• 2022 MLK Diversity Celebration Video

  • 35th Annual MLK Diversity Celebration 

    Plano ISD MLK Celebration To Be Hosted Virtually

    With the theme “Together We Honor the Past, Inspire the Present and Change the Future,” this year marks the 35th anniversary of Plano ISD’s annual tribute celebrating the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the diverse Plano ISD community. This virtual celebration video, with an opening introduction from School Board President David Stolle, includes engaging content that highlights our talented Plano ISD students, including the finalists and winners of the student writing contest and top artwork selected from the student art contest. This video also features The Diversity Leadership Award nominees and winners, as presented by co-chair of the Diversity Leadership Council Priscilla Brown, as well as moving words from our distinguished guest speaker, LaShon Ross, former Deputy City Manager for the City of Plano. Entertainment abounds with performances from the McMillen dance team and the Plano West Orchestra. Our celebration would not be complete without the words of one of our own legacies, Dr. Myrtle Hightower. We always enjoy celebrating together, even if we are not celebrating in person. If you miss the premiere, the video will continue to be available on this page for everyone's viewing. 

MLK Art Contest Winners & Finalists

  • Adhesh Naveen, Gulledge Elementary, 2nd Grade


    We make the world a better place,

    So everyone can have their space

    No one needs to fight

    Because everyone has different light.

    People might fight because of color of skin

    No one needs to put others in a pin.

    We need to be kind.

    So we should think in our mind.

    We should honor the past,

    By celebrating MLK Jr. fast.

    The, the future will be changed,

    Because everything will be arranged.

    If we act good, MLK Jr. will be happy,

    And we’ll make the world a better place.

  • Diya Barot, Centennial Elementary School, 5th Grade

    “Let us cherish our days together”


    Learning from our deeds,

    Help us to grow indeed,

    Inspire us to rise and proceed.


    Ideas and beliefs held by previous generation,

    Enables us to develop a much greater appreciation,

    Legacy is an important part of an ongoing foundation.


    Salute the sacrifice of our ancestors,

    Celebrate the life today with treasures,

    Accelerate the universe of our successors.


    Yesterday is the utility to make more sense with experience,

    Today is the opportunity to do the best with perseverance,

    Tomorrow is the possibility to change the world with excellence.


    Let us honor the past with dignity,

    Let us live today with integrity,

    Let us create a future full of prosperity.


    I am Diya Barot,

    Centennial Elementary School

  • Sudiksha Avirneni, Andrews Elementary, 1st Grade

    How can I make my future and the future of our world better?

    I can give money for people who do not have money to buy food to survive.

    And, if they have kids, I can also give their kids their favorite toys so they can pray with them.

    I’m Sudisksha Avirneni,

    Andrews Elementary School

  • Indra Sriram, Centennial Elementary, 1st Grade

    Together we honor the past, inspire the present and change the future.

    When we respect and love each other, we can all be together. By being together, we can honor the leaders who fought for civil rights. Leaders like Dr. King fought equal rights for people of all colors.

    Now we can play together no matter our color or gender, and win games for the team and country like Simone Riles and her gymnastics team. We make scientific breakthroughs together like Angela Hwang and her Pfizer team. We can make math discoveries like Hardy and Ramanujan. We can bring new music like the Queen or the Black skin blue eyed boys. We can go to school on the same bus and make new friends, shop together, and share, party together and have more fun. We can even lead the country together like our President Biden and Vice President Harris, and make new, better laws that promote more equality like the members of our congress.

    All the present happenings inspire us to do even more together and change the future by working together to invent new tech to reduce pollution around the world and create more equal opportunities across the fields.


    I am Indra Sriram,

    Centennial Elementary School

  • Isabella Zhao, Beverly Elementary, 2nd Grade

    Dear Plano ISD,

    Martin Luther King Junior was an African-American man who was an American Baptist minister and leader in the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King gave a speech named “I Have a Dream” in 1963, which was 59 years ago.

    He inspired me that no matter what, never give up. People wanted to honor him so they made a holiday just for him because he helped African Americans have equal rights as Americans and because he wanted people to have freedom.

    He created a happy, peaceful future for us. He gave us a world with all colors, races, and religions. If Martin Luther King Junior did not help and fight for equal rights for African-Americans, we would all still be separated and judged by our race, culture, or color.

    I would create my future by helping others and my community, inspiring others, being kind and responsible, and finally being respectful.

    We are all unique and have freedom.

    Although my skin color is different I am still the same and unique as others.

    My friends are different, but they are the same because they are still the same people and friends.

    Be a buddy, not a bully! Thank you very much Martin Luther King Jr! Thank you!


    Isabella Zhao

  • Gavin Camarena, Boggess Elementary, 3rd Grade

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    Together we honor the past, by praying for the people that died and for honoring the people that gave their lives to other people by saving them like in an emergency. Together we can inspire people in the present by helping them if they’re hurt. We can be inspiring in the present by making new friends and giving them courage so they aren’t sad and scared to join a club or a new school they have not ever been at before. We can be inspiring in the future by making better choices and choosing the correct decisions to make. Another thing you can be inspiring in the future is to make easier things to do or you can make the world change by making the world extra safe like not spreading sicknesses around the world.


    I’m Gavin Camarena

    Boggess Elementary School

  • Abigail Wampler, Thomas Elementary, 3rd Grade

    I honor my parents

    My country

    And those who’ve come before

    Battles won

    Lives lost

    Yet we shall overcome

    I stand in the present

    Unafraid to be the change

    A blooming tree with fresh roots

    United and unrestrained

  • Rebeca Jimenez, Meadows Elementary, 4th Grade

    Juntos honramos el pasado, inspiramos el presente y cambiamos el futuro. Juntos podemos honrar el pasado por recordar a las personas que sacrificaron sus vidas para nosotros y honrar a nuestros padres por lo que han hecho como mi papá que trabaja para tener dinero para comprar lo que yo tengo hoy. Podemos inspirar el presente para ayudar a las personas y parar el racismo. Cambiaremos el futuro por darle dinero a las personas que no tienen dinero y ayudar a los que están en la calle.

    Gracias Martin Luther King!

    Rebeca Jimenez

  • Ananya Sankar, Haun Elementary, 4th Grade

    Martin Luther King Jr., marches across the street, he says his famous “I have a dream speech”. From a dream of a little boy, little did he know that the dream became history. We all honor him, we still will, for that little boy’s dream was equality. I know Martin Luther King Jr. wants us to remember that color does not matter. He wants us to be happy and live in perfect harmony. 

    We honor the past.

    We all are finally together, from every color. But some people disagree, they want segregation to happen all over, but we will continue to fight for freedom. Hand in hand, black or white, marching like a band. I know one day it will all finally end, and we will all be friends.

    Inspire the present.

    Everybody is together from every color. Segregation finally ends. This would have never happened if it wasn’t for Martin Luther King, Jr. For he is the one who did this, shaping the world into one.

    Change the future.

  • Alice Cheremukhina, Boggess Elementary, 5th Grade

    From a superstar to a bus driver, role models come in various forms. In fact, I have many role models, my teachers, parents, and coaches, but most importantly leaders that change the world – for example, Martin Luther King Junior.

    Martin Luther King Jr. is known for protesting against segregation and working toward equalizing all people, regardless of their skin color. Although there were many protesters in the late 1950’s through 1967 when he was assassinated, MLK stood out among the pack because he took matters into his own hands and began to lead others, most importantly, in a peaceful way. To honor Martin Luther King Jr. for his work in changing the world, there is even a national holiday called Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Celebrated on January 17th every year. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great leader who others can always look up to for inspiration.


    As a young person it is easy to get discouraged when learning about the work of great leaders. You might have thoughts like: How can I make an impact? I’m just a kid! Remember these leaders were once kids like you, but they wanted to make a difference. You too, can make a difference TODAY. This can be accomplished by standing up to bullies, being nice to people around you, and including everyone, regardless of their differences. By doing this, you can be an example for others. People will take notice of how you’re treating others and follow suit.

    Nobody can see into the future, but you want to leave the world a better place than you found it. This seems to be the motto that many great leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. have followed. Moving forward, you may think that you have to be a politician to make an impact on the world. That is not True! By working on improving one aspect, everyone can play a part in changing he world.

    By inspiring the present and changing the future, we can make a difference just like Martin Luther King Jr. did so many years ago.


    Alice Cheremukhina

    Boggess Elementary School

  • About the Diversity Leadership Award Program

    This year, Priscilla Brown, 2021-21 Plano ISD Diversity Advisory Committee Co-Chair, had the honor of recognizing the 2022 Diversity Leadership Award nominees and winners in our MLK Diversity Celebration video presentation.

    Each year, this prestigious award program works to honor not only the great leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but also the many truly inspiring leaders in our own community. This award is coordinated annually by the Plano ISD Diversity Advisory Committee to recognize community members, staff and students who have shown leadership and commitment in fostering and promoting harmony, respect, acceptance and understanding among the beautifully diverse cultures within our community. Congratulations to the outstanding winners and nominees!

  • Winners:

    • 2022 Community Diversity Leadership Award winner: Payam Maveddat
    • 2022 Plano ISD District Staff Group Award winner: Jackson Elementary Diversity Committee
    • 2022 Plano ISD District Staff Individual Award winner: Anthony Ruttenburg
    • 2022 Plano ISD Student Group winner: Plano Genders & Sexualities Alliance (Plano GSA)
    • 2022 Plano ISD Individual winner: Madhalasa Iyer

  • Nominees:

    • 2022 Community Diversity Leadership Award nominees: Zara Jones; Nadine Roberts. 
    • 2022 Plano ISD District Staff Group Award nominees: Lisa Liner and Chad Stoker; Plano ISD Social Emotional Learning Team (Clair Song, Shannon Axtman, Jana Martin and Sherman McCray); and Thomas Elementary Multicultural Team (Kamesha Ross, Kemile Box, Sandra Barba, Kim Wilcox, Cassidy DeGrate, Ayanna Black, Daniela Kerpens, Temeka Waller and Shelan Peralta 
    • 2022 Plano ISD District Staff Individual Award nominees: Stephanie Dudzinski, Kulsum Mzee, Alma Oguin, Adrian Watson
    • 2022 Plano ISD Student Group nominee (and winner): Plano Genders & Sexualities Alliance (Plano GSA)
    • 2022 Plano ISD Individual nominees: Laura Chiappina; Abdul Sulaiman Khan