Thursday, January 18, 2018

SBISD Winter Support Staff Job Fair

Employment Opportunities / Oportunidades para empleo

Who: • Teaching Assistants/Asistente de Maestro
• Administrative Assistants/Secretarias
• Campus Support Staff/Personal de apoyo a las escuelas
• Bus Driver Assistants/Asistentes de chofer de autobus
• Bus Drivers/Choferes de autob├║s
• Custodian/Limpieza y Mantenimiento
• Electrician II/Electicista II
• Crossing Guards/Cruzador de peatones
• Roofer II/Techero II
• Carpenter Glazier/Carpintero
• Herbacide- Pesticide Applicator/Aplicador de pesticidas

• Production Assistants/empleados para la cosina
When: Thursday, Jan.25, 2018
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Where: Don Coleman Coliseum
1050 Dairy Ashford
Houston, TX 77079

Download flyer

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Filing Opens for May 5 Trustee Election

The next election for two positions on the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees is scheduled for Saturday, May 5.  Ballot candidate applications will be accepted beginning Wednesday, Jan. 17, through Friday, Feb. 16, during normal business hours at SBISD’s Schaper Leadership Center, 955 Campbell Road.

Trustee positions for the upcoming election are Position 3, which is currently held by incumbent Katherine Dawson, and Position 4, which is held by incumbent Chris Vierra.

Candidates may file applications through 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, in Room 128 of the Wayne F. Schaper, Sr. Leadership Center (SBISD Administration Building). The district office at 955 Campbell Road is located one block south of Interstate 10 on Campbell Road. The Schaper Leadership Center is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Candidate application packets are available at the Schaper Leadership Center, and completed applications will be accepted in this building during regular business hours.

All registered voters who reside in SBISD are eligible to vote in SBISD Board of Trustees Elections. For more information, please call:

Diane Dickens
SBISD Administrative Assistant

Trustees Approve Bond Oversight Committee

SBISD trustees on Monday, Jan. 8, unanimously approved membership for a community-based Bond Oversight Committee to monitor progress of the 2017 bond program.

Co-chaired by Lewis Gissel and Kathy Goss, the 18-member committee is charged with several tasks but primarily will ensure that “bond projects remain faithful to the priorities identified in the 2017 bond plan … .” The charge was approved at the regular meeting on Nov. 27, 2017.

Gissel served with David Slattery as co-chair of the 2017 Bond Advisory Committee. Goss served on the 2007 Bond Oversight Committee and was a member of the 2017 Bond Advisory Committee.

District voters on Nov. 7, 2017, by 80 percent approved the $898.4 million bond package, which includes the rebuild of nine elementary schools and one middle school, along with technology, safety and security, fine arts and athletic upgrades.

2017 Bond Oversight Committee Charge and Composition
2017 Bond Oversight Committee Membership

Melanie Bash
Patricia Cabrerra
Matt Daniel
Carin Domann
Jennifer Espy
Pamela Forworn
Kathy Goss*
Lewis Gissel*
Bill Jensen
Gina Keith
Jacob Lipp
Scott LeMarie
John Murphy
Jeanine Piskurich
Geri Powell
Chuck Russell
Wayne Schaper Sr.
Jay Sutherland

Friday, December 15, 2017

SBISD Part of Academic Accountability Pilot

Texas Education Agency Press Releases 

Update: 20 School Systems Part of Local Academic Accountability System Pilot 

(AUSTIN) – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that 20 school systems will participate in a pilot to develop its own local academic accountability system. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will oversee a small-scale pilot program in the 2017–2018 academic year. 

Established by House Bill 22 and passed during the 85th Texas Legislature earlier this year, the local accountability system program allows an independent school district (ISD) or public school charter to develop plans locally that evaluate its campuses. 

