is almost here, and the graduating class of 2016 is ready for commencement
ceremonies, taking place at NRG Stadium. More than 3,000 students are set to
cross the stage on Saturday, June 4, 2016.
times are as follows:
High School – 9 a.m.
Forest High School – noon
Oak High School – 3 p.m.
Collins High School – 6 p.m.
this year, all four ceremonies will be available on a live stream that will be
found at www.kleinisd.net on June 4, 2016. A
splash page will direct website viewers on how to proceed.
family and friends attending the ceremonies, parking is available in the South
Kirby Lot, Kirby Dr. and South Loop 610. Guests will enter through the Amegy
Bank entrance of NRG Stadium. Students will enter to the left of the Amegy Bank
entrance. Guests in wheelchairs will enter through the Amegy Bank entrance and
proceed to the top level which is reserved for persons in wheelchairs and their
parking fee is $12 per car. Students must arrive one hour and 15 minutes prior
to the ceremony.
graduation ceremonies are completed, all students and guests must vacate NRG
Stadium, exiting at the Ford entrance. Please consider making a plan to
meet family members at a specific location outside the stadium. Click here for
a parking map and a map of the facility.
professional photographer, Loyds Photography and Video, will take pictures of the graduates as they receive their
diplomas. Friends and family are not allowed on the floor of the stadium. A DVD
of the ceremony will be available for purchase. For more information on
pricing, please visit your student’s school website.
direct all questions to your student’s campus. Congratulations to the class of
Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) hosted the 14th annual Academic Banquet where
the top ten graduates of the four Klein ISD high schools were honored for their
accomplishments. The winner of the Donald R. Collins Distinguished Educator award
was named. Banquet underwriters were Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott,
LLC., and Campus Kids, LLC. The banquet was sponsored by PBK, Inc., and a special
thanks to Dahill, A Xerox Company, for donating the keepsake programs. The
event was attended by parents, family, faculty, and local business partners who
supported students for their achievements.
keynote speaker was Dayna Hernandez, a Klein High School graduate from the
class of 1991. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at
Austin and a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University. She is the new
principal at Mahaffey Elementary that will be opening in the fall of 2016.
The Academic Banquet allows each student to select a teacher whose influence
has been instrumental to them.
top ten graduates from each campus include:
year, one student from each high school is selected to speak at the banquet. Students
who chose to participate underwent a selection process with their peers and
administrators. The student speakers reminded each other of this special moment
in their lives and what it took to get here.
Speakers were as follows: Ashley
Akin of Klein High, Julieann Nguyen of Klein Forest, Ross Hardin of Klein Oak,
and David Li of Klein Collins.
Jim Laminack, a former teacher and educator in Klein ISD is the 2016 recipient
of the Donald R. Collins Distinguished Educator Award, sponsored by Klein
The KEF was established in 2000, and is designed to provide direction and
support for innovative academic and enrichment projects and staff development
activities for Klein ISD. KEF is a non-profit organization and its mission is
to generate and distribute resources to the Klein ISD to enrich, maintain, and
expand programs needed to meet the district’s stated mission of excellence in
For more information on the KEF click here.
To view pictures from the banquet, click here.
KLEIN, TX – How do you get more than 400 people to keep a secret? By telling them only hours before the big reveal! The 400+ crowd kept quiet about the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Klein ISD superintendent Dr. Jim Cain during the Klein ISD annual staff banquet held on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
Earlier this school year, Dr. Cain announced his plans for retirement effective June 30, 2016. This award recognizes all that Klein ISD’s beloved leader accomplished during his 36 years in the district and total of 47 years in public education.
Dr. Cain is an institution in the district. His Klein career began in 1978, and he has worked in multiple capacities that including: assistant principal, principal, instructional officer for technology, director of school administration, assistant/associate superintendent of school administration and currently as the district’s
“His commitment to the profession of education and to the success of all students is unsurpassed,” stated Klein ISD Board President Steven Smith. “Further, his impeccable character has earned him the utmost respect from the Klein ISD Board of Trustees, the Klein ISD staff and the community at large. He indeed will be missed by all.”
