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AHSA honors HISD student stars and future educators

2012 June 19
by HISD Communications

Some of HISD’s brightest stars were out last Wednesday night when I had the privilege of attending the Association of Hispanic School Administrators (AHSA) Noche de las Estrellas Scholarship and Awards Banquet. This was the 21st year AHSA members gathered to distribute scholarships to HISD star students who are aspiring teachers and school administrators, as well as recognize community organizations whose work benefits the greater HISD community.

An impressive $17,000 was given away to 8 deserving students who have kept their grades up, participated in a variety of school activities, and contributed to their communities through volunteer work.

One of these students, Roberto Nuñez from Eastwood Academy Charter High School, is a long practicing martial arts enthusiast and wants to teach future physical education students the value of fitness in maintaining health and emotional stability.

Another scholarship recipient, Marizita Valdespino, is class president and a member of the National, Spanish, English, and Science Honor Societies and soccer and track teams at Milby High School. She plans to return to teach in HISD neighborhood schools when she graduates from college. We have quite a few HISD alums teaching and leading in our district and it’s always great to hear that our students feel such a strong connection to HISD that they want to return to teach.

Some students have their career already mapped out beyond teaching, like Gwendolyn Martinez of Austin High School. She will be the first in her family to attend college and plans someday to be a superintendent.

The event also honored community organizations Navidad en el Barrio and Houston Community College with Amigo Awards. Navidad en el Barrio has a long history of providing scholarships to HISD students, as well as donating food and gifts to Houston area homeless shelters and assisting families in financial need. Houston Community College is partnering with HISD in providing tech-prep and dual credit courses through the new HILZ (Houston Innovative Learning Zone) program on 6 high school campuses across the district.

Long time HISD employee Martha Salazar-Zamora was also honored with an HISD Estrella Award for her years of service. Martha will soon be leaving Houston for a promotion to Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and Administration in Round Rock ISD. We wish her well in this new position!

To view a gallery of photos from the event, go to the Houston ISD News Blog at

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