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Mrs. Northington Retires...Again!

December 12, 2018
By HSES

Last year, Cindy Northington decided to step down from the administrative role of Head of Child Enrichment Center to focus on her recovery from battling Leukemia and to teach Middle School Christian Education. After almost 25 faithful years with Holy Spirit Episcopal School, Cindy has decided to retire…again!

Cindy has played an integral role in the growth of HSES, wearing many hats to further this safe haven. Her roles included breaking ground and launching the Christian Education curriculum for Middle School in 1997, Interim Head of School, Head of CEC and Christian Education teacher for Lower and Middle School, among others. But her most memorable role as the “oldest whitewater rafter” on the Costa Rica Cultural Exchange program is the one she holds dearest to her heart. 

Cindy graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a bachelor’s in Banking and Finance and from The University of Texas, Austin with a bachelor’s in Business Administration. She holds a Lifetime Director License for Early Childhood and is also certified in all areas of Early Education. She is a member of the Bible Study Fellowship International, an interdenominational Bible study congregation around the world that allows Cindy to equip young leaders to serve and teach children the Word of God.

Although Cindy is retiring, she will always remain a beloved member of the Holy Spirit Episcopal family. Please join us in wishing Cindy a blessed recovery and happy retirement by sharing a comment of your best memory or impactful experience. The faculty and staff will shower Cindy with a farewell luncheon and intends to surprise her by reading all the comments from her cherished students, school families and peers.

Florencia Parada says:
December 13, 2018 09:14 AM CST
You have been an inspiration of power, faith, knowledge, compassion, and much more. I wish you the best in this new stage and hope to continue our friendship throughout the years!

Lynden Briscoe says:
December 13, 2018 09:24 AM CST
Cindy, I cannot express how much you helped me navigate my first year as a mother. Having you there to pray with me in my hardest times was something I will never forget and don’t take lightly. As the director of the CEC you showed compassion, understanding, and a listening ear to me when I needed help and reassurance. As a coworker you were easy to work with and always did a flawless job. I so loved watching the results you were able to get out of the middle schoolers in Religion class. You are truly an inspiration, and I only hope that someday I can do for others what you did for me. I wish you the best because you, more than most, truly deserve it!

Ryne Christesen says:
December 13, 2018 09:51 AM CST
Mrs. Northington it was such a pleasure to have been taught by you when I was a kid. I wish you the best and congratulations on your retirement!

Christiaan van der Weiden says:
December 13, 2018 09:56 AM CST
Dear Mrs. Northington, Thank you for making religion class as fun as it could possibly be. I really enjoyed your class and specifically the stories you would tell us. Thank you!

Sharyl George says:
December 13, 2018 10:03 AM CST
Cindy, when I think of HSES, you are the person that stands out. You are the epitome of faith, love, strength and all that is good. From the moment I met you while I was still growing my baby boy I knew instantly that he would be in the best hands. Little did I know then just how much I would need you and Holy Spirit as we grew in those years. I thank God everyday that we were at Holy Spirit when we found out about Duchenne. Allowing me to speak at Cec and present for the staff was a true healing moment for me. Doing that gave me strength that I didn't even know I had it was an experience that I still draw on today and I am certain I will draw upon it in the future. You were always there to lend an ear no matter the topic and always there to point me back to Him. There's so much more I could say - so much more I could write but truly, there aren't enough words to express my love and gratitude for and to you. As you move along in your journey, I hope that you carry with you just how big an impact you've had on so many people and in so many ways. Love, Sharyl, Eric and Jaxson

Laura Pederson (Dexter) says:
December 13, 2018 10:05 AM CST
Mrs. Northington was by far one of my favorite people as HSES! She had one of the kindest hearts of anyone I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Prayers for your future adventures, and congratulations on your retirement.

