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Talent plus passion equals 30 years of music education for one Codwell ES teacher

2014 September 25
by HISD Communications
Elfrida Brown

Elfrida Brown

Elfrida Brown didn’t set out to be a music teacher, but once she got into the classroom, she knew she was in the right place.

“I wanted to be a jazz musician, but my mother always said go to school so you can learn how to teach it,” explained Brown. “It was really hard at the beginning, but every year it got better.”

Brown has been a member of Team HISD since 1984, and a teacher at Codwell Elementary for most of that time. “When you have not just the talent for it, but the passion, you don’t mind doing it for free if you have to,” she said. “But I know I am in the place where I am supposed to be on Earth. Being a music teacher to me is a journey. It’s exciting. And I am enjoying myself.”

Highlights from her career include seeing Coretta Scott King outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta while on a trip with students, watching her students perform at Carnegie Hall in 2010, and the time she took 56 students to perform in Washington D.C.

“We had an open house at Codwell one night and one of the senators was there. I don’t remember which one. But he said, ‘I sure would like to hear this group perform in Washington,’ and my principal at the time was Mary Addison, and she just ran with it. We filled up two planes.”

Brown officially marked her 30th anniversary with the district on Sept. 21, but a few other employees are also marking theirs this week (Sept. 21–27). See if you know anyone on this list:

35 years

  • Virginia Bateman, attendant team lead, Food Services

30 years

25 years

  • Sheila Barnwell, clerk, Lanier MS
  • Alma Cepeda, teaching assistant, Marshall MS
  • Christina De La Rosa, student information representative, Scarborough HS
  • Hermelinda Gonzalez, assistant principal, Park Place ES
  • Jose Guerrero, painter, Construction & Facility Services
  • Doreen Howard, teacher, Anderson ES
  • Elise Johnson, assistant principal, Welch MS
  • Tanja McGowen-Welmers, clerk, Transportation Services
  • Cirilo Ojeda, officer, Police Department
  • Lewis Rhone, associate teacher
  • Lucille Richard, secretary, Construction & Facility Services

20 years

  • Sinabu Amubieya, teacher, Martinez C ES
  • Mirta Arzola-Contreras, teacher, Janowski ES
  • Ivan Castillo, teacher, Briscoe ES
  • Jacqueline Cayton, dean of students, Sharpstown Intl. School
  • Judy Harrison, teacher, Foerster ES
  • Verlincia Hewitt, attendant, Food Services
  • Damon Matthews, teacher, Jackson MS
  • Valentina Mozia, teacher, Marshall MS
  • Victor Osayande, associate teacher
  • Rowland Osuagwu, teacher, Wheatley HS
  • Rosa Romero, attendant, Food Services
  • Jennifer Siebels, teacher, Shadowbriar ES
  • Kim Walker, teacher development specialist, Professional Support & Development

15 years

  • Ana Aguilar, custodian, Construction & Facility Services
  • Anil Desai, teacher, DeBakey HS
  • Robert Eugene, associate teacher
  • Gretchen Irey, librarian, Gregory-Lincoln MS
  • Cicely Kelly, teacher development specialist, Professional Support & Development
  • Gilbert Lee, crossing guard, MacGregor ES
  • Godfrey Makoge, teacher, Grissom ES
  • Olga Maldonado, teaching assistant, Scroggins ES
  • Sybil Mason, teacher development specialist, Alternative Certification Program
  • Gregory Menephee, teacher, Bellaire HS
  • Alicia Montgomery, teacher, Thomas MS
  • Ernestine Newton, associate teacher
  • Melissa O’Dell, teacher, West University ES
  • Sonya Pichon, teacher, Rice School K-8
  • Janet Rawlins, associate teacher
  • Patricia Requenes, teacher, DeAnda ES
  • Chandra Robertson, senior manager, Transportation
  • Myrtle Shorter, teacher, Welch MS
  • Maria Stovey, clerk, HSPVA
  • Gloria Thomas, teaching assistant, Fonwood ECC

