What Happened in the Sharpstown Area in 2023?

What Happened in the Sharpstown Area in 2023?
Image Credit: City of Houston

January 2 will mark seven months of the Sharpener. We've published 78 online articles and 39 email newsletters. Plenty has happened in that time.

Here are some of the local highlights of 2023.


Council Member Edward Pollard was re-elected over Ivan Sanchez to represent District J, which includes most of Sharpstown.

Council Member Tiffany Thomas was re-elected (unopposed) to represent District F, which includes the northwest sliver of Sharpstown and all of neighboring Alief.

Sharpstown Civic Association

The members of the SCA voted down changes to their bylaws and elected nine directors, including five who are serving on the board for the first time.

In addition to enforcing deed restrictions in single-family homes, the SCA pays for things like neighborhood security patrols and mosquito spraying.


The state of Texas took over the Houston Independent School District due to low performance at Wheatley High School and the results of a TEA investigation into allegations of HISD board misconduct. The takeover involved replacing Superintendent Millard House II with Mike Miles.

Superintendent Miles initially selected one Sharpstown school, Sugar Grove Academy, to undergo radical transformation as part of his New Education System, but three more schools—Jane Long, Las Americas, and Bonham—became “aligned” with the New Education System.

So far, Miles has replaced three local principals: Sugar Grove’s Ericka Austin with Noe Ortega, Jane Long's Myra Castle-Bell with Courtney Riley, and Sharpstown High’s Dan De Leon with T.J. Cotter.

Miles’s reforms have been controversial, to say the least. He’s been accused of “dismantling” libraries to replace them with "discipline centers," stifling teacher and student creativity, and more. So the Sharpener visited a local NES school, Sugar Grove, to see Miles’s reforms in action. The curriculum had some errors, but the former library (which still had books on the shelves) was being used as a "team center," which is much more than a "discipline center."

Higher Education

Houston Christian University's new Morris Center for Law and Liberty, a full-size replica of Independence Hall, began offering free audio tours to the public. The center, which opened last September, earned a Landmark Award from the Houston Business Journal this year.

Also, HCU students competed in a 48-hour film festival. Three HCU students wrote for the Sharpener this year, and one designed our logo.

Parks and Community Spaces

In Westwood, just south of Sharpstown, Council Member Pollard and TIRZ 20 opened a Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the new Club Creek Park.

Also, Sharpstown may be getting a new community center at Sharpstown Park Golf Course. It's still in the planning stage.

Human Trafficking

Not far south of Club Creek Park, Pollard and HPD have been using nightly police barricades to stop the open-air sex trafficking that has flooded the Bissonnet Track for years, right next to Best Elementary School.

Now, with Pollard saying he plans to install permanent barricades, the Bissonnet Track may be closed for good. That doesn’t mean that sex trafficking won’t continue in southwest Houston, but it may no longer inundate that particular stretch of Bissonnet so blatantly.

Meanwhile, local nonprofits like The Landing continue offering services to victims of trafficking.


Sharpstown's homeless population has ebbed and flowed this year, but it still appears about the same as it was at the beginning of 2023. Here's the story of one local homeless man—plus the first article in a series about two local homeless men trying to make it off the streets.


METRO approved the Hillcroft-Gulfton-Chimney-Rock route for the Gulfton Corridor extension of the Silver Line, a METRORapid route with dedicated bus-only lanes.

The community reaction has been mixed. It's arguably high time for an improvement to the limited bus lines in high-density Gulfton, but is the answer taking away regular traffic lanes to devote to buses? The low ridership on the current Silver Line raises questions about how many people would use the new route. But perhaps a connection to a high-density population center is just what the Silver Line needs to boost ridership.

Time will tell.

Metro is also working on another METRORapid route, the University Corridor Project, which is planned to run along the Westpark Tollway on the north side of Sharpstown.


Sharpstown is one of the most multicultural places in Houston–perhaps in America. Despite the summer heat, ethnic diversity shone at the H-Town Global Festival, Liberty Fest, and the Taiwan Yes Festival.


Houston Christian University's football team closed its first winning season with a 6-5 record.

Editor’s picks

From War to America: Vietnamese Americans Share Stories at the New Houston Vietnam Veterans Memorial

From War to America: Vietnamese Americans Share Stories at the New Houston Vietnam Veterans Memorial
During his seven-year term in a communist “re-education camp,” the only food Dong Nguyen received was one small bowl of rice per day. That’s the story he told on a quiet, 82-degree Memorial Day morning at the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Club Creek Park. Dong and his wife,

One Year after TX Trigger Law, Where Can Sharpstown Women with Crisis Pregnancies Go?

One Year after TX Trigger Law, Where Can Sharpstown Women with Crisis Pregnancies Go?
Leer en Español Google Maps says that the Women’s Center of Houston on 8200 Wednesbury is still open. It’s not. The OB/GYN clinic operated in Suite 230 of the squat, four-story Southwest Professional Plaza since 2013. The former owner, Dr. Yury Nosaville, said that he delivered 11,

How to Educate Kids, according to HISD Elementary Principal of the Year Amanda Wingard

How to Educate Kids, according to HISD Elementary Principal of the Year Amanda Wingard
Educating students involves dozens of decisions, many of them controversial. In this interview, HISD Elementary Principal of the Year Amanda Wingard weighs in on several hot-button issues: * Should kids learn to read through phonics (learning how to sound out letters and words) or sight reading (recognizing words through memorization and

Inside Sharpstown's Sugar Grove Academy: How HISD's New Education System Works in a Middle School

Inside Sharpstown’s Sugar Grove Academy: How HISD’s New Education System Works in a Middle School
The timer on the SMART Board screen clocks down to zero as nineteen sixth graders jot examples of figurative language in their notebooks. They’re searching for them in a poem on screen that begins, “The sun smiled like a friend.” The timer chimes. “Marco,” says Ms. Evans. “Polo,” reply

Dinner on the Bissonnet Track, Part 1

Dinner on the Bissonnet Track, Part 1
The Bissonnet Track, a short drive down 59 from Sharpstown, has been the local buzz ever since HPD started blockading two streets after 10 PM to stop prostitution. I wanted to investigate. So, like any sensible journalist, I decided to take my girlfriend out to dinner on the Bissonnet Track.

Climbing off the Streets, Part 1: What an ID Really Means

Climbing off the Streets, Part 1: What an ID Really Means
To American teenagers, a driver’s license is the gateway to independence, quick transportation, and...insurance bills. But for America’s homeless population, a driver’s license can mean the difference between getting housing or being stuck on the streets. But most homeless Houstonians I know—and I’ve talked

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