Category Archives: Achievement/Recognition

Moody’s Investors Service affirms HISD’s triple A rating

Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the Aaa (triple A) bond rating for the Houston Independent School District following a recent review. 

In its ratings report, Moody’s stated, among other factors, HISD’s excellent credit fundamentals are supported by a history of strong operating performance guided by an experienced management team, which has allowed for the maintenance of healthy reserve and liquidity levels.  

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HISD graduate studying at Yale selected as Rhodes Scholar

Liana Wang (Photo credit: The Rhodes Trust)

Bellaire HS alum and EMERGE program participant Liana Wang among 32 U.S. students chosen for elite honor

Houston Independent School District graduate Liana Wang has been selected to join the 2020 Rhodes Scholarship class from a pool of nearly 1,000 U.S. applicants who attend top colleges and universities throughout the nation.

“This is a testament to the community that has brought me here: my family, friends, professors, and supporters throughout my life, including my teachers and mentors in EMERGE and HISD,” Wang said. “They motivate my work, and I hope my time at Oxford helps me better achieve my goals of pursuing a more just and equitable society.”

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HISD Communications team continues to reach new heights at the Lone Star Emmys

The Houston Independent School District Communications team was honored with two 2019 Lone Star Emmy awards in Arlington, Texas, during the 17th Annual Lone Star Emmy Awards ceremony.

HISD Communications was recognized for its promotional marketing video campaign, titled HISD Empowers, as well as a feature story about an HISD student, who despite being visually impaired, learned to develop her talents at school by playing the violin and guitar.

Under the leadership of Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez, HISD Communications has become an Emmy-Award winning team, earning a total of six Lone Star Emmys. “I am incredibly grateful for an amazing and innovative team that is passionate about telling the inspiring stories of our students, teachers, families and community – the voices of our district,” Suarez said. “Our mission is to amplify those voices to continue to spread the good news.”

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22 campuses ranked at top of Children at Risk list of best public schools

DeBakey HS for Health Professions, DeAnda ES earn top spots   

The Houston Independent School District has 22 campuses that placed in the top 10 on the annual Children at Risk list of best public schools in the eight-county region, with DeBakey High School for Health Professions continuing its streak as the number one high school. 

DeAnda Elementary School is ranked number one on the regional list of Children at Risk Gold Ribbon campuses, which are schools that have high achievement rates despite high poverty rates. Sanchez Elementary School is ranked second on the list.  

During a news conference today at the Children’s Museum of Houston, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan joined other local educational leaders for the announcement of the school standings. 

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Language competition, love of Mandarin Chinese unlocks a world of opportunity for MIMS student

Dressed in a red floral brocade dress and her blonde hair illuminated in lights, Cambry Gerardi, an eighth-grader from the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS), stood alone on a stage in Zhengzhou, China and shared her story of learning Chinese. 

In near perfect Mandarin, the non-native speaker described to the judges of the Chinese Bridge World Language Competition how a simple, albeit significant, chain of events solidified her love of the Chinese language and led her to that moment.   

“My trip to the Chinese Bridge (competition) has helped me improve my Chinese and connect with friends from all over the world,” she told the audience. 

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Lewis ES lead teacher named Teacher of the Month

Fourth-grade math and science teacher Christine Velasquez didn’t stop her lesson on double-digit multiplication when Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan made a classroom visit to surprise her as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for November.   

“Mrs. Velasquez has been crucial in the turnaround at Lewis,” Principal Jorge Rodriguez said. “Her work ethic can be described as an undeniable dedication in providing the best educational experiences and opportunities for all students at the campus.” 

What was thought to be a classroom observation on Tuesday quickly evolved into a celebration as district and campus administrators, followed by the campus’ very own mariachi band filled the space to honor the lead teacher with the district’s monthly award. 

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Two HISD campuses make Newsweek list of best STEM high schools in the nation

The Houston Independent School District’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions and Carnegie Vanguard High School have been named to Newsweek magazine’s list of best science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) high schools in the nation.  

DeBakey ranked 23rd on the list of the top 500 schools, and Carnegie Vanguard ranked 308th. Newsweek’s list was compiled in partnership with STEM.org, a national education research and credentialing organization. 

“I am extremely proud of these two exemplary HISD campuses, which have an impressive history of high achievements,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “The students, staff, and parents at DeBakey and Carnegie continually make us proud, and I congratulate them for once again receiving well-deserved accolades on a national level.” 

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Madison, Westbury high schools featured in Learning by Design magazine

Two schools built under the 2012 Bond Program have been recognized as outstanding projects by Learning by Design magazine. 

Madison and Westbury high schools were included in the Fall 2019 edition of the magazine, which is a premier source for education design innovation and excellence. The magazine assembled a panel of six architects and education administrators to review projects from across the nation.  

“It’s an honor to have Madison and Westbury high schools selected as outstanding projects by Learning by Design,” General Manager of Facilities Design Dan Bankhead said. “The two projects have provided students with modern learning spaces to support their academic efforts and we’re pleased that the work that went into these schools has been recognized by such a distinguished panel and notable publication.” 

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Students at Cornelius ES celebrate becoming published authors

While most people dream of becoming published authors in their adulthood, students at Cornelius Elementary School celebrated the unveiling of their first published books with an exclusive signing and reading on Tuesday.  

Surrounded by family, friends and classmates, it was hard to miss one student—fourth-grader and MLK Oratory Winner David Ozuzu, who wore a smile that filled the room as he officially signed one of his three books that would reside in the campus library.   

“I’ve been writing since kindergarten, and it’s really exciting to see all of my ideas come to life in my very own book,” David said. 

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HISD to name student winners of 2019 holiday greeting card competition

17 finalists selected from nearly 100 entries this year 

The Houston Independent School District on Friday, Nov. 8, will unveil the winners of the district’s 2019 holiday greeting card student art competition. 

This year, 17 students from HISD elementary, middle, and high schools have been named finalists from a total of 95 entries. The 17 finalists were chosen by the district’s area superintendents.  

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