The 20 systems participating in the 2017-2018 pilot are: Alief ISD; Austin ISD; Bullard ISD; Canadian ISD; Clear Creek ISD; Dallas ISD; El Paso ISD; Humble ISD; Jonesboro ISD; Lyford ISD; Midland ISD; Point Isabel ISD; Premier High Schools; Richland Collegiate High School; San Saba ISD; Sharyland ISD; Snyder ISD; Spring Branch ISD; Sunnyvale ISD; and Waco ISD. 

Participating districts will be required to attend four monthly meetings hosted by TEA in the spring of 2018 as part of the local plan development. Once a plan receives TEA approval, districts and charter schools may use locally developed domains and indicators in conjunction with the three state-mandated domains to assign overall A–F ratings for each of its campuses. 

Approved local accountability systems will be available for use beginning with the 2018–2019 school year. For more information about the local accountability systems established by House Bill 22, visit the TEA website at

Thursday, December 14, 2017

C.A.M.P. Aggie Mentors Surprise Students with Bicycle Donations

Treasure Forest Elementary students received an inspired gift from C.A.M.P. (Caring Aggies Mentoring Program) Aggie mentors this week – 26 shiny new bicycles and a lesson in the power of living your values. 

For Principal Celeste Barretto, the impact of the C.A.M.P. mentoring program at her school is obvious – that program’s motto of selfless giving is benefiting school culture and outcomes for kids. “I am excited to have the mentors here today. They’ve offered programming support and new bicycles for the kids,” Barretto said during the Tuesday bike distribution. 
Camp Aggie at Treasure Forest Elementary from SBISD on Vimeo.

“We nurture our mentees from third-grade all the way to college,” said Freddie Wong, co-founder of the mentoring program. “We help create experiences that build connections and open doors to opportunities for students. Part of that is living our C.A.M.P. values of selfless giving.”

The C.A.M.P. inspires students to pursue higher education by reinforcing excellent academic standards, building confidence and leadership skills, providing fun, life-enriching experiences, and modeling qualities of success. 

An additional surprise for the students was the appearance of one extra bicycle. Wong explained it as a gift for a student not yet a member of the mentoring program – someone who exemplifies the character and values the mentoring program and the school collectively aspires to. 

Along with this important life lesson, students witness a real-time example of the C.A.M.P. value of selfless giving – Wong performing his role of mentor without hesitation – which delivered a timely message about collective impact to the celebration’s attendees.

“I can’t thank these mentors enough for their work,” said Barretto. “It’s just amazing.”

Learn more about C.A.M.P. Aggie at:
Watch a video spotlight from this event here.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Vanguard Fellows Teaching Cohort Named

Twenty-one Spring Branch ISD educators learned this week that they have been named as Cohort III members in the Vanguard Fellows teacher corps. They join 46 district educators picked as innovative Vanguard Fellows over the past several years.

The 67-member Vanguard Fellows group now represents 30 campuses in SBISD, ranging from prekindergarten to high school. Teachers expressing interest in the Vanguard Fellowship complete an online application. Corps candidates then interview with current Vanguard Fellows for final selection.

Vanguard teachers represent SBISD’s continuing effort to both encourage and support new methods of instruction and learning through smart use of technology integration and refocused curriculum design.

“We’re so excited to welcome the 21 new educators who have joined our Vanguard Fellowship, and we look forward to walking alongside them on their learning journey!” Karen Justl, district educational technology director, said in announcing the new cohort.

The 21 teachers represent 16 schools, with Edgewood, Pine Shadows and Wilchester elementaries represented for the first time.

“The Vanguard Fellowship creates a network for teachers who are excited about technology and who understand how to leverage it to empower learners,” Justl also said. “We bring personalized professional learning to our Fellows through a great deal of choice in how and where they learn. Ultimately, the Fellows will then share their learning across a variety of platforms to engage and empower others.”

Earlier this week, new Fellows received personal posters proclaiming “I’m IN” by mail. Many will be tweeting out poster-based selfies in the days and weeks ahead. The 21 teachers will first meet as a group on Jan. 19 at the Technology Training Center.

