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Business in Fort Bend December 2016


Dr. Nicholas Desai

Dr. Nicholas Desai

HMSL HOSPITAL FIRST TO OFFER INNOVATIVE BIOTHERAPY

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first in Fort Bend County to use an innovative biotherapy involving fly larvae to save a patient’s infected limb that otherwise would have been amputated. Wound care specialist Nicholas Desai, D.P.M., used the BioBag®, a unique larval therapy, to clean dead tissue from a diabetic patient’s severely infected foot and quickly prepare him for a skin graft, saving him from a below-knee amputation. What would have been an 18- to 24-month ordeal — with multiple staged surgeries and significant future risks — was taken care of in a matter of days, allowing the patient to return to his daily routine quicker with full mobility.

“The BioBag actually relies on a very old practice that has been modernized in a unique way,” Desai said. “The use of larval therapy to debride, or clean, dead tissue from infected wounds dates back thousands of years. The BioBag brings it up to date by providing full containment of the fly larvae within a sealed, easy-to-apply dressing.”

BioBags contain larvae of the common green bottle fly, secured in a polyester pouch with a porous outer layer that allows direct access to the wound. When placed on top an infected lesion, the larvae secrete enzymes that liquefy dead tissue, which they then consume — effectively cleaning the wound within a day or two. Those enzymes also speed healing by providing antibacterial protection of the area.“Larval therapy leaves all healthy tissue intact and allows us to perform a skin graft within a couple of days of treatment,” Desai said. “In severe cases of infection, larval therapy will actually save the patient’s limb because more conventional therapies would not work in time.”

The first patient to receive the larval therapy at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, and in Fort Bend, was treated on a Friday. By Tuesday of the following week, his infection was cleared and he was able to receive a skin graft to cover the top of his foot, preventing the need for amputation. Since then, Desai has used this larval therapy numerous times at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, with 100 percent success.

The larval therapy – introduced in the U.S. in 2015 – has the potential to make a significant positive impact on health care outcomes and costs. The dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes among Americans has led to a rapid increase in diabetes-related foot ulcers and infections — which can be difficult for patients to detect, since they often lose feeling in their extremities, and treat because diabetes can slow the ability of skin cells to rejuvenate.

“Slow-healing wounds are an incredible burden on the American health care system,” Desai said. “In 2014, the U.S. spent an estimated $10-15 billion on ulcer and wound care, with diabetic foot ulcers accounting for the largest portion of those costs. Many of those cases eventually result in amputations, which lead to future costs and significant health risks.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicholas Desai, call 281-240-3338.

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Melissa Guerra

Melissa Guerra

NEWMARK WINS FIVE HOUSTON’S BEST PRISM AWARDS

Newmark Homes was the recipient of five awards at this year’s Greater Houston Builders Association’s Houston’s Best PRISM Awards held Oct. 1.

The Houston-based builder won Specialty Product Design Home over $1 Million, Specialty Room, Specialty Front Elevation Home Over $1 Million and Specialty Front Elevation Home $750,000 to $1 Million. Newmark’s Melissa Guerra won Marketing Professional of the Year. Newmark also was a finalist in eight other categories.

“To be recognized by such prestigious organization as the Greater Houston Builders Association is truly an honor,” said Mike Moody, president of Newmark Homes. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our products marketing efforts and most importantly — our people.”

The Greater Houston Builders Association has hosted the awards for nearly 40 years, recognizing the industry’s best people, products and promotions. Entries are judged by an independent panel of experts from across the nation.

Newmark Homes and Fedrick, Harris Estate Homes, part of the Newmark family of companies, can be found in 11 Houston-area developments including Riverstone, Harvest Green, Towne Lake and Jordan Ranch. For more information, visit newmarkhomes.com.

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(L-R): Jimmy Cantu, Pier 36 Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, with Gary Pearson.

(L-R): Jimmy Cantu, Pier 36 Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, with Gary Pearson.

CENTRAL FORT BEND CHAMBER EXPO

The Central Fort Bend Chamber Business Expo was tremendously successful in connecting local businesses with the Fort Bend Community. This year’s Business Expo was hosted on Oct. 18 at the Rosenberg Civic Center and provided a powerful platform for local companies to increase their visibility and credibility, build on their brand, reach out to existing clientele and meet new customers. The Central Fort Bend Chamber and its participating member businesses incorporated fun activities and presentations that epitomized the Central Fort Bend’s local business culture and vitalized what it means to shop local.

The Expo presented the 300 in attendance with the opportunity to network among the local business community discovering new products, services and resources available in Fort Bend County.

