Originally delivered on 10/8/2023 3:26 pm

SUBJECT: DeBakey PTO Newsletter - October 8, 2023

DeBakey PTO

DeBakey PTO Newsletter

October 8, 2023

In This Issue
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Sign up to continue to receive newsletter
  • School News
    • Principal Herrera Announcements
    • PSAT, SAT this week
    • Meet our new APs, Ms. Tapia & Ms. Alexander
    • Baylor College of Medicine Open House for DeBakey HSHP
    • National Merit Semifinalists
    • DeBakey HSHP in the News
    • Soccer Practice, Mondays & Wednesdays
    • Spirit Night @ Mendocino Farms
    • Chemistry Club 
    • Athletic Interest Form
    • Support our Teachers this Week
    • Senior Class Photos (Class of 2024)
    • Classes of 2024 & 2025, Dues Reminder
    • Senior Signing Day Wish List
    • College Night Extravaganza
    • PTO Uniform Store Updates
    • Fall Festival Wish List
    • Community Support for DeBakey Needed
    • HOSA dues 
    • PTO meeting calendar
    • Virtual PTO Meeting this week
    • Birthday & Celebratory Greetings - Fundraising
    • Donate Coffee/Tea to Support Teachers
    • Travel Abroad Opportunities Info
    • New WhatsApp chat for Class of 2025 Parents
    • Save the Date - Nov 2 Poetry Cafe
    • New HISD 2023-2024 Calendar
  • Odds and Ends
    • VIPS application
    • Class of 2024 - SchooLinks FAQ 
    • Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements
    • Bayou City Art Festival Volunteer Opportunity
    • Poe Elementary Carnival & TH Rogers Carnival Volunteer Opportunities
    • InGenius Prep Webinars

  • Oct 10, 6:30-8 pm -  PTO meeting (virtual)
  • Oct 11, 8 am - noon - SAT, PSAT-9, PSAT(10) and NMSQT(11) testing
  • Oct 12, 3:30-4:15 or 4:15 - 5 pm - Girls Basketball Tryouts
  • Oct 13 - No School for Students; Professional Development Day for Staff
  • Oct 17 - No after school activities
  • Oct 17-18 - School Pictures
  • Oct 19, 3:30-4:30 pm - Chemistry Club 
  • Oct 19, 7-9 pm - Baylor College of Medicine Open House
  • Oct 24, 2 pm to close - Spirit Night @ Mendocino Farms 
  • Oct 27 - Fall Festival
  • Nov 2 - Poetry Cafe
  • Nov 2, Lunch - Next Uniform Pick Up
  • Nov 10 - No School

Newsletter Sponsor - AP Tutors!
Sign up for this Newsletter (again!)

This newsletter is distributed through "Membership Toolkit" which requires all members to update their information each summer. 

Please take 2 minutes to update your information so you will continue to receive this newsletter throughout the school year. 

Update your membership info here

Announcements from Principal Herrera

Testing this week:  DeBakey will administer the SAT, PSAT-9, PSAT(10) and NMSQT(11) texts this Wednesday, October 11 to select seniors, all 9th, 10th and 11th grade students from approximately 8 am to noon. It is important for students to be on time and arrive with their laptops fully charged for testing.

Please congratulate our new Assistant Principals, Ms. Tapia and Ms. Alexander, on their new positions. We are very excited to welcome them to our admin team. 

Meet our new Assistant Principal, Ms. Christina Tapia!

Ms. Tapia is one of our new Assistant Principals and joins us from within DeBakey's math department. We are so excited she is joining the admin team. She will be the Assistant Principal for students with last name M-Z.

“I have successfully navigated my career path from teaching to administrative roles. My family brings me joy, and exploring new places through travel is also a passion of mine. I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue my career at Debakey High School.” - Ms. Tapia

Ms. Tapia's email: christina.tapia@houstonisd.org 

Meet our new Assistant Principal, Ms. Patricia Alexander!

Ms. Alexander is one of our new Assistant Principals and joins us as a DeBakey alum. We are so pleased to have one of our own DeBakey students returning to join our admin team. She will be the Assistant Principal for students with last name A-L.

 "I am a DeBakey graduate class of 1990 and so excited to be back and able to work with the current students! I have been in HISD as an educator since  August 1996. I have a 20 year old son that is an Eagle Scout and currently a junior at Sam Houston State University and an eleven year old furbaby that is a Saluki mix. Both boys keep me young at heart and continue to fulfill my blessed life." - Ms. Alexander

Ms. Alexander's email: PALEXAN1@houstonisd.org 

Congratulate our National Merit SemiFinalists!

Please give a big congratuations to our SEVEN DeBakey students who scored in the top 1% of the PSAT and were recently recognized as 2023-2024 National Merit SemiFinalists!

Charles Anstead

Zane Asadi

Siddharth Bommekai

Giovani Cheema

Sara Diwan

Nathan Giang

Marilyn Sun

DeBakey HSHP in the News

The Buzz recently featured an article: DocPrep Experience: Exploring the Medical Field about our awesome DeBakey program - check it out!