Throughout Dr. Cain’s 12-year tenure as superintendent, the district has experienced significant academic strides. Under his leadership, graduation rates increased and dropout rates decreased. Student performance scores are consistently above state and regional marks on standardized tests and college entrance exams. Fine arts have flourished in the district and Klein ISD is nationally known for its 21st-century culture and push of digital learning.
Growth in the Klein ISD with Dr. Cain at the helm has been exponential. The district grew by more than 13,500 students, 14 new campuses opened, and three bonds totaling more than $1 billion passed to support educational needs.
Dr. Cain is also a proponent of character education, making it a key factor in educating students in the Klein ISD. This goal of producing students with good character led to a partnership with Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Each school in the district is a designated ADL No Place for Hate campus. Dr. Cain also implemented an adult group, the Unite for Understanding Council, which works on bringing together the diverse cultures in the Klein area.
“Whatever the position, Dr. Cain served the district with class, style, character, insight, and foresight,” expressed Judy Rimato, Klein ISD associate superintendent for communications and planning. “He is so very deserving to receive the inaugural Klein ISD Lifetime Achievement Award.”
As hard as it was to keep a secret from the man who has his pulse on everything in the district, Dr. Cain was pleasantly surprised as he accepted his award.
“Well what a nice surprise,” said Dr. Cain. “I so appreciate the support I have had from the Klein ISD Board of Trustees. I can only tell you that it has been a labor of love to serve this school district. I never cease to be impressed by the quality of our teachers, administrators, and support staff, as we continue to work hard and work smart, the girls and boys of Klein ISD will continue to be the beneficiaries. I have enjoyed it every step of the way.”
Click here to view a video
of Dr. Cain accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Krahn Elementary is the recent recipient of the Lowe's Toolbox 4 Education Grant, funded by the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. This organization has supported thousands of grassroots community and school projects.
In an effort to find ways to encourage reading both in and out of the classroom, Krahn applied for a grant in the hopes of creating a whimsical outdoor reading area where students, teachers, and faculty could go to enjoy their silent reading or group reading activities.
It is the hope of Krahn administrators that the Reading Garden will become an area that students will love to visit where they can sit, enjoy the outdoors, and immerse themselves in their books.
year, the district hosts the employees of the year at its annual staff banquet
to celebrate the hard work and dedication of its teachers, administrators,
staff and retirees. This year we recognize the following employees of the
Beth Gilleland has
made big advances in her 28 years with Klein. She has served the last two years
as an instructional officer at the Klein Instructional
Center. Gilleland has lead and supported numerous initiatives
throughout the district. Her primary focus has been intradepartmental support
and collaboration. In response to the state accountability
needs, Gilleland has lead the development of behavioral initiatives
that establish a standard positive behavior approach. In addition, Gilleland
has created a character education hub with more than 70 lessons for elementary
and intermediate school students. She is quick to respond to any challenge.
Gilleland is an asset to the district.
Kirkland has made many contributions to the Klein ISD Police Department in
addition to his daily tasks. He currently runs the "Police Pals" kids
fingerprinting program for the department, facilitates a group
at Kuehnle Elemarty for the Leadership Academy, and is a School
Liaison Officer responsible for fostering positive relationships with students,
parents, and staff. Officer Kirkland recently completed a specialized training
program to assist the district and community in crisis. In his 18 years with
the district, Officer Kirkland has stepped up for volunteer programs without
hesitation and has shown what a team player looks like for both the district
and the community.
driver Billy Young has been with the district for six years and has a perfect
attendance record. He has one of the more challenging bus routes but still
takes on extra assignments when asked. He has built strong relationships with
both students and parents filled with trust and respect. Every student is
greeted with a hug, fist bump or a high-five. Young's former students even
bring their children to meet him and share family news.
have spent 28 years in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator; and
Billy Young has one of the best professional relationships with students that I
have seen," said transportation associate director Steven Ilten.
IT: Chris Cummings,
Will Lang, Chad Greene
a combined 26 years in Klein ISD, team managers Chris Cummings, Server Manager,
Will Lang, Business Information System Administrator, and Chad Greene, Software
Applications Manager, work to support numerous projects and applications
throughout the district. ID management is one of their most recent
team of young men is a prime example of how departments collaborate and work
together for the benefit of the district," said Candace Threadgill,
director of information technology.
