District Awards and Accomplishments

Fort Bend ISD is proud to announce that 69 high school seniors are semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program, which is a 38% increase over last year’s number of semifinalists. To put that number in perspective, Fort Bend ISD has one of the highest percentages of National Merit Semifinalists among the larger school districts in Texas. The 69 semifinalists were selected from more than 1.5 million high school students in more than 22,000 United States high schools who entered the 2014 Merit Program by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

Twenty FBISD students are named 2014 National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) Scholars. They are among nearly 5,000 students selected from a pool of more than 250,000 students across the nation who took the 2013 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) during their junior year and achieved at least a minimum score for their region. Students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher and who identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino are designated as scholars. 

Eleven Fort Bend ISD high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program. Selection is based on students’ high scores on the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), as well as their overall academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. These semifinalists represent more than 160,000 students from all parts of the Unites States who requested consideration in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program when they took the 2013 PSAT/NMSQT. From the approximately 1,600 semifinalists, about 1,300 are expected to advance to the finalist level and compete for one of 700 one-time National Achievement $2,500 scholarships, as well as about 100 corporate and business-sponsored Achievement Scholarship awards. 

Fort Bend ISD is proud to announce that seven school band and orchestra programs are winners in the 2013 Mark of Excellence project. Sponsored by The Foundation for Music Education, the Mark of Excellence project is a not-for-profit organization that promotes music education through scholarships and other worthwhile projects. The project consists of the National Wind Band Honors, the National Orchestra Honors, National Choral Honors, National Jazz Honors, and National Percussion Ensemble Honors. The top quarter of participants are selected as National Winners, and the second quarter receive Commended Honors. FBISD’s 2013 Mark of Excellence project winners are: 

National Wind Band Honors 
  • Fort Settlement Middle School Honors Band (directed by Greg Countryman and Theresa Baragas) - National Winner 
  • Dulles Middle School Honor Band (directed by Michael Roberts) - Commended Winner 
  • Sartartia Middle School Wind Ensemble (directed by Julieanne Amos) - Commended Winner 

National Orchestra Honors 
  • Austin High School Symphony Orchestra (directed by Carolyn Vandiver and John Law) - National Winner, High School Full Orchestra 
  • Austin High School Orchestra (directed by Carolyn Vandiver and John Law) - National Winner, High School String Orchestra 
  • Dulles Middle School Symphony Orchestra (directed by Sally Kirk) - Commended Winner 
  • Fort Settlement Middle School Orchestra (directed by Angela Peugnet) -Commended Winner 

Fort Bend ISD received a rating of Superior Achievement by the Texas Education Agency’s Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas). This marks the 11th consecutive Superior rating for Fort Bend ISD. The District’s rating is based on an analysis of data for the 2012-2013 school year. All areas of the District’s financial management were reviewed according to 20 indicators addressing such areas as: audit and governance disclosures, cash and investments, tax collections, fund balances, administrative costs and staffing levels. The Superior Achievement rating is the state’s highest mark, an indicator of the quality of FBISD’s financial management and reporting system. To earn a Superior Achievement, districts have to score at least 64 of a possible 70 points. FBISD earned a perfect score of 70. 

The Texas Woman’s University Reading Recovery/Descubriendo la Lectura team honored the past and present Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees with the 2013 Advocate for Excellence in Literacy Award, in recognition of their vision and commitment to ensure that all children in Fort Bend ISD have the opportunity to become successful learners. The award was presented to the Board during the Billie J. Askew Reading Recovery and K-6 Literacy Institute. 

Fort Bend ISD’s Title I Parent Resource Centers received high praise from two education experts for operating successful FRED (Fathers Reading Every Day) Programs at Title I elementary schools. Dr. Stephen Green, Associate Professor and Extension Child Development Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Charlie Rice, Head of Health and Corporate Development at the Fatherhood Institute in Marlborough, England, commended FBISD on its best practices regarding recruitment strategies, delivery of parent education classes and support services, measuring program success and other areas. 

FBISD is the only school district in the nation to be named a 2011 National School District of Character by the National Schools of Character Program in Washington, DC, and will carry the distinction for five years. The District was also named a 2012 Promising Practice in Character Education National Award Winner by the Character Education Partnership in recognition of its High School Diversity Conference, which provides a forum for student-led discussion of diversity issues.

