Why We Chose Hogg

  • 2016

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Debbie Muñiz and Mario Guerrero

    parents of a 5th grader and a 1st grader at Travis Elementary

    We have been at home in the Heights for the past 14 years.Raising our children in this vibrant and tight-knit community has been an amazing experience.Numerous friendships were formed on the playground at Proctor Plaza Park and in the hallways of Zion Lutheran Preschool.New friendships and a stronger sense of community continued to grow as our children began their academic journey at Travis Elementary.The time has now come for us to decide on a middle school for our daughter, Isabella.

    As a family, we discussed characteristics that were important for us to find in our ideal middle school.After touring several middle schools, speaking with parents, and considering our options, it became clear to us that Hogg Middle School will be our school of choice.

    Hogg has a strong academic program that includes Vanguard core content classes, an accelerated math track, high school credit courses, and UIL Academics.As an IB World School, Hogg also offers the highly respected Middle Years Programme.Hogg has a robust athletic program that includes three of Isabella’s favorite sports: softball, swimming, and soccer (she is hoping Quidditch is next).Hogg has a growing fine arts program that will include advanced orchestra in the upcoming school year, important to our budding violinist.Hogg has a variety of clubs to meet the interest of every student.Hogg has a strong sense of community, something we highly value.

    The transition to middle school will be much smoother being at a smaller campus where the staff knows all of the students, having a network of friends, and being within walking distance to our home.The possibilities for our neighborhood middle school are endless with the support of Learn Local, the community, and the strong leadership and dedicated faculty at Hogg.We look forward to supporting our local middle school and joining the Razorback Family!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Adrienne and Brent Schwartz

    parents of a 5th grader and a 2nd grader at Harvard E.S.

    We are the Schwartz Family. Our sons, Hunter (5th grade) and Hudson (2nd grade) attend Harvard Elementary. We moved to the Heights over 13 years ago when we just had our fur children and chickens.When we built our house on 8th street 9 years ago, Hunter was just a baby and we were not even thinking about schools. We were lucky enough to be zoned to a great elementary school and have enjoyed walking to school most days.

    When we started the middle school tours, I was filled with dread remembering my own middle school experience.Needless to say, it was an awkward time and being at a huge public middle school was frightening after elementary school.However, after touring a few neighborhood schools, Hogg just felt right for our family. Brent and I love the smaller size and intimate campus. We love the IB philosophy having lived overseas and will be glad Hunter can continue the program all the way through high school. We love the young energetic teachers, great classrooms and technology.But most of all, we love that Hunter will be able to walk or bike to school with his neighbors and have the independence I enjoyed as a child.As parents, we will be able to be more involved with volunteering and attending school events than if he went farther away.

    Ultimately, though, Hunter had to choose for himself.He had a difficult choice to make, as many of his friends will probably attend other schools. We are very lucky to have such great choices in our neighborhood.He made the choice for Hogg after looking at other schools and feeling the same as we did about the smaller size and proximity. He said he felt safe there and he is excited about the science labs with all of the reptiles and other animals.He is also very excited about the prospect of walking home from school with buddies and stopping off at RED Dessert Dive or Antidote for an after school treat or to just hang out (this is what sealed the deal). It is amazing that in the middle of the 4th largest city in the U.S. our kids can have the independence and experience of living in a small town (but with better restaurant choices).

    We are looking forward to this next phase in Hunter’s life and meeting new families as we become involved with Hogg Middle School!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Maggie and Jude Buquid

    parents of a 5th grader and a 2nd grader at Harvard E.S.

    Our family relocated to Houston last year and we chose to live in the Heights.We were drawn to the strong community feel of the area, and we were impressed by Harvard E.S., our local elementary school.Soon after the school year began, we learned about HISD's school choice magnet application process and we began investigating middle school options for our son.The first middle school we toured was Hogg M.S., and we were immediately attracted to the variety of academic and extracurricular activities available right here in our neighborhood. We were also pleased to learn that choosing Hogg M.S. would allow our children to experience a continuum in the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and the STEM Magnet program.

    The commitment of Hogg's dynamic principal, Ms. Sugarek, and her faculty, to promoting and expanding the programs available to every member of the student body, coupled with the support of Learn Local, inspired us to get involved and be a part of the ongoing effort to support Hogg Middle School.We have been very impressed with the school's continuous evolution.We look forward to watching our son, and in the future our daughter, realize the endless opportunities that Hogg M.S. offers.In addition, as parents we will continue our commitment to support the school as it provides an excellent middle school education and experience to all of the children it serves.

