Saturdays you won’t find Klein Oak alum Katherine Dodgen relaxing or taking in
a sports event. You can find her hosting strings camps for students at Klein
her junior year, Dodgen began organizing and conducting classes for orchestra
students and providing them free of charge. This endeavor has earned her the
Student Hero Award from the State Board of Education. This inaugural award
recognizes students, in all regions of Texas, who do kind acts that benefit
their classmates or other students in their school district. Only one student
per each of the 15 districts can be recognized.
love of music began the first day of my fifth grade strings class,” said
Dodgen. “I chose to play the cello because it is the stringed instrument that
sounds most like the human voice.”
was this love and passion, as well as Dodgen’s involvement with Girl Scouts
that led her to the idea of providing a beginner strings instruction camp for
low-income students who could not otherwise afford music lessons. Her vision
quickly turned in to the Super Strings Saturday workshops which combined three
of her passions: working with music, orchestra and students.
enlisted the help of her friends and family as well as 50 student volunteers
from the four high school orchestras. In its first year, the workshop had a
total of 93 students. Currently the Klein Intermediate School orchestra has the
highest retention rate and the largest orchestra in the school’s history,
thanks to this program.
parents whose child attended my workshops came up to personally thank me for
what I did. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how much I positively affected
many different students’ lives,” said Dodgen.
its second year, the program increased by 20 students and the program will
continue this fall with the help of students in the Klein Chapter of the Texas
Future Music Educators Club. Most of the students that participated in the
Super Strings Saturday have continued to play in their school’s orchestras and
there has been an overall increase of students in the orchestra program.
“I could not have done this without all of the
students who volunteered, the support of the orchestra community and the Klein
ISD administration,” she said. “My biggest thanks and appreciation goes to Mrs.
Fishburn, Mrs. Arnold and Mr. Gist who were there to help and guide me along
graduated from Klein Oak High School this year and will be attending the
University of Texas at Arlington to pursue a degree in music education. She
plans to be an orchestra director and hopes to find a teaching position at
home, in Klein ISD.
hard to describe what an amazing feeling you get when you put your heart into
doing something for others,” Dodgen said. “I would encourage everyone to share
their passion with others because that is what made a difference in my life.”
the help of the University of Texas Longhorn Startup program, Klein Oak alum
Aseem Ali launched Burpy Inc., a web-based grocery delivery company. This same-day
grocery delivery service will do the shopping for you and deliver your goods to
graduated from Klein Oak High School in 2010 and graduated from the University
of Texas at Austin in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical
engineering. While in college, he did not own or have access to a car and found
it to be a burden to get to the grocery store. After a few discussions with
some friends, Burpy Inc. was built.
first, I hated school,” said Ali. “I felt like I was never able to explore and
learn topics that I wanted, but Klein ISD laid the foundation for my
exploration. I credit a lot of my exploration to the IB Program at Klein Oak.”
graduating college, Ali was accepted to the Techstars Startup Accelerator Program,
which has a less than one percent acceptance rate. He was the youngest entrepreneur
to be accepted. He has also been awarded the 2014 TechFlash Titan of the Future
Nominee by the Austin Business Journal and Burpy Inc. has reached a milestone of
more than 12,000 orders fulfilled.
interested in starting their own business should always ask for help until you
get a no, then ask why,” he said. “There are numerous ups and downs of building
a startup into a real business and you should be prepared to fight through
them,” he added.
Burpy Inc. provides mobile and web applications that are simple and intuitive
but powerfully accurate at connecting customers to the right products. In the
system of shopping the customer can communicate with the shopper as frequently
or as hands-off as they like. Burpy Inc. primarily serves working
professionals, dual income families and the sick and elderly.
think the most important part is to learn and engage with others who have been
successful,” Ali stated. “Stop thinking about it so much and just do it. It’s
never too late.”
more information about Burpy Inc., click here.
