New trustees join HISD Board of Education, forming district’s first all-female governing body

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday welcomed four new trustees who joined five current members during the first board meeting of 2020.  

The new board members are Patricia K. Allen (District IV), Daniela “Dani” Hernandez (District III), Kathy Blueford-Daniels (District II) and Judith Cruz (District VIII). 

As its first order of business, the new board – the first all-female board in district history – elected officers for 2020: Susan Deigaard (District V) was elected President, Wanda Adams (District IX) was elected First Vice President, Judith Cruz (District VIII) was selected as Second Vice President, Patricia K. Allen (District IV) was elected secretary, and Daniela “Dani” Hernandez (District III) was selected as Assistant Secretary. 

The board approved $3.8 million from the Verizon Innovative Learning program, which will provide tablets and connectivity at no cost to every student, teacher, and administrator at six HISD middle schools.  

The campuses are Edison, Fleming, Hartman, Henry, Holland and Tanglewood middle schools. Each school completed a rigorous competitive process to be selected for the program, which is administered in partnership with Verizon’s nonprofit partner, Digital Promise. Verizon’s program aims to bridge the digital divide that exists in underserved communities by providing students with the connectivity, technological resources, instruction and skills required to succeed in a high tech economy. The program will launch at the schools when teachers will be provided with devices and training. Students will receive devices in August at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. 

The board voted to accept a $240,000 City of Houston-Mayor’s After-School Achievement Program grant to expand quality after-school programming for elementary and middle school students.  

Board members also accepted a progress report from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on the implementation of the state’s Legislative Budget Board recommendations for improving operations in HISD.  

January is School Board Recognition Month, and the Houston Independent School District is joining other districts across the state to honor local leaders for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates for public schools.  

To find out more information about the newly elected Trustees, click here