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Peter Marmo & Sasha Vaikhman

    parents of a 5th grader and a 3rd grader at Travis E.S.

    We are thrilled that our daughter Hannah will attend Hogg M.S. next year. For our family, the decision to send Hannah to Hogg was based on three main reasons.

    Academics. Hogg is attractive to us academically. We like the fact that advanced academic classes are open to kids who want to do the work and that the school seems to have a balanced approach to homework.

    We appreciate the international aspect of an International Baccalaureate (IB) education.We both speak foreign languages and have spent years living overseas. Our work and our family have a strong international component. We also believe Hogg has a strong principal in Angela Sugarek, who came to Hogg with IB experience, a positive approach to discipline, a focus on scheduling and budgeting, and a connection to the community.

    Local! Like so many of you, we value being close to our jobs, schools, and recreational activities – that is why we chose the Heights as our neighborhood!We want our kids to spend their time playing sports, participating in clubs, reading or just hanging out.Even an extra 30 minutes a day in the car adds up. You read enough education books and research, and you’ll wind up scratching your head about what actually makes a difference. But no matter how you slice it, time is time, and going local gives our family more of it.

    Community. We want our kids to go to a school that is part of a larger community, like we have now at Travis. We see our school friends at the park, or at the library. We ride our bikes or walk to our friends’ houses. Our friends are also our friends’ friends. All this adds up to something pretty special and we want it to continue past elementary school.

    We’ve been involved with Hogg M.S. and Learn Local for more than 3 years. During that time, we’ve witnessed remarkable changes at Hogg, and been inspired by the partnership between the school and the community.We can’t wait to become Razorbacks next year!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    April and Taff Weinstein

    Parents of a 5th grader and a 2nd grader at Travis E.S.

    We moved to the Heights eleven years ago soon after we found out we were pregnant with our son, Addison. The neighborhood had so much to offer our growing family from the very beginning. Addison attended Zion Lutheran Preschool and he quickly made friends from the Woodland Heights. As he moved on to Travis Elementary with many of those friends, he was able to continue building upon those special bonds. Looking ahead to middle school, we are all excited that he will remain close with these friends because we are choosing, along with many others, to go to Hogg!

    Although we believe friendships are important, we also feel there are two more reasons we are sending Addison to Hogg:

    1. We love that it is local! We would rather spend time with our kids and have them do extracurricular activities than sit in a car 1-2 hours a day. Like the Marmos said, time is precious!
    2. We know Addison will get just as good of an education as he would at a private school. The IB World School program is going to give him a rigorous, high-quality education. In addition, we love the diversity at Hoggthat Addison would not be able to experience at a private school.

    Hogg's principal, Ms. Sugarek, and Learn Local are doing an amazing job of transforming our neighborhood middle school into the perfect school for our son to develop into an educated and well-rounded, young adult. We have toured the school several times, and Addison, as well as ourselves, cannot wait to become Razorbacks!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Ila Owers

    parent of a 5th grader at Harvard E.S. and an 8th grader at Lanier M.S.

    I first toured Hogg Middle School three years ago when my older daughter, Dina, was in 5th grade at Harvard. At that time, Learn Local was in its infancy and Hogg was, to be frank, not terribly impressive. The walls were stark white with no evidence of kid-created art or work. The classrooms seemed more focused on discipline than on learning. You could see where the school had potential, but it was not quite there yet. Dina ended up going to Lanier which has been a wonderful experience. She’s now in 8th grade and I am 100% certain Lanier was the right choice for her.

    But every kid is different and the perfect school for one is not the perfect school for all. Last year, when my younger daughter, Trudie, was in 4th grade, I started touring middle schools again thinking about what would work best for her. In comparison with every other school I toured or heard about, it became more and more clear that Hogg is the right choice for Trudie.

    I am thrilled with the level of engagement I see between the students and teachers at Hogg. I see kids who enjoy interacting with their teachers and teachers who enjoy teaching their students. I love the IB curriculum, the STEAM curriculum, and the wide variety of electives and activities. Trudie is excited about all that Hogg has to offer her.

