Six HISD educators nominated for national LifeChanger of the Year award

Six HISD educators have been nominated for the 2018-2019 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

The following HISD educators have been nominated by students, colleagues, and parents:

  • Carlotta Brown, lead principal at Peck Elementary School
  • Olga Catoni, fifth-grade teacher at School at Saint George Place
  • Deitra Ford-Robinson, senior manager of South Area Special Education Services
  • TaNitra Robinson, second-grade teacher at B.K. Bruce Elementary Music Magnet School
  • Aletha Williams, chemistry teacher at Milby High School
  • Gina Wilkins, assistant principal at Woodson PK-5 Academy

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Lockhart ES student wins annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition

Fifth-grader wins $1,000 prize for original speech inspired by civil rights leader

Lockhart Elementary School fifth-grader Nyla Johnson channeled both Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while presenting her winning speech at the 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition.

Nyla was awarded first place for her original speech titled “What Would Dr. King Say?” The event was held Friday at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in downtown Houston. Johnson was among 12 HISD students to participate in the final round of the competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.  Continue reading

HISD Board of Education elects new president, officers for 2019

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday elected new officers for 2019, naming District VIII Trustee Diana Dávila as board president.

Dávila served as HISD trustee from 2003 to 2010 and was elected again to the board in 2015. She is a former teacher and a lifelong resident of the East End. She attended HISD’s Park Place and Lewis elementary schools and Deady Middle School before graduating from Milby High School.

Outgoing Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones transferred the gavel to Davila, signifying the change in office. Continue reading

Construction of new Austin HS to reach milestone on Monday

An immense construction crane will lift the first wall of the new Austin High School into place on Monday, marking a significant development for the 2012 Bond project.

The news was announced to the school’s Project Advisory Team on Wednesday during its regular meeting, which also included general construction and budget updates.

The $80.9 million project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020, will feature modern classrooms and flexible learning spaces while also preserving the historic front facade of the original main building, which opened in 1937.

“Tours of the construction site for small groups of students would really build excitement about the progress we’re making,” HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Meredith Smith said. Continue reading

New transportation software helping phase out manual bus inspections

Roughly 90 percent of HISD bus drivers are now completing their required twice-daily bus inspections electronically with Zonar, a fleet management and tracking system implemented by Transportation Services earlier this school year.

The success rate was determined as a result of one-on-one inspections conducted this week by the transportation leadership team at all four bus terminals. The spot checks were completed on-site each morning prior to the start of morning bus routes. Additional random checks will continue.

“We now have the ability to electronically collect fleet data, which is automatically accessible to our fleet maintenance department,” Transportation Services Interim General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “It’s made our manual inspection process obsolete.” Continue reading

Two HISD schools nominated for national Blue Ribbon Schools award

Two Houston Independent School District campuses have been nominated for the prestigious 2019 Blue Ribbon Schools designation.

The HISD schools are Field Elementary School and Project Chrysalis Middle School, which is a two-time nominee. The two HISD schools are the only ones in the greater Houston area to receive nominations. A total of 26 Texas schools have been nominated by the Texas Education Agency.

“I applaud the dedication and work ethic of the students, parents, teachers, staff, and principals for earning such prominent recognition,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan said. “As the district leader, I want to ensure that every child receives the support they need to reach their full potential and we are able to create high-performing campuses across HISD.” Continue reading

Board of Education to consider authorizing application for disaster assistance

The HISD Board of Education on Thursday will consider the district’s initial application to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for disaster assistance as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St., 77092. Click here to view the full agenda.

Per the Texas Education Code, unreimbursed disaster remediation costs that a school district incurs responding to a disaster allows the district to request a reduction in recapture payments. Continue reading

Top-performing fourth-grade teacher is January’s Teacher of the Month  

Fourth-grade teacher Alvaro Camaripano couldn’t help but have tears flowing down his face when he was surprised by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on Tuesday as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for January.

A 17-year veteran teacher at Barrick Elementary School, Camaripano was recognized for his track record of high math performance scores that have also gotten him distinguished as one of the top 5 percent math teachers in the district.

“Mr. Camaripano is well-deserving in receiving this honor,” said Principal Yolanda Garrido. “He is a humble, loving, and dedicated teacher that works hard daily to ensure all students achieve academic success.” Continue reading

How two district specialists are helping transform Achieve 180 campuses 

As part of the Achieve 180 program, it takes an all-hands-on deck approach from the district to ensure a campus yields positive results. Whether it’s members from Special Education or Interventions, support is needed from nearly all district-level departments for a school to experience a complete turnaround.

Two roles in particular—Teacher Development Specialists (TDS) and Data Driven Instructional Specialists (DDIS) play a significant role in helping transform student achievement outcomes within the classroom at Achieve 180 campuses.

“it’s important that we have both a TDS and DDIS at each of our Achieve 180 campuses as they build capacity inside and outside the classroom with teachers and campus administrators,” Assistant Superintendent Felicia Adams said.   Continue reading