Category Archives: Student Spotlight

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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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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Preliminary HISD STAAR scores show strong gains across multiple grades, subjects, and student groups

Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.

“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”

Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Short digital safety videos from HISD students win national recognition

HISD students have been busy this spring making short videos to teach their fellow students about digital safety.

The district’s Educational Technology department received 39 multimedia submissions from 61 HISD students (four high schools, two middle schools, and five elementary schools) regarding online safety, digital citizenship, and privacy security.

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Student spotlight: Yates HS communications students participate in CBS Sports Symposium

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles designed to highlight the work of HISD students, particularly as it relates to developing global graduate skills, connecting learning to careers, or preparing for higher education. In this entry, we see members of the communications program at Yates High School participating in a CBS Sports Symposium, one of the many Final Four events benefiting HISD students.


Representatives from CBS, Turner Sports, and the NCAA held a symposium with Yates HS students on March 30 as part of the lead-up to the Final Four showdown.


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