Meet the kids of KXAN: A look back at our staff’s school days



AUSTIN (KXAN) — As kids return to school for the new year, KXAN is going back in time to when our very own anchors and reporters were in school. Take a look at their transformations and find out a little bit about their younger selves.

Sydney Benter, evening anchor

Sydney says her favorite subject in school was language arts and her least favorite was any type of math, saying that mathematics “are not my strong suit. I think my internal calculator has a factory defect.”

Sydney says her eighth-grade teacher Mrs. Peters was her favorite. “She always opened the windows in the dead of winter to keep us awake during first period. I shivered but I learned how to diagram sentences and recite poetry from memory; skills I still value despite the proliferation of auto-correct and character count limits.”

Sydney calls this her “mushroom haircut” circa the early/mid 90s.

Robert Hadlock, evening anchor

Robert says his favorite class in school was “VE,” or “visual education.” He says that in eighth grade he was a “VE Boy,” which meant he got to go around for one period a day and shuttle 16mm film projectors, 35mm slide projectors and record players to various classrooms.

“It was a fun introduction to television, production,” Robert says.

Sally Hernandez, morning anchor

Jacqulyn Powell, reporter/morning weekend anchor

Jacqulyn says her favorite subject was history/social studies and didn’t have a least favorite subject because she “liked them all!” She says her favorite teacher was Mrs. Christian in the third grade (the year this photo was taken) because they had the same birthday and would send birthday cards every year through high school. Sweet!

Alex Caprariello, reporter

Alex says his favorite subject in school was music — which makes sense because he sings loudly in the newsroom!

Kristen Currie, weekend evening meteorologist

Kristen says her favorite subject in school was science — a meteorologist from the beginning! Check out her adorable kindergarten picture.

Wes Rapaport, Nexstar Bureau reporter

Wes says he loved art and English in elementary school and history and politics in high school. He says “After joining the broadcast program at my middle school, learning about television became my passion — which led to my career!”

David Yeomans, Morning meteorologist

Jim Spencer, chief weathercaster

Jim says his favorite subject was speech/debate and his least favorite was math. Jim says of his favorite teachers: “Ms. Paula Conatser taught me English and grammar rules I have used and needed every single day of my career. She was right about that! A close second is Mr. Brandon Fentem — a history teacher who painted such vivid stories you really didn’t feel like you were in a history class — more like a movie.”

Steffi Lee, Nexstar bureau reporter

Steffi says her favorite subject was English and her least favorite was math. Her favorite teacher was Mr. Stevens, who taught physics.

Candy Rodriguez, reporter

Check out Candy’s kindergarten photo from Washington Elementary Schol in Reedley, California. Candy says, “Fun fact: a month or so before this photo was taken, I had cut my own bangs! You may notice there’s a slight gap in the middle.”

Erin Cargile, investigative reporter

Erin says her favorite subject was math (the first one among the KXAN staff!) and her least favorite was social studies. Erin says of her kindergarten teacher: “I have vivid memories of my kindergarten teacher. I loved our one-on-one reading sessions during nap time when I was learning to read (probably because I was getting out of nap time!), and my mom was also my third-grade math and science teacher. She was incredible!”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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