NVC Student Gets Coveted Charles Butt Scholarship

After spending nearly 14 years in the Army, DeMarcus Credit, 35, was on a path to find his new mission in life. What he thought would be a career in law enforcement got derailed with an injury forced him to look for other options.

Volunteering at his daughter’s elementary school gave him a new sense of purpose. He found a passion for teaching kids. The school leadership kept inviting him back because they saw he had a gift with connecting with boys of color who needed a bit more guidance. Eventually he found himself at Northwest Vista College enrolled in Math for Teachers or Math 1350.

It was in this class he connected with NVC’s Dr. Mary Zocchi. She helped him prepare for a teaching video he had to submit to apply for the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. He was one of the few selected in the state.

Dr. Zocchi said she doesn’t know of any other student of hers at NVC who received the scholarship.

This hefty scholarship puts recipients on a fast track to getting their Masters of Teaching degree in just one year. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be committed to teaching in a Texas public school that is majority-economically disadvantaged school (meaning more than 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch) or in a shortage subject area (specifically math, science, bilingual, or special education).

While DeMarcus is honored for the scholarship, he said he must stay focus.

“I can’t celebrate until I graduate,” he said. “I went to a community college in 2005 and I didn’t take it seriously. Dr. Zocchi has been amazing. She has given me help outside the classroom to make sure I’m successful.”

DeMarcus had to go through a demanding, six-hour interview for the scholarship. Also, just last year, he earned a Bachelor of Science Cum Laude in Criminal Justice from University of Maryland Global Campus.

“My goal is to reach students earlier in life to let them know they can do well in school,” DeMarcus said. “I want to be where I can make an impact. After seeing how open students were when I was volunteering, I think they would like school more if they had teachers they liked and could relate to.”

Wildcats Represent at HEB Alamo Runfest

The NVC running team took on the H-E-B Alamo Runfest this past weekend – racing with 3000-plus other runners!

NVC had three runners run the half marathon

  • Jason Hunt was the first finisher, finishing in just under 1 hour and 42 minutes. He was third in his age group, 58th overall male out of almost 500 and 65th overall runners out of 1000 runners!
  • Omar Martinez followed closely behind, finishing in 1:42:26. He was 4th in his age group, 62nd overall male and 69th overall.
  • The lone female runner for the Wildcats was Briana Saldana! She finished in under two hours, at 1 hour and 55 minutes. She was fourth in her age group, 56th out of 500 female runners and 218th overall!

In the 10k, NVC had 8 total runners

  • Rebecca Castor was the Wildcats first finisher, finishing with a time of 51 minutes and 05 seconds. She was second in her age group, 12th overall female, and 47th overall out of 571 10k runners!
  • Linda Cabada was next placing 3rd in her age group with a time of 53 minutes, 23rd overall women and 71st overall!
  • Anna Alfaro was 3rd for the team, finishing well under 1hour, 4th in her age group and 38th overall female.
  • Beth Martinez came in three seconds behind Anna, placing second in her age group, 39th overall women and 97th overall.
  • Rounding out the 10k finishers were Robert Dreamkowski, Matthew Vasquez, Natalie Guevara, and Andrea Vazquez, all placing in the top half of 10k finishers.

In the 5k

  • Ryan Gutierrez was the only runner for the Wildcats, finishing 10th in his age group, 56th overall male and 71st out of 541 5k runners.

It was a great day to run and the Wildcats raced really well! Now the team starts preparing for the Fiesta Fandango 2.6-mile run where NVC will be represented in the Fiesta Fandango parade!


Contributed by NVC’s Cross Country Team Coach Staci Krueger