“It is an award that was created in memory of a past Deaf-Ed student and BHS graduate, Esmeralda Lares,” said Brownwood Deaf Education teacher, Stephanie Kimbrough. “This was a nomination-based award for deaf and hard-of-hearing students from all of Region XV, all the way to Kerrville, Abilene, Ector County, to Lubbock and beyond. It is a great honor.”
Shields’ photo was printed in the event program along with the following biographical information:
Rayne lost her hearing in both ears. As a baby she was able to wear a cochlear device and a hearing aid. She now is deaf in both ears. She uses voice and sign, and says that being in school with kids she’s grown up with helps so much. Rayne still feels shy at times being the only student at her school with a hearing device. She says that it is sometimes difficult to make new friends, but she treasures the ones she has and tries to help them and others.
Rayne likes hanging out with friends, playing on her phone, going to the park, skating, and drawing. She loves to laugh. Her interests include working with animals, and she says she might like to pursue that interest after high school. Stephanie Kimbrough, her teacher, began working with Rayne and her family when she was 2 ½ months old. Shields has attended the West Texas Deaf Olympics for 10 years.