The Buzz: DocPrep Experience: Exploring the Medical Field

Soccer Practice @ Rice coming soon
Spirit Night @ Mendocino Farms 10/24/23
Chemistry Club info
Interested in Athletics?

Sign up using the below link to indicate interest in one of the following sports:

  • Basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • Running Club
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Athletic Interest Form here!

Click Here to Sign Up to Support Teachers Friday, Oct 13th
Senior Photos (Class of 2024)

Prestige Portraits will be the sole photographer for senior pictures for our next yearbook. Prestige was on the DeBakey HSHP campus on August 11 and 14.

If you were not able to attend either of those days, you may schedule at the Prestige Portrait office in Sugar Land. A flyer with details is listed below. When you schedule at the Prestige studio, you will have a wider selection of backdrops and poses.

The yearbook photo deadline is October 14th.

<< View their flyer for more information >>

Class of 2025 Senior Dues

Hey Class of 2025! 

Now is your chance to get ahead and start paying your senior class dues for next year. By paying ahead of time, you will help the parent volunteers who plan our senior events. The more money they have collected early on, the easier it is to figure out the budget and plan some cool events!

Class of 2025 Dues can be paid via Schoolpay.com 

Senior Signing Day Wish List

Please use this Amazon wish list to support our Senior Signing Day!

Amazon wish list linked here

College Night Extravaganza!

Over 74 college reps under one roof, helping pave the way to academic adventures and turning dreams into degrees. Thanks to those of you who attended and volunteered to show the reps some DeBakey hospitality!

Uniform Store - only open Oct 5 @ lunch
Click here to visit the PTO Uniform Store!
Support the DeBakey Fall Festival

It might be 100+ degrees out, but we are ready for our FALL Festival and Haunted House!

Please support the DeBakey Fall Festival by purchasing from the below wish list ~ the list includes candy and prizes for our students, along with art supplies for pumpkin painting activities. Any and all support is welcome.

Fall Festival Amazon Wish List

Order 2023-2024 Yearbooks Now!


Are you a business owner or do you know a community member who'd like to help our school? 

The DeBakey High School PTO works to raise funds through the generous contribution of parents and local businesses. These funds are used in the school to make a significant impact in the lives of students, families and staff by providing enrichment activities that bring learning to life and improving relationships through community events. 

We are currently looking for community members who would like to join our PTO as a corporate sponsor for the 2023-24 school year. By becoming a sponsor, you will directly impact more than 900 students as well as staff and families in your community. As a PTO, our funds enhance the following resources and programs: 

Enrichment Programs 🐾 Art Department 🐾 Music Department 🐾 Theater🐾 Educator Classroom Support 🐾 Staff Appreciation 🐾 Technology 🐾 Sports 🐾 Student Events 🐾 Student Supplies 🐾 Clubs 🐾 and more 

We offer multiple tiers of sponsorship opportunities to fit your needs and budget. All sponsorship levels include visible recognition to our students, staff, and families. If you are interested in supporting our PTO, but cannot commit to a sponsorship we are grateful to accept any level of donations. 

Sponsor Directory Listing -  $200                       https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40459998

  • DeBakey Sponsors are featured in the DeBakey PTO website under “Sponsor Directory” page.


Annual Newsletter or Website Sponsor - $1000https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40460160

Website Sponsor

  • DeBakey PTO Website Presented by (your company/business name or logo)” on top of PTO website.
  • Website sponsorship is to last the entire school year. Starts as soon as sign up and ends on the last day of school.
  • Announcement of your company/business sponsorship throughout the school year on DeBakey PTO Facebook.
  • Acknowledgment at our monthly PTO Meeting
  • Included in sponsor directory

Newsletter Sponsor

  • “DeBakey PTO Newsletter Presented by (your company/business name or logo)” on top of PTO Newsletter.
  • Newsletter sponsorship is to last the entire school year. Starts as soon as sign up and ends on the last issue for the school year.
  • Newsletter goes out once a week to 200+ families.
  • Announcement of your company/business sponsorship throughout the school year on DeBakey PTO Facebook.
  • Acknowledgement at our monthly PTO meeting.
  • Included in sponsor directory


Benefactor Wall Plaque - $500                                              https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40460309

The Benefactor Wall prominently displays the donors’ names in the shape of a DNA helix in the central area of the student atrium/cafeteria. The DNA structure reflects the school’s STEM focus.

General Donation of Any Amount                     https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40459919       

Any support you can provide would be meaningful as a community partner supporting excellence in education for DeBakey students.

Support DeBakey while you shop!

Enroll in the Randalls and/or Kroger loyalty programs and select DeBakey as your organization to receive contributions based on your shopping. 

Log in to your loyalty account and select "community rewards" - search for the DeBakey PTO or enter our code VX994. 

An easy way to support our school while you buy your groceries! 


