Hispanic Heritage Month continues with six more HISD school namesakes


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The Houston Independent School District is observing Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through Oct. 15, by honoring the Hispanics for whom many of the district’s schools are named.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions made to this country by people of Hispanic descent, including those whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

SCHOOLS: We would like to retweet photos of your Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. Please include @HoustonISD in your Tweets, along with the hashtag #HispanicHeritageMonth.

Martínez ES — Clemente Martínez ES was named for one of the first Hispanic principals in HISD who also served as assistant principal and district superintendent during the 1970s. The school named in his honor opened in 1994.

Martínez ES — Raul C. Martínez ES opened in 1994 as a relief school for Leeona Pugh Elementary and others in the area. In 1950, Martínez was inducted into the Houston Police Department, and in 1973, he became the first Hispanic constable elected in Harris County. He died in 1990.

Mistral ECC — Opened in the fall of 2005, this facility is one of several built by HISD designed to serve prekindergarten students exclusively. It is named after a celebrated Chilean poet and educator who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945. Gabriela Mistral was the pen name of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, who was born in 1889 and died in 1957. Both a writer and teacher, she created educational programs for the poor under the Mexican Ministry of Education. She also taught at Vassar, Columbia University, Middlebury College, and the University of Puerto Rico.

Navarro MS — Yolanda Black Navarro became a community and city icon through her civic and political leadership. She served Houston well by serving on the METRO Board and the Houston Parks Board, and running for Houston City Council. Before her death, she chaired Mayor Annise Parker’s Hispanic Advisory Committee. Navarro fought for all Houstonians to be treated equally and helped disadvantaged youth by founding Shoes for Kids. She was the founder of the Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans (AAMA). Navarro was the recipient of the Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the East End Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award.

Moreno ES — This school was named for Joe E. Moreno, a Texas state legislator born in Houston on Aug. 12, 1964. Moreno lived a life focused on community service and political activism. In 1998, he was elected to represent Texas House District No. 143 in eastern Harris County. He served in the Texas House until he was killed in a tragic auto accident on May 6, 2005. The Mostyn Moreno Foundation, which supports educational programs for special needs children on the Texas Gulf Coast, was founded in 2006 to honor his memory. Moreno ES opened in August of 2005.

Ortiz ES — Daniel Ortiz was a native Houstonian whose career with HISD spanned 33 years. He went from history teacher to deputy superintendent and was voted outstanding teacher of the year for 1979-1980. He also founded and served as president of the Mexican American Association of School Educators. His school is one of 10 built with funds from Rebuild 2002.