Category Archives: Achievement/Recognition

Three HISD schools receive grants to boost theater education programs

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. 

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HISD named Demonstration District by Texas Alliance of Black School Educators

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.”  

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Math teacher at Navarro MS named Teacher of the Month for February  

What started off as an ordinary day for Navarro Middle School teacher Ana Maria Steen on Tuesday morning turned into a surprise of a lifetime when Area Superintendent Geovanny Ponce interrupted class to announce Steen as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for February.

“Why Mrs. Steen? Because she is the best,” Ponce said. “She not only puts her students’ educational needs first, but those of the entire campus, which shows in their academic achievements.” Continue reading

Two top HISD student athletes commit to Kentucky State, University of Texas on National Signing Day

Nearly 150 students sign letters of intent for collegiate athletic programs across the country

With their parents, coaches, and friends looking on, two of the Houston Independent School District’s top athletes announced they will attend Kentucky State University and the University of Texas to pursue their athletic and academic careers.

Mesi Wilson is a standout in volleyball at Bellaire High School who has been offered a scholarship to play at Kentucky State.

North Forest High School’s Javonne Shepherd, one of the top offensive tackles in the state, has accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Texas. Continue reading

Wiggins featured in NBC News digital series for Black History Month 

HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins has been selected as one of 10 women featured in the NBC News series, She Thrives: Black Women Making History Today.

The series is sponsored by NBCBLK, NBC News Digital’s online platform focusing on the African-American community. The series highlights the contributions of black women “who are altering the way of life for everyone in 21st century America,” according to the She Thrives website.

Wiggins was selected for the honor based on her extensive work in child nutrition.   Continue reading

Student goes from Harvard ES to Harvard University

Bridgett Ramirez was born and raised in Houston, the oldest of three children. She began her formal education at Harvard Elementary School and is now attending Harvard University in Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college after graduating from Lanier Middle School and Heights High School.

Ramirez credits the HISD EMERGE program with helping her get into Harvard U. “EMERGE gave me the mentorship that my parents were not able to provide. The one-on-one relationship that I built with (EMERGE Program Manager) Esau Molina was so valuable. He made sure I was prepared for the college-application process, and he helped me get SAT prep.”  Continue reading

HISD pays tribute to groundbreakers as part of Black History Month 

The Houston Independent School District is celebrating Black History Month by commemorating district alumni and staff who are considered groundbreakers and trailblazers.

The theme for this year’s celebration was created to align with the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History’s (ASALH) theme “Black Migrations.” While previous themes were inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses specifically on the 20th century through today.

The district created a poster and series of table tent cards that will be placed in break rooms and Hattie Mae’s cafe that will feature African-Americans who are former HISD staff and/or students and have made contributions to art, literature, business, sports and pop culture. Continue reading

HISD launches maritime education partnership with UHD, HCC and Port of Houston

The Houston Independent School District, the University of Houston-Downtown, Houston Community College, and the Port of Houston Authority joined forces Thursday to announce a new education partnership that prepares students for maritime careers.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, UHD President Juan Sanchez Munoz, Port of Houston Authority Chair Janiece Longoria and HCC Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Janet Wormack each signed a Letter of Intent that outlines a seamless career pathway for students that begins in high school, extends to higher education institutions, and ultimately leads to potential maritime jobs at the Port of Houston.

“HISD is proud to partner with UHD, HCC and the Port of Houston Authority to offer our students greater opportunities and pathways for successful maritime careers,” Lathan said. “Great things are happening in Houston, and great things are happening for the students of HISD.” Continue reading

Seven students named district winners of HLSR School Art Competition 

The lobby of HISD’s Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center was transformed into a beautiful art gallery for the district’s first-ever Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) Art Reception on Thursday night, showcasing over 200 student works of art.

During the evening, seven student artists were honored as 2019 district winners for the HLSR School Art Competition. The winners, who range from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, were awarded in the categories of Best of Show and Gold Medal.

“We are so proud of these creative students for their hard work and imagination,” said Chandel Bonner-Hancock, HISD Secondary Visual Arts Curriculum Specialist. “Tonight is an opportunity to not only celebrate our student artists, but the teachers who helped cultivate their talent.”  Continue reading

Sterling Aviation ECHS student immortalized in national art piece  

Sterling Aviation Early College High School senior Icetria Green is one of seven students selected nationwide as the inspiration for a series of mosaic portraits, which were unveiled this week in Washington, D.C.

Green and the six other students share stories of overcoming enormous challenges. Those stories served as inspiration for the artwork created by pop artist Jason Mecier in collaboration with Communities In Schools. The exhibition is titled “What We Are Made Of.”

The oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Green was forced to live apart from her family for months after Hurricane Harvey. However, she has overcome those obstacles to maintain high academic standing, become senior class president and to enroll in Texas Southern University’s Trio Upward Bound program.

Explore Green’s portrait in this interactive tour

Green credits her Communities In Schools student support specialist, Alma Gutierrez, for being a source of encouragement and assistance.  Continue reading