It was all good news at the Humble ISD meeting on May 8, which was a pleasant change from all the trials and tribulations that Hurricane Harvey has wrought over the last few months. The good news was all about events that culminated on three days leading up to Monday’s meeting beginning Friday, May 4, when trustees and administration staff joined the Humble ISD Education Foundation Prize Posse. Together they traveled through the district, awarding thousands of dollars in grants to teachers under the foundation’s Innovative Education Grants Program. The awards were made to the teachers and staff while in their school classrooms, generating excitement and enthusiasm from everyone involved. The grants will fund a variety of projects and initiatives that the teachers had applied for under guidelines of the program. 

On their way to Croatia, two of the best debaters in the world receive hard-earned recognition. From left: Humble ISD Board President Angela Conrad; Kingwood High School Principal Dr. Ted Landry; Kingwood Debate Coach Jason Langston; champion debaters Emily Grantham and Leila Saklou; and Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen. Photo by Bruce Olson

 On Saturday, May 5, the district’s $575 million school bond issue passed with an overwhelming 74% majority of voters. It will provide funding for needed new construction and the repair of old facilities as the district continues to grow in the future.

On Sunday, May 6, the Humble ISD School Board was named the Outstanding School Board of the Year by the 2018 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program and won $25,000.

There are more than 1,000 school boards in Texas.

The Monday board meeting brought even more good news. This time it was in terms of major awards and honors earned by district students. Two students from Kingwood High School achieved international recognition in debate. 

Dr. Ted Landry, principal of Kingwood High School, presented the students to the board and said, “Every year thousands of the nation's best debaters apply for the chance to compete for our country on Team U.S.A. in international debate competitions. Of those thousands that apply, only nine are chosen. From those elite nine, five are then chosen to represent the United States at the World Championships. This year, Kingwood High School has not just one, but two of the five debaters chosen to the World Championship National Team: juniors Leila Saklou and Emily Grantham. The level of accomplishment for these two students cannot be understated; they have reached the absolute pinnacle of their activity.” Saklou and Grantham will represent the United States in a true world championship competition in Zagreb, Croatia this summer against the world's most talented teams. 

“We couldn't be more proud of these two amazing young women,” Landry said.

Trustee Keith Lapeze echoed the magnitude of the accomplishment later during board members’ general comments. He said, “I am especially proud of the two young ladies in debate.

To have that talent and ability where you are recognized nationally is unprecedented and it is unbelievable to have two of those talents in one school. It is unreal.” Lapeze explained that as a lawyer he has debated all his life and this accomplishment is one of the most amazing things he has seen while serving on the board.In other recognitions, Houston Hayes, the district’s director of fine arts, announced that 16 students from Humble ISD high schools have been designated All-State Musicians in their respective disciplines of band, choir and orchestra. He noted that most of the students were not present at the board meeting due to performing at an event in Houston, but he highlighted the work and talent it took for each of them to qualify as an All-State Musician. 

“Qualifying for All-State Choir, Band or Orchestra is the highest individual achievement that a secondary music student can achieve. Each of these students had to qualify three times throughout the year; first at Region, then at Area and finally at the All-State Level,” Hayes said. 

Four of the students were present to receive their achievement certificates at the meeting. They are: Isabell Alvarado-choir at SCHS, Morgan Forsyth and Collin Stavinova-band at AHS, and Michael Rosie-band at KPHS.

The other students are: Choir: Dylan Campbell-AHS, Julia Cardenas-AHS, Alex Estrada-AHS, Esther Hernandez-KHS, Julianna Smith-KHS, Lauren Spoerle-KPHS, Gelesa Tripps-AHS, Jude Watt-KHS, and Killian Watt-KHS.In Band: Dylan Wooton-KPHS. In Orchestra: Lauren Ables-Torres-KHS and Matthew Daily-KHS.

School board meetings are normally held at 7 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month at the Humble ISD Administration Building, 20200 Eastway Village Dr., and are open to the public. Agendas are posted on the district website at humbleisd.net.

Bruce Olson
Author: Bruce OlsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.