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Engineering Dreams

Making a Difference

Competition Pages 7

Student’s Thank You Pages 4-5

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“Invest in your future.” Volume 3 Number 4 May 2011


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Mentorship Page 3


Helping to Build Soft Skills at Sterling High School Lisa Williams Stillwell


he Career and Technical Education Department at Sterling High School hosted a two-day conference on successful character building for its students. The conference was coordinated by Lisa Williams Stillwell and other members of the CTE faculty. Leviticus Williams, principal, felt that this was important enough that the entire student body should be covered. Mr. Williams’ goal for his campus is to empower, encourage, inspire and equip his students with the necessary soft skills to realize their dreams for becoming successful. Students and adults in a school must think about the kind of character they want to possess and work on developing it themselves. Good character is the key to self-respect, to earning the respect of others, to positive relationships, to a sense of fulfillment, to achievements you can be proud of, to a happy marriage, to success in every area of life. Many students learn by example, therefore, providing effective role models and examples of success become A message from our Director

Rosena Garcia, Director

critical. Two sessions were offered to the students during the conference; “The Man in You” for the male student body and “The Woman in You” for the female student body. These programs were focused on tools to prepare the students to meet the demands of the real world through the introduction of business and community leaders and giving them pertinent information on the technical, academic, communication, human relations, and employability skills necessary for success. Over sixty special guests and volunteers participated; including HISD Board of Education President Paula

As we come to the close of a very successful school year, I would like to celebrate the diligent work and programmatic gains our students and teachers have achieved. I am delighted with the continued successes and improvements in all of our programs. Additionally, our students have attained more than 10,000 industry certifications for the year; more than triple last

Harris, Clyde Drexler (former Houston Rockets player and Sterling graduate), Dr. Jonita Reynolds, and Constable Victor Trevino. Other special guests included representatives from the FBI, Comerica Bank, The Hobby Center, Houston Community College, Men’s Wearhouse, Baytown Ford, Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, JaPre’ Cosmetics, Money Management International, JP Morgan Chase, Compass Bank, Houston Area Urban League, Radio One KMJQ, Purpose with a Passion, Sterling High School graduates, and a host of other businesses.

year’s number on a fast rising trajectory. We are proud to recognize our outstanding teachers who exemplify excellence in their profession. You are making a difference each and every day that you enter the classroom and we would like to highlight the importance of your contributions to our students and our community.

Continued on back page

My staff and I would like to thank each of you for rising to the challenge in preparing our students for workforce opportunities and college readiness. You have made a major impact in the lives of many Houstonians! We are very proud of you!!

2011 Board of Education

Inside This Issue… Contents Building Soft Skills at Sterling Page 1 DeBakey Wins at HOSA Page 2

Paula M. Harris, President Manuel Rodríguez Jr., First Vice President Anna Eastman, Second Vice President Carol Mims Galloway, Secretary Michael L. Lunceford, Assistant Secretary Lawrence Marshall Greg Meyers Harvin C. Moore Juliet K. Stipeche Terry B. Grier, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Engineering Dreams At Chavez Page 3 First Place at FAA Livestock Page 3 Making a Difference in the Lives of Students Page 4 Creative Talent at Reagan High Page 6 Student Competition Results Page 7 Gold Medal Winner Page 7 Getting Your First Job Workshop! Page 8

CTEHonorRoll A newsletter of the Career and Technical Education Department

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Editor: Rufus Chaney Contact: 713-556-6994 email:

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The HISD Board of Education officers for 2011 are (L-R): Assistant Secretary Michael Lunceford, Secretary Carol Mims Galloway, President Paula M. Harris, Second Vice President Anna Eastman, and First Vice President Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board members not pictured are: Lawrence Marshall, Greg Meyers, Harvin C. Moore, and Juliet K. Stipeche.

DeBakey Wins at HOSA State Conference


OSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in HSE programs. It is a national student organization whose goal is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. This year Debakey High School for Health Professions had two hundred

students who attended the spring area HOSA conference, while there were 44 on-line-only test takers. One hundred and three students were able to advance to state. From the state competition results, DeBakey had thirty amazing students who were able to advance on to the HOSA National conference in Anaheim, California.

