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Art teacher paints 35-year portrait of service

2013 October 31
by HISD Communications

Karen Adams

When Karen Adams first began teaching art back in 1978, the New York Yankees had just won the World Series, the summer hit musical Grease was still playing in movie theaters, and musician Billy Joel was filling the airwaves with a series of hits from his award-winning album, 52nd Street.

Adams, a distinguished artist in her own right whose work was most recently featured in an exhibit at the Art Institute of Houston, taught students at all levels before finding her niche at Booker T. Washington High School in 2001.

“I always knew that I would be an art teacher,” said Adams. “My mom was an art major at Texas Southern University who taught in HISD for 40 or 50 years, and my paternal grandmother taught math at Wheatley.”

Adams says she enjoys teaching older students most, because “some of them already have that talent and they know it, so they can take a lot of criticism. I can push them a little more and get more out of them in high school.”

Many of Adams’ students have gone on to become successful artists themselves, including Donald G. Terry, a talented illustrator who later became one of the country’s top five financial advisors (as rated by Texas Monthly).  

Adams officially marked her 35th anniversary with the district on Nov. 1, but several other employees are also marking theirs this week (Oct. 27–Nov. 2). See if you know anyone on this list:

25 years

  •  Opal Walker, attendant, Food Services
  • Leticia Moreno, teacher, Braeburn ES      

20 years

  • Lekeitha Moody, student information representative, Bellaire HS         
  • Alfonso Barbosa, sergeant, Police Department  

15 years

  • Vickie Park, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services    
  • Samuel Braziel, student information representative, Gregg ES 
  • Mark Miertschin, plumber, Construction & Facility Services       
  • Carolyn Booker, bus driver, Transportation Services      
  • Darline Alexander, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services     

10 years

  • Debra Thompson, teaching assistant, Bellaire HS          
  • Andres Flores, senior plant operator, Construction & Facility Services
  • Doris Elaine Davis, attendant, Food Services     
  • April Marie Marks, attendant, Food Services       
  • Diann Wrather, associate teacher 
  • Roxana Cormier, crossing guard, Braeburn ES  
  • Lois Jean Thomas, crossing guard, Peck ES      
  • Dramichael Henson, maintenance repairer, Construction & Facility Services 
  • Rosa Sosa, attendant, Food Services      
  • Zoila Vargas, teaching assistant, J. R. Harris ES
  • Miguel Perez, warehouser, Food Services           
  • Blanca Gonzalez, teacher, Park Place ES           
  • Emilio Gomez, teacher, Anderson ES      

5 years

  • William Jenkins Jr, Apollo 20 tutor, Fondren MS 
  • Don Hilber, analyst, Human Resource Operations          
  • Uzma Butt, attendant, Food Services        
  • Marquita Brooks, associate teacher         
  • James Williams, crossing guard, Montgomery ES          
  • Shantray Demerson, secretary, Attucks MS         
  • Ceisly Delco, assistant, HR Business Partners   
  • Timesa Perry, teacher, HSLECJ   
  • Manuel Obregon, teacher, Valley West ES          
  • Celina Alvayeros, teacher, Kelso ES        
  • Rhonda Freedman, counselor, Sam Houston MSTC      
  • Maria Reyes, attendant, Food Services    
  • Arethia Winters, attendant, Food Services           
  • Whitney Wright, associate teacher
  • Basilia Balderas, custodian, Construction & Facility Services   
  • Evelin Granados, custodian, Construction & Facility Services   
  • Austin Rogers, teacher, Long Academy   
  • LaTonya Bryant, teacher, Hartman MS     
  • Don Hernandez, manager, UIL Co-Curricular Activities
Check back next Friday for more November Milestones. Leave a comment below if you’d like to congratulate any of the above employees.
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