Teach Forward Houston fellows commit to four-year teaching program 

Some 60 seniors from 31 HISD high schools on Tuesday pledged to become teachers and return to the district to teach in four years as part of the prestigious Teach Forward Houston program.

“I will commit to my studies at the University of Houston in order to enter my classroom with the foundational knowledge, skills, and mindsets necessary to maximize student achievement and character development,” they recited in unison at Teach Forward Houston’s inaugural signing day celebration on May 3 in the Hattie Mae White board auditorium.

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Five HISD students win coveted Gates Millennium Scholarship

Five Houston Independent School District students are among more than 1,000 high school seniors from across the country to be selected this week to the final class of the Gates Millennium Scholars program.

The students — Nofisat Babajide and Esther Brown from Bellaire High School, Janeth Rodriguez from Carnegie Vanguard High School, Leslie Benavides from Eastwood Academy, and Sheighlah McManus from Jane Long Academy— will be awarded a scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree at accredited colleges or universities of their choosing. Continue reading

Houston Youth Symphony features Davis Mariachi Band during spring concert

The Davis High School Mariachi Pantera on Sunday was featured in a special guest performance with the Houston Youth Symphony Spring Concert at Rice University’s Stude Hall.

The band, under the direction of Davis High School Orchestra and Mariachi Director Jose Niño, was featured with the string orchestra on its final piece. In the 69-year history of the Houston Youth Symphony, this is the first time that an outside ensemble has collaborated with the symphony on stage.

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Finalists selected for 2015-2016 Teachers of the Year  

Winners to be announced at May 20 Educators of the Year banquet

HISD has announced the finalists for the district’s Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year. The two winners, which will go on to represent the district in Region 4, will be announced during the Educators of the Year banquet on Friday, May 20. The twelve finalists were selected from all 283 campuses based on performance data and other criteria.

At the elementary level, the six finalists are:

  • Adrienne Glover from Anderson Elementary
  • Maria Godoy from Port Houston Elementary
  • Melissa Martinez from Sherman Elementary
  • Tracy Singleton from Fondren Elementary
  • Hillary Smith from DeAnda Elementary
  • Ciara Sutton-Rivers from Codwell Elementary

At the secondary level, the six finalists are:

  • Christina Carter-Woods from Pershing Middle School
  • Jennifer Chase from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
  • Morgan Dewitt from Long Academy
  • Valarie Moore from Gregory Lincoln Education Center
  • Donald Parker from North Houston Early College High School
  • Keavon Runnels from Austin High School

Be sure to help HISD pick the Fan Favorite among the campus-based Teachers of the Year by taking part in our survey. The first round of voting ends at 5 p.m. on May 6. You can vote once per day.


HISD student wins corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship

Thao_LamA Houston Independent School District student is among more than 1,000 high school seniors from across the country to be selected to win a corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship award.

Thao T. Lam of DeBakey High School for Health Professions received a $2,500 corporate-sponsored scholarship from The Novartis Group, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and health-care products. Lam plans to attend the University of Miami and later work in pediatrics. Continue reading

Mayor joins with Scarborough High School to celebrate growing band program

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was among 125 people who turned out Sunday for a banquet in honor of the Scarborough High School band.

The event marked the culmination of a year spent building the school’s fledgling band program, increasing from nine students at the start of the year to 40, all of whom received awards on Sunday.

Mayor Turner congratulated the students on their achievements, and encouraged them to continue to work hard in pursuit of their dreams. He even said he’d work with the principal to have the band perform at next year’s Super Bowl in Houston.

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HISD students gaining exposure to global offshore technology industry during OTC

The Offshore Technology Conference is likely the biggest event in Houston the week of May 2-6, 2016, and about 83 HISD students will be there. The OTC draws experts from around the world to come together to exchange ideas and advance scientific and technical knowledge regarding offshore technology. Last year, more than 94,700 people attended the conference.

Students enrolled in Petroleum Academies at HISD’s Energy Institute and Westside High School are attending the OTC (see details below). The IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center has established these academies at four HISD high schools with the goal of making math and science more meaningful and relevant, as well as address the projected loss of 50 percent of engineering and geosciences professionals due to aging. Milby High School and Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy have Petroleum Academies as well.

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Bond community meetings scheduled at five schools in May, June   

Project updates planned for Jordan, Austin, Lamar, Kashmere high schools, Askew Elementary School

The Houston Independent School District has scheduled five community meetings over the next month to provide updates on the status of bond construction projects.

The meetings are part of the district’s commitment to keeping each community updated during the different stages of their bond project: planning, design, and construction.

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HISD celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week, will host special ceremony for fellowship program

The Houston Independent School District will extend its thanks to nearly 12,000 teachers who serve in HISD classrooms during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2— May 6.

On Teacher Appreciation Day, scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, HISD will host a ceremony for seniors who were accepted into the district’s new Teach Forward Houston program. Through the Teach Forward Houston fellowship program, HISD graduates interested in obtaining a degree in education are eligible for free tuition at University of Houston in exchange for teaching four years in HISD after graduation.

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Delmar Fieldhouse construction nearing finish line

For employees and visitors at Houston Independent School District’s Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, watching the new Delmar Fieldhouse take shape over the last several months has been a site to see.

The 55-year-old athletic complex was demolished in March 2014 to make room for a $35.2 million facility that will be part of the new Delmar-Tusa Athletic Complex. Part of the bond program, the new three-story, 139,000-square-foot facility will serve as a multipurpose facility for the district.

Since construction began, construction crews have been working nonstop completing the installation of underground electrical and plumbing lines, steel beam erection and wall construction.

“We’ve received permanent power to the facility, so that would be considered a major milestone,” said Claude Yoas, Senior Project Manager with Rice & Gardner Consultants, who were hired to provide project management services for the project.

Some building features for the fieldhouse include a basketball and volleyball arena, modern locker and training rooms, and ample athletic storage for the complex’s existing stadium and ball fields.

Despite recent severe weather in Houston, Yoas says construction is still moving forward quickly and is visible.

“The rain hurt us just a little bit, but obviously it would be a delay for any work coming out of the ground,” said Yoas.

The athletic complex is scheduled to be finished this summer and open in time to host fall athletic events.