Stories of the year 2021, a look at some of the region’s defining stories

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A global pandemic has abated to come back in a different form, sports superlatives and lawsuits encouraging change in school board elections have highlighted some kind of return to normal in the Memorial area. Here’s a look at some of the best stories from the past year.

Weeks into their ninth year, the class of 2021 saw Hurricane Harvey wreak havoc in the Greater Houston area.

This graduating class spent the last two months of their junior year doing distance learning due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and went through their entire senior year amid the ongoing pandemic.

While these trials and tribulations were a common theme among speeches at Spring Branch ISD graduation ceremonies, the dominant message was to overcome these obstacles and determine how that defined the Class of 2021.

“While the class of 2021 will forever be linked to pandemic and masking and social distancing, however, it will not be defined by COVID,” Administrator Josef Klam said in his board post at Spring Woods graduation ceremony on May 26. “The 2021 class will be forever remembered as the promotion of hope, the promotion of change, tenacity, resilience, combat, flexibility, courage. You are the class that couldn’t be stopped by floods, hurricanes, ice storms, or even a pandemic. “

Kinkaid wins another SPC football championship

The Kinkaid Falcons needed a victory over rival St. John’s in the final week of the regular season to compete for the Southwest Preparatory Conference 4A football championship on November 6.

The Falcons took care of that, defeating the Mavericks 34-24 at Rice Stadium on Oct. 29, setting up a rematch with the Dallas Episcopal School for the SPC Championship.

They avenged a 31-21 October 8 loss to the Eagles with a 42-17 victory in Dallas on November 6.

Kinkaid sophomore David Capobianco threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior running back Dillon Bell, a signatory from the University of Georgia, ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns and also both threw a touchdown pass and received a touchdown reception.

Senior Cameron Henry had 102 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions.

With the victory, Kinkaid has won seven of the last 11 SPC football championships.

Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed against Spring Branch ISD, directors

Virginia Elizondo, a parent of Spring Branch ISD who unsuccessfully ran for a position on the district board in 2015 and 2021, is suing the district and its trustees (in their official capacity as trustees, not as than individuals).

The lawsuit, which was filed by attorney Barry Abrams of Blank Rome LLP with the Southern District of Texas, Houston division of the United States District Court on June 18, claims that the district’s general voting system violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, arguing that the general method of electing directors “results in Latin American and minority citizens of the district having fewer opportunities than other members to participate in the electoral process and to elect them. representatives of their choice ”.

Elizondo’s lawsuit seeks a court injunction prohibiting Spring Branch ISD from using its general voting system.

In the response from SBISD and its trustees, which was filed on August 20 by attorney Chris Gilbert of Thompson & Horton LLP (who stepped down as counsel in early December), the defendants “expressly deny that the system electoral district violates this Voting Rights Act or denied minority voters any rights protected by the Voting Rights Act.

The case is ongoing.

Spring Branch ISD replaces two schools

The original Hunters Creek Elementary School opened in 1954. The original Landrum Middle School building opened in 1956.

Both schools saw their building completely replaced as part of the 2017 SBISD obligation of $ 898.4 million.

The pupils of these schools started the school year 2021-2022 in the new buildings.

The old one-story Hunters Creek building has been replaced with a two-story building that features larger classrooms that all have ActivBoards (interactive smart screens).

The new building includes a new gymnasium and an adjacent cafeteria whose space can be combined for larger functions. All classrooms surround a central courtyard and the library includes a maker space.

“Overall, this is just a new campus that is functioning better and will more strongly support the educational process at Hunters Creek,” said Travis Stanford, associate superintendent of operations for Spring Branch ISD.

The old one-story Landrum building has been replaced by a three-story building, one of its main features of which is a three-story library around which learning is centered.

Liaison work to replace other SBISD schools and renovate / add to others is underway.

Spring Branch ISD lifts mask mandate for new school year

Pursuant to Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 18 executive order banning mask warrants, Spring Branch ISD announced over the summer that face coverings would not be required for students or staff for the 2021-2022 school year. .

“Spring Branch ISD will continue to implement health and safety guidelines from federal, state and local government agencies to ensure a safe and healthy start to in-person learning,” the health and safety plan reads. Strong Start Security Officer of the district. “As new measures are determined, the district will make adjustments and implement changes and updates as necessary. “

The plan mentioned the CDC’s recommendation at the time that all students wear masks regardless of their immunization status, with an emphasis on interior and overcrowded areas.

The plan concludes, “Spring Branch ISD will continue to monitor the cases and spread of infectious diseases in our schools, our community and throughout the state. If the situation warrants, the district will consult with local public health authorities and our health care partners to see if additional mitigation procedures are needed. “

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