TSB—July 2009

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July/August 2009

IN REVIEW Education in the 81st session

In the Spotlight Elizabeth Clark Katy ISD

Highland Park ISD’s Gena Gardiner and Texas ASCD


Texas School Business • July/August 2009



In the Spotlight: Elizabeth Clark, Katy ISD


Jeff Carmack

Highland Park ISD’s Gena Gardiner to serve as Texas ASCD president


Jennifer LeClaire

COVER STORY: 81st Texas legislative session triggers changes on the horizon


Dave McNeely

photo FEATURES TASSP hosts summer conference in Austin


TEPSA training heats up at summer gathering


Longtime friends reunite at TACS Presidents Luncheon


Texas Rural Education Association rallies in San Antonio




TSB Professional Development & Events Calendar

From the Editor


Young’s Inbox



The Law Dawg  —  unleashed


Who’s News


The Back Page


Advertisers Index


Katie Ford Jim Walsh

John Young

Riney Jordan

Above: Gena Gardiner (in black), assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and special programs at Highland Park ISD, meets with a team of teachers. This October, Gardiner will step up to serve as president of the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. The views expressed by columnists and contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or Texas School Business advertisers. The publisher also makes no endorsement of the advertisers or advertisements in this publication. July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


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Texas School Business • July/August 2009

Reliable Resources From a Name You Can Trust

From the Editor Welcome back, readers! Are you ready for the 2009-2010 school year? Though the 81st Texas legislative session came to a close earlier this summer, the repercussions of this latest gathering will continue to play out in our school districts for years to come. In this issue, Dave McNeely, a longtime reporter on Texas politics and government, takes on the monumental task of summarizing how Texas public schools fared in the 81st session. From accountability standards to salary hikes to textbooks, McNeely spells out how the new — and failed —legislation impacts school business. In the July/August issue, we also highlight Highland Park ISD’s Gena Gardiner, who will take the reins this October as president of the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. We turn the Spotlight on Elizabeth Clark, who retires this fall after a prolific career in public education — most recently having served Katy ISD as its chief academic officer. Speaking of prolific, this issue is jam-packed with Who’s News as a new school year begins. We also have photos from some of the summer’s hottest professional conferences. If you haven’t already, please nominate a successful, innovative program for the upcoming Third Annual Bragging Rights 2009-2010 special issue, to be released in December. We are taking nominations through Aug. 31, so time is running out! You can find more details on how to submit a nomination at www.texasschoolbusiness.com.

Katie Ford, editor

(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) July/August 2009 Volume LV, Issue 10 1601 Rio Grande Street, #441 Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-478-2113 • Fax: 512-495-9955 www.texasschoolbusiness.com

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Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and for the Bragging Rights issue published in December (11 times a year) by Texas School Business Magazine, LLC, 1601 Rio Grande Street, #441, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas School Business,1601 Rio Grande Street, #441, Austin, TX 78701. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $28 per year; $52 for two yrs; $72 for three yrs. Group rate: 10 or more, $18; single issues, $4.50.

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Texas School Business • July/August 2009

THE LAW DAWG – unleashed by Jim Walsh

A supreme call, in my opinion


he U.S. Supreme Court believes that Kerry Wilson overreacted. But the court had the good sense to leave it at that, rather than opening the door to a sixfigure claim of damages against the assistant principal of the middle school in the Safford Unified School District in Arizona. I expect by now you have read of the court’s decision in Safford USD #1 v. Redding. Eight members of the Supreme Court held that Wilson violated the constitutional rights of Savana Redding when he ordered a strip search of the 13-year-old in pursuit of a prescriptionstrength ibuprofen. In so doing, the court made it clear that not all searches are created equal. Searches by school officials that involve underwear will be judged by different standards than a look-see into the backpack. But seven members of the court were sympathetic to Wilson, noting that “we mean to cast no ill reflection on the assistant principal.” Justice David Souter observed that “parents are known to overreact to protect their children from danger, and a school official with responsibility for safety may tend to do the same.” Thus, Wilson was entitled to qualified immunity, a legal deflector shield, protecting him from personal liability. The court acknowledged that the law about strip searches was not so “clearly established” at the time of this incident. Even though Savana’s constitutional rights were violated, she will not be able to recover damages from Wilson. There are many ways to correct a mistake in judgment, and many ways to hold school officials accountable for violations of law or policy. In the litigation culture, there are those who believe that nothing short of a humongous penalty of monetary damages will do the job. Of course, many of those who hold that view also have a vested interest in that outcome. The lawyer who wins that award for his client usually shares in the bounty. But if we really believe in local control of our schools, we also have to trust that wise administrators and board members

can take corrective action that is swifter, less complicated and more appropriate. Someone in authority ought to tell Wilson that he messed up. He invaded a student’s privacy without a compelling reason to do so. If the Safford USD did not get that message before the Supreme Court’s decision, it certainly should have received it by now. Litigation polarizes. When accused of wrongdoing (especially when big dollar figures are tossed around), people get defensive. They circle the wagons and seek to justify their courses of action in any way possible. Litigation is all about who is right, who is wrong and who should be ashamed. That system works for the lawyers, but it does not serve the people well. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case points the way to a saner solution — a recognition that not every legal wrong has to be compensated with money. Let’s hope that everyone comes out a winner after this case. This decision recognizes and protects student privacy. As a result of the decision, hopefully, fewer kids will be subjected to the humiliation that Savana Redding experienced. Assistant principals now have clearer guidance on what is acceptable in a search, which hopefully means fewer will put themselves in legal jeopardy. Moreover, principals and superintendents should understand that they can — and should — take strong corrective action when assistant principals or teachers make serious mistakes. The Supreme Court set a good example for us here. It credited Wilson with good motives, but it did not end the inquiry there. It assessed Wilson by his actions in light of prevailing legal standards. The court took corrective action without shaming anyone. That’s a good model for anyone in a position of authority. JIM WALSH is editor in chief of Texas School Business and the managing editor of Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest. Also a school attorney, he co-founded the firm of Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Aldridge & Gallegos PC. He can be reached at jwalsh@wabsa.com or by visiting www.walshanderson.com. July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


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YOUNG’S INBOX by John Young

Voucher supporters seeing double


t was a double whammy this session. For vouchers vouchers, that is. You read it right: a twofer for supporters of public schools. Why am I talking in twos? Because of this: Supporters of this specious public policy — vouchers vouchers — are afraid to call these things what they are. You may have noticed. They want to call them “opportunity scholarships.” Or they want to treat vouchers vouchers and “school choice” as one and the same, when you can have school choice without a school funding vehicle of “choice” whose name they dare not say. So, when you speak on this subject, speak plainly in the face of propaganda tricks. Join me. Say it twice. Call vouchers vouchers. A few years ago I was visited by a representative of a group promoting “school choice.” He had a good suit and shiny cuff links. He had glossy brochures and numbers to prove that we were wasting money lavishing it on “failing” public schools. As this state ranks last nationally in per capita spending, I was not impressed — certainly not by someone who wouldn’t call vouchers vouchers. I said so. “Well, that’s the difference between us,” said Mr. Cuff Links. “You support institutions. We support children.” Guilty as charged. I support public schools. I support a firehouse, a police department, a library. Institutions all. All I can say is that people who care about human beings need to stand up for institutions like these. What’s encouraging is that’s exactly what’s happened in Austin in recent years. Supporters of public schools have been pounding the enemies thereof. Consider this: Not only did the 81st Texas Legislature reject voucher-voucher bills, the state budget contained language to prevent stealth attempts to implement them. A twin killing. This is not a development out of the

blue. The political momentum has been with school supporters. The biggest development was the creation of the Texas Parent PAC, which provides political support to friends of public schools in either major party. Its successes have been spectacular, to say the least. The most noteworthy coup was moderate Arlington Republican Diane Patrick’s defeat of former House Education Chairman Kent Grusendorf. On school matters in Austin, Mr. G was a big, big supporter of — yes, yes — vouchers vouchers. The small-dollar Parent PAC provided a counterpoint to San Antonio financier James Leininger’s big-dollar machinations. Most importantly, it exposed the wafer-thin support for hurtful policies regarding public schools. You can print up nice brochures and dispatch well-cuffed emissaries and still not convince Texas lawmakers that funneling scarce school dollars to private and parochial schools is a good thing. My, how things have changed. Four years ago this was a high-tension matter in the U.S. Supreme Court. Supporters of public schools feared that a ruling allowing public dollars to go to church-run schools would open the floodgates in Texas and elsewhere. In fact, such a ruling came in 2002. And? Nothing. Supporters of public schools are winning in the court of public opinion. Increasing numbers of Texans would rather use tax dollars for their intended purpose, and not to have them siphoned in the night. Those who would misdirect those dollars say they support public schools, but they know it’s not true. That’s why you won’t hear plain truth from them, like calling vouchers vouchers.

