Tag Archives: Yates HS

Yates HS seniors make their mark on school history at beam signing

The Lion’s Den at Jack Yates High School roared with excitement as the graduating Class of 2017 scribbled their signatures on the final steel beam to be erected in the construction of their new school.

Once all seniors had signed, they joined with school staff to watch as the beam was hoisted into the air and placed in its new home — the auditorium. The beam will be installed and left exposed, showcasing the signatures from the class of 2017.

“The kids were concerned that they weren’t going to have any history with the new school since they’ll be graduating in May,” said Yates Principal Ken Davis, who worked with the construction staff to surprise the students with the informal ceremony. “We told them that we were going to sign the beam — a little bit of history about you will go into the new building.”

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Yates High School community celebrates ceremonial groundbreaking for new school   

Yates High School Principal Ken Davis made an impassioned promise Thursday as he spoke to the crowd of students, alumni and school supporters who gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for their new $59.4 million school.

“I pledge to you, just as I have the community and the children I serve, I’m going to do my very best to make their dreams come true,” Davis said, applause erupting throughout the auditorium as he spoke. “I may not get to the mountain top with you, but I’m going to make sure the road is paved for you to get there.”

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Yates High School to hold groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate new school

Yates High School will hold a groundbreaking ceremony this morning to officially mark the start of construction on the school’s new $59.4 million facility.

Scores of students, staff, alumni, elected officials, and district and community leaders are expected to attend the groundbreaking for Yates, which is among 40 schools across the district being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.

The groundbreaking is being held at 9 a.m. oat the Yates High School campus, 3703 Sampson St.

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Student spotlight: Yates HS communications students participate in CBS Sports Symposium

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles designed to highlight the work of HISD students, particularly as it relates to developing global graduate skills, connecting learning to careers, or preparing for higher education. In this entry, we see members of the communications program at Yates High School participating in a CBS Sports Symposium, one of the many Final Four events benefiting HISD students.

Representatives from CBS, Turner Sports, and the NCAA held a symposium with Yates HS students on March 30 as part of the lead-up to the Final Four showdown.

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Student spotlight: Yates HS communications program covers State of the Schools

Editor’s note: This is the first in a weekly series of articles designed to highlight the work of HISD students, particularly as it relates to developing global graduate skills, connecting learning to careers, or preparing for higher education. In this inaugural feature, we take a look at the communications program at Yates High School, whose students covered the district’s State of the Schools luncheon on March 3 as a part of their project-based assignments.

More than 150 students currently participate in the communications program at Yates HS, and several of those young people got to attend HISD’s recent State of the Schools luncheon. While there, they applied what they are learning in the classroom to real life, honing their skills in photography, film-making, interviewing, and story-telling.

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Yates HS teacher ‘Caught in the Act’ of delivering great instruction

Biology teacher Demond Carter was “Caught in the Act” of delivering outstanding instruction to his students during a recent lesson on how to dissect a pig.

An HISD video crew, along with Secondary Curriculum and Development Officer Annie Wolfe, surprised Carter and his students and captured the video below.

The “Caught in the Act”— or CIA — video campaign was started by HISD to recognize highly effective teachers who are delivering instruction that will lead to students become Global Graduates: young men and women who possess the skills necessary to ensure success in college and the ability to compete in today’s global workforce.

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Notable African-American communications professionals got their start in HISD

Editor’s Note: Black History Month runs from Monday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 29, this year, and HISD is celebrating with a series of weekly stories recognizing distinguished African Americans who graduated from HISD high schools. This article focuses on alumni who went on to have successful careers in radio, television, and film. Previous articles highlight athletes, artists, and politicians.

HISD has produced a number of notable African-American graduates who have established successful careers in radio, television, and film. Before making their names in the industry, though, they got their start in district communications programs.

Kim Gagné

Kim Gagné

Television producer and Yates High School graduate Kim Gagné (1982) is a two-time Daytime Emmy award winner who won for her work as a supervising producer for the Steve Harvey show. She also won a regional Emmy for her time with Houston’s KHOU-TV. Gagné got her start as a student in the Yates School of Communications. In her “I Am HISD” profile, she discusses the skills she learned while at Yates.