Cohort III Vanguard Fellows (December 2017)

Rebecca Thompson, Edgewood Elementary, 4th Grade, Math & Science
Sarah Starling, Meadow Wood Elementary, 4th Grade
Headiyeh Matthews, Pine Shadows Elementary, Multi Classroom Leader
Josephine Stringer, Pine Shadows Elementary, Librarian
Casey Poche, Wilchester Elementary, 2nd Grade
Joan Lloyd, Wilchester Elementary, 1st Grade
Kimberly Keefe, Hollibrook Elementary, 5th Grade
Sarah Chu, Nottingham Elementary, 5th Grade
Claudia Meza, Westwood Elementary, 5th Grade
Angela Stamps, Cedar Brook Elementary, 4th Grade
Carla Pace, Spring Branch Middle, 6th Grade Science, Endeavor Program
Christine Jackson, Spring Oaks Middle, 6th Grade, Science
Alissandre Robbins, Spring Forest Middle, 6th Grade, Science
Karen Nickel, Landrum Middle, 6th Grade, Science
Amanda Campos, Landrum Middle, 7th Grade, Science
Kelli Bolen, Stratford High, 10th-11th Grade, English Language Arts (ELA)
Matthew Barnett, Northbrook High, 10th Grade, World History & Athletics
Kimberly Abdul, Northbrook High, 9th Grade, Algebra
Seda Dawson, Westchester Academy, 7th Grade
Rachel Rose, Westchester Academy, 7th Grade, Language Arts & Social Studies (LASS)
Rebecca Jungklaus, Memorial High, American Sign Language (ASL)

Trustees Propose T-2-4 Goal Amendment

SBISD Trustees have proposed an amendment to update the language of the district’s T-2-4 goal, which aims for the doubling of the number of students who attain post-secondary success.

First written in 2012, the goal remains the same but the wording in board policy meant the goal would have expired at the end of 2017. The new proposed wording emphasizes that “every SBISD graduate” will attain post-secondary success and extends the original goal of 72 percent for five years, through 2022.

As proposed, the T-2-4 goal would read:

Every SBISD Graduate will attain a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year degree, or four-year degree. This goal will be referred to as “Spring Branch T-2-4.” The District will pursue the SBISD T-2-4 goal by increasing the number of students who complete a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year or four-year degree from 44% to 72% by 2022.

The rewritten goal and policy proposal is available for comment at the Board’s policy website. The policy will be considered on fourth reading after compiling public comment.

Board Policy Website

SBEF Harvey Relief Fund Continues to Grow Past $1 Million Mark

A modest idea blossoms into help for more than 1,000 Spring Branch ISD families

When Spring Branch ISD Superintendent Scott Muri began assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, he found more than he ever expected. Surprisingly, the SBISD buildings suffered very little damage; however, SBISD staff and student families told a different story.

It was a story of resilience. He talked with staff members who had seemingly lost everything—home, cars, possessions—but showed concern for how he and others weathered the storm. He heard from student families who were displaced and sheltering out of district, but making travel arrangements to keep their children in their home schools.

For every story he heard, he knew there were many more. He felt that by working with the district’s leadership team and the Spring Branch Education Foundation, the community could help.

While the water was still high and first responders were still housed at the district’s Darrell Tully Stadium, he explored the idea of a relief fund. He approached SBEF Executive Director Cece Thompson and challenged the Foundation to raise $20,000. Thompson and the SBEF board of directors created the SBEF Harvey Relief Fund.

Three months later, the Fund had collected $1,027,536 and was helping 1,083 SBISD families.

“When the Spring Branch Education Foundation launched the Harvey Relief Fund,” Muri said, “we could never have imagined how swiftly and how generously our community and many others across the globe would respond. With more than $1 million raised, families of more than 1,000 SBISD students and employees have received much-needed resources and support. We are grateful beyond measure to SBEF and the many donors whose #CollectiveGreatness has made this critical financial assistance possible at this unprecedented time of great need.”

“I’ve always known the generosity of this community,” Thompson said. “For more than two decades, it has funded grants and scholarships that enhance education for SBISD students. The outpouring of support in the wake of Harvey, surpassed anything I would have imagined. A community member called to say her family wanted to donate $100,000, and that was just the first of our surprises.”

