provider Coordinator for the California Tax Education Council in Sacramento; and as an Associate in Cultural Representation of Gender, Gender and Global Cinema, Gender and Cinema and Images of America at the University of California, Davis; and as a Lab Instructor in Speech Communication at Texas State. Currently, she serves as a learning and development specialist at the University of Las Vegas.
Joe Castilleja – Class of 1977
Joe Castilleja is like most “old” Unicorns: He is proud and bleeds blue! Castilleja was born and raised in New Braunfels and graduated from NBHS in 1977.
During his time as a Unicorn, Castilleja was captain of the football team, played baseball and ran track. He elected Mr. NBHS and as president of his senior class. He also served as president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Castilleja was involved in Student Council, French Club, and he was Duke in the Queen of Hearts Fundraiser.
Later, Castilleja continued to serve his Alma Mater as the chair of the NBISD Facilities Committee. He also has served on the Comal ISD Business Advisory Committee, the City of New Braunfels Strategic Planning Committee, the city Bond Advisory Committee and as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Castilleja also was a member of the inaugural City University Class in 201, and he served on the city committee that designed and came up with the name of the first new recreation center in 70 in New Braunfels, Das Rec.
He also has spent time volunteering for organizations such as: Hope Hospice, Communities in Schools, Volunteers in Medicine, the American Heart Association of Comal County and the American Cancer Society. Castilleja also chaired the Hispanic Mural Project, and he is the past chair of the Greater NEw Braunfels Chamber of Commerce.
Currently, he serves on the board of the McKenna Center and the United Way of Comal County. He is a member of the Rotary Club as well as an Opa Emeritus in the Wurstfest Association where he has served since 1987.
Castilleja is married to Kristy Castilleja, a former NBISD teacher and administrator, and they are proud parents of two former Unicorns, Dylan and Chloe.
Heather (Woods) Sanders – Class of 1987
Heather Woods Sanders graduated third in her class at NBHS in 1987. During that time, she also was a member of the National Honors Society and Student Council. Additionally, she participated in volleyball, basketball, cross country, track, and she was the mascot “Eunice the Unicorn” during her junior and senior years. She earned the GArian Simon Memorial Scholarship Award, and she was a member of the first Mid-Texas Symphony Debutante Class.
After graduating from NBHS, she continued her athletic and academic career at Austin College, where she received Academic All-Conference and Volleyball All-Conference honors in 1991. In 1996, she was inducted into the Austin College Hall of Honor.
Following college, Sanders has spent the last 30 years working in education and as a coach at Bryan High School, NBHS and Canyon High School, where she currently serves as the head volleyball coach and assistant athletic coordinator. As of Aug. 21, she has accumulated a career record of 764-300, including five state tournament appearances. She has coached 46 collegiate players and her teams have received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Academic Award every year since 2011 for maintaining a GPA of 3.30 or higher as a team.
Sanders has continued with athletics in her personal life as she qualified and ran the Boston Marathon last spring. She also was selected to participate in the Marine Educator Workshop, where the 12th Marine Corps District send about 80 high school and college educators, counselors and administrators to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Sanders and her husband, Brien, have a daughter, Logan, who is a freshman in high school.