    Hogg has come a long way in the past three years. Ms. Sugarek and her team have made some amazing improvements and turned Hogg into a very special place. I am thankful to have such a great choice for our zoned middle school and I am 100% certain Hogg is the right choice for Trudie!

  • 2015

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Adell Walker and Celia Johnson

    5th graders at Harvard E.S.

    Hi! Our names are Adell Walker and Celia Johnson.We are unbelievably excited to be future 6th graders at James Hogg Middle School located in Houston, TX.After careful consideration and touring of middle schools, we decided that Hogg was the best fit for us.

    We have known each other since we were six months old and have continued our journey together at Harvard Elementary, where we have remarkable teachers and great friends.Here is a little bit about us.

    Hi, my name is Adell Walker and I have many goals in life.My main priority is to be in the medical field when I grow up as well as help animals in need.At Hogg, I would like to be in a medical club, possibly join the orchestra, participate in NJHS, and try out for swim and basketball.

    Hi, my name is Celia Johnson and I am excited to choose Hogg for middle school.When I heard HITS is at Hogg, I was happy because I absolutely love Theater Arts. I have been in theater since second grade and have always loved to sing and dance. I like creative writing, math and science. When I grow up I would love to be an actress or an astronomer. I look forward to participating in STEM, volleyball, swim and squash at Hogg next year.

    There are many reasons why Hogg is a great fit for us. It is in a great neighborhood and has a community feel to it. Hogg is IB, has STEM, offers gender separated PE and a wide range of electives. Even though we don’t attend Hogg yet, we feel welcomed by Principal Sugarek and the staff. Also when we shadowed and toured we liked that there was mostly hands on learning rather than worksheets.We noticed that kids took charge of their education. We both look forward to continuing our academic journey at Hogg.

    Hogg is our choice!We can’t wait to be 6th graders!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Christine Cullen

    parent of a 5th grader and a 2nd grader at Wharton Dual Language E.S.

    Lesson Learned:Learn Local

    We are excited to choose Hogg Middle School for Ruby, our older daughter.Hogg M.S. has all the programs our family could hope for in a middle school—STEAM, IB, foreign languages, and flexible, individually tailored learning opportunities, performing arts, student-created clubs—the list goes on.

    But more importantly, Hogg M.S. has the right people, people with vision and the grit to make that vision a reality, leaders who know how to listen, organizers who know how to inspire.Principal Angela Sugarek and the team of administrators and teachers she is putting together at Hogg M.S. are quickly building upon the strengths of Hogg’s previous generations and creating innovative programs in response to the community’s needs.Our girls, for instance, attend a dual language elementary and we were looking for a middle school program that would allow them to continue their study of Spanish without sacrificing other forms of enrichment or other languages.Principal Sugarek answered our concerns with a curriculum for dual language students that goes above and beyond what we could have imagined. We are thrilled by the opportunities Ms. Sugarek and her educators are creating for our kids.

    And no discussion of Hogg M.S. and the realization of its potential would be possible without paying tribute to the work of all the members of Learn Local.Harnessing the energy of the feeder schools, the community, and the families in and around the Heights looking for more options in public education, Learn Local has done more than help turn Hogg M.S. into a school we can be proud of; they have created a movement that is redefining “school choice” in Houston.

    HISD purports to give families “school choice,” offering a slew of special programs from which we can choose the “right” one for our child—Fine arts! Science and technology! Foreign languages! Vanguard!But digging deeper into that process, we discover that so much of “school choice” turns out to be school chance.Within a system marked by deep inequities, perpetuated by a heavy reliance on standardized test scores and a lottery system that allows each student entry into one school at most, HISD’s “school choice” is an illusion.We are at the mercy of HISD’s inscrutable algorithms—we are at the mercy of what they choose for us.

    But by choosing Hogg M.S., our families have a way to take back school choice and empower our children.The leadership at Hogg M.S. believes that there is no limit to what our kids can achieve, driven by their own ambition and given the right support, never constrained by test scores, never undermined by chance.By choosing the school right in our own backyard, by choosing to Learn Local, we join a community of builders and believers.

    Together we shall go Hogg wild!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Prateek Patel

    parent of a 5th grader and 2nd grader at Travis E.S.