Manual Trades: Clint
founding family member, Clint Klenk has been with Klein for 26 years,
working in the maintenance department as a licensed master electrician. One of
his projects is to provide new and updated electrical outlets to all of the
schools. He also helps provide power to the temporary
buildings. Klenk is always willing to work overtime and often
volunteers to assist at football games. He is considered an outstanding
and model employee by his supervisor August Wunderlich.
2016 will mark 15 years of dedicated service for Ms. Pacheco. Pacheco has
worked with six head custodians and has shared her knowledge and training with
fellow custodians. She is always looking for opportunities in and outside her
assigned area of responsibility to improve her campus. "Ms. Pacheco is the
perfect example of the type of employee Klein Plant Operations wants and
expects," Pacheco's supervisor Willie Huggins said.
his three years at Wunderlich Intermediate, Joshua Lawson has dedicated
countless hours both in and out of the classroom. Lawson works on campus in the
PASS program as well as working with students identified under the campus
behavioral RTL program. In addition to his position as a teacher's assistant,
Lawson often volunteers his time as a DJ to support campus and district events
such as Klein Police Department's CSI Night, Wunderlich's OSCAR ceremony,
eighth grade recognitions, and the annual talent show.
Clerical: Connie Green
has dedicated 20 years of service to Klein ISD, particularly Benfer Elementary.
Green is currently the school's financial secretary and secretary to Benfer
principal Katie Steele. She serves on the Benfer leadership committee and
participates in the recently implemented Professional Learning Communities
(PLC) initiatives. In addition to her daily tasks, Green hosts a
"Blanketeers" club every semester. She teaches 48 students to sew and
assists them in making quilts. Once the quilts are complete, they are donated
to Project Linus,which gifts quilts to children in need.
"Blanketeers" is one of the most sought after clubs on campus. Steele
described Green as the backbone of Benfer Elementary due to her organized
manner, warm smile and big heart.
Food Service: Claudia
Flamenco is the manager of food services at Klein Collins High School. She
earned her position in 2014 after being promoted from kitchen manager at
Schultz Elementary. Flamenco leads more than 30 colleagues each day and guides
them to uphold standards and regulations. She was promoted through the training
program quickly because of her natural leadership qualities and hard-working,
positive attitude. Flamenco serves as the secretary for the Klein Association
for School Nutrition (KASN) and volunteers her time on nights, weekends, and
during the summer to serve as a leader for the team.
Superintendent Dr. Jim Cain recognizes employees who have made a significant impact
with programs or services that either enhance student learning or highlight
programs in the Klein ISD. This year’s Superintendent’s Initiative Award
Ron Webster, Executive
Director of School Administration:
has served in many capacities during his tenure with Klein ISD. He has worked
with students in the classroom as a former math teacher and prior to entering
school administration served as the principal at Klein Oak High School. In his
current role he has helped re-write the district’s policies on safety and security
and credits the help of the many committed school administrators. He has implemented
new safety programs to establish a model that involves all campuses and
departments. For the first time, the district received the Texas State School
actions support the priority of the Klein ISD for safety and security for all
students and staff which is directly related to the district’s mission, goals,
and ideals,” said Dr. Jan Marek, associate superintendent of school
David Kimberly, Klein
ISD Police Chief & Christina Haggard, Klein ISD Police Officer:
and Haggard worked together to create the Klein ISD Leadership Academy, a
character education program, where Klein ISD police officers work with campus
counselors and students. The program brings about an innovative means to
educate children not only in character education, but to have one on one
communication with multiple agencies within the Klein ISD framework. The
academy was funded by a grant from the Klein ISD Education Foundation. Haggard
has completed a 40-hour specialized training course. She is committed to
promoting the Leadership Academy.
unique program will align with the district’s strategic plan for character
education and will continue for years,” said Beth Gilleland, instructional officer
for guidance and counseling.
