Since January 1984, the Board has recognized students and staff for major accomplishments beyond the District with Points of Pride awards. ABCD awards are presented to individuals or groups that go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
Spotlight – District Science & Engineering Fair
The Board began with a Spotlight recognition for the Spring ISD students who excelled during the 2022-23 District Science Fair, held at Roberson Middle School earlier in the semester.
District science fair winners went on to take nine projects to the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston, a regional event held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in February.
“The journey to becoming district science fair winners began during the fall semester as students identified topics for research, conducted experiments and showcased projects at the campus level,” said Chief Communications Officer Shane Strubhart during the presentation. “Following campus science fair competitions, the top three entries from each school moved on to the district fair for a final round of judging.”
Student projects were judged in 14 entry categories, including Aerospace Engineering, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biochemistry and Microbiology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental, Embedded Systems, Energy and Transportation, Engineering Mechanics, Environmental Engineering, Medical and Health, Plant Sciences, and Physics and Astronomy.
“We’re proud of all of our students who took part in this year’s district science fair event,” Strubhart said, before introducing students who attended the meeting to represent this year’s district winners and participants, including Twin Creeks Middle School eighth grader Nevaeh Carrasco, whose Prosthetic Hand science fair project – entered in the Biomedical Engineering category – was a first place district winner and went on to be awarded the Jacobs Science Explorer Award at the regional event.
The Science and Engineering Fair of Houston serves as the regional fair for all junior and senior high school students in Harris County and 22 surrounding counties. Major regional fair winners are eligible to compete in the annual International Science and Engineering Fair, set to take place May 13-19 in Dallas.
Read more and view a full list of district science fair winners on the Spring ISD News Blog.
Spotlight – District Spelling Bee
Next, the Board offered their congratulations to the winner of the annual Spring ISD Spelling Bee, Hirsch Elementary School fourth-grader William Hernandez, and honored student participants in this year’s event.
“We’d like to shine a spotlight on the Spring ISD elementary and middle school students who competed in this year’s District Spelling Bee in February,” said Chief Communications Officer Shane Strubhart during his remarks. “In all, 22 elementary and 8 middle school campus champions came together at Dekaney High School to compete for the top district prize.”
Hernandez emerged as the winner after more than 10 rounds of competition. He correctly spelled the word “topgallant” to secure the championship, and went on to represent Spring ISD in March at the Houston Public Media Regional Spelling Bee, which featured district champions from across the greater Houston area.
“We’d also like to extend congratulations to the runner-up, Bailey Middle School sixth-grader Mark Peterson,” Strubhart said, before also expressing the district’s “thanks to all the teachers and sponsors who made this year’s Spring ISD Spelling Bee possible.”
Spotlight – Spring ISD “She Persisted” Writing Contest Winners
“As part of our Women's History Month celebration in March, students were invited to participate in the ‘She Persisted’ essay contest, based in part on the children's book ‘She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World.’” Chief Communications Officer Shane Strubhart said in introducing the next item. “Students wrote about a woman of their choice who changed the world and who had a powerful impact on them personally.”
Winners from each category received a trophy and a Kindle tablet to continue their journey of reading and learning. Most of the essay contest winners were able to attend the board meeting and receive congratulations directly from the trustees. The full list of essay contest winners is as follows.
- Pre-K through Second Grade category:
- Spanish winner – Lara Farmer (1st Grade, Booker ES)
- English winner – Ana Rodriguez (2nd Grade, McNabb ES)
- Third through Fifth Grade category:
- Spanish winner – Brianna Vera (4th Grade, Anderson ES)
- English winner – Niya Lawrence (4th Grade, Booker ES)
- Sixth through Eighth Grade category:
- Sanaia Kabara (8th Grade, School for International Studies at Bammel)
- Ninth through Twelfth Grade category:
- Monya Nayil (12th Grade, Westfield High School)
The Board also honored the contributions of campus Library Media Specialists, who helped coordinate the contest and provide resources to help students in writing their essays. Representing the winning campuses were: Angela Galler, from Booker Elementary; Kristy Contreras, from Anderson Elementary; Leslie Cuevas, from McNabb Elementary; Meloni Williams, from the School for International Studies at Bammel; and Tania Dixon, Library Media Specialist at Westfield High School.
Point of Pride – Spring ISD Communications Department receives 37 TSPRA 2022 Star Awards
The Board also awarded a Point of Pride to the Spring ISD Communications Department, which recently won 37 Star Awards from the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) for excellence in school communications during the 2021-22 school year.
The department’s honors included two Crystal Award Finalist entries – one for a video portfolio and one for a photography portfolio – and three Best of Category awards. The three Best of Category awards included the Spring ISD 2021-22 Anti-Drug Poster Series, Spring ISD Bedtime Stories Spanish videos, and a JROTC photo titled “Presenting Our True Colors.”
In all this year, the department earned 20 Gold Stars, 14 Silver Stars and one Bronze Star.
The recognition during the board meeting highlighted the work the Communications Department does to keep community members informed and to celebrate the achievements of Spring ISD students, staff and schools.
Representing the department and receiving the Point of Pride plaque award were Assistant Superintendent of Communications Sara Butler, Director of Communications Kristen Cobb, and Creative Services Coordinator Jim Wineman.
Point of Pride – Dr. Hinojosa named a “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association
The recognition portion of the meeting ended with a special Point of Pride honoring Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, who was officially selected as a 2022 Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) at the end of the fall semester.
Hinojosa was one of just 24 superintendents from across the nation selected this school year in recognition of their innovative and effective use of communications and communication technology to engage and inform their school communities.
Those receiving the NSPRA Superintendent to Watch award must have fewer than five years of experience as a superintendent. Hinojosa was honored both for embracing newer communications technologies -- like the district’s Let’s Talk online communication platform – and for emphasizing the value of regular face-to-face engagement with the community.
“We couldn’t be more proud of her for this accomplishment, and it’s no secret to those of us in Spring ISD that she is, without a doubt, a ‘Superintendent to Watch!’” Chief Communications Officer Shane Strubhart said during the presentation. “Congratulations to Dr. Hinojosa from all of us in Spring ISD, who see the hard work you do every day to communicate effectively with staff, students, families, and stakeholders throughout the district.”
Board President Justine Durant also offered congratulations to Hinojosa for the award.
“I want to say, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are very proud and very blessed and grateful to have you leading the ship here in Spring ISD,” Durant said, “and you are definitely the Superintendent to Watch!”
Hinojosa thanked the trustees for their support of her and their commitment to the success of students throughout the district. She also thanked her senior leadership team, as well as employees and members of the community who go out of their way each day to help build strong relationships between the district and those it serves.
“And so, to all of our 5,200 employees, our 34,000 students, this is an acknowledgment of Spring ISD,” Hinojosa said. “This is for you all.”