• Farewell

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 12/20/2023 2:00:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    We come to the end of another successful semester that showcased the best that we have to offer in CFISD.

    Our high school athletics programs competed in the postseason in each sport, with cross country athletes from Bridgeland and Cypress Springs high schools concluding in the state championships. Cy-Fair High School senior quarterback Trey Owens was named the Touchdown Club of Houston 2023 Offensive Player of the Year!

    Our Board of Trustees adopted the lowest tax rate our district has had since 1986 in October. We added 12 new Adopt-a-School partnerships with local businesses and faith-based organizations. Air Force JROTC units at both Cypress Falls and Langham Creek high schools have already earned the highest overall unit rating of “Exceeds Standards” during recent inspections and formal evaluations.

    Our visual and performing arts programs continued to excel: marching bands from three high schools qualified for the UIL State Marching Contest in October, and more than 140 theatre arts students earned superior ratings at the 2023 Texas Thespian Festival in November. The Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) named CFISD a 2023 District of Distinction winner, and Hairgrove Elementary School art teacher Gretchen Bell-Young was named the 2023 Texas Art Educator of the Year!

    We officially opened the new CFISD Visual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC), and it has been a delight to see and hear our students perform in a world-class facility.

    new VPAC

    Every year since I came to CFISD in 2011, I have had the pleasure of bragging about the incredible accomplishments of our students and staff. And every year, it seems like the achievements surpass the year before. It has been such an honor to serve you as superintendent the last 12 ½ years. 

    Since arriving in this community, my family has grown from five to 17 members and counting! I feel blessed to have all my children and grandchildren living in the area; my life is filled with lots of love (and noise!) every time they come over. My wife, Cindy, and I are making Cypress our home. We think  it’s the biggest small town in the state. We have made a lot of memories here, and we hope to make many more. 

    Thank you for all the support, prayers and friendship you have given me over the last 12 ½ years. It has been an honor to be associated with so many great educators, community members, faith-based leaders and friends. I will conclude my career as your superintendent on Dec. 31, but I will continue to be a CFISD cheerleader from the sideline!

    I pray that this holiday season is a joyous time for you to share with friends and family. Enjoy your time off, be safe, and see you in 2024!



    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

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  • Giving Thanks

    Posted by Mark Henry, Ed.D. on 11/17/2023 11:00:00 AM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    We have so much to be thankful for! The pace of our lives and schedules can make it difficult to stop to count our blessings. Although life can throw challenges at us, I have found that the positives outweigh the negatives. This Thanksgiving, please take some time to reflect on your highlights.

    I am thankful to live in the United States and specifically the Cypress area—where there is great support for one another in the schools and community. As we celebrated Veterans Day throughout the district last week, I was reminded of how grateful I am for our community members who served or are currently serving to make our lives better every day.

    A couple weeks ago, I traveled to San Antonio for the UIL State Marching Contest. Three bands—Cypress Woods, Cy-Fair and Bridgeland—qualified, with Cy-Fair and Bridgeland finishing as state finalists. What a treat it was to hear our talented musicians close out the marching season on a high note!

    It is always a joy for me to look around the district on any given day and see students doing what they love.

    As I approach retirement, I am personally thankful for the support I’ve received from the community, the great teachers and the CFISD employees who have helped make positive things happen the last 12 years—providing outstanding facilities, numerous programs and unparalleled support to all 95 campuses.

    Being superintendent in CFISD has been less of a job and more of a calling—it has been my honor and privilege. My wife, Cindy, and I love the community so much that we plan on making this our forever home. I plan on continuing to be a cheerleader for the staff and students of CFISD.

    Please enjoy your Thanksgiving break, taking time to rest and share memories with family and loved ones.

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  • Early voting starts today

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 10/23/2023 6:00:00 AM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The two-week early voting period for the Nov. 7 general election begins today, Monday, Oct. 23 and will continue through Friday, Nov. 3. I encourage you to make your voice heard by casting your vote either at an early voting site or any Election Day polling center.

