As he walked through the first and second grade classrooms at Mading Elementary School, Superintendent Millard House was greeted with the smell of freshly made tamales.
Students attending summer school at Mading were taking a break for lunch just as the new superintendent of HISD stopped by for a visit. It was a well-earned break after a morning full of learning for the students.
“You guys continue working hard,” House said as he exited one of the classrooms. “We are proud of you. We are glad you are back.”
That school was just one of many as House toured several schools on his second official day on the job.
Twelve Houston Independent School District middle schools are among the latest campuses to be selected for participation in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, which addresses barriers to digital inclusion.
In addition to free mobile devices and data plans, participating schools will be assigned a full-time coach to train teachers in effectively integrating technology into their lessons.
Project Explore students from Fondren Middle School ventured on an interactive 3D voyage through space on Friday with the Lunar Planetary Institute.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), a research institute in Clear Lake that provides support services to NASA and the planetary science community, partnered with Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy to host a free one-day STEAM camp for more than 50 HISD students.
Geek Squad Academy provides an opportunity for middle school students to develop tech skills, build self-confidence, spark creativity, and discover how technology can benefit them in their educational pursuits and future careers.
Tiffany Bob has been selected as the new principal of Fondren Middle School. Bob began her career in education over 16 years ago in HISD. Bob has served students as a Special Education teacher, Reading teacher trainer, Special Education program specialist, and assistant principal. Most recently, Bob has served as the high school dean at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University.
LaTonya Hodge has been selected as the new principal for Fondren Middle School. Hodge has been an educator for 14 years and has served in various roles, from teacher to manager. She began her career in HISD as an elementary and middle school teacher before joining Pasadena ISD as a counselor. Hodge also has served as the assistant principal of Burbank Middle School and currently serves as the manager of graduate teaching fellowship at KIPP Houston Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary students and master’s degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M. She earned her doctorate from the University of Houston in teaching and teacher education.
More than five dozen HISD science, technology, engineering, and math teachers took part in a summer institute recently that was designed to help boost students’ math and science scores by incorporating more fun into their lessons.
The educators came from 23 HISD elementary and middle schools that received part of a TIF4 STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant also provides resources such as equipment and technology, and participating teachers will receive additional training opportunities throughout the school year and share what they have learned with other faculty members at their campuses.
A commitment to meeting high expectations in every area has resulted in a big prize for Fondren Middle School. That campus was recently named the inaugural winner of HISD’s Blue Star Award for Service Excellence.
The award was created to honor schools that provide exemplary customer service; a friendly, professional environment; and a culture of positive expectations, and Fondren was selected from a field of 22 nominees and five finalists. As a part of the evaluation, a team of volunteer judges made unannounced, structured visits to each nominated campus, in which they conducted walk-throughs of the facilities and interacted with staff members. They also made anonymous calls to each school to test the clerical staff’s response.
Tamokia Thompson, right, poses for a photograph with her daughter, Cienna Alley, left, at Fondren Middle School.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Fondren Middle School challenges students to think globally by grasping skills in design and technology to research, solve problems, and present new ideas on international places, populations, and cultures.