Author Archives: HISD Communications

Travis Johnson named new principal of Hartsfield Elementary School

Travis Johnson has been named the new principal of Hartsfield Elementary School.  His educational career at the Houston Independent School District began at Codwell Elementary School, where he served as a teacher and team leader. Currently, Johnson serves as the assistant principal at Blackshear Elementary School.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Science Education from Langston University and completed his graduate studies in Educational Administration at Prairie View A&M University. He is the proud parent of two HISD students. 

Alecia Bell named new principal of Gregory Lincoln Education Center

Alecia Bell, principal, Hartsfield Elementary School (Houston Independent School District)Alecia Bell has been named the principal of Gregory Lincoln Education Center. Bell has served Houston Independent School District students for over 13 years. Currently, she is the principal at Hartsfield Elementary School.  Prior to her tenure at Hartsfield, she served as Dean of Instruction at Hartman Middle School.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M University and completed her master’s degree in educational administration at Capella University.  She also is completing her doctoral studies at Texas A&M University.

Houston Black College Expo can save you money

You can save hundreds of dollars at the Black College Expo, because many of the colleges there will be waiving application fees for students who apply on the spot.

The 17th annual Black College Expo is open to all students and takes place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, at the Power Center, 12401 S. Post Oak Road, Houston, 77045. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., there will be celebrity appearances and fun activities. Continue reading

Dr. Tabitha Davis named new principal of Billy Reagan K-8 Education Center

Tabitha Davis poses for a photograph, April 4, 2016. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)Dr. Tabitha Davis has been named principal of Billy Reagan K-8 Education Center. Dr. Davis graduated from Worthing Senior High School and earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Houston Baptist University. She holds a masters in Business Administration from University of St. Thomas, a masters in Education Administration from Lamar University, and a doctor of education from University of Houston. Continue reading

Student creativity to be on mobile display at Art Car Parade April 9

The Orange Show’s 29th annual Art Car Parade will be rolling through downtown Houston on Saturday, April 9, and almost a dozen of the mobile artworks on display will be the work of HISD students.

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‘Games Robots Play’ event at Lamar HS tests strength of student-built robots

More than 150 students from 17 elementary and middle schools, along with teachers and parents, gathered Saturday at Lamar High School for Games Robots Play, a real-time Robotics Challenge Day.

Games Robots Play is designed, built, and managed as a semester-long project by Waltrip HS students, who also serve as mentors and referees during the event and are overseen by the CTE teacher, Stephanie Witherspoon.

This educational real-time robotics challenge is not a contest, but a format for students to grow in robotics skills, problem-solving, computational thinking and teamwork. The event challenges student teams to test their robotic mettle in a series of games modeled after real athletic events such as hurdles, discus, football and golf. Participants are given hints about the games prior to the event, but only see them for the first time when they arrive. After an introduction to each game, students spend time strategizing, building, programming, and playing the games. Certificates are awarded for many categories such as creative solutions, brainstorming, teamwork, innovative robot design, and robotic performance.

New this year was a teacher division, which provided robotics professional development for teachers in the STEM TIF4 grant schools. STEM teacher development specialists were on hand to serve as teacher mentors and “walk around judges” during the day.

The invitational event was co-sponsored by Waltrip High School and the Innovative Curriculum Department for the TIF4 STEM grant schools and others that have traditionally participated for the past seven years.

Click through the photo gallery to see the students and their robots in action.

Read to Final Four literacy champs enjoy special celebration

Students at Dogan Elementary School enjoyed a special celebration held just for them on April 4, after winning HISD’s Read to the Final Four literacy challenge last week. The students logged more than 922,464 minutes of reading over the past six months to cement their victory, and the reward for their perseverance was sweet.

The multi-purpose room thumped to the sounds of hip hop music, provided courtesy of DJ GT Mayne and 97.9 The Box radio station, as students showed off their dribbling skills, shot hoops at the portable basketball nets, and challenged each other with the latest dance moves. A lunch of chicken fettuccine, fresh fruit, and garlic bread was served by HISD Nutrition Services.

