Category Archives: Achievement/Recognition

Superintendent House announces leadership changes, restructuring to meet student needs

As part of the collective work moving the district towards improved student outcomes, it is critical that Houston Independent School District have aligned structures and efficient processes.

Over the past several weeks, Superintendent Millard House has closely examined the district’s overall structure, identifying opportunities for the district to become more efficient and responsive to student needs.

The following district leadership changes will help lead HISD to become a more effective organization:

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HISD inducting inaugural class into newly created Athletic Hall of Honors

 The Houston Independent School District has a rich history of student athletes not only making an impact but making history in the sports world. These athletes will be recognized at the inaugural induction ceremony into the HISD Athletic Hall of Honors on August 14.

A project spearheaded by Athletic Director Andre Walker and the Hall of Honor Executive Committee, the Class of 2021 consists of 16 individuals and one team. They include Super Bowl champions, Olympic winners, a basketball player whose college team inspired a movie, a tennis champion who led the way for tennis to become a professional women’s sport, and the best football team in state history.

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Lamar HS internships produce ongoing dividends

As the school year wrapped up in June, rising Lamar High School senior Ariana Valdez pondered her future.

The 17-year-old had been tapped in the spring for a financial internship sponsored by the Smart Financial Credit Union branch on the Lamar campus. As she embraced the program, her perspective shifted.

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HISD educator named Texas Poet Laureate

 A Houston Independent School District educator has been named Texas Poet Laureate.

 Lupe Mendez is an HISD teacher development specialist with more than ten years of experience with the district. The former classroom teacher has also received fellowships from CantoMundo, Macondo, and the Crescendo Literary/Poetry Foundation.

Mendez is an internationally published writer. His work is featured in The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast Journal, the Texas Review, Poetry Magazine, and Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets. 

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High School Ahead Academy hero places sharp focus on helping students

As Michael McClendon begins his day at High School Ahead Academy, you can usually find him moving about the campus, stopping to check in with various students along the way.

The dedicated employee often serves a mentor and role model for the nearly 200 students on campus. He listens to their joys and frustrations, offering a kind word or two in return.

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Educators of the Year recognized in virtual event

As heavy storms—the kind typical of Houston summers, dark clouds heavy with rain—moved through the area on Tuesday night, spirits in teachers’ homes across the area could not be dampened.

And as the skies cleared, a rainbow appeared over Rosa Oviedo’s house, just in time for her to be surprised as the Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“It feels really good as an educator,” Oviedo said. “We don’t do this job to be recognized, but for HISD to put this together for us despite the pandemic is truly appreciated.”

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HISD announces 2020-21 Teacher of the Year finalists, Beginning Teacher of the Year winners

Twelve educators have been named as HISD’s 2020-2021 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year finalists, and two teachers have been named the Beginning Teachers of the Year.

The two Teacher of the Year winners will go on to represent the district in Region IV. The 12 finalists were selected from all 280 schools based on performance data and other criteria.

At the elementary level, the six Teacher of the Year finalists are:

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North Houston Early College HS nominated as 2021 national Blue Ribbon School

The Houston Independent School District’s North Houston Early College High School has been nominated by the Texas Education Agency as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.

North Houston Early College High School (NHECHS) is one of 26 public schools in Texas and the only one in HISD that received a nomination from the state’s education agency. NHECHS is housed on the Northline Houston Community College campus and follows a dual-credit model, offering students the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree.

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December and January Associate Teachers of the Month

In the sunny courtyard of Blackshear Elementary, Tanya Fontaine Clark stood speechless for a few moments before elaborating on her passion for her job—and the school she calls home.

“My mother was a teacher. I guess I’m a chip off the old block,” Clark said. “I wanted to give back. I wanted to enrich the lives of the children at Blackshear.”

The third-generation educator had just received the award for January’s Achieve 180 Dedicated Associate Teacher of the Month. It was just one of the stops of the day for Human Resources , as they also surprised the December and January Associate Teachers of the Month and Achieve 180 Dedicated Associate Teachers of the Month.

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