Cedar Hill ISD Receives $6.3 Million Grant For GEAR-UP Program

gear up program

Cedar Hill ISD is celebrating the receipt of a $6.3M grant for the GEAR UP Program, which provides college and career readiness support to students. For the next seven years, Cedar Hill ISD students now in the sixth and seventh grade will be able to participate in the program.

A check presentation ceremony and short program were held at the L. Kim Lewis Auxiliary Services Center in Cedar Hill Tuesday, Oct. 31. The event was attended by CHISD administration and trustees, including CHISD Board President Michael Quildon; VP Robert Riggs; Secretary Angela Roberts; and members Gayle Sims and Cheryl Wesley. Cedar Hill city officials attending were Mayor Rob Franke, City Manager Greg Porter, and other elected officials.

Dr. JoAnn Rucker, Lee Trevino, Tanya Walker, Walter Milton and Dr. Larry Watson

A short program was emceed by Dr. JoAnn Rucker, Assistant Superintendent of Academics. Speakers included Interim Superintendent Dr. Larry Watson; Eddie Trevino, EGT Institute; Tanya Walker, Princeton Review; and Walter Milton, with From the Heart.

CHISD Board VP Riggs, whose three sons all have attended or currently attend Cedar Hill schools, is involved in higher education at Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a private foundation that provides scholarships to graduate students.

Riggs said, “Cedar Hill students will benefit so much from being challenged through raised opportunities a grant like this provides. It is the beginning of a long, hard journey that has incredible rewards ahead, and the school board, teachers and administrators could not be more pleased as we look to the future.”

Dr. Rucker announced several new administrators are being hired to help implement the program funded by the grant. A new executive director for GEAR UP, Angel Hodges, will start work Monday. Other positions include site coordinator for each campus and family engagement staff members.

Principals Ves Tetterton and Tonya Haddox

Principal Ves Tetteron, Bessie Coleman Middle School; and Principal Tonya Haddox, Permenter Middle School, both attended the check presentation and program. A number of parents and students from both middle schools also attended. Approximately 1,300 CHISD students are expected to have an opportunity to benefit from the program over the next seven years.

Participating GEAR-UP sponsors who attended included EGT Institute, Princeton Review, and From the Heart. Sure Score, an Austin-based company that provides students with college and career readiness support, is also a sponsor. Texas Instruments assists with student achievement through teacher and child coaching programs. Both are partnering with the district on this endeavor.

The GEAR UP grant, one of the largest ever received by CHISD, will be used solely for the benefit of the students and community.