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SJC to offer free information session on Alternative Teacher Certification

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

The Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division of San Jacinto College is offering a free information session about the Alternative Teacher Certification program, which provides the opportunity to become a certified teacher in the state of Texas.

 “If you hold a bachelor’s degree, and would like to find out how to become a certified teacher, plan to attend,” said Heidi Cisneros, program manager. “Every student has the potential for success, and teachers have the opportunity to foster that potential.”

College sets variety of musical performances for October

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

San Jacinto College Central’s music department will present a variety of choral and musical concerts during October that promise to offer something for every type of music aficionado. A
ll performances are free, open to the public, and will take place in the Jan Corbin Recital Hall, located inside the Monte Blue Music Building. The concert schedule includes:
• Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. — A harpsichord program featuring Dr. Matthew Dirst, a music professor at the University of Houston, an accomplished harpsichordist, and the founding Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, a period-instrument ensemble that specializes in baroque chamber and dramatic works. The program will be the inaugural concert to showcase the SJC music department’s new Paul Kennedy 2002 harpsichord.
“We are so excited about this concert, not to mention the acquisition of this very fine instrument which will open new doors for musical education on our campus,” said Dr. Martha Braswell, music instructor at the Central campus. “This will be the first opportunity for our students to see the instrument and to hear it played by an expert.”
• Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m. — Fall Choral Concert, featuring choral performances by SJC students and faculty members. “The program will feature a wide variety of musical style periods, from Baroque, to Classical, to folk songs,” said Paul Busselberg, Central campus music instructor. “Additionally, we will incorporate two new languages into our repertoire by singing selections in Hungarian and Russian.” Busselberg will serve as conductor for the concert, and piano accompaniment provided by Sarah Spencer.
• Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m. — A piano recital featuring Sarah Spencer, Central campus music instructor and skilled pianist. Spencer began her piano studies at age 5 and by age 7 was winning such prestigious competitions as the Viola Hartman Achievement Awards and The Montgomery Music Association Scholarship competitions, in addition to numerous other local and state competitions. Spencer collaborates frequently with faculty and artists from the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Southern California.
In addition to her solo performances, she is a frequent adjudicator for local and state competitions in Texas, as well as a frequent lecturer and performer for the American Liszt Society. The program will include works by Bolcom, Liszt, Ravel, and Stravinsky.
• Oct. 29, 7 p.m. — Sweets & Serenades Concert, featuring solo choral and musical performances by San Jacinto College Central students. “This concert will be a very entertaining variety show,” said Busselberg, who is coordinating the event. “It will feature all sorts of music, from Broadway tunes to pop songs. There will even be some original music composed by San Jacinto College students.” Prior to the concert, audience members are invited to enjoy tasty dessert items.
San Jacinto College offers a wide range of music degree plans and course options at all three campuses. The College serves more than 30,500 students in over 140 degrees and certificates in university transfer and technical programs. The College also serves the community through workforce training. Students come to San Jacinto College with various goals and aspirations.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150 or visit

CPA: Traffic, DWI stops never routine

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Editor’s note: This is part four of a series covering the Deer Park Police Department's Citizens Police Academy. Editor/Publisher Bobby Vasquez is a participant in the academy.

There's an old saying about why one should never assume. Therefore…

Rule No. 1 of a traffic stop: Don't assume there is such thing as a routine traffic stop. There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.

Deer Park Rotary envisions community-wide assistance center

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Deer Park Rotary President Jerry Mouton (center) inducted David Rush (left) and Jason Syrinek (right) into the club at last week's Rotary luncheon meeting. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.

When impoverished Deer Park families suffer, all of Deer Park suffers. Deer Park Rotary is looking to end what could be a disastrous cycle for the community. Jerry Mouton, Deer Park Rotary president, said the community could make a difference without giving handouts. He's asking Deer Park groups to combine their efforts into one solid force by establishing a community assistance center in Deer Park.

There are 576 students in the Deer Park Independent School District who are considered homeless. Seven elementary schools are considered Title I, meaning they have a higher than average number of students with economic needs who qualify for free or reduced lunches. is looking for you!

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest is looking for parent volunteers to submit scores to local football, soccer, volleyball and other fall sports' games.

If your child participates in TIFI, Quest, junior high, or high school sports, all you have to do is submit the score, a couple of star players and where the game took place. If you have pictures of game action, even better! Send that to us too. It's the easiest way to get your star athlete's game and score online for everyone to see.

For more information, contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lawler to retire as CEO of Economic Alliance

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

The Economic Alliance Houston Port Region President/CEO Jan Lawler announced her intention to retire, closing her approximately six-year tenure as the lead executive. She will work closely with the Economic Alliance to ensure a seamless transition by year-end, providing expertise on special projects while making room for other personal and business commitments.

