Category Archives: Staff updates

Lilly Rincon named new principal of Jefferson Elementary

Lilly Rincon has been selected as the new principal of Jefferson Elementary School. Rincon began her nearly two-decade career in education in the McAllen Independent School District in South Texas. After two years of teaching, she decided to return to her hometown and served as a classroom teacher at Burbank and Travis Elementary schools in HISD. During this time, Rincon was recognized as a Bilingual Teacher of the Year and selected as a candidate for the HISD Turnaround Leadership Cohort. She joined the Jefferson leadership team as a Teacher Specialist and assumed the role of Assistant Principal three years ago. Rincon received her bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Houston Downtown and master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston.

HISD names new chief communications officer

Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza has named Rebecca Suárez as the district’s new chief communications officer.

Suárez, a 13-time Lone Star Emmy Award winner, is currently an anchor and reporter at Univision (KXLN 45) and has more than 15 years of experience in media and communications. She is also a former HISD staff member, having served as the district’s primary spokesperson for Spanish-language media, senior media relations specialist, and community affairs television host. She has also worked as an anchor and reporter for NBC Telemundo (KTMD 47).

“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Suárez back to Team HISD,” Carranza said. “She is a familiar face who brings with her an extensive knowledge of the district and will offer new ways to engage with and inform our community.” Continue reading

HISD names new officer of Nutrition Services

Betti Wiggins

The Houston Independent School District has selected Betti J. Wiggins as the district’s new officer of Nutrition Services.

Wiggins currently serves as the executive director of the office of school nutrition with the Detroit Public Schools Community District, where she is responsible for school-based meal operations in 141 schools for all USDA child nutrition programs. Under her leadership, she helped establish the Detroit School Garden Collaborative, which currently supports more than 80 school-based gardens and a two-acre school farm.

“We are excited to welcome Ms. Wiggins to Houston ISD to lead our school nutrition program,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “She has tremendous experience in school nutrition and will help us improve our program for both students and staff as we invest in new equipment, training and menus.”  Continue reading

HISD announces director of new K-12 Fine Arts Department

Wenden Sanders

Wenden Sanders has been appointed director of HISD’s new K–12 Fine Arts Department.

Sanders, who is currently serving as principal of Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School, was selected by a committee of teachers, principals, and district administrators. He will provide leadership, support, and direction to ensure that all HISD students have access to a high-quality fine arts education.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the fine arts to all students in HISD,” Sanders said. “I look forward to working with the Arts Access Initiative, principals, school officers, and community leaders to ensure that we are educating the whole child.”

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HISD Board of Education names new chief audit executive

Garland Blackwell

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education has selected Garland W. Blackwell as the district’s new chief audit executive.

Mr. Blackwell most recently served as an internal audit director for Parsons, a global engineering services firm, where he established and directed the internal audit process for its regional offices in the Middle East and Africa. He has more than 25 years of internal audit and financial experience.

“The HISD Board of Education is pleased to welcome Mr. Blackwell to our district,” said HISD Board President Wanda Adams. “He is an accomplished internal auditor who will provide critical oversight of the district and recommendations for improvement that will safeguard district resources and support our core values. It has been a priority of our board and audit committee to fill this position to ensure that integrity and transparency are maintained across the district.”

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HISD names new chief financial officer

The Houston Independent School District has selected Rene Barajas as the district’s new chief financial officer.

Dr. Barajas currently serves as deputy superintendent and chief financial officer of the Garland Independent School District, with more than 20 years of central administration experience in public schools. He has eight years of experience as a chief financial officer.

He previously served as an assistant superintendent for business and support services for the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District as well as a business manager and internal auditor for other public school districts in Texas.

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Angel Wilson named new principal of Cornelius Elementary

Angel Wilson has been selected as the new principal of Cornelius Elementary School. Wilson has served as a teacher and Teacher Development Specialist, and she has a wide range of campus leadership experience in diverse communities such as Durkee Elementary, where she was dean of instruction; Thompson Elementary, where she was assistant principal; and Lanier Middle School, where she was also assistant principal. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Educational Administration. Both degrees are from Prairie View A&M University.