Jesse Herrera has been named the new principal of The Rusk School. Most recently, he served for more than three years as the chief operating officer for the national office of AVANCE, an innovative family education and support center dedicated to empowering families to break the cycle of poverty. For eight years before that, Herrera served as the principal of Sanchez Elementary School, which earned the state’s top academic rating for student performance under his leadership. Before that, Herrera served as assistant principal at Crespo and Park Place elementary schools. He is a Houston native with a bachelor of fine arts in Radio/Television/Film from Sam Houston State University and a masters of education in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston. Herrera and wife Natalie have two sons.
For young students with an interest in a health or medical career, there is a new magnet middle-school program in HISD.
Beginning with the upcoming school year, The Rusk School will transform from PK–8 into a middle school with a medical focus.
“We are very excited about the big changes coming to Rusk,” said Principal Daniel De León. “The new middle school will be modeled after the highly successful Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan. We have room for up to 250 students in sixth grade, and we want parents to begin applying now.”
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Sixth graders from The Rusk School will use their newly acquired coding skills to show kindergartners how to code on Friday, Dec. 12. The sixth graders, who have been coding all week as part of the Hour of Code global initiative, will work together on coding activities with the youngsters on iPads and laptops. Continue reading
Since receiving a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching two months ago, social studies teacher Joseph Olan has not wasted any time.
The veteran educator, who also serves as The Rusk School’s Literacy By 3 team leader, has already made plans to work on a joint project with his counterpart in Singapore, Jeremy Lee, and he is cultivating additional partnerships with Fulbright award winners from Finland and Morocco.
“Orientation was in August,” explained Olan, “and all of us were put together for one week in D.C. The one thing that Fulbright officials kept emphasizing was to talk to each other, to collaborate and develop these relationships, because they will continue even if you leave the classroom (for an administrative position). I met Jeremy there and became very close to him. We have a similar mindset. We have talked four or five times a week ever since.” Continue reading
HISD recently released the results of the 2013-2014 “Your Voice” survey, which gave thousands of students, parents and instructional staff the opportunity to share information on how HISD and individual schools have progressed toward district and campus goals.
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The survey, which was conducted for the second year in a row this past May, measures perceptions of safety, rigor and environment within the district. The survey also allows HISD to better understand the needs of its schools and to foster a culture of community engagement that will help guide future initiatives. Continue reading
Cheerful student ambassadors at The Rusk School met alumni, parents and community partners at the front entrance of their school to welcome them to a celebration for the opening of a new building wing.
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Coming on the heels of a $25,000 grant from Devon Energy, The Rusk School received another hefty check for its science efforts last week.
State Farm presented the school with $25,000 from its “Cause An Effect” program, an online contest that generates votes for local causes through social media. The school was chosen for its geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse.
It’s a project that middle school math teacher Brenda Boyer said is rooted in community service. Boyer said the students will use the dome to grow organic food to donate to the Star of Hope homeless shelter and a local food bank.
“This project will allow our students to help others in the community in a positive way. The dome will also be utilized as a science lab for all our Pre-K through eighth-grade students,” Boyer said.
A State Farm student panel chose 100 finalists from a field of 3,000 entries, then voters on State Farm’s Facebook page chose the top 40.