Three Houston journalists are being honored through the 2017 Media Honor Roll Award issued by the Texas Association of School Boards on behalf of Harris County Department of Education in August. The journalists are Christine Dobbyn, reporter for KTRK-TV, Channel 13; Fabian Gutierrez, assignments editor for KTMD-TV Telemundo 47; and Danica Smithwick, reporter for Community Impact Newspapers.
“These three talented journalists tackle the challenges facing public education and herald the successes of our million-plus students and teachers in greater Harris County through a humanistic approach,” said Harris County School Superintendent James Colbert. We appreciate their service to public education and their accurate approach and judgment in sharing public education news.”
KTRK-TV reporter Christine Dobbyn is recognized for her story on afterschool students from the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids, or CASE for Kids, who volunteered alongside their parents at the Houston Food Bank in an effort to expose the teens to the problem of hunger in their community. The story may be viewed through the following YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJCah2v8C7Q
KTMD-TV assignments editor Fabian Gutierrez is honored for supporting HCDE Head Start and Adult Education programs throughout the year, helping get the word out about free education opportunities to the public. One story Fabian assigned was creatively angled at recruiting adult education construction workforce students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIzoyEDDNU0
Honoree Danica Smithwick, reporter for Community Impact Newspaper, provided a comprehensive article about Harris County Department of Education and the services it provides to Harris County school districts and citizens. Her article is available on the newspaper’s website: https://communityimpact.com/houston/cy-fair/at-the-capitol/2017/04/05/sen-bettencourt-targets-county-departments-of-education/ .
In addition to receiving plaques from HCDE and TASB, the association also recognizes these three honorees on its website: https://goo.gl/ZcedHe .
About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE provides special education, therapy services, early education, adult education and after-school programming. Services are funded by government grants, fees and a local property tax rate of $.005195. For every dollar in local property tax collected, HCDE provides $4.40 in services to the 25 Harris County school districts. HCDE also operates four campuses for students with profound special education needs and adjudicated youth who require a low student-teacher ratio and highly structured environment. One-hundred percent of students served on HCDE campuses are at-risk. The organization is governed by an elected board of seven trustees and has 1,060 employees and 33 facilities, including 15 Head Start centers. More info at www.hcde-texas.org