Third-grader Karla Gonzalez received a brand new bicycle from CYCLE Houston for having read the more than any of her classmates at Dogan. CYCLE donated the bikes to every top reader in each of the 68 participating schools.

Her favorite book during the competition? “I really liked ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’,” said Karla, grinning.

The NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition, which supported the HISD Literacy By 3 initiative, challenged HISD third-graders to read at least 30 minutes a day and attempt to read more books than other competing schools. Nearly 6,800 third-graders participating in the literacy competition logged a total of 9,128,176 minutes of reading time.

“This group of third-graders has worked extremely hard. And for many of them at home, reading wasn’t always a priority,” said Dogan coordinator/teacher specialist Ben Gibb. “But they really teamed up together to work hard and win the competition.”

Dogan students were also presented with t-shirts, pencil cases, cups, notepads and other goodies thanks to sponsors NCAA Final Four, and the Houston Public Library.

“We really wanted to give them a chance to enjoy their win,” said Gibb. “How often in life do you get a chance to have hard work pay off in such a concrete way as what they’re getting right now?”

Dogan ES named ‘Read to the Final Four’ literacy champions

The competition was fierce down to the final buzzer, but Dogan ES came out victorious after scoring a whopping 922,464 minutes in reading time during the NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition.

Dogan ES Principal Tarrieck Rideaux beamed with pride Friday amid cheering, hand-waving, and fanfare at NRG Stadium, where 10,000 HISD students, some representing the Final Four schools – Browning ES, Carrillo ES, Dogan ES and Janowski ES, gathered for the announcement of the winner. Rideaux said six months of intensive reading had paid off for his third-graders.

“It has actually helped their reading growth,” said Rideaux. “Stronger growth over the last few months – more than we’ve ever had.”

The top four schools read a total of 2,695,728 minutes since the competition began in September, and all schools netted 9,128,176 minutes read.

Dogan ES was awarded a Final Four trophy and a $5,000 cash prize. On Monday, there will be a celebration at the campus.

“I was excited when they announced our name, and I screamed.” said Dogan fourth-grader Luigi Marquez. “I was proud that we won.”

Courtside VIPS on hand to celebrate the students’ accomplishments included HISD Board of Education Trustees Wanda Adams, Diana Dávila, and Anna Eastman, as well as HISD Chief Academic Officer Andrew Houlihan and Houston Final Four Local Organizing Committee Chairman Tony Chase.

“I am so excited to be here and to rock the ‘Road to the Final Four.’ I want to personally thank all 68 schools for reading over 9 million minutes. You all need to be applauded,” said Trustee Adams. “And congratulations to Dogan Elementary School for reading all those hours. So again, congratulations Team HISD.”

Early in the program, Team HISD enjoyed performances by the Waltrip HS band and the Atherton ES drum line, as well as a quick game between the Cancer Hardwood Heroes and their coaches.

The NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition, which supported the HISD Literacy By 3 initiative, challenged HISD third-graders to read more books than other competing schools and started with 68 schools. Nearly 6,800 third-graders helped kick off the bracket-themed reading contest that encouraged students to read at least 30 minutes a day.

HISD Nutrition Services is perfectly peachy after Texas Department of Agriculture award

HISD Nutrition Services was recently recognized with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Perfect Peach Award for offering locally sourced products such as summer squash, apples and watermelon on school menus.

The state’s Local Products Challenge, which asked districts to use more Texas products in their schools, is in line with Nutrition Services’ commitment to use locally grown products on its menus so students become familiar with the agricultural diversity of the Lone Star State.

At Stevens Elementary School, HISD Chef Brittany Jones recently demonstrated how to use summer squash in a variety of fun and tasty ways. “The students enjoyed learning about spaghetti squash,” said Jones. “They never imagined they could use a vegetable in place of noodles.”

Besides fruits and vegetables, HISD also serves milk and fresh bread from Texas.