HOSA dues can be paid via schoolpay.com 

PTO MEETINGS 2023-2024

Join us to learn more about what the PTO is doing to help our school and get involved! All meetings will be 6:30 pm - 8 pm.

  • Oct 10 virtual
  • Nov 14 in person
  • Dec 12 virtual, Home for the Holidays edition
  • Jan 9 virtual
  • Feb 13 in person
  • March 19 virtual
  • April 9 virtual
  • May 14 in person, vote on new PTO board

More information will be shared as we get closer to each date.

PTO Meeting, October 10 (virtual)

In addition to the regular school news, we will feature a guest speaker from the medical architecture field. You won't want to miss out!

Use the below links to join us for this virtual meeting:

Click here to join the meeting





birthday message on screen
Purchase Birthday & Celebratory Greetings to Support our School

Parents, the DeBakey PTO is offering Birthday & Celebratory Greetings.   These are messages that will be displayed on the monitors around the school. You can send your child a birthday message or tell your child congratulations for a major accomplishment.  The Birthday & Celebratory Greetings are only $20.

  • The messages are posted the week of the event only, they are sent in the Friday before the event date.
  • The messages MUST be received by the PTO two weeks prior to the event via the following link on the PTO website in the Fundraising section https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/38437847
  • You may select a background for the message on the google form.
  • Belated birthdays & ½ birthdays are acceptable.
  • All messages must meet the approval of the administration.
  • The message will be removed if the student asks the administration to remove the message.

Email fundraising@debakeypto.org with any questions.

Show our DeBakey Teachers some Love!

Drop off at reception or ship donations of coffee, tea, hot cocoa or Keurig pods to the school for the PTO to distribute in our teacher lounges. 

Back to school season is always stressful - let's make sure our teachers feel our appreciation every single day!

Travel Abroad with DeBakey - lots of interesting opportunities below for 2024 & 2025
Link to Paris & the Chateaux Spring 2024 Trip Info
Link to Switzerland, Italy, France & Spain in 2024 Info
Link to Japan 2025 Trip Info
New 2023-2024 HISD Calendar

Don't miss checking the new (as of last week) 2023-2024 HISD Academic Calendar - there are several changes to note which effect days the students have school/do not have school this year. Changes in summary:

  • Friday, October 13 is now a professional development day (no school for students)
  • The professional development day previously scheduled for Nov 7 is now rescheduled to Friday, November 10th.
  • HISD winter break will now start on Friday, December 22nd and end on Monday, January 8th rather than prior calendar which ended the break on Tuesday, January 9th.
  • We will have school on Tuesday, February 20th (previously this was a professional development day for teachers).

Calendar is linked below.

2023-2024 HISD Calendar

Class of 2025 Parents Want to Stay in Touch?

There's a new way for the Class of 2025 Parents to communicate with each other and find out what is going on with all things DeBakey! Join the Class of 2025 Parent WhatsApp chat group using the below link.

WhatsApp Class of 2025 Chat

November 2 - Poetry Cafe

Save the date for the Poetry Cafe! More information coming soon.

Time to Renew Your VIPS application!

Parents and Guardians, it's that time of year! Even if you have been VIPS approved in the past, you must renew your application and be approved each year. You must be VIPS approved to volunteer in any capacity at any HISD school. Please apply now so you are ready when the volunteer opportunity arises!

Register for VIPS approval here!

Information below for our Class of 2024 seniors - SchooLinks is replacing Naviance
Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements

REMINDER:  Every DeBakey student must have at least 100 community service to graduate with a DeBakey diploma.

Remember, colleges look at the community service and how you give back to your community when choosing a candidate to accept into their school. The summer time is a great chance to get caught up and to give back to the community.

Guidelines for Community Service Hours >>

Volunteer Opportunities in Houston >>

Volunteer at the Bayou City Art Festival, Oct 14-15
Volunteer Opportunities

October 20th - volunteer at the Poe Elementary School carnival - sign up using the link

Poe Carnival Sign Up

October 21st - volunteer at the TH Rogers School carnival - sign up using the link

TH Rogers Carnival Sign Up

Free InGenius Prep Webinars

InGenius Prep is hosting a free webinar titled "UC Bound: A Comprehensive Guide to Applying to UC Schools" that you won't want to miss!

Whether you are just starting to explore your college options or are already in the process of preparing your application, this webinar is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the application process to the prestigious University of California (UC) system. Our experts will delve into the unique features of each UC campus, share strategic insights, and much more!

During the webinar, Alex will cover the following topics:

  • A Step-by-Step Guide for Each Section of the UC Application

  • Latest UC Admissions Trends & Acceptance Rates

  • Advice on How to Stand Out, from a Former UCLA Assistant Director

  • Insider Admissions Office Strategies for Getting Accepted to UCs

Mark your calendars! The webinar will take place on Thursday, October 12th at 5pm Pacific, 7pm Central, and 8pm Eastern.

To register for this free webinar, simply click here and fill out the registration form. Spaces are limited, so make sure to secure your spot as soon as possible.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -