Klein News
Employees Named as Superintendent’s Initiative Award Recipients
Jun 26 2017 - 10:34:00 am

Brandy Bowlen – Epps Island school nurse

Brandy Bowlen is described as an exceptional leader, innovative, and focused on the whole child. But that’s not the only reason she was named a 2017 Superintendent’s Initiative Award recipient.


With one great idea and motivation, Bowlen has initiated many projects for the staff, students, and community at Epps Island directed to address childhood obesity, physical activity, and self-esteem.


“She thinks of solutions,” said Klein ISD Director of Health Services, Laurie Combe. “She knows that for a child to access their education, they have to be healthy and she creates and devises programs to make sure she advances their wellness.


Bowlen received a $25,000 Lead the Spark grant from the Klein ISD Education Foundation in which the school developed and implemented a kinesthetic reading lab. She is recognized as a school nurse expert by the National Association of School Nurses and in 2016 was recognized as one of Houston Chronicle’s top nurses.


“To receive an award for something you feel is just your job, it’s completely an honor,” said Bowlen. 


Debbie McKamie – French Elementary Librarian

“I’m honored that what I do is appreciated,” said McKamie. “But knowing that the teachers on my campus took the time to nominate me is truly an honor.”


McKamie created a garden club, and in its first year, 98 kids signed up. She has since formed two garden clubs with students getting to learn about gardening and help with the school beautification project.


“She symbolizes initiative,” said French Elementary teacher Marla Savoie. “She is always willing to jump in and start something. She is always going full steam ahead.”


As a librarian, she not only works with students but she also spends time collaborating with classroom teachers and campus specialists to enhance literacy by supporting their lessons and activities.


“I’m blessed to be in a district that promotes the library and librarians and the role we play other than checking out books,” said McKamie.


Bob Anderson – Klein Intermediate Principal

“We started thinking about what we could do different,” said Bob Anderson, Klein Intermediate principal.


Under his leadership, Parent University was created to help build and foster relationships with Klein Intermediate parents, caregivers, and the community. The program provides families meaningful ways to learn and grow together as well as engage in partnership with the school for the benefit of students.


“The Klein Intermediate team understands that the parents want to be involved and committed to their child’s education,” said Klein ISD Chief Learning Officer, Jenny McGown. “He has done a brilliant job of creating a bridge so they know how they can be involved.”


The success of this program is a shining example of the district’s shared Promise2Purpose vision that calls for us to know every student by name, strength, and needs as well as to build strategic partnerships that support the success of the whole student.


“Our biggest success was that they are starting to change their perception,” said Anderson. “Our parents are now out there pushing the forward positive message which is how you are going to shift that tide.” 


Christine Jackson – Public Information Officer

“I think I was put in this position for a reason,” said Jackson. “There are other things we at central office can do to support our campuses and everyone in the district.”


Jackson developed a mechanism for district level employees to sign up to volunteer and work at functions in schools when there are limited volunteer resources. It started with volunteering at a school book fair, then opportunities to assist with the Schultz Maker Space event and most recently the McDougle book fair.


“She is amazing,” said Executive Assistant Beverly McGlasson. “She cares about everybody and wants to do what she can to help people.”


Her initiative has opened up the opportunities for volunteers from Klein ISD Central Office, Teaching and Learning Center and the Network Operations Center to support the students and employees in our district.


“This has shown her dedication to helping others,” said McGlasson.


Melissa Aguayo, Michelle Comeaux, Brad Bolner, Amanda Roundtree, Erin Mason, Katherine Escure, Michelle Hackney, Kristin Gaden, Jodi Lea and Christy Stanton – Klein High Best Buddies


Together, this group has organized the Klein High School Best Buddies Club which enhances the lives of students with and without disabilities.


“The Best Buddies Club has been a net experience,” said Klein High School Developmental teacher Melissa Aguayo. “It has helped our kids to feel like they have more social opportunities, more friends, more network and feel like they are a part of everything.”


The club has grown to an officially affiliated chapter of Best Buddies and has more than 100 student members. By hosting events, students with and without disabilities come together to end the social isolation of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


“It’s brought so much into their lives,” said developmental aide Catherin Escure.


“They do so many things together, it’s an awesome thing to see in action,” said Klein High School principal Jessica Haddox. “The understanding and the barriers that have been broken down are truly phenomenal.”

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