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Posts published in March 2022

Aldine watches, worries for Griner

Brittney Griner, all-star WNBA basketball center, continues to be held in a Russian jail, after her arrest on Feb. 17 at Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. Russian authorities charged her with possessing vape cartridges with hashish oil, an illegal drug. Reports say that her trial has been set for May 19.

Griner is well known in the Aldine area, having played during her school years for Nimitz High, and later for Baylor University. She is considered by many as the best basketball player in the WNBA, where she currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury. Griner is a 7 time WNBA All-Star center, and a 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist. During the offseason, she has been playing in Russia for the UMMC Ekaterinburg team, since 2014.

Friends and former teammates in the Aldine area have expressed concern about her well-being while held in a Russian jail. Reportedly she has not had contact with American officials, except through her attorney team. Observers feel that the current situation in Ukraine may make her arrest and incarceration more difficult, and have pressed the U.S. government to take a more active role in her case.

Aldine students earn $202,000 in Projects at 63rd Annual Livestock & Art Show

Nimitz High School junior K’Ven Horn poses with his Grand Champion steer Deebo.

By Mike Keeney

Once again, the Aldine community stepped up to the plate and came through in a big way for Aldine ISD FFA (Future Farmers of America) students.

Aldine ISD employees and business partners pledged $202,000 to student projects during the Sale of Champions, which concluded the 63rd annual FFA Livestock and Art Show, held Jan. 26-28 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.

Nimitz High School junior K’Ven Horn raised the Grand Champion steer, purchased by the Superintendent’s Group for $12,000. Classmate Delana Temple raised the Reserve Grand Champion steer, purchased for $5,500 by the Optimist Club.

“It really means a lot to me,” Horn said after his steer Deebo earned the Grand Champion honors. “It makes me proud that this proves I did a good job of showing him. This experience has given me a lot of confidence.”

Ojeda named Aldine head coach

Cirilo Ojeda Jr. has been named the new head football coach at Aldine High School. He comes to Aldine after serving as head coach at Sharpstown High School in Houston ISD.

Cirilo Ojeda Jr. likes a challenge and that’s one of the main reasons he gladly accepted the opportunity to become the new head football coach at Aldine High School.

Ojeda comes to Aldine High after serving as the head coach at Sharpstown High School in Houston ISD for the last two years.

The Mustangs have struggled as a program the last few years, and Ojeda is focused on turning things around, and he’s aware it won’t happen overnight.

“I want to accept the challenge to get back to where this program has been,” the University of Houston graduate said.

Daryle Freeman, Linda Nigro named top AISD educators

Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney is pictured at center with Aldine ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year Daryle Freeman and AISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year Linda Nigro. Also pictured at left are LaShon Ormand from Amplify, and at right AISD Board member Rose Avalos and Richard Cantu, President of the Aldine Education Foundation.

LaDon Ward, Christi Van Wassenhove are top principals

ALDINE – Aldine ISD celebrated its top teachers and principals at the Educator of the Year Breakfast, held Friday, March 11 at the Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Hotel. This year’s theme was “Garden Tea Party.”

Aldine ISD Trustees, district administrators, campus administrators, teachers and business partners donned their best high team ware to celebrate Aldine’s top educators.

Daryle Freeman of Davis High School was named the district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, while Linda Nigro of Vardeman Primary School was named the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. Freeman is the choir director at Davis High School and Nigro is a physical education teacher at Vardeman Primary School.

The four Teacher of the Year finalists were Chantil Gill of Kujawa Elementary School, Jordy Rios of Oleson Elementary School, Carissa Clohessy of Drew Academy and Mackenzie Cho of MacArthur High School.

For the third consecutive year, the district also announced it Rookie Educators of the Year. Griselda Calvo of Hinojosa Primary School was named the Rookie Elementary Teacher of the Year, while Brandon Jordan was named the Rookie Secondary Teacher of the Year.

In addition, Aldine ISD’s Principals of the Year and Rookie Principal of the Year were also announced.

Authorities close Baywatch Event

ALDINE – An event hosting more than 3,000 people was shut down last Saturday night after officials from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office said its promoter did not have a permit to have that many people in attendance.

