Lauren K. Price named new principal of Marshall Elementary School

Lauren K. Price has been selected as the new principal of Marshall Elementary School. She most recently served as the dean of students at Meyerland Middle School for the Visual and Performing Arts and assistant principal at Crespo Elementary. Price relocated to Houston from California where she spent eight years as a building principal in the Long Beach Unified School District. She holds a bachelor’s in English from Spelman College and a master’s in Education Management from the University of La Verne.

Beatrice Akala named new principal of Sutton Elementary School

Beatrice Akala has been selected as the new principal of Sutton Elementary School. She began her career in Education as an English teacher in Kenya before moving to the United States. In the U.S., she started her career as a prekindergarten through fourth-grade teacher in private school. For the last fourteen years, she has served at HISD in various capacities, including as an ESL teacher at Sam Houston High School, teacher development specialist, assistant principal, and dean of instruction at Wisdom High School. As a member of the instructional leadership team at Wisdom, the school earned four distinctions in ELA, math, science and social studies. She holds a bachelor’s in Education from Moi University Kenya, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Houston, a master’s in Human Resource Management from Walden University. She is also currently working on a doctorate’s in Education at North Central University.

Mayte Garcia-Olivio named new principal of Seguin Elementary School

Mayte Garcia-Olivo has been selected as the new principal of Seguin Elementary School. She began her career at St. Charles Parish Public Schools and later moved back to the Houston area. She has served as a teacher, peer facilitator, teacher specialist, and assistant principal. Her years in education has consistently increased academic performance at the schools she serviced. During her most recent tenure at Brookline Elementary School, the campus received an “A” rating and numerous distinctions. Olivo earned two bachelors’ in Operations Management and Marketing from the University of Houston and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans.

HISD students awarded scholarships to travel the world, study abroad

This summer more than 80 HISD high school students will practice their linguistic skills, develop cultural awareness and learn just what it takes to become a global citizen through The Council on International Educational Exchange’s (CIEE) Global Navigator High School Study Abroad Program. 

Students who hail from 19 different high schools will represent the district in 20 different countries on six different continents, including Australia, Botswana, China, Chile, France and Mexico.

This life-changing experience was made possible after the students earned a total of $370, 367 in financial aid to embark on their trips.

“High school students from across the nation compete for our Global Navigator scholarships, so this is no small achievement,” CIEE Regional Sales Manager Anna Johnson said. “We cannot wait to see the students practicing their foreign language skills or discovering a new passion.”

CIEE is a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization that sponsors a wide variety of opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experiences. Through their High School Study Abroad program students can participate in a summer abroad program, a multi-semester abroad program, as well as gap year abroad program for recent graduates.

For more information on the study abroad program, visit

HISD offers free EKGs to student-athletes during inaugural outreach program

Thousands of Houston Independent School District middle and high school student-athletes will be offered free electrocardiograms (EKGs) during a first-time HISD event aimed at detecting heart defects in young people, possibly preventing a fatal cardiac event.

The event, which will be held at Delmar Fieldhouse, will be held on from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, August 3. The test will also be offered to cheerleaders, band, drill team, and dance team members, as well as any other students involved in similar extracurricular activities.

“We were inspired by other districts in our area to offer this possibly life-saving program,” HISD Director of Athletics Andre Walker said. “This is an important step to protect our students and provide parents with a little peace of mind.”

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HISD students develop STEM, literacy skills at Camp Adventure

It was no ordinary birthday for rising fifth-grader Cameron, who celebrated turning eleven years old with a birthday song serenade from a group of teachers, students and Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan during Camp Adventure at HISD’s Atherton Elementary School.  

Cameron, along with hundreds of other students from around the district, is spending his summer break immersed in a flurry of STEAM activities at the camp, which is sponsored by The Children’s Museum of Houston and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.  

“I love Camp Adventure because we get to do a lot of fun science activities,” Cameron said. “We’ve already made a balloon rocket, a glider and guacamole.”  

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HISD expands free, full-day pre-K program across district

HISD is expanding its free, full-day pre-kindergarten program at schools across the district to provide more 3- and 4-year-old students with the opportunity to attend a high-quality program that will build a strong foundation of learning and support the needs of the families it serves. 

A total of 12 elementary campuses throughout the district will be expanding pre-k classrooms for a total of 38 pre-k rooms. Those campuses are: Isaacs ES, R. Martinez ES, Rucker ES, Love ES, Browning ES, Shadowbriar ES, Askew ES, Mitchell ES, Garden Villas ES, DeAnda ES, Wesley ES and Neff ECC.

Two schools – Hillard ES and Oates ES – are implementing pre-K for the first time.

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Michelle Wagner named new principal of Wisdom High School

Michelle Wagner has been selected as the new principal of Wisdom High School. After 17 years in education including 12 years at Spring Branch ISD, Wagner began her service with HISD at Wisdom in 2014 as an ELA teacher specialist and has most recently served as dean of instruction and associate principal. As a member of the instructional leadership team at Wisdom, Wagner helped develop and implement an effective double-blocked master schedule that includes in-school interventions and a specialized ESL program to meet the academic needs of the campus’ diverse multicultural ESL student population. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a master’s in Educational Administration from University of St. Thomas.

Luis Landa named new principal of Chavez High School

Luis Landa has been selected as the new principal at Chavez High School. Landa has spent his educational career at HISD, where he has served as a science teacher at McReynolds Middle School, a teacher specialist at Henry Middle School, assistant principal at Austin High School, and most recently principal at Sutton Elementary School. While serving at Sutton Elementary, Landa was responsible in the campus being consistently ranked in the top quarter of all schools in the district and state. Sutton was also recognized numerous times as a Gold Ribbon School by Children at Risk during his tenure. He holds a bachelor’s in Biology from University of Texas at San Antonio, a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from University of St. Thomas, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from University of Houston.

Ericka Austin named new principal of High School Ahead Academy

Ericka Austin has been selected as the new principal of High School Ahead Academy. Austin began her career supporting school improvement in Haiti designing outreach programs for students living in group homes, followed by a teaching career in Arlington, Texas. At HISD, she has served as a teacher specialist and a data-driven instructional specialist. Austin was a part of the leadership team at Marshall Elementary that successfully moved to a met standard rating. She has also held leadership roles at High School Ahead and Booker T. Washington High School. Austin earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Central Arkansas and a Master of Business Administration from University of Arkansas.