The Houston Independent School District Board of Education will welcome its two newest members on Thursday, swearing in newly elected District VIII Trustee Diana Dávila and District IV Trustee Jolanda Jones.
The two trustees were elected to the board in November. They will be formally sworn in prior to the first meeting of the year during a special ceremony at 11 a.m. in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.
Also during the ceremony, Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones and First Vice President Manuel Rodriguez will re-new their oaths of office. Skillern-Jones, who has served four years on the board, and Rodriguez, who has served 11 years on the board, were re-elected to their positions in December.
Jones, an attorney and former member of the Houston City Council, will assume the District IV seat.
Jones previously served four years as Houston City Council member at-large in District V and currently owns the Law Office of Jolanda Jones. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Houston and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Houston Law Center.
“I want to represent District IV because I am a public school product and a firm believer in public education,” Jones said. “As a child, I was the average kid going to school in HISD and District IV today. I was raised by a single mother. My mom had to work a lot to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. I was bused to a Vanguard school. Often times, my only meals of the day were free and reduced breakfast and lunch. I am the HISD kid.”
Dávila, a former teacher who previously served on the board from 2003 to 2010, will assume the District VIII seat. She has been recognized as an outstanding volunteer by HISD Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) for a tutorial program she initiated with her husband at Tijerina Elementary School and Houston Community College.
Dávila earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on bilingual education from University of Houston and a master’s degree in educational management and principal certification from University of Houston-Clear Lake.
“I’m humbled and overwhelmed that District VIII has allowed me once again to represent them,” Dávila said. “My goal and my mission has always been quality education – quality education for every student in HISD. I want to ensure that outstanding educational options are provided to every student across the district.”
The swearing in ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. The regular January meeting will be held in the same room at 5 p.m.