For Ashly Evans Vining, the fall season means she gets to return to the two places she loves the most: the classroom and the stage.
The trained opera singer —who has been performing professionally for 15 years— is ready to see students back in the classroom and also recently received her schedule for the new season with Houston Grand Opera.
She is also embarking on a new journey this year in her educational career. The former choir director and Section 504 coordinator was recently chosen to serve as the assistant principal at Pin Oak Middle School. This week, she attended the New Leaders Institute with other new Tier II leaders from across the district, including other assistant principals, deans, instructional specialists, and teacher specialists.
Lindsey Vela has been selected as the new principal of Pin Oak Middle School. Vela has 18 years of experience serving diverse student populations in rural, suburban and urban districts. Vela has served HISD as a Dean of Students at West Briar Middle School for the last 3 years. Most recently, Vela was named West Area Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year.
She graduated from the University of Texas—Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English and Concordia University—Austin with a Master’s in Educational Leadership.
Michelle Shoulders has been selected as the new principal of Pin Oak Middle School. Shoulders has served HISD for 14 years and has 28 years of experience in education in Houston, Fort Worth, and the Denver area. Her teaching experience spans elementary, middle, and high school in math and theatre. Most recently, Michelle served at Bellaire High School as both school improvement facilitator and assistant principal. She has actively supported the professional learning communities (PLC) on campus while supervising the English and ESL departments. For the past three years, Michelle has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston in the Teacher Preparation Program. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Education from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
Houston Independent School District campuses occupy half of the top 10 slots on the 2016 Children at Risk public school rankings of the region’s best public schools.
Additionally, HISD schools took the statewide No. 1 ranking in every category, with River Oaks No. 1 among elementary schools, T.H. Rogers No. 1 in the middle school category, and DeBakey High School for Health Professions No. 1 at the high school level.
The rankings were publicly released Monday at a ceremony conducted at HISD’s Pilgrim Academy, which received special distinction as a Gold Ribbon school, recognizing the region’s highest-performing, high-poverty campuses. Continue reading →
Lovett ES fifth-grader Bryan Moore poses with his mother, Tonyamas Moore, who won the spelling bee at that campus back in 1986.
Five boys and five girls from 10 different HISD schools will be testing the limits of their vocabulary on Saturday, April 2, when they take part in the finals of the Houston Public Media spelling bee. The top two winners of the Houston-area competition will be eligible to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C., in May.
This year’s local contest is particularly meaningful for two HISD students: fifth-grader Bryan Moore (Lovett ES) and eighth-grader Christine Bowyer (Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan).
The HISD Board of Education is searching for a new superintendent, and trustees want input from community members about the qualities and traits they would like to see in the next district leader.
The board has hired Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to assist in the superintendent search process. The Illinois-based firm is conducting a survey (which you can find here) and helping trustees host a series of community meetings in March to gather input from various district stakeholders. Feedback obtained from those meetings will be used by trustees to finalize their superintendent profile and begin searching for candidates.
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Students at two HISD schools are helping to monitor the health of the planet, and it’s all thanks to one passionate teacher.
For the past 17 years, Ann Linsley has been taking her Bellaire High School IB and AP geography and environmental science students on field trips to Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Six years ago, she added a group of Pin Oak Middle School students, and this year Pin Oak Principal Rita Graves accompanied them as well.
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.