Before Mykayla Clark-Jolivet could begin her high school
career at Middle College High School at HCC Fraga, her home was destroyed by
Hurricane Harvey. This was the first of many challenges she would face on her
way to graduating.
Clark-Jolivet and her family left their mold-ruined house to
live in a hotel for three months.
“I left a lot of memories behind,” Clark-Jolivet said. “I
was constantly late to school because the hotel was across town.”
As Jack Yates High School senior Ernest Russell sat on the
school’s football field for the citywide senior celebration recently, it was far
more than an event honoring his graduation from the historic school.
The celebration — marked by colorful Yates High School
masks and chairs spaced at a proper social distance — represented the
culmination of a trying journey that was marked by the loss of his father and homelessness.
“I don’t really have a word to describe it. But, if I had to
come up with one, I’d say it was challenging,” Russell said.
The Marvy Finger Family
Foundation awarded a record 84 full scholarships this year to Houston
Independent School District graduates who will attend two-year colleges to
pursue Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificates and associate’s
The scholarship recipients are students who are seeking careers in fast-growing, high-paying professions such as computer programming, maritime transportation, petroleum engineering technology, nuclear medicine technology, automotive, HVAC, pipefitting, cybersecurity, construction, licensed vocational nursing, and welding.
“The generosity of the Finger family is well known when
it comes to funding post-high school career training and higher education for
our graduates, but they have surpassed themselves this year,” HISD Interim
Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “These scholarships are extremely timely
and appreciated right now because many of our graduates and their families are
experiencing hardships due to COVID-19.”
Thousands of HISD graduating seniors gathered at their
schools last Friday to virtually celebrate their years of hard work with other
Houston-area students during the City of Houston’s Citywide Graduation
HISD joined four other area school districts – Aldine, Alief, Spring and Spring Branch – in a first-of-its-kind celebration outdoor event that included a star-studded video tribute from a number of national and local celebrities, including Houston Astros All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
At Wheatley High School, the event was more than just a
graduation celebration. Despite starting the school year as an “Improvement
Required” campus, students and staff celebrated a class with a graduation rate
of 98% that earned more than three million dollars in scholarship funds.
winners of the HISD and myON Reader by
Renaissance Reading Initiative’s second annual Read to Succeed Competition
have been announced.
competition is hosted in partnership with myOn, an online literacy platform, and encourages
pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students to compete against each
other to see who read myON books for the most number of
Houston Independent School District’s new police chief, Pedro “Pete” Lopez, Jr.
was sworn in Tuesday during an official ceremony where he took the oath of
office at the district’s Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.
chief’s wife took part in the ceremonial badge-pinning portion of the event.
Houston Municipal Courts Director and Presiding Judge J. Elaine Marshall
administered the oath of office.
comes to HISD after 32 years of law enforcement experience, with 29 of those
years spent serving the Houston Police Department, where he rose from the rank
of patrol officer to assistant chief of Patrol Region 1. He has also served
with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Department of
HISD’s Parker Elementary School Chorus has been selected as
a finalist in the 2019-2020 American Prize National Competition in the
Parker’s advanced chorus, under the direction of Marianna Parnas-Simpson, is nominated for The American Prize in Choral Performance—youth division. The advanced chorus is made up of fourth and fifth-grade students.
“It is a huge honor for our Parker students and their
families to be recognized like this on a national level,” Parnas-Simpson said. “It
is a testimony to their hard work and dedication to the choral art.”
The Houston Independent School District has been working diligently to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates while ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, and families. HISD has decided to facilitate all high school graduation ceremonies for our 11,000 seniors virtually.
Considering current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis, the district believes virtual graduations are the safest option. The virtual ceremonies will begin on June 14.
graduations will take place virtually, seniors will have an additional
opportunity to celebrate with their fellow graduates, if they so choose, during
a citywide celebration on
June 5, hosted by Mayor Sylvester Turner. This citywide
celebration will take place outdoors at school campuses following strict safety
The 2019-2020 Houston Independent School District educators of the year were announced during surprise home visits, including visits by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan at the homes of the elementary and secondary teachers of the year and beginning teachers of the year.
The visits took place on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May
7, during Teacher Appreciation Week and included yard signs, balloons, and gift
baskets near the front doors of the educators who were asked to come outside
for the announcements, in keeping with safe social distancing practices.