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Katy ISD benefits from Elizabeth Clark’s mastery of curriculum management by Jeff Carmack


hen Elizabeth Clark started working a night shift at a munitions plant at the tender age of 18, she had no idea that her work would one day shape her approach to public education. At first blush, detonators and grenade fuses would seem to have little in common with the classroom. But Clark says that in both occupations, controlling variables is the key to quality outcomes. Until this past spring, Clark had been serving as the chief academic officer for Katy ISD. In April, she announced her retirement, effective Nov. 30, and she has since been serving as a chief officer and advisor to the superintendent. When she walks out the door in November, Clark will have left behind a legacy of what she refers to as “preparing the next generation of leaders.” Her road to academic excellence was neither short nor simple. The eldest of three children from Texarkana, she spent but a semester at Arkansas State Teachers College before family responsibilities called her home. “Mom and dad were struggling; they still had two kids in school, so I came home and went to work,” she says. As a teenager, Clark took on a night shift as a quality inspector at the Day & Zimmermann Army ammunition plant outside Texarkana. During the day, she continued her education at Texarkana Junior College. The experience informed her thinking on quality control as she later moved on to a career in education. “In education, you have to have ultimate control over the core work, just like in business,” she says. “How do you have control over teaching and learning? You use the same principles. You have to control all the variables so that you produce optimal learning.” When Clark had earned all the hours she could at the junior college, she commuted to Southern State University in Magnolia, Ark. Once she earned her degree, her teaching career began. Clark

and her husband, Jerry, left Texarkana for Fordyce, Ark. Jerry, a pharmacist by trade, took a job there, and Clark started teaching fourth grade in the nearby town of Rison. After a year, the couple moved to Stuttgart, Ark., where for three years Clark taught junior high. During her first year, the local chamber of commerce named Clark Teacher of the Year. In 1975, Clark earned her master’s degree in education administration, and in 1978 she earned an education specialist degree. The following year Clark started working on her doctorate, an effort that took her As Katy ISD’s chief academic officer, Elizabeth Clark and her team were responsible for creating and introducing the patented only one year to finish. Katy Management of Automated Curriculum, or KMAC, system. In 1980, Clark became as- (Photo credit for this page and Clark’s portrait on cover: Trey sistant superintendent of cur- Jones.) riculum and instruction in curriculum for four content areas: math, Hallsville ISD, near Longview. When she science, social studies and language arts. left for Katy ISD 18 years later, she was The statewide project was the foundation Hallsville ISD’s deputy superintendent of of the work Clark has done during her 11 educational operations. years in Katy ISD. For her doctoral work, Clark and her “We’ve automated our system beprofessor, Marvin Fairman, developed cause we have more than 4,000 teachers, the Organizational Health Instrument, an and you simply cannot send binders to that assessment tool that principals can use to many teachers,” Clark says. “You have to gauge how their teachers perceive them. automate.” “This [instrument] is based on the idea Using the patented Katy Management that organizations are organic — they’re of Automated Curriculum system, the based on peoples’ perceptions,” Clark district now has 400 online curriculum says. “So how do you know what those guides that staff can access. perceptions are, and how do you improve For the past five years, Clark has been the principal’s ability to see how he or an adjunct professor at the University of she needs to adjust to maintain optimal Houston at Clear Lake. Upon her retirement organizational health? this fall, she will open a new chapter in her “We have 30 years of research that life as an associate professor. shows that the healthier the organization Looking back on her years in public is, the better it performs,” she says. education, Clark says her career has been Clark is also a longtime member “a joy.” — and past president — of the Texas “It’s unbelievable that 39 years have Association of Supervision and Curriculum gone by so fast,” she says. Development. While there, she helped initiate an automated curriculum system JEFF CARMACK is a freelance writer called the Alternative Blueprint for in Austin. Curriculum Development. She developed July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


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Texas ASCD PRESIDENT profile Highland Park’s Gena Gardiner to take the helm by Jennifer LeClaire


ong before Gena Gardiner ever set foot in a schoolhouse, she wanted to be a teacher. A young Gardiner would arrange her dolls in a mock classroom setting and play “school” every morning. “I can’t ever remember not wanting to be a teacher,” says Gardiner, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and special programs at Highland Park ISD. “I grew up in a wonderful family of educators. They were passionate about education — and so am I.” After earning her bachelor’s degree in education in 1977, Gardiner officially began practicing her lifelong passion. She launched her teaching career in a Dallas private school. In 1980, after earning her master’s degree, she started teaching in the public school system. In 1987, she moved into administration. “When I moved into the role of principal at an elementary school, I wasn’t really ready to leave the classroom,” Gardiner admits. “At first, I was concerned that I would lose my connection with the students. But I discovered I could stay connected with the students, and we could all learn together.” Gardiner took her first administrative role in Henderson ISD and stayed with that district through 2000. Her roles included serving as principal of Central and Chamberlain elementary schools; as executive director of curriculum, instruction, special programs; and as executive director for the Henderson ISD Education Foundation. Before making her way to Highland Park ISD in 2002, Gardiner served as director of instructional improvement K-12 and community development for Weatherford ISD. In October, Gardiner will take the presidential reins of the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a nonprofit organization committed to improving teaching and learning for the success of all learners. “The bottom line is, we need to sup-

port our teachers and their ability to lead by taking into consideration technology and culture changes, economic issues, demographic shifts and our interconnectedness with a complex world,” Gardiner says. “We’re working on a continuous learning model to make sure we support our teachers as they support their students on the journey of learning.” Gardiner is well able to answer the call. She holds numerous memberships in Gena Gardiner (left) works with Highland Park Middle School English Department Chair Yvonne Janik and Armstrong professional and civic orga- Elementary kindergarten teacher Anne Edwards (right) during nizations. She has held mul- a summer writing workshop. (Photo credit for this page, table of tiple offices with the Texas contents and Gardiner’s portrait on cover: Mei-Chun Jau.) Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association and Galveston,” Gardiner says. “Not only was has presented at several state and national it doable, but it was the right thing to do. conferences and organizations. It was the right thing to do for our friends “I learned many years ago of the gifts in Galveston and for our colleagues and educators can share with each other and educators there — and for educators as how valuable it is to move outside the four a whole. That’s the spirit of the Texas walls of your classroom,” Gardiner says. ASCD: Texans serving Texans. It was a “Certainly, we’re always learning from very humbling experience.” our students. We’re always learning from In her downtime, Gardiner enjoys our families and our communities. But to spending time with her husband, parents, move outside to visit with other educators aunts, uncles, grandparents and godchiland share practices with colleagues is an dren. She also enjoys the friends she has eye-opening experience.” made in the education field. But no matter Gardiner is looking forward to servwhere she is or what she’s doing, her pasing as president of an organization whose sion for education never leaves her heart. members are so passionate about their “Our work is about schoolchildren. work. She points to the October 2008 Sometimes it’s an overwhelming conference in Galveston. Every detail of responsibility, but it’s so inspiring and the event had been set when Hurricane so delightful to invest in the lives of Ike devastated the Texas coastline. The the future leaders of our nation and our Texas ASCD had three options: keep the world,” Gardiner says. “It’s a wonderful conference in Galveston (if that were and joyful experience.” even possible), change venues or cancel the conference. “[Executive Director] Yolanda JENNIFER LECLAIRE is a freelance Rey and the Texas ASCD board were writer. She covers education, business, determined, so long as it was safe for technology and creative industries. participants, to keep the conference in July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