    My wife, Parul, and I are very happy to announce that our daughter, Krishna, will be attending Hogg Middle School next year!We considered several factors when making our final decision.First and foremost, we believe in the new leadership at Hogg.Angela Sugarek LOVES Hogg Middle School and she wants the very best for the future of Hogg M.S.She is dedicated to the success and growth of ALL of her students. Secondly, our son, Desh, will finish his elementary school years at Travis E.S. and that means he is only a few blocks away from his sister!Thirdly, we are committed to the greater Heights community.

    We moved from Sugarland a few years ago to spend more time with each other instead of riding in our cars for countless hours a week.The benefit has been phenomenal!Our children attend many extra-curricular activities right here in the neighborhood and their joy is priceless to us.

    In addition, Parul wants to return to teaching Math in middle school, so she will be heading to Hogg Middle School along with Krishna.This will also give her an opportunity to teach some of her Travis students again next year!She looks forward to joining the Hogg M.S. faculty and helping her students perform and achieve at a high level.

    “Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


    The Patel Family

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Donna Fruge

    parent of 5th grader at Harvard E.S.

    My husband, Paul, and I are huge advocates of public education. As native Houstonians, we attended public schools.Paul grew up in Spring Branch and I grew up in southwest Houston. All three of our children have attended HISD schools.Our oldest, Jaime, attended Pershing Middle School and is a graduate of HSPVA.Our middle child, Summer, has special needs and attended Travis Elementary, Hamilton Middle School and graduated from Westside High School.Caleb is currently a 5th grader at Harvard Elementary. Not only are we advocates for public education but we also believe in supporting our neighborhood schools.

    Having lived in the Heights for over 20 years, we have seen the transformation of our neighborhood and its schools.When I first toured Harvard, it was not the school it is today.But with the commitment of HISD leadership, a new administrative staff that was hired for Harvard and a few committed families, Harvard is now one of the best elementary schools in HISD!This is now happening at Hogg Middle School.It is finally their time, and I am excited to support the Learn Local initiative and be part of Hogg's transformation.Last year, Hogg Middle School was not an option for our son Caleb.When we toured this year, the experience was much different.It is evident the new leadership team at Hogg are a group of focused, experienced and committed professionals. They have a vision and are on a mission to create a unique, effective learning experience at the middle school level. Experience has taught me the campus administrative staff can make or break a school.I view Ms. Sugarek as a smart, competent leader; that will do what is in the best interest of her students, and this is what Hogg needs.

    Many of the staff that have joined Ms. Sugarek are from other schools that should attest to the respect they have for her.And let’s not forget, Hogg is a natural transition for our son because of the IB program.I encourage any family who has not toured and had a conversation with the leadership team of Hogg to do so.With such a good option in our neighborhood, why wouldn’t anyone want to Learn Local.The best part is that Hogg has a small student population compared with its competition in the area. We moved to the Heights because of its small town feel while being surrounded by the big city. Hogg Middle School has that small town campus that belongs in our neighborhood.

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Gigi Jensen

    parent of a 9th grader at Lamar H.S., 7th grader at Hogg M.S. and 4th grader at Browning E.S.

    Hello! I’m Gigi Jensen and our daughter Olive started as a 7th grader at James Hogg Middle School this year. Olive attended Travis Elementary, as did her sister Annie, now a freshman at Lamar H.S. After Travis E.S., Annie went on to Lanier for middle school. She adjusted pretty quickly and did well in her classes. When Olive was accepted to Lanier M.S., we assumed that she would do the same.

    Almost from the start, Olive felt overwhelmed. It wasn’t long before she (and we) were up late almost every night attempting to keep up with homework, assignments and worksheets. We had to pull her from swimming (which she loves) to give her more time for homework and weekends became all about catching up. Olive always had solid grades at Travis E.S., but we saw her grades start to drop. Worst of all, she was losing confidence in herself.

    My husband Keith and I decided that we had to make a change. I scheduled a meeting with the Magnet Coordinator at James Hogg M.S., went on a tour and talked with several parents. We decided to move Olive to Hogg M.S. and are so glad we did! She’s back on track with homework and grades, and the work she’s doing seems more relevant to true learning. She likes her teachers and when I email them I get immediate, thoughtful responses. Most importantly for us, she’s regained her confidence!

    During the last couple of years, we’ve come to realize that our three kids all have different needs and what may be a good fit for one may not be for the others. Our son Eyob is in fourth grade at Browning Elementary and we anticipate that Hogg M.S. will be a great choice for him as well.

