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.
October marks National Book Month, a celebration centered on the importance of reading, writing, and literature. National Book Foundation launched the initiative in 2003 to encourage reading and show appreciation to the writers who brought our favorite stories into the world.
At Pin Oak Middle School, librarian Brooke Corso does her best to make every day a celebration of books and reading. We sat down with Corso and some of Pin Oak’s voracious readers to ask them about their favorite books and how they think National Book Month should be celebrated.
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.
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.