It’s a wrap 81 legislative session triggers changes on the horizon st

by Dave McNeely


Texas School Business • July/August 2009

Photo: Bruce Turner


sk members of the Texas Legislature how their recent regular biennial session fared for public schools, and the answers will range all over the map. Ask conservative Republicans what they thought, and most likely you’ll hear that the state did well because it balanced the budget without raising taxes or dipping into the state’s $9.1 billion rainy day fund. That rainy day money needs to be saved, they say, to help make good on a promised property tax cut in 2011. Ask progressive Democrats what they thought, and you’ll probably hear what a shame it was that the state didn’t expand pre-kindergarten education to all

day — and fund it. Even the proposal that passed — whittled down in committee to $25 million and just enough for an allday pre-K pilot project — was vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry. State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said the vetoed bill to improve pre-kindergarten and early childhood education “was a very conservative investment that would have been a tremendous benefit to help get kids ready to learn and contribute to the economy.” United Way’s state leader, Karen R. Johnson, had written in a newspaper column before the veto that a study at the Bush School for Government and Public Service at Perry’s alma mater, Texas A&M University, found that each dollar spent on high-quality pre-kindergarten brings $3.50 back to communities. “Savings for taxpayers are realized long-term because children who experience high-quality pre-K have higher rates of high school graduation, higher earning power as adults, fewer referrals to special education, and significantly less involvement with the criminal justice system,” Johnson wrote. Stimulus money for teacher pay hike Ask superintendents around the state what they thought about the Legislature’s success — or lack of it — in meeting school needs, and you’re liable to get a stern stare, or worse. The good news was that legislators authorized giving teachers, school librarians, speech pathologists and counselors a raise of at least $800 a year. The bad news, a number of superintendents say, is that the budgeteers required that the pay hikes come from federal stimulus funds, rather than from income from appreciating property tax values. Earlier this summer, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, warning him that millions of dollars may be withheld from states that use stimulus money to avoid spending state money or raising taxes. Duncan warned Rendell that his state could hurt its chances to receive extra stimulus money if it planned to use it to “backfill budget holes” while protecting state dollars, according to the Associated Press. Pennsylvania — like Texas — has a rainy day surplus that hasn’t been touched, which was part of Duncan’s concern.

Perry sent word that he was confident Texas’ application for $4 billion in stimulus funds — $3.25 billion of it for public schools — would get federal approval. But he waited until July 1 — the last possible day — to submit the application. Texas was the last state to apply. Well more than half the states already had their applications for spending stimulus funds approved by the time Texas even asked for the money. “It’s very frustrating,” Lou Spiegel, Mansfield ISD associate superintendent for business, told the San Antonio Express-News. “Our employees would like to know … what’s going to happen with Lou Spiegel the raise. Well, we can’t tell them what’s going to happen with the raise.” Some nervous school officials are making two budgets. One assumes the stimulus dollars will be approved for the salary boost, and the “what if” budget tries to account for how the raises would be funded if the stimulus money isn’t approved. The federal money would boost the state’s education spending by about 2 percent, with half of that earmarked for pay raises. Perry also asked the federal government for $338 million for higher education and $400 million for education services. On July 8, TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said that federal officials likely would make a decision on Texas’ stimulus package within two weeks. (Editor’s note: The July/August issue of Texas School Business went to press before an announcement was made.) Of charter schools, taxes and standards The Legislature resisted an effort to pass a bill overhauling charter schools. It would have lifted the cap on the number of charter schools in Texas and given the state education commissioner more ways to hold charter schools accountable for sub-par performance. Both were key goals of the Obama administration. And while school districts in many parts of Texas are tightening their belts and cutting extracurricular activities, the Legislature failed to pass legislation that would have allowed districts to raise their tax rates by more than four cents without

putting the proposed tax hike before voters. The Legislature did pass House Bill 3, spurring Texas to start including college readiness as an element in the accountability system. “There are new standards of requirements incorporated in the various foundation subjects in an effort to get students better prepared for college,” says Ratcliffe, noting that foundation subjects include math, English, science and social studies/economics. The bill allows for more flexibility in course choice, but students still must have four credits in each of the four foundation subjects to graduate in the Recommended High School Program or the Distinguished Achievement Program. Students also can graduate under the Minimum High School Program if they get written permission from a parent or legal guardian and either a school counselor or school administrator. Under the new law, students must meet one of the following: be at least 16, have completed two credits in each of the four foundation subjects or must have failed promotion to the 10th grade at least once. The new stipulations are intended to deter students from following the minimum program. When it comes to electives in the recommended program, the bill increases the required number of credits to six. Also required are one credit of physical education, two credits of a language other than English and one fine arts credit. The distinguished program now requires five elective credits, plus one credit of physical education, three foreign language credits and one fine arts credit. By increasing electives, students are given more opportunity to tailor their academic careers to their liking, which hopefully will lead to pursuing those interests in college or post-secondary training programs. “If a kid chooses a course, he or she is more likely to be interested in it and probably will do better in it,” stated House Public Education Committee Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, in The DalRob Eissler las Morning News. “That was one of the goals of the legislation: to make our course requirements a little more market-friendly for students.” See WRAP on page 17 July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


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WRAP continued from page 15

Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott sent a letter in July to school superintendents, advising them that the new graduation requirements would apply immediately to all high school students, not just incoming freshmen. The one exception being the 2009-2010 seniors, who have been following the previous standards requiring three years of math and science. School districts also have the authority to add additional requirements for graduation, Scott wrote. End-of-course exams will be used to ensure student learning in the four foundation subject areas. The education committee chairs and others felt that having students tested immediately after taking a course was preferable to having an end-of-school, all-inclusive test, which often included subjects taken two or three years earlier. End-of-year exams won’t be required until the class that begins high school in 2011-2012. For fifth and eighth graders, state barriers to social promotion to the next grade level will remain, based on the students’ scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. However, legislators relaxed the consequences for students in the third grade who perform poorly on the test. Extra consideration will be taken into account for promotion to the fourth grade, and failing the TAKS reading test will no longer block promotion to the next grade. Digital learning tools and the state board The Legislature passed House Bill 4294, which allows public schools to use their state textbook funds for a much wider range of instructional materials and tools to meet their students’ needs. Approved materials include computers and digital books, which often supplant textbooks that are out of date by the time they reach classrooms. Moreover, efforts to lessen the controversial State Board of Education’s role in textbook approval for electronic materials failed. Perry, in signing the bill, also issued an executive order that the education commissioner and agency “shall adopt rules necessary to ensure the State Board of Education is an integral part of the digital content review process” to make sure it meets the TEKS requirements set out by the state board.

Children’s Health Insurance Program Although it may be considered somewhat afield from education, the Legislature’s inaction on expanding eligibility to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will affect 84,000 schoolchildren who would have been covered under the new measure. The legislation would have expanded eligibility from 200 percent to 300 percent of the federal rate of poverty for a family of four. On July 3, the day after the two-day special legislative session concluded, five Democratic lawmakers, led by state Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston and Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, told reporters that they are calling on federal lawmakers to pick up the ball state legislators dropped on expanding CHIP. Public schools are expected to continue to be a hot topic with the Texas Legislature. Already, it’s being touted as the main priority for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer of Fort Worth, a former legislator and ambassador to Australia and Japan. He says in his many travels abroad he has witnessed impressive progress among nations, and it’s largely attributed to the way those nations are educating their youth. Schieffer says he and other concerned citizens “worry that the children starting to school next year in Texas won’t be able to compete in 20 or 30 years with the kids starting to school in China and India and South Korea.” DAVE McNEELY writes a weekly column on Texas politics and government for several Texas newspapers.

Keep Current L As all GAS T AS LE E TEX OL school G O S’ DI SCH R O T TRA administrators, INIS ADM board members, and school attorneys know, Now in its school law does 25th year of not stand still. publication Published ten times a year, the Legal Digest provides the latest developments in the law to help administrators stay abreast of this rapidly changing field and avoid litigation. . , L.P tions blica lsh e Pu Plac r: Jim Wa s Park ito Childres Siff d r sher: ing Ed Publi Manag r: Jennife ficer: Te Of Edito erating t.com Op iges gald Chief le w.




