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Furr High School holds ribbon cutting for new building

L- R: Councilman Robert Gallegos (blue shirt), Constable Chris Diaz, Representative Ana Hernandez, Interim Principal Rose Hernandez, HISD Trustee Holly Maria Flinn Vilaseca, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, Area Superintendent Jorge Arredondo, Interim Chief Academic Officer Noelia Longoria and School Support Officer Cesar Martinez. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Furr High School, Houston, TX. — May 18, 2018 — Furr High School’s Interim Principal Rose Hernandez began the Building Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, welcoming citizens, community leaders, and officials.

The ceremony began with Furr’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), led by Emily Gomez Cadet Colonel, posting the Colors. Commander Sergeant Major Isiah Galindo led in the pledge. Entertainment was given by the JROTC Drill team, led by Commander Grace Danas, the school band, the Sparkles dancers, and cheerleaders. Reflections on Furr were made by students, Angela Gomez, Caleb Elam, and Ernesto Salazar.

Principal Hernandez stated, “The Furr vision is to transform the outdated urban high school which was opened in the fall of 1961 into a next-generation, student-driven facility that addresses global and local challenges. With our new 182,000 square feet, three-story building design that holds flexible learning spaces that meets the needs of all learners, we believe we will do just that.”

“With our new state of the art facility, we will provide a personalized, rigorous academic experience that will encourage students to tackle issues from environmentalism to social justice by providing students with strong, positive mentorships, hands-on internships, and project-based learning.”

“Furr will foster a relationship driven culture of trust, where educators nurture a sense of hope and possibility for all students. In our 21st century flexible space, students will have access to multiple learning pathways such as Health Science, Digital Media, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and yes, even an opportunity to earn their Associates in Arts Degree through our Future’s Program.”

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said, “I am so honored to be here today to share this momentous occasion with you. Furr students now have modern classrooms with access to state-of-theart technology, new seating areas, a new band hall and science labs, and a lovely new dining commons. And soon your new athletics fields will be completed.”

“This building was designed for one purpose: to create a bright, welcoming space and a positive learning environment for Furr students. This is truly a 21st-century learning space, and when the 2012 Bond program is complete – and we are halfway there – HISD will have one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the nation,” Latham said.

State Representative Ana Hernandez, whose District includes the new school, said, “Today marks a new chapter for the Furr High School family. In 2012, our community voted to invest in the future of our children. The dedication and opening of this new campus delivers on that commitment. These new facilities will transform lives and open new frontiers of possibilities for the next generation of young leaders.”

Robert Gallegos, Houston City Councilman District I, said he’s happy to see the new school which is in his district bring to his constituents the learning tools they need to advance into a career that will bring them many successes in life.

State Board of Education Lawrence Allen Jr. presented Caleb Elam with the Furr 2018 Student Hero award.

Representative Carol Alvarado thanked the HISD Board for their bringing about the new school, as well as the new Milby High School where she graduated.

Local citizens Ann Estes and Sue Blackburn, members of the Songwood Civic Community Members, were recognized for their unwavering commitment to passing on wisdom and encouragement to the students, especially when planting trees in the community garden at Herman Brown Park.