Beatrice Akala has been selected as the new principal of Sutton Elementary School. She began her career in Education as an English teacher in Kenya before moving to the United States. In the U.S., she started her career as a prekindergarten through fourth-grade teacher in private school. For the last fourteen years, she has served at HISD in various capacities, including as an ESL teacher at Sam Houston High School, teacher development specialist, assistant principal, and dean of instruction at Wisdom High School. As a member of the instructional leadership team at Wisdom, the school earned four distinctions in ELA, math, science and social studies. She holds a bachelor’s in Education from Moi University Kenya, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Houston, a master’s in Human Resource Management from Walden University. She is also currently working on a doctorate’s in Education at North Central University.
Luis Landa has been selected as the new principal of Sutton Elementary School. Most recently, he served as assistant principal at Austin High School and teacher specialist at Patrick Henry Middle School. Landa taught at McReynolds Middle School, where he was a lead teacher, department chair, and teacher of the year. For the last two years, he has served on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council, where he provided support on national education initiatives. Landa earned a B.S. in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of St. Thomas. He is in the process of completing his Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Houston.
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Sutton Elementary School students performed classic and original holiday songs at its annual winter concert for parents and the community. Students performed songs from the movie, Frozen, and sang songs from a musical written by their music teacher, Dwain Dancy. The concert was held at the school on Dec. 8 and at Clarewood Nursing Home on Dec. 15. The students also delivered personalized holiday cards that they made for the elderly at the nursing home.
While seniors are applying for colleges, elementary school students are already thinking about which universities they may want to attend one day. Continue reading
Volunteers in HISD’s Read Houston Read initiative have met the students they’ll be working with this school year and are beginning the journey of helping children develop a love for reading.
“I come once a week, every Monday, to read to two special little boys,” said Kimberly Thompson, who volunteers at Sutton ES. “When someone from the outside comes in and reads to these children, they just feel special. When you feel special, you are more open to every experience that comes your way.” Continue reading
Ever wonder what it’s like to meet one of your personal heroes? If so, just ask HISD Teacher Development Specialist Alyssa Howell or her husband, John Smith, who teaches at Sutton Elementary School.
The night before competing in the Empire State half-marathon in upstate New York on Oct. 19, Howell and Smith got to meet and have dinner with Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run in the prestigious Boston Marathon. Switzer entered the previously all-male race back in 1967 and completed it despite being physically assaulted by the race manager around mile six. Continue reading
Amari Venzor of Cornelius Elementary School took home top honors in the 18th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston.
Every year since 1996, fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools have competed in this annual contest, which challenges students to write and present a short original speech on a subject related to the slain civil rights leader. The topic this year was, “If Dr. King were speaking at a March on Washington today, what would he say?”
“If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking at a March on Washington today, he would say: As I consider the past 50 years of progress, I can’t help but wonder if for every two steps we have taken forward, we have taken three steps back,” Amari said. “Have we fought so hard to instill that pride that we fail to include words like integrity, self-respect, and even a simple hi? Have we allowed economic and social status to lull us into a crippling complacency and a sense of entitlement? Simply meaning, are we putting $200 sneakers on our children who can barely read or solve basic mathematical equations rather than teaching them how to invest the same $200 into the actual shoe company? Have we been so busy trying to give our children what we didn’t have that we forgot to give them what we did have?”
The other 2014 finalists, in alphabetical order, were:
• Shahnoor Ahtesham, Sutton ES
• Reginald Brown, Pleasantville ES
• Chrislyn Brownlow, Anderson ES
• Kierra Hunter, MacGregor ES
• Robert Lane III, Valley West ES
• Amaria Maldonado, Wainwright ES
• Kennady Roberson, Lockhart ES
• Jayla Wright, Burrus ES
• Jacovia Young, Windsor Village ES
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If you’ve never seen the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston, you’re in for a treat.
Every year since 1996, fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools have competed in this annual contest, which challenges students to write and present a short original speech on a subject related to the slain civil rights leader. The topic this year is, “If Dr. King were speaking at a March on Washington today, what would he say?”
Four HISD schools have scored big with the Houston Texans, winning NFL Play 60 grants from the team to supply campuses with playground or gym equipment that broadens physical education and afterschool programs.