Category Archives: Achievement/Recognition

Middle College HS at HCC Fraga senior shows resilience on path to graduation

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.”

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Graduation marks end of remarkable journey for Yates HS student

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.

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Record number of HISD students receive full scholarships from Marvy Finger Family Foundation

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 degrees.

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.”

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Citywide grad events across HISD give seniors an opportunity to celebrate with peers

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 Celebration.

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.

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Winners of HISD, myON Read to Succeed competition announced

The winners of the HISD and myON Reader by Renaissance Reading Initiative’s second annual Read to Succeed Competition have been announced.

The 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 minutes.

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New HISD chief of police sworn in during ceremony

The 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.

The 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.

Lopez 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 Corrections.

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HISD to award 10 exemplary students with Superintendent Scholars Award

Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan will surprise 10 high school seniors with 2019-2020 HISD Superintendent Scholars Awards during surprise visits to their homes.

This is the third year the scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors who have exemplified great character and resilience in the face of adversity.

Moved by their tenacity and inspiring journeys, Lathan personally selected the 10 students she will surprise from among 45 HISD seniors who were nominated by their principals or leadership teams.

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Parker ES chorus named finalist for American Prize National Competition

HISD’s Parker Elementary School Chorus has been selected as a finalist in the 2019-2020 American Prize National Competition in the Performing Arts.

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.”

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HISD to host virtual high school graduation ceremonies

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.

While the 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 measures.

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HISD 2019-2020 educators of the year announced during surprise home visits

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.

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