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Dr. Thomas Randle (second from left) was honored in Washington, D.C. for his commitment to “Lead Higher.”

Dr. Thomas Randle (second from left) was honored in Washington, D.C. for his commitment to “Lead Higher.”

LAMAR CISD SUPERINTENDENT HONORED IN D.C. FOR EFFORTS TO ENROLL STUDENTS IN AP COURSES

Lamar CISD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Randle was one of six superintendents from across the nation recognized in Washington, D.C. for his commitment to “Lead Higher.”

The Lead Higher event, hosted by Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, recognized the educators for their work to increase the number of underrepresented students participating in Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

Last school year, Lamar CISD implemented EOS programs at Lamar Consolidated and Terry high schools.

The EOS program is designed to examine AP offerings on each campus and then use strategies to find underrepresented groups of students and encourage their participation in AP courses. This year, the District is expanding EOS strategies to Foster and George Ranch high schools.

The District is one of 130 school districts in the United States — and one of only 21 in Texas — placed on the Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll.

Lamar CISD was also one of 425 school districts in the U.S. and Canada — and only of only 25 in Texas — being honored by the College Board with placement on the sixth Annual AP District Honor Roll.

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(L-R): PGAL CEO Jeff Gerber and Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore.

(L-R): PGAL CEO Jeff Gerber and Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore.

RICHMOND EARNS PROMINENT SCENIC CITY CERTIFICATION

Richmond was presented with Scenic City Certification on Oct. 6 at the Hilton Austin, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League’s Annual Conference taking place in Austin. City officials and business leaders were on hand to recognize Richmond, which was among 23 cities that earned certification or recertification, for the 2015-2020 period.

The Scenic City Certification Program is a project of Scenic Texas and its program partners, and is the first in the U.S. to incorporate a comprehensive set of model standards for design and development of public roadways and public spaces into one program. The program draws a direct correlation between the success of a city’s economic development efforts and the visual appearance of its public spaces and recognizes municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards.

Understanding that the more a community does to enhance its unique set of assets, whether natural, man-made or cultural, the better positioned it will be for growth, the City of Richmond has recently adopted its new Unified Development Code. This UDC sets the course for Richmond’s planning, zoning and ordinance development – all geared around enhancement of public roadways and public spaces. And one result of the UDC is that in its Scenic City assessment, Richmond has earned Scenic City Certification at the Bronze level.

“What a wonderful honor for Richmond to be named a Scenic City of Texas,” said Mayor Evalyn Moore. “We were one of only eight new cities so recognized, which I am very proud of, as can be our residents. Our City administration, particularly Jessica Duet, our city planner, worked very hard to achieve this goal. I applaud their efforts.”

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POLICE DEPARTMENT EARNS AWARD TO FUND BULLETPROOF VESTS

The Missouri City Police Department has once again received an award from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) under the Fiscal Year 2016 Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) solicitation. The City has received this recurring grant for more than a decade, which reimburses the police department for 50 percent of actual costs for vest replacement.

Since 1999, the BVP program has awarded more than 13,000 jurisdictions, which has totaled $412 million in federal funds being used for the purchase of more than 1 million vests.

“The BVP award is a critical resource for many state and local jurisdictions such as our own, and we are grateful to have once again received this award, which will again help our department offset the costs of essential programs,” Chief of Police Mike Berezin said. “As Missouri City continues to grow, public safety initiatives must adapt to the demands of our increasing population. New technologies that assist our department have become crucial to our officers, so awards such as this allow us to utilize our budget resources in strategic ways.”

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Gold Award winners (l-r) Allison Damron, Elizabeth Gonzales, and Amy Sebastian-Deutsch.

Gold Award winners (l-r) Allison Damron, Elizabeth Gonzales, and Amy Sebastian-Deutsch.

THREE HOUSTON METHODIST SUGAR LAND HOSPITAL NURSES NAMED GOLD AWARD WINNERS

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital nurses Allison Damron, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, Elizabeth Gonzales, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, CCRN, and Amy Sebastian-Deutsch, DNP, RN, CNS, AOCNS, have been named Gold Award winners in the 12th Annual Good Samaritan Foundation’s Excellence in Nursing Awards.

Damron was honored in the category of Clinical Practice in a Small Hospital. Inspired to become a nurse by encouragement from her mother, she was nominated by her director after working to ensure that a patient’s husband was able to receive medical care and remain by his dying wife’s side. “To me, that felt simple and just part of my job,” Damron said. “As nurse practitioners, we have a really big impact on families and patients every single day even if it’s in small ways that may we not notice.”