    We’re very happy to be part of the Razorback family!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Laura Alaniz

    parent of a 5th grader at Travis E.S. and Principal at Harvard E.S.

    My husband Armando and I are both experienced school administrators and we understand the many challenges of school leadership.We value families as partners in the school so naturally we want to continue to invest in our community schools.

    We have chosen Hogg Middle School for our daughter, Samantha, because we believe in the concept of Learn Local.We believe every family should have the option to attend their neighborhood school.

    One of the reasons I accepted the position of Principal at Harvard Elementary is due to the implementation of the IB curricula.I believe children learn best using a project-based learning approach that addresses different learning styles.At Hogg M.S., we both believe Ms. Sugarek communicates a clear vision that has developed it into a true IB World School and it will become one of the Top Tier middle schools in the country.

    In addition to implementation of IB at Hogg M.S., there are numerous enrichment opportunities for our daughter.She has participated in sports, dance, music and art programs within the Heights community, and we know Hogg M.S. will further support her interests.Through school and her extracurricular activities, Samantha has made many friendships and we have come to know many lovely families.As we take this next step, we look forward to sharing our middle school experience with them.

    For us, Hogg Middle School is our choice!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Sara Lytle

    parent of a 5th grader, 3rd grader, and Kindergartener at Travis E.S. and a 3 year old who is a future Travis Tiger.

    Our adventure in Houston began twelve years ago as Aaron and I settled into the First Ward, eager to serve our neighbors.We felt called to the community and wanted to make an impact through loving people.I have been an educator for eighteen years, twelve of those at Travis Elementary. Currently, I am the new Magnet Coordinator for Travis.Aaron is a pastor who builds new ministries, and in 2013, we started a new church, Oikos. As a teacher and a pastor, we believe it is important to invest in the community, neighborhood, and schools in which we live.

    As our oldest, Abrianna, entered Travis Elementary, we knew she would have an outstanding educational experience.It was great having a short commute to school, which allowed us to spend more time together as a family.Throughout her time at Travis, we have prayed about where she would attend middle school.

    Hogg M.S. was not our first choice until about 3 years ago.Our perception of Hogg M.S. was of a school that lacked rigor in academics and had discipline problems. At that time, we were thankful for school choice in HISD, especially in regards to middle school.But, by the time Abrianna entered third grade, we began to see a big change occurring at Hogg M.S., and we were excited to see the community partner with the administration.Over these last few years, it has been exciting to watch the development of the academics, culture, and community at Hogg M.S.Also, we believe in the new leadership of the school and the direction in which Hogg M.S. is heading as an International Baccalaureate (IB) and STEAM school, adding in the Arts to STEM.We were so inspired by this movement that we joined the Learn Local board last year because we felt a resemblance to our own values of investing in our community as a way to make change happen.It was through prayer and building relationships that our path to Hogg M.S. was made clear.

    We believe Jesus wants us to love our neighbors and loving our local schools is one way to do that.We are thrilled that Abrianna will be the first of our children to attend Hogg M.S. next year as a sixth grader.In the years to come, Zachariah, Aaliyah, and Amariah will follow in her footsteps as our family chooses to “LearnLocal”!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Tiffany Tyler

    parent of a 5th grader and 2nd grader at Travis ES

    My husband and I are both products of public schools.For Charles in New York and for me here in Houston, both local and magnet schools provided us the basis for our later academic and professional success.As members of the Woodland Heights community since 1997, we have always been interested in the schools in our neighborhood, and supported them in every way we could.As an HISD Vanguard graduate myself (River Oaks Elementary and TH Rogers for middle school), I have watched the schools here with a critical eye, considering what the best options would be for our children, Olivia (5th grade) and Audrey (2nd grade).Travis Elementary has been a wonderful match for our family, and we have been considering our options for middle school for quite some time.

    We knew we wanted a balance of academic rigor, athletics, art and music for Olivia.While we have been supporters of all our neighborhood schools since before we had children, we never presumed that the school closest to our house would be the best fit for her.As we went through a more intensive review of our criteria, Hogg MS stood out more and more as a great choice for us.

