Dianna Balderas has been named the new principal of Scroggins Elementary School. For the last 4 ½ years, Balderas has served as the assistant principal at Travis Elementary School. Before entering administration, she was a bilingual teacher and reading interventionist at Garcia, Travis, and De Zavala elementary schools. Balderas is a native Houstonian and product of HISD, graduating from DeBakey High School. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in Spanish from the University of Houston and a Master of Educational Administration from Lamar University. Balderas also completed the 2017 cohort of HISD’s Principal Candidate Development Opportunity (PCDO).
The Houston Independent School District Police Department has announced the winners of the third annual Police Appreciation Week art contest.
Fifth-grade artists were encouraged to showcase their talents with the department’s K-9 unit as the theme. Participants also explored other themes, including the importance of law enforcement and the different types of police officers.
Students at HISD’s Scroggins ES recently enjoyed a literacy-themed “cat-seañera,” thanks to Castro’s Kids, a literacy foundation started by Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro and his wife, Maris.
Scroggins librarian Jo-Anne Reed won a $1,500 grant from that organization for the school, which she used to stage a feline-themed celebration that plays off the quinceañera, a traditional celebration for Hispanic 15-year-old girls marking their transition into adulthood.
The winners of HISD’s annual 2015 Holiday Greeting Card competition were announced on Nov. 3, and one was a repeat from last year.
Gloria Xie, who won in the middle school category in 2014, also claimed that honor this year as a seventh-grader at Pershing Middle School. “I would just like to say thank you to my principal, Ms. (Kim) Heckman, and my teacher, Ms. Perugini, and my parents,” she said.
Each year, the district sends out hundreds of holiday greeting cards to principals, board members, legislators, local leaders, parents groups, and community partners. Since 2003, these cards have featured the artwork of HISD students.
From left: Dr. Piazza, president of the Greater Houston Dental Society; Piney Point ES fifth-grader Viviana Jimenez; Garden Villas ES third-grader Alejandra Rodriguez; White ES second-grader Sandy Kong; Condit ES fifth-graders Eden Barr and Heidi Tamm; and Dental Health Committee CoChairs Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Aguilos. Not pictured: Scroggins ES second-grader Gabriel Velazco.
Every year, HISD elementary and middle school students participate in the Dental Health Poster Contest, which promotes the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Month campaign. The purpose is to convince children and adults of the importance of good oral health.
A group of educators from HISD, including three librarians—Jo Reed (Scroggins ES), Cheryl Hensley (MacGregor ES), and Sue Carnes (Bell ES; now retired)—was recognized recently with the Wayne Williams Library Project of the Year Award for 2015 by the Texas Library Association.
The librarians were selected for coordinating schoolwide reading campaigns at their respective campuses based on the Lunch Lady series of graphic novels by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. The project not only built on students’ enthusiasm for graphic novels, but also increased their awareness of health and nutrition through a cleverly organized partnership with HISD Nutrition Services Dietician Jennifer Lengyel that connected daily meal offerings to literature.
The project was so successful that at Scroggins, interest in graphic novels spurred the principal to quadruple the school’s collection of that type of book from 12 to 48. At MacGregor, circulation of the Lunch Lady books increased by 90 percent. And at Bell, the demand for graphic novels increased so much that emergency rations of books had to be secured.
The Wayne Williams award is designed to recognize a project that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement, professional standards, and inspiration to other libraries. Reed and her colleagues were formally honored during a special ceremony held on April 15 at the Texas Library Association’s annual conference in Austin.
Designs are also available for purchase by the general public through Friday, Dec. 5
Each winter, HISD sends out holiday greeting cards to hundreds of people and organizations, including school principals, board members, legislators, local leaders, parent groups, and community partners. Since 2003, these cards have featured the artwork of district students, and this year, three designs were chosen to showcase their creative talents.
Jason Castro is usually knowing for his catching prowess on the baseball diamond, but on May 29, he was delivering a pitch.
The professional athlete was at Scroggins Elementary School last Thursday to persuade young learners to continue reading for pleasure over the summer months, and to improve their chances of doing that, he helped distribute some of the 7,200 books he and his wife had donated to two HISD campuses. The books were divided between Scroggins and MacGregor elementary schools, and students at each campus got to select up to five books to take home and keep.
A hundred lucky families also got to attend the Houston Astros’ evening game against the Baltimore Orioles. The donation was coordinated through the literacy foundation the couple started, called Castro’s Kids.
A dozen Houston ISD schools took part on the All-Earth EcoBot Challenge at Reliant Center last weekend, which allowed students in grades 5-8 to show off their engineering skills.
Teams of four students designed, built, and programmed autonomous robots. The teams then used their robots to complete a series of missions that connect to the commercial and industrial future of energy exploration, transportation, technological innovation, medical research, and environmental sustainability.