FBISD has 48 students named finalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program, one of the highest percentages of National Merit Finalists among the larger area school districts.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Winners, and seven Fort Bend ISD students are among the more than 15,000 outstanding students who were named finalists in the scholarship program. FBISD’s National Merit Scholarship winners are: Swathi Ariyapadi, Travis High School; Priyanka Chandraker, Travis High School; Lilly Shen, Clements High School; Benjamin Tu, Clements High School; Tucker Westfall, Austin High School; Sang Xie, Clements High School; and Travis Yeh, Austin High School. National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Five FBISD students were selected as semifinalists in the 2013 National Achievement Scholarship Program. The students are: Zachary Amorin – Hightower High School; Desha Dike – Clements High School; Sydnee Landry – Dulles High School; Candice Minter – Clements High School; and James Richard – Ridge Point High School. Semifinalists are designated within geographic regions and are the highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up each region. These students represent more than 160,000 high school juniors from all parts of the United States who requested consideration in the 2013 National Achievement Program when they took the 2012 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Fourteen Fort Bend ISD students were selected by the U. S. Department of Education as 2013 Candidates for the Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates for the Scholars Program are: Austin High School – Travis Yeh; Clements High School – Raymond Cano, Erin Dierker, Steven Flolid, Wenyang Fu, Gabriel Pham, Lilly Shen, Benjamin Tu, Haotian Wu and Sang Xie; Dulles High School – Nick Liu and Robert Shen; and Kempner High School – Robert Cyprus and Haley Escamilla. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Based on a national Gallup Student Poll of fifth, seventh and tenth graders, 11 FBISD schools were named 2013 High Hope Schools. The national poll measures the amount of hope, engagement and sense of well-being that our students have. The schools are:  Elementary – Blue Ridge, Briargate, Commonwealth, Fleming, Glover, Goodman, Hunters Glen, Lakeview; and Secondary – Baines, Fort Settlement, and Sartartia Middle Schools. Only 192 schools out of the 1,750 taking part in the survey received this designation.

For the third consecutive year, the Fort Bend ISD Administration Building was designated a “No Place for Hate” building by the Anti-Defamation League of Houston (ADL). “No Place for Hate” is a campaign against prejudice, bigotry and discrimination of all kinds. The program helps set a standard of respect for diversity and anti-bias efforts in schools across the state. FBISD was recognized for hosting its annual High School Diversity Conference, coordinating the “No Place for Hate” Youth Summit, and hosting the “Peace, Love and Respect” High School Quiz Bowl. Each event helped promote respect and appreciation of the District’s diverse cultures.

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation selected Fort Bend ISD as one of the 2013 Best Communities for Music Education. The District was recognized for its leadership in providing school-based, music education programs to young people in our community.

Six Fort Bend ISD school music organizations were named winners in the 2012 Mark of Excellence project. The Mark of Excellence is a competition, entered by recordings, in which the top quarter is selected as National Winners, and the second quarter receives Commended Honors. National Award Winners and their categories are: Dulles High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (High School String Orchestra); Sartartia Middle School Symphony Orchestra (Middle School String Orchestra); and Dulles High School Honor Band (Wind Band Honors, Class 5A). Commended Winners include: Dulles High School Honors Symphony Orchestra (High School Full Orchestra); Austin High School Symphony String Orchestra (High School String Orchestra); Fort Settlement Middle School Orchestra (Middle School String Orchestra); and Clements High School Symphonic Band (Wind Band Honors, Class 5A).

The 2013 Fort Bend ISD graduating seniors earned more than $42 million in reported academic and athletic scholarships.

Twenty-one Fort Bend ISD high school juniors and seniors were awarded scholarships at the 16th annual Investment in Youth Luncheon, presented by The George Foundation, The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and Safari Texas Ranch. The students were among 58 FBISD students representing all 11 high schools, and those from 19 Fort Bend County campuses to commit to six monthly sessions on philanthropy, including site visits and volunteer experiences at various area nonprofit organizations. With the support of foundations and the community, $23,500 in scholarships was awarded to FBISD students in honor of their volunteer spirit.