    Although the 2023 ballot is relatively brief, one of the key local races is the CFISD Board of Trustees Election featuring four positions up for four-year terms. Please visit our Trustee Election webpage for information on the candidates, a voter guide available in four languages, a recording of the Oct. 17 candidate forum and other resources.


    The Harris County Clerk’s elections department website, harrisvotes.com, has many good resources to prepare you for election season. You can even review a sample ballot by entering your name and address, so you can learn more about the candidates running for office.  Elections closer to where we live have a greater impact on our lives. I encourage you to research the candidates and express your constitutional right to vote for the person you choose.

    Early voting hours of operation are scheduled as follows:

    • Oct. 23-28 – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
    • Oct. 29 – Noon to 7 p.m.; and
    • Oct. 30-Nov. 3: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    There are several convenient early voting sites in or near our community:

    • Jersey Village Municipal Government Center (16327 Lakeview Drive, Jersey Village, 77040);
    • Richard & Meg Weekley Community Center (8440 Greenhouse Road, Cypress, 77433);
    • Juergen’s Hall Community Center (26026 Hempstead Highway, Cypress, 77429);
    • Steve Radack Community Center (18650 Clay Road, Houston, 77084);
    • Prairie View A&M University - Northwest (9449 Grant Road, Houston, 77070);
    • Doubletree Houston Brookhollow (12801 Northwest Freeway, Houston, 77040);
    • John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center (9950 Katy Hockley Road, Katy, 77493); and
    • Hockley Community Center (28515 Old Washington Road, Hockley, 77447).

    Election Day voting hours on Tuesday, Nov. 7 are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Before heading out to vote, be sure to check harrisvotes.com for the most up-to-date polling locations in case there are late changes from the county.

    So we can be a positive example to others, I encourage you to tweet a photo of yourself with your “I Voted” sticker and tag me on Twitter (@SuptMarkHenry). Whether it is a local, state or national election, public school employees need to make their voices heard—let’s keep the #CFISDvotes momentum going!



    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

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  • Register to Vote

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 9/5/2023 12:00:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 7 joint general and special elections is Tuesday, Oct. 10. Our CFISD community has continued to develop a culture of voting, and registering to vote is the first step in that essential civic process.

    Detailed information on how to register to vote can be found on the Vote Texas website. Many of you may already be registered; if you aren’t sure, visit the Am I Registered? page on the Texas Secretary of State website.

    Early voting in Harris County begins on Oct. 23 and continues through Nov. 3. Election Day is set for Tuesday, Nov. 7. The Harris County Elections Administrator’s website, harrisvotes.com, has many resources to prepare you for election season. There are many important issues and positions on the ballot, including the CFISD Board of Trustees Election. Elections closer to where we live have a greater impact on our lives. I encourage you to research the candidates and express your constitutional right to vote for the person you choose.

    Thank you to everyone in the community who has helped support a culture of voting. One of these groups, the League of Women Voters – Cy-Fair, even holds voter registration drives at our high schools for students 18 and older. The LWV also provides helpful voter guides on the Vote411 website to better prepare voters for local races, and has included a “School Board Fact Sheet” in addition to other resources on their website.

    There is still time to ensure you take advantage of that freedom. Whether it is a local, state or national election, public school employees need to make their voices heard. Please register to vote by Tuesday, Oct. 10.



    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

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  • Bringing Out the Best in 2023-24

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry, Ed.D. on 8/24/2023 12:00:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The start of the 2023-2024 school year is upon us! Many students will be returning to newly renovated campuses, part of our ongoing effort to provide the highest-quality and safest facilities for everyone throughout the district. Other renovation and expansion projects will still be ongoing, so please excuse our dust as we continue to make improvements. I am so appreciative of our facilities, operations and maintenance teams that have worked hard to prepare campuses for students on the first day of school, Monday, Aug 28. 

