Galena Park ISD Alumni Spotlight
Our April spotlight is Tony Flores, a 2004 Galena Park High School graduate. He also attended Galena Park Elementary and Galena Park Middle School. While in high school, Flores dedicated himself to band. He was drum major of the GPHS Marching Band his junior and senior year and participated in the Junior Achievement program. He had many great achievements during high school; he was named an All- American Scholar, a Who’s Who Among American High School Students and a United States Achievement Academy recipient. Flores graduated Magna Cum Laude as a National Society of High School Scholar.
After graduation, Flores was awarded the President’s Scholarship to attend the University of St. Thomas- Houston. After two years at St. Thomas, Flores transferred to Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma to study Music Education. He completed his National Kodaly Certification at the University of Oklahoma and will start working on his Level II Orff- Schulwerk training this summer.
Flores had tons of educators who influenced him including Dr. Neeley, Ms. Eaton, Ms. Turner, Ms. Sisneros and many others. Mr. Richard, Flores’ high school band director, made the most profound impact on his life. During Flores’ sophomore year at St. Thomas, his mother passed away and his grade slipped; he was ready to give up on everything. Mr. Richard and his wife didn’t give up on him. They made sure Flores had food on the table and encouraged him to persevere. Mr. Richards convinced him to re-enroll in college and change his major to Music Education. Without Mr. Richards, Flores doesn’t know where he would be today. Flores accredits Mr. Richard for saving him.
Flores attributes his success to his parents and his educators. His father didn’t make it to high school, and his mother didn’t go to college. His parents wanted more for him, and they supported him in anything and everything he wanted to do. Their dreams for him helped him get to where he is now. The amazing GPISD teacher and compassionate college professors also helped him along the way. When Flores thought he couldn’t do something, his teachers and professors were the ones who lifted him up and pushed him.
For the past six years, Flores has taught K- 5 Music at Wiley Post Elementary in Oklahoma City. In 2015, Flores was named Wiley Post Teacher of the Year and Putnam City District Teacher of the Year. In the summer of 2015, he was named a finalist for State Teacher of the Year. In 2016, he was named Oklahoma’s Outstanding Young Music Educator of the Year.
Flores serves as President- Elect of the Oklahoma Kodaly Educators and serves on the National Conference Committee of the 2018 National Kodaly Music Educators Conference. In his free time, Flores is busy building relationships with his students and their families. He wants his students and their families to know they can always count on him. They have turned to him multiple times for assistance. He sees his job as a chance to be a beacon of hope there is something better out there.
Flores would like everyone at GPISD to know they were his salvation. It’s because of GPISD he has devoted his life to helping young people.