 Lawler came to the organization in 2004 as the result of a national executive search. During this critical era, the entity’s board of directors committed to revitalize a 20-year old organization previously known as the Southeast Harris County Economic Development Council or SEED. Lawler was hired to expand services and to further develop the economic influence of approximately 900,000 citizens who work and live in the port region.
As President/CEO, Lawler managed the organization as it rebranded into the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region and launched innovative economic development strategies customized for the region’s unique sectors of maritime trade, energy and petrochemical manufacturing, and related service industries and small businesses. Other highlights include execution and management of contracts and agreements with 16 port region communities, 12 chambers of commerce, the Port of Houston Authority, Harris County and more than 100 private businesses. Expanded services have resulted in approximately $320 million dollars of capital investment recruited to the port region through Economic Alliance project work. An estimated $25 million has been realized in the form of grants, assistance loans, studies and other economic service activities engaged by the organization on behalf of its stakeholders. Commitment of influential partners ranging from local to statewide groups was garnered in the last five years for unique long-term initiatives that evolved from Economic Alliance strategic goals and start-up facilitation. Examples include Project Stars™ (San Jacinto Texas Historic District), the Gulf Coast Petrochemical Information Network (GCPIN), and the formation of a recently publicized non-profit International Maritime and Energy Center.

Central president selected for national center

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

San Jacinto College Central President Dr. H. Neil Matkin will participate in national studies and policy research as a 2009-10 Associate with the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

The College administrator is one of 15 higher education leaders nominated and selected from across the country to serve in this position. As an Associate, he will review and comment on draft papers by the Center, project descriptions and research findings. Some of Matkin's previous research regarding college systems includes the study of retention, persistence and affordability.
"I am particularly interested in continuing this research," Matkin said. "I am also interested in the further study of the success of community college graduates, broader articulation policy and legislation related to transfer to four-year institutions."
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in San Jose, Calif., that promotes public policies to enhance Americans' opportunities in the pursuit and achievement of high-quality education and training beyond high school. The Center communicates performance results and key findings to the public; to civic, business and higher education leaders; and to state and federal leaders who are poised to improve higher education policy.

The Center’s Associates Program serves as an advisory tool to test ideas and as a source for policy conversation and advice.

SJC instructors keep up with technology changes through externships

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

To keep up with industry trends and developments, two San Jacinto College process technology instructors recently completed externships at Sun Products, a local plant that manufactures detergents and biodiesel.

During the summer, Mike Speegle and Greg Smith completed 40 hours of refresher training at the plant located in the Bayport industrial complex to enhance their skills and learn about recent technological advancements. Smith is a full-time process technology instructor at the Central campus, and Speegle is the Central campus’ process technology department chair.

Port region mayors salute legislators on POW-MIA Day for saving Battleship Texas heritage

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

In tribute to today’s POW-MIA National Recognition Day, the port region mayors on behalf of their respective communities paid tribute to veterans and their legislators on board the Battleship Texas. 

The recognition by members of the Mayors Advisory Council of the Economic Alliance joined Harris County Precinct Two County Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia and representatives of the Battleship Texas Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife to acknowledge legislators who provided tireless efforts to keep the Battleship Texas restored at its current location. Berthed at San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site since 1948, concerns were repeatedly expressed by the mayors regarding the close calls to the ship’s well being the last time she was towed for repairs in the 1980s. Approximately 900,000 people live and work in the sixteen mayoral communities where an overwhelming majority of constituents voiced in their sense of heritage for the grand ship through the years.

Gov. Perry brings message of optimism, hope to Deer Park chamber

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Gov. Rick Perry addressed members of the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce this week as part of a tri-chamber luncheon. Photo provided by Jackie Welch.

Armed with a message of optimism about the Texas economy and the future of commerce and jobs in the state, Gov. Rick Perry addressed members of the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce yesterday. A crowd of about 500 people, comprised of the members of the Deer Park, Pasadena and South Belt-Ellington chambers, gathered as part of a tri-chamber luncheon to hear the 47th governor of Texas.

Perry said although the state and nation face difficult economic challenges, "It's real simple. Don't spend all the money," he said. "Governing doesn't have to be difficult. I was an Animal Science major at Texas A&M"
Because of the leadership of state legislators from southeast Harris County, Texans have stayed ahead of the rest of the nation in jobs, jobs created and recession troubles, Perry said.
"This didn't happen by accident," he said. "It happened because of a team of men and women working together who understand how to drive a state economy."

Cancer survivor Moses helps others detect breast cancer faster

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

For years, Norma Moses' friends and family told her to get a mammogram. Every single time they urged her, she refused.

"I really didn't feel like I had a reason to get one," she said. "There was no history of breast cancer in my family. I didn't know anyone who had it. I honestly didn't think it was that important."
Fifteen years ago, she finally got her first mammogram. The results changed her life.
"I had Stage II breast cancer," she said. "I finally gave in and got a mammogram and we find cancer the first time. Luckily, we found it early. The type I had was known to be very aggressive."

SJC's technical education gives laid-off workers a second chance

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Forty-five-year-old Joseph Moore of Houston is starting over. After spending 20 years working in the food processing industry, the single father of two is now a first-time college student at San Jacinto College.

"You never think about going to college until something like this happens to you," said Moore, who was laid off last year when the company he worked for shut down a processing plant in Lufkin. Although Moore's story is not unusual during these rough economic times, he is, part of a growing group of laid-off workers who are changing the face of today’s college campus.

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