Board Recognition Recap
September 5, 2023
During the regular scheduled meeting, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees invited students and staff to recognize their recent accomplishments at the district and state level.
To help open the meeting, Board President Nancy Humphrey invited Boy Scout Troop 200 to lead the United States and Texas Pledges of Allegiance.
Six individuals from boy scout troop 200 lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States.
After the pledges, Dr. Selenda Freeman invited Ryan Steele, Executive Director for School Leadership and Innovation, to begin recognition.
Hedgecoxe Elementary and Principal Kristi Graham, who have been recognized as a 2023 recipient of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Student Leadership Award. This award was established in 2018 to recognize outstanding Texas Student Council and Student Leadership Teams for their contributions to their school and communities.
Board Vice President Dr. Lauren Tyra, Hedgcoxe Elementary students and staff
Next, Sharon Bradley, Daphne Warren and Heba Abdelghani, were invited to the dais to be recognized, as their "Community Keepers Student Leadership Program" was honored in the Texas School Safety Center's School Safety Spotlight Program. The Community Keepers train student leaders in restorative approaches, skills and attitudes necessary to resolve conflict constructively. The main focus of the program is to transform student bystanders into "Upstanders." Community Keepers are trained by Daphne Warren of the Plano ISD CARE Team and collaborate with PALs (Peer Assistance Leaders). The Community Keepers, such as Heba Abdelghani's group at Robinson Middle School, empower other students to learn ways to resolve conflicts and disputes and brainstorm ways to “make things right” to create a stronger and safer school community. They become Restorative Thinking Partners, which is someone who has been trained in restorative practices and available to assist peers to think through individual situations restoratively prior to taking action. Equipping student leaders with the restorative skills to identify potential safety situations, respond effectively, and refer students to trusted adults actively creates a safer learning environment.
Vice President Dr. Lauren Tyra, Sharon Bradley, Heba Abdelghani and Robinson MS Principal Lasma Jekabsone-Berrouet
Afterward, a special recognition,which was actually pre-recorded, as the honoree was unable to attend in person. Madhalasa Iyer, a 2023 graduate of Plano Senior High School and Princeton University student, was recognized for being awarded with the 2023 Student Heroes Award by the State Board of Education. Madhalassa designed a wearable airbag that alerts caregivers while cushioning the most fragile parts of a falling body. After presenting her research at the Harvard Club in NYC, her paper was accepted to the Journal of Young Explorers Meta. Madhalasa got the opportunity to use the award money to invest in manufacturing a more robust prototype wherein preventative, sustainable devices like hers could positively serve many. She has also published a children’s book titled Motley, which illustrates how kindness can bridge racial and cultural divides.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Selenda Freeman, Board Vice President Dr. Lauren Tyra, Madhalasa Iyer, State Board of Education Representative Pam Little, Board President Nancy Humphrey
Pam Little, Representative for District 12 of the State Board of Education, visited the meeting to show her gratitude for Madhalasa and her innovative work and provide her with the State Board of Education-approved resolution in their honor during their June meeting.
State Board of Education Representative Pam Little shared her appreciation for Madhalasa