AISD celebrates its past, present and future during 2015 State of the District Breakfast

AISD celebrates its past, present and future during 2015 State of the District Breakfast
Posted on 10/16/2015

Student Advisory Committee

Aldine ISD celebrated its past, present and future during the 2015 State of the District Breakfast, held Friday, Oct. 16 at the Hilton Houston North Hotel.

During the event, which was held for the first time in the fall, the district celebrated its 80th anniversary, looked back at the 2014-15 school year and used the event to kickoff the Aldine Education Foundation’s donor campaign.

For the second straight year, members of Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg’s Student Advisory Committee participated in the event.

The morning began with a stirring performance by the Aldine Dance Company, which provided a historic overview of the district. Audience members gave the student performers a standing ovation following their performance.

Prior to the start of the event, several elected officials delivered remarks.

U.S. Congressman Gene Green, whose wife Helen taught in AISD for close to 30 years, said he always enjoys the chance to talk about the district that educated his two children.

“I love bragging about Aldine,” Congressman Green said. “I follow what Aldine does because it’s home to me and my family. Aldine is a quality school district whose employees work hard to make sure our kids have opportunities.”

Booker Morris, representing U.S. Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, presented the district with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition, which was accepted by School Board President Dr. Viola M. Garcia.

State Rep. Armando Walle, an Aldine ISD product and a graduate of MacArthur High School, also praised the district for the opportunities it provided him when he was a student.

“I am a proud AISD graduate,” Walle said. “For me it’s personal, because I grew up in this district and I still live in it.”

Also in attendance were representatives from Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle’s office, State Senator Paul Bettencourt’s office and City Council member Brenda Stardig’s office.

Carver High School student Louis Butler opened the program by introducing AISD Board members and members of the Aldine Education Foundation’s (AEF) Board.

Hall Center for Education student DaQuandre Foster followed by introducing elected officials, former Superintendent Nadine Kujawa and former Trustees A.W. Jones, Marine Jones and Dr. Alton Smith.

Kiera Williamson of Nimitz High School provided information on AEF and introduced students in attendance, parents and grandparents, business partners and community partners.

AEF Co-President Terry Williams kicked off AEF’s donor campaign by asking individuals to donate to the Foundation. He also announced that in honor of the district’s 80th anniversary, AEF will sell commemorative 80th anniversary shirts for $25, with all proceeds going to AEF. Individuals can purchase the shirts on-line.

Victory Early College High School student Anallely Hernandez then introduced a video produced by AISD videographer Alyssa Duty commemorating Aldine ISD’s 80th anniversary. The moving video featured interviews with former Superintendents W.W. Thorne, M.B. “Sonny” Donaldson and Nadine Kujawa, present Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Archie Blanson and Board President Dr. Viola M. Garcia.

The video looked back at Aldine’s humble beginnings in 1935 with 450 students and one schoolhouse to what it has become today, the 11th largest public school district in the State of Texas that educates more than 70,000 students at 76 campuses.

Following the video, Eisenhower High School student Loc Nguyen shared information about the district’s demographics. AISD’s enrollment for the 2014-15 school year was 69,176 (this year it’s 70,569). Nguyen also provided the ethnic make-up of the district, which is 71.4% Hispanic, 24.6% African American and 1.9% Anglo. He also announced the district had an attendance rate of 94.8% during the 2014-15 school year.

MacArthur High School student Angela Seballos-Recinos discussed the academic scorecard of the district. Last school year, the district had a graduation rate of 82%. She also announced that 168 AISD seniors were able to graduate last year thanks to Senate Bill 149. The bill provided a path for senior to graduate who had not passed all five of their End of Course Exams.

Noe Hernandez of Aldine High School provided information on AEF. Last year, AEF awarded 163 student scholarships from AEF and the Aldine Scholarship Fund. He also announced that AEF awarded seven teacher grants. In addition, AISD seniors were offered 1,162 scholarships totaling $23.9 million. Aldine ISD’s staff secured 91 grants totaling $1.1 million.

The audience then heard from an AEF scholarship recipient, Carver High grad Marlon Adams, who now attends the University of Houston. Adams said he would not be in college if not for the AEF scholarship.

Dr. Bamberg then discussed the district’s finances. She announced that this year’s budget is in excess of $665 million and the district has a strong fund balance of $237,555,080 million. She also announced that the district’s tax rate of $1.28 per $100 valuation is one of the lowest in Harris County.

Dr. Bamberg also announced that the district opened its 33rd elementary school, Cypresswood Elementary School, in August. Two more new facilities, COMPASS/GAP Center and a new Child Nutrition Services building will open in December of 2015. She also announced that in August of 2016, AISD would open its 34th elementary school, Greenspoint Elementary School.

Dr. Bamberg then introduced members of the Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee who assisted the district plan for its $798 million bond referendum. The bond election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

“Thank you for joining our celebration,” Dr. Bamberg said in closing.

Attendees were presented with a special memento, a coin celebrating the district’s 80th anniversary as they exited the event.