by Sara Lytle, parent of a 5th grader, 3rd grader, and Kindergartener at Travis E.S. and a 3 year old who is a future Travis Tiger.
Our adventure in Houston began twelve years ago as Aaron and I settled into the First Ward, eager to serve our neighbors. We felt called to the community and wanted to make an impact through loving people. I have been an educator for eighteen years, twelve of those at Travis Elementary.... Currently, I am the new Magnet Coordinator for Travis. Aaron is a pastor who builds new ministries, and in 2013, we started a new church, Oikos. As a teacher and a pastor, we believe it is important to invest in the community, neighborhood, and schools in which we live.
As our oldest, Abrianna, entered Travis Elementary, we knew she would have an outstanding educational experience. It was great having a short commute to school, which allowed us to spend more time together as a family. Throughout her time at Travis, we have prayed about where she would attend middle school.
Hogg M.S. was not our first choice until about 3 years ago. Our perception of Hogg M.S. was of a school that lacked rigor in academics and had discipline problems. At that time, we were thankful for school choice in HISD, especially in regards to middle school. But, by the time Abrianna entered third grade, we began to see a big change occurring at Hogg M.S., and we were excited to see the community partner with the administration. Over these last few years, it has been exciting to watch the development of the academics, culture, and community at Hogg M.S. Also, we believe in the new leadership of the school and the direction in which Hogg M.S. is heading as an International Baccalaureate (IB) and STEAM school, adding in the Arts to STEM. We were so inspired by this movement that we joined the Learn Local board last year because we felt a resemblance to our own values of investing in our community as a way to make change happen. It was through prayer and building relationships that our path to Hogg M.S. was made clear.
We believe Jesus wants us to love our neighbors and loving our local schools is one way to do that. We are thrilled that Abrianna will be the first of our children to attend Hogg M.S. next year as a sixth grader. In the years to come, Zachariah, Aaliyah, and Amariah will follow in her footsteps as our family chooses to “Learn Local”!