Engineering Dreams At Chavez High School


tudents from Chavez High School Academy of Engineering participated in Rice University’s DREAM Mentoring Program for 8 weeks during the spring semester. The students included in the program were from James Moore’s Project Lead The Way engineering courses of Digital Electronics (DE) and Introduction to Engineering Design (IED). Engineering students from Rice University acted as mentors and assigned a task to build and test a cantilever. A cantilever is a device that supports a vertical weight at one end and is only supported at the other end (walk outs over a canyon, diving board etc.). The focus of the project was to learn about the strength of materials and how stress and tension is applied based on the design structure. The design competition was held at Rice University on April 14, 2011. The students enjoyed a fun day which included lectures on physics, steps on how to get into college, and financial aid just to name a few. The DREAM program sends a team of Rice STEM undergraduates to

From left to right: Oscar Guevara, Cristian Rosas-Soto, Rice Mentor and Jose DeLeon

mentor and teach students in Houston cantilever structure supported 33 area high schools to encourage them to pounds. pursue college degrees in STEM fields. Groups of 2-3 mentees meet with their mentor either after or during school every week for 6-8 weeks. Teams test and iterate on their designs leading up to the competition, which is held on the Rice University campus. The challenge is to perform some task and optimize the results. The winning design was from Team Five of Digital Electronic which included Oscar Guevara, Cristian Students building the cantilever Rosas-Soto, and Jose DeLeon; their

First Place at District FAA Livestock Ryan Cummins

Team member: Oscar Abrego, Jeremy Garcia, Segundo Abrego, and Richard Chapman, with Ryan Cummins


he Chavez FFA Livestock Judging Team earned 1st place by a whopping 119 points in District Competition at Texas A&M on April 9. This is the first year that Chavez has had a Livestock Judging Team to enter the competitions. Coach Cummins says this about Saturday’s accomplishments: “I couldn’t have scripted a better outcome for a more talented group of students. They proved that effort and trying can overcome any possible obstacle and in their case the

obstacle was lack of experience against their competition. However, they raised the bar for the FFA program at Chavez High School on Saturday by only missing becoming [sic] a State Qualifying team by 15 points. This team was by far one of the best Career Development Event teams I have ever trained and I’m really elated with their success on such a big level. District Champions in their first year, not too bad. “

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Making a Difference in the Lives of Students A Student’s Gratitude and Praise of His Teacher


ilfred Stewart teaches engineering and architectural design at Barbara Jordan High for Careers. He has been teaching at Jordan High School for 19 years and began teaching after retiring from Baker Hughes as a Manufacturing Engineer. Stewart recently received a letter from a former student with news of his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Fernando Chavez is graduating this May with a Civil Engineering Degree from the military academy and he has taken the opportunity to thank Mr. Stewart for the impact that he has had on the student’s life. While a student a Jordan High School, Chavez was enrolled in a coherent sequence of CTE course work in engineering and earned dual-credit hours from Houston Community College at the same time. Stewart’s teaching and guidance has helped set Fernano on a course for success and achieving his goals. I’m sure that you can remember the teachers that have made a difference in your life. It is amazing how many teachers each person encounters in one lifetime. I remember my high school math teacher; he had profound influence on my self-esteem, my way of learning, and my career choices. When I recently went back for a reunion, I was disappointed to learn that he had passed away and I never took the opportunity to tell him how much he had touched my life.

• 88 percent of Americans say they had a teacher who had a “significant, positive impact” on their life, and 98 percent of those surveyed believe that a good teacher can change the course of a student’s life. • 87 percent of respondents said they wish they had told their best teachers how much they appreciated their efforts.

Many Feel Teachers Deserve More Recognition. At the same time, there is general acknowledgment that the public has not done enough to recognize good teachers. Overall, teachers are perceived as receiving less gratitude than

Teachers Can Change Lives

The survey, conducted by the ING Foundation, found that people believe that teachers help in many ways. Among the vast majority of Americans who said they had a teacher or teachers who had a “significant, positive impact” on their life growing up, 83 percent said they had a teacher who helped build their confidence and self-esteem, 79 percent had a teacher who encouraged them to pursue their dreams, 75 percent said a teacher served as a mentor or role model, and 54 percent said that a teacher helped them through a tough time. “As our research shows, effective teachers can have a significant influence on their students’ lives, yet their efforts are generally underappreciated,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president of ING’s Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. “It’s an unbelievable testament to the profession that Americans so resoundingly believe in a teacher’s ability to Survey Reveals The Positive Impact transform lives,” said Mims. “Whether Teachers Have On Students’ Lives sending students down a path they hadn’t considered or simply ensuring Next to immediate family, teach- them they are ready for the road ahead, ers have the most impact on people’s a teacher’s impact can be profound and lives as they grow up. That’s just one enduring.” of the key findings of a recent national An overwhelming 93 percent of survey of Americans’ attitudes toward those surveyed agree that teaching is teachers. a noble profession, and 89 percent beThe survey also found that: lieve teachers have a “really hard job.” 4  CTEHonorRoll | May 2011

Wilfred Stewart at an Engineering workshop hosted by Rice University

2011 Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer and President Obama

other “helping professionals,” including doctors, nurses, social workers and clergy. The vast majority of Americans (94 percent) acknowledge that we need to do more to recognize our teachers.

