Like the line in “The Wizard of Oz” goes, “There is no place like home.” Dozens of teachers, administrators and support staff at Cleveland ISD seem to agree. After graduating from Cleveland High School, they have returned to lead the next generation of students.

On Friday, the group gathered for a photo in the boardroom at the Cleveland ISD Administration Office. Roughly 70 former grads — the most recent from the Class of 2015 and the oldest from the Class of 1973 — crowded into the boardroom. As they lined up for the photo, Susan Ard, the district’s spokesperson, remarked that the alumni group will soon outgrow the boardroom space as the district continues on its pace of unprecedented growth.

The alumni pictured are (in no particular order):

  • Crystal Contreras, Class of 2009, Cleveland Middle School teacher
  • ShaTonja Jenkins, Class of 1998, Cleveland Middle School, Special Ed/Inclusion
  • Marissa Narvaez, Class of 1995, Cleveland Middle School assistant principal secretary
  • Felicia Edwards, Class of 1986, Cleveland Middle School Life Skills
  • Daisy Quezada, Class of 2013, Cleveland High School Spanish teacher
  • Cristina Moreno, Class of 2012, Cleveland High School Spanish teacher
  • Karen Billingsley, Class of 1988, Cleveland ISD Central Office
  • Billy Whitton III, Class of 2009, Technology Department
  • Lisa Johnson, Class of 1990, Southside Elementary
  • Carolina Rivera, Class of 2000, Eastside Elementary paraprofessional
  • Martina Guerrero, Class of 1996, Southside Elementary paraprofessional
  • Nicole Ceja, Class of 2015, Southside Elementary paraprofessional
  • Brenda Marquez, Class of 1993, Southside Elementary pre-kindergarten teacher
  • Elizabeth Hernandez, Class of 2001, Southside Elementary first grade teacher
  • Melinda Rodriguez Bennett, Class of 1983, Southside Elementary RTI (response to intervention) bilingual teacher
  • Renita Hines, Class of 1979, Southside Elementary nurse
  • Kim Harbeck, Class of 2002, Cleveland Middle School library aide
  • Laura Penry, Class of 2006, Southside Elementary art teacher
  • Consuelo Gonzalez, Class of 2007, Southside Elementary pre-kindergarten teacher
  • Lauren Hoey, Class of 1999, Eastside Elementary first grade teacher
  • Ashley Lowery, Class of 1999, Eastside Elementary music teacher
  • Bobbie Rodriguez, Class of 2006, Eastside Elementary kindergarten teacher
  • Allison Alpha, Class of 1992, Eastside Elementary instructional specialist
  • Kristy Jones, Class of 1995, Cleveland High School band director
  • Kim Calfee, Class of 1987, Cleveland Middle School teacher
  • Stephanie Hurst, Class of 1993, Cleveland Middle School teacher
  • Joanna Daniel, Class of 2008, Cleveland Middle School teacher
  • Alyssa Hollie, Class of 2010, Cleveland Middle School coach/PE
  • Brandy Wisdom, Class of 1996, Northside Elementary librarian
  • Daisy Medina, Class of 2010, Northside Elementary Instructional Aide
  • Crystal Martinez, Class of 2005, Northside secretary
  • Nicole Guerra, Class of 2010, Northside Elementary registrar
  • Claudia Rangel, Class of 2014, Northside Elementary ISS
  • Lucia Gonzalez, Class of 2003, Northside Elementary bilingual aide
  • Megan Dolley, Class of 2005 – teacher
  • Melanie Brown, Class of 1984, Southside Elementary ISS
  • Deborah Carter, Class of 1980, Southside Elementary head custodian
  • Jamaul Ross, Class of 2011, Cleveland High School world history/coach
  • Jaraud Ross, Class of 2011, Cleveland High School ISS/coach
  • Nicole Jennings, Class of 2010, maintenance secretary
  • Esther Garcia, Class of 2001, Eastside Elementary instructional specialist
  • Patrick Houston, Class of 2010, Life Skills
  • Reniqua Davis, Class of 2010, PE/coaching
  • Brent Weitzel, Class of 2002, Cleveland High School construction tech
  • Ashley Beeman, Class of 2005, Cleveland Middle School English teacher/twirl instructor
  • Roscoe Warrick, Class of 1978, Cleveland High School Life Skills
  • Nicole Dickerson, Class of 2000, Cleveland High School special ed/ABU
  • Skye Hamilton, Class of 1994, Cleveland High School college/career counselor
  • Annette Deshotels, Class of 1987, Cleveland High School English teacher
  • Crystal Casarez, Class of 2007, Cleveland High School assistant principal secretary
  • Janet Castro, Class of 2008, Cleveland High School receptionist
  • Jose Castro, Class of 2007, Cleveland Middle School band
  • Joann Diaz, Class of 2012, Northside Elementary intervention specialist
  • Nancy McClain, Class of 1995, Cleveland High School English teacher
  • Brittany Driver, Class of 2009, Eastside Elementary pre-kindergarten teacher
  • Valerie Cox, Class of 1998, Douglass Learning Academy English teacher
  • Mark Rodriguez, Class of 2006, Cleveland High School assistant principal
  • Brandi Taff-Armstrong, Southside Elementary teacher
  • Allison Taff-Armstrong, Eastside Elementary cafeteria
  • Tracie Custer, Cleveland Middle School cafeteria
  • Ronnie Millard, Class of 1973, Douglass Learning Academy electives teacher
  • David Sheffield, Class of 1981, Cleveland High School agriculture teacher
  • Laurie Ann Houston, Class of 2010, Life Skills
  • Yvette Perry, Class of 1982, Cleveland High School special education
  • Angela Allen, Class of 1981, Cleveland ISD Police Department interim chief
  • Mary Giles, Class of 1986, Douglass Learning Academy principal
  • Shiakiea Carter, Class of 1994, Cleveland High School teacher and coach
  • Susan Ard, Class of 1982, Director of Communications
  • Stacy Arnold, Class of 1980, administrative assistant to the superintendent

By Vanesa Brashier,

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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