Klein Oak High School
teachers, Daniela Lankford, Lindsay Nalley, Jennifer Schiebel & Tanner
this group has worked to organize the school’s “Books Love Art” program that
showcases student artwork with the school and community. This event is
completely volunteer based and these teachers work hard to make this project
come to life. This year’s event included the art of dance and other visual arts
and featured a muralist who worked at the campus the day of the event. The
event has gained momentum and size each year.
like “Books Love Art” bring together students from multiple disciplines that
may seem quite different,” said Klein Oak principal Dr. Brian Greeney.
“However, whether it’s a sketch drawing, a musical score, dance routine, a
great novel, or a piece of molded clay, these platforms are learning
opportunities for students.”
Center, Dr. Susan Borg, Dr. Angie Anderson & Stephanie Edgar:
considering the next steps in advancing the district, it became apparent the
teacher voice and supportive campus leadership were the key. The Transform
Academy was born: a vision that began with Borg and Anderson and was put into
motion with the expertise and creative efforts of Edgar. Together they have
initiated numerous programs to benefit teachers across the district. The
academy relies upon the collective work of many to encourage the identification
of best practices, outstanding resources, and progressive learning environments
along with the reduction of standardized practices.
type of innovative thinking has led to the beginning of a cultural revolution
in the district that encompasses versatile learning furniture, a variety of
technologies, restructured library spaces, and introduced progressive school
building designs,” said Dr. Mary Rosenberg, executive director of student
Intermediate School teachers, Jared McCoy, Shauna Simonson, Courtney Hornsby, Charlene McDonald & Lisa Owen:
the beginning of the school year, Schindewolf was met with many students in its
developmental classroom with significant disabilities. The extent was well
beyond what the staff could handle on their own. This group of teachers stepped
up to help until additional staff was hired. Each gave extra time including
lunch breaks, and time before and after school to ensure that each of these
children’s needs were met. Each teacher embodies the mission of Klein to
provide a safe and nurturing environment for our students. Once a full staff
was in place, these teachers continued to be regular visitors to the class.
ability to identify a need and act to meet that need demonstrates that they
embrace Klein’s core belief that “leadership is a shared role and
responsibility,” said principal Dr. Curtis Simmons.
Rachel Heallen, Grace
England Early Childhood and Pre-K Center teacher:
has enjoyed working with the special needs children at Grace England since the
campus opened in 2012. Since then she has devoted her time, energy and efforts
to working with her students so that they each have an opportunity to receive a
good education. She is a team player who has applied for grants from local
organizations. To date, she has received more than $23,500 for the staff and
students at Grace England. She has served in additional roles at Grace England
and most recently helped the campus establish its No Place for Hate designation
from the Houston Anti-Defamation League.
a teacher of little people with big needs, she takes on the challenge with
enthusiasm and patience,” said principal Ann Dristas.
Judy Rimato, Associate Superintendent
for Communications & Planning, Cindy Doyle, Director Community Relations
& Education Foundation, and Beth Gilleland, instructional officer for
guidance and counseling:
community was affected by flooding in mid-April and a district-initiated
response was led by Rimato, Doyle and Gilleland that began making a difference
in our community’s lives in a matter of days. They worked tirelessly to open
the Klein ISD Multipurpose Center to coordinate donations and volunteers to
help those in need. For several days, this group made sure that the donation
center was not only open, but operating in an organized fashion to help
everyone in our community.
the need arose, these ladies did not stop working and coordinating until they
knew that every donation was received and until every person in need had been
helped,” said Superintendent Dr. Jim Cain.
a bilingual first-grade teacher, Sanchez recognized the need for parents of
bilingual students to become more involved. After attending a conference, she
worked to crate Schultz’s Parent University to benefit not only the students
and the parents, but the school community as well. This initiative invites
parents of bilingual students to become an active part in the school through
informational sessions in their native language. Sanchez has been instrumental
in the success of this program from the planning and implementation of each
detail. She is also recognized as a hard worker, fiercely dedicated to her
support is essential for the success of a school and the district,” said
Schultz principal Sherri Davenport. “It is imperative that we embrace our
diversity and make all of our stakeholders feel welcome. The Parent University
addresses this need and goal in every aspect.”
