Moving carefully around his assigned aircraft, high school senior Christian Colon of Sterling Aviation High School diligently checked the fuel tank valve, cabin and wing flaps as part of the required pre-flight checklist prior to takeoff.
After two reschedules, a day filled with clear and sunny skies finally arrived for Colon to complete his first solo flight at the Pearland Regional Airport as the first among six students moving a step closer to receiving a pilot license.
Colon along with his peers are a part of Sterling’s long-standing aviation program, which allows students to graduate with an associate’s degree from Houston Community College, as well as a Level 1 pilot’s certification.
Sterling Aviation High School is preparing its students for success beyond high school through a unique program that couples classroom instruction and real-world automotive work experience.
In partnership with HISD’s Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, students from Sterling’s Automotive Technology program spend a full school year working alongside HISD employees, gaining valuable industry experience and becoming equipped to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation.
Two schools in the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program received national recognition this month in Learning by Design magazine’s 2017 Awards of Excellence.
Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, which opened in August 2016, and Sterling Aviation High School, which opened in January 2017, were among just 17 schools and university facilities from across the country to receive the top designations from the magazine.
Designs for three additional bond schools honored with ‘Stars of Distinction’
Constructed as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, Condit Elementary School has been selected as one of five finalists vying for the highest honor offered by the 2017-18 Exhibit of School Architecture Competition.
Three additional bond campuses — Atherton Elementary School, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and Sterling Aviation High School — received Stars of Distinction.
The annual school architecture competition showcases new and renovated Texas schools and recognizes excellence in their planning and design. It is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards.
The South Area feeder pattern on Friday will host milestone celebrations at Codwell Elementary School and Sterling Aviation High School to showcase improvements and investments in South Area schools.
The event will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony at Codwell Elementary, which is receiving a $12.5 million renovation that will allow it to reopen to students. The event will conclude at Sterling Aviation High School, which will celebrate its new 237,000-square-foot facility, which was constructed as part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
The first day back at school after winter break isn’t usually a day to celebrate among high school teens wishing they had one more day to sleep in.
But the atmosphere at Sterling Aviation High School was different on Wednesday as students reported for the first time to their new campus — a grand building with spacious classrooms, broad windows, colorful furniture, and the latest technology.
“It’s better than the old building,” said Sterling senior Rae’janae Bennings, as she caught up with friends outside the central dining commons before the first bell. “It’s bigger, and it looks way better.”
When Sterling Aviation High School students return to class after winter break, they’ll report to a modern, new building with contemporary furniture, broad windows, and spacious classrooms and hallways adorned in bright, bold colors.
The grand building — specifically designed to enhance their aviation sciences program and support 21st century learning — has been long-awaited by the Sterling community, and it is well deserved.
“I think it’s going to mean that they’re not forgotten,” Fuentes said, describing the importance of the new building to his students and community. The feeling of being forgotten seemed reinforced as the school was labeled by the state as “Improvement Required” and lost academic programs. “Now, we have a new school, we’re no longer IR, we’re adding programs. They’re starting to see that they have value. They are valued.”
Hard hats and safety vests were required dress for Thursday’s quarterly meeting of Houston Independent School District’s Bond Oversight Committee, which featured a tour of the new Sterling Aviation High School construction site.
The tour began in the school’s airplane hangar, which serves as the centerpiece of the new school as well as its focus on aviation science. The hangar also will serve as a space for students to work on airplanes and their engines, and large viewing windows will allow students and staff to see the hangar from many points, including the main entrance.
“It’s a very impressive looking building. I’m overwhelmed by the size of it,” BOC member Sonny Flores said, as he and fellow committee members entered the three-story, 230,000-square-foot structure.
Editor’s Note: Black History Month runs from Monday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 29, this year, and HISD is celebrating with a series of weekly stories recognizing distinguished African Americans who graduated from district high schools. This third article focuses on alumni who went on to have successful careers in the fine arts. The first and second articles spotlighted professional athletes, and lawmakers/politicians (respectively). Others will feature educators and those with careers in radio, TV, and film.
HISD has a wealth of African-American alumni with talent in the performing and visual arts — and many of these distinguished graduates have chosen to share their gifts with later generations of students.
Sterling High School students and other stakeholders had the opportunity to sign a steel beam that will be used in the construction of their new school.
The new $72.3 million building project is being built behind the existing facility, which will be demolished once construction is complete. The new three-story building is making great progress and can easily be seen over the top of the current school.
After the beam-signing, which was held in front of the current school, workers transported it to the construction site, where they will soon install it in the new building. The school has a target completion date of first quarter 2017.