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EPISD Student Spotlight: Max Matejcek, Coronado High

(CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL -- May 9, 2022) – All-around student Max Matejcek is racking up welding certificates and winning big as a student athlete all while growing alfalfa and caring for animals on the school farm. The Future Farmers of America (FFA) president and Coronado High School junior plans to spend his summer earning an underwater welding certificate. Community Engagement interviewed Max virtually for this week’s EPISD Student Spotlight.


EPISD: What are some of your accomplishments/achievements as an all-around student?

Max Matejcek: I am a varsity offensive lineman, varsity wrestler and I hold the district title in the 285 lb. weight class. I am also a varsity shot put and discus thrower for Coronado. Currently, I'm the Coronado FFA chapter president and I'm employed by the district to work on the school where we farm alfalfa and beef cattle.


EPISD: Tell us about your passion for FFA?

MM: I have been working with animals since I was a small child and have loved FFA since then. I have been very involved in agriculture through the after-school program 4-H and I now enjoy competing in FFA Senior Creed Speaking events that test my public speaking skills and in agriculture mechanics. As the chapter president, I run chapter meetings, which I really enjoy. FFA has brought me all over Texas competing and learning all about American Agriculture.


EPISD: Why did you choose the Coronado FFA Program?

MM: I chose Coronado FFA because my mom Mrs. Matejcek is a program advisor, plus my dad and aunt were both former presidents of the chapter. Coronado offers a school farm where students can keep animals for show and where we farm hay and beef cattle, which has taught me a lot more about agriculture through experiencing what farmers in America go through every day to feed our country.


EPISD: You recently participated in a welding competition, how did you prepare for it and how did it go?

MM: The competition went very well. I received level 2 and 3 certifications, and two other teammates received certifications as well. It gave the team a real-life welding experience since they had us outside using gas powered welders to certify in GMAW (gas metal arc welding) and SMAW (shield medal arc welding)) processes. We practiced SMAW welding at the farm and GMAW welding during our agriculture classes at school.


EPISD: How does it feel to be certified at such a young age?

MM: I feel very happy because it opens a lot of doors for me being this young and already having some certifications. It looks good on a resume, and it helps me a lot by knowing how I should weld and what the welds should look like. I have two certifications in the GMAW process. The level 2 certification was a single pass flat fillet weld and my second certification was the level single-pass flat butt weld (yes, that's what they're called!).


EPISD: You won an opportunity to take an underwater welding class, when are you planning on attending the class?

MM: The class is scheduled for June 11 in Houston and me, my team, my mom and dad all received coins to attend!


EPISD: What are your plans after graduation?

MM: I plan to attend Sun City Welding Academy and work as a welder on a pipeline.


EPISD: Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?

MM: My advice would be to do everything you can. Join any sport or club you want because that's where you make memories and that is where you learn how to overcome adversity and learn what hard work really is.


EPISD: Anything else you would like to add?

MM: Don't quit even if you're the worst at something. I've been seriously welding for a little over two years now and I still don't know everything, but as long as I keep practicing and I still have the love for it, I won't have to worry.


Interview by Liliana Gonzalez