he was Superintendent, Bret Champion was another child growing up in
Goldthwaite, TX, a small city located about 100 miles north of Austin. Growing
up in such a small town, Champion was able to compete in football, play in the
band, participate in FFA, and perform in theater. He later attended the
University of Houston where he met his wife, Marcee.
joining Teach For America, Champion taught in Houston ISD, Baton Rouge Parish
and landed in Leander as a theater arts teacher in the early 1990s. Over the
past 23 years he served Leander as a teacher, assistant principal, principal,
executive director, assistant superintendent, and, for the past eight years,
has been the superintendent of the fast-growth district.
and his wife Marcee have two sons, both graduates from Leander High School. The
eldest, Alan, is currently attending the Colorado School of Mines, which is a
public research university devoted to engineering and applied science. The
youngest, Nicholas or “Nico” is attending Trinity University in San Antonio.
are both excited,” said Champion. “Nico, who is interested in education, he
gets it. Although he does have a summer job with the YMCA and he is wondering
where he will live,” he added. “Our family really rallies around each other and
is supportive. Kids are resilient and together we will make the adjustment.”
Champion family enjoys traveling and vacationing together, he describes it as a
time when his family is at its best. They love to go and do. Over the years,
they have taken a host of “nickel-and-dime” trips as he describes them. Driving
tour vacations led them to destinations in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and
Arizona. One of his most memorable trips was in New Mexico where they visited
the Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of Santa Fe. He and Marcee honeymooned
in New Mexico and he said it was an exciting experience to revisit it years
later with their sons. Their sons were extremely thrilled about visiting the
Area 51 Museum as well. They also had the privilege of visiting Europe as a
family as his children were getting older.
and his wife enjoy hiking and camping, and most things outdoors, as well as home
improvement projects. Champion enjoys running and reading and says he’s excited
about his jogs in Houston, because the land is flat so his run times are
faster. They are also very involved in their church and are excited to get
involved in the Klein community.
am the cook in the family,” he said. “It’s a survival technique that if we are
going to eat anything decent, then I cook. Marcee is very capable she would
just rather not cook and I love to do it,” he added.
the years the Champions have owned many pets. Currently, he says his wife has
a cat named Grizzle.
Champion’s biggest concern and fear about getting started in Klein ISD is not
knowing the history. He acknowledges that the school district has a very rich
history, and he has been in Leander for so long he knows the history there. Starting
over and learning all Klein’s deep roots will be challenging but he is excited
philosophy about education is that there is not one right way to do things, and
he believes that is the most challenging thing about the profession.
ISD is in great shape,” he said. “I’m not interested in changing things that
are going great for kids. I want people to recognize that I recognize that good
things are happening.”
vows to work with all stakeholders to gather input, feedback, and thoughts so
that we can all work together to continue making Klein ISD a great place. It’s
important for him that we all continue moving forward.
you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Champion yet, be prepared to smile
and laugh a lot. This is not only part of his philosophy, but his true
personality. The public has the opportunity to meet Dr. Champion at his Welcome
Reception from 4 pm to 6 pm, on June 1, 2016 at the Klein Multipurpose Center.
parents said that since we were poor, having a good education was the only
inheritance they could give me,” Kaiser Elementary teacher Karen Palapar said.
“It’s an inheritance that will secure my future and wherever I go, I will
be able to survive and live a decent life.”
came from humble beginnings. She walked five miles to school every day with the
same pair of shoes on her feet carrying a backpack with minimal school
did not serve as a hindrance to reaching my goals in life. Instead, it
motivated me to persevere in my studies,” Palapar said.
up in a third world country exposed Palapar to political unrest, economic
instability, violence, corruption, and human rights violations.
different forms of injustices were just a few things that made me realize I
cannot just close my eyes and pretend that all of these problems do not exist,”
Palapar said. “With these experiences, a seed ignited a higher calling in my
life, the purpose to serve and make a difference…become a teacher.”
is currently a fifth grade English language arts and social studies teacher at
Kaiser Elementary where she was just named the 2016 Klein ISD Elementary
Teacher of the Year.
that I am a teacher, I know I have a big role to play in the lives of my
students,” Palapar said. “I only have one goal in mind, to make sure that every
student in my class succeeds and achieves their highest potential.”
