HISD Board of Education elects new officers

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted to name Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones as its new president.

Skillern-Jones has served on the HISD Board of Education since 2012. She is replacing outgoing Board President Juliet Stipeche, who has served on the board since 2010.

The new board president was sworn in Thursday during the Board of Education’s regular January meeting. Trustees also voted to elect new board officers: Manuel Rodriguez, First Vice President; Wanda Adams, Second Vice President; Paula Harris, Secretary; and Stipeche, Assistant Secretary.

“I’m honored to be given this responsibility and distinction by my colleagues and take it very seriously,” Skillern-Jones said. “I look forward to a year of increased student achievement and accountability.”

Skillern-Jones served as board secretary in 2012 and 2013 and first vice president in 2014. She also serves as a board member for the Texas Association of School Boards.

A native Houstonian, Skillern-Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in clinical sociology from Texas Southern University. She has received numerous awards and honors for her dedication to enhancing the lives of Houston children throughout the district and the community. She holds memberships in several civic and community organizations.

Fellow trustees lauded Stipeche for her service as board president and her dedication to the Houston Independent School District and its students.

“She always kept the children at the forefront — in leadership and in wanting to move district forward,” Trustee Manual Rodriguez said. “A lot of issues come up … but the kids are what we’re here for.”