    The International Baccalaureate program, the STEM specialty and pre-AP coursework provide all the academic rigor we could ask for, with an accessible faculty and administration that have proven their willingness to work to bring out the best in every student.The breadth of athletic offerings provides every student the option to participate, and the full time music and art teachers are outstanding.The newly announced theater arts classes and squash courts were just another sign to us that Hogg MS is committed to offering a truly diverse experience to all of its students.

    Hogg MS also provides our family the gift of time.A short walk, or even shorter bike ride, to school will mean easier mornings.It will also mean that our entire family can participate in events without juggling commute times and parking spaces.Our daughters and their friends will be part of a growing, diverse community within line of sight of our front door.We cannot imagine a better choice for our family.

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Martha Martinez

    parent of a 5th grader and 3rd grader at Travis E.S.

    To the Learn Local Community,

    We are the Martinez Family, a local family from Travis Elementary.During our years at Travis, our children Faustino (5th grader) and Joaquin (3rd grader) have been taught many extraordinary things. They have embraced their knowledge for all things new and have inherited great experiences because of it. As a family whole, we have learned how a strong community working together can help make an impacting difference for the better.We've personally seen the good one can create by giving back to create something stronger and better for everyone to partake in.

    Growing up, both my husband and I went to public schools in local neighborhoods. I can say that through our own personal experiences in public schools we understand and appreciate the important vital tools it takes to make something of yourself. Dedication, commitment and hard work are key players in achieving your dreams. Hogg Middle School exemplifies and we believe will nurture those qualities into our children. In choosing Hogg Middle School, we as a family, feel that we are equipping Faustino, with the right tools at hand. It offers a wide range of exemplary amenities to choose from, and he will have available to him a dedicated and involved faculty to help guide him. Hogg M.S. will be a place where my son can embark on a beautiful rewarding journey. We are enlisting him into a place where we feel he will be nourished mentally by qualified educators. Educators that show a genuine drive for challenging and guiding their students. At Hogg M.S., their International Baccalaureate, Vanguard, Pre-AP, STEM Magnet Program, and wide variety of sports and clubs is enough to make a young boy get excited for school! Their Music, Art and Theater classes and newly announced Squash courts are the perfect dynamic to help each child grow and flourish mentally and physically.

    The best part of it all, that it's all local.A short distance from our home that will take him a long distance academically. Soon he will embark on a journey that he will never forget, and one day he will grow up to give back to the community that cared enough to create such a beautiful and safe environment for him to be the best that he can be!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Stephanie Stafford-Cole

    parent of a 5th grader, 4th grader and 1st grader at Harvard ES

    My husband and I have been in the Heights for 17 years, and have seen the transition of the neighborhood schools. Knowing of the many changes to the educational landscape, we decided to tour Hogg MS and several campuses two years ago, in an attempt to find the right middle school for our 5th grader, Kamryn. We were anxious about making the right decision for her, and her siblings, projected to be future Hogg students as well. Kourtney is currently a 4th grader and Kaden, a 1st grader, attending Harvard Elementary.

    We chose Hogg MS once we toured, went to a few functions and from there, we were sold. The amenities, community engagement and convenience shaped our decision to choose Hogg MS. We are confident our child will receive a quality education in a safe, bully-free environment based on our growing awareness of the teachers and staff who are dedicated to the needs of each Hogg MS student.


    1. Academics: International Baccalaureate, Vanguard, Pre-AP, STEM
    2. Extra-curricular: sports, clubs
    3. Safe walk, bike ride or car ride to campus

    Community Engagement

    1. Committed Staff
    2. Children will attend school with neighbors and longtime classmates
    3. Grassroots community taskforce that works to the betterment of Hogg MS


    1. No application
    2. Located in your community (neighborhood school)
    3. No long commute

    To sum it all up, our children will continue in the International Baccalaureate program, STEM Magnet and will be exposed to G/T and Pre-AP course offerings. We are zoned to Hogg MS and won’t have to go through the hustle and bustle of completing a magnet/vanguard application. There is no long commute or bus ride to school. Hogg MS is a walk, bike ride or skateboard away. The Hogg MS leadership team knows the importance of a quality education, in a safe environment. The needs of every student are met. Teachers and staff are dedicated to every child receiving a quality education in a safe, bully-free environment. Instruction is rigorous, relevant and balanced due to expanding club offerings and extra-curricular activities. Hogg MS is thriving.

