As a kid, Jephte Mondesir loved watching “The Magic School Bus,” a popular animated children’s television show featuring an eccentric teacher who took her students on educational adventures via a magic bus.
The ex-New Yorker and 10-year Texan loved watching the teacher, known affectionately as Miss Frizzle, transport her science class to new worlds.
He loved it so much, in fact, he knew he wanted to do the same.
“I wanted to operate that bus in real life,” Mondesir said with a laugh. “I just knew that the school bus was an important part of education. In fact, all the real ones truly are.”
A 22-year veteran bus driver, Mondesir now serves as a response team operator for the Houston Independent School District’s Transportation Services department. He is among a select group of drivers who work with department leaders to solve manpower issues and recruit new drivers.
The Houston Independent School District is hosting a job fair this weekend to find candidates to fill several key operational support positions, including bus drivers, custodians, mechanics, HVAC technicians and grounds crews.
Interested individuals should attend the Business Operations Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 West 18th St.
Amongst the blooming plants and swarming insects that lay claim to a sprawling green space in Southwest Houston, stood the youngest of instructors who was developing a buzz all her own.
In her final weeks as a senior at Lamar High School, Lisa Rollinson was tapped to lead educational workshops for nearly two dozen students at the Food and Agriculture Literacy Center at Mykawa Farm.
As one of just five experts selected for the job, Rollinson received the honor after being designated by the Texas Department of Agriculture as one of 12 Health Ambassadors for a Ready Texas. The designation recognizes teens who advocate for healthy lifestyles.
Nearly two dozen students craned their necks to see the green plants and bright, booming flowers as their buses arrived Wednesday at the Food and Agriculture Literacy Center at Mykawa Farm.
As they got off the bus, they bounded toward a hollowed-out tree trunk, eager to visit the workstations designed to help them connect classroom science to real-life agriculture, nutrition, and the natural world.
“We’re here today to share with you how food comes from the soil and ends up on your plate,” said Marcus Glenn, Area Manager for Nutrition Services Food and Agriculture Literacy.
The Food and Agriculture Literacy Center at Mykawa Farm is a working educational farm that integrates nutrition and food science with core curriculum to provide students with hands-on learning experiences.
Nearly 1,200 cars and trucks looped around Barnett Stadium under a blazing sun, waiting for their final distribution of family food and household supplies from the Neighborhood Supersite at Barnett Stadium.
First in line was father of seven Enrique Alvarado, who said he was thankful for the support because the pandemic had negatively impacted his job.
“I am grateful that my children were able to get food, especially milk,” he said.
HISD Nutrition Services launched its community food distribution program last March, just days after the district had to close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As students and staff arrive each morning at Baker Montessori School, they’re cheerfully greeted with a flock of clucking chickens.
The laying hens bob their heads up and down, trilling softly as they make their way around the large, enclosed chicken run safely housed near the gym. Some begin squawking, having laid their daily egg in the nesting area.
They waddle toward the entry and peck at the ground as a small group of students from Baker — formerly known as Wilson Montessori School — comes in to visit.
On sunny weekends, parents and students gather in the Baker Montessori School garden where they pull on gloves and grab rakes and trowels to remove weeds and leaves from the musky soil.
The students at Baker — formerly called Wilson Montessori School — are learning to grow fragrant flowering herbs and study their uses. Once the flowers bloom, students will cut some of the plants and infuse them in oil or dry them to make spices or teas.
With just three weeks left in the school year and public health conditions improving across the city, the Houston Independent School District is preparing to shut down its Neighborhood Supersite community food distribution program.
The two final distributions will be held this Wednesday, May 26, 2021 and next Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Both will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at Barnett Stadium, 6800 Fairway Drive. No further Saturday distributions are scheduled.