A record nine Houston Independent School District students from six campuses won prestigious national gold medals in the 2020 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
This is the first time HISD has had nine national gold medal winners in a single year. The winners competed against more than 80,000 students who submitted nearly 230,000 works of art and writing to the Scholastic Awards. Only 2,000 entries received national medals.
Students leadWelsh official on tour of Mission Squash
Last year, as Heights High School sophomore Faustino Martinez struggled in his freshman biology class, little did he know that an after-school program centered around an obscure sport would propel him to success.
Thanks to Mission Squash — a unique after-school program at Hogg Middle School that combines intense academic training, community service and participation in the elite racquet sport of squash — he passed his class with flying colors
“For me, support is the most important part of the Mission Squash program,” Faustino said. “They helped me gain a true understanding of the subject, and that’s what really turned it around for me.”
Vanessa Saldaña has been selected as the new principal of Hogg Middle School. Saldana began her career at HISD as a teacher assistant at Durkee Elementary School and later served as a math teacher at McReynolds Middle School. Since 2015, she has been the seventh-grade assistant principal at Hogg, where she implemented the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) and improved student achievement in all academic areas. Saldaña holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Houston and a master’s in Educational Leaderships from the University of St. Thomas.
Karen Reed, left, is recognized as the January 2015 Employee of the Month at the HISD Board Meeting in December.
Karen Reed, Employee of the Month for January, is a Special Education secretary at Hogg Middle School, a position she has held since 2012. She walked away from a lucrative career in commercial real estate to join Team HISD, after realizing that her job wasn’t meaningful enough.
“As a research analyst, I did all this work so brokers could go home with big commissions,” said Reed. “I was padding someone else’s pocketbook, but not making a difference. I wanted somewhere for my stamp to be. These kids provide me with what I need: a purpose.”