Carrie Flores has been selected as the new principal at Durham Elementary School. An alumni of HISD, Flores has served as a teacher, gifted and talented coordinator, as well as an assistant principal at Pilgrim Academy, where she was involved in the transformation of Pilgrim into a PK-8 campus. During her tenure, Pilgrim earned distinctions from the TEA and a recognition from Children at Risk. Flores earned her bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston and a master’s in Educational Administration from California State University-Bakersfield.
Though she currently serves as the leader of Hogg Middle School, Angela Sugarek has been recognized by the Texas Parent Teacher Association (Texas PTA) as the Elementary Principal of the Year for her service to Durham Elementary School during the 2014–2015 academic year.
Sugarek was one of only five educators from across the state to be honored, and the only elementary principal in the group. She was formally recognized during the Texas PTA’s annual leadership seminar in Dallas over the summer. Continue reading
Amy Poerschke has been named the new principal of Durham Elementary School. She previously served as the assistant principal of Garcia Elementary School. Prior to that, she taught reading language arts at Dodson Elementary and Garcia. In 2012, she was awarded the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award.
Poerschke holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Baylor University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in executive leadership from the University of Houston.
It’s been more than 40 years since Annie McReynolds first taught kindergarten in HISD’s Durham Elementary School, but the retired educator has been back in the classroom since 2014—and this time, it’s as a volunteer.
McReynolds, who celebrated her 80th birthday on Jan. 22, now serves as a reading mentor at the school she helped launch. She was one of the original faculty members when the campus opened back in 1968, and a photo of her registering a student on the first day of class that year (pictured) still hangs in the front office.
“I was only there about four years, because I had two more babies,” explained McReynolds, who later taught at private schools. “But my heart is in school teaching, and I’m still very healthy and active. If I don’t go to the mirror, I don’t know I’m 80.”
McReynolds said she offered to help out at Durham because “I could see what individual attention did for children.”
Volunteers are still needed, so if you’d like to be a mentor, please visit the Read Houston Read website.
HISD is expanding its successful dual language program to 21 more campuses in 2015–2016, launching thousands of additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students on the road to learning a second language. Currently, 31 HISD schools offer a Spanish dual language program.
Starting in August, kindergarten students — and pre-kindergarten students, at some schools — will be learning in both English and Spanish. One grade will be added to the program each year until it reaches school-wide.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.
After a five-year process, Durham Elementary School has received official authorization to operate as International Baccalaureate World School. This authorization brings the district total to 13 IB campuses.
“We find that the framework of the IB Primary Years Programme provides the means to teach the state curriculum in a more meaningful way,” said Durham Elementary School Principal Angie Sugarek. “The proven track record of high standards, academic rigor, character development, and assessment are in line with the vision the community has for our school. We couldn’t be more thrilled to receive our authorization.”
To achieve IB authorization schools must complete two extensive applications and prepare for an onsite authorization visit from an IB-certified team. During the audit process, schools are responsible for training teachers on the International Baccalaureate Program and framework. Typically, the average school takes about three years to become authorized. Durham kicked off its process with a feasibility study during the 2008-2009 school year and moved through several steps including classroom observations by authorizers, reviews of the school’s curriculum, and interviews of faculty, students, parents, the school’s Board of Education representative, and administrators.
Founded in 1968, IB is a non-profit foundation that offers challenging educational programs for students aged 3 to 19 to help develop their intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.
Harvard, Northline, River Oaks, Roberts, and Twain elementary schools; Lanier, Fondren, Hogg and Grady middle schools; and Lamar, Bellaire, and Reagan high schools are authorized to offer IB programs. Other HISD schools in the authorization review process are Briargrove, Briarmeadow Charter, Herrera, Poe, Rodriguez, Rusk, the School at St. George Place, and Wharton.
A new team approach – blending classroom learning with home support — is revolutionizing teacher-parent conferences in an HISD pilot program.
Centered on “Academic Parent-Teacher Teams,” the approach being tried at eight schools brings in groups of parents to meet with their child’s teacher three times a year. Instead of merely walking out with a report card, these parents know where their youngster stands in relation to the rest of the class – and take with them important tools to help support in the home what’s being taught in the classroom.
Reagan High School and Hogg Middle School are officially celebrating their new status this week as International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools, the latest HISD campuses to receive official authorization. After receiving approval July 5, the schools were able to begin offering the rigorous IB program when the new school year launched, creating the first continuous IB feeder pattern in the historic Houston Heights. Students begin the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Harvard Elementary and progress to the Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Hogg and Reagan.
Reagan High School and Hogg Middle School are the two latest HISD campuses to receive official authorization to operate as International Baccalaureate World Schools. The announcement, which came on July 5, creates the first continuous IB feeder pattern in the historic Heights neighborhood. Students now can begin the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Harvard Elementary and then progress to Hogg Middle School and Reagan High School for the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).