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Posts published in October 2017

Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Dr. Archie Blanson announce their retirements

During the Oct. 17 Board of Trustees meeting, Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Archie Blanson announced their retirements, effective at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

Dr. Bamberg is in her 11th year as superintendent and has devoted 36 of her 41 years in education to Aldine ISD.

In her letter to the Board, she thanked them for their support during her tenure as AISD’s superintendent.

“It has been my honor to serve as Aldine ISD’s superintendent for the last 10 years. I have been blessed with the support of an outstanding school board with a focus on students,” she said in her letter. “I have had the honor of working with an experienced administrative team, the cabinet, whose expertise and commitment, have allowed me to do my job well. I have also enjoyed the incredible support of great instructional and operational leaders throughout the district. As a team, we have accomplished good things for Aldine ISD students.

“This year, 2017-18, marks for me 41 total years of service, 36 years in Aldine and 11 as superintendent of schools. The 2018-19 school year marks the beginning of new opportunities for Aldine ISD, so with a grateful heart, I am submitting my letter of retirement from the district at the end of this school year. I am committed to ensuring that all our plans are in place to ensure the bright future we envision for each and every Aldine student and staff member.”

Board President Dr. Viola M. Garcia thanked Dr. Bamberg for her years of dedicated service to Aldine ISD.

“Forty-one years in education is a remarkable accomplishment,” Dr. Garcia said. “You served our district many years in a leadership role and you have taken our district to a new level. I want to sincerely thank you for your years of service.”

Board Vice-President Rose Avalos, who served as an educator in Aldine for 33 years, said Dr. Bamberg’s retirement will leave a void in the district.

“It’s going to be hard for me to let you go,” she said. “We’ve worked together for so many years. You have steered us in the right direction. I’ve learned a lot from you and I will really miss you.”

Jensen community enjoys annual Jubilee

UT Physician’s Marlin Stewart, second from right, presents $1500 scholarships to Jubilee King Jose Perez, and Queen Madelaine Rojas, as Pastor David Smith, Armando Walle, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Yuroba Harris participate.

Rebuild, Renew, Restore theme

NORTHEAST – The annual Jensen Jubilee was held last Saturday, and it was more than a street fair.

Organizers David Smith of New Bethlehem Church, and Fred Russell of Greater Jerusalem Church are planning on rejuvenating a once thriving neighborhood, and breathing life into it with family friendly events such as this Jubilee. The overall theme is “Taking Jensen Back” and the organization is the Houston Northeast CDC.

To help them in this endeavor, they had many government leaders, civic organizations, and businesses participating in the Jubilee. This included Congresspersons Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, State Representative Armando Walle, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, City Councilwoman Karla Cisneros, Sheriff Ed Gonzales, and others.

The event sponsor was UT Physicians, providing scholarships of $1500 each for two students crowned King and Queen.

The Jubilee started with a parade down Jensen from Trout Street, ending at the parking log next to Greater Jerusalem church. There about 20 booths were set up, plus a stage with sound equipment courtesy of Robinson Entertainment.

State of District Breakfast starts transition

RETIRING ALDINE ISD SUPERINTENDENTS WANDA BAMBERG, AND ARCHIE BLANSON, pose for a final photo with school board members Patricia Ann Bourgeois, Dr. Kimberley Booker, Connie Esparza, Paul Shanklin, Rose Avalos, Steve Mead, and Dr. Viola Garcia.

By Gilbert Hoffman

Aldine ISD’s annual State of the District breakfast is looked forward to by the district staff and the public, to hear updates on accomplishments and plans for the future.

But this year was a bit different, as only a week before, two superintendents has announced their retirement plans, leaving the school board with the job of filling the top posts with someone with a new vision and skills.

Bamberg quipped in her opening remarks, that it had taken her 10 years to learn that the students could present the factual report better then she could, so they proceeded to do that.

Among the facts of interest were total enrollment, which has decreased from 69,768 to 67,374, and a budget for the years 2017-2018 of $622 million. They noted that income will not cover the expenditures, and $44 million will come from reserves.

The racial mix of the district is now 73% Hispanic, and the graduation rate has risen to 83%. Two campuses have been removed from the state’s “Improvement Required” scholastic ratings, but three still remain.

A major impact on the district this year was Hurricane Harvey, with flooding impacting staff, students and buildings. Two shelters were established in AISD buildings, serving about 1900 for several weeks with sleeping quarters and food. Bill Ginder, president of the Aldine Education Foundation, said that they had raised over $300,000 to help with relief to affected individuals.

The students also reported on the status of funds from the 2015 $798 million bond referendum. Construction was started on eight new schools, construction of a Northside Transportation Center, and renovations and conversion of nine intermediate schools into elementary. This change will facilitate a “reconfiguaration” plan to go into affect in 2018.