There was a wave of celebrations on Wednesday morning as the district crowned its 2018-2019 elementary and secondary Principals of the Year.
The first stop for a caravan filled with district leadership and staff was at Durham Elementary School, where campus administrators, teachers and students filled the cafeteria to surprise Principal Amy Poerschke as this year’s Elementary Principal of the Year.
“When district leadership interviewed Principal Poerschke earlier this year, it was music to my ears to hear her passion and commitment to ensure all children at her campus and beyond received the absolute best in their education,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.
It wasn’t hard to keep a smile on everyone’s face as Poerschke was greeted by students offering cheers and high-fives as the third-year principal made her way through the crowd.
The Houston Independent School District earned top honors for its work in communications and community engagement during the 2019 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Cedar Creek.
Presented to HISD Communications and HISD Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach teams, the accolades covered nearly all facets of the teams, including writing, videography, graphic design, marketing, branding, and special events.
HISD Communications took home the prestigious Crystal Award for the 2018 HISD State of the Schools special event “Rebuild + Reimage,” which consisted of a multifaceted communications campaign that employed a variety of media, including graphic design, production, video, livestreaming, social media and three-dimensional table cards with hover animation. In addition, it also won two Crystal Commendations Certificates of Merit. Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach took home 15 Star Awards medals, including five gold, nine silver, and one bronze.
Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan has been named one of this year’s Outstanding Texans by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus (TLBC).
The award is given to individuals from the public and private sector who demonstrate exemplary service and commitment to their community.
“I am truly honored to receive this distinguished award, and I am grateful to the Caucus, especially state Sen. Borris Miles, for this amazing recognition,” Lathan said. “This award is the result of our entire team, which consistently gives 1,000 percent toward our goal of making HISD the best school district in the nation.”
Lathan received her award at the TLBC Outstanding Texan Award Gala in Austin on Monday. The chair of the Caucus for the 86th Legislature is State Rep. Harold Dutton.
HISD high school students interested in studying abroad attended a college information session on Friday led by Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez, the president of Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP).
The university is one of the most prestigious in Latin America. It is one of the few accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the same organization that endorses major universities like the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and Tulane University.
“Universidad de las Américas Puebla is one of the most beautiful universities in Mexico,” Derbez said. “UDLAP is a multi-cultural community that offers many on-campus activities to international students.”
More than 100 exhibitors from local companies will be on hand to help students explore their options in high-demand, high-growth industries at the seventh annual “When I Grow Up Expo.”
The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street, 77092).
Students will have the opportunity to talk with local employers about future careers and compete in various competitions in subjects such as cosmetology, movie making, construction, and culinary skills.
With planning already underway for the upcoming school year, Transportation Services is employing a proactive approach to address issues involving routing and scheduling.
General Manager John Wilcots IV said the department will stop making routing changes for the current school year on April 1. This will allow the department to begin planning for routes for next year — well in advance of the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.
“As we plan the bus routing for next school year, we want to make sure our students are not walking long distances and that they don’t have long wait times to board our buses,” Wilcots said. “The work that we will begin on April 1 is critical to ensuring the school year gets off to a smoother start next year.”
Theater programs at three Houston Independent School District campuses have received grants from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative totaling nearly $50,000.
HISD’s Chavez High School received $30,000 from the group to refurbish its set design workshop. The Chavez Lobo Theatre not only builds its own sets but also provides items for productions, classrooms and clubs for other campuses in the district.
HISD’s Northside High School received $12,500 from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative to improve its theatrical library, playwriting curriculum and obtain high quality costumes.
The district’s Gregory-Lincoln Education Center for the Performing and Visuals Arts received $7,107 for the purchase of a spotlight, sewing machine, costumes, stage props, a projector, and to establish a Theatre Arts reading/writing program.
The Houston Independent School District has been selected as one of the state’s two Demonstration Districts by the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE).
The organization stated that HISD and Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan were selected based on success closing the achievement gap and making school improvements.
“Every staff member, from our custodians to our key administrators, works tirelessly every day to serve our children,” Lathan said. “It is not always easy, but we are committed to the work and it is gratifying to receive this recognition.”
More than 140 Scarborough High School students joined law enforcement officers from the HISD Police Department, Houston Police Department and the Metro Houston Police Department in a program on Wednesday to reduce the number of hostile encounters between juveniles and law enforcement officers.
The Win-Win Program, developed by the Houston Health Department’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, imparts conflict-resolution skills through interactive workshops and candid group discussions.
Participants gathered together for a general assembly in the Scarborough High School auditorium, where they discussed the importance of strong student and peace officer relationships, which, according to Principal Roderick Trevino, Scarborough students are prepared for.
The Houston Independent School District will hold its districtwide voter registration drive as part of the district’s ongoing efforts to teach students about their civic duties and the voting process.
HISD will kick off the drive with a news conference on Presidents Day – Monday, Feb. 18 – at Westside High School (14201 Briar Forest Dr., 77077).
Pursuant to Texas state law, all HISD high school principals are designated high school deputy voter registrars and are required to register eligible students by distributing voter registration forms at least twice during the school year.
Voter registration cards are always available on all HISD high school campuses to encourage eligible students to register to vote.