Donations came from near and far. SBISD students got busy: Memorial Markettes shared proceeds from its fall fundraiser, and Cornerstone Academy pledged funds from its December fun run. The Wilchester Men’s Club contributed $9,000. Waterous Energy Fund, a Canadian company with an SBISD parent on its executive team, donated $100,000.

Gifts arrived from Muri’s former colleagues and acquaintances—and from strangers who saw his Twitter appeal. The Discovery Channel donated $25,000. A Kentucky native who met Muri at her daughter’s church sent $500. The Fund received gifts from student fundraisers from schools as far away as Pittsburgh, PA; Avon, IN; and Barrington, IL.

The largest gift came from the Greater Houston Community Foundation to the tune of $500,000. SBEF was one of only three education organizations to receive a grant from GHCF’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

“The grant felt like an affirmation of our efforts,” Thompson said. “As far as we know, the SBEF Harvey Relief Fund is the only one that specifically helps families in Spring Branch ISD. Our gifts help families fill gaps not met by other local and federal efforts. Since the Fund is managed by SBEF staff, there are no administrative costs. Every dollar goes directly to SBISD student and staff families.”

SBISD staff members who were displaced by Harvey and are receiving help from the SBEF Harvey Relief Fund are grateful. Thank you notes have poured in to the SBEF office.

From an employee, “I was just called to the front office to pick up some ‘mail,’ and I received the generous donation from SBEF. All I could do was laugh and then cry. We literally lost everything in the flood and have two small babies at home. What a perfect time to receive this gift/blessing. I’m so blessed to work for this district and want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is a huge undertaking on your part, and I know it’s probably been a very difficult task. You have no idea how much this means to my family and how far this will go for us. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I PROMISE to continue to pay this forward once we get back on our feet. Thank you so much.”

A parent wrote, “Thank you so much for providing the very generous Target gift card for our family. We have two boys…a freshman and a senior, and we feel so fortunate to have such a supportive school district. Having our downstairs destroyed by five feet of water for two weeks, losing all our cars and being displaced has been so very hard for us. I know there are many other families in the same situation as well. As a parent, the hardest thing has been that my senior will not be able to celebrate this Christmas (the one before he goes to college next year) in our family home. That is heart breaking. A big thank you for reaching out to us and providing support, as this is a long, tiring process! We will always remember your kindness.”

SBEF has distributed Target and Walmart gift cards to help families meet their most pressing needs, whether it’s food, clothing or supplies. The Foundation has awarded grants of $50,000 to Community In Schools – Houston (CIS), which identifies specific needs. CIS provides vouchers to families to assist with rent, utilities and other necessities.

Hurricane Harvey dumped 51 inches of rain on Houston, but the SBEF Harvey Relief Fund, which started with a dream, is an example of the community’s support and resilience.

A note sent to SBEF: “I have been an SBISD teacher for 37 years and have always felt supported and respected in my professional career. After losing my home, contents and cars to Hurricane Harvey, I have been overwhelmed by love and support in my personal life.”

A parent wrote about her family’s rescue via boat. “In the days that followed, so many kind friends, colleagues and good Samaritans…like you came forward to help us…. We want you to know you will forever be a part of our family and thank you so much for your kindness and love.”

Community members who wish to donate to the SBEF Harvey Relief Fund may visit

Friday, December 8, 2017

Family Sax Finds Home with A Cornerstone Student

Cornerstone Academy seventh-grader Jocelyn Munguia applied for a local music scholarship last spring valued at several hundred dollars.

Today, the charter school seventh-grader is the proud owner of a gently used, professional Yamaha alto saxophone valued at about $2,000.  The instrument was a family donation made by an official with the local Houston Masonic Library and Museum Foundation and Freemason Authors.

Chris Martin, whose group hosts the scholarship, presented the saxophone to Jocelyn at Cornerstone Academy earlier this fall. He was joined at the Spring Valley school campus by James Passamano, who is chairman with the Mozart Hammond Music Scholarship.

