Author Archives: mariaunahernandez

Facilities Services thanks its “lucky stars” during welcome back ceremony

Houston Independent School District’s Facility Services rolled out the red carpet for employees on Wednesday during a Hollywood-themed Welcome Back event designed to recognize workers for their outstanding performance.

Several hundred Facilities Services employees packed the bleachers of Barnett Fieldhouse to learn about new changes for the coming school year, including the development of new departmental values. Employees received surveys during the event to provide input on the values that are most important to them, as well as feedback on ways to improve the workplace culture and environment.

“Each of you is important,” Facility Services Officer Alisha Jolivette said as she addressed the crowd. “You have an impact on student education.”

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Get an up close and personal look at district construction progress

High School for Law and Justice

Want an up close and personal look at the construction underway at 2012 Bond schools throughout the district? It’s now just a couple of clicks away. Follow the progress from the comfort of your own home thanks to cameras that have been installed at several bond schools.

The cameras, which are mounted on a pole or roof of a taller adjacent building, capture an image once every 15 minutes — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Go online and view individual images or check out a time-lapse video and watch as the building comes together. The views also can be zoomed into and panned for more detail. Continue reading

New construction at Garden Oaks makes great strides

Construction at Garden Oaks Montessori is gaining ground as the school’s two new building additions are more than a quarter of the way complete and renovations to the existing building are underway.

The construction of the two new additions are a key feature of the $26.7 million project, which is part of the HISD voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. Roof installation is complete on the two-story addition, which is being outfitted with doors and windows. On the three-story addition, steel work is complete and roofing is underway.

Renovations to the library and installation of the steel framing for the cafeteria expansion also are underway, and the new circle drive is halfway done.

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HISD Police Department welcomes new assistant chief and 11 officers   

Wearing sharp black uniforms adorned with embroidered patches, newly appointed Assistant Chief Paul Cordova and 11 new officers filed into the Thomas Middle School gym on Monday ready to be sworn in as the district’s newest law enforcement officers.

Family, friends, and colleagues cheered as each officer had a shiny silver badge pinned to their uniform.

“Today is a momentous occasion,” HISD Police Chief Robert Mock said, noting that the badges conveyed great responsibility. “This a day you are given great trust, a day to become a leader.”

With Monday’s swearing-in ceremony being the largest to date, the HISD Police Department now boasts of 216 officers. It is the only accredited public school district police department in the nation, responding to more than 81,380 calls per year across 300 square miles.  Continue reading

Wilson Montessori construction passes the halfway mark

The Wilson Montessori K-8 campus is beginning to take a new form as crews continue building a three-story addition and gymnasium, both of which are now more than halfway complete.

The Montrose-area school is receiving $18.9 million under the voter-approved 2012 Bond program. The project includes construction of a new three-story addition, as well as renovations to the existing facility, which was built in 1924.

The renovation work, which includes updates to the library, reception area, and other rooms, could be completed as early as this summer. Work on the new addition will continue into the next school year.

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New Westbury HS construction project moving along


The Westbury High School Huskies are seeing significant changes on their campus as construction on their two story addition is nearly halfway complete.

The $40 million dollar project, which is a part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond, calls for general renovations to the current building, as well as a new addition with 26 classrooms, flexible learning centers, two new gyms, and a dual purpose commons serving as both a dining area and space for students to gather.

“There is great progress being made as far as I can visibly see,” Westbury Principal Susan Monaghan said. “I think it’s going to be awesome for Westbury and the community.”

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Worthing HS undergoing physical and academic transformation


With modern construction underway and a new administration in place, Worthing High School is on the verge of a transformation.

While construction crews work tirelessly to rebuild the 59-year-old school nestled in Houston’s historic Sunnyside neighborhood, new Principal Khalilah Campbell-Rhone is doing the same from the inside out.

“My desire was to come in and put Worthing back on the map,” Campbell-Rhone said, recalling how the school’s academic programs were once highly sought after and school pride was ubiquitous. “We can get back to that.”

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New Washington HS taking shape as construction progresses


Construction is more than halfway complete at Washington High School, where crews have completed installation of the building’s west side structural steel, exterior concrete walls, and exterior brick.

Crews are making steady progress. Installation of the exterior glass on the $51.7 million facility is underway, and the west side of the building is ready for both paint and flooring.

“It’s exciting to see what’s taking place,” Washington Principal Carlos Phillips said. “This will be the face of our school.”

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Tips on effective communication presented at Workshop Wednesday

 (Hernandez, Mariauna L)Is communication an art or a science? That was the question posed to attendees at this month’s Workshop Wednesday, which focused on the importance of communicating effectively during sales pitches.

Professional Presentation Coach & Workforce Development Expert Ellis Hubbard spoke to an eclectic crowd of attendees during his Listen2WIN workshop about the importance of listening to and noting the body language of the subject of their sales pitch. Those two things can help a salesman identify the type of person with whom they are dealing.

“You have to get to know folks in order to sell,” said Hubbard, who reiterated that listening is the key to communication. “The more you know about someone, the easier it is to sell to them.”

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Parker ES construction passes halfway mark

Construction at Parker Elementary School is now more than halfway complete with exterior framing and roofing well underway on the east side of the building.

“I’ve been doing a monthly walk-through in the building, so I’m seeing the progress each time I go,” Parker Principal Lori Frodine said. “I feel good it’s moving along. I’m happy that they’re starting to accelerate the work.”

The construction crew is working diligently at the site to make up some time lost due to previous weather delays. Currently, they are installing the HVAC systems on the first floor along with the chilled water pipes. Installation of the sprinkler system is also in progress.

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