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UH-Clear Lake announces commencement speakers

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

UHCLLogo smallCelebrate the newest class of University of Houston-Clear Lake graduates at the spring 2016 Commencement with ceremonies at noon and 5 p.m., May 15 at NRG Arena, 1 NRG Park, Houston.

Graduates of the School of Business and the School of Human Sciences and Humanities will be recognized at the noon ceremony and addressed by HCA Gulf Coast Division President and Distinguished Alumna Maura Walsh, while the 5 p.m. ceremony will honor students from the School of Education and the School of Science and Computer Engineering and be addressed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Graduating students may invite as many guests as they wish. Attendance is free, but parking rates vary around the venue.

Maura Walsh was appointed president of HCA Gulf Coast Division, headquartered in Houston, Texas, in 2004, and she has served in this role for 12 years. She has operational responsibility for HCA’s 15 hospitals, eight ambulatory surgery centers, seven freestanding emergency centers and a regional transfer center. As president of the HCA Gulf Coast Division, she is committed to continuing HCA’s legacy of quality, compassionate care.

SJC student selected for Community College Aerospace Scholars program

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

SJC TimaniSan Jacinto College engineering student Amir Timani recently completed participation in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

San Jacinto College engineering student Amir Timani recently completed participation in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

NCAS is a five-week online scholars program that culminates with a four-day on-site workshop at the JPL. As part of the workshop, students form teams as fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach. Students also have opportunities to interact with NASA engineers as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. Timani was selected as one of 216 community college students nationwide to participate in this year’s NCAS program.

TCC announces national search for new president

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

TexasChiropracticCollegeThe Texas Chiropractic College Board of Regents has announced a nation-wide search to identify and select the 15th President in TCC's 108 year history, and invites applications and recommendations for the Presidency.

Since 1908, Texas Chiropractic College has championed a scientific and evidence-informed approach to educating Practice-Ready doctors of chiropractic. Rigorous classroom and hands-on training empower TCC graduates as skilled, thoughtful and ethical doctors of chiropractic dedicated to providing patient-centered care. TCC advances the chiropractic profession by pioneering scholarship and research that aids in the production of transformative knowledge and ideas.

DPISD approves salary raises

Written by Holly Galvan. Posted in Schools

litwinnersAt Monday's Deer Park ISD Board of Trustees meeting, several DPISD junior high students were honored for winning gold and silver key literary awards. Photo by Holly Galvan.

The Deer Park ISD Board of Trustees held its regular meeting April 25. The original meeting date was April 18 but was postponed because of flooding in nearby areas.

At the meeting, the 2016 Scholastic Writing Regional and National Award winners were recognized.

Deer Park Junior High Silver Key winners are Xavier Cantu, Maximus Gonzalez, Jordyn Waters, Katlyn Cothran, William Marker, Alexa Montalvo, Aaron Briggs, Shaunna Allett, Skylar Breakiron, Lance Hinton and Cara Williams. DPJH Gold Key winners were Alyssa Eldridge, Samantha Rosas, Sophia Schaper, Italy Pena. Harris County Gold Key and national winners were Alyssa Hartis, Taylor Gleason and Peyton Vasquez.

DPJH teacher Paula Shamburger was recognized for being the 2016 recipient of the Susan O’Connor Writing Educator Award for the Harris County Department of Education Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Shamburger had four Gold Key, four Silver Key, and four Honorable Mention-winning students.

DPJH students look to make waves with short films

Written by Holly Galvan. Posted in Schools

Instead of breaking a leg, some of the Deer Park Junior High theater students are hoping to break viewing records to gain entrance to the third annual iPad Youth Film Festival. The festival is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade with the only rules being that the short films must be shot, edited, and published all via a mobile device.

The semi-finals are the evening of the June 23 at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Austin. When someone watches the entire video, it increases the chance of the student’s films advancing to the next round. The public vote accounts for 30 percent of a movie’s total score. The films that receive the most votes from the public will receive the highest score, and it will be added to the films overall score.

There are five different film categories; sci-fi, comedy, adventure, thriller/suspense, or animation/stop-motion. The DPJH theater class have films competing in each category.

DPJH Theater teacher Jennifer McLaughlin said she is always looking for opportunities to showcase her student's talents.

“I want everyone one to see how awesome they are. We have entered a few of these contests. I expected maybe one to [qualify for the next round], and I was so excited when I realized 10 had. I was jumping around the school,” said McLaughlin.

Katelyn Defrancis said this is her first year performing in school theater but has been in plays with the Art Park Players for more than seven years.

“My film is about a baby and a cat and how the cat calms the crying baby. It came up with the idea based on my experience with losing my cat. I wrote it by myself, and it took four days,” she said.

Xavier Cantus’ film is a summer zombie movie. He said he got the inspiration from his love of the Walking Dead TV show and comic books.

“The hardest part of making my film was the actual filming. The other students were so excited to be superstars that they had a hard time calming down. I even had to fire a few of them,” Cantu said.

Cantu said he has learned a lot by writing, producing and directing his play.

“Besides the issues with filming everything else went as planned. Filmmaking is just a hobby to me. I plan on going to college so I can be in the medical field,” he said.

Whether the DPJH students win or lose in their categories, McLaughlin said she is proud of them and the hard work they have done.

“I cannot choose a favorite [film]. I consider all of the 180 students my children. They are so talented, and they can now showcase that to a bigger audience,” she said.

Voting is open to the public until April 28. Visit to watch the students’ films.

DPJH students' efforts net $18K for classmates battling cancer

Written by Holly Galvan. Posted in Schools

checkpresDeer Park Junior High students in the BIG RED Community Improvement presented two checks of $9,000 each to two students battling cancer. This is the third fun run the class has held in the last three years. Photo provided by Leisa DavidsonDeer Park Junior High School’s BIG RED class hosted a Colorful Future 5K that raised $18,000 for two Deer Park ISD students who have cancer.

DPJH student Jeremy Donnelly and Bonnette Junior High student Jonathan McPeek both received checks for $9,000 each.

“The money is to ease the pain of medical bills, parking fees, food costs, and basically anything else the family needs. We don’t want the family to have to worry about money with everything else going on in their lives,” said DPJH Counselor Debi Meade, the facilitator for the class.

More than 600 people registered for the run. Meade said the number of people that registered for the event doubled from the previous year.