Originally delivered on 12/17/2023 7:50 am

SUBJECT: DeBakey PTO Newsletter - December 17, 2023

DeBakey PTO

DeBakey PTO Newsletter

December 17, 2023

In This Issue
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Sign up to continue to receive newsletter
  • School News
    • Principal Herrera's Update - finals schedule
    • Pick Up & Drop Off Reminders
    • Orchestra concert thank you
    • DeBakey End of Year Giving
    • Bake Sale - baked goods needed
    • Donate to Help DeBakey Families in Need
    • Winter Wonderland thank you 
    • Finals Week Spirit Theme Days
    • PEA + Running Club Information
    • Soccer Team updates
    • Athletic Interest Form
    • Classes of 2024, 2025 & 2026 Dues Reminder
    • Senior Signing Day Wish List
    • PTO Uniform Store Updates
    • Need Field Day Chair & Committee
    • Order Yearbooks
    • Community Support for DeBakey Needed
    • PTO meeting calendar
    • Birthday & Celebratory Greetings - Fundraising
    • Donate Coffee/Tea to Support Teachers
    • Ongoing Food Bank Volunteer Opportunity
    • Need for Scientific Symposium Speakers
    • Travel Abroad Opportunities Info 
    • New WhatsApp chat for Class of 2025 Parents
    • New HISD 2023-2024 Calendar
  • Odds and Ends
    • VIPS application
    • Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements

  • Dec 18-21 - Spirit Week Dress Up Days
  • Dec 20-21, 3:30-4:30 Bake Sale
  • Dec 21 - last day of school before the break
  • Dec 22 - Jan 5 - Winter Break
  • Jan 9, 6:30-8 pm - PTO meeting, virtual
  • Jan 11, lunch - Next Uniform Pick Up
  • Feb 23 - save the date - Scientific Symposium

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Note from the Editor

You'll want to make sure you click "download external images" for our newsletters or you will miss some of the "images" which are important flyers. Thanks!

Principal Herrera's Update

FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE is posted below - please note slight modifications from last week's posted schedule. Note: please "download external images" for the newsletter so you can see the schedule.

Final Exam schedule
no parking sign pic
Friendly Pick Up & Drop Off Reminders

We all have some place we are trying to get to in the mornings - let's be patient and follow the signage and traffic pattern to ensure a safe and orderly drop off and pick up for our students. 


No parking along Pressler.

No letting students out of the vehicle on Pressler.

No left turns into the DeBakey parking lot when approaching northbound on Pressler.

Follow directions from our HISD Officer Colunga - he is here to keep us all safe!

Orchestra Concert 12/14 7 pm
Wonderful Orchestra Winter Concert

Thank you parents for your continued support and Mr. Stewart's dedication to grow the DeBakey Orchestra. The orchestra only had 21 students after returning from the pandemic and now this amazing group has grown to 85 students. We could not have done it without you. 

Mr. Stewart has many great plans in the Spring - field trip to Houston Symphony, Pre-UIL Concert, UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest, Spring Concert and Honors Recital. Please purchase a ticket to Houston Symphony on the PTO website and consider donating funds via Zelle to president@debakeypto.org to purchase music, tools, supplies, shoulder rests, rosin, and instruments. 

PTO wishes to thank our generous parents at the Winter Concert:

Jasmine Galal 

Anna-Marie Nguyen 

Veronica Ramirez 

Rosh Zachariah

Lia Bain 

Ivy Luong

Heather Peterson

Ilka Gnemi

Elaine Byun

Phuong Pham

Sarah Varghese

Milenka Arevalo

Jiahong Ye

Jaemi Jacob

Jasmin Galal

Anjali Mahajan

Happy Holidays!

Ivy and Anne Marie

Orchestra Co-Chairs

donor names on DeBakey wall
Remember DeBakey in Your End of Year Giving

Your donations are tax-deductible and will optimize the success of your child as well as the entire student body and teachers.

  • Purchase a Benefactor Wall Plaque -Honor your family, student, or business and become part of Debakey's legacy with a $500 donation. (Photo of wall plaques above)
  • Make a General Donation of $25 or more.
  • Double the impact through Company Matching.

Click here to donate now!

Bake Sale - Dec 20-21
Sign Up to Donate to the Bake Sale
Donate to help DeBakey Families
Thanks for Helping - Winter Wonderland

What a great festive night! Many thanks to our parents for supporting Juniors/Seniors to get together before the stressful finals. We appreciate our class sponsors and teachers for staying late after a long school day. You are simply the BEST!

Special thanks to these parents who generously give your time and donate goods or funds!

Sathya Pitchaiyan

Marie and Laruen Anstead

Mark Aldag

Ruth Mendez

Diem Chu

Florencia Foster

Grace Rosanes

Nichole Ake

Mariana Zamora

Anna Kurjakovic

Charli Carnes

Happy Holidays! 

Ivy and Grace

12th Grade Co-Liaisons

Finals Week Spirit Themes!

Be sure to "download external images" so you can see the below images about the fun spirit week themes!

*Remember to stay in Dress Code

12/18 Ugly Sweater day
12/19 Dynamic Duo dress up
12/20 holiday clothes
12/21 PJ day
PEA + Running Club info
Soccer News!

Congratulations to our new Boys Soccer Team Members: 

1. Kevin Chen

2. Jhovany Garcia

3. Fenus Kiflu

4. Francesco Valle

5. Reeve Jenkins

6. Evan Wright

7. Sebastian Foster

8. Yosuf Mohammad

9. Jon Odom

10. Ryan Butali

11. Itzam Medina

12. Oscar Saucedo

13. Omar Meza

14. Arshya Kamrani

15. Yahya Ahmad

16. Isaac Szeg Gonzalez 

17. Zain Kundi

18. Biinazar Kubanychbekov

Also - this past week our DeBakey Senior Boys Soccer Club beat Eastwood Academy HS 9-6 at the Fireball Winter League. Awesome work!

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!

Classes of 2025 and 2026 Senior Dues

Hey Classes of 2025 and 2026! 

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 and 2026 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

Uniform Store next pick up Jan 11
Click here to visit the PTO Uniform Store!
We need a Field Day Chair & Committee!

PTO is looking for a volunteer to lead this fun event and committee members to help support! The event takes place the day before Spring Break.

The DeBakey Field Day is wonderful highlight for the DeBakey Students in the spring.  Typically, the festival includes a carnival like atmosphere with lots of games, rides, food trucks, ice cream, and cupcakes.  You would be responsible to work with the administration to ensure all activities have been ordered, the food trucks have been requested, and that we have enough water, ice cream, and cupcakes/snacks for all the students.  This may require requesting donations.  This position does not require a lot of time throughout the year but is incredibly involved from approximately January until the event occurs just before Spring Break.

Interested? Contact- president@debakeypto.org

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! 

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.

  • 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.

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!

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity

Support our community by volunteering at Houston Food Bank events right on our campus. Multiple dates are available via the Sign Up Genius link below. Volunteers will be stationed outside in the DeBakey parking lot, so dress for the weather.

There is a particular need for bilingual volunteers.

Volunteer Sign Up Here

Recruiting Speakers for our Feb 23 Science Symposium

Parents, guardians, community, alumni- if you or someone you know might like to present about their interesting career to our students, please contact us for more information. This is an event for our students. We welcome engaging speakers preferably STEM, medical, finance, motivational and passionate persons willing to share. 

Travel Abroad with DeBakey - lots of interesting opportunities below for 2024 & 2025
2025 Greek trip interest meetnig
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

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!

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 >>

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