Jeffrey Whitaker has been appointed newprincipal of McGowen Elementary School. Most recently, he served as assistant principal at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School for three years. Before that, Whitaker taught at Sutton and Burbank elementary schools, where he was lead teacher, department chair, and three–time winner of Teacher of the Year. Last spring, he successfully completed HISD’s Principal Candidate Development Opportunity program for aspiring leaders. Whitaker has a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Houston and a M.Ed. in educational administration from the University of St. Thomas. He grew up in the area surrounding McGowen and is excited to have the opportunity to serve as principal.
What if your child could take a guided tour of Machu Picchu, look out over the streets of Barcelona, or dive deep into the ocean to explore a coral reef, and then head home after school all on the same day?
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.
When Starlic Williams initially came to McGowen Elementary School, he was only supposed to be serving as a substitute teacher for a few days, filling in for a band instructor who was out sick.
“[But] I saw a piano in the corner that wasn’t being used, so I pulled it out and started teaching the kids to sing,” explained Williams. “The principal saw us and asked me to come back for the remainder of the school year and start a choir. I was excited and accepted the challenge.”
Breathing exercises and yoga poses are just a few of the things HISD students learn in the Sonima Health and Wellness program. Fourteen additional HISD schools now offer the curriculum, which is offered by the Sonima Foundation and teaches students multiple skills for a healthier lifestyle.
HISD Board of Education Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones and various administrators addressed dozens of parents at a public meeting at Kashmere High School Tuesday on the proposed changes to school attendance zones to prepare for the North Forest transition. The school zone changes would impact Kashmere High School as well as Key Middle School and Cook, Kashmere Gardens, McGowen and Paige elementary schools.