PAISD receives $365K for hurricane repair, teacher innovation & scholarships

Published 12:14 am Friday, August 23, 2019

The Port Arthur Independent School District and Port Arthur Education Foundation were presented with three separate grants for and from various programs, Thursday in the PAISD Central Administration Building.

The first grant Port Arthur ISD received was a check for $348,000 from Rebuild Texas for damages caused by Hurricane Harvey that were not covered by the district’s insurance.

Mark Porterie said insurance covered 90 percent of the cost for renovation of the administration building, so the grant covered the additional 10 percent.

Texas Senator, Brandon Creighton, presented a Senate Solution in support of the Port Arthur Education Foundation at the Port Arthur Independent School District’s Central Administration Building, Thursday. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

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The second check presented was for the Port Arthur Education Foundation by Cheniere Energy in the amount of $5,000.

“We love when our teachers receive grants,” Porterie said. “They are so innovative and so creative, and we need creative, innovative teachers. We need money to finance that creativity and that’s what that money will go towards.”

The third and final check was granted to Port Arthur ISD’s Career and Technical Education program in the amount of $12,000. The money is going to be distributed in $1,500 increments and awarded as scholarships to eight students during their senior year.

“Flint Hills has been a supporter of us in the scholarship area for years,” Porterie said. “$1500 per student is absolutely phenomenal. We want to build up our two-year programs such as welding, pipefitting, cosmetology, etc. That is going to help us, so we are excited about that as well.”

Director of CATE Timothy Tremont said the department has three prongs in which the money will help benefit their students’ futures — the first prong being readiness.

“We want our students to be ready to work,” he said. “This grant will allow our students to get their certifications without having to pay for it out of their own pockets. This year, we can spend more of our time focusing on the students and them getting their certifications.”

Cheniere Energy presented the Port Arthur Education Foundation with a $5,000 grant to help teachers in the classroom at the Port Arthur ISD Central Administration Building, Thursday. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Port Arthur ISD received a $12,000 grant for the Career and Technical Education program at Memorial High School, Thursday, at PAISD’s Central Administration Building. The grant will be divided in $1,500 increments as eight scholarships for senior students. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Port Arthur ISD received a check in the amount of $348,000 from Rebuild Texas to help cover remaining costs from damages sustained during Hurricane Harvey. The check, along with a proclamation from Texas Senator Brandon Creighton, was presented during a special meeting in the Port Arthur ISD Central Administration Building, Thursday. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Tremont said the second and third prongs include co-enrollment and preparation.

“It’s important to have our students who want to go to a technical college be prepared,” he said. “We have classes that exist with Lamar State College Port Arthur, so it’s important that we use these funds to help students get the books they need in that nature.

“Our last prong is just preparing the kids who want to go to college. They may want to go to college to be a nurse, so the first step of that is that we offer a CNA program. We now can get our CNA’s some of the mannequins they need for first aid practice, blood pressure cuffs, etc. and prepare them better for their jobs in the future. This money will be used in that manner.”

The event was capped off with a proclamation and Senate Resolution presented by State Sen. Brandon Creighton.

Porterie said he was elated Creighton visited with district employees, board members and the Port Arthur Education Foundation.

“The resolution is just so amazing,” he said. “We appreciate the support from the (Beaumont-Port Arthur) Chamber of Commerce and what they have done for us. We are really appreciative of everything they do monetarily and with support. They support us in so many other ways than just financially. Just by saying positive things to us, keeping us going and helping us move forward. We are very happy.”