has been teaching for 10 years, five of those in Klein. She has dedicated her
time to a variety of clubs and organizations which include: Campus
Instructional Development Council (CIDC), Technology Liaison, SCRATCH club,
Writing & Reading Parent Night, Typhoon Yolanda Project, and Destination Imagination, as an appraiser. She
has served as the chairperson for pre-k, kindergarten, first and fourth grades,
as a Professional Learning Committee (PLC) officer, and a district curriculum
writer. Other positions she has held also include Texas Education Agency (TEA)
Panelist-proclamation 2014, gifted and talented (GT) teacher, chess club
sponsor, robotics coach, technology club sponsor, after-school tutor and the
Student Success Initiative.
is not easy to be a teacher, it takes courage, dedication, and determination to
stay in this profession,” Palapar said. “To be recognized in this field, it
requires you to commit your time to work long hours, stay after school, and to
support the district and campus initiatives.”
didn’t expect to win, so I was really surprised,” Palapar said. “There are so
many great teachers in Klein and being chosen as the District Elementary
Teacher of the Year is a great honor and humbling experience.’”
teaching presents its own challenges, Palapar remains dedicated and passionate.
“As teachers of public school students we are expected to accommodate to the
new rigor and ensure that our instructions are highly effective to master state
standards skills,” Palapar said. “However, despite this challenge, a true
educator never quits but instead we rise to the challenge.”
Friday, May 6, we take the time to salute each of our school nurses and all
that they do for our staff and students day in and day out. This year is extra
special as six Klein ISD nurses were selected as part of the top 115 nurses in
the Houston area by the Houston Chronicle.
Brandy Bowlen – Epps
is noted as an exceptional school nurse by providing quality care for the
students in her school. She embraces the precepts of Whole School, Whole
Community, Whole Child. Shortly after she joined Klein ISD in 2010, she was
awarded a National Association of School Nurses SCOPE grant to combat childhood
obesity. The Trim Epps program was also born under her leadership and continues
to this day due to her pursuit of grant
funding. She was most recently involved in the Epps Island team that was
awarded a Lead the Spark! Grant from the Klein ISD Education Foundation for the
development of a Kinesthetic Reading Lab. Bowlen has built a culture of
wellness in her school and the community that engages students, staff and
parents. She has cultivated community partners that support the mission of
health prevention and support of healthy lifestyles.
Susan Chilton – Doerre
is an exceptionally warm and nurturing nurse with a winsome personality. She is
mothering and caring towards both students and staff members, making the whole
Doerre community feel well-cared for. She is thoughtful and checks in on
students and staff beyond the expectations of her job. Being able to help
children and their families through the difficult early adolescent years is her
favorite part of the job as well as enjoying the funny things the students say
Katina Hebert –
has been the nurse at Kreinhop since the day the doors opened. She gives 100%
each day and goes above and beyond the call of duty. She completes her job with
amazing efficiency and heart. She works hard to build positive and trusting
relationships with every student, family and staff member at the school. Her
knowledge, professionalism and willingness to help is simply amazing. In
addition to all the daily expectations of her nursing responsibilities, she
shares her talents with Klein ISD by serving as a mentor to numerous nurses who
are beginning their journey as a school nurse. She also provides multiple
districtwide trainings and courses throughout the school year.
Brenda Hoelscher –
has been the nurse at Krahn, caring for sick or injured students and staff for
the past 12 years. She has been a registered nurse for 27 years, working in
many areas of healthcare. Not only is she the campus medical advisor, she
mentors new school nurses, has developed a school garden club, serves as the
Kleinwell Healthy Living Program wellness ambassador, trains faculty and staff
in CPR, and plans and implements school health fairs.
Ginger Jacob – Klein
has been a nurse at Klein High for more than five years. Prior to working at
Klein High, she was a nurse at Kleb Intermediate. She has also worked as a
nurse in intensive care for many years. With almost 4,000 students, the clinic
at Klein High can be a busy place on a daily basis. Her compassion and care for
the students and staff exemplifies her professionalism in such a demanding
Donna Streeter –
helped open the doors at Schindewolf in 2002 and has been an integral part of
the school, working selflessly to serve the needs of the students and staff.
