Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD names 2017-18 Teacher of the Year finalists, Beginner Teacher of the Year winners 

Winners will be recognized on May 18 at the Educators of the Year banquet

In recognition of teaching excellence across the district, HISD will officially crown its principals and teachers at the “royal wedding-themed” Educators of the Year banquet on Friday, May 18, at the Hilton Americas Hotel.

Fourteen finalists have been named for the Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the year. The two winners, who will go on to represent the district in Region 4, will be announced during the Educators of the Year banquet on Friday, May 18. The 14 finalists were selected from all 287 campuses based on performance data and other criteria.  Continue reading

State Board of Education creates ethnic studies class based on HISD’s Mexican-American Studies course

Douglas Torres-Edwards, center, with HISD trustees Elizabeth Santos and Sergio Lira.

Course author honored by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Councilman Robert Gallegos

After more than four years of debate, the Mexican-American Studies course pioneered in HISD will be used as the framework for the first statewide high-school ethnic studies class.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) voted unanimously on April 13 to create TEKS standards for an ethnic studies class based on HISD’s course, written primarily by veteran educator Douglas Torres-Edwards. Continue reading

Jane Long Academy social worker feels called to make a difference 

Berta Alicia Ontiveros

As the school bell rings and chatter begins to fill the hallways at Jane Long Academy, Berta Alicia Ontiveros holds a squawking radio and smiles broadly as she approaches students who are still lingering after the tardy bell.

“Come on sweetie, you don’t want to be late,” she says softly.

Ontiveros is finishing her third year as a social worker for HISD. She works at Jane Long, a school with a diverse student body. Students speak multiple languages and come from varied backgrounds and cultures, which can sometimes make it difficult for them to adjust.  Continue reading

HISD honors top volunteers at annual VIPS ceremony

The Houston Independent School District on Thursday recognized the efforts of thousands of volunteers and honored the top volunteers of the year during the annual Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Recognition and Awards Ceremony.

“We literally could not do this work of educating our children without our volunteers. You are our village,” HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said.

HISD’s VIPS program was started in 1970 by longtime HISD educator Jean Davis Myers, who passed away in 2015. Myers served as executive director of VIPS for 20 years and under her leadership, the program became an award-winning national model. Since 1991, the Jean Davis Myers Award for Community Service has been presented annually to an individual or group whose program or volunteer efforts have had a positive impact on student achievement. Continue reading

Westbury HS senior plant operator takes pride in supporting school

Werner Flores

Every morning at 6 a.m., Werner Flores opens the doors at Westbury High School. He turns the alarms off and the lights on and then checks to make sure the HVAC systems are up and running. But that’s where his routine typically ends.

As the school’s senior plant operator, Flores says no two days are alike. And he likes it that way.

“I enjoy the variety, so it doesn’t feel like a job anymore,” Flores said. “It’s never boring. There’s always more to do, so the day passes fast, and suddenly it’s time to go home.”  Continue reading

Class of 2018 valedictorians, salutatorians to be honored at Scholars Banquet 

The Houston Independent School District will pay tribute to each high school’s valedictorian and salutatorian during its annual Scholars Banquet on Wednesday evening.

Every spring, HISD honors the top two scholars at each of its high schools with a formal celebration of the accomplishment of finishing first or second in their class academic rankings. During the banquet, each valedictorian and salutatorian is presented with a medallion in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements.

The 2018 Scholars Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the Westin Galleria Hotel (5060 West Alabama St., Houston, 77056). Continue reading

HISD art cars win five trophies in Art Car Parade 

Five of HISD’s 21 entries in the 31st annual Houston Art Car Parade caught the judges’ attention, winning trophies and even some cash.

It was easily the best year yet for HISD students and their art cars.

In the category of Best Youth Entry, Frank Black Middle School with Luz Martinez and Julon Pinkston took second place with the Panthermobile. Pinkston accepted the award at the Art Car Awards Ceremony at Smither Park.

The Art Car Parade judges like to give out numerous awards, so there are winners in multiple categories, including four first-place winners, four second-place winners, and four third-place winners. HISD art cars won in each of the three categories.  Continue reading

Second annual East Area Feast of Arts showcase this weekend 

The second annual Feast of Arts for schools in the Chavez feeder pattern will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at Chavez High School (8501 Howard, Houston, 77017).

Last year, the Fine Arts Initiative in District III started with the Chavez Feeder Pattern, and this year, it is expanding to include the Milby Feeder Pattern.    Continue reading

GT Expo on April 25 to showcase student research projects 

The first Gifted and Talented Exposition in 15 years will take place on April 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Delmar Fieldhouse (2020 Mangum, Houston 77092). Pre-K through 12th-grade gifted and talented students from across the district will present more than 450 research projects from 167 schools.

“We are excited to allow our GT students the chance to showcase their work to the entire HISD community,” said Advanced Academics Officer Adam Stephens. “This event is the culmination of a year of hard work for our students, and the products that they have produced will reflect that.”  Continue reading

Still need to choose a school for 2018-19? Come to the Spring School Choice Fair on April 21 

Magnet application deadline for Phase 2 is May 31

Magnet schools and other choice programs that still have open seats will be available to discuss options with parents at the Spring School Choice Fair on Saturday, April 21.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center (1101 Taft St. 77019) and will offer a glimpse of the many programs still waiting for students after the Phase 1 magnet deadline, as well as all other transfer options.

Schools with space available will have representatives at the event. For a complete list of magnet programs with openings, click here. Other programs such as dual language and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs will also be represented. Continue reading