Jocelyn originally applied for the Mozart Hammond Scholarship with help from her music instructor, Stephen Bundrick. As a district charter campus with its own operating rules, the Cornerstone Academy music program is neither funded nor supported through the district’s Fine Arts Department.

As a consequence, Bundrick often visits eBay and local pawn shops so his music students like Jocelyn have adequate quality instruments for practice and performance.

In her scholarship application, Jocelyn said the $300 grant would help her buy her own personal saxophone. She played on one of Bundrick’s older instruments before the special donation.

The Mozart Hammond Music Scholarship Awards are awarded through the Masonic Library and Museum Foundation to elementary and middle school students. The scholarship funds are linked to past founding of the Houston Conservatory of Music in 1917. Today, the Spring Branch-Memorial Rotary Club is also a chief sponsor of the scholarship.

Jocelyn was named a scholarship winner with 14 other students, but wasn’t able to attend the initial award ceremony earlier this fall.

When music instructor Bundrick emailed Passamano about her absence, the scholarship chair replied that the group wanted to give Jocelyn a high quality saxophone, not a $300 donation. On Oct. 24, Passamano and Martin presented the Martin family’s sax to a deeply thankful Jocelyn.

Martin said that he wanted to “lovingly pass this on to Jocelyn to help her continue her musical endeavors,” Bundrick reports.

In separate but related news, recent voter approval of the 2017 Bond will help replace aged student musical instruments and uniforms for campus programs.

For more information, visit Mozart Hammond Music Scholarship Award.

Navy ROTC Unit Earns Top Marks and Ranking

For a third year in a row, the student Navy Jr. ROTC unit based at the Guthrie Center has earned an Outstanding ranking (100 percent in all areas) during its recently completed Area Manager’s Inspection.

In separate but related news, the Guthrie Center-based ROTC group has also been named once again as a Navy Jr. ROTC Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Distinguished Unit designation is given to ROTC programs ranked in the top 30 percent of all regional programs. SBISD’s unit has now won the Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors ranking for 12 years in a row. As such an exemplary unit, SBISD’s program may nominate three eligible unit cadets to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Although no historical records of every Outstanding unit ranking across the greater Houston region is maintained, Junior ROTC leaders report that one such ranking for any student unit is noteworthy. Earning multiple high-level rankings like SBISD’s unit is considered unusual.

Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Devin Williams, the unit’s Cadet Executive Officer (second in command) and a a Spring Woods High senior, notes that inspection this year was difficult due to Hurricane Harvey’s impact.

“We lost two weeks of school so it was as if the inspection came two weeks early,” he said. “We also had a challenge with instructors with Master Chief Heuser retiring last summer and being replaced by Hospital Corpsman First Class Dominic Monita, so we were also adjusting to a new instructor.”

“I feel blessed that as an Executive Officer, I was given the opportunity to learn from the experience of being in a real leadership and management project. What I learned is you get what you inspect, not what you expect,” he also said. “This isn’t really an award, it’s the results of the inspection.”

Cadet Williams serves with Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Azucena Gonzales, the unit’s Cadet Commanding Officer and a Northbrook High senior. SBISD’s Jr. ROTC unit is led by retired Navy Cmdr. Jerry Coufal and retired Hospital Corpsman First Class Dominic Monita.

The SBISD unit’s 12-year Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors ranking is based on its annual military inspection results, competition placements, community service hours, academic performance and related factors.

Navy Jr. ROTC Area 10 Area Administrator Curtis St. Pierre credits Coufal and Monita with excellent instructional leadership after the Area Manager’s Inspection.

“Commander Coufal and Hospital Corpsman Monita have been outstanding examples of showing the cadets what right looks like,” he wrote in a report.

The Area Manager’s Inspection helps to showcase what the student ROTC cadets have learned through drill performances, personnel inspections and reviews of the supply, material and administrative records that cadets must administer as part of their program.