Meet the new Board of Education president in HISD’s ‘Up Close’

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Rhonda Skillern-Jones was elected the HISD Board of Education’s new president for 2015, and outgoing president Juliet Stipeche used her farewell episode of HISD’s Up Close program to give viewers an introduction to the board’s new leader.

Skillern-Jones noted that her chief goal as president is focusing on student achievement.

“I think three things will be key,” said Skillern-Jones. “We’re heading in the right direction with Literacy by 3, but I think we also need math proficiency, and to focus on language mastery. I think those are the foundational things that will grow our kids into all the other programs and avenues we need to take. I think we’ve got to get that piece right and we need to return to the basics to do that. And to do that, there needs to be some accountability at a different level.”

Rhonda Skillern-Jones was first elected to the Board of Education in 2011. She was sworn in as trustee in January 2012 and served as board secretary in 2012 and 2013, and first vice president in 2014. She also represents HISD on the Texas Association of School Boards Board of Directors.

The current edition of Up Close also covers several other topics, including the Hour of Code, language diversity among HISD students, and the new Arabic Immersion Magnet School that will open next fall.