In many ways, 10-year-old Shiloh Balasuriya is an average fourth grader. His favorite things to do are read books and play outside, and when he grows up, he has ambitions of being a world-famous chef. Shiloh has a lot in common with his other classmates at T.H. Rogers School, but this year, he was the only student from HISD to place in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s annual Trailblazer Writing Competition.Continue reading
First-grader Nidarshani Chinthagunta gasped and her eyes widened as a bright turquoise bike adorned with white balloons was wheeled into the T.H. Rogers conference room where she stood sandwiched between her mother and school principal.
Grabbing the 20-inch Titan Tomcat by the seat and handlebars, she carefully eyed the new bike as she whispered a shy, “thank you.”
Nidarshani was one of two grand prize winners in the district’s “Blast Off with a Healthy School Breakfast” art contest held in honor of National School Breakfast Week in March.
More than 60 students submitted original artwork using the breakfast theme. A panel of judges from the district’s Nutrition Services and Fine Arts departments selected the top winners at the elementary and secondary levels.Continue reading
A seventh-grade student at T.H. Rogers School has won a Gold Key in The Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards for her touching essay about what it’s like to have a sibling with autism.
Hailey Skye Tulio, 12, wrote about her life with her 22-year-old brother, Patrick. She said she chose Patrick as her topic because spreading autism awareness is very important to her.
“There are many different kinds of autism, and each person diagnosed will have his own unique actions and expressions,” Hailey wrote. “In Patrick’s case, he’s in the middle, not too oblivious to the world, but not that aware of it either. If you ask him if he is ‘happy or sad,’ he will always say that he’s ‘happy’ even though he feels differently.”
Hailey’s essay is an honest glimpse into the challenges Patrick and his family face daily. She vividly describes the not-so-good times.
T.H. Rogers Middle School principal David Muzyka spent the entire day on the roof of his school reading to students in the courtyard below. Last year, BOOK IT! challenged every school principal in the country to “read your heart out” during National Young Readers Week. This year, the organization sent out a new Principal Challenge, and Muzyka accepted, braving gusty winds and an approaching blue norther, to show his students the value of reading aloud.
The Houston Independent School District presented the Custodian and Plant Operator of the Year awards, and recognized the strong work ethic, dedication and commitment of the entire operations staff on June 7.
“We want to take the time to say – we see what you’re doing, we know what you’re doing, and most importantly, we appreciate what you’re doing,” Superintendent Terry Grier said. “The work of these employees is vital for all our schools and facilities to be able to operate smoothly on a daily basis.”
The Secondary Custodian of the Year award was given to Hortencia Garcia from Waltrip High School and the Elementary Custodian of the Year award was given to Maria Fuentes from De Zavala Elementary School.
Honorable mentions were also given to Vickie Newton from TH Rogers Middle School and Vilma Villatoro from Red Elementary School for excellence and innovation in service to their campuses.
“We are truly proud of these custodians, who exceed expectations in every area of plant operations, and who go to work every day with their most important customers in mind – the children of HISD,” said Leo Bobadilla, Chief Operating Officer. “These awards serve as tangible recognition of their efforts, and our appreciation.”
Marili Vaquiz from Burrus Elementary School was awarded Elementary Plant Operator of the Year, and Gary Vaughn from Welch Middle School was awarded Secondary Plant Operator of the Year.
Honorable mentions for excellence in plant operations were also given to Maria Cerda from JP Henderson Elementary School, Jerry Johnson from Waltrip High School, and Connie Broussard from McNamara Elementary School.
HISD’s custodians and plant operators are tasked with ensuring all of the district’s schools and facilities are clean, safe and operating adequately.