celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

Zing went the strings

Cellist tunes up for future

By Sean Thomas

Just listing all of Hanna Osteen's activities and achievements is exhausting.

While traveling with the football team, competing in state competitions on her cello and lettering in academics, she still manages to attend cosmetology classes every morning and then drive back to Amarillo High, where she finishes classes with straight A's.

"I don't sleep much," Osteen says, laughing.

"She's a great student. ... She's self-sacrificing. She's marvelous," said Roger Edwards, who is the orchestra director at AHS. "She has an incredible attitude about everything that we do. ... She's one of our better students."

Born and raised in Amarillo, Osteen, 18, started playing the cello six years ago, moving on from the piano and viola.

"I think it's the prettiest," said Osteen, who plays in the AHS Philharmonic and the Symphony Strings. "It's rich, not squeaky."

Even with all the experience, Osteen says she still gets nervous when competing. She received an "Outstanding" rating at the Greater Southwest Music Festival this month for a solo and work in a quartet.

"I get really nervous playing in front of somebody," she said, adding she prefers to play in a group. "You're not just there by yourself."

Osteen was nominated by Tina Hare, who was her mentor in the Pearls program, which pairs mentors with teenage girls.

"When I was nominating her, I couldn't even think of all the things she has done. She is just a great, great student," Hare said. "She is just a really good kid."

Hare said she is used to most teenage girls being focused on material things, but that Osteen is focused on her career, school and future.

Osteen lettered in academics her senior year, orchestra twice and even football. Osteen and several other girls got out of taking physical education classes by videotaping games and practices for the football team, traveling with them and attending pep rallies.

This fall, Osteen plans to use her music scholarship to attend Amarillo College, where she said she will study music education.

"I want to teach elementary, like little kids, because after that they get annoying," Osteen said.

Celebrate Education is a yearlong community project to encourage lifelong learning and help raise the education level in the Texas Panhandle.

Editor's Note: The Amarillo Globe-News is profiling a student a day from May 9-29 as part of its 2008 graduation coverage. Students were nominated by Globe-News readers.

calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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