Klein News
Another Successful Paint the Community with Peace Week
Feb 26 2016 - 04:15:00 pm

2016 Paint the Community with Peace Week

Schools, businesses, and the community pulled together to make Paint the Community with Peace Week one of the most exciting ever.


Paint the Community with Peace Week is sponsored by the Unite for Understanding Council, a community-wide council consisting of representatives from Klein ISD schools, community leaders, social service organizations, and parents. The council works to promote environments that will help students feel safe, comfortable, accepted, and connected. This week is one of many events the council takes part in to engage cross-community input to benefit our students and community members. 


This year, three Klein ISD schools had the privilege of sharing Paint the Community with Peace Week with local chalk artist, Carol Wells, who volunteered her time to share her artwork. Wells is a Klein High School graduate who received her art degree from the University of Houston. She worked as a graphic artist for 20 years and then eventually began her own business of painting watercolor pet portraits. She started street chalk art in 2010 and her work has been featured at Houston Via Colori, CreekFest, and Wunderlich Farm.


Wells shared a community-themed piece at Klein High School, where she graduated in 1976. This chalk art included the four Klein high school’s mascots, and shared the peace in our community. She visited Hassler Elementary and Greenwood Forest Elementary where she was able to share her art with students. Groups of students joined Wells while she chalked and were encouraged to ask questions.


“It truly was a joy to be able to share my work with the students and staff,” said Wells. “It was easy for me to participate in Paint the Community with Peace Week and to be able to work with the students made it all worthwhile.”


The Unite for Understanding Council also created theme days for students and the community to participate and share their peace with others. Activities across the district that included chalk art, pinwheels for peace and at Klein and Klein Forest High Schools, hearts were placed around each of the campuses to show love for every student enrolled. Using a Storify account, viewers had the opportunity to see all of the activities taking place across the district in real time. The district encouraged people to participate and share their photos using #KleinPaintsPeace.


Videos were posted on district social media pages including Roth Elementary student Kirstyn Jackson and the Klein Collins Food Pantry Club members. These students have helped share peace in the community year-round by raising money for foster kids, and providing food and other items to those in need. Click here to view the student videos.


A photo album of the week’s events is available at the following link and for more information about Paint the Community with Peace Week, click here.

Klein Oak Student Leads Effort to Build School in the Dominican Republic
Feb 19 2016 - 01:25:00 pm

Hunter Kolon, senior at Klein Oak High School and founder of Misión Comodidad de Tejas, Inc., dba Mission Comfort, has successfully raised $10,000 to build a one-room school in a Batey in the La Romana area of the Dominican Republic. The school is to be built this year in Batey Como Quiera and will educate students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Through fundraising events, private donations, Klein Oak High School, Klein ISD, and District VII Texas Association of Student Councils, Kolon’s vision of  “Schools Building Schools" is now reached. In addition to funds for the school, District VII TASC collected several hundred pounds of school supplies for the students at the new school.


“Knowledge is so powerful, and for these kids it can be the difference between the Bateys and a lifetime of poverty, or an escape to a better life,” said Kolon.


Through her charity, Kolon’s Mission Comfort Team has provided donations of clothing and shoes to Houtston Children’s Charity Children’s Closet and the Lord of the Streets, and sponsored an underprivileged child in the Dominican Republic. Mission Comfort raised funds to provide 15 water filters installed in the Bateys, and has provided shipping costs for over 1,300 pounds of comfort items to the people of Bateys. This summer, Kolon will return for her fourth mission trip to the Dominican Republic.


Kolon wants to thank all who have made donations to her charity. Mission Comfort is a Texas non-profit and 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 

Student Artwork on Display at State Capitol as Part of Youth Art Month
Feb 19 2016 - 01:21:00 pm
Youth Art Month is a month dedicated to promoting art and education in the United States. The program helps emphasize the value of art education for all children, encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety.   The National Art Education Association hosts several events each year for Youth Art Month to showcase the work of students, including the Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit at the state Capitol in Austin. One hundred pieces of artwork selected from districts across the state will be on display Feb. 29 – March 5, 2016, in the lower rotunda of the Capitol. Congratulations to four Klein ISD students.

