Author: Lawana Porter

The Junior League of Dallas celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Grants for Innovative Teaching program Sept. 7 by awarding 54 grants totaling $93,000 to Dallas ISD educators. The grant program funds innovative school and classroom projects proposed by district teachers and administrators. This year, four librarians received funding for literacy-related activities, which is a great advantage to students said Gay Patrick, director of Library and Media Services. “The library is a bigger classroom,” Patrick said. “Junior League grants awarded to librarians allow students across grade levels and cultures to learn and share together, bringing a wealth of experiences and…

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Dallas ISD will offer high school juniors and seniors and their parents a helping hand navigating the path to college at the district’s annual college fair set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wed., Sept. 21, 2016, at the Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 Polk St. The fair will feature representatives of more than 200 colleges, universities, trade schools and the military sharing information and answering questions about available careers and how to choose, get admitted to, and pay for college. The college fair theme is “Take the next step toward your future.” It’s one strategy Dallas ISD is pursuing to encourage…

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Parents and community members welcomed an opportunity to view and comment on preliminary architectural drawings showing plans for a $21.7 million expansion to Hillcrest High School. Architect Jeff Miller shared his plans and answered questions about the expansion plans at a community meeting in August. Initial plans call for a construction of a new competition gym, a 29-classroom addition and upgrades to science labs, the cafeteria and kitchen, additional parking and a number of interior improvements. District 2 Trustee Dustin Marshall said the upgrade will be a real boost to Hillcrest. “The athletic facility I think is the highlight,” he…

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Parents and community members are invited to talk with district trustees and the architects and project managers charged with making the school improvements funded by the district’s $1.6 billion bond program approved last November. Plans call for construction of several new schools. A number of existing schools will receive classroom additions and upgrades to their lobbies and facades; others will get less visible improvements such as heating and air conditioning or plumbing upgrades. The meetings will give parents and community members information about projects scheduled in their school communities and the opportunity to make suggestions and ask questions about the…

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Seventy Dallas ISD seniors are receiving special assistance selecting, applying for and securing financial aid for college thanks to a collective of organizations that have formed the Texas Higher Education Initiative. St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, 12 Texas colleges and universities, and four area school districts created the initiative to streamline the college admissions process for first-generation students interested in attending Texas colleges. On a recent Saturday morning, the initiative partners invited ninety area high school students to talk with college admissions officers, learn how to write winning college essays and to get help navigating the higher education financial aid system.…

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Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (GAABA) merchants this week presented $15,000 in scholarships to nine seniors from North Dallas, Conrad and Woodrow Wilson high schools. Former GAABA president Jorge Levy, owner of Desperado’s Restaurant on Greenville Avenue, spoke proudly of the association’s decision seven years ago to fund student scholarships with proceeds from its two annual fundraisers. “To me, education is very, very important,” Levy said. “I barely finished high school, but because of economic problems, I couldn’t continue. One of the most important things in life is education. I suggested supporting it when I was association president, and here we…

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Hundreds of seniors will take that much-anticipated final walk across the stage to receive diplomas this month. For many, the next big step will be leaving for college. To see that students have the capacity to transport their gear to colleges near and far, Dallas ISD Counseling Services has joined forces with 2011 alum and founder of the Puede Network Adan Gonzalez to sponsor a luggage drive. Employees and community members who would like to donate new luggage, duffel bags or backpacks to this worthy cause are invited to drop off their donations at the offices of Dallas ISD Counseling…

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Like virtually every high school senior, 18-year-old Landon Finley is looking forward to graduation. The South Oak Cliff student has won multiple scholarships, and has set his sights on attending Texas A&M University at College Station where he says his older brother, a former athlete and important role model, is in his second year and really loves the school and its rich traditions. Number three in his class of 250, Landon recently learned he is one of seven Dallas ISD seniors selected to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. The scholarship will cover all college-related costs at the university or…

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At the start of each school year, C.A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School Principal Juan Pecina has the opportunity to meet with the sons of his school’s namesake. “They always meet with me at the beginning of the year to ask what we need,” said Pecina.  “This year, I told them I needed college pennants. They purchased them. I told them I wanted to take the students to a college. They said ‘Our dad went to SMU. We’re going to try to make it happen.’” Thursday, the late C.A. Tatum’s sons, C.A. Tatum III and Henry, did just that—potentially opening up…

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News that Texas Ranger Cole Hamels’ foundation is donating $5,000 grants to a pair of district schools prompted surprise and elation from the two recipients at Tuesday’s presentation event. Adelfa Callejo Elementary counselor Tiffany Minor and Winnetka Elementary P.E. teacher Cassandra Benavides are still reeling from the news and hoopla surrounding the announcement that their schools are receiving the first local grants from Hamels’ Foundation. The pair met and thanked their benefactor Tuesday at a student assembly held at Winnetka to formally announce the grant presentations. Benavides says she was surprised and elated at her selection to receive the $5,500 grant.…

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