“While I was in the Yates magnet program, I realized that what I wanted to do with my life was possible,” said Gagné. “I thought, ‘This is not crazy. I can achieve this.’ The magnet school was in its infancy, and the teachers were so dedicated. We learned about TV, radio, film, and photography. It was pretty amazing. I had the best experience and made lifelong friends.”

Roland Martin, who also graduated from Yates (1987), is best known as a nationally syndicated columnist, a TV One cable-network commentator, and host of “News One Now,” a one-hour weekday news show. He is also a former CNN analyst and was named by Ebony magazine as one of the 150 most influential African Americans in the U.S. in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

During a visit with Yates students, Martin remembers that it all began in high school. “The foundation of what I do, everything related to communications, actually began at HISD and Yates,” he said. “That has been my passion since I was 14 years old, and I certainly want the school to continue with its strong and vibrant communications program.”

Other distinguished African Americans in radio, television, and film who graduated from HISD schools include Ralph Cooper (Worthing HS, 1966, radio), Rosalind Jordan (Jones HS, 1984, journalist), and Sherri Williams (Lamar HS, 1990, journalist).

Join the conversation! Do you know other distinguished alumni who graduated from HISD schools? If so, tell us about them on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #HISDBlackHistory.

Many African American artists among HISD’s distinguished alumni give back

Editor’s Note: Black History Month runs from Monday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 29, this year, and HISD is celebrating with a series of weekly stories recognizing distinguished African Americans who graduated from district high schools. This third article focuses on alumni who went on to have successful careers in the fine arts. The first and second articles spotlighted professional athletes, and lawmakers/politicians (respectively). Others will feature educators and those with careers in radio, TV, and film.

HISD has a wealth of African-American alumni with talent in the performing and visual arts — and many of these distinguished graduates have chosen to share their gifts with later generations of students.

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City issues proclamation in honor of Yates HS’s 90th anniversary

20160209_133200On Feb. 8, 1926, Jack Yates High School opened its doors as the second campus for children of color in the city of Houston. Ninety years later, Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a proclamation announcing Feb. 9, 2016, as “Jack Yates Senior High School Day.”

Since its opening, the school has been a launching pad for world-renowned artists, athletes, politicians, and other figures. The school was named after a formerly enslaved reverend, who became an influential leader in Houston’s Fourth Ward.

99-year-old Maxine Williams, Yates alumna

99-year-old Maxine Williams, Yates alumna

“A lot of good things came out of Yates,” said Carolyn Simples, president of the Fabulous Fifties Yates alumni group, whose crimson and gold attire brought a celebratory mood at City Hall. “And [they] are still coming out of Yates.”

One such product, 99-year-old alumna Maxine Williams, was present for the event. So, too, were 50 current Yates government students, hoping to witness the ceremony. They had the opportunity — through Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and the help of Yates alumni and city attorney Arva Howard — to see the proclamation process from beginning to end.

“To get our kids involved and understand how government works, and get them involved in the process…for me, personally, it’s kind of a highlight of the year,” said Yates Principal Kenneth Davis. “Having a historically black school that receives a proclamation — this is something they’ll always have and remember in the future. It’s part of their history as well.”

To see a sampling of Yates’ distinguished alumni, please visit the district’s Alumni channel.

Abatement underway, with construction soon to follow for new Yates HS

Yates will receive a new $59.4 million school to accommodate 1,300 to 1,500 students. The building will have a grand entryway with large windows that connects the front and back entrances and additional learning spaces designed to accommodate the school’s career and technology programming including the communications magnet.

Other features include a three-story academic wing with flexible core learning centers, and a one-story high volume performance wing with an auditorium, spaces for fine arts and JROTC, a gymnasium, and athletics area.

Abatement is underway on the Phase I buildings slated to be demolished to make room for the new school. Construction on the new building will start in the first quarter of 2016, with a target completion of first quarter 2018.

Photo gallery of HISD building projects