Wilfred Stewart and students from the senior Engineering Design Class that developed a remote control camera for NASA to be free flying inside the International Space Station. The camera is shown at right during construction.

Mr. Stewart, Sir, there are very few words that describe how much I appreciate and cherish what you have done for me. You took me under your wing and became a mentor and father figure when I needed you the most throughout the years. I do not think I would be a few months away from graduating from West Point if it hadn’t been for your caring guidance and leadership. I am about to complete my undergraduate career with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from an ABET accredited program. The Civil Engineering department here at West Point is the #2 program in the country and I have done very well. I have also been a member of the Black Knight Drill Team here for the past four years. With them I have had the opportunity to travel across the country performing at many high profile events.

Fernando Chavez in his military dress uniform, is scheduled to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering.

Upon entering West Point, I incurred a 5-year service contract with the U.S. Army. The day of my graduation after receiving my diploma, I will be raising my right hand along with 1,000 of my classmates and I will swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. This is a duty that I am looking forward to and accept willingly. I will be commissioned as an Engineer officer and will be reporting to my first duty station at Ft. Hood, TX in the near future. It is not every day that the son of two illegal immigrants is accepted and actually makes it through the program at West Point. I know that I did not do it alone. It was through the help of mentors like you. After spending four years here, one thing I am certain about is that nobody makes it to the top by themselves. There is always a mentor, a big brother, a mother, a father, a teacher, etc. that inspires one to become more than they thought they could be. You recognized that I had potential and you helped inspire me to be better. You did this both inside and outside the classroom. It can be rough growing up in an environment where hopes and dreams seem to vanish in the face of adversity, but there will always be those few that can rise to the occasion and make a difference. I hope that you continue to inspire others to reach for the stars and believe in their dreams as you helped me to do. Please feel free to contact me via email at Fernando.Chavezll@hotmail. com if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Thank you for your time.

Fernando Chavez shown in the white t-shirt with fellow students while working on an engineering project at Jordan High School.

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Creative Talent at Reagan High Monica Hawthorne


ince its founding in 1918, the Helms Community Learning Center has actively supported the children and families of The Heights. From the 1930s when school mothers opened a thrift shop and sewed clothes for needy children, through today, the elementary school has earned the recognition from the Texas Education Agency as a Recognized School, providing a unique and high quality education to a diverse student body. The Fall Festival and Spring Silent Auction are organized by the Helms PTA, which maintains close to 200 members and exemplifies the school’s

dedication to children, family, and community. All of the proceeds raised from the Festival and Auction go to the teachers in order to help them with supplies for the year. Ninety percent of the children are economically disadvantaged and the funds help to cover the costs of supplies needed to teach them. This semester, the Helms Community Learning Center PTA partnered with Monica Hawthorne and her class on a project for the Spring Silent Auction Fundraiser. Ms. Hawthorne is a Digital and Interactive Media instructor as well as CTE Department Chairperson at Reagan High School. Ms. Hawthorne’s class presented a variety of layouts that incorporated the

drawn artwork created by Helms elementary students. The PTA then selected the winning designs. The class got the opportunity to work with a real customer and Helms was able to utilize their talents to help support the efforts of Helms. The winning design was created by Brandon Duana. Brandon’s design will be

Creating Logos for Charity David Messina


or National Mentoring Month, the Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF) needed a new logo to represent their concept of “Mentorology”, (motivating others through mentoring is mentorology). The organization honored the dedication and commitment of the students of Reagan High School with the job. Tasked by teacher David Messina with creating a logo for the OMSF non-profit, the students rose to the occasion and within days delivered 50 well thought out and professionally created logo designs. The students of this high school come from very poor situations. A simple homework assignment, guided by a visionary concept

conceived by Mr. Messina, turned into a motivational challenge that inspired hope and the possibilities of a bright future. This project embodied every aspect of the mentoring credo of the Over My Shoulder Foundation. “I credit the work of these students for re-energizing my perspective and passion for teaching,” said David Messina, teacher at John H. Reagan High School. “These kids have taught me that, when properly engaged, every person can elevate themselves above the hopelessness that all too often engulfs us.” Sadly, the Houston community will be losing the popular teacher at the end of the school year. The Over My Shoulder Foundation is asking the Houston Community to