    We are thrilled to open two new schools this fall—Sprague Middle School (#20) in the Bridgeland community, part of the Bridgeland High School and Wells Elementary School educational village; and Brosnahan Elementary School (#58) at Clay Road and Westfield Village Drive. Both campuses look incredible, and I look forward to seeing students enjoying these fresh new learning environments on Monday. 

    Additionally, our Visual and Performing Arts Center will open in 2023-2024 on the property next to our new administration building on Matzke Road. Following some finishing touches by our contractor, this will be the preeminent facility of its kind in Harris County. 

    As more vehicles including school buses are on the roadways this month, I ask that you please show patience with the increased traffic as we make sure students are delivered safely to and from school. Similarly, I ask for your courtesy to our school staff as they institute back-to-school procedures for campus visitors. 

    It is going to be a great school year. Thank you for joining us in Bringing Out the Best in nearly 119,000 students as we kick off 2023-2024.

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  • Closing out 2022-2023

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 5/24/2023 12:00:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    Here we are at the conclusion of yet another successful school year in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. Thank you to our students, staff and community for combining to make 2022-2023 so special.

    We began our graduation ceremonies on Tuesday, and by the time we are finished on Saturday, nearly 9,000 graduating seniors from 12 high schools will have walked the stage at the Berry Center. This includes 511 College Academy graduates, who simultaneously earned associate’s degrees along with their high school diplomas. Way to finish strong, Class of 2023!

    Our graduations capped an entire school year of noteworthy achievements, starting last August with the announcement that we were the largest A-rated district in the state! 

    CFISD Largest A-rated Texas School District

    Three high school marching bands—Bridgeland, Cy-Fair and Cypress Woods—qualified for the UIL State Marching Contest in November.

    students at a marching band contest

    The 29th annual CFISD Livestock Show and Sale generated more than $760,000 for student projects in February, and we dedicated the CFISD Exhibit Center in honor of longtime supporters Mike & Darlene Jarrar.

    Mike and Darlene Jarrar speaking at the CFISD Livestock Show

    Our athletics programs produced multiple state champions! At the state swim meet in February, Cypress Woods senior Benjamin Scholl won two gold medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle. At the state track meet in May, Cypress Ridge junior Rylee Hampton (100 hurdles), Cypress Ranch sophomore Celeste Robinson (100 dash) and Langham Creek senior Alex Ornelas (300 hurdles) all took gold. This week, the Cypress Woods baseball team will compete in the Region II-6A semifinal against Rockwall Heath. The Bridgeland and Langham Creek softball teams are also competing this week for the Region II championship and ticket to state!

    Track and swim students winning medals

    The 10th annual Superintendent’s Fun Run shattered previous years’ fundraising marks, generating $210,000 for student scholarships through the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation! I was touched by such an overwhelming response from the CFISD community.

    Dr. Henry with board members and CFEF with $210,000 check at the Fun Run

    We recognized 514 National Merit Scholars or College Board Recognition Scholars at a ceremony at the Berry Center in April. 

    students receiving merit scholarships

    Bridgeland High School’s One-Act Play, Henry Lumper, was state runner-up at the UIL One-Act Play Competition on May 6—an incredibly difficult achievement. Bridgeland’s production of Damn Yankees was also selected to perform on the main stage of the International Thespian Festival next month at Indiana University.

    Bridgeland HS One-Act Play students

    It is hard to believe that this will be my last “last day of school” with this incredible school district. Enjoy a safe and relaxing summer. I can’t wait to continue Bringing Out the Best with you in the fall of 2023-2024.

    Please take a minute to watch this video showing some of the highlights from the past school year.

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  • Thank you, CFISD!

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 5/8/2023

    Dear CFISD Community,

    After 42 years as an educator, 32 years as superintendent and 12 years in CFISD, I am announcing my retirement effective Dec. 31, 2023.  

    This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. To be superintendent of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD has been the capstone of a blessed career. The friends I’ve made, being involved in the community and seeing so many dedicated educators guide our students to reach their goals has been a blessing. My wife, Cindy, and I love it here so much that we are making Cy-Fair our forever home.  