Nu itutio e 25, const the “re from ce. Both an arose cases perform In one nt Both rs. t. stude er los amine poor ng ex the teach ion of ari he case, the decis ww l cy. other nera cases, the Agen y Ge both .. office torne by DE . cases, one Atissioner’ss. Here upheld mm cision INSI t nfire gie cour the Co e Bo OK ess de the Ag tock ort 11 from Aggi proc over A LO we rep cisions due tion Coms de Litiga wen v. ort this ation month This on, three ial educ Bo rep t by ec mpse or no ion we Opini ree sp a gli ts. decis whether vereign th vides ps in to hligh — and ste ) pro issue same “so The the hig ge 10 agency es. are n to the cy (pa state of truste ts, but .A. atio en T.E the uc en ard Ed um on Ag which rs of is is ial l ucati the bo of arg in . Th Powe specia Spec xas Ed situation removes a variety rsuasive ruling ee Te v. e r thr ll inary m pe t and with Ross very rar Of ou of you wi of the a prelim distric effort of the school ght this find any t rather y relief. many sting and t al bu rar a loc board fou did no s case, intere likely tempo ities. urt thi bil al for are co in n nsi loc ts we eral cision motio respo presen the fed final de trict’s find” 11) led dis ng offi (page ently fai in not the school heari ert on neys e! Attor ty inadv ’s opini neral on the mor strict Coun General The ge ests And ty Di Tarrant y sted Requ Act). Coun torne reque sed. u of PIA rrant situation. for an At ormation t was In lie es, tha be disclo v. Ta al Inf uest Doe er unusu blic ation of cas wg ely req uest (Pu inform , would Da oth tim an the ke a a PIA req that the therefore . is d to ma along shows nse to h a case blic, an e po ard cas res Bo be pu this Case in suc sting a rule sumed to tions, as Intere ge 13) t is pre are excep (pa Most tha cy We ory ard for East ISD, ucation isal There Agen Ed ’s Aw Advis pra the Dawg v. North ioner of tive ap dying n at the e the iss stu Hall nistra Actio We giv nth to the Commthe admi is worth ating the e mo this from tails of so this on for evalu er agreed ion de s d he ion cis an itie ” the de mmiss valid rare, e of nsibil , s som cases are ve respo hile the Co l was “in s flawed sse ha isa m wa W l addre s. Such u who tors. proble r appra praisa proces se of yo administra l, that he h the ap was no d people ug re name by tho ance of a principa Even tho And the rm of un . Hall, r relief s valid. group” perfo Ms. the d l. n wa a “focus with d no fur icklan ). ncipa n pla —Str ordere erventio t’s use of t the pri s ISD (page 18 ou Dalla the int distric ation ab from Dallas ISD the ions inform with decis ussaint v. ther d two to ga To o issue 17) and als . .A (page and ses, The T.E s ISD lla of Ca le Da v. ex, Tab r Matte ... Also bject es 8 Su ticl • 200 le of Ar Tab



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Photo: Maczter July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


Back To School Special: Legal Workshops with Jim Walsh The 4th Annual Back to School Program will feature all of the new legislation that will impact the day-to-day operations of your school district. This year we have legislation at both the state and federal level to discuss.

In particular: • changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 that will impact both employment and student decisions; • regulatory changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allowing parents to revoke consent for the provision of services; • regulatory changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); • the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); and • all of the new laws promulgated by the 2009 Texas Legislature. This year’s program will be organized into four components: LEGAL ISSUES IN SERVING STUDENTS LEGAL ISSUES IN DEALING WITH PARENTS LEGAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYMENT LEGAL ISSUES IN ADMINISTERING YOUR SCHOOL As usual, the presentation will be lively, upbeat and interactive, allowing plenty of time for Q and A. You will come away with specific to-do lists and tools to help you avoid legal problems in the upcoming year.

Bring Your AdministrAtors, LeAd teAchers, counseLors, speciAL ed. stAff, And centrAL office teAm! 2009 Workshop Dates and Locations September 2 ESC Region XI Fort Worth, TX September 8 ESC Region VII Kilgore, TX September 10 ESC Region I Edinburg, TX September 15 ESC Region XIX El Paso, TX

September 16 ESC Region XVIII Midland, TX September 22 ESC Region XX San Antonio, TX September 23 ESC Region XIII Austin, TX

$99 per person online credit card required


register online • www.legaldigest.com Ph: 512.478.2113 • Fax: 512.495.9955

Texas School Business • July/August 2009

TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS WEEK OF AUGUST 31 September 2 Back to School Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After Aug. 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order. September 3 TASSP Fall Summit with Jim Walsh and Andrea Ogonosky ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: $160.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 7 September 8 Back to School Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 7, Kilgore For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After Aug. 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order. September 9 TASSP Fall Summit with Jim Walsh and Andrea Ogonosky ESC Region 7, Kilgore For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: $160. September 9-10 TASA/Syfr Conference: A Whole New Brain: Multiple Pathways to High School Success (part two in a series of three) Hyatt Hotel, Houston For more info, Susan Holley, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272.

September 10 Back to School Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 1, Edinburg For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After Aug. 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order.

September 16-17 Five Keys to Reading Success Northside ISD (San Antonio) For more info, (800) 717-2723, ext. 10. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members: $299; nonmembers, $349.

September 11 TASSP Fall Summit with Jim Walsh and Andrea Ogonosky ESC Region 1, Edinburg For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: $160.

September 17 TASSP Fall Summit with Jim Walsh and Andrea Ogonosky ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: $160.


September 20-21 TASPA Fall Support Conference Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353 or (800) 346-4111. www.taspa.org Cost: $150.

September 15 Back to Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 19, El Paso For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After Aug. 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order. September 16 Back to School Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After August 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order. September 16-17 First-Time Superintendents Academy Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: $595, four sessions; $175, one session.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 21 September 22 Back to School Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 20, San Antonio For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After Aug. 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order. September 22-23 Boot Camp for Curriculum Directors Hays CISD (Austin area) For more info, (512) 477-8200, ext. 10. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $249; nonmembers, $295.

See calendar on page 20

July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS

calendar continued from page 19

September 23 Back to School Special with Jim Walsh ESC Region 13, Austin For more info, (512) 495-9955. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by Aug. 19): $99 online, $119 purchase order. After Aug. 19: $124 online, $144 purchase order. September 24 TASSP Fall Summit with Jim Walsh and Andrea Ogonosky ESC Region 13, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: $160. September 27-29 Camp TEPSA Omni Southpark, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org Cost: Members, by Aug. 30, $182; after Aug. 30, $207. Nonmembers, by Aug. 30, $242; after Aug. 30, $267.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 28 October 1 TCASE Legal Academy Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org October 1-2 Mapping Active Literacy Barry Center, Cypress For more info, (800) 717-2723, ext. 10. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $299; nonmembers, $349. October 2-4 TASA/TASB Annual Convention George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston For more info, Mark Pyeatt, (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org


Texas School Business • July/August 2009

Cost: Preregistration (through Sept. 18): TASA/TASB members, $285; nonmembers, $385. On-site registration: TASA/TASB members, $355; nonmembers, $455.

WEEK OF OCTOBER 5 October 5 TCASE Legal Academy Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org

WEEK OF OCTOBER 12 October 18 Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers Centennial Celebration State Fair, Dallas For more info, (512) 476-6769. www.txpta.org

WEEK OF OCTOBER 19 October 20-21 Texas Facility Masters Conference Special Events Center, Garland ISD For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: $175. October 25-27 Texas ASCD Annual Conference Embassy Suites, Frisco For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org

WEEK OF OCTOBER 26 October 27 TASA/Syfr Conference: A Whole New World (part three in a series of three) Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, Austin For more info, Susan Holley, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org

October 28 5th Annual TEPSA/Legal Digest Law Conference for Elementary School Leaders Renaissance Worthington Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Legal Digest subscribers and/or TEPSA members early registration (by Sept. 28): $129 online, $149 purchase order. After Sept. 28: $154 online, $174 purchase order. Non-subscribers/ nonmembers early registration (by Sept. 28): $169 online, $189 purchase order. After Sept. 28: $194 online, $214 purchase order. October 29-30 TEPSA Fall Summit on Engagement Renaissance Worthington Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org Cost: Members, $217 by Oct. 1; $242 after Oct. 1. Nonmembers: $310 by Oct. 1; $335 after Oct. 1

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2 November 2-3 Texas School HR Administrators Academy Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: By Oct. 12, $385; after Oct. 12, $450. November 4-5 First-Time Superintendents Academy (session two) Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: $595, four sessions; $175, one session.


