After several weeks of professional development, the district concluded it’s back to school preparations with the annual Convocation program. Held on Friday morning at Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church, employees were able to celebrate together and kick off the new school year. Pastor Michael Harrison delivered the invocation followed by welcome messages from special guests Texas Houston HD-18 Republican candidate Ernest Bailes, City of Huntsville Mayor Andy Brauninger, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carol Smith, Sam Houston State University College of Education’s Dr. Stacey Edmonson, Dr. Shirley Jackson representing the Huntsville Education Foundation, and Mona Bartoshek of the Walker County Retired Teachers Association. HISD Board of Trustees President Patrick Antwi shared a special welcome from the Board followed by Superintendent Dr. Howell Wright whose presentation focused on the goals, beliefs and direction of the district and the importance of building relationships, making connections and designing engaging and relevant lessons for our students. The Convocation keynote speaker Manuel V. “Manny” Scott moved the entire staff with his inspirational message. An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott energized our leaders, educators, and staff with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope. Emotional yet highly motivated, employees were then treated to a BBQ lunch with all the trimmings provided by Northside Baptist Church in the Commons of Huntsville High Schools. Our campus personnel are excited and eagerly awaiting the arrival of students to campus on Monday, August 22.
Campuses will have new start and dismissal times this year in response to the state’s change in the calculation of minimum required instruction from days to minutes. Gibbs PreK Center, Huntsville Elementary, Samuel W. Houston Elementary, Scott Johnson Elementary and Stewart Elementary will all start school at 7:55 AM and release at 3:30 PM. HISD secondary campuses Huntsville Intermediate, Mance Park Middle School and Huntsville High School will all start at 7:45 AM. Huntsville Intermediate and Huntsville High School will dismiss at 3:25 PM and Mance Park Middle School will release at 3:27 PM. These changes will result in changes to the official attendance time taken at each campus. Specifics will be communicated to stakeholders during the first week of school and the district will post the same on each campus webpage.
All district’s administrative positions have now been filled. HISD welcomes Samantha Mullens as the new Mance Park Middle School Principal. Mrs. Mullens joins the district from Elkins High School in Fort Bend ISD where she served as Associate Principal for the past 5 years. She has previous experience in Klein ISD as well. Serving as Dean of Instruction and Principal she comes to the district with a strong background in leadership with emphasis on Special Education. Mance Park’s new administrative team and teachers welcomed 7th & 8th grade families to campus on August 16 and 17 for the campus Meet & Greets. With high attendance, campus administrators and teachers shared important information about this year’s procedures and expectations along with exciting news about the 1 to 1 Chromebook initiative for Mance Park students.
Stewart Elementary School welcomes Lynette Jackson to campus as the new principal. Mrs. Jackson joins the district from Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD where she served the past two years as an Assistant Principal. She has previous administrative leadership experience in Corpus Christy ISD where she was an assistant principal as well as a teacher and coach.
HISD welcomes Sarah Pariseau and Barbara Solberg who will fill the position of Dean of Student Learning at their respective campuses. Pariseau joins Mance Park’s team with experience in leadership and teaching for both Spring and Houston ISD. Solberg will be at Huntsville High School this year. She joins us from Willis ISD where she has served the past six years, most recently as Dean of Instruction and Assistant Principal prior to that. Her previous experience includes assessment coordinator, department head and teaching in Conroe ISD.
Huntsville Intermediate School recently filled the assistant principal vacancy by welcoming Zina Robinson to staff. Robinson served the past three years as a 7th grade science teacher for Conroe ISD. She has prior teaching experience in Spring and Houston ISD.
Marcus Walker recently filled the final administrative position for HISD as the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Director. Walker joins the district after serving the last two years in Waco ISD as Principal/Director of an Advanced Manufacturing Academy and Assistant Principal of an Opportunity Center. He has previous Career & Technical Education experience in Waco and Killeen ISD along with teaching an array of high school courses in CTE and advanced academics. Walker looks forward to getting to know the community and establishing a host of business and community partners to help connect students to real-world and future-ready experiences. He will research the best methods for early exposure for our intermediate and middle school-aged students as well as options to expand the licensing and certification opportunities at the high school. Under his direction, the district looks forward to increased exposure and communication with the public about the CTE offerings, course selections, and endorsement opportunities available to students.
For more district information, all stakeholders are invited to monitor the district website and follow social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.