Yamel Melchor has been selected as the new principal for Whittier ES, where she was previously served as assistant principal. She began her educational journey in 2006 as a bilingual early childhood and fourth grade teacher at Cage Elementary. After 7 years as a teacher, she stepped into the role of teacher specialist at Whittier ES. Melchor has been recognized with several awards, including First Year Assistant Principal of the Year and Tier II Excellence in Leadership Award.
Melchor earned her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston and her master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Austin.
Marcie Colemon has been selected as the new principal of Wainwright Elementary School. Colemon began her career in 2009 as an Early Childhood educator in North Forest ISD and then joined Houston ISD. Colemon most recently served as the assistant principal at MacGregor Elementary School. She was awarded the Northwest Area Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year this school year. Colemon is a native Houstonian and a proud product of Houston ISD schools.
She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s in Political Science Pre-Law and the University of St. Thomas with a master’s in Educational Leadership.
David Church has been selected as the new principal of Travis Elementary School. He has served as the teacher specialist at Oak Forest Elementary School for the past three years. Church began his career with HISD in 2002 as a 4th-grade teacher at Travis Elementary School and then at Oak Forest Elementary School.
Church has a bachelor’s degree from Creighton University and master’s degrees from Marquette University and Prairie View A&M University.
Sanjuanita Mottu has been selected as the new principal of Tijerina Elementary School. Mottu is a product of HISD schools and has served as a teacher at Lyons Elementary, magnet coordinator at Burbank Middle School, and for the past 3 years as the Assistant Principal at Tijerina Elementary, her childhood school. In 2019, she was awarded the East Area Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year.
Mottu earned her bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University, and her master’s degree from the Concordia University-Austin.
Lindsey Vela has been selected as the new principal of Pin Oak Middle School. Vela has 18 years of experience serving diverse student populations in rural, suburban and urban districts. Vela has served HISD as a Dean of Students at West Briar Middle School for the last 3 years. Most recently, Vela was named West Area Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year.
She graduated from the University of Texas—Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English and Concordia University—Austin with a Master’s in Educational Leadership.
Jesseye Brown has been selected as the new principal of Bellfort Early Childhood Center. Brown began her educational career in Aldine ISD as a 5th grade elementary school teacher. Most recently, she served in HISD as a teacher, department chair, teacher specialist, and assistant principal at Ortiz Middle School. Brown was selected as the Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year for the East Area for 2020-2021.
She earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Houston and her master’s degree from University of Texas at Arlington
Although Houston—and the Houston Independent School District—is a long way from his home in New Jersey, Baruti Kafele felt right at home in Westbury High School’s dining commons.
That’s because despite being thousands of miles away from his home base, he was speaking to a group of people that shared one very important trait—being an educator. Kafele, a nationally recognized teacher, principal, and summertime speaker at conferences across the country, was in Houston to speak at the HISD Men’s Leadership Summit.
A two-part event will celebrate the Houston Independent School District’s “rock star” teachers on June 15.
During the day, an in-person and socially distanced event will take place at Delmar Stadium. Set for two different windows, teachers will receive swag bags and celebrate winners from 2020 and 2021. Teachers from the North, Northwest, and West areas will be able to attend from 9:30 to 11 a.m., with teachers from A180 schools, as well as the East and South areas, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
That evening, a virtual event will be held to recognize the Principals and Assistant Principals of the Year, Teachers of the Year, Beginning Teachers of the Year, Librarians of the Year, the Ann Sledge Instructional Coach winners, and the various winners for nurses, teachers, and Associate Teachers of the Month throughout the school year.
With barely a week left of their time at Burbank Elementary School, a group of fifth-graders gathered in the school’s green-and-blue painted library for what may be the last time.
These students—a part of the Gifted and Talented program on campus—were not there for a graduation or year-end celebration, but rather a mentorship program with KPMG that helped them set goals for the summer as they transition into middle school.
“I want to read more over the summer,” one student said during his session. “That way I can get to sixth grade ready to go.”