The function took place at the Maya Lagoon Park in the 2000 block of Connorvale Road in Aldine.

According to officials, residents in that neighborhood began complaining as thousands of event-goers began flocking to the park for the Baywatch Weekend event.

Officials from the HCFMO were called and issued a stop-work order on the event. Those in attendance were asked to leave the property immediately, which caused heavy traffic throughout that area for some time afterward.

Various videos across social media under the hashtag #BaywatchWeekend show the thousands of people partying while surrounding a pool.

Sheriff’s Storefront Office has Reopened

Public Safety Meeting on March 24

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Storefront at the East Aldine Town Center Building has reopened to the public. The office is located in the East Aldine District Building, on East Aldine Amphitheater Drive, off Aldine Mail Route.

The East Aldine District will host the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in a Public Safety Community Forum Meeting on Thursday, March 24 starting at 6:30 pm in the East Aldine District Office Building, 2909 East Aldine Amphitheatre Drive. The public is invited, please RSVP and send questions for discussion, to

Aldine ISD lifts Mask Mandate March 7

HOUSTON, March 1, 2022 – Aldine ISD will lift its mask mandate on Monday, March 7 due to an ongoing decline in COVID-19 cases in the district, expanded vaccine eligibility for younger children and updated guidance from the CDC, state and local health officials. The district will no longer require students, staff, and visitors to wear face masks at district facilities or events.

Superintendent LaTonya M. Goffney said that while she remains cautious, the decision was based on the data and facts available to the district. She emphasized that the district will continue to prioritize safety while never sacrificing learning.

“We know we are not out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic. However, we have all the tools and procedures in place to ensure our students can continue to learn in a safe and healthy learning environment,” said Goffney. “For the safety and wellbeing of our community, I still encourage everyone to wear masks and take precautions. I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated, to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.”

Rep. Walle new chair of Legislative Study Group


AUSTIN – For almost three decades, the Texas Legislative Study Group (LSG) has provided valuable policy analysis. LSG Floor Reports and detailed policy reports have played an important role in crafting legislation that benefit all Texans. Rep. Garnet Coleman has been a member of the LSG since its inception and has chaired the LSG since 2003.

With his announcement that he will retire from the House on February 28, Chair Coleman has asked Representative Armando Walle to serve as LSG Chair upon his retirement at the end of the month.

Representative Walle has been active in the LSG since he came to the Texas House in 2009. He has a working knowledge of LSG operations through his service as LSG Treasurer in addition to a proven record of pursuing policy solutions that benefit all Texans.

Brittney Griner arrested at Russian Airport

Former Aldine star woman’s basketball player, Brittney Griner, is reported to have been arrested at the airport as she prepared to leave Russia. She now plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and in the off-season for a Russian team.

She was detained after the Russian Federal Customs Service said it discovered cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport. The offense could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

USA Basketball said in a tweet Saturday that it is monitoring the situation.

“Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns,” the tweet read.

County sets $8mil for new Early Childhood program

HARRIS COUNTY, TX – February 22, 2022 – Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday awarded grantees a combined total of $7.9 million in American Rescue Plan funds provided by the Biden-Harris Administration to seed a targeted portfolio of early childhood programs, including resources for educators and new parents, and the expansion of home-based child care providers.

Commissioners approved the following contracts on a 3 to 2 vote:

— $4.6 million to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) to implement Build the upWORDS Community-Based Universal and Targeted Intervention Model: The program will provide universal education, resources, and materials to parents of young children. Over three years, 20,000 children will be served and TCH will train 6,000 early childhood educators.

— $2.4 million to First3Years to implement Expand the Safe Babies Approach in Harris County: This initiative, which will be offered to 300 young children and their families over three years, is designed to to improve family reunification by strengthening the relationship between birth and foster parents.

— $906,173 to The Alliance for Home-Based Child Care Supports to expand home-based child care operations. This effort will create jobs, creating at least 23 licensed programs that will add child care capacity in low- to moderate-income communities.

— Funding for independent evaluators to assess the impacts of the program