Valeria Gonzalez        3rd grade                        Schultz Elementary
Eric Rangel                       4th grade                        Frank Elementary
Caroline Knight                 8th grade                        Strack Intermediate
Megan Lipps                    12th grade              Klein Oak High School  

Click here to view a photo album of the student’s artwork.
Zwink Community Rallies to Support Down Syndrome
Feb 19 2016 - 01:17:00 pm

The Zwink Destination Imagination (DI) team, led by Kelsey Leon, conducted a community event to help raise money and awareness for developmental classrooms at the school. Students from the DI team made posters to help advertise for the event. They also included the fundraiser in the morning announcements where they invited the school to join them for games, lemonade, and making new friends.


Alejandra Lima, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Houston, spoke with guests about characteristics of those with Down Syndrome. She shared information about the Houston Buddy Walk, benefiting the Down Syndrome Association, that takes place each year in Houston. Check out this video highlight of the evening:

Vistas High School Program wins award for excellence in Texas School Health
Feb 18 2016 - 03:32:00 pm

Students from left to right: Julie Strake, Haylee McNutt and Cysco Figueroa

The Green Team from Vistas High School program was awarded the 2015 Award for Excellence in Texas School Health by The Texas Department of State Health Services for developing a school vegetable garden that complements the curriculum and instruction provided in the Physical Education, Health, Leadership, Science and Art classes. The team was implemented and coordinated by Daree Stracke MSN, R.N. and Ann Todaro, MN, R.N. The Green Team is a part of the wellness program called “Fit Friday” which provides education and hands-on activities related to all aspects of health and wellness. 

Klein Forest Eagle Scout Donates Alternative Energy Model Home
Feb 18 2016 - 03:19:00 pm

Klein Forest senior and Eagle Scout Daremas Bell worked with Klenk Elementary science lab teacher, Michelle Bennett, to create an alternative energy model home for his Eagle Scout Project. Bell began his journey into Boy Scouts in second grade at Klenk and wanted to find a way to give back. Bennett, who was Bell’s 4th-grade science teacher, saw the project before its presentation to Klenk and was impressed with the results. “The home is amazing! Daremas put so much thought and detail into every part of it. I am so impressed! He did a great job! This [house] is way more than I could have ever imagined.”

The alternative energy home is a scale model structure with skylights and LED lights both of which are powered by the home’s mini solar panel. The ceiling fans were made by hand with propellers from toy helicopters. The propellers were attached to a mini-motor. A windmill was designed out of PVC pipe, and toy helicopter propellers were also attached to a motor which is powered by a solar panel. The water pump was a small prototype was created to show how water can be pumped using a motor which is powered by solar energy. The home was then mounted to plywood covered with turf which was mounted to a mobile tow cart to make it easy to move in and out of the building. Bell along with his parents will present Klenk Elementary with the home this month. 
Through Your Eyes Celebrates Diversity
Feb 17 2016 - 11:18:00 am
Event and guest speaker inspire the community

Through Your Eyes 2016 
Klein ISD Superintendent Dr. Jim Cain has stated that diversity is the strength of the Klein ISD community. The Through Your Eyes (TYE) celebration is an indicator of the validity of this statement. In its fifth year, TYE was held on Feb. 11, 2016, at the Klein ISD Multipurpose Center, and more than 400 community members attended the event.

TYE event isa partnership between the Unite for Understanding Council and Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF). The night is an opportunity to honor volunteers in the community, student achievement, and celebrate the diversity in the Klein area. This celebration recognizes the 2015-16 Touch the Future honorees and the Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) TYE student multimedia contest winners. This year’s event culminated with an inspirational speech by Klein Collins graduate Sanah Jivani.

“The Foundation enjoys a terrific partnership with Klein ISD,” said Klein ISD Education Foundation president Ray Stanley. “We owe much of our success to this critical relationship as we work hand in hand to support education for Klein ISD students. The Through Your Eyes Multimedia Awards and the Touch the Future celebration is a prime example of the power of our partnership and what we can achieve together.”

The multimedia awards contest offers students an opportunity to enter electronic work that demonstrates a character education prompt taught within the district.

Klein Forest student, Ezinne Iwuanyanwu earned first place in her division. She enjoyed the competition and creating her video about cyberbullying.

