Category Archives: Futures Academy

HISD principal named Region 4 Principal of the Year

Geovanny J. Ponce, principal of Jones Futures Academy, has been named the 2018 Region 4 Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).

Ponce joins winners from the state’s 19 other Education Service Center regions in a pool of candidates for the honor of Texas Principal of the Year title. TASSP recognizes outstanding principals and assistant principals from each of the 20 regions every year.

“I believe in quality education for all children,” Ponce said. “We need to make sure our children will be successful in a global society by teaching them to be leaders.”

Ponce was selected to represent HISD in the Region 4 segment of the competition based on his outstanding performance with traditionally underserved children. Ponce instills collaborative leadership to ensure students from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds have equal access high-quality learning opportunities. Continue reading

Furr HS dedicates new building

A sea of red flooded the main entrance of Furr High School on Friday morning as the cheerleaders, Sparkle Dancers — dressed in red and white uniforms — and band pepped up the crowd in celebration of the school’s building dedication ceremony.

Music and chants echoed through the air, and lush trees and landscaping lined the length of the brightly colored 182,000-square-foot-building, offering an ornate backdrop to a long red ribbon stretched across the building’s main walkway.

“Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a high school that empowers students to tackle environmental injustice and becomes the central green hub of their community,” said Furr Interim Principal Rosa Hernandez to attendees. “Imagine spaces filled with student voices, trust, school spirit, and a flexible learning environment.” She pointed to the new building, saying “That’s what we have here.”

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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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Futures Academy graduation celebrations time for congratulations, reflections, farewells 

91 students in academies earn associate’s degrees from HCC, up 75% from last year

By the time Futures Academy students graduate, they have been with the same group of students for as long as four years. Before they go their separate ways—with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in career certificate in hand—they are gathering to say goodbye and promising to stay in touch.

The Futures Academy is a dual-enrollment model that enables students to fulfill high school graduation requirements while simultaneously earning industry certifications, college credits, and for many, an associate’s degree. Continue reading

New partnership gives Scarborough HS students hands-on training in HVAC

A new partnership with Lone Star Community College is giving some HISD students a leg up on high-demand careers in the HVAC field.

Students taking the dual-credit course on HVAC (which stands for “heating, ventilating, and air conditioning”) are now in their second semester of the class at Scarborough High School. In it, they receive both classroom instruction and time in the lab, where they get hands-on experience with air conditioning units, electrical wiring boards, and other equipment.

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Rick Cruz selected to serve as HISD’s new Chief of Major Projects

Richard (Rick) Cruz poses for a photograph, January 6, 2016.

Richard (Rick) Cruz poses for a photograph, January 6, 2016.

Houston Independent School District Major Projects Officer Rick Cruz has been selected to lead his division, replacing outgoing Chief Don Hare, who is retiring.

Cruz, a former fifth-grade teacher who was tapped to serve in the HISD administration after launching the district’s successful EMERGE program more than five years ago, will officially assume his new role on Jan. 25.

In his new position, he will be tasked with managing the College Readiness and Counseling and Guidance departments, as well as major initiatives designed to transform education in the district, such as the EMERGE and Futures Academy programs, and Linked Learning.

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New programs, new construction, new opportunities at Sterling HS

Students at Sterling High School are greeting the new school year with excitement, energy, and optimism. The school’s new principal, Justin Fuentes, is enthusiastic about his school’s programs and the opportunities it offers students.

Besides Sterling’s resident aviation program and an aviation engineering and designing program through the Michigan Institute of Aviation Technology, it also offers a Futures Academy in logistics and global supply chain management, as well as law enforcement forensics, automotive, and dual-credit courses towards a certificate in welding. Continue reading

Futures Academy seniors get valuable industry experience through Walgreens internship

 

Sometimes, opportunity dwells just down the street. Twenty-two rising seniors from the Futures Academy at Jane Long Academy are discovering this truth through pharmacy technician internships at Walgreens locations across the city.

The Long students involved have all taken dual-credit pharmacy classes at Houston Community College (HCC). They will receive additional credit from HCC upon completing their internships at Walgreens, which could easily lead to pharmacy technician jobs or scholarships to attend pharmacy schools. Two interns, rising seniors Marilyn Mendoza and Jonathan Urguilla, have already received job offers from the stores at which they are interning.

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Summer Bridge program preparing Futures Academy students for success

Rising sophomores get tips from former Futures Academy students and EMERGE fellows

The journey from high school to college to a career can be challenging, but HISD’s Futures Academy is helping students develop the skills they’ll need to get there.

The Summer Bridge Program is arming rising high school sophomores with critical knowledge in the areas of time management, team building, communication, and money management. Four sessions are scheduled for June and feature classes taught by Futures Academy and EMERGE alumni.

“One way we thought this message would resonate with students is by having former HISD Futures Academy and EMERGE students returning from their first year in college lead the sessions,” said Michael Love, assistant superintendent of the Futures Academy. “This allows the students to learn directly from peers who recently walked the same hallways as them.”

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