This Week's Headlines

SJC named top-10 school in nation, again

Sagemont to honor fallen soldiers

Abbott to attend chamber banquet

Mayor announces proposed ’19 budget

Clear Horizons holds graduation

CCISD’s Shannon retires after 42 years

Burglary suspects becomes unresponsive

Local swimming pools slated to open

Police respond to mental health calls

UHCL holds Spring 2018 commencement ceremonies

South Belt Chamber of Commerce honors outstanding students for April

San Jac recognizes outstanding students

San Jacinto College sets first STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium

Jessup Elementary’s Martin wins giveaway
Shaar Hashalom organizes this year’s Bites of the Bay
Clear Brook selected to host TEDx event

JUCO baseball – San Jac eyes nationals repeat

Dobie grad Arnett helps St. Mary’s secure regional golf title

Brown, JFD girls’ hoops coach, exits

SBAST Sharks name Swimmers of the Week

Johnson leads LSA nines to state title game

Longhorns release 2018 football schedule

San Jacinto College volleyballers land scholarships; to continue careers




SJC named top-10 school in nation, again

The Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence has once again named San Jacinto College as one of 10 finalists for the prestigious 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s preeminent recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges

San Jacinto now enters the final stage of the competition for $1 million in prize funds, which will be awarded in March 2019 in Washington, D.C., to the winner and up to four finalists with distinction.

“We are honored to once again be named an Aspen Institute Top 10 finalist,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College chancellor. “The work that we do every day at San Jacinto College to help our students complete their higher education credential is critically important to our region. Our faculty, staff and administrators work tirelessly to help our students achieve their goals. I want to thank the Aspen Institute for recognizing San Jacinto College as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation for 2019.”

Awarded every two years since 2011 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based educational and policy studies organization, the Prize recognizes institutions that achieve high student outcomes, and improve those outcomes.

San Jacinto College is one of 10 finalists from an original pool of more than 1,100 public community colleges nationwide. Focused solely on student access and success, the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with exceptional achievements in four areas:
• Student learning;
• Certificate and degree completion while in community college and after transferring to a four-year institution;
• Employment and earnings rates after graduation; and
• Access for and success of minority and low-income students

“Since winning the Rising Star award in 2017, San Jacinto College has kept getting better,” said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “Through distinctive efforts to coach faculty on improving learning practices, develop clearing degree pathways and maintain excellent connections to employers that offer good jobs, San Jacinto College is rapidly improving the success rates of its very diverse student body.”

San Jacinto College stands out as one of the nation’s top community colleges for many reasons, including:
• A 33 percent increase in credentials awarded over the past five years;
• Five years after graduating, San Jacinto College’s 2010 graduates earned 28 percent more than all other workers in the region;
• Innovative practices dedicated to improving student learning, such as permanent department chairs working closely with faculty members to assess learning techniques and improve course completion which are factors in faculty performance reviews; and
• Development of clear pathways for every degree, aligned with local employer needs and projected job growth in health care, the petrochemical industry and other fields
Community colleges today enroll about 40 percent of all U.S. undergraduates – 6 million students – who are working toward earning degrees and certificates. Improving student success across the more than 1,100 community colleges in the U.S. is critical to national efforts to develop talent and enable individual social mobility because:
• Community colleges disproportionately enroll low-income and minority students enrolled in college today;
• Community college graduation rates remain flat, with fewer than 40 percent of all entering students earning a degree and/or transferring to a four-year college or university; and
• A college degree today is more important than ever before. Recent research shows that out of the 11.6 million jobs created in the post-recession economy, 11.5 million require a college education
The 10 Aspen Prize finalists have achieved strong and improving student success rates in very different contexts – they are from rural and urban areas; serve demographically different student bodies; and offer a varied mix of technical workforce and academic transfer programs. These 10 institutions offer proof that every community college can achieve higher levels of success for students while in school and after they graduate.
The 2019 Aspen Prize finalists (listed in alphabetical order):
• Broward College – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
• CUNY Kingsborough Community College – Brooklyn, N.Y.
• Indian River State College – Fort Pierce, Fla.
• Miami Dade College – Miami, Fla.
• Mitchell Technical Institute – Mitchell, S.D.
• Odessa College – Odessa, Texas
• Palo Alto College – San Antonio, Texas
• Pasadena City College – Pasadena, Calif.
• Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom – Lakewood, Wash.
• San Jacinto College – Pasadena, Texas

During the remainder of 2018, the Aspen Institute will complete a rigorous review process that includes examination of data on learning, graduation, workforce and equitable outcomes for all students as well as multi-day site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions. In early 2019, a distinguished prize jury will select a grand prize winner, finalists-with-distinction and a rising star.

The 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence was awarded to Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, South Dakota. Previous Prize winners also include: Santa Fe College, Gainesville, Fla. (2015); Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, Wash. (co-winners 2013); Valencia College, Orlando, Fla. (2011).

Former Prize winners are not eligible to reapply.

Sagemont to honor fallen soldiers

Beginning Saturday, May 26, and continuing through Friday, June 1, the grounds of Sagemont Church will become a memorial garden with 38,000 flags to remember fallen Texas soldiers from every battle from the Republic of Texas in 1836 to the present.

Sagemont Church invites the Greater Houston community to come and join this remembrance of service members who sacrificed their lives in battle. With the theme, “Every Flag Has a Name,” each of the 38,000 flags represents a fallen Texas soldier, and the flags will be laid out with precision similar to that of our national cemeteries. The flag memorial will be arranged around the church’s 170-foot tall cross. Guests are encouraged to personalize the experience by leaving names of fallen loved ones on a memorial wall located on the church property.

On Monday, May 28, at 9 a.m. outside the church’s main entrance near its empty tomb, a Memorial Day service will be led by former U.S. Army Chaplain Grant Rothberg. At that service, the names of Houstonians who have died since 9/11 will be read aloud.

From Sunday, May 27, through Friday, June 1, several display areas will be open for the public to visit while remembering those who have died on the battlefield. Outdoors will be the 38,000 Flag Memorial and Memorial Wall where the public is invited to post the names of fallen loved ones.

Indoors in the church’s lobby will be a life-size model of the Liberty Bell. The outdoor displays will be open dawn to dusk daily and the indoor display will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Guests are encouraged to tag photos of the memorial on Facebook or Instagram with #sagemontflagmemorial.

The church’s desire is to remember with gratitude those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

As Jesus Christ said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Sagemont Church invites all in the Greater Houston area to pause this Memorial Day and join the church in honoring those who laid down their lives on the battlefield.

Abbott to attend chamber banquet

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will attend the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Thursday, July 19, at a location to be determined.

Now in its 34th year, the event’s theme is A Salute to the Heroes of Harvey.

Abbott will join the chamber in honoring local heroes from the historic storm.

While it would be impossible to recognize everyone’s efforts, the chamber intends to select a group of honorees that it feels is representative of the entire South Belt community’s response to Harvey.

“Everyone has their own hero, and everyone has their own story,” said Leader publisher and outgoing chamber president Marie Flickinger. “We can’t honor them all. There would be hundreds.”

The 2018 chamber president and board members will also be officially sworn into office at the event. See future editions of the Leader for more information.


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