Megan, Mattie, and Ellie Davis says:
December 13, 2018 10:10 AM CST
Dearest Cindy, I cannot begin to express my deep gratitude. Your encouragement, guidance, grace, prayers, acceptance, generosity, and love were, and continue to be, transforming. I recall so many times that your words and smiles lifted us in the days following Harvey and proved to be instrumental in rebuilding our lives. Please know that you have shaped not only Ellie, but our entire family - showing us Christ’s love through your servant heart. Thank you is not enough. You are a gift to know and a treasured friend to our family. We thank you, Cindy, from the bottom of our hearts. Congratulations as you begin this new chapter!

Susan Fendley says:
December 13, 2018 10:21 AM CST
Love, Love, Love Cindy Northington and am so blessed that she was at Holy Spirit while we were there. She is such an amazing person, her faith is inspirational. I hope she enjoys a well deserved retirement!

Heather Martin says:
December 13, 2018 10:41 AM CST
Cindy, You have been such a blessing to our family over the years. I will never forget being a first-time mom and panicking over having to think about leaving Leighton while I went back to work. You were there every morning to reassure me that she would be loved and nurtured and would be just fine. Your calming advice was so appreciated every morning. We love you and consider you a piece of our family. Congratulations. We are in Maine now and Leighton and Liam are thriving. A large part of that is due to the wonderful care from HSES from the beginning and your steadfast presence. We wish you all the best and miss you! Heather, Jared, Leighton and Liam Martin

Whitney Rudolph says:
December 13, 2018 12:22 PM CST
Mrs. Northington, I could never write a long enough note to express our family’s gratitude to you. From being an amazing Christian role model as a mother, woman, educator, and mentor you have helped me more than you know. You have raised 3 amazing kids and I hope that I can leave such a legacy as you (but I will stop at 2 kids!!) You introducing us to Holy Spirit has been one of the biggest blessings that we could have asked for. The joy of hearing Bryce pray before dinner, sing away in the manger, and ask questions about Jesus warms my heart. It validates our decision to transition to a faith based school and you played a huge role in that. . We are so blessed to know you and your family and wish you the very best! Love, Seth, Whitney, Bryce, and Hayden Rudolph

Alexander Vaporciyan says:
December 13, 2018 01:46 PM CST
Mrs. Northington, I will never forget your religion classes, chalk full of energy, smiles, and those crazy dances/songs about Pharoah! You were one of my inspirations for becoming a teacher and I cannot thank you enough for that. God bless you on this next part of your life! Sincerely, Alex Vaporciyan

Elizabeth Becker says:
December 13, 2018 02:08 PM CST
Mrs. Northington, I will never ever ever forget you. You were one of my favorite teachers at HSES and you were the teacher that made the biggest impact on my faith in the Lord. You radiate exuberance and joy and happiness and simply being around you makes one want to smile. I know that in the same way you have blessed and touched others, the Lord will watch over you and bless you during your recovery. I miss you and love you. God bless ❤️

Sophie Rustam says:
December 13, 2018 03:58 PM CST
Mrs Northington, Thank you for being such a good role model for me as I discovered my faith. I remember Christian Ed being one of my favorite parts of my day. Thank you for always keeping it real with us and teaching us the truth. You are so amazing inside and out and I am so blessed to have been taught by you! Thank you for being such a big part in where I am in my faith now!! I hope everything is treating you well. Thank you thank you thank you

Abigail Davis says:
December 13, 2018 07:45 PM CST
Dear Mrs. Northington, you have really inspired me to go deeper in my faith. I have known you ever since I was really young. I was hopeful that one day I would have you as a teacher. When I saw that I had you as a teacher, I was really excited. Your class was really fun and challenged me to learn. I miss you and I wish you a great retirement!

Shay Rustam says:
December 13, 2018 08:12 PM CST
Cindy, Your unwavering faith, strong sense of purpose and giving heart have not only inspired your students, but many of their parents as well. Maddie and Sophie have both been touched by your teaching and still think of you years after they left your classroom. I have always marveled at your kind spirit and ability to smile no matter the circumstance. The Rustam family wishes you a healthy and fulfilling retirement filled with an abundance of joy, laughter and love. Be well my friend.

