The National Merit
Scholarship Program has named 81 Houston Independent School District seniors as
The high school seniors
have an opportunity to compete for approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more
than $30 million that will be offered next spring. Nationwide there are
approximately 16,000 semiﬁnalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship
“We are proud of our
global scholars who are competing with their peers from across the nation for
this prestigious academic honor,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan
said. “We support and encourage them to maintain the level of excellence that
has resulted in their semifinalist designation, despite challenges they may
face in this year of flexibility.”
Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday issued a
proclamation designating Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage
Month in the district.
Heritage Month kicks off with the anniversary of the 1821 Independence Day of
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The month also
encompasses the independence days for Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept.
the month, a variety of virtual events showcasing performances, art, and many
other displays of the rich Hispanic culture can be observed across the city of
An alum of the Houston Independent School District was
recently presented with a college scholarship from Houston’s prestigious Orange
Show Center for Visionary Art.
Mary Onwumere, a 2020 graduate from Lamar High School, received the $500 scholarship for her work in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s #StrongerThanCovid photography series. Mary’s work, along with 18 other HISD students, make up a virtual exhibition curated by the MFAH and can be viewed here.
Six Heights High
School students took home top honors in a virtual entrepreneurship challenge
last Saturday during Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas’ official JA Company
The Microsoft Innovation
Challenge empowered teams of students from across the district to come up with
innovative additions to Microsoft’s communication and collaboration platform
Teams that would increase productivity, and the human connection, at work, as
well as in remote learning.
The winning team,
“Bulldog Apparel,” was comprised of Heights students Bora Colkesen, Faustino
Martinez, Joe Maddux, Emma Rodriguez, Alan Hernandez Saavedra and Kevin
Valerio. After a 30-minute brainstorming session, the six students pitched
their winning idea for a Teams poll icon that would give the meeting host
immediate and direct feedback from participants.
Houston Independent School District Director of Athletics and UIL Activities Andre’ Walker has been named to the board of the Touchdown Club of Houston, an organization established in 1966 that is dedicated to community service and sharing fellowship through football.
“We know that
Andre’ will represent the district well,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita
Lathan said. “He is a tireless supporter of student-athletes and we are proud
of this appointment and his many other accomplishments.”
Walker is an HISD
graduate of Kashmere High School and an alumnus of Texas Southern University
who holds a Master’s degree in Education from Prairie View A&M University.
He served as a teacher and later an assistant principal at Key Middle School
and Kashmere High School.
Nutrition Services received top honors for its school-based
initiatives and ongoing community outreach in Food Management magazine’s 2020
Best Concept awards competition.
The department was named Editor’s Choice Best Concept Awards
Best of Show for their efforts to feed families during the COVID-19 pandemic,
expand salad bars to all campuses, and launch a food literacy program to help
students understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
The magazine also highlighted the department’s Good Food
campaign, which calls for all students to have access to nutritious food that
is flavorful, colorful, wholesome, and locally sourced, and recognized the team
for successfully converting from third-party management to self-operating
Sam Houston MSTC
Plumbing and Pipes Trades teacher Raul Ortega has been named one of 50
finalists from across the nation for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools
Prize for Teaching Excellence.
The award, which
was started in 2017 by national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric
Smidt, recognizes outstanding instruction in skilled trades in U.S. public high
licensed plumber, is entering his ninth year at Sam Houston MSTC. Ortega’s
hands-on classroom includes bathroom and kitchen simulators where students
learn to install fixtures and piping systems using curriculum from the National
Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). Students enrolled in
the program also perform basic plumbing repairs for homeowners in the Sam
Houston MSTC community and learn directly from local employers who visit
Ortega’s classroom regularly to hire graduating seniors.
Khalilah Campbell-Rhone has
been named Officer of Special Populations. She is a proud product of the
Houston Independent School District and the University of Houston, where she
received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
Dr. Campbell-Rhone has worked
as a teacher and administrator at several campuses including Tanglewood and
Stevenson Middle Schools, Sam Houston MSTC, Ninth Grade College Preparatory
Academy and served as principal at Thomas Middle School and currently at
Worthing High School. During her tenure in HISD, she also served as a
School Support Officer and oversaw and advised 17 principals and schools in the
“I am honored to
have the opportunity to help HISD continue to provide
quality programs and services to the district’s diverse groups of students,”
Campbell-Rhone said. “I look forward to supporting Dr. Lathan’s vision
of providing equity to all HISD students.”
A total of 20 Houston Independent School District
students from six high schools have been selected as winners of National Merit
Scholarships this year with the final four recipients named this week.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) annually selects winners in three categories: awards funded by corporations-recipients were named in April, awards funded by NMSC-recipients were named in May, and awards sponsored by institutions of higher learning-the first group of recipients were named in June. The final four HISD scholarship winners are in the second and final group of recipients who won awards funded by colleges and universities.
When Bellaire High School Senior Madison Olds thinks back on
the past three months, she does so with a sense of bittersweet nostalgia.
She thinks about the missed basketball, baseball, and soccer
games where, as a cheerleader, she didn’t get to cheer her teams on to victory.
She thinks about the missed trips to Chick-Fil-A for lunch with her friends.
She thinks about missing her senior luncheon, joining with
her cap-and-gown-clad classmates for their senior class picture, and graduation
practice — all part of an annual Senior Week that she had been looking forward
to since she was a freshman.