She continues to exemplify professionalism each and every day, and always has a
kind word and a smile on her face. It is evident that she cares about the
students and staff, not just their health, but also their well-being. In the
past, she was awarded one of the “100 Great Nurses” for her nursing excellence
from the city of New Orleans.
special thank you to each and every one of our nurses!
vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death among teens in the United
States and most are preventable. Unfortunately, the number of motor vehicle
traffic fatalities is on the rise in Texas. One of the most concerning areas in
all of Texas for MVCs is the Greater Houston Area. Within the 25 districts of
the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Houston district (which
encompasses Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery and Waller
counties) accounted for 27% of all Texas crashes in 2014, which is the largest
percentage in the state among the districts. Memorial Hermann “Live Your
DREAMS” program aims to reduce impaired and distracted driving among teens in
the Houston district utilizing funding from TxDOT and Texas Trauma Institute. The
“Live Your DREAMS” program uses strategies to reduce the initiation of teenage
risky behavior, increase parent involvement and encourage peer-to peer
the beginning of the school year Spring Fire Department Fire Fighter Kevin Price,
Memorial Hermann-Texas Trauma Institute educator Sarah Beth Abbott and Klein
Oak High School instructor Jeff Philen discussed the possibility of having
Klein Oak host a Live Your DREAMS program. The three tiered program will
include an awareness event, curriculum and hospital-based prevention.
Wednesday May 18, with strong community support, Klein Oak High School has
organized an additional element to the program a mock-crash to demonstrate the
physical and emotional consequences of driving under the influence or
distracted. The activities throughout the day will reflect upon student’s
choices. Selected students, parents and faculty will travel to Memorial Hermann
– Texas Medical Center for an intensive educational evening. These guests were
selected based upon their role and ability to be a champion to their peers. The
students will reconvene with their peers during an overnight retreat.
Participants and other community advocates will speak on Thursday May 19 during
two assemblies for the junior and senior class that will be hosted prior to the
“Live Your DREAMS” awareness event. The Memorial
Hermann injury prevention champions will join community partners Houston Fire
Department, MADD, Aaron’s Buddies Against Drunk Driving, Spring Fire
Department, Cypress Creek EMS, Harris County Sheriff Office, Klein ISD Police
Department, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Alcoholic Beverage
Commission and Watch UR BAC to bring motor vehicle safety education to the
entire student body of Klein Oak High School. The “Live Your DREAMS” awareness
event is the perfect opportunity to positively engage students with the
Hermann is committed to bringing awareness to our community by working with
collaborative organizations and educating our teens at motivated high schools
such as Klein Oak High School,” said Memorial Hermann-Texas Trauma Institute
educator Sarah Beth Abbott.
conversations sparked and education acquired during this event will reduce the
initiation of these risky behaviors in their community. Our program aims to
enable teens to achieve their dreams as young adults and beyond. Spring Fire
Department FF Kevin Price, Mrs. Cathy Arellano and Mr. Jeff Philen’s support
was essential to the success of the program at Klein Oak.”
Update: On Wednesday, May 18 Klein Oak Lane will be closed for the Live your DREAMS program.
Klein, Texas - “That I was a positive person that thrived on taking negative situations and pulling the good out of them.”
That’s the legacy Klein Oak High School Assistant Principal Lance Alexander wants to leave. Judging by the lives he’s touched and the opinions of his peers, it’s a safe bet to say his legacy is etched in stone.
Mr. Alexander was named the Klein ISD Assistant Principal of the Year for 2015-2016 and will be honored at the annual staff banquet in May.
“My dad told me when I was in college going into education that ‘it’s never about you, it’s all about the kids. And when it becomes about you, then it’s time to get out,’” Mr. Alexander said. “I think it shows in the love I have for these kids that I’ve kept that belief.”
Mr. Alexander, who is wrapping up his fourth year as Assistant Principal at Klein Oak, said he attributes his love for all students to the 11 years he spent teaching special education classes at Klein Forest.
“I taught special education classes for many years before getting into administration,” he said. “I love working with kids with special needs because they don’t have bad days and they really, really treasure positive attention.”
