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.
It was a whirlwind tour of several high school campuses, as Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan surprised seniors with the Superintendent Scholars Awards.
This was the third year of the awards, which were underwritten by Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and the Houston ISD Foundation. Handpicked by Lathan, the 11 students were selected from HISD seniors nominated by their principals or leadership teams.
As Human Resources snuck into the back entrance of the School at St. George Place, Nurse Hsueh Beveridge was working on her morning tasks near the front entrance. They had to be careful not to spoil the surprise of Nurse Beveridge being named the March Secondary Nurse of the Month.
As she entered the school cafeteria expecting a medical issue, Beveridge was surprised to find HR waiting along with several teachers, the school principal, and one special guest—her husband.
“I’m very honored,” Beveridge said. “And overwhelmed!”
Students, staff, and community members were on hand recently to celebrate the unveiling of mural paintings on three HISD campuses – Jane Long Academy, Sutton Elementary School, and Las Americas Newcomer School.
The three schools are part of the Gulfton Story Trail Mural Project, which features 12 artistic murals inspired by poems written by local students. The project showcases the area’s culture while attracting visitors to the southwest Houston neighborhood — one of the most immigrant-rich areas of the city.
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan lauded the murals as a point of pride for the district’s students and families.
“They will serve as a reminder for many years to come that we embrace diversity in the Houston Independent School District,” Lathan said. Continue reading →
Keri Wittpenn has been selected as the new principal of Jane Long Academy. Wittpen began her career in HISD teaching at Westside High School as a Spanish, Social Studies, and ESL teacher. At Long Academy, Wittpenn served in various roles over the past seven years, including instructional specialist, middle school grade level dean, magnet coordinator, and assistant principal. Most recently at Long Academy, Wittpenn led in the development of the Futures Academy Pharmacy Technician High School Program, expanding Long to grades six through twelve. Wittpenn earned her Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University in Political Science and Spanish, and her Master of Business Administration from Rice University with an emphasis in the Entrepreneurship Program (REEP).
As the school bell rings and chatter begins to fill the hallways at Jane Long Academy, Berta Alicia Ontiveros holds a squawking radio and smiles broadly as she approaches students who are still lingering after the tardy bell.
“Come on sweetie, you don’t want to be late,” she says softly.
Ontiveros is finishing her third year as a social worker for HISD. She works at Jane Long, a school with a diverse student body. Students speak multiple languages and come from varied backgrounds and cultures, which can sometimes make it difficult for them to adjust. Continue reading →
Five Houston Independent School District students are among more than 1,000 high school seniors from across the country to be selected this week to the final class of the Gates Millennium Scholars program.
The students — Nofisat Babajide and Esther Brown from Bellaire High School, Janeth Rodriguez from Carnegie Vanguard High School, Leslie Benavides from Eastwood Academy, and Sheighlah McManus from Jane Long Academy— will be awarded a scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree at accredited colleges or universities of their choosing. Continue reading →
Sometimes, opportunity dwells just down the street. Twenty-two rising seniors from the Futures Academy at Jane Long Academy are discovering this truth through pharmacy technician internships at Walgreens locations across the city.
The Long students involved have all taken dual-credit pharmacy classes at Houston Community College (HCC). They will receive additional credit from HCC upon completing their internships at Walgreens, which could easily lead to pharmacy technician jobs or scholarships to attend pharmacy schools. Two interns, rising seniors Marilyn Mendoza and Jonathan Urguilla, have already received job offers from the stores at which they are interning.