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Teacher still making beautiful music in HISD classrooms after 25 years

2014 March 27
by HISD Communications

Monica Harris

Monica Harris is an accomplished professional musician in her own right (she graduated from HSVPA in 1983 and opened for Kelly Clarkson at a Fort Hood performance a few years ago) but helping students to cultivate their own creative talents is what drives her professionally.

“I think being able to see kids be successful at something—especially those who are struggling—is the most important thing,” said Harris, now a music teacher at Billy Reagan K–8. “Maybe they’re always in trouble or maybe they’re talkers. I make the busybodies and the bullies my stage managers, and use that aggressive energy to help them become proud of what they do on the stage.”

Harris has been teaching young people music for the past 25 years, first at Carnegie ES, and later at Codwell ES, Mading ES, Woodson K-8, and Hartsfield ES.

“I always knew I wanted to be a music teacher,” she said. “There’s even a picture of me with a ukulele in my hand at three-years-old.”

Harris officially marked her 25th anniversary with the district on March 29, but several other employees are also marking theirs this month (March 16–29). See if you know anyone on this list:

25 years

  • Diana Alderete, teaching assistant, Almeda ES           
  • Jacqueline Clark-Barnes, teacher, Bastian ES 
  • Lawrence Fiemawhle, teacher, Sharpstown HS          
  • Kironda Johnson, secretary, Osborne ES          
  • David Martinez, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services      
  • Mary Morah, teacher, Berry ES    
  • Marina Navarro, attendant, Food Services
  • Leonard Nolan, teacher, Mitchell ES      
  • Frances Perel, associate teacher
  • Angela Smith, teacher, Chávez HS        
  • Ramona Taylor, teacher, Almeda ES     
  • Linda Turpin, clerk, T. H. Rogers MS
  • Linda Woodstock, Special Education chair, Woodson K-8     

20 years

  • Noemi Botello, teaching assistant, Crespo ES 
  • Rose Burrell, crossing guard, Gregg ES 
  • Regina Jackson, teacher, DeBakey HS 
  • Carmen Pastrano, clerk, Bellaire HS
  • Lourdes Reyes, clerk, Ketelsen ES
  • Victoria Reyes, custodian, Construction & Facility Services  

15 years

  • Heather Babb, senior executive secretary, Chief of Staff       
  • Kathryn Cyrus, attendant, Food Services
  • Afiong Etiese, teacher, Piney Point ES  
  • Jose Flores, Plumber Facility Management Admin     
  • Emma Garcia, attendant, Food Services
  • Karla Garcia, teacher, Milby HS   
  • Ruben Gonzalez, IT customer service rep., Ketelsen ES       
  • Miguel Montero, teacher, Tijerina ES      
  • Sylveria Ogu, teacher, Sam Houston MSTC     
  • Janki Sharma, teaching assistant, Neff ES       
  • Delores Stewart, teacher, Law ES           
  • Kathryn Thibodeaux, internal applications developer, Research and Accountability       
  • Regina Thompson, plant operator, Construction & Facility Services
  • Ildalia Torres, senior executive secretary, Elementary Schools Office         
  • Lester Murphy, foreman, Transportation Services        
  • Sabrina Woods-Tillis, bus driver, Transportation Services      

10 years

  • Leticia Acosta, attendant, Food Services           
  • Michelle David, associate teacher           
  • Juliana Garcia, teaching assistant, Welch MS  
  • Habiba Faiz, teaching assistant, Askew ES      
  • Brandon Ford, senior plant operator, Construction & Facility Services        
  • Leda Fuentes, clerk, Rodriguez ES
  • Deliela Henderson, attendant, Food Services  
  • Davion Henson, officer, Police Department
  • Katrina Lyons, teacher, Windsor Village ES      
  • Gloria Marubio, associate teacher           
  • Veronica Mireles, officer, Police Department
  • Andres Rivera, bus driver, Transportation Services
  • LaSonya Sallie, attendant, Food Services         
  • Ella Simms, attendant, Food Services    
  • Travettae Sowells, program specialist, Special Education      
  • Reuben Stiff, teacher, Cook ES   
  • Tiffany Thorn, teacher, Horn ES  

5 years

  • Christopher Aguirre, warranty representative, Transportation Services        
  • Vivek Bhonsley, senior applications developer, IT Business Solutions       
  • Estefanita Cantu-Saldivar, clerk, Southmayd ES
  • Bradley Dawkins, teaching assistant, Holland MS
  • Rickey Donato Jr, teacher, Southmayd ES       
  • La Gerald Fleur, senior Apollo 20 tutor, Lee HS           
  • Delia Hernandez, associate teacher       
  • James Newbury, electrician, Food Services      
  • Nathaniel Norris, senior plumber, Construction & Facility Services 
  • Dishna Samarajiva, associate teacher
  • Angelina Sanchez, associate teacher    
  • Patricia Sims, bus driver, Transportation Services       
  • La Shandra Thomas, associate teacher 
  • Jessie Thompson, associate teacher Linda Thomas, attendant, Transportation Services           
  • LaQueisha Thorns, attendant, Food Services  
  • Lagatha Wharton, secretary, Special Education           
  • Josefina Zuñiga, clerk, Deady MS
Check back next Friday for more Milestones. Leave a comment below if you’d like to congratulate any of the above employees.
One Response leave one →
  1. Elfrida Brownwn permalink
    March 29, 2014

    Congratulations !! You are a great teacher ,very talented, and creative. I enjoyed working with you.

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