Tag Archives: Terry Grier

HISD Names Top School Leaders for 2012

Reagan High School Principal Connie Berger was one of three campus leaders to be recognized as a 2012 Principal of the Year in HISD. Berger won at the high-school level.

On Wednesday, May 2, HISD recognized more than five dozen school administrators for their outstanding contributions to the district and their school communities by saluting them as nominees for Principal of the Year, First Year Principal of the Year, or Assistant Principal of the Year.

 The administrators were nominated by colleagues, teachers, and students for their instructional leadership and efforts to boost student achievement.

 Here are the 2012 honorees: 


  • Principal of the Year: Elena Martinez-Buley, Rodriguez ES
  • First Year Principal of the Year: Roshanda Griffin, Whidby ES
  • Assistant Principal of the Year: Terrence Sanders, Walnut Bend ES


  • Principal of the Year: Noelia Longoria, Ortiz MS
  • First Year Principal of the Year: Corey Seymour, McWilliams MS
  • Assistant Principal of the Year: Geovanny Ponce, Hartman MS


  •  Principal of the Year: Connie Berger, Reagan HS
  • First Year Principal of the Year: Jason Catchings, Scarborough HS
  • Assistant Principal of the Year: Lori Lambropoulos, Westside HS

 Superintendent of Schools Terry B. Grier congratulated the administrators during a ceremony at the monthly principals’ meeting. “Any one of you could have been the recipient of these awards,” he said. “That’s just the kind of talented staff we have.”

 Dr. Grier also presented “Team HISD” hats to two other principals—Charles Faust (Fondren MS) and Laquetta Kennedy (Cook ES), for their exemplary efforts to meet students’ needs at their campuses.

Letter to community from HISD Superintendent Terry Grier

Dear HISD Community:

I am writing to let you know in advance about an article that we expect to appear in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper on Sunday that analyzes test scores from school districts across America. The story comes nearly a year after a major cheating scandal in the Atlanta Public Schools. This national exam score analysis was done in an effort to identify schools in which student test performance increased or decreased significantly from one year to the next. The newspaper interprets such shifts in performance as signs of possible cheating. We have been alerted that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis has identified such test score spikes at campuses across America, including some in the Houston Independent School District.

I want you to know that HISD takes these allegations seriously and does not tolerate cheating. We believe that adults who participate in cheating are robbing their students of the quality education they deserve. I also want you to know that I believe in the integrity of the overwhelming majority of educators working in Houston schools.

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‘See to Succeed’ provides vision screening, eyeglasses for 11,000 students

A combined $200,000 commitment from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Houston Independent School District will allow 11,000 area students to receive the vision screening and eye examinations they need in the coming year.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker publicly thanked the Arnold Foundation and HISD for the contribution on Monday, March 5, during a visit to the city’s Good Neighbor Health Care Center in The Heights.

“This is truly a case of many hands sharing the load,” Mayor Parker said of the See to Succeed program, which has been providing free eye examinations and prescription eyewear for Houston-area children since 2007. Established by OneSight, a Luxottica Group foundation, See to Succeed partners include Berkley Eye Center, Essilor Foundation, University of Houston Eye Institute, Wal-Mart, Eye Care for Kids, Kids Vision for Life, San Jacinto College, and HISD.

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Grier, Lunceford to dedicate Horn Elementary – a magnet academy focused on development of “whole child”

Administrators, staff and students will be joined by HISD Board of Education President Michael Lunceford and Superintendent Terry Grier during the official dedication ceremony for the new Paul W. Horn Elementary today at 9 a.m. at the new campus, 4530 Holly Street.

All building systems on the new campus were designed to yield a projected increase of 24.6 percent in energy efficiency. Click image above for video tour.

“Being a former Horn parent myself, I can’t tell you how delighted I am to see this new building,” said Lunceford.  “This is the kind of facility that every student in HISD deserves.  It saves energy, fits perfectly with the surrounding community, and will prove to be a hub of achievement that parents, students and teachers can be proud of.” 

The new Horn facility is built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and all building materials were made using 41 percent recycled content.  All building systems on the new campus were designed to yield a projected increase of 24.6 percent in energy efficiency.  The district has committed to build all new construction projects to LEED standards.                  

The $805 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2007 made this project possible. The new school includes:

  • New library;
  • Bioswale to reduce potable water use;
  • New science labs;
  • New computer lab; and
  • Smart Board technology in all classrooms.

“Our new facility truly supports our focus on a holistic curriculum that speaks to the needs of the whole child,” said Horn Principal Sarah Harrington referring to the academy’s mission as a magnet school.  “With Smart Board technology, our new library and computer lab, we are well poised to meet the needs of all our students.” 

