Category Archives: Achievement/Recognition

HISD takes home 26 TSPRA awards for communications, community engagement efforts

The Houston Independent School District’s Communications department earned top honors for its work in communications and community engagement during the 2020 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Austin.  

The accolades covered nearly all facets of communications, including writing, videography, graphic design, marketing, branding, and special events.  

“As the storytellers of HISD, we are passionate about sharing the inspiring stories of our resilient students, hard-working teachers, and empowering leaders,” said Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez.  “I am extremely proud of our Communications Team for their creative lens and clear focus on promoting the district’s strategic priorities to help student succeed.”   

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Wiggins selected as one of Education Week’s 2020 Leaders to Learn From

HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins has been selected as a 2020 Leaders to Learn From by Education Week, a weekly publication highlighting issues in education across the nation. 

Wiggins is one of 12 honorees for 2020. She was selected for the distinction based on her leadership in food services and equity.   

“I’m so proud of the work we’ve done in HISD Nutrition Services surrounding food equity. Food literacy and inclusion ensures students have more than a consumer relationship with food,” Wiggins said.  

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Eliot ES and Washington HS principals named Principals of the Year

Washington HS principal also named H-E-B Excellence in Education finalist 

While school leaders across the district were greeting students at their campuses on Monday morning, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan was entering hidden entrances to surprise HISD’s 2019-2020 Elementary and Secondary Principals of the Year. 

More than 20 North Area administrators, along with hundreds of students, packed into Eliot Elementary School’s cafeteria anxiously waiting to surprise Principal Zandra Aguilar as the district’s 2019-2020 Elementary Principal of the Year. 

“Aguilar is an exemplary principal who helps build leadership capacity with teachers and has continued to go the extra mile for a number of years in connecting with Eliot students and families,” Lathan said.  

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HISD ranked seventh in the nation for school breakfast participation

For the second consecutive year, the Houston Independent School District has been ranked one of the top 10 school districts in the nation for highest student participation in the federal School Breakfast Program.  

HISD ranked seventh in the nation and second in the state for the number of low-income students who participate in both the School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, according to the Food Research & Action Center’s 2018-2019 School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts report released Thursday.  

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Browning ES math teacher named Teacher of the Month for February

Love was in the air on Wednesday when Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan surprised fifth-grade math teacher Gerardo Chapa at Browning Elementary School as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for February.  

“Mr. Chapa is very deserving of today’s recognition,” Principal Evangeline Campos said. “He routinely utilizes data to drive his instructional decisions and provides numerous opportunities for his students to engage in hands-on activities, which they absolutely enjoy.” 

A favorite among students, Chapa recently transitioned from third grade to fifth grade, giving students another chance to enjoy his lessons, while also helping the campus launch its first-ever after-school program. 

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Three HISD campuses nominated for prestigious National Blue Ribbon Schools award

Three Houston Independent School District schools have been nominated for the U.S. Department of Education’s prestigious 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools award.

High School for Law and Justice (HSLJ), Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy (YWCPA), and Memorial Elementary School – all first-time nominees – are among 26 schools in Texas to be nominated by the Texas Education Agency.

“I applaud the dedication and work ethic of the students, parents, teachers, staff, and principals at each of our nominated campuses,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “These schools are proof that closing achievement gaps and creating high-performing academic environments districtwide is our commitment in HISD.”

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HAABSE selects Lathan as recipient of its top honor

The Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators (HAABSE) has selected Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan as this year’s recipient of its most prestigious award for educators and public servants who make significant contributions to the city’s diverse educational, cultural, and social heritage.

The Elaine Bailey Heart of HAABSE Award is an acknowledgment by the recipient’s peers that the honoree has made exemplary contributions to the educational profession and community.

“To be recognized by your peers is always special because they have a clear understanding of the work, commitment and vision required to equip our children to realize their full potential and become global scholars,” Lathan said. “I am extremely honored to receive this award, and it’s a direct reflection of the important work HISD is doing to support every student.”

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Honor your school counselor during the week of Feb. 3-7

Counselors are behind-the-scenes leaders in our schools who are actively engaging themselves in fostering a safe and secure environment for students, and next week is a chance to honor the tremendous impact they have on students’ lives.  

National School Counseling Week is February 3–7 and the theme this year is “School Counselors: Helping Build Better Humans.” Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, National School Counseling Week highlights the contributions that school counselors make in helping students achieve academic success, and the vital role they play in social and emotional development.  

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Achieve 180 campus reaches IB World School status

Yates High School, an Achieve 180 campus, has raised the bar even higher for the district’s turnaround program, becoming the district’s newest International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. 

“Becoming an IB campus is a huge accomplishment for an Achieve 180 campus,” Achieve 180 Director Brandi Gosnay said. “Yates has shown us that an underperforming and underserved campus has the potential to shift and provide opportunities for students that they deserve.” 

As the district’s fifth high school campus to receive official authorization to offer the Diploma Programme, Yates will now offer courses in a broad base of disciplines such as languages, mathematics, sciences, humanities, arts, physical education, and technology. 

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