On December 14,2016 two NEISD campuses welcomed Major Evan Chung of the United States Army as part of a surprise reunion with his two sons; Trey Wilson a sixth-grade student at Lopez Middle School and Hunter Chung a tenth-grade student at Reagan High School. Major Chung’s nephew, Ryan Bush, was in the same class as Hunter when Major Chung arrived. The students had no idea that their father and uncle had returned after a 6-month deployment in Afghanistan. Major Chung had been serving his third tour overseas. Surprising his two sons and nephew in front of their fellow classmates kicked-off his return to the United States and the holidays with his family. Major Chung’s wife, Nickola Wilson-Chung, a Retired Major in the Army was in on the big surprise for her sons and nephew. Major Chung has served in the military for 19 years. Welcome Home would like to thank Major Chung and his family for their years of service and dedication.
San Antonio harp students of professional harpist and teacher Alice Spero Keene, gathered for the Fall 2016 Studio Class on September 24. The talented students from various schools across NISD and NEISD performed for one another in this unique studio class environment. They were able to demonstrate their progress and perform for a safe audience in a “second chance” environment where they could start and stop as needed in order to improve.
When the Encino Park Elementary School doors open in August, beloved Principal John Hinds will not be standing in front of the school welcoming students as he has done every day for 4 years. Mr. Hinds announced earlier this summer that he has accepted a newly created position in NEISD and will be the Special Assignment Principal at Walzem Elementary School. In this position, he will be using his expertise to help guide the school to better grades and test scores. This is a challenge that Mr. Hinds is surely qualified for, as one of his strengths is his ability to think outside the box to find solutions where others see only challenges. Walzem Elementary is very fortunate to have such an excellent principal leading them to greater success.
During the 4 years Mr. Hinds was principal at Encino Park, he earned the respect and admiration of the students, staff, parents, and community. He had a talent for making every student feel special, important and loved, beginning with learning every student’s name in the first days of school. Mr. Hinds had an open door policy and welcomed parents and teachers to drop in his office to discuss issues they were having with their students or just to chat. He attended monthly PTA board meetings and contributed greatly to the planning and implementation of the annual PTA Fiesta Festival, which started in 2015. The teachers and staff at Encino Park felt appreciated by Mr. Hinds for their work and felt that he and Assistant Principal James Miller helped make Encino Park a fun and rewarding place to work. Mr. Hinds also brought the community together with special events he and Mr. Miller planned including Valentine’s Day dinners at nearby restaurants, Family Fun Nights at the school, the annual Night at the Museum-showcasing the artistic works of every student at Encino Park, and the Buddy Blizzard-a carnival created specifically for students from with special needs. Mr. Hinds also fostered relationships with community volunteers, not just parents but all generations, welcoming high school volunteers as well as several retirees who mentored students at Encino Park ES and helped in various other ways.
Mr. Hinds is sure to have just as profound an impact on the Walzem Elementary community as he did at Encino Park and will be missed greatly by the entire Encino Park family.