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Speech therapist makes good on a promise made in high school

2014 October 30
by HISD Communications
Cathy Phillips

Cathy Phillips

Cathy Phillips has always known she wanted to work with children. So it should come as no surprise that she has now been serving HISD students for more than three decades.

“As a matter of fact, that was one of the things I said in my yearbook,” explained the speech therapist. “I was going to be a speech pathologist, an X-ray technician, or a special education teacher.”

Phillips picked speech pathology at least in part because in 1979, it was “not a very popular field,” she said, “but I thought it sounded different and very interesting.” And since then, she has been helping students of all ages master the ability to articulate, enunciate, and communicate.

“Every child needs to know how to express themselves so they can let others know what their wants and needs are,” she explained. “I like the elementary age, because the kids are so excited. They’re just like little sponges. They absorb everything and just enjoy learning.”

Phillips noted that one of the things that has made her time with HISD so meaningful is the support she has received over the years from the Valley West ES community.

“They’ve been there with me the whole time, especially when I lost my husband several years ago, and when I was battling breast cancer,” she said. “I consider them a part of my family.”

Phillips officially marked her 35th anniversary with the district on Oct. 29, but a few other employees are also marking theirs this month (Oct. 19–31). See if you know anyone on this list:

35 years

  • Eveliner Lauderdale-Francis, attendant, Food Services
  • Florestela Lira, teaching assistant, Wainwright ES
  • Octavio Lopez, senior plant operator, Construction & Facility Services
  • Norma Roberts, associate teacher

30 years

  • Luis Gomez, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services
  • Tracye Mason-Moore, secretary, Fleming MS

25 years

  • Lenora Brown, clerk, Madison HS
  • Frances Trochez, IT customer service rep., Medicaid/Property Management

20 years

  • Lynson Alexander, sergeant, Police Department
  • Lynn Gerdes, secretary, Office of Special Education
  • Lerita Harper, attendant, Food Services
  • Kellie Karavias, teacher, Gregory-Lincoln MS
  • Pennisula Lafleur-Palmer, teacher, Long Academy
  • Rita Leal, clerk, Challenge Early College HS
  • Daniel Morgan, maintenance repairer, Construction & Facility Services
  • Juana Sanchez, attendant, Food Services
  • Gilbert Vasquez, officer, Police Department

15 years

  • Jimmy Alford, sheet metal worker, Construction & Facility Services
  • Janice Allen, teacher, Windsor Village ES
  • Rodney Dotson, teacher, Sam Houston MSTC
  • Beverly Johnson, clerk, Construction & Facility Services
  • Alberta Landers, attendant team lead, Food Services
  • Elvia Maldonado, teaching assistant, Carrillo ES
  • Evelina Mitchell, clerk, Construction & Facility Services
  • Carlos Pinales, teacher, Bellfort ECC
  • Jennifer Rogers, teacher, Oak Forest ES
  • Freddie Taylor, mechanic helper, Transportation Services

10 years

  • Erika Acheson, aide, Welch MS
  • Gilda Barraza, teacher, Southmayd ES
  • Ana Betancourt, evaluation specialist, Child Study
  • Eloise Blair, teacher, Lamar HS
  • Mario Castillo, teacher, Deady MS
  • Alvaro Delgado-Valdivia, teacher, Crockett ES
  • Barbara Ferguson, crossing guard
  • Miguel Flores, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services
  • Ivania King, teacher, Bell ES
  • Nghi Luu, paint and body repair technician, Transportation Services
  • Derli Palos, maintenance repairer, Construction & Facility Services
  • Glenda Pinzon, teaching assistant, Scarborough HS
  • Maria Sosa, clerk, Wharton ES
  • Gerald Verdun, electrician, Construction & Facility Services
  • Donald Williams, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • Bernetha Wright-Shelby, bus driver, Transportation Services

5 years

  • Benito Carranza, asphalt worker, Construction & Facility Services
  • Meghan Castillo, teaching assistant, Davis HS
  • Cassandra Christian, associate teacher
  • Paul Crosser, officer, Police Department
  • Michael Daggs, attendant, Transportation
  • Aurora DeLuna, magnet coordinator, Carrillo ES
  • Violeta De Vidal, teacher, Hobby ES
  • Nicole Eugene, associate teacher
  • Paula Francis, substitute aide/clerk
  • Patricia Froning, officer, Police Department
  • Jesse Galicia, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services
  • Kristy George, teacher development specialist, Professional Support & Development
  • Elmarie Gilbert, associate teacher
  • Jacquelyn Gray, crossing guard
  • Cynthia Hammett, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • Valerie Harper, teacher, Stevens ES
  • Samuel Harvey, teaching assistant, King ECC
  • Derrick Hawkins, custodial team lead, Construction & Facility Services
  • Dyer Hector, teacher, Shearn ES
  • Vernell Hill, imaging quality assurance technician, Administrative Services
  • Debra Hunter, teacher, Lanier MS
  • Danielle Hurt Ward, associate teacher
  • Ronnie Jefferson, teacher, Bellaire HS
  • Brian Jenkins, custodian, Construction & Facility Services
  • Laura Jones, teacher, Bonner ES
  • Mary Joseph, associate teacher
  • Mohamed Koroma, associate teacher
  • Gloria Lewis, attendant, Transportation
  • Jo Ann Liggins, associate teacher
  • Clifton Mapp, officer, Police Department
  • Marcello McClellan, teaching assistant, Yates HS
  • Carmen Mireles, teacher, K. Smith ES
  • Nancy Mize, teacher, School at St. George Place
  • Michael Nelloms, officer, Police Department
  • Amanda Oceguera, nutrition services manager, Food Services
  • Francisco Ovalle, associate teacher
  • Leila Hamdi Pacha, associate teacher
  • Teresa Patrick, speech therapist, Child Study
  • Elida Perez, teaching assistant, Garden Oaks Montessori
  • John Porter, teacher, Field ES
  • Brett Radzikowski, production manager, Food Service
  • Juan Reyes, custodian, Construction & Facility Services
  • Freddie Roberson, attendant, Food Services
  • Karyn Robinson, teacher, Herrera ES
  • Alia Shehabeddin, associate teacher
  • Luis Rey Vazquez, teacher, Roosevelt ES
  • Dorothea Williams, teacher, MacGregor ES
  • Marjorie Williams, teacher, Reynolds ES
  • Norma Zelidon, teacher, Hines-Caldwell ES
Check back next Friday for more Milestones. Leave a comment below if you’d like to congratulate any of the above employees.
2 Responses leave one →
  1. Karen Demaris permalink
    October 31, 2014

    Congratulations Cathy Phillips!

  2. November 18, 2014

    Congratulations Cathy Phillips

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