Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, visited Aldine ISD’s Stephens Elementary School on Thursday, Aug. 15 as part of their trip across Texas to feature schools that made tremendous gains in the state’s A-F accountability rating system during the 2018-19 school year.
Stephens Elementary moved from a ‘D’ to an ‘A’ campus in the state’s A-F accountability ratings in one year.
Joining Commissioner Morath and Lt. Gov. Patrick at the event were Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, AISD Board President Steve Mead, Board Vice President Connie Esparza, Board Secretary Dr. Kimberley Booker, Board Asst. Secretary Paul Shanklin and Board Members Patricia Ann Bourgeois and Rose Avalos.
Morath applauded the work Stephens principal Shauna Showers and her staff performed turning the school around in just a year’s time, and lauded Aldine for moving to a ‘B’ district.
“Aldine has about 65,000 students (there are 20 districts of this size in Texas, called ‘very large districts’) and of these very large districts Aldine gained the most in student achievement, second most in school progress, and second most overall,” Morath said. “Perhaps even more interesting, 87% of Aldine ISD kids receive free and reduced lunch – meaning Aldine is the highest poverty, very large district in Texas, and yet you’re outpacing them all in terms of improvement.”
Close to 90% of Stephens’ students are classified as economically disadvantaged and half of their students are English language learners.
Lt. Gov. Patrick singled out Showers and her staff for the outstanding gains they made in one year.
“This is an incredible day,” the Lt. Gov. said. “You (speaking to Showers) did it in one of the toughest environments possible. We are here to celebrate individual schools and school districts that have excelled.”
Dr. Goffney thanked Commissioner Morath and Lt. Gov. Patrick for showcasing Stephens Elementary and Aldine ISD and added the work is just beginning in Aldine.
“In Aldine ISD, our primary focus is ensuring all students have access to high-quality schools and learning experiences that prepare them for their futures,” Dr. Goffney said. “Our main goal is to increase the number of highly-rated schools. I am pleased to state this is happening, and this will continue to be our goal this year and in the coming years.
“Yes, there is still work ahead of us. But as I go into my second year as Superintendent of Schools, I am amazed at the strides we have made in a short period of time,” she said. “This progress did not happen by accident. It takes a village. From educators to bus drivers, to school nurses and cafeteria workers, from custodial workers to maintenance crews and many more…Everyone…We were All in.”
Dr. Goffney also had words of praise for Showers and her staff.
“She (Showers) worked hard to develop a new campus culture and learn the needs of her students and teachers,” Dr. Goffney said. “It was a tough first year for her. Shauna found herself leading many new educators at a campus that was poorly performing. As you can imagine that made for hard days. Employee morale was down, and parents were disengaged. Immediately, she and her administrative team made changes and refocused. The former basketball coach decided to regroup, reassess, and reorganize in a colossal way. She needed everyone to bring their ‘A’ game. The hard work paid off. Stephens Elementary moved from what would have been considered a ‘D’ in 2018 to an ‘A’ school in 2019.”
Showers thanked her staff, many of whom attended the event, for their hard work and dedication to their students.
“Our staff put in countless hours to ensure our students had a welcoming and interactive learning environment,” Showers said. “Each one of our students is unique, and their smiling faces keep us on our toes finding new ways to help them learn. There are so many things that I could be proud of. I could go on all day, but one of my proudest moments is the growth of our students over the last few years. In just a few days, these halls will be filled with students, teachers, and staff. We will celebrate our success and welcome new students to our way of learning!”
A number of elected officials also attended the event, including State Senators Carol Alavarado, and Paul Bettencourt, State Reps Alma Allen, Armando Walle, and Dan Huberty, as well as State Board of Education Chair Donna Bahorich, and Board Members Lawrence Allen and Kevin Ellis.
Stephens fifth-grader Daniellea Ramirez introduced Dr. Goffney. Danielle has had perfect scores for the last two years on the math STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) test.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.