GALLERY: KISD grants preview tour of Haskett Junior High School

Principal says he has assembled a group of "difference makers" for incoming students

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 5/6/21

Haskett Junior High is estimated to be completed by June 28, said Katy ISD Associate Project Manager Allan Patrick. The new, roughly $65.6 million campus, located at 25737 Clay Road, is expected to …

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GALLERY: KISD grants preview tour of Haskett Junior High School

Principal says he has assembled a group of "difference makers" for incoming students

Posted

Haskett Junior High is estimated to be completed by June 28, said Katy ISD Associate Project Manager Allan Patrick. The new, roughly $65.6 million campus, located at 25737 Clay Road, is expected to open for the 2021-22 school year this fall.

“We’re going to be pulling (students) from Katy Junior High and Stockdick Junior High and creating the Haskett culture,” said Haskett Principal David Paz. “The staff that I’ve hired are difference makers. They are people that want to do anything and everything for students to be successful.”

Paz said he’s already hired the assistant principals for the school. According to the campus’ Facebook page, Lauren Redeker will serve as assistant principal for the sixth-grade class, Stephanie McInturff for seventh grade and Lindsey Stevens for eighth grade. He added that most of the faculty has been hired and he’s down to selecting only a few more teachers and staff, which is a process he enjoys.

“I am one of those weirdos that likes to hire,” Paz said. “I like hiring good people. I love getting to know good people through the interview process. … It’s just been really, really great just being able to learn and talk to a lot of great educators who want to be a part of Haskett.”

Paz said he anticipates an enrollment for the new campus’ first year of operation to be about 800 students. Unlike when some other campuses started, Paz said Haskett will start out serving all three grades its inaugural year, which the building has been designed to accommodate.

The three-story section of the building has a floor for each grade, Paz said, with communal learning areas set aside for smaller class assemblies or collaborative instruction.

From an athletics standpoint, the campus has outdoor athletic fields along its western side. On the inside, there are two gymnasiums, a competition gym with bleachers and a second, smaller gym – both located on the western side of the building along with the band hall and other elective areas.

The main entrance to the building will be situated between the learning tower and will lead into an open-concept library and study area with a small stage. In the learning tower to the west of the main entrance, a large stairwell with a learning stairway – a spacious stairway with plentiful seating options – is available as one a communal work and teaching space. Science labs are available on each floor and computer labs to integrate technology into learning are plentiful in both classrooms and separate technology labs in the school.

Patrick said security improvements had also been worked into the school similar to more recently built KISD junior highs such as Adams Junior High School.

Some minor adjustments have been made to the school such as changing where the elevator doors open, said Greg Prince with PBK Architects, the design firm behind the school’s layout. By switching the elevators to face the southern side of campus rather than the western side, the learning tower can be separated from the rest of the school with a security gate, he said.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the new campus is a large solar array on the campus’ eastern side which Prince said will produce about 50% of the electricity consumed by the school. LED lighting will also add to the building’s energy efficiency and protect campus assets from freezing weather that hit the area in February. Ideally, the solar array will also be a learning tool, he added.

“We’d love to really showcase it and maybe put some interactive things inside the school so the students can see how much power it is producing,” Prince said.

Paz said the school’s namesakes, Cindy and Bill Haskett, have been involved as much as possible in planning the school’s opening, providing input where they can, and he intends to carry on the tradition KISD has of allowing school namesakes to be involved in campus life. The Hasketts have a pet Husky, he said, which was serendipitous because the mascot committee chose the Husky as Haskett’s banner animal.

“Our school colors are going to be an indigo blue and gray,” Paz said.

School colors and mascots aside, Paz said he is simply excited to get things going at the new campus with faculty he feels will improve students’ lives.

“That’s one of the intriguing parts of being the principal of Haskett is being able to handpick these difference makers for our school, and I really feel I’ve done that and (students are) just going to be so excited to be able to work with just phenomenal teachers,” Paz said.

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