“Most people think cyberbullying isn’t an issue,” said Iwuanyanwu. “Why should other people have to get offline just because someone is doing something to make them feel bad, so that’s why I decided to do my video. This was a good experience, and I will compete again next year!”

Congratulations to the following students:

Touch the Future recipients are individuals or organizations who volunteer at a school(s) and have made an impact. Honorees are selected within each high school feeder pattern.

Anointed Faith Family Church received an award for their partnership with Bernshausen Elementary. Pastors Kenny and Brenda Rogers are retired Klein ISD educators and now full-time ministry leaders.

“Every child has a gift, and someone has to help find that gift,” stated Pastor Brenda Rogers. “We have several mentoring groups and we strive to be here for the community.”

“We want to be effective in the community,” expressed Pastor Kenny Rogers. “We were amazed and honored that the district wanted to recognize our work in such a wonderful manner.”

The 2016 Touch the Future inductees included:

The Klein ISD Unite for Understanding Council was instrumental in having Jivanni speak at the event. Jivani graduated in 2015 and is the founder of the Love Your Natural Self Foundation, which hosts International Natural Day. Jivani was diagnosed with Alopecia and lost her hair completely in the seventh grade. She struggled with wigs, bullying, self-harm and self-hate for years. During the event she talked about how she was able to overcome this challenge and love herself. Her message to the community was of hope as she reflected back on her experience.

“Everyone has something they are hiding,” she said. “I used my wig. Once we realize that we are human and open up, then we realize that we don’t have to be alone. I believe everyone can make a difference and everyone can make a change. If you are going through something, I want you to realize when you look back in retrospect that everything is going to be okay.”

To view photos from the event, click here. To view winning student videos, click here.
47th annual FFA Livestock Show and Project Show Results
Feb 15 2016 - 03:00:00 pm
Hard work and dedication earn students recognition at this year’s event

2016 FFA Livestock & Project Show
Daily feedings, walking and grooming sessions, and weekend nurturing times are just a few of the things Klein ISD FFA students did to prepare their livestock before the big show.

“I went twice a day; you bathe them, feed them, get them used to you,” said Klein Oak senior and FFA student, Peyton Farmer. “You have got to keep track of their weight and watch what they eat. Winning made me feel pretty good about myself and the work that I put into caring for him.”

Farmer’s steer was named the Grand Champion Steer this year.

The 47th annual Livestock and Project Show held at the beginning of the month, was the biggest to date. This year, 415 students exhibited 687 projects. The show proceeds totaled $404,072, making this year’s event the second highest grossing show in Klein ISD FFA show history.

“The show and auction are both fascinating to watch every year and this year was especially dynamic,” said Deborah Bronner-Westerduin, Klein ISD assistant director of Career and Technical Education (CTE). “It is great to see the pride students have in their projects whether livestock, science fair, horticulture, or floral design.”

Students showcased animals in categories such as poultry, swine, breeding rabbits, heifers, goats, lambs, and also displayed projects for the horticulture show, ag mechanics show, and the floral design competitions.

“This is my first year, and I got first place in my division,” exclaimed Klein High FFA student Yuneicy Aguirre. “I’m excited and really proud of my bunny.”

Klein Oak sophomore, Reed Darbonne earned first place in his division this year for broilers and continues to be appreciative of the FFA atmosphere.

“It feels amazing because I won second place last year,” he said. “FFA is just fun a lot fun. Showing rabbits is a great experience. The people are fun, and I love the teachers.”

Bronner-Westerduin said that many students who are enrolled in the Klein ISD Agriscience program might have little or no agriculture experience.

“The program is designed so that students learn specific content knowledge from the variety of courses offered and soft skills, such as leadership and perseverance, through participation in the FFA,” said Bronner-Westerduin. Academic, technical and soft skills are the emphasis in all Klein ISD CTE Programs.”

Congratulations to Klein ISD students who were named Grand Champions:

Science Sandbox Brings Learning to Life
Feb 11 2016 - 09:29:00 am

Topography is defined as the arrangement of  natural and artificial and physical features of an area. Think about the topography of the island. In the Klein ISD, the study of topography is taking place in classrooms, and currently, students at Klein Forest have a new technology that is bringing this learning to life.