Shirin Etemadi says:
December 13, 2018 09:14 PM CST
Mrs. Northington, you were a blessing to our family as we awaited the arrival of our boy. After other unsuccessful meetings throughout the city during the daunting process of finding the right loving environment for our little one, you were my ray of sunshine. After the first tour of the CEC; yes, we had two, I knew HSES would be THE place. The only reason I scheduled another tour was because I was so excited and wanted my husband to fully comprehend my joy! Thank you for making me feel reassured and safe as a first time parent; a feeling not just anyone can create. We pray you continue on a path of good health and enjoy retirement to its fullest! Love, Shirin, Ash and Cyrus Thakore

The Wertheimer Family says:
December 13, 2018 11:03 PM CST
Cynthia, God called you to Holy Spirit and you answered. The seeds you planted there grow and flourish and will be passed onto future generations because of your willingness to answer His call and serve. Our family will always be grateful.!God Bless you and yours. Thank you for being a light!

Courtney Stevens says:
December 14, 2018 02:34 PM CST
Mrs. Northington- You are such a positive light for so many. Thank you for making us feel welcomed and at home when we first joined the HSES family when Layton was an infant. We wish you health, happiness and a happy retirement! Love, The Stevens- Christiaan, Courtney, Layton and Amelia

Sarah says:
December 14, 2018 07:40 PM CST
Mrs. Northington, You have long been the face of Holy Spirit. Your heartwarming tour was what sold me on the school, and then each morning and each afternoon, you were there with a smile at both drop off and pick up to share a little tidbit about each of my boys’ day. You were also there whenever I needed advice or just a listening ear. You have such a kind heart and truly are the best. We were/are blessed to have you in our lives! Wish I still got to see your sweet, smiling face everyday! All the best, Sarah, Haden and Luke

Cara Beckcom says:
December 14, 2018 11:21 PM CST
Cindy, your love, kindness and faith left a mark on the hearts of Gus, Henry and Addison. We are eternally grateful for you.

Angie Foster says:
December 16, 2018 04:42 PM CST
Congratulations!! Cindy and I shared much more than an office! We shared lots of laughs and tears. Cindy coached me through raising little ones and I am forever grateful. Cindy doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, she lovingly shares wisdom to lead you down a better path. Cindy, you were the counselor I needed and God crossed our paths at perfect timing. You are such a blessing to so many and Holy Spirit was lucky to have you. Thank you for loving on so many families!

Marianne Innes says:
December 16, 2018 07:28 PM CST
Thank you so much for being an AMAZING teacher! You have changed our life with your kindness and wisdom! Thank you ! You are a gift to everyone who meets you!

TEN HSES TEACHERS RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS!

We are honored to announce that 10 CEC and Primary School teachers were awarded full scholarships to attend a professional development conference of a lifetime! This Saturday, the teachers will participate in the Fall Early Literacy Summit, a full-day training presented by Rice School Literacy and Culture (SLC) and Save the Children, an international nonprofit organization.

The summit will include sessions on socio-emotional development through dramatic play, quality children’s literature, process art, blocks and sensory play, among other topics to promote research-based activities for children in early education through kindergarten.

Save the Children will also facilitate “Caregivers’ Journey of Hope” sessions for teachers to review adult reactions to stress, learn self-care techniques and create an environment that promotes emotional wellness.

Full scholarships, sponsored by Rice SLC and Save the Children, were awarded to early childhood educators in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Recipients will also receive $150 in resources and classroom materials to create safe places for children.

Congratulations to Lynne Brown, Bernadette Cano, Alexa Da Costa, Jennifer Dudley, Jennifer Emde, Jessica Kyburz, Leticia Landres, Jenna McKim, Elia Natareno and Norma Resendez for completing the scholarship application and persevering to achieve such an award!

PLANTING A SEED ONE STEP AT A TIME

I had a wonderful time gardening with 3rd and 4th grades; an initiative led by parent and master gardener, Celina Long!