10 years

  • Lois Blackmon, associate teacher
  • Sandra Bohorquez, teacher, Braeburn ES
  • Eric Bonner, maintenance helper, Construction & Facility Services
  • Rene Bowling, associate teacher
  • Ellis Brandon, teacher, Worthing HS
  • Tram Chau, teacher, Daily ES
  • Gabriele Garcia, student information representative, Chávez HS
  • Earline Grabbe, clerk, Pershing MS
  • Justin Oliver, quality assurance analyst, Construction & Facility Services
  • Debra Roberts, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • Donna Sordia, teacher, Wharton ES
  • Katie Tran, associate accountant, Property Management
  • Collins Ukadike, associate teacher
  • Hilda Vera, teacher, Wharton ES
  • Stacey Whitmore, teacher, Lanier MS
  • Harrison Wright, bus driver, Transportation Services

5 years

  • Maxine Baldwin, associate teacher
  • Caryn Barron, associate teacher
  • Mary Bell, associate teacher
  • Brenda Burchfield, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • Robin Carter, clerk, Osborne ES
  • Gladys Donatti, teacher, MacGregor ES
  • Paul Fernandez, IT customer service representative, Tinsley ES
  • Juan Garza, custodian, Construction & Facility Services
  • Elizabeth Gonzalez, teacher, Bonner ES
  • Daphne Goolsbee, teacher, Wilson Montessori
  • Tannklaneekqia Harris, teacher, Whidby ES
  • Stanley Hillard, associate teacher
  • Tai Ho, teacher, Houston Academy International
  • Edythe Houston, associate teacher
  • Cheryl Howard, teacher, Pilgrim Academy
  • Zambrano Irizar, custodian, Construction & Facility Services
  • Ashley Ivory, teaching assistant, Red ES
  • Patsy Jimenez, teacher, Peck ES
  • Mark Johnson, teacher, Reagan HS
  • Sedric Jones, associate teacher
  • Jammale Joubert, teacher, Bruce ES
  • Gipsy Leal, teacher, Lantrip ES
  • Valeria McMaster, teacher, Bush ES
  • Shirley McMillan, associate teacher
  • Lorena Murillo, associate teacher, Piney Point ES
  • Thu Nguyen, teaching assistant, King ECC
  • Henrietta Nixon, associate teacher
  • Linda Range, teacher, Scroggins ES
  • Junior Rideau, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • Joyce Rogers, instructional specialist, Waltrip HS
  • Mayra Rosas, teacher, Martinez C ES
  • April Ruben, teacher, Madison HS
  • Sahar Saidy, teacher, Westbury HS
  • LaNelle Simpson, associate teacher
  • Cheryl Swensen, associate teacher
  • Anel Villarreal, clerk, Roosevelt ES
  • Nancy Wallace, associate teacher
  • Keri Ward, counselor, Marshall ES
  • Alissa Westmoreland, teacher, Berry ES
  • Jermaine Williams, custodian, Construction & Facility Services
  • Michael Wright, teacher, Thomas MS
  • Johnnie Young, grounds worker, Construction & Facility Services
Check back next Friday for more September Milestones. Leave a comment below if you’d like to congratulate any of the above employees.
2 Responses leave one →
  1. Suzette Bradshaw permalink
    September 26, 2014

    So to be added to list someone has to leave a comment with your name. I have worked in the District for 15 years also. But have not seen my name on this list.

    • HISD Communications permalink
      October 1, 2014

      Nope. Actually, comments have nothing to do with it. All folks have to do to appear in the list is hit their hiring anniversary with the district (in a multiple of five), and they’ll show up in the spreadsheet we get from PeopleSoft. In your case, your name will appear under the 15-year banner in the upcoming Nov. 14 edition, since you were hired on the 15th of that month back in 1999.

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