Special Schools Principals Fuel Excitement and Unity Among Faculty, Staff Ahead of New School Year

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August 17, 2023 by HCDE Communications

On August 9, Harris County Department of Education’s Special Schools division officially kicked off the 2023-2024 school year as campuses welcomed faculty and staff back from summer break with team-building activities and professional development.  

Highpoint School greeted more than 11 new faces and got to know each other during a volunteer event at the Houston Food Bank. Principal Courtney Waters, faculty, and staff sorted groceries and packed hundreds of boxes to provide more than 12,000 meals for Harris County families.  

“We are a family at Highpoint, and I believe in my core this is going to be an awesome year for our staff and students,” exclaimed Waters. “As we volunteer, I’m reminding everyone that we aren’t putting food in a box. We are serving families, much like we serve students.”  

Academic and Behavior School West was the source of laughter and excitement as the new principal, Jatata Hutton, introduced himself to the team. Filling the shoes of veteran educator Dr. Victor Keys, who retired this summer, Hutton received an enthusiastic HCDE welcome as he led employees in several staff development activities.    

“I want to ensure ABS West has a strong, unified school culture because we know that means healthy, happy students and families,” said Hutton.  

ABS West Principal Jatata Hutton speaks to teachers before the start of the new school year on August 9, 2023.

Both activities allowed longtime educators and new hires to connect while participating in problem-solving, communication, and team-building exercises.

To learn more about HCDE Schools, visit hcde-texas.org/special-schools.

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