    We want to support our local neighborhood schools. If we don’t support it, who will? Hogg MS is our choice!

  • 2014

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by Pedro Ayarzagoitia

    Learn Local.' family of the week

    Living in the Heights is everything that our family wished for when we moved into our home in Norhill, seven years ago.We were fortunate that Milagro was able to attend Harvard, just as the school was beginning the process of becoming an IB World School.From Pre-K through the 5th grade, Milagro has attended Harvard and enjoyed her IB education.

    As middle school approached, we, like other parents at Harvard, were anxious about where we were going to send Milagro for middle school. When the time came to tour our middle school options, we visited numerous schools, had discussions and of course asked for feedback from Milagro. As a family we decided on Hogg MS.Why?Easy... Dr. Schnitta.We received a personal tour of Hogg MS by Dr. Schnitta.She took an hour of her day to speak to us.More importantly, the vast majority of the tour and conversation was between Dr. Schnitta and Milagro.Dr. Schnitta asked Milagro what was her number one concern about middle school.Milagro responded, somewhat to our surprise, bullying.Dr. Schnitta looked in our daughter's eyes and told her how Hogg MS and Dr. Schnitta responded and dealt with bullying.At that moment, I knew I was speaking to someone who cared about her students and her institution.

    Living in the city....living in the Heights, does not mean that we have to accept traffic, bad streets, crime or most important, schools that are not desirable.If all the families who lived in the Heights would support, no, demand that their LOCAL schools provide a great education for their kids, then there would be no need for those anxious weeks in 5th grade, waiting to see if our children got into a "good" school.The "good" schools would be right here, in our own neighborhood.We are supporting our middle school, Hogg MS, beginning right now and will do so for as long as we live here.

    Milagro, Eunice and Pedro

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by The Timmons Family

    Learn Local.' family of the week

    Hello!Timmons family here - Bill, Rita, Joseph and Mike.We have lived in the Heights for almost 14 years and Joseph has spent the last 7 years at Harvard Elementary School.Like most parents, we were very nervous about what was going to happen when Joseph got to middle school.Frankly 7 years ago, we didn't have very many good options in the Heights.This fall we attended a couple of meetings at Hogg and were very impressed with the turnaround happening at Hogg under Dr. Schnitta's leadership and her great staff of teachers.We are very excited about becoming part of the Hogg Middle School family next year.I asked Joseph what his top 10 reasons were for picking Hogg and here is what he had to say:

    10. Close enough to walk/ride my bike to school

    9. Hogg is putting in state of the art Science labs this summer

    8. Great teachers

    7. Great Art Program

    6. My friends are going there

    5. Hogg offers Pre-AP classes, especially Math

    4. The STEM program looks very cool

    3. The International Baccalaureate program

    2. They have football, basketball & soccer teams

    1. Dr. Schnitta is very cool

    0. Who wouldn't want to be a Razorback??!!??

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by The Sullivan Family

    Learn Local.' family of the week

    Next year will be a sea change for us, the Sullivans--Ed, Stephanie, Kate & James--as our daughter Kate attends Hogg Middle School.For the past nine years, Kate has been sheltered in the small environment of area private schools.They were the right fit for her.Private school was our game plan all the way.And if you had told me a year ago that Kate would attend public school in 2014-2015, I would not have believed it.

    But then I met Dr. Schnitta, Ms. Ogle and their teachers, the parents of Learn Local and the students at Hogg.

    Our adventure began last fall when I was invited to attend an open house at Hogg and saw all the dynamic things happening under Dr. Schnitta's leadership.She has surrounded herself with the right people and struck a balance between encouragement and accountability with her students.She believes in them.She and her staff give the students tools to better themselves.Over the months, Dr. Schnitta has remained consistently impressive, and her staff has shown me that they care about their students and their success--both in the classroom and outside of it.

    And on top of all this, Dr. Schnitta is accountable to parents in a way that I did not expect in public school and from which I am grateful to benefit.Hogg is an opportunity for families in the Heights and surrounding areas to have an influence over what happens in your school because the administration and teachers care about what you think.And it is a chance for our children to benefit from the IB feeder pattern that is in place at Hogg and Reagan, which helps to reinforce the growing neighborhood feel of Hogg.