    Although the Board of Trustees will be searching for a new superintendent, I will be here for the remainder of the calendar year. I promise to advocate for our staff and students until the last day.

    Together, we have achieved so much over the past 12 years, and the key word is together. In good times and bad, we are always stronger together. I am looking forward to new experiences and challenges in this next stage of my life, but the memories I’ve made over the past 12 years will continue to bring a smile to my face.  

    Thank you for your support and prayers for our community, our students and me. God bless you!

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  • Critical School Funding Legislation

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 4/25/2023

    Dear CFISD Community,

    With fewer than five weeks until the end of the 88th Texas Legislative Session, concern with the proposed legislation impacting public education funding is increasing significantly. We entered this legislative session with four critical priorities related to school finance:

    1. Increase the Basic Allotment (BA) by $1,000 and add an inflationary index
      • The Basic Allotment is how the legislature funds schools on a per-student basis. Currently, the allotment is $6,160 and has not been increased since 2019 (and has no inflationary factor). CSHB 100 is the current legislative vehicle for an increase in the BA and includes ONLY a $140 increase in the BA over the biennium (a $90 increase in 2023-24  and an additional $50 increase in 2024-25). A $90 increase to the Basic Allotment would yield approximately $13.1 million for CFISD in the 2023-24 fiscal year; and the additional $50 increase yields approximately $7.3 million in the 2024-25 fiscal year. CSHB 100 requires 50% of the increase in the BA to be used for an increase in compensation for teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses. CSHB 100 is significantly short of our request for a $1,000 increase in the BA, to offset inflationary costs and to provide a raise for all employees (a 1% raise costs approximately $9 million).

        In addition to the provisions outlined in CSHB 100 addressing employee compensation, SB 9 establishes the Teacher Retention Allotment for a one-time payment of $2,000 for teacher compensation for 2023-24. Currently, the bill does not address compensation for all other employees and has no provision for an ongoing funding source, resulting in district’s allocating the payment as a one-time bonus versus a permanent raise.
    2. Modify the adjustment in the Comptroller's property value assignment for the Local Optional Homestead Exemption (OHE) 
      • Both Chambers have prioritized providing property tax relief. We support the property tax relief priority; however, although the state is increasing its share of public education funding, these bills do NOT provide additional funding to school districts. Additionally, there is currently no bill or vehicle to address our priority for a modification in the adjustment in the Comptroller’s property value assignment for the OHE.
    3. Provide reimbursement for safety expenditures and increase the school safety allotment to $100
      • We continue to monitor three key bills addressing the Safety and Security Allotment:
        • CSSB 11 lacks an adequate increase in the current Safety and Security Allotment from $9.72 to $10. This amount does not come close to covering our current expenditures. The current allotment of $9.72 generates $1.04 million, but we spend over $43 million.
        • CSHB 3 includes an increase to $100 for the Safety and Security Allotment, which does address our priority.  However, the bill requires an armed security officer at each campus, which would significantly impact CFISD—59 additional officers, totaling over $4 million dollars.
        • CSHB 13 includes a $100 increase in the Safety and Security Allotment, and the committee substitute was improved by removing the restrictions on expenditures.  This bill does address our priority of an increase in the allotment to $100 and flexibility in the use of the funds.
    4. Oppose legislation that diverts funding from public to private or home schools
      • The Senate continues to support diverting funding from public school districts ($8,000 per participating student for Education Savings Accounts/vouchers for private schools in comparison to the $6,160 BA that public schools currently receive). 

    In summary, if there are no drastic improvements in the key bills related to public education funding before the end of the session, CFISD will be faced with some extremely difficult budget decisions that will negatively impact district programs, students and employees.

