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