WEEK Of NOvEmBEr 9 November 12-15 teSA Fall Work Conference embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org

The Response to Intervention Handbook BUILDING FOUNDATIONS FOR GRADES 6–12 Includes Bonus Rt Forms CD I !

Moving from Theory to Practice

The Response to Intervention Handbook: Building Foundations for Grades 6-12 describes the theory

behind a tiered system targeted to promote student success in the general education setting. It guides the reader through academic and behavioral interventions designed to be implemented in middle schools and high schools. The core features of response to intervention are discussed in detail. “Lessons Learned” sections offer advice on overcoming common missteps in implementation. The book also includes a variety of useful checklists and forms necessary for connecting theory to real life. There is a handy list of online resources, a glossary, a CD of forms, and a bibliography for the campus RTI team.

WEEK Of NOvEmBEr 16 November 18-19 new essential Curriculum for 21st Century Leaders transportation West training Room, Frisco For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $299; nonmembers, $349.

andrea Ogonosky, Ph.D. Author


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November 13 Jumping hurdles and Raising the Bar: t toward Achieving excellence in Science Professional Development Center, el Paso ISD For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: $100.


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Employment Lawsuits Are Expensive. This Handbook Isn’t!

The best way to avoid litigation is to carefully document job-related deficiencies and failure to comply with remediation directives. This user-friendly handbook tells you how to do it both in and out of the classroom. Make sure you have the Texas Documentation Handbook on your bookshelf. Price per copy is $38.00. Check out the optional CD! Order online:

www.legaldigest.com July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


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Texas School Business • July/August 2009

TASSP hosts annual summer conference in Austin in June Jimmy Spann of McKinney ISD with Larry Harper and Bryan Vaughn of Jostens.

Ken Wallace of North Shore ISD, Walter Jackson of Alief ISD and Eric Coleman of Houston ISD.

James Ramage of Odessa ISD with Stephanie Ramage and Julie Parris of Ector County ISD.

Shon Joseph and Travis Waddell of Palestine ISD.

Janie Pena of Weslaco ISD and Diana Day of Dallas ISD.

Doralee Rivera-Munoz and Ida Stevens of Rio Hondo ISD.

Israel Ybarra and Yvett Morales of Weslaco ISD.

Gwendolyn Mosely and Tessica Edwards of Dallas ISD.

Jim McClellan and Pam McClellan of Sanford-Fritch ISD. July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


Who’s News Birdville ISD Stephen Ellis is the new principal of North Ridge Middle School. Principal of Grace E. Hardeman Elementary since 1999, he was previously assistant principal at that school and at the Shannon Learning Center. Additionally, he was lead Stephen Ellis teacher in Birdville ISD’s disciplinary alternative education program for two years and a middle school special education teacher for two years. He was the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association’s Region 11 Elementary Principal of the Year in 2004 and a state finalist that same year. Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. Lane Ledbetter is associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Coming to Birdville ISD in 1999, he was most recently director of curriculum and instruction for the district. Prior to that post, he served as principal of Lane Ledbetter Birdville High School and North Ridge Middle School, as assistant principal of Haltom High School and North Richland Middle School, as the district’s administrator for virtual education and as assistant principal of North Richland Middle School. Ledbetter earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and his master’s degree from the University of North Texas; his doctorate is from Baylor. Stepping into Ledbetter’s former position is Donna Solley. Principal of Holiday Heights Elementary School since 1990, she also has served as a language arts consultant, administrative intern, and ESL and English teacher. Solley’s Donna Solley bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree is from the University of North Texas. Brenham ISD Hailing from Hamilton ISD where he was superintendent for six years, Sam Bell is the new superintendent of Brenham ISD. His 26 years in education have been evenly divided between teaching/coaching 24

Texas School Business • July/August 2009

and administrative positions. In Hamilton ISD, he was principal of Hamilton High School for four years. For three years he served as assistant principal of Mineral Wells High School in Mineral Sam Bell Wells ISD. He has served as head basketball coach in Brownwood, West Mesquite and Rice Consolidated high schools. Bell earned a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Brooks County ISD Alberto Byington, an educator with 46 years of experience (33 of those as a superintendent), is the district’s new superintendent — again. He first came to Brooks County ISD in 1961 and remained there until 1996. He served as a teacher, principal, director of federal programs, assistant superintendent and finally superintendent — a position he held for 23 years. He subsequently was superintendent of Mathis and San Diego ISDs and TEA governance monitor with Driscoll ISD. For the past seven years he has been superintendent of Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD. Byington earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas College of Arts and Industries (now Texas A&M University at Kingsville). Clear Creek ISD Twelve administrators have been named for Clear Creek ISD. They are: • Lauren Berryman-Ambeau, assistant principal, Falcon Pass Elementary • Dana Biddy, administrator of early childhood • Gail Boyes, principal, Whitcomb Elementary • Kelly Cook, assistant principal, Wedgewood Elementary • Buffie Johnson, assistant principal, Ward Elementary • Jepsey Kimble, assistant principal, Whitcomb Elementary • Kristi LaMell, principal, Victory Lakes Intermediate School • Destini Martin, assistant principal, Greene Elementary • Deb Reno, principal, Landolt Elementary • Michele Staley, principal, Clear Brook High School • Amber Willemsen, assistant principal, Goforth Elementary

• Mary Beth Wood, assistant principal, Clear Lake Elementary Clint ISD The district’s new superintendent is Edward Gabaldon. An educator for 31 years, he was formerly chief of staff for El Paso ISD. He began his career as a middle school science teacher in Ysleta ISD. He served as assistant principal in both Edward Gabaldon Ysleta and Socorro ISDs. At Socorro ISD, Gabaldon held directorships in human resources and instructional services. In 2003, he became the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources. He also served as the district’s assistant superintendent for priority schools. Gabaldon earned his doctorate in educational leadership and administration from The University of Texas at El Paso. Comanche ISD The district’s new superintendent is Tony Daniel. He comes from Hamlin ISD, where he also served as superintendent. He replaces Rick Howard, who retired this summer with 31 years in education, 18 of those as a superintendent. He was superintendent at Comanche ISD for nine years. Crosbyton CISD Bobby Fryar is the new superintendent. He began his career as a teacher and coach in Brady ISD and also held those positions in Jacksboro ISD. Additionally, he was with Sweetwater ISD as a middle school and high school assistant principal, and he served as Robert Lee ISD’s secondary principal. Most recently the high school principal for Early ISD, Fryar also has been an elementary principal, high school dean of students and assistant principal for that district. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Cheryl Johns has been tapped to lead Langham Creek High School as its principal. She is an educator with 26 years of experience, beginning her career at Klein High School in Klein ISD before joining Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Cheryl Johns 1986 as a speech and debate teacher at Cypress Creek High School. Her next assignment was at Cypress Falls High, where she was a classroom teacher

Who’s News until her promotion to director of instruction at Truitt Middle School. She then held the same position at Jersey Village High School, subsequently transferring to Labay Middle School, where she has served as principal since 2005. Johns earned her bachelor of science degree from The University of Texas, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in education are from the University of Houston. Her certifications include secondary speech, secondary Spanish, mid-management administration, supervisor and superintendent. Stepping into the principal role at Labay Middle School is Patty Mooney. A 27-year veteran of Texas public schools, 25 of those spent in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, she was a classroom teacher at Bane and Francone elementary schools Patty Mooney before becoming assistant principal at Metcalf Elementary. She was then assistant principal at Ault Elementary, before moving to Spring Branch ISD for two years, where she served as principal at Hunters Creek Elementary. Returning to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as principal of Jowell Elementary, she subsequently opened Keith Elementary in 2004. Mooney has a bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York and a master’s degree in education from the University of Houston. She is in the educational leadership doctoral program at Texas A&M University. Florence ISD Karla Moyer, assistant superintendent of Early ISD for the past three years, will lead Florence ISD as its new superintendent. She is a 22-year education veteran, with 20 of those having been spent in Texas public schools. Her career Karla Moyer began when she taught middle school English in Suffern, N.Y. She returned to her native Texas in 1989 as a special education teacher in Irving ISD. She then served in Lancaster ISD as a classroom teacher, principal, director of special programs, director of curriculum and instruction and director of human resources. Goose Creek CISD Toby York is the new superintendent. He had served as interim superintendent since January. He has been with the district since 2001, when he was hired as executive

