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Black MS’s turnaround efforts recognized by PTO Today

2013 July 31
by HISD Communications

The 2012–2013 PTO Executive Board at Black MS are (L–R): Cayce Carlsson, Dawn Butterick, Kara Hagan, Arwen McMillan, Principal Meilin Jao, Janet Orfield, and Tim Weltin.

Each year, PTO Today recognizes the nation’s top Parent Teacher Organization as the “Parent Group of the Year,” and this year, HISD’s own Black Middle School earned Honorable Mention for its impressive efforts to revitalize the campus.

“Up until about three years ago, Black suffered from declining enrollment,” explained Principal Meilin Jao. “But we worked with parents and the community to bring a Vanguard program to the school, and last year, the PTO raised $18,000 to support three areas: academics, fine arts, and athletics.”

The money was used to fund $100 mini-grants for teachers, to purchase band instruments for the music program, to expand the school library, and to pay for the construction of a new baseball field.

“Our PTO has been amazing,” said Jao. “It’s helped us celebrate teachers on a monthly basis with little personal touches that let them know they’re important, and spread the word that Black has changed for the better. We are focused on educating the whole child, and our enrollment has been steadily increasing.”

In 2011, Jao noted, the school only had 480 students, “but last year we had almost double that, and this year, we are projected to have 925.”

For more information about Black Middle School, please visit the school’s website. A complete list of winners is available on the PTO Today website.

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