Klein Forest science teacher, Alvin Moses has brought a new technology into his classroom that allows his senior level earth and space science students to enjoy a state-of-the-art, hands-on learning experience through a sandbox. Using an Augmented Reality (AR) sandbox, students interact with a miniature landscape sculpting mountains, valleys, rivers and even volcanoes.


“A friend of mine had seen videos of the AR sandbox and asked if it would be cool to use in my classroom,” said Moses. “I of course said yes, and so we started building one. After four nights of constructing, we had our box up and running.”


The Science Sandbox is a real-life sandbox that uses an Xbox and LCD projector. The surface levels of the sand are monitored using an Xbox connect, connected to a computer and an LCD projector. The software then draws a new map that is projected onto the sands surface. As the student guides and moves the sand, the map changes instantly. This technology offers the ability to simulate water so that students can learn about watershed and water flow across terrains.


“Students love the Science Sandbox because of the interactivity,” he said. “There is nothing better than hands-on learning in science, and that is what this technology is all about.”

Check out this interesting video about UCLA’s Augmented Reality Sandbox by clicking here.
Long-time Klein Resident Starts 3 T’s Give Back Project
Feb 05 2016 - 01:36:00 pm

Susan Huff has lived in the Klein community for 30 years, and her two daughters are Klein Oak graduates. She also has worked and served in the community. It was while serving others as part of a Girl Scout troop that she created a new project to give back to Klein ISD students. She calls it the 3 T’s.


Huff says that this project started as a discussion on ways to give back to the local community and that it has grown exponentially in only three years. She spent years as a Girl Scout leader and has worked with organizations all over Houston and surrounding areas, but the girls in her group always wanted to give back to their Klein area.


“While working with our most current Girl Scout group, my girls always bring up about how to help locally,” she says. “They even want to know ways they can help their friends and peers.”


The holidays are always a good time to give to others, and Huff started doing research on how to help the Klein ISD. In her first year, she worked with the counselor at Mittelst?dt Elementary, who acknowledged that they had students with real needs during the holidays. Huff wanted to focus the project on more than just giving back so in talking with the counselor she created the 3 T’s project. The three T’s stand for a top, toy and toiletries. The goal of the project was to provide students with an item to suffice a top such as a jacket or sweatshirt, a toy for their age and gender,  and toiletries since some children don’t get toothbrushes or hairbrushes.


“I called the counselor to let her know my idea, and not only did she love it, but she put her faith in me that I would come through for her,” said Huff. “My family, co-workers, business associates and the Girl Scout community pulled together and in our first year, we provided 58 bags for students in need at Mittelst?dt.”


After the success of the first year, Huff was approached about continuing the project. With the help of the Girl Scout community, friends and colleagues, she is now able to provide 3 T’s bags for 21 of the 30 Klein ISD elementary schools.


“Whether the need was for three bags or more than 50, we took on the task of making sure to fill requests for the elementary students,” she said. “We have even begun filling requests for family members as well.”


The 3 T’s project has completed its third year and has delivered more than 850 bags to Klein ISD students. Bags are now provided to baby and preschool siblings of Klein ISD elementary school students.


“This project is dear to my heart and many others,” says Huff. “We will continue to go forward with this project as long as Klein ISD elementary students need this project. Thank you to all who have inquired and commented about this project and bless all who are part of this big blessing.”

Forty-eight Klein ISD students sign letter of intent
Feb 03 2016 - 04:19:00 pm
KOHS Signing Day23163 

KLEIN, TX – “I want to thank my parents and family for all their support both on and off the court,” said Rexesha Hollis, Klein Collins senior and basketball player. “I would like to thank my Klein Collins family, teammates, teachers, administrators, and coaches for helping me get to this level and developing me to be able to get to the next level. I send a very special thanks to all of my teammates who have helped me to be the player I am today.”

It’s a day that student athletes envision as they head into their senior year. With guidance from their parents and Klein ISD coaching staff, they have made a final decision that directly affects the next four years of their young lives. It’s National Letter of Intent Day. Today, Klein ISD had 48 student-athletes to participate.

District athletes are thankful and excited about continuing academics and sports at a higher level. Klein High student-athlete Wesley Black is headed to Prairie A&M Texas next year on a football scholarship.