We are very grateful to Celina for guiding us through this process. We also want to thank Texas A&M AgriLife for providing supplies to plant the first seeds of the school year. With these amazing resources, we are able to harvest a Fall and Spring garden as part of the science program. They also place HSES as an environmentally-conscious organization that integrates our campus ecosystem with the academic curriculum and student wellness.

In the summer, a few teachers and I attended the Edible Academy sponsored by Urban Harvest and I'm excited to implement one of their techniques in our next step: Harvest to Cook. In this garden-to-classroom session, 3rd and 4th graders will cook what they planted in the garden.

School-wide future projects for our outdoor classrooms include two raised beds, a butterfly garden and composting. I'm proud to invest in an outdoor education program that cultivates a sustainable environment and nurtures learning through nature.  

Michelle Symonds, Head of School

SAINTS BREAK RECORDS AT HISTORIC TRACK SEASON

The HSES Saints Middle School Track team participated in the Houston Christian Mustang Middle School Invitational Track Meet and set new standards for the competition.
Four HSES divisions entered the competition that included between 10 to 20 schools: 6th-grade girls, 6th-grade boys, 8th-grade girls and 8th-grade boys, with all groups breaking records and placing in the top categories.
So far, the Saints have broken records in the following events:
  • Girls 8th grade ⇒4 x 400 meter relay New record 4:46:58 Previous record 4:48:40
  • Girls 6th grade High jump New record 4’10” Previous record 4’8”
These records were broken at the same meet, an unprecedented event for HSES thanks to the hard work of the expert coaches Mitriel Vinzant, Marge Vinzant, Fega Anigboro and Miller McNew, along with the dedication of each athlete.
Awards and Highlights
  • Girls 6th grade 1st place
  • Girls 8th grade 2nd place
  • Boys 6th grade 3rd place
  • Boys 8th grade 4th place
  • Savannah Tutor New record and 1st place, high jump
  • Margaret Rogan, Cay Cay Hill, Savannah Tutor, Katherine Anderson New record and 1st place, 4 x 400 meter relay.
  • Caroline Kolb 1st place, 400 meters
  • Nina Bhakta 1st place, discus
  • Audrey Rogan 1st place, 800 meters
  • Savannah Tutor 1st place, long jump, 100 meter hurdles, 200 meter hurdles
  • Aurora Lane 2nd place, 1600 meters
  • Margaret Rogan 2nd place, 800 meters
  • Caroline Kolb, Audrey Rogan, Gyana Cevallos, Nina Bhakta 2nd place, 4 x 400 meter relay
  • Audrey Rogan 2nd place, 200 meter hurdles
  • Cay Cay Hill 2nd place, 400 meters
  • Katherine Anderson 3rd place, shotput
  • Cay Cay Hill 4th place, high jump
  • Audrey Rogan 5th place, long jump
  • Nina Bhakta 6th place, shotput
  • Addie Dutt 6th place, 800 meters
  • Katherine Anderson 6th place, 200 meters
  • Cay Cay Hill 6th place, long jump
  • Taylor Fuentes 1st place, 400 meters
  • Taylor Fuentes 2nd place, 200 meters
  • Evan Long, Jesus Cevallos, Emiliano Peña, Taylor Fuentes 3rd place, 4 x 400 meter relay
  • Ethan Beyer 3rd place, shotput
  • Kyle Hodges 3rd place, shotput
  • Rafael Rincon 4th place, 800 meters
  • Ethan Beyer 4th place, discus
  • Rafael Rincon 5th place, 400 meters
  • Jesus Cevallos 6th place, 400 meters
  • Jesus Cevallos ⇒ 6th place, 800 meters
  • Kyle Moore 6th place, 1600 meters
  • Kyle Hodges 6th place, discus

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NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION

HSES admits students of any race, creed, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded, or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, national or ethnic origin in the administration of educational or admission policies, scholarship programs, athletics or any other school-administered programs.