director of student services. He then was assistant superintendent for personnel and student services from 2002 to 2005. Prior to joining Goose Creek CISD, he was associate superintendent of Toby York curriculum and instruction for New Caney ISD, a district he helped lead to TEA “recognized” status for three consecutive years. While in New Caney, he also served as principal of New Caney High School. Additionally, he was athletic director and football coach at both Conroe and Cameron ISDs. York earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Abilene Christian University and his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University. His doctorate in administration and supervision was awarded from the University of Houston. Granbury ISD The district’s new superintendent is Ron Mayfield, who served in the same capacity in school districts in Reagan County from 2000 to 2005 and in Fort Stockton from 2005 until accepting his new role. His education career has Ron Mayfield also included stints as an assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent in Lamesa ISD. He began his career teaching vocational agriculture in Loraine, Amherst and Lamesa ISDs. Mayfield’s bachelor of science degree in agricultural education and master’s degree in education were earned from Texas Tech University. Alicia Hernandez is now director of child nutrition. Previously an employee of Northside ISD, she is also the president-elect of the Texas Association for School Nutrition. Former Superintendent William Harris reAlicia Hernandez tired in June. He began his education career as a fifth grade teacher in Fort Bend ISD, moving from that position to assistant principal, principal and finally curriculum director for the district. He was William Harris serving as an area superin-

tendent for Fort Bend ISD when he made the move to Granbury. He was named ESC Region 11 Superintendent of the Year in 2004. Harris holds a bachelor of arts degree and a master of education degree, both from Sam Houston State University. He completed additional work at Lamar University and Texas Southern University. Executive Director of Human Resources Troy Green also announced his upcoming retirement, effective in November. He came to Granbury ISD in 1992 as the high school principal and transferred to his current position in 1997. His Troy Green career started as a science and social studies teacher in Pasadena ISD, where he served from 1967 to 1979. He then moved to Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD to be the administrative assistant to the superintendent at the district’s campus for at-risk students. He also was an assistant principal. Green is a graduate of Baylor University. Grand Prairie ISD Fred Clausen, a 39-year veteran of Texas public schools, has double news: his retirement from his post as athletic director, effective this past May, and his receiving the title of Texas Athletic Director of the Year by the Texas High School Fred Clausen Athletic Directors Association. In 1976, he was named Coach of the Year for San Antonio’s Division II schools. In 1985, he was the Northeast Texas Football Coach of the Year. Clausen was Irving ISD’s athletic director from 1994 to 2000, moving to Grand Prairie ISD that year. In his time with Grand Prairie ISD, he has managed athletic construction, renovations and improvements totaling more than $35 million. He now serves as executive director of Equally Fit, a coalition of Dallas-Fort Worth athletic directors who coordinate clinics for middle school and high school coaches working with female athletes. Hays CISD Carol McKenzie joins the district as director of professional development. She is a principal mentor and coach for schools across the country through the U.S. Department of Education. She has also served on the Texas Education Agency’s State Board See WHO’S NEWS on page 26 July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


“Grant Professionals Round-Up - Skills, Strategies & Success”

11th Annual National Conference WHEN: November 4-7, 2009 WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX

Keynote Speaker: US Department of Education

Special Pre-Conference workshop and sessions hosted by the US Department of Education Over 50 workshops specifically geared toward grant professionals already scheduled!

Hurry! Early Bird Registration Rates end July 31st!

For more information: www.grantprofessionals.org Call 913-788-3000 or e-mail Info@grantprofessionals.org

“Grant Professionals Round-Up - Skills, Strategies & Success”

11th Annual National Conference Technology is constantly changing. WHEN: November 4-7, 2009 WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX

How will you keep up?

Keynote Speaker: US Department of Education

Special Pre-Conference workshop and sessions hosted by the US Department of Education Over 50 workshops specifically geared toward grant professionals already scheduled!

Hurry! Early Bird Registration Rates end July 31st!

For more information: www.grantprofessionals.org Call 913-788-3000 or e-mail Info@grantprofessionals.org

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11th Annual National Conference WHEN: November 4-7, 2009 WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX

Keynote Speaker: US Department of Education

Special Pre-Conference workshop and sessions hosted by the US Department of Education Over 50 workshops specifically geared toward grant professionals already scheduled!

Hurry! Early Bird Registration Rates end July 31st!

For more information: www.grantprofessionals.org Call 913-788-3000 or e-mail Info@grantprofessionals.org

10100 North Central Expressway, Suite 300 Dallas, Texas 75231 26

Texas School Business • July/August 2009

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 25

of Educator Certification. Previously, she was assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and technology at Lake Travis ISD. David Pierce is the new principal of Hays High School. He comes to Hays CISD from his role as principal of Mount Vernon ISD’s high school, a position he held since 2005. He was assistant principal of that school for a year beDavid Pierce fore gaining the top position. Pierce was principal of Crockett High School in Austin ISD from 2000 to 2004. He has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and a master’s degree from Texas State University. Highland Park ISD Eric Cunningham, who has served the past four years as the assistant boys’ basketball coach, is now head girls’ golf coach at Highland Park High School. In addition to his coaching duties, he teaches speech at Highland Park Middle Eric Cunningham School. Cunningham was a sales executive prior to joining the district in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a minor in speech from Northeastern State University. He is completing work toward a master’s degree in school administration from Lamar University. Timothy Gunter is Highland Park High School’s director of bands. He comes to Highland Park from the University of Arkansas, where he was the director of athletic bands since 1995 and the director of the Razorbacks marching Timothy Gunter band since 2000. Before the University of Arkansas, he was associate director of bands at Rutgers University and the State University of New Jersey and served as a junior high and high school band director at several Arkansas schools. Gunter has a bachelor’s degree in education instrumental music and a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Arkansas. Also arriving to Highland Park ISD from out of state is new personnel director Chris Israelson, who most recently served as assistant superintendent for

Who’s News human resources for Valley View Public Schools in Romeoville, Ill. He was also director of special education in that district and a school psychologist at Indian Prairie School District in Naperville, Ill. Chris Israelson Israelson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in school psychology from Illinois State University. He has a certification in special education from Lewis University in Romeoville, and his certification in administration from Loyola University in Normal, Ill. Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Lisa Cavin, formerly assistant director of special education, is the new director of special education. She is a 13-year education veteran, having served as ESC Region 11’s evaluation specialist and as a teacher and administrator in several Texas school districts. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Abilene Christian University; her doctorate is from the University of North Texas. Stepping into the role of assistant director of special education is Deborah Johnson. She has been an educator for 33 years, 28 of them with Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa; her master’s degree is from the University of Iowa. The new principal of Wilshire Elementary School is Carma Schellhorn. She has spent her entire 18-year career with the district, both as a teacher and an administrator. She comes to her new position from South Euless Elementary, where Carma Schellhorn she spent the past four years. Schellhorn has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. The district’s new assistant superintendent of elementary administration is Lydia Scozzari, who has been with the district for 28 years. She began as a special education teacher at South Euless Elementary School, moving to serve Lydia Scozzari as special education curriculum coordinator, assistant principal for North Euless Elementary School and principal of Donna Park Elementary School. She

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WHO’S ne neWS continued from page 27

then was appointed director of special education for the district, a position she held until accepting her new assignment. Irving ISD The new principal Brenda Bingham of Hanes Elementary School is Brenda Bingham, who joined Irving ISD in 1977 as a fifth grade teacher. She

Who’s news

was a classroom teacher in the district for 13 years. She also served as vice principal of Davis and Brown elementary schools and as principal of Brandenburg Elementary. In 2001, she became principal of Britain Elementary School, a position she held until her most recent appointment. Maria Elena Coronado is now principal of Barton Elementary Maria Elena Coronado School. She has been prin-

