Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

Rooftop garden inspires learning and excitement at Atherton ES

Students and staff at Atherton Elementary are excited about the newest addition to their campus – a rooftop garden. And they have big plans for it.

“We can learn how plants grow and change over time,” said fifth-grader Nathaniel Alvarenga.

“It’s helping our ecosystems,” added his classmate Isacc Solis. “Birds and bees come, and the bees pollinate the plants.”

Atherton received a new building as part of the 2007 bond program, but plans for the rooftop garden were put on hold as other items took priority. Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones supported the garden, which is receiving its finishing touches this month. The project also got a boost from IDG Architects’ Ben McMillan, who donated funds last October. Continue reading

HISD Scholars Banquet honors 100-plus high school seniors at top of their class 

The Houston Independent School District paid tribute to the top students from each high school’s graduating class during the annual Scholars Banquet.

The 101 valedictorians and salutatorians were recognized for their dedication and hard work during the banquet, which was held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at the Westin Oaks Houston.

“I commend you all for your commitment to academic excellence,” HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told students. “You have made it a personal priority to prepare for college and ultimately your successful future.”

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Art cars created by HISD students win multiple awards

Heights High School and Rebecca Bass’s tribute to Prince, “Purple Reign,” took home the top prize at the 2017 Art Car Parade, winning the Mayor’s Cup Grand Trophy and $2,000.

It was one of several big HISD winners at this year’s 30th anniversary of the popular parade, which was held Saturday, April 8 in downtown.

“The Chronicles of Northside” by Northside High School, with Ann Bass, won a trophy and third place. The car was covered in yearbook photos to celebrate the school’s 90th anniversary. Continue reading

Change awaits Kashmere HS as renovation work passes halfway mark

Construction crews have completed two-thirds of the renovation work slated for Kashmere High School, and the final third is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

Integral parts are coming together quickly. Both the auditorium entrance and drywall are finished, the roofing is in progress, the new HVAC system is being installed, and the pouring of the driveway is almost complete.

“Our students and staff continue to work and learn as construction moves forward,” Kashmere Principal Nancy Blackwell said excitedly. “The changes are amazing.”

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Hundreds gather to dedicate, celebrate new Delmar Fieldhouse 

Standing before hundreds of cheering fans packed into the stands at the new Delmar Fieldhouse, HISD Board President Wanda Adams began to pump up the crowd.

“We need to get this party started! Are y’all ready?” she hollered, clapping her hands above her head as she led the fans in a celebratory cheer. Continue reading

HISD Trustees and Superintendent heading to Austin to discuss school finance solutions

Members of the HISD Board of Education and Superintendent Richard Carranza will spend two full days in Austin this week, collaborating with top state leaders to address changes to Texas’ school finance system.

Board President Wanda Adams, trustees Anna Eastman, Michael Lunceford, and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, along with Superintendent Richard Carranza will have scheduled meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with state leaders and members of HISD’s legislative delegation in Austin.

“The HISD Board of Education and administration are united in our desire to work constructively with our state leaders to identify funding solutions that put children first,” Adams said. “We all agree that Texas’ school finance system was never intended to take classroom resources from our state’s most needy children.” Continue reading

HISD Board of Education elects new officers

District IX Trustee Wanda Adams named 2017 president

The HISD Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to name District IX Trustee Wanda Adams president for 2017.

A Kashmere High School graduate, Adams was first elected to the school board in 2013. She previously served six years on the Houston City Council.

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Santa is part of the family at Fonwood ECC

Students and staff at Fonwood Early Childhood Center didn’t just get a new building this year, they also got a new friend.

The new early childhood center opened to students in August, but crews have remained on site finishing punch list items. Though most work is done after school hours, HISD Construction Project Manager Dwight Wilson is at the school most days to oversee the project and ensure students are safe and work is being finished correctly.

It’s safe to say he has made quite an impression.

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HISD unveils 2016 holiday greeting cards designed by students

The Houston Independent School District announced the winners of the district’s 2016 holiday greeting card competition that features creative student artwork highlighting family holiday traditions, seasonal decorations, and classic holiday songs.

The winners – fourth-grader Angela Ramos of Ed White Elementary School, seventh-grader Annette Hernandez of Pilgrim Academy, and 11th-grader Javier Garcia of Scarborough High School – were among 40 finalists from elementary, middle, and high schools. All finalists received a boxed set of their holiday cards. Their holiday cards also will be available for purchase and on display at the HISD administration building. Continue reading

Construction on new North Forest High School reaches halfway point

Construction on the new North Forest High School, located on the city’s northeast side, is now 50 percent complete and scheduled to be finished in the third quarter of 2017.

“The project has really gained momentum over the last quarter,” said HISD Senior Manager of Construction Services Meredith Smith, who is overseeing the project. “We’re right at the half-way point now, and there’s lots of activity on the site. We’re seeing progress every day.”

The new $59.5 million campus, which is being built on the east side of Mesa Road across from the existing school, will accommodate 1,500 students. Continue reading