Seven educators have been named as HISD’s 2021-2022 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year finalists, and three teachers have been named the Beginning Teachers of the Year.
The 10 finalists were selected from all 276 schools based on performance and other criteria. Two finalists will be announced as the HISD Teachers of the Year winners for 2021-2022 and will go on to represent the district in Region IV.
Kelli McDonald is the new principal for Briargrove Elementary School. McDonald currently serves as a Dean of Instruction and the Lead Academic Dean for Lamar High School. During her tenure at Lamar, she advised and supported students and parents throughout IB’s Middle Years Program, Career Related Program, and Diploma Program. She began her educational career in elementary school as a classroom teacher in grades 1, 4, and 5, team lead, and curriculum specialist. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and her juris doctorate from South Texas College of Law.
Thayer Hutcheson has been selected as the new principal of Briargrove Elementary School. Hutcheson previously was a biology and AP psychology teacher at Westside High School and a Dean of Instruction at Worthing High School. Most recently, she served as the magnet academy principal at Heights High School, an International Baccalaureate World School. Thayer earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Rhodes College and a master’s in Business Administration from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, with an emphasis in the Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP).
Hines-Caldwell and Briargrove elementary principals selected to attend summer leadership institute at Harvard
Hines-Caldwell Elementary School Principal Torrye Hooper and Briargrove Elementary School Principal Eden Jones-Hinds are heading to Harvard this summer thanks to Raise Your Hand Texas, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to strengthen and improve public education,
Hooper and Jones-Hinds were selected by the non-profit to participate in a summer leadership program at The Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The two will join campus leaders from around the globe to engage in training and workshops led by national and international experts in the fields of education and leadership.
HISD Nutrition Services is piloting a composting program to help local agriculture by recycling food leftovers. Last fall, the department selected the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, Garden Oaks K-8 Montessori, and Briargrove Elementary to pilot the program, which will help HISD become even greener.
Dietitian Jennifer Lengyel manages the new initiative and is excited about Nutrition Services’ involvement in the program. “Compost soil has super nutrients,” said Lengyel. “Instead of food waste going to the landfill, now it will help grow more food.” Continue reading →
Breathing exercises and yoga poses are just a few of the things HISD students learn in the Sonima Health and Wellness program. Fourteen additional HISD schools now offer the curriculum, which is offered by the Sonima Foundation and teaches students multiple skills for a healthier lifestyle.
Kindergartners work on coding problems at Briargrove Elementary School on Monday, Dec. 8.
Kindergartners at Briargrove Elementary School collaborated to create an interactive character, coordinating his movements, look and sound for their Hour of Code activity. On Monday, Dec. 8, Cleopatra Jones’ ESL kindergarten class used Scratch, a web programming language tool used to create interactive art, stories and simulations to create an interactive character and build its environment.
More than 100 HISD schools are participating in the Hour of Code as part of Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 8–14. The week-long global initiative encourages students of all ages to learn the basics of coding, engineering, computer programming, and gaming.Continue reading →
Last year, HISD’s Nutrition Services department launched a pilot program at a handful of campuses to increase the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available to students in the cafeteria at lunch.
That program was so successful that the district has expanded it this year, and a total of 26 HISD schools now regularly offer a fresh fruit and vegetable bar. Continue reading →
School being built under 2012 bond program would be named Mark White Elementary
The HISD Board of Education will consider Thursday naming a new elementary school being built in the West Houston area after former Texas Gov. Mark W. White Jr., who served in office from 1983 to 1987. Continue reading →
A dozen Houston ISD schools took part on the All-Earth EcoBot Challenge at Reliant Center last weekend, which allowed students in grades 5-8 to show off their engineering skills.
Teams of four students designed, built, and programmed autonomous robots. The teams then used their robots to complete a series of missions that connect to the commercial and industrial future of energy exploration, transportation, technological innovation, medical research, and environmental sustainability.