Gonzales was nominated in the category of Nursing Administration and Leadership. Her colleagues recognized her not only for her dedication to the administrative aspect of her role and to the leadership and development of her team members, but also for her passion for going above and beyond to develop relationships with patients and families. “I’m still a clinician at heart,” she said. “I love taking care of patients. Yet, I understand and appreciate the administrative role; I feel that we need to have very strong leadership in the health care arena and the only way to do that is to dive in and take on some of the issues that are in health care today.”

Sebastian-Deutsch was awarded in the category of Non-Hospital Based Care. Honored for her expertise and her passion to make a difference for oncology patients, she seizes the opportunity to be a mentor to other nurses and to create new tools to share her knowledge with patients. “I am humbled to receive an award for doing something I am so passionate about,” she said. “God has been very good to me in allowing me to couple my clinical expertise with my administrative interests.”

Chief Nursing Officer Janet Leatherwood said, “These women exemplify the quality care and expertise that Houston Methodist Sugar Land is known for, and they are incredibly deserving of this recognition and appreciation.”

The Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Awards recognizes nurse leaders offering extraordinary and compassionate care and service, who are nominated by their peers for their passion, leadership, mentorship and service to the Houston community. The Good Samaritan Foundation encourages nursing excellence through a variety of supported programs from education to practice.

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(L-R): Courtney McDaniel, Carla Wells, Cari White, Tracey Posey, Lisa Shepherd, Susan Gerhards, Shereen Sampson, Larry Cook, Jane Woodward and Tamara Lipani.

(L-R): Courtney McDaniel, Carla Wells, Cari White, Tracey Posey, Lisa Shepherd, Susan Gerhards, Shereen Sampson, Larry Cook, Jane Woodward and Tamara Lipani.

ABIGAIL’S PLACE NAMES BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Abigail’s Place, a Fort Bend County centered charity, has announced the members of the Board of Directors. Shereen Sampson, the organization’s founder, president and chairwoman of the Board, commented, “I am thrilled to have such a strong and focused board, made up of talented, dedicated, and God-centered individuals who are focused on serving our community.”

Abigail’s Place Executive Board Members are Sampson, president, director, chairwoman of the board; Tracey Posey, vice – president, community outreach, special events and fundraising; Susan Gerhards, treasurer, community outreach and fundraising; Lisa Shepherd, secretary, community outreach, chair of Abigail’s Race for Grace.

Board Directors include Larry Cook, strategy, development, special projects, and fundraising; Tamara Lipani, client vetting and advocacy, and community relations; Courtney McDaniel, communications, community relations, and client advocacy; Carla Wells, client vetting and advocacy, and community relations; Cari White, client vetting and advocacy, and community relations; Jane Woodward, donor relations and community relations.

Sampson commented further, “The Board provides a strong understanding of Abigail’s Place mission and vision statements. It is the Board’s responsibility to provide counsel and guidance in the direction and operation of our organization, as well as to raise awareness of our services to the surrounding communities, a role I know this group is extremely well suited to perform.”

Abigail’s Place is a nonprofit relief organization committed to supporting single mothers in Fort Bend County by providing safe, transitional housing while promoting self-sufficiency and neighborhood revitalization.

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(L-R): Trey Reichert with Johnson Development; Bruce Barclay, Trustmark National Bank; Ben Jones, The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation; Teri Vela, City of Richmond; Carl Drozd, City of Richmond; Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore; Larry Johnson, Johnson Development; Doug Goff, Johnson Development; Jack Moore, The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation; Jim Whitehead, City of Richmond; and Pat McDonald, The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation.

(L-R): Trey Reichert with Johnson Development; Bruce Barclay, Trustmark National Bank; Ben Jones, The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation; Teri Vela, City of Richmond; Carl Drozd, City of Richmond; Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore; Larry Johnson, Johnson Development; Doug Goff, Johnson Development; Jack Moore, The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation; Jim Whitehead, City of Richmond; and Pat McDonald, The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation.

JOHNSON DEVELOPMENT BREAKS GROUND IN VERANDA

Dirt is officially turning in Johnson Development’s newest Houston-area community, with the recent groundbreaking ceremony in Veranda. Area officials and members of the development team were on-site Sept. 29 in the 590-acre Richmond development, located near the northwest corner of Williams Way Boulevard and U.S. 59.

Johnson Development Corp. announced the acquisition of the property, which will offer up to 2,500 homes, in late 2015. Johnson Development, along with IHP Capital Partners, acquired the property from the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation of Richmond. Home construction is expected to begin in early 2017.