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cipal of Lee Elementary since 2005. Prior to that, she was a staffer in Dallas ISD and with the Diocese of Dallas at St. Mary of Carmel School. She came to Irving ISD in 1997 as a third grade bilingual teacher at Johnston Elementary School. Coronado became Barton Elementary’s vice principal in 2000. Jane Lampton is principal at Britain Elementary School. Before coming to Irving ISD, she was a reading and special education teacher with Dallas ISD, also serving as a resource administrator, acting principal, assistant princiJane Lampton pal and principal for that district. She arrived in Irving ISD in 2000, where she has been principal of Barton Elementary. The principal of Clifton Early Childhood School will be Stephanie Lee. She came to the district in 2000 as a special education teacher at Britain Elementary and then taught third grade the following year. She taught fourth grade from 2003 to Stephanie Lee 2005, adding fourth grade ESL to her teaching portfolio in 2005. Since 2006, Lee has been principal of Townsell Elementary School. David Saenz has been appointed principal of the Jack E. Singley Academy. He joined Irving ISD in 2002, serving as a teacher, team leader, instructional coach, and 21st Century Learning Center manager. In 2005, he became David Saenz vice principal of Austin Middle School. Saenz earned a bachelor of science degree from The University of Texas and a master of educational administration degree from the University of North Texas, where he now is working toward his doctor of education degree. Wendi Vaughn is principal of Lee Elementary School. She joined Irving ISD in 1997 as a gifted and talented teacher for fourth grade, a position she held until transferring to Good Elementary in 2006 as a University of Texas at Wendi Vaughn Arlington administrative intern. She became the school’s vice See WHO’S ne neWS on page 30


Texas School Business • July/August 2009

TEPSA members train and network at summer gathering Mike Word of Clarendon ISD, Garey D. Dozier of PlemonsStinnett-Phillips CISD and Robert Hall of Perryton ISD.

Keith Moore, Wayne Cooper and Nabil Diab of Killeen ISD.

Laurie Tinsley, Kasi Koerbacher and Mary Webb of Frisco ISD.

Annie Jones and Traci Barnes of Nacogdoches ISD.

Kristina Davis-Trowlman and Rob Dyer of Georgetown ISD and Beverly Cage of Houston ISD.

Holly Jones of Tomball ISD and Staci Ashley of Ector County ISD.

Juan Garela and Silverio Macias of Hidalgo ISD.

Carolyn Williams and Tracy Neill of Tyler ISD.

Marcos Lopez and Mauricio Marquez of Ector County ISD.

Teresa Sullivan and Gigi Ragan of Tomball ISD.

July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 28

principal in 2007. Prior to coming to Irving, Vaughn taught sixth grade in Savanna Public Schools in Oklahoma. Steven Wurtz, who has been away from Irving ISD for several years, returns to the district as principal at Schultze Elementary School. He beSteven Wurtz gan his education career in Irving ISD in 2000 at the language development center as a bilingual/ESL teacher for first through fifth graders. He moved to Good Elementary School in 2001 as a fourth- and fifth-grade gifted and talented teacher and fifth grade bilingual teacher. From 2003 to 2007, he served as assistant principal of Keyes Elementary School. Wurtz was principal of Stephen F. Austin Elementary in Grand Prairie ISD from 2007 until his return to Irving ISD. The district’s new parent coordinator is Erin Yacho. She most recently was principal of Schultze Elementary School. A member of the Irving ISD team since 1994 when she began teaching bilingual first grade at Good Elementary, Yacho moved on to be vice principal of Farine Elementary School in 1999. She was appointed principal of Schultze in 2004. Kingsville ISD The new superintendent is Emilio Castro. He hails from Dallas ISD, where he has been a teacher and administrator for the past 13 years. Beginning as a bilingual teacher, he subsequently served as a high school assistant principal and as an elementary, middle school and high school principal. Castro’s most recent position was area superintendent and executive director for Dallas ISD. Lackland ISD The new superintendent is Burnie Roper. He most recently was principal of Stacey Junior and Senior High School, also in

Lackland ISD. He has held other administrative assignments in San Antonio districts, including Southside, Judson and Fort Sam Houston. Roper began his career as a sixth grade math teacher with San Antonio ISD. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and a master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. His doctorate is from Nova Southeastern University. He is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves and holds the rank of major. Liberty ISD The district has named Cynthia Lusignolo as the new superintendent. She comes to Liberty ISD from Barbers Hill ISD, where she was assisCynthia tant superintenLusignolo dent of personnel, a position she held from 2005 until the present. Before beginning her education career, she was a civilian instructor for the U.S. Air Force. In 1993, she joined the faculty of Wichita Falls ISD, serving as a first grade teacher and middle school math teacher and then moving into administration as a middle school assistant principal and assistant director of human resources. Lusignolo earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and her master of education degree in school administration from Midwestern State University; she received her superintendent certification through ESC Region 4 and St. Thomas University. She is working on her doctorate in educational leadership at Lamar University in Beaumont. Little Elm ISD Anna King has been named principal of Lakeside Junior High School, replacing Larry Winget, who retired in June after 29 years in education. King most recently completed three years as assistant principal of Fossil Ridge

High School in Keller ISD; she was also that district’s testing coordinator. Additionally, she served as curriculum director of Killeen ISD’s Ellison High School and assistant Anna King principal of Austin Middle School in Bryan ISD. Prior to her public school service, King was with the Princeton Review. Her bachelor of science degree in business education is from the University of Central Arkansas and her master of science degree in education is from Texas A&M University, where she also earned her psychology doctorate in educational human resource development.

Who’s news

from Dallas ISD, where he was deputy chief of staff. In that role, he provided leadership for the district’s transformation management office, emergency management and operations, police and seJames J. Ponce curity services, parent services, school choice and athletics. In Dallas ISD, he also served as Area 6 superintendent, which included 36 campuses and 30,000 students. He has been a bilingual teacher, assis-

tant principal, elementary school principal, and director of Reading First in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Ponce earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his master’s degree and doctoral degree in education at The University of Texas. New Caney ISD Kenn K. Franklin is the new superintendent. He previously was the superintendent of Marshall ISD since 2005. With a See WHO’S ne neWS on page 32

Lubbock ISD Karen Garza is the new superintendent. She most recently served as the chief academic officer of Houston ISD, where she was second in command in the largest school district in the state and the seventh largest in the nation. Prior to her time with Houston ISD, she was deputy superintendent of Corpus Christi ISD. Garza has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Houston, and her doctorate is from The University of Texas. Stepping down from the role of superintendent is Wayne Havens, whose retirement concludes a 41-year career in education. He began in Lubbock in 1968 as a teacher and coach at Cooper Wayne Havens High School. He then was athletic director and head coach for Idalou High School from 1971 to 1973, before taking the same roles at Spur High School from 1973 to 1974. He returned to Lubbock ISD that year, serving as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent for secondary operations, interim superintendent, assistant superintendent and, finally, superintendent — a position he had held since 2003. He earned his bachelor of science degree, master’s degree and mid-management certification at Texas Tech University. McAllen ISD The new superintendent is James J. Ponce, who comes to his new position July/August 2009 • Texas School Business





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Who’s news WHO’S ne neWS continued from page 31

total of 21 years in education, six of those as a teacher and coach and 15 as an administrator, he has worked in Marfa, Tyler, Athens and Dallas ISDs. Franklin earned his bachelor of science degree, master of education degree and superintendent certification from The University of Texas at Tyler. Pasadena ISD The new associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction for pre-K through 6th grade is Karen Hickman. She has been one of the district’s executive directors since 2007. Hickman began her education career in 1985 Karen Hickman and was principal of Matthys Elementary School from 1999 to 2007, winning recognition as a TEPSA National Distinguished Principal. Her bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas, and her master’s degree is from the University of Houston. Troy McCarley is the associate superintendent for campus development. He began his career as a teacher in 1993, subsequently serving as assistant principal at Jackson Intermediate School and as principal of Queens Intermediate and Troy McCarley Sam Rayburn High. Since 2007, he has been one of the district’s executive directors of campus performance. McCarley received his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and his master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Rosie Prusz was named associate superintendent for leadership and instruction support. She had been principal of Kruse Elementary School since 1997. She began her time with Pasadena ISD in 1980 as a fourth grade teacher and Rosie Prusz was an instructional specialist from 1991 to 1997. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her master’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Joe Saavedra has been appointed principal of Pasadena High School. He was the See WHO’S ne neWS on page 34


Texas School Business • July/August 2009

TACS hosts Presidents Luncheon in May in capital city

TACS immediate past President Terry Myers with past presidents Julian Shaddix and Steve Burleson.