    And let's not forget the children.The students at Hogg that I have met are thoughtful, friendly and sweet.No, that is not a guarantee that everyone will be.But darn it, I like what I have seen, and I like Kate's friends from Travis and Harvard who will be attending Hogg next year.She will find shelter there.I know it.

    Thank you for this opportunity to share our family's experience with you!Choose Hogg and be part of the rising tide!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by The Guerra Family

    Learn Local.' family of the week

    We are the Guerra Family - Dad Todd, Mom Terri, Boys Travis and Trevor, not pictured Tara. Oh, and Ripley the dog who suffers some anxiety from the lack of a ‘T’ name. We’ve been in the neighborhood for many years and have watched the local public school system change for the better. Tara attended private school at Immanuel Lutheran and then St Pius. Feeling unsatisfied, we moved Travis to Travis Elementary beginning with 3rd grade. We were immediately happy with the education, his friends and the neighborhood feel. We didn’t think Hogg was the right choice for him at the time so he continued on to Hamilton for middle school. And equally from his choice and ours, he now attends Reagan High School as a sophomore. He loves it and doesn’t want to be anywhere else.

    As it came time to find a place for Trevor, we considered all the good things we were hearing about Hogg Middle School. Dr. Schnitta and her enthusiastic staff won us over. We believe the education and environment starts at the top and have seen that first hand with Mrs. Berger at Reagan and also with Mrs. Walker and Mr. Day at Travis. We see the same at Hogg and the teachers we have visited there only reinforce that notion.

    We’re also excited for the new International Baccalaureate Program at Hogg. Trevor is anxious to learn Spanish (and we may try to learn with him!)

    There is a great fulfillment in supporting the local schools. And even more when we see that support rewarded in good education and smiles on our children. We’re thrilled to be heading to Hogg next year!

    Why We Chose Hogg

    by The DiFilippo Family

    Learn Local.' family of the week

    My name is John DiFilippo.My wife Arianna and I have three children: a 23 year-old son, who just graduated from Baylor University; a daughter currently attending James S. Hogg Middle School; and a 5th grade son at Harvard Elementary.Over the last few years I have learned much about James S. Hogg Middle School, not only as a board member of Learn Local, but most recently as a parent of a Hogg 7th grader.Believe it or not, our daughter just transferred from a small private school to Hogg in JANUARY.I’d like to tell you why our family chose Hogg for our children:

    • We believe in the school leadership.You may have met Dr. Mina Schnitta on a school tour or at one of the events sponsored by Learn Local.If so, you know how committed she is to Hogg.Upon taking a tour of the school, you will see students approaching her and asking questions, or just simply hugging her.As a parent, you could not ask for a better partner.
    • We have seen a school that has the support of the community.Nobody wants to feel alone when they are embarking into the unknown.Through our involvement with Learn Local, we have met other 5th grade parents from the Harvard and Travis communities who will be joining us at Hogg next year.  We’ve also met parents of younger children who will follow our kids to Hogg.  Learn Local is dedicated to helping the Hogg community thrive, through fundraising, outreach, or whatever else is needed.Knowing that we were not alone in our choice was a great help.
    • If you wonder how our daughter is doing, we can tell you that she is very happy about the change. She is starting to make friends, she is on the cheerleading team, and in addition to the core subjects she is taking Spanish, Karate, STEM and Art. Most of all she has the support of wonderful teachers and a wonderful principal. It is a dream come true for our family to be able to attend the local middle school, without having to commute every day, or having to put our children on long bus rides. For our children, it is reassuring to go to school with friends who live in the neighborhood. We knew we found a home for our children when they attended Harvard elementary. We have a new home now: HOGG MIDDLE SCHOOL.

    • Why We Chose Hogg

      by Megan Taverna

      parent of a 5th grade daughter and 1st grade son at Travis

      I have been very involved as a volunteer for the last two years at Hogg and I have been very impressed with what I am seeing. I've seen a school with strong leadership under Dr. Mina Schnitta. She is extremely committed to Hogg and its students, and answers emails at all hours of the day.

      I've seen a school with dynamic and committed teachers. Volunteering has given me a close-up view of the teachers at Hogg from the art classrooms and the wonderful school library, to the science labs. We are confident that our daughter will receive great instruction on a day-to-day level.

      Our daughter had the opportunity to attend a much sought after magnet program for middle school, but we chose Hogg. We hope you will, too. Please feel free to get in touch if you want to know more.