Category Archives: Facilities Services

Veteran crossing guard creates community connections while keeping students safe

Crossing Guard Charlethia Vaughn is nearly a permanent fixture at the corner of Walnut Bend Lane and Briar Forest Drive during the school year.  

Every morning and afternoon, she is there to help Walnut Bend Elementary School students and their parents cross the busy street — even when the Texas heat is nearly unbearable, when the skies are pouring rain, or when it’s so cold, her fingers get numb. 

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she said. “This community has really embraced me.”  

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Northside HS students start new school year in renovated facility

Northside High School students steadily filed into the commons on Monday and lined up behind a bank of white tables, eager to pick up schedules, find friends, and get a first glimpse of the new campus. 

Standing just behind the tables was Assistant Principal Victor Okoli, armed with a floor plan and ready to help students navigate the new facility. 

Principal Cecilia Gonzales stood just a few feet away, watching over the process, welcoming students back to school, and guiding them through new, brightly colored hallways.  

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Facilities Services Security Maintenance team protects HISD

The Security Maintenance office looks like any other, with computers, cubicles, and conference rooms. You might never know that it houses HISD’s first line of defense against burglars, fires, floods, and natural disasters.

Part of Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, Security Maintenance is responsible for ensuring safety and security systems and equipment are fully functioning.

The department provides routine maintenance and emergency repairs on all safety equipment, such as cameras and alarm panels. It oversees and coordinates annual fire alarm, intercom, and fire extinguisher inspections. The team also works closely with HISD Construction Services to bring safety systems online in new and renovated schools.

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Facilities Services and Fleet Operations prepares campuses, vehicles for start of school

HISD’s Facilities Services and Fleet Operations department has been working hard this summer to ensure students have clean, comfortable learning spaces and reliable transportation to and from school.

The department cleaned schools, made renovations to several campuses, worked on climate control systems, serviced cars, took care of the grounds, welded metal, and maintained security.

Facilities Services and Fleet Operations Officer Alishia Jolivette said the department’s new tagline — We solve. We serve. We maintain. — guides their daily efforts.

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HISD Business Operations launches new brand focused on students

With more than 7,000 employees, Business Operations is the largest division in HISD. But what exactly do we do?

Before students can ever file into their classrooms, bus drivers and crossing guards must get them safely to school. Cafeteria workers must make them a nutritious breakfast. Custodians, police officers, and construction crews must make sure they have new, clean, safe spaces in which to learn.

The breadth of our work touches all facets of the district, and support is at the heart of everything we do. We help lay the foundation for student success — most of the time behind the scenes.

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Transportation Services to host job fairs throughout summer

Transportation Services is continuing its recruiting efforts as the school year comes to an end, with the department hosting four job fairs this summer to hire new bus drivers.  

The district has been working this past year to address a bus driver shortage by adding more drivers to its roster. The job fairs will continue through June and July. 

“We want people who are reliable and hardworking,” Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “My goal is to have one bus driver for every route as we head into next year.”  

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Barbara Jordan Career Center celebrates grand opening with unique ribbon-cutting experience

Barbara Jordan Career Center rolled out the red carpet for guests on Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of its new building.

The event was held in the school’s state-of-the-art welding center where students awed guests by welding through a brightly colored metal strip, which took the place of a traditional ceremonial ribbon.

“Moving to this new facility has energized adults and students alike,” Principal Ross McAlpine told guests. “Each day I witness teachers transforming their classrooms and labs into wonderful learning environments. And every day students approach me to let me know how much they enjoy the opportunities that Barbara Jordan offers them.”

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Facilities Services and Fleet Operations employee’s desire to help leads to 47 years of service

Sherry Jones

As one of the longest-serving employees in Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, Sherry Jones’ career is fueled by a desire to be of service and to help wherever she can.

Jones – an administrative assistant – has been with HISD for 47 years. In that time, she’s worked with 15 managers and under the leadership of 11 superintendents, working hard to ensure her department is always properly supported.

According to Jones, her strong work ethic and desire to be of service was instilled by wise words from her mother that she carried with her throughout her career.

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HISD takes home 18 state awards for communications, community engagement efforts

The Houston Independent School District earned top honors for its work in communications and community engagement during the 2019 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Cedar Creek. 

Presented to HISD Communications and HISD Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach teams, the accolades covered nearly all facets of the teams, including writing, videography, graphic design, marketing, branding, and special events. 

HISD Communications took home the prestigious Crystal Award for the 2018 HISD State of the Schools special event “Rebuild + Reimage,” which consisted of a multifaceted communications campaign that employed a variety of media, including graphic design, production, video, livestreaming, social media and three-dimensional table cards with hover animation. In addition, it also won two Crystal Commendations Certificates of Merit. Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach took home 15 Star Awards medals, including five gold, nine silver, and one bronze. 

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After Harvey, Facilities Services continues to keep close watch over HISD

When Hurricane Harvey hit, Facilities Services Security Maintenance Dispatcher Kenneth Johnson left behind his home and relocated to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where he could monitor and serve the district.

“It was kind of scary,” Johnson said, recalling images captured on security cameras when the storm hit. “Water was going up the hallways.”

As the flood waters rose, some HISD locations lost their security camera feeds, but Johnson kept calm and helped organize response logistics, which included determining where to send technicians for maintenance.

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