Middle school students from more than 20 HISD schools gathered at Welch Middle School on Saturday, Oct. 28, for a day devoted entirely their collective passion: dance.
Student dancers were invited to participate in hour-long master workshop classes in hip hop, jazz, contemporary dance, and more, as well as learn how to audition for high school dance companies. The master workshops were led by professional dance choreographers from the Institute of Contemporary Dance. After a day of rigorous learning and practice, 19 dance ensembles had the opportunity to show off their hard work in a performance showcase.
With the installation of the New Education System (NES) at 85 HISD campuses came the introduction of an innovative method for introducing K-8 students to all new subjects and activities that they may never experience otherwise: Dyad classes.
Beginning in 2016 with only five schools, the Rotary Club of Houston’s Dictionary Project has been dedicated to providing reading resources to HISD third graders. The number of recipient schools has grown every year, and this year, thanks to the generosity of individual donor Kandy Kaye Horn, every third grader in every HISD elementary school was given their own dictionary.
The Houston Independent School District has unveiled three new Verizon Innovative Learning Labs at Holland, Edison, and Patrick Henry Middle Schools, thanks to partnerships with Verizon, Heart of America, and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University.
Alesander Olaizola has been selected as the new principal of Edison Middle School. Olaizola has served as a teacher, campus educational technologist, instructional specialist, assistant principal, and for the last three years as principal of Tijerina Elementary School.
Karina Lopez has been selected as the new principal of Edison Middle School. Lopez has been with HISD since 2010. She began her career at Revere Middle School as a seventh-grade math teacher, then became math department chairperson and a campus instructional coach. While at Revere, she received the Teacher of the Year award and the 2012 Elizabeth Brand Teacher Excellence Award. She has also served as magnet coordinator and assistant principal at Hartman Middle School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Houston and her Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Richard Smith has been named principal at Edison Middle School. Smith formerly was the principal at Deady Middle School, where he dedicated the last four years in a leadership role as assistant principal and then principal. Under his leadership, Deady Middle School has moved from an Improvement Required campus to a campus that has Met Standard and received multiple distinctions from the state. Smith graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Math and Spanish Education and then went on to earn a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision at the University of Houston. Smith is a proud HISD graduate of Sharpstown High School.
Mayra Hernandez has been named principal of Edison Middle School after serving as the principal of Davila Elementary for the last three years. Under her leadership, Davila transitioned from an “Improved Required” School to a “Met Standard” school. She began her HISD career at Sherman Elementary as a teacher before becoming a teacher specialist and later a reading interventionist. In 2012, she became assistant principal at Davila Elementary.
Hernandez received her associate of arts degree from Houston Community College and her bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies from University of Houston-Downtown. She has a masters in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.