Someone who knows a lot about the positive attention Mr. Alexander shows is his boss, Klein Oak High School Principal Dr. Brian Greeney.
“He cares about people,” Dr. Greeney said. “He makes me want to be a better principal, a better father, and a better man. That’s who he is. When you are around him, you can’t help but want to be better.”
Dr. Greeney said that Mr. Alexander goes out of his way all the time to help students and anyone else in need.
“He has a heart for those who have struggles,” Dr. Greeney said. “He believes in serving first. I have never met a human being who cares as much about other people as he does.”
From placing American flags on the street of a Klein Oak graduate who died in combat, to meeting with a grieving father once a week just to talk, to organizing a letter-writing campaign to a heartbroken family, Mr. Alexander embodies sacrificial love.
“All of us put students first, that’s what makes educators special,” Dr. Greeney said. “Mr. Alexander sacrifices. It is not about what is good for him. He doesn’t do anything because it's good for him. He always puts himself second.”
Dr. Greeney said that it's Mr. Alexander's “others-first mentality” that makes him so effective as an educator and a leader.
“Mr. Alexander cares about others. That’s something that we should all strive to do.”
Congratulations to Mr. Alexander on this great honor.
KLEIN, TX – “I said I was going to transact my business of teaching very differently,” stated Klein Oak biology teacher Albert Kisangi. “I took my summer break to do a lot of intense reading and to reflect on how I was going to conduct my learning environment.”
His summer reflection has created a great return on investment as he is now the 2016 Klein ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.
As a lifelong learner, Kisangi practices what he instills in students. He received his kindergarten through 12th-grade education in the rural areas of Kenya and an undergraduate degree from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. He completed his graduate work in Japan. He is now a veteran teacher with 16 years in the classroom, the last seven at Klein Oak High School where he teaches on-level and pre-AP courses.
During that summer break, Kisangi asked himself what he could change in the teaching/learning environment. He also asked himself what were the one or two things that he could do that did not require any resources. This thought process led to the creation of a learning environment that goes by the moniker of 2G2R.
“I came to the conclusion that there were four things I was going to pursue this year,” he said. “One is growth mindset, try to shift the thinking of my students from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. And secondly, grit. And then I said much as these things are important, the only way you will be able to support them is to create a rigorous learning environment that makes learning relevant to the kids. I want the kids to embrace this.”
He believes that combining these four elements, growth mindset, grit, rigor, and relevance, assist his students in learning and achieving at a higher cognitive level. Dr. Brian Greeney, Klein Oak principal, stated that Kisangi even has a Twitter handle, @2G2Rclassroom, that outlines his four tenets.
“Twitter is where he communicates his thoughts about 2G2R and those of experts,” said Greeney. “Mr. Kisangi values academic conversation. His goal is to deliver engaging instruction continuously, create opportunities that are rich, meaningful, challenging and relevant to the learner. I will tell you that this is something that is more than just a goal, it is something he does every single day.”
This year for Kisangi is one that has left an indelible mark on his life.
“It means a lot to me,” he expressed. “I think this is a remarkable year. This experience is going to be engraved in my mind and my heart for the rest of my life.”
Lemmon is not only a great leader but also a role model whose expertise is
invaluable to those around him. It’s this type of influence that earned Lemmon
the 2016 Klein ISD Substitute of the Year award.
previously served the district as an associate superintendent. For the past 12
years, he has dedicated his time to helping our staff and students. His
experience has made him an invaluable resource in responding to the variety of
responsibilities a substitute encounters.
a substitute, Lemmon works closely with campus leadership and collaborates with
administrative teams to achieve goals. His day is spent covering a variety of
areas including instruction, discipline, parent conferences, campus events, ARD
meetings and more. Character education is a focus of his day as he builds
relationships with students and encourages young children to make good choices
in their lives.
is committed to Klein ISD and provides help whenever he is needed, even if that
means rearranging his personal schedule, many times on short notice. He is
thoughtful, caring and flexible and willingly accepts every challenge.
has substituted in all grade levels, in all administrative capacities, and
continuously exhibits initiative and enthusiasm in every assignment. Those who have
had the privilege to work with him have a great deal of respect for Lemmon and
for these reasons, he has earned this great award.