For more information about other school construction projects district wide, visit www.hisdprojects.org.

Dr. Terry Grier commends “courage” displayed by HISD staff in the face of dwindling state support

Delivering his annual HISD State of the Schools address to a sold-out crowd of 2,000 today, Superintendent Terry Grier said the district took significant steps in 2011 toward raising the level of academic achievement at every campus and meeting parents’ expectations.

And while HISD lays claim to some of the top-performing schools in the nation, Dr. Grier said, too many of Houston’s neighborhood schools are not improving fast enough.

“We’re proud of the schools that reliably produce graduates prepared to excel in college and in the workplace. But we also know that too many of our schools don’t fit into that category,” Dr. Grier told the crowd of community leaders, educators, and business organizations. “We must be able to look every parent in the eye and tell them we’d be proud to send our own children to any school in Houston. That’s the kind of consistency I’m talking about.”

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HISD superintendent to highlight district accomplishments in State of the Schools Address

State of the Schools 2012

Nearly 2,000 community and business leaders, educators, and elected officials are expected to attend HISD’s State of the School luncheon on March 1 at the Hilton Americas Hotel.  Superintendent Terry Grier will address the many accomplishments and progress HISD has made made toward preparing students for college and future careers. Among the year’s highlights:

Although the luncheon is sold out, coverage of the event will be provided on the HISD News blog, HISD’s Twitter stream (@HoustonISD) and a live stream on abc13.com.

For more information, please click here to visit the Houston ISD website.

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier to announce College Readiness Data

Superintendent Terry Grier on Tuesday will visit Westside High School to announce the latest data showing HISD’s progress toward preparing all students to succeed in college and for rewarding careers. The number of HISD students achieving success on college-level Advanced Placement exams has never been higher, and the number of students demonstrating their college readiness on the SAT exam is on a sharp upward trend.

Who:          HISD Superintendent Terry Grier and Westside HS Principal Michael McDonough
What:         Dr. Grier recognizes the progress HISD students are making toward college and career readiness.
When:        Tuesday, February 14, 2012; 10:30 a.m.
Where:      Westside High School, 14201 Briar Forest Drive


Citing positive data, Board of Education votes to extend Superintendent Terry Grier’s contract to 2014

The HISD Board of Education voted Thursday night to extend Superintendent Terry Grier’s contract through June 2014, signaling their commitment to continuing the bold initiatives that began with his arrival in 2009.

Trustees Paula Harris, Greg Meyers, Manuel Rodriguez Jr., Larry Marshall, and Harvin Moore voted for the extension. President Michael Lunceford and trustees Juliet Stipeche and Rhonda Skillern-Jones abstained. Trustee Anna Eastman voted against the measure.

Trustees who voted in favor of the extension said Dr. Grier has delivered on his promise of swift action to raise academic performance among all children and set HISD on a path to become the best school district in America.

“In 2009 we went out on a superintendent search. The board said we need someone bold and with a vision,” said Trustee Greg Meyers. “If you look at the data tonight, we’re on track. That’s something I feel confident about. … I’m proud to say this superintendent has followed the charge and put together a staff that is dedicated to doing what’s right not for the adults, but for the kids in this district.”

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HISD teachers and campus staff earn $35 million for boosting student achievement

Superintendent Terry Grier will Visit Two Top Teachers on Wednesday

 January 24, 2012 – Students across the Houston Independent School District achieved unprecedented success in the classroom in 2010-2011, and the educators most responsible for the gains will receive their financial awards on Wednesday.

HISD is paying a total of $35 million to 12,390 campus employees under the ASPIRE Award program that aims to recognize those whose hard work resulted in students making more progress in one year than their peers elsewhere.

HISD students showed significant academic progress in 2010-2011. The number of students not just passing, but scoring at the tougher “commended” level on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills has never been higher. The district’s dropout rate has never been lower under the state’s current reporting system, and the percentage of students graduating from high school on time has never been higher.

Classroom teachers in HISD are receiving the bulk of the ASPIRE Award money – $30.5 million spread among 9,162 teachers. The average ASPIRE Award for teachers is $3,324.26.

This year, four teachers at four different campuses received the highest payout of $10,300. Those teachers are Debra Bunton (Highland Heights Elementary), Marcos Giannotti (Hobby Elementary), Chavis Mitchell (Osborne Elementary), and Stephanie Spurling (Hartsfield Elementary).

“These teachers personify the firmly held belief shared by all members of Team HISD that every child has the ability to excel in the classroom under the guidance of quality teachers working in schools led by great principals,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “The value that HISD educators bring to our city is immeasurable and these ASPIRE Awards are one way of recognizing the impact they have on our children.”