Fort Bend ISD is proud to announce the names of the 22 high school students who earned the distinct honor of being named the 2013 FBISD valedictorians and salutatorians. These top scholars earned the two highest rankings among their graduating classes after years of hard work and commitment to their academic careers. They are:

Austin High School: Valedictorian: Oscar Dao and Salutatorian: Yash Tarkunde

Bush High School: Valedictorian: Kelly Medrano and Salutatorian: Sheree Henry

Clements High School: Valedictorian: Lilly Shen and Salutatorian: Benjamin Tu

Dulles High School: Valedictorian: Robert Shen and Salutatorian: Michael Chen

Elkins High School: Valedictorian: Samuel Konstanty and Salutatorian: Milan Doshie

Hightower High School: Valedictorian: Dhrumil Patel and Salutatorian: Alwin Somasundaram

Kempner High School: Valedictorian: Dainah Pham and Salutatorian: Brittany Irizarry

Marshall High School: Valedictorian: Nishat Momin and Salutatorian: Christopher Stein

Ridge Point High School: Valedictorian: Duff Dean and Salutatorian: Alyson Miranda

Travis High School: Valedictorian: Shreeya Patel and Salutatorian: Swathi Ariyapadi

Willowridge High School: Valedictorian: Dave Cachero and Salutatorian: Bethany Easterling

Fort Bend ISD was named the winner of the American Association of School Administrators Award for outstanding leadership in voter education – 2012 School District Project, presented by My Voice Student Mock Election. The awards recognize the students, teachers, administrators and many others that helped advance civic engagement across the nation. Fort Bend ISD created a district-wide voting project serving 70 campuses. The theme of “The Power of One” aimed to increase students’ understanding of how one vote matters. The project succeeded in surpassing national voter turnout rates with their student vote.


Parent and community support plays an integral role in the district’s commitment to academic excellence. In 2012-2013, community and business partners donated more than $3.4 million to support student success, and volunteers donated more than 363,000 recorded volunteer hours at district campuses. If you attach an hourly rate of $21.91, established by the Independent Sector, that equates to more than $7.9 million in volunteer services donated to our district in just one year.

Since its inception in 1992, The Fort Bend Education Foundation has awarded more than $4 million to FBISD teachers and schools. In 2012-2013, the Education Foundation awarded $316,941 for classroom grants.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Fort Bend ISD was awarded Energy Star certifications for 17 campuses. In addition to the Energy Star distinction, the District received energy efficiency rebates totaling $84,600 through the 2012 CenterPoint Energy (CPE) Retro-Commissioning and SCORE program.

The State Comptroller’s Office awarded FBISD its highest five-star rating for the 2012 Financial Allocation Study for Texas which measures academic progress and cost-effective operations in 1,136 school districts across the state. FBISD is one of only 45 school districts to receive this five-star rating, putting Fort Bend among the top 20 percent of all districts.

Fort Bend ISD received a Superior Achievement rating for Financial Integrity by the Texas Education Agency. The District scored 70 out of a maximum of 70 points from the various indicators, which rate audit and governance disclosures, cash and investments, tax collections, fund balances, administrative costs and staffing levels. The District also received the 2012 Gold Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle program. The “Gold” designation is the highest award level and highlights annually those entities that are setting the bar with their transparency efforts.

Fort Bend ISD received the TASBO Award of Merit for Purchasing and Operations The award recognizes school districts and education service centers statewide that are committed to following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services. In determining the Award of Merit honorees, TASBO reviewed various procedures and practices including: organization, policies and procedures, contract operations, staff training and certification, p-card systems, warehousing, use of technology, communication, and management of co-operative programs.

Fort Bend ISD is among the Top 100 school districts in the nation recognized by Knovation for using the pioneering educational search tool netTrekker Search. The Digital Learning Awards Program honors school districts that are effectively using digital resources to transform their teaching and learning environments. FBISD was ranked 4th among the Top 100 overall school districts that have recognized the impact digital resources can have in creating engaging, differentiated learning experiences while promoting independent learning.


© 2011 Fort Bend ISD