Return to Headlines

Burges JV coach selected for prestigious statewide mentorship program

(BURGES HIGH SCHOOL — Feb. 6, 2023) – Leah Hernandez, a junior varsity girls basketball coach at Burges High School, scored a spot on the Rare, Outstanding, Compelled and Knowledgeable (ROCK) Mentoring Program this year and will join other new coaches statewide to build on their already strong, yet young, careers. 

“I was very excited to know that I was given this opportunity,” Hernandez said. “EPISD went out of its way to help me expand my coaching experience and learn more. I heard there will be lots of opportunities to meet new people, learn skills and also become more motivational for student-athletes.”

The second-year coach, who also teaches special education at Lamar Elementary School, returned to her alma mater to coach alongside her mentor and high school basketball coach, Cynthia Hernandez, who nominated her for the ROCK Mentorship. The Texas High School Coaches Association-sponsored mentorship, developed for coaches with five or fewer years under their belt, will give Leah Hernandez invaluable training from mentor coaches statewide.

“I'm really proud of her,” Cynthia Hernandez said. “She’s very deserving. I’ve seen a lot of the good things the mentoring program does for young coaches – especially women. It’s a great opportunity for her.”

Leah Hernandez enjoys the opportunity to coach her daughter, Jordan Hernandez, while on the sideline with head coach Cynthia Hernandez. 

“Ever since I played for Coach (Cynthia) Hernandez, it’s been my goal and my dream to coach, and also coach where my daughter is playing,” Leah Hernandez said. 

Leah Hernandez will join more than 60 other members of the Class of 2023 mentees for the 2023 ROCK Coaches Mentoring Program Symposium at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for a two-day workshop with speakers, discussions, and networking opportunities. After the symposium, the mentees and mentors will work through a year-long curriculum developed by the TMCA Coaching Academy. This curriculum provides bimonthly access to virtual learning modules with discussion prompts, activities, situational challenges and more for each pair to discuss.

“We see you as the ROCK that builds the base for our association and the coaching profession,” wrote Libby Pacheco, chief operating officer of the Texas High School Coaches Association Education Foundation, in a letter to Hernandez. “When you complete the program, we envision you being a great ambassador and advocate in the coaching profession for years to come.”