Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grants Department garners honors

Spring Branch ISD Grants Director Julie Hodson was selected as top state administrator and the district’s Texas ACE (Afterschool Centers on Education) Team was honored during the recently held Golden ACE (Afterschool Centers on Education) Awards Ceremony. The two recognitions were presented in August during an annual meeting in Austin. On Sept. 23, Director Hodson and Ace Grant Coordinator Jose Hererra were recognized by the SBISD Board of Trustees for their work.

 SBISD’s Julie Hodson was named as the Top Administrator in Texas from among 40 or more state organizations and groups eligible for these awards under the 21st Century, Cycle 7, Grant program. Her grant management skills stood out as the best among representatives from across the state. During her career, millions of grant dollars have been awarded to SBISD’s campuses.

 The federally funded, state-issued grants are competitive. SBISD was awarded about $3 million in 21st Century funds to serve 10 schools over five years. SBISD is now in the third year for this particular grant funding cycle.

 An Iowa native, Julie earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Houston. She has earned many professional honors, too, including Superintendent’s and Principal’s certifications.

 In addition to her management duties, Julie has led the SBISD Development Team since 2003. This team reviews and then approves or denies employees’ requests to seek grant funds. In the past year, she oversaw work on grant proposals that included the Gates Foundation, Race to the Top and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

 “Julie Hodson is a true believer in the importance of after-school programs for students and for the community,” Project Manager Jose Herrera stated in his nomination.

 “Julie has both learned and observed how critical these hours of after-school are to youth through mentoring several at-risk students within our district schools. She describes her experiences with 21st Century Learning Centers and after-school programming as some of the highlights in her own career thus far,” he also wrote in the winning nomination.

 As a part of the SBISD Texas ACE Team, Project Manager Jose Herrera was part of the district’s employee team that won 2013 PRIME Award inside the region that includes Dallas, Houston and East Texas. The PRIME acronym stands for Planning, Resourcing, Implementing, Managing and Enduring.

 A majority of principals and teachers reported that the after-school programs in SBISD improved student academic skills. Programs that serve about 3,000 students on 10 SBISD campuses won satisfaction ratings of 91 percent from parents and 100 percent from principals.

SBISD has partnered with dozens of community-based organizations this year to help programs endure after federal and state grant funding ends.

 SBISD’s community-based partners include: Communities in Schools Houston (CIS); City of Houston; Depelchin; Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce; Houston Community College; Houston-Galveston Area Council; Houston Public Library; MATT Maestro en Casa; Mexican Institute; Money Management; Parent’s Alliance; Prosperity Bank; Spring Branch Community Health Center; Texas Agrilife; Child Builders; Texas A&M University; YMCA; Urban Harvest; ESCAPE; and AVANCE.

 In addition, many SBISD senior citizens and other volunteers mentor ACE students through the SBISD Springboard Mentor Program.


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