“Being able to continue playing the game I love on the collegiate level is nothing but a dream come true,” expressed Black. “I want to thank God first and foremost with blessing me with the talent and ability to play this game. I want to thank my coaching staff for taking a chance with me as well as my current and past teammates.”

This day marks the initial signing period for football, cross country, field hockey, soccer, track & field and water polo; however, several athletes took advantage of the early signing period back on Nov. 11, 2015. High schools in the Klein ISD celebrate the accomplishments of these student-athletes in the spring during special ceremonies on their respective campuses.

Klein Oak senior football player, Ryan McCollum has dreamed about this day since childhood. This fall, he will attend Texas A&M.

"It means the world to me,” he stated. “I've dreamed of playing college football since little league. I now get the opportunity to be part of a team in the top conference in college football while getting an education from one of the finest schools in the country. It's the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm truly blessed to have it."

Congratulations to the following students (please click the picture below):

 Below is a map featuring which colleges and universities Klein ISD student athletes will attend next year.

Luncheon Provides District Updates to Local Housing Stakeholders
Feb 02 2016 - 09:32:00 am

The growth taking place in our community is evident and with the passing of Bond 2015 and the opening of the Grand Parkway, the area is set to continue to see signs of expansion. At the Building Blocks in Klein luncheon, informational updates are provided to those who work with this growth each and every day including realtors, home builders, and other community members.


“This luncheon provides the perfect opportunity to share current district information with those that naturally tell the story via their business – realtors, home builders, and those involved with the financial aspects of the home business,” said Klein ISD Education Foundation director Cindy Doyle.


On a daily basis, these business partners work with clients who are interested in the area and can share with them the things taking place in the school district. At the luncheon, attendees have the opportunity to ask questions and share comments directly with Klein ISD Superintendent Dr. Jim Cain.


“We want people to view Klein as a destination district, and this group of business partners meet daily with potential residents,” said Klein ISD Superintendent Dr. Jim Cain. “They work each day in providing information and resources to those who are new to our area, and this luncheon allows them to come together and meet with the district and take away first-hand information to share with their clients.”


In its ninth year, the luncheon continues to prove to be a success. In recent years, the luncheon has been held at the Klein ISD Multipurpose Center which provides attendees the opportunity to visit a Klein ISD facility that is also open to the public.


“We are truly fortunate to have Jason Hazel with Carrabba’s Italian Grill Champions providing a wonderful lunch

 again this year,” said Doyle. “His continued commitment and support of the district and education foundation are greatly appreciated,” she added.


Carrabba’s takes pride in being an active part of the Klein community. They are passionate about education and have seen the work that the Education Foundation does for the students and teachers in Klein ISD. They choose to play an active part in giving back as well.


“It is important for Carrabba’s to be involved not only with the Building Blocks in Klein luncheon but with the KEF as well because we are a part of the community,” said manager Jason Hazel. “Our children go to Klein schools, our employees come from Klein schools, our guests live in the Klein area, and their kids go to the schools. By doing our part to keep our schools and neighborhoods at a high level of quality, we will continue to attract new businesses and homeowners.”

Students Earn Scholastic Art Awards
Feb 02 2016 - 09:25:00 am
Each year the Harris County Department of Education hosts the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the largest and most prestigious recognition program and source of scholarships for creative teens in the U.S. Students submit entries each fall and artwork is awarded a Gold Key, Silver Key, or Honorable Mention. Gold Key winners go on to compete at the national level. Congratulations to this year’s winners from Klein ISD! Click here to see a list of the Scholastic art winners and click here for a list of the writing winners.
Students in Pilot Robotics Program Win Big
Feb 02 2016 - 09:25:00 am

This year, the First Tech Challenge robotics competition was introduced in Klein ISD.  This pilot UIL program allows students to design and code robots and compete against other teams across the state. In addition, students form alliances with other teams and are taught how to appropriately collaborate with their local STEM communities in a competition setting.


In its inaugural season, the Hildebrandt robotics team, Team Schmitty, coached by Hildebrandt teacher, Michelle McClendon, won first place in its very first meet. The team also received the third place Connect Award in the league championship meet. This award is given to the team that most connects with their local science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) community. This team has a clear business or strategic plan and has identified steps to achieve their goals. Congratulations to these students and coach McClendon.

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