Klein ISD Reading Express mobile summer reading program is on the move this
summer and making many stops around the community to share reading fun with
more children read, the better readers they become. Better readers are better
learners. The purpose of the Reading Express is to ensure that all Klein
students have access to library materials and programming throughout the
summer. Don’t miss out on the Reading Express. Click
here for a complete schedule.
ISD has been named a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart
Association. This group of elite awardees is recognized for a strong commitment
to providing a healthy workplace for employees.
this recognition is awarded to employers who champion the health of their
employees and work to create a culture of physical activity and health in the
2008, Klein ISD introduced Kleinwell, a wellness program designed to provide
employees with valuable resources, programs and incentives to help improve their
overall health and well-being. This program is free and is available to all
Klein ISD employees, whether or not they are insured through the district
medical plans. To learn more about Kleinwell, click
Klein ISD teachers were surprised by the KHOU Channel 11 Surprise Squad’s Darby
Douglas and Chita Johnson when they were named recipients of the Elizabeth Brand
Teacher Excellence Award by the Houston Association of Professional Landmen.
The organization teamed up with the Surprise Squad to make the announcements.
Elementary’s Natalie Gibson and Klein Intermediate’s Kerry Boost were both
taken by surprise when they received the news. They are two of only five
Houston area teachers to receive this honor.
Elizabeth Brand Teacher Excellence Award is presented in memory of former
Spring Branch ISD teacher Elizabeth Brand. The annual award, initiated by Brand’s
Husband, honors teachers who display outstanding performance and all-around
to these teachers!
from the Tomball Regional Health Foundation, American Heart Association and
local school district representatives gathered at Tomball High School on May 29,
2015, to take part in the Tomball Regional Health Foundation’s ceremony to donate
123 CPR training kits to Houston-area high schools.
Texas Legislature has mandated that each student in grades 7-12 must receive
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) instruction, including hands-on practice,
at least once prior to graduation. Each training kit costs approximately $650
and will provide an avenue for training using the latest technology.
the generous donation from the Tomball Health Foundation and Train-the-Trainer
workshops provided by the America Heart Association, we will empower Klein ISD
students to be lifesavers,” said Laurie Combe, Klein ISD Health Services Coordinator.
donation includes three kits to each high school, two kits for the Vistas
program, two kits for the Therapeutic Education Program and two kits for the
Alternative Education Program thus totaling nearly $30,000 for Klein ISD.
to Wunderlich Intermediate’s Daya Watkins who was recently named the Seventh Grade
Outstanding Texas History Teacher of the Year by the Daughters of the Republic
of Texas (DRT). She has been an educator for 28 years, 11 of those in Klein.
Watkins was nominated by the New Kentucky Chapter (Tomball/Spring area) of the
DRT and was then selected by DRT District VI to represent the greater Houston
area at the state level. At the annual DRT convention, she spoke to a crowd of
more than 1,000 and even received a standing ovation. She was presented with
the winner’s medallion, a check for $750, and a flag that was flown over the
Alamo in her honor. As part of her award, Wunderlich Intermediate received
$1,000 and a flag that also flew over the Alamo.
Nine Destination Imagination
(DI) teams from Klein ISD recently attended the Global competition in
Knoxville, TN and earned many awards for their efforts.
DI is an organization whose
purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of
innovators and leaders. Their challenge program enables student teams to
compete in categories such as STEM, Improv, Visual Arts, Service Learning and
Early Learning. For more information on Destination Imagination, click here.
Congratulations to all Klein ISD teams for their hard work.
Hunter Melton has been named a National Merit University of
Oklahoma Scholarship winner. This announcement comes as the third release in
2015 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. By the conclusion of this
year’s competition, about 7,600 academic champions will have won nearly $34
million in National Merit Scholarships.
Melton is one of approximately 2,200 winners of National
Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. These awards
provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate
study at the institution financing the scholarship.
Congratulations on this fantastic achievement!