TACS past President Terry Myers, Mt. Pleasant ISD; TACS President Mike Smith, New Braunfels ISD; and TACS President-elect Curtis Rhodes, Needville ISD.

Joe Seale, a former TACS executive director; T.D. Scott, a TACS past president; and current TACS Executive Director Ken McCraw.

TACS Executive Committee members Jan Hungate, West ISD; Shirley Coleman, San Vicente ISD; and Lana Collavo, Jourdanton ISD.

David Holt, lobbyist, with wife, Donna.

Cliff Odenwald, director of athletics, University Interscholastic League; Dean Andrews, retired Liberty Hill ISD superintendent and TACS honorary life member; and Charles Breithaupt, UIL executive director.

Blake Powell and Sara Leon of Powell & Leon LLP with Johnny Clawson of DSA Construction Management Inc.

TACS past presidents Clead Cheek and Skip Casey with Ed Flathouse, retired TEA and TACS honorary life member. July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 32

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principal at Miller Intermediate School, where he held that position for the past six years. He began his career as a math teacher at Jackson Intermediate in 1998, advancing to assistant principal in 2002. Joe Saavedra He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), and a master’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. The new superintendent for curriculum and instruction for 7th through 12th grades is Billye Smith, who had served as principal of Memorial High since it opened in 2001. She came to Pasadena ISD in 1988 as a teacher at Teague ElBillye Smith ementary School. She has served as a secondary school assistant principal and principal in Pasadena and Deer Park ISDs. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Rogers ISD Robert “Bob” Callaghan is the new superintendent. He is the former superintendent of Borger ISD, where he had served since 2007. With 28 years in public education, he also has served as principal of Borger High School and Temple High Robert Callaghan School, assistant principal of South Houston High School, and as a teacher, head girls’ basketball coach and boys’ track coach. Callaghan earned his bachelor of science degree from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., his master of education degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and his superintendent certification from West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Rosebud-Lott ISD Anthony Price is the new superintendent. Prior to becoming an educator, he was a biomedical engineer, installing medical equipment in hospitals across the country. He then was with General Dynamics for seven years before becoming a math teacher in Fort Worth ISD, where he also wrote math curriculum for the district. He then became principal of Everman Junior High

in Everman ISD, gaining national recognition for some of the programs he initiated in the school. He most recently was a member of the administration of Tarrant County College, serving as program director for the mentor-mentee program. Price’s master of education degree is from Texas Woman’s University. Texas City ISD Joseph Figarelli is director of visual and performing arts. He will oversee all visual arts, band, choir, theater and dance programs for the district. He was previously director of bands at Harlingen ISD’s Coakley Joseph Figarelli Middle School. Leading Levi Fry Intermediate School as its principal is Holly LaRoe. She has been the school’s interim principal since January. Prior to that, she was the assistant principal since 2006. Holly LaRoe She also has served as Blocker Middle School’s special education facilitator. Bobby Martinez comes to Fry Intermediate as the school’s assistant principal, where he has served as interim assistant principal since January. He began his work at Fry in 2005 as a bilingual resource class Bobby Martinez teacher. Terri Watkins is the new assistant superintendent for support services, taking charge of policy and handbook updates, student disciplinary appeals, employee grievances and student data. She returns to Texas Terri Watkins City from Galveston ISD, where she was assistant superintendent for administration; prior to that role, she served the district as principal of Scott and San Jacinto elementary schools, executive director of human resources and executive director of elementary education. Previously in Texas City ISD, she was a special education director/teacher at Heights Elementary and the assistant principal at Northside and Kohfeldt elementary schools.

Who’s News

Ysleta ISD Frank Burton, interim principal of Ysleta High School, is now the principal. He has been with the district since 1972, when he became a health teacher at Eastwood Junior High. Five years later, he was promoted to assistant Frank Burton principal of the school. In 1979, he became assistant principal of

J.M. Hanks High School. Burton subsequently filled the same role at Eastwood High School and Hillcrest Middle School. He was named principal of Eastwood High in 1987, and then he served as assistant principal of Edgemere Elementary School. He was named principal of Hillcrest Middle School in 1994 and of Eastwood High in 2004. Burton earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education and speech and a master of education degree in administration from Sul Ross State University. TSB


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TREA members rally in city of San Antonio for summer conference

Alane Bishop, Corey Wheeler and Nelda Foust, all of Amherst ISD.

Lesa Clarkson, Jeff Ballard and Randy Clarkson, all of Prairieland ISD.

Kenneth Hall of Roxton ISD with Bill King, KLC Video.

James Morton and Keith Batts of Leary ISD. Kristi Hawkins, Mount Calm ISD; Diane Stegall, Chisum ISD; and TREA Secretary Janice Brown.

Nancy Mooney and Gerald Mooney of Banquete ISD.

TREA President Phil Gerik, National Rural Educators Association Executive Director John Hill and TREA Executive Director Don Rogers.

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THE BACK PAGE Advertisers Index

by Riney Jordan

What did I ever do?


hile visiting the local hardware store, I asked the lady clerk how her two grandsons were doing. She was raising them herself, and I had gotten to know the boys through my grandson. She said they were doing fine and then began telling me this story. “When I was first married, I wanted a child more than anything in the world. I would have done almost anything to have a baby. An adoption agency offered me a beautiful baby girl, and I quickly agreed to adopt her,” the lady clerk recalled. “However, it wasn’t too many years before I realized that she had some serious emotional problems.” She then began relating how her adopted daughter, once she became a teenager, started running with the wrong crowd. Before long, her daughter was pregnant; she had the baby and almost immediately resumed to staying out late, coming home intoxicated and using drugs. Soon, she had another baby, but she wasn’t going to let that stop her from going out and having a good time. “You raise ‘em,” she told her mother. “So, I’ve had them ever since,” the clerk said. “I love those two little boys, and now they call me ‘Mom.’” As she continued, I learned that the mother’s whereabouts were usually not known. “When she’s in jail is about the only time we know where she is,” she said. “But this past weekend, something happened that I will never allow to happen again.” A look of determination crossed her face. It seems that the boys’ birth mom had called and wanted to talk to the younger one. “He was smiling and beaming from ear to ear when he hung up the phone. His mom had told him that she would be by on Saturday to pick him up and take him to a movie. She would do the same thing later for the older one. She wanted to spend some time with her boys. “He was ecstatic!” the lady clerk said.


Texas School Business • July/August 2009

On Saturday morning, the 6-year-old was up early. He got dressed, combed his hair and waited anxiously for his mom to arrive. I know you know what happened next — or I should say, didn’t happen. He sat there, looking out the window. Around noon, he realized that she wasn’t going to be there. “He cried the rest of the day,” the grandmother said. “He came over at one point, crawled up into my lap and said, ‘What did I ever do to make my mom hate me so much?’” Like most children, he assumed it was his fault. He took the blame for his circumstances. “I assured him that it wasn’t anything he had done, and then I held him for the longest time,” the clerk said. I gave her a hug and spoke softly in her ear. “Thank you for loving those boys and making such a positive difference in their lives,” I told her. Oh, my. What some parents do to children! It’s almost unthinkable, almost unimaginable, isn’t it? Yet, as educators and parents, we know that it happens. Every day, somewhere, children are being ignored, punished, hurt, neglected, abused, shamed. Oh, the list is endless. And for that reason, if for no other, we have a responsibility, an obligation, to do everything in our power to see that the students we serve are loved, cared for and made to feel secure. TAKS may be important, but nothing is more important to a child’s development than TIME. This year, more than ever, focus on the child. Bring joy and comfort to those children who are hurting. I promise that it will be the most productive year you’ve ever had as an educator. RINEY JORDAN, whose best-selling book, “All the Difference,” is now in its fifth printing, is an international speaker and humorist. He can be reached at riney@htcomp.net or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.

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www.TCPN.org July/August 2009 • Texas School Business


Excellence in

Education awards

CONGRATULATIONS to the 2009 winners! Local educators and schools awarded over $500,000 Awarded $5,000


A matching grant went to their schools.

Awarded $10,000


A matching grant went to their schools.

Shay Harman

Gretchen Catron

Jennifer Atkinson

Kathy Westbrook

Spring, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Austin, Texas

Alice, Texas