PISD’s Lewis to retire as superintendent
Pasadena Independent School District Superintendent Kirk Lewis announced he will retire as superintendent, after serving nine years in the position.
Lewis made the announcement at PISD’s monthly board meeting Tuesday,June 23. The retirement will take effect January 15, 2016.
“When January 2016 rolls around, Pasadena ISD will have been an integral part of my life for 30 years,” Lewis said. “I have met and worked with thousands of wonderful people, each committed to the children we serve. I’ve learned from them, grown with them and shared great success and painful tragedy with all of them. When you walk together through life with people like those in this district, you develop a bond that is truly one of life’s greatest blessings. These men and women of Pasadena ISD will be forever in my heart and in my prayers. I have been privileged towork with an amazing group of educators.”
Originally from Ropesville, near Lubbock, Lewis received his bachelor’s in advertising/public relations from Texas Tech in 1976. Following this, he attended the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where he received a master’s in education futures in 1983. Lewis went on to earn a doctorate in education leadership from Lamar University in March 2008.
Lewis began at PISD in 1986 as administrative assistant to the superintendent, responsible for communications and policy development.
He was promoted to executive director for communications and community relations in 1995 and to deputy superintendent for administration, public relations and governmental affairs in 2001, before being promoted to superintendent in April 2006.
Under his leadership, PISD has seen an increase in graduation rates, a dramatic reduction in dropout rates, a significant increase in number of students taking and passing AP exams and dual credit courses and the creation of Early College High School concept and the Career and Technical High School that now bears his name.
He has also overseen the successful passage of six bond programs valued at more than $1.3 billion. The funds were used to construct six new elementary schools, nine middle schools, two intermediate schools and two high schools (Memorial/CTHS). Replacement campuses constructed include 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, six intermediate schools and one high school. Numerous new wings and renovations were also added with the secured funds.
Lewis has resided in Pasadena for 39 years. He and his wife, Robin, have been married 34 years and have two sons, Adam, a teacher at Sam Rayburn High School, and Andrew, an electrical engineer for Dashiell Corporation in Houston. In addition to his work at PISD, Lewis also teaches Sunday school at South Main Baptist Church, where he also serves as a deacon.
Lewis is grateful for his time with the district and plans to make the most of his remaining months.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, this district, our staff and students and this community for 30 years,” Lewis said. “There is still much to be done. I have a few more months to do the work I love with the people I love and the students who mean the world to me. I promise to give each remaining day my best.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to approve the City of Houston’s request to construct a commercial spaceport at Ellington Airport.
If approved, the facility would be the ninth of its kind in the nation.
“This is a new and exciting sector of the 21st century economy that carries amazing potential for growth,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “We believe a licensed spaceport in Houston would not only serve as an economic generator for the city but it would also enhance Houston’s well-deserved reputation as a leader and key player in the aerospace industry.”
Houston City Council members agreed with that assessment in July 2013, when they voiced their overwhelming support for the pursuit of spaceport licensing at Ellington Airport. Should the required federal licensing be secured, the Houston Airport System would move forward in establishing the required infrastructure and support facilities needed to accommodate enterprises such as, component and composite fabrication, space vehicle assembly, launching of micro-satellites, astronaut training, zero gravity experimentation and space tourism.
“It’s important to realize that this type of work is already taking place today,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “This is not a conversation based on science fiction or futuristic projections. This is a conversation about how Houston can access and enhance an industry that is already well established and growing exponentially.”
The launches being proposed for Ellington Airport would involve reusable launch vehicles executing horizontal, rather than vertical, take-offs, departing in a fashion similar to commercial aircraft.
An official announcement from the FAA will be released at a city press conference to be held Tuesday, June 30.
The annual South Belt Independence Day parade and fireworks show are quickly approaching, set to take place Saturday, July 4.
Now in its 28th year, the parade will wind from Beverly Hills Intermediate to San Jacinto College South. See accompanying map on this page.
This year’s event will be a salute to all first responders. The Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, Houston Fire Department, Harris County Precinct 2 Constable’s office and Houston Police Department are expected to take part in the parade.
All residents, organizations and businesses are welcome to participate. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and floats, as prizes will be awarded in various categories.
Community and nonprofit groups may sign up for the parade at no charge, unless they wish to be eligible for a prize. A $50 fee is charged for commercial entries. Noncommercial entries may enter the contest for $25.
Entry forms are available at www.southbeltleader.com/Parade_entry.pdf or the Leader office, 11555 Beamer, or by calling the Leader at 281-481-5656 or Judy Harrison at 281-481-6909 or emailing email@example.com. The forms are to be filled out and returned to the Leader office, faxed to 281-481-5730 or emailed by July 2. For convenience, entry forms may be dropped off through the mail slots located on each side of the front office doors.
On the evening of Saturday, July 4, South Belt residents may view the annual fireworks show at El Franco Lee Park, located at 9400 Hall Road. Organizers said this year’s display will be the largest to date. Funded by the annual South Belt Spectacular Cookoff, the display is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with news items of interest.