The spotlight is on Houston’s Sunnyside as three HISD educators share their professional experience in a TED Talk series now available online.
Sunnyside, a historic neighborhood on the southside of Houston, suffered significantly during the oil bust of the 1980s and remains a largely low-income area, which has historically put Sunnyside students at a disadvantage.
Though educators face unique challenges in communities like Sunnyside, HISD teachers and administrators are constantly working to find creative solutions and ensure equitable education opportunities for all campuses.
The three TED Talks feature Dr. Khalilah Campbell-Rhone, Assistant Superintendent of Transformation, Worthing Early College High School Principal Everett Hare Sr., and former HISD principal Dr. Marie Moreno. Their presentations focus on the power of building a team that is universally dedicated to the success of Sunnyside schools and providing equitable learning experiences for students despite a lack of resources.
Campbell-Rhone speaks about her goal of giving students a level playing field through a formula for success that she’s developed over her years as an educator. Campbell-Rhone’s strategy is to give students the benefit of “human capital” in their schools in the form of educators and staff who believe in the potential of all students no matter their social disadvantages.
Campbell-Rhone also highlights the importance of building a culture in every school, supporting students and teachers alike mentally and physically.
Hare’s TED Talk focuses on the specific challenges faced by Sunnyside schools, such as a high rate of employee turnover and past lack of parental involvement. He speaks on building relationships with parents and guardians and taking a more hands-on approach, inviting parents to be part of solutions that will benefit not only their child, but the entire community.
Hare believes in the power of keeping a positive mindset, and that positive and present leadership is paramount to creating a culture of educators who want to make an impact and empower their community.
Moreno, who has experience working with students learning English as a second language, speaks about the external factors that affect a child’s learning opportunities, including their emotional state and past trauma. Moreno has cultivated trauma-sensitivity at the HISD schools that she previously led, taking her cues from students from all walks of life, from different countries, and with unique experiences to maintain an environment where all students can succeed.
The Sunnyside community may face socioeconomic disadvantages, but with the concentrated and creative efforts of educators like Campbell-Rhone, Hare, and Moreno in Sunnyside schools, HISD students will never lack opportunities and resources for world-class education.