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embrace and celebrate the Mentorology project in a festive and congratulatory way. “David’s caliber and commitment are directly responsible for rousing these students to reach for the stars,” said Dawn Carroll, CEO of the Over My Shoulder Foundation. “It’s a shame that the school will be losing him next year. In association with the Houston community, I’m hoping that we can come up with a fitting way to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Dave and his students.” The student logo designs can be found here: Video

used for post cards, invitations, flyers, and posters to announce this event and will be mailed and posted all over Houston. “It is important to highlight the teachers that are going above and beyond and Ms. Hawthorne definitely meets that criteria!” says Lisa Castro, Helms PTA.

The 40th Annual March for Babies Byronica Pickeny


hirty-five Health Science students from Reagan High School contributed more than 200 hours of service during this event.

Student Competition Results SkillsUSA State Competition


killsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. SkillsUSA was founded on the principles of leadership, citizenship and patriotism. Sam Houston High School - Jose Martinez, took 1st place in State Plumbing. He received a letter of appreciation from the Executive Director of the SillsUSA Texas Association. Jose Martinez is a Texas state champion who is eligible to represent Texas in the Plumbing contest at the 2011 SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Championships in Kansas City, MO, June 20 – 25, 2011. Jose is supported by instructor, Rene Cantu. Worthing High School - Keyera Foster, took 1st place State Cosmetology - “Mickey & Minnie Extravaganza” project. Keyera is a senior at Worthing and is eligible to represent Texas at the national SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Championships.

Keyera is supported by instructor, Kim FregiaDenson. Washington High School - Andre Morton, took 1st place State Cosmetology - The Wonderflow System. Andre competed in the Innovative Project category and developed an ingenious system that is on its way to being patented, with great hopes of it being sold nationwide. This system incorporates shampoo, conditioner and water to disperse all at one time versus the old traditional way where you would have to stop and reach for shampoo and conditioner then add water. Andre is supported by instructor, Yolanda Matthews.

Shown above clockwise are Jose Martinez, Keyera Foster, and Andre Morton

Gold Medal Winner Madeline Hartwell


nissa Martinez, a senior at Barbra Jordan High School for Careers, won a Gold Medal at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida. This is the second year for her advancement to International status, but this is the first time that Anissa and Jordan High School’s DECA has won a gold medal at this level. She represented Texas in the Retail Merchandising Series Event and became a finalist

in the Market Planning Role Play event. The DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) is the highlight of the DECA year. It is DECA’s highest level of competition and encompasses career-focused competitions in finance, hospitality and tourism, marketing, management and entrepreneurship. The top competitors in each event are recognized for their outstanding achievements. In addition to the competitive events, many students and advisors participate in

Anissa Martinez

a variety of leadership and career advancing academies. The conference welcomed more than 15,000 DECA students, advisors, alumni

and affiliated businesspeople from all 50 states and around the world. Madeline Hartwell is the DECA Sponsor.

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Soft Skills


Special breakout sessions (shown right) were presented after the general assembly that included presentations on Dress for Success by Steven Cook of the Men’s Wearhouse and Le Richardson of Le Rich Couture. Information was provided on the proper dress for an interview, work, and other occasions. Other workshops included topics on setting goals, Making Good Choices, College and Career Readiness, Financial Literacy, What is A Lady?, What is a Man?, and Who are You? There were also sessions on make-up for the young ladies. A very moving and life changing skit for the young ladies was performed by Charmette Fontenot and Adrienne Rowe of Shamelessly Saved Productions. The skit focused on teenagers making wise decisions. The Men’s Wearhouse gave a generous special donation for the young men’s program. Radio One-Houston and Suit Mart also provided strong support for the conference.

Getting Your First Job Workshop! Lisa Williams Stillwell


terling High School’s Marketing Education Department hosted three job search workshops on Getting Your First Job. These workshops were coordinated by Lisa Williams Stillwell for juniors and seniors enrolled in Marketing, Business Management, Information Technology, Cosmetology, and Communication Career Pathways. The workshops provided information that included completing a job application, writing a resume, proper dress, interviewing, and other job search tips. Additionally, the workshops included mock interviews which were very entertaining models of proper and improper interviewing

techniques. The workshops were interactive, fun, and exciting for the students in attendance. They were able to register with a local employment organization and receive information on upcoming hiring events and job opportunities available for summer and other part time employment.

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CTE Honor Roll  

May 2011 CTE Honor oll

CTE Honor Roll  

May 2011 CTE Honor oll