The National Merit Scholarship Program has named 47 HISD seniors from seven schools as 2021 semifinalists.
The seniors have an opportunity to compete for approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. Nationwide there are approximately 16,000 semiﬁnalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Amongst the blooming plants and swarming insects that lay claim to a sprawling green space in Southwest Houston, stood the youngest of instructors who was developing a buzz all her own.
In her final weeks as a senior at Lamar High School, Lisa Rollinson was tapped to lead educational workshops for nearly two dozen students at the Food and Agriculture Literacy Center at Mykawa Farm.
As one of just five experts selected for the job, Rollinson received the honor after being designated by the Texas Department of Agriculture as one of 12 Health Ambassadors for a Ready Texas. The designation recognizes teens who advocate for healthy lifestyles.
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.
For Principal Rita Graves, it is impossible for her to pick a favorite part of the construction project at Lamar High School.
The $122 million project, part of the 2012 Bond Program, brings several improvements to the campus, including a new, state-of-the-art academic wing, renovations to its historic original building, and enhancements to the athletic fields.
Construction at Lamar High School is continuing, as
allowable under the public health guidelines, with renovations to the original
building now 80 percent complete.
The renovation work, designed to preserve the building’s historically
significant architecture, included the construction of a new child care wing,
welcome center, and updated ROTC and Career and Technical Education classrooms.
The athletic fields — including football, baseball,
softball, soccer practice fields — and tennis courts also are underway.
Lamar High School 11th-grader Mackenzie Wilson is an active student. She plays volleyball and serves as student body president while also working on her International Baccalaureate diploma. After graduation, she hopes to study pathology or constitutional law.
Although she is confident in her academic endeavors, Wilson said it was easy to get lost in the crowd at Lamar — a sprawling campus home to about 3,000 students.
But when the school introduced its academic neighborhoods concept at the start of this school year, everything changed.
Gathered outside Lamar High School’s new main entrance, cheerleaders, Rangerettes, and the color guard shook their pompoms to the beat of the music played by the band, welcoming students back to school.
Inside, the hum of conversation filled the grand hall as hundreds of students peered around the two-story room, admiring the tall glass walls and massive, blue staircase, as they waited for the first bell to ring.
“The kids walked in wide-eyed saying, ‘It’s beautiful,’” Lamar Principal Rita Graves said, recalling how eager students had been to see the school during last week’s Texan Prep Days. “They’re just really excited to be learning in such a cool place.”