Olivia Casares has been selected as the new principal for Lyons Elementary School. Casares is a veteran educator with 23 years of experience. Prior to joining HISD, she began her career as a bilingual elementary teacher in the Point Isabel School District. She later took on the same role at Love Elementary School in HISD. She joined the Lyons staff in 1999 and in 2005 was named the North District Bilingual Teacher of the Year. For the last seven years, she has served in the role of Assistant Principal at Lyons. Casares earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas-Brownsville and a Masters in Educational Administration from Concordia University.
Thanks to its partnership with the Arts Access Initiative, Lyons Elementary School was able to reach out to Theatre Under the Stars to loan them a director and choreographer to help with their production of “The Lion King” on April 20. And because it takes place two days before Earth Day, April 22, they decided to use only recycled materials for the stage set and actors’ masks. Consequently, nearly every student at Lyons is involved in some way in the production — and lessons in nearly every school subject area were applied to make the play come together.
Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza, along with school board members, made surprise visits to Lyons Elementary School and West Briar Middle School on Thursday to name the district’s top campus leaders of the school year.
Lyons Elementary School Principal Cecilia Gonzales was named HISD’s Elementary Principal of the Year, while West Briar Middle School Principal Keeley Simpson was selected as HISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year. Both winners will advance to the state’s regional principal of the year competition.
“I am so proud of our principals and the incredible work they do each and every day to ensure the success of their campus, students and teachers,” Carranza said. “The level of student achievement at these schools did not happen by accident.” Continue reading
Campuses receive every distinction designation available from the state.
Twenty-nine schools from across the Houston Independent School District earned the maximum number of distinction designations from the state for their top performance throughout the 2014-2015 school year.
The campuses – 17 elementary schools, six middle schools and six high schools – earned every distinction designation awarded by the Texas Education Agency. Schools are eligible for distinctions if they are rated as having “Met Standard” — the highest rating under the state accountability system — and meet various other performance standards.
Educators at two HISD elementary schools have stepped up to handle the effects of the recent flooding, each in their own way.
On May 26, Steven Shannon, a music teacher at Lyons Elementary School, saved a woman from drowning.
Shannon was on a walk when he noticed that Glenda Reynolds was trapped in her car by the rising water in the underpass beneath Shepherd Drive. Shannon and three other Good Samaritans swam out and extricated Reynolds and her dog from the vehicle. Continue reading
Guests at HISD’s 2015 State of the Schools luncheon got a side order of entertainment with their meal. Westside High School’s Wind Ensemble of 35 students provided music throughout the program under the guiding hand of Conductor Joey Brunson, and students from 19 HISD elementary schools sang the national anthem.
The Houston Independent School District is working to readjust attendance boundaries at almost two dozen schools in an effort to reduce classroom overcrowding.
The move is in response to a directive from the Texas Education Agency, which requires kindergarten through fourth-grade classes to have no more than 22 students per classroom. Classes that exceed that number must request a state waiver.
Students at Lyons Elementary are thanking the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, and they’re hoping to develop a continuing relationship with members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Students in Nekia Petry’s first-grade class wrote thank-you notes to members of the U.S. Coast Guard National Command Center in Washington, D.C. Their goal is to become pen pals with service members so they can learn about service, honor, country, and dedication while also work on improving their writing skills. Continue reading
A commitment to making every student feel valued and a refusal to limit care to an eight-hour work day have garnered two HISD nurses the district’s highest honors for medical professionals in a school setting.
Lashawnda Harris, who serves at Lyons Elementary School, and Karen Adams, who serves at Sharpstown International School (SIS), have been named HISD’s Elementary and Secondary Nurses of the Year (respectively) for 2014.
Lyons Elementary has a long-standing tradition of honoring veterans on Veterans Day. Everyone has a part to play, from Pre-K students who make thank-you cards for veterans to older children who make flags and educational history projects that are displayed in the halls.
About 25 veterans attend each year, so Lyons always adds something new to the program. This year it was a USO show, in which teachers in WWII-era clothing sang period songs and the Flamenco Dance Troupe – the boys dressed in service uniforms and girls in poodle skirts — performed the jitterbug. There was also a Little Miss Poppy Contest as well as a bugler.