“Veranda is being designed to reflect the area’s rich legacy,” said Trey Reichert, vice president and general manager of Veranda. “Homes will offer front porches and architectural elements that harken back to days gone by.”

Veranda is Johnson Development’s seventh Fort Bend community, joining Cross Creek Ranch, Harvest Green, Imperial, Jordan Ranch, Sienna Plantation and Riverstone, the state’s top-selling master-planned community.

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Judge Robert Hebert speaks to regional group of educators

Judge Robert Hebert speaks to regional group of educators

TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert spoke at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to a regional group of educators about the importance of vocational education opportunities in Fort Bend County.

Hebert spoke about his background which includes experience in the Navy and the technical training he received as a young man. “I was unsure of what to do with my life. The Navy taught me technical skills that gave me opportunity. Many young people are not cut out for college, or like I was as a young man, unsure of what opportunities are available. TSTC is a golden opportunity for many of Fort Bend’s young people looking to earn a good living by acquiring high-demand skills,” said Hebert.

In academic partnership with Wharton County Junior College, TSTC recently expanded its Fort Bend County campus to include new technical programs such as Cyber Security, Diesel Equipment Technology, HVAC Technology, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Precision Machining Technology, Telecommunications Convergence Technology and Welding Technology. For more information, contact Beth Wolf at 281-341-8608.

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The new Richmond fire station’s Travis Building.

The new Richmond fire station’s Travis Building.

RICHMOND FIRE STATION RECEIVES DESIGN AWARD FOR NEW STATION

The Richmond Fire Department was recently awarded the Silver Award from Firehouse Magazine for its annual Station Design Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding architecture and designs for fire stations in North America.

Several years ago, under the administration of Mayor Hilmar Moore, the concept of building a new fire department headquarters was nurtured, and after careful selection of an architectural firm and contractor, the concept began to take shape.  Located in Richmond’s Historic District and next to the historic Fort Bend County Court House, the new Central Fire Station was designed to complement the significant surroundings.

The station is home to the administration department, battalion chief and fire operations crews and one lovable Dalmatian. It wasdesigned to allow for the conversion of two additional bedrooms and one office in the future. The station was completed under the administration of Mayor Evalyn Moore, Commissioners Glen Gilmore and Jesse Torres and City Manager Terri Vela.

The new fire station design was presented at the 2016 Station Design Awards held in San Diego in October and is featured in the November issue of Firehouse Magazine.

“Our hope was to provide a structure that complimented the history of our great city as well as signify our commitment to serving all of those who live, work, shop, and travel within our response area,” said Fire Chief Mike Youngblood. “We are very proud of the City’s accomplishment and offer tours to those who want to know more about the building and the Richmond Fire Department.”

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FORT BEND ISD BOARD NEWS

On Oct. 17, the FBISD Board of Trustees voted to extend Superintendent Charles Dupre’s employment contract until April 2020. Dupre joined the District in April of 2013. The Board also agreed to an increase in Dupre’s base salary of $299,250 to $315,000, and a $1,500 increase to the annual payment to a tax-free annuity account set up for Dupre’s retirement.

“During the last three and a half years, Dr. Dupre has provided strong leadership to our District and, as a result, we are better serving our current students,” said Board President Kristin Tassin. “We believe our District is building on positive momentum and making strides forward. The amendment to his contract is a vote of confidence in Charles and our District as a whole.”

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(L-R): Jatoun Brown, medical staff services coordinator, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital; Cathy Clark, director of volunteer services, MHSLH; Tracy Gallimore, board chairman, Lunches of Love; Greg Haralson, Sr. Vice President and CEO, MHSLH; Malisha Patel, Vice President of Operations, MHSLH; Kate Willis, director of service line operations, MHSLH; Jennifer Cox, volunteer, Lunches of Love; Kathryn Johnson, physician liaison, MHSLH; Courtney Diepraam, director of business development, MHSLH.

(L-R): Jatoun Brown, medical staff services coordinator, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital; Cathy Clark, director of volunteer services, MHSLH; Tracy Gallimore, board chairman, Lunches of Love; Greg Haralson, Sr. Vice President and CEO, MHSLH; Malisha Patel, Vice President of Operations, MHSLH; Kate Willis, director of service line operations, MHSLH; Jennifer Cox, volunteer, Lunches of Love; Kathryn Johnson, physician liaison, MHSLH; Courtney Diepraam, director of business development, MHSLH.

