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State of the Schools and Go Texan Day: honoring partners and ‘pardners’

2014 February 27
by HISD Communications

Choosing the best part of our annual State of the Schools luncheon is challenging – a bit like selecting a favorite child.

There’s the reward in connecting faces, smiles, and warm handshakes to the business, professional, and corporate entities and civic leaders who are so supportive of our everyday activities in HISD and who make such a difference to our children. Looking out at a ballroom packed with 2,000-plus fully engaged stakeholders who want to hear about HISD’s progress – and learn how they can continue to help – is deeply moving.

You could make a case for the role our teachers play. This year, it was a technological show-of-force by a group of our PowerUp teacher leaders, and an enthusiastic speech by Adrian Acosta, who teaches at the Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy. Adrian shared how wholeheartedly his students are embracing this tool that reinvents the classroom: He said that by having their laptops with them, his students did schoolwork from home during our recent “ice days.” Talk about anywhere-anytime learning.

The audience was in awe of Kaleigh Davis, a smart, spunky freshman from our new Energy Institute High School (and you can count me in her fan club). She dazzled with her poised explanation of this unique program that’s preparing her for a career in energy fields she didn’t know existed and which are now becoming her passion. She explained how EIHS students will give 150 professional presentations on projects they’ve completed during their four years at the school. Kaleigh has that skill mastered already.

Our JROTC youngsters from Westbury HS and North Forest HS were crisp and polished, and student musicians from Lanier, Marshall, and Johnston middle schools showcased enormous talent — certifiably. A subgroup of the Lanier orchestra just placed third in a statewide polka contest for high schools, the only middle schoolers to compete. And the Johnston Sinfonia has earned an invitation to play at Carnegie Hall April 14.

And there were the behind-the-scenes workers from Team HISD who spent months pulling it all together – the folks in Strategic Partnerships who build our strong relationships in the community, and the communications team who created a day to remember.

Every single person who appeared in or contributed to the State of the Schools event deserves credit for reminding our stakeholders of our quality and class. No way could I pick a “favorite child” out of this impressive group.


Another enduring relationship that HISD enjoys is with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. For more than a half-century, our students have benefited from generous scholarships and earned honors for everything from their prize animals to their artwork.

As the trailrides converge on Houston, many of our schools have been celebrating our unique Texas culture with programs all week. Friday is Go Texan Day, and we’ll honor the coming of the rodeo and everything it provides to our region and our district by coming to work and school in our best western duds. So while you’re having fun showing off your boots, jeans, and bandannas, remember that you’re also honoring a great community “pardner.”

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