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A special salute to our many school volunteers

2012 May 30
by HISD Communications

This morning, it was my privilege to present awards to those who contribute countless hours to Houston’s children every day: the volunteers who work to support students, families, teachers and staff.

Members of HISD’s VIPS (Volunteers in Public Schools) program tirelessly serve as tutors, mentors, teacher partners, security patrols, chaperones, interpreters, and cafeteria monitors, and help in libraries, media centers, clinics, and offices. And that’s just a short summary of their contributions.

These outstanding individuals dedicate their time and energy, without thought of recompense, in every school across our district. I can’t salute them enough.

The highest honor of the morning, the Jean Davis Myers award, was presented to Urban Harvest and Pilar Hernandez, who is an Urban Harvest parent volunteer at Kolter Elementary. The program provides hands-on learning in science and other subjects in a district-wide outdoor learning environment, which aids teachers in creating curriculum for outdoor classrooms. Pilar is helping our students cultivate an understanding about where healthy and nutritious foods come from.

A Special Lifetime Achievement award went to George W. Black for his more than 25 years of service in the VIPs program. George, a retired Marine, oversees the student safety patrol at Barrick Elementary. George is contributing to a consistently safe and secure environment where students can prosper, and students have come to rely on him as a guiding force on their campus.

Once again, I would like to thank our exceptional volunteers, both individually and the organizations that are helping to make our schools some of the best in the country. We couldn’t do it without them.

For a photo gallery of photos from the celebration, go to

To see more of the important work our HISD volunteers do, watch these two videos:

For more information about how you can become a volunteer, contact Tina Thompson at  713-556-7206 or visit

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