LUNCHES OF LOVE RECEIVES $5,000 FROM MEMORIAL HERMANN     SUGAR LAND HOSPITAL

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital (MHSLH)recently donated $5,000 to Lunches of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides free sack lunches to children in need in Fort Bend County. The hospital’s donation will help to provide more than 6,000 lunches.

Greg Haralson, Sr. Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, announced the donation during the grand opening of the hospital’s new patient tower in September. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land is located at 17500 W. Grand Parkway, Sugar Land.

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(L-R): Left to Right: Jeff Haley, Si Environmental, LLC; Melissa G. Martin, Garcia-Martin & Martin, P.C.; Rob Halvorsen, Susana Perez and Tanner Nehls, Solid Business Solutions.

(L-R): Left to Right: Jeff Haley, Si Environmental, LLC; Melissa G. Martin, Garcia-Martin & Martin, P.C.; Rob Halvorsen, Susana Perez and Tanner Nehls, Solid Business Solutions.

CENTRAL FORT BEND CHAMBER OCTOBER WORKING LUNCH SERIES

Central Fort Bend Chamber hosted its Working Lunch Series on Employment Law at Fort Bend Country Club on Oct. 20, bringing 24 local business owners and employers together to learn about important laws, regulations and amendments in the constantly evolving area of wage and hour laws.

Melissa G. Martin of Garcia-Martin & Martin, P. C., presented topics focused on how to determine whether employees are truly exempt, when workers are employees vs. independent contractors, how to ensure required records are kept according to the Fair Labor Standards Act and important considerations and best practices when hiring employees. The presentation was followed with Q&A to address specific circumstances.

Rob Halvorsen, VP of Sales with Presenting Sponsor Solid Business Solutions, spoke on the company’s full-service solutions that provide businesses with efficient human resources, payroll management, benefits administration and workers compensation services.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber’s Working Lunch Series are technical education topics for small businesses and are held the third Thursday of each month.

Future Working Lunch Series schedule and topics can be found at CFBCA.org or by calling the Chamber at 281-342-5464.

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(Front row, l-r): Jeff Council, Ann Council, Sue McCarty, Rachel Castillo, Katy Lea Todd, Dr. Shukla, Joe Freudenberger, Cindy Johnson; (back row): Chris King, Crystal Lewis, Shana Parikh, Cheryl Williams, Darlene Holmes, Stevi Ahearn and BJ Patel.

(Front row, l-r): Jeff Council, Ann Council, Sue McCarty, Rachel Castillo, Katy Lea Todd, Dr. Shukla, Joe Freudenberger, Cindy Johnson; (back row): Chris King, Crystal Lewis, Shana Parikh, Cheryl Williams, Darlene Holmes, Stevi Ahearn and BJ Patel.

OAKBEND RECEIVES GOLD PLUS AWARD FROM AHA/ASA

OakBend Medical Center has once again been honored with the Gold Plus Perfor­mance Award for its “Get With The Guide­lines” program, which promotes consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines for stroke victims. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association present the award

By participating in the “Get With the Guidelines” program, OakBend Medical Center is reviewed for 12 consecutive months and must have maintained a performance level of following key measures in treatment guidelines for at least 85 percent of the time.

Jeff Council, president of the OakBend Medical Center’s Board of Directors, was present for the award ceremony. “This is certainly a great honor for our hospital, eight years of receiving this award from the American Heart Association. It reflects on the good things that we have going on here at our hospital. The excellent medical staff, the excellent nursing staff and the employees in general, show what OakBend Medical Center is doing and what we will continue to do and we are very humbled and proud to accept this award,” he said.

To learn more, visit oakbendmedcenter.org.

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The “Listening Tour” at Marshall High School was held Oct. 10.

The “Listening Tour” at Marshall High School was held Oct. 10.

FBISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES KICKS OFF FIRST-EVER “LISTENING TOUR”

Fort Bend ISD’s Board of Trustees successfully kicked off its “Listening Tour” at Marshall High School on Oct. 10 as part of a four-stop tour throughout the District with a purpose to provide parents and community members a chance to talk to the Board in a more intimate setting. Members of the audience are able to write down their questions and take them to roundtables in order to have them answered by Board members and members of the Executive Leadership Team. In the future, questions that were asked and answered during the roundtable discussions will be posted at fortbendisd.com.

Two more Listening Tours are scheduled around the District. Roundtable discussions begin at 5 p.m., followed by the Board workshop at 6 p.m. The public is invited to stay for the workshop. Light snacks and refreshments will also be served.

The tour dates are:

Feb. 6, Hightower High School, 3333 Hurri­cane Lane, Missouri City

March 6, Travis High School, 11111 Harlem Road, Richmond.


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