    If there was ever a time for a call to action, it is now. Please contact your local state representative and senator, and ask them to vote for legislation that significantly increases funding for public education and allows for flexibility in spending. This Who Represents Me? link reveals your legislators after you enter your address. This is a listing of representatives and senators in the CFISD community:

    • Rep. Sam Harless (Dist. 126) - 512-463-0496
    • Rep. Tom Oliverson (Dist. 130) - 512-463-0661
    • Rep. Mike Schofield (Dist. 132) - 512-463-0528
    • Rep. Jon Rosenthal (Dist. 135) - 512-463-0722
    • Rep. Lacey Hull (Dist. 138) - 512-463-0727
    • Rep. Jarvis Johnson (Dist. 139) - 512-463-0554
    • Rep. Penny Morales-Shaw (Dist. 148) - 512-463-0620
    • Sen. Paul Bettencourt (Dist. 9) - 512-463-0107
    • Sen. John Whitmire (Dist. 15) - 512-463-0115
    • Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (Dist. 18) - 512-463-0118

    Thank you for your help during this critical time for public education.

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  • CLC Priorities

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 3/24/2023 11:00:00 AM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    During the current 88th Texas Legislative Session, our Community Leadership Committee (CLC) has developed some key priorities to communicate to our state legislators. This first video addresses the essential priorities relating to school finance. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below and see how you can get involved. 


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  • Celebrating Into Spring

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 3/10/2023 10:55:00 AM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The winter season seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye, and the first official day of spring is only 10 days away! Before we head into spring break, I wanted to share some of our recent celebrations throughout the district.

    In athletics,

    In fine arts,

    • 10 students were named winners in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo School Art Program, and their artwork will be on display through March 19;

      10 students were named winners in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo School Art Program, and their artwork will be on display through March 19;

    • Cy-Fair and Cypress Creek high schools (17-6A) and Cypress Ranch, Cypress Woods and Bridgeland high schools (16-6A) advanced past the UIL One-Act Play district contests to qualify for bi-district competition; and

    • 45 musicians were named to TMEA 2022-2023 All-State ensembles.

      45 musicians were named to TMEA 2022-2023 All-State ensembles.

    In other achievements,

    • Langham Creek High School senior Nitya Kodali won a Student Voice scholarship and represented CFISD on a student panel at TASB Governance Camp on March 3;
      Langham Creek High School senior Nitya Kodali won a Student Voice scholarship and represented CFISD on a student panel at TASB Governance Camp on March 3;

    • Woodard Elementary School is one of the final four schools in the Read to the Final Four competition;

    • student projects generated more than $760,000 at the 29th annual CFISD Livestock Show & Sale, Feb. 2-4;
      student projects generated more than $760,000 at the 29th annual CFISD Livestock Show & Sale, Feb. 2-4;

    • Bridgeland High School senior Haylie Stum was named Texas JEA Journalist of the Year;

    • the Board of Trustees approved namesakes for Middle School #20 (Sprague Middle School) and Elementary School #58 (Brosnahan Elementary) on March 6; and

    • we joined the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation in recognizing our campus Teachers of the Year, as well as districtwide Paraprofessional & Support Staff of the Year, at the Salute to the Stars Gala on March 9 at the Berry Center.

    I am continually proud to be a part of a district that celebrates Opportunity for All. Each achievement reminds me of this!

    The 88th Texas Legislative Session is underway, and one of the key priorities from our CFISD Community Leadership Committee is to increase the basic allotment (the method by which school districts are funded) of $6,160 by $1,000. This would help offset inflationary costs since the last increase in the allotment was in 2019. You can learn more on the CLC webpage, where there are instructions to sign up for Remind updates or follow the group on social media.

    Today is the final day to register for the 10th annual CFISD Superintendent’s Fun Run, an event that is very personal to me in that it funds student scholarships for graduates through the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation. The Fun Run has raised more than $764,000 for scholarships over nine years, and we’re hoping for another big turnout in year 10! Even if you can’t join us in person, a “sleep-in pass” is only $10 for a great cause. See details on the event webpage here.

    I hope you all enjoy some well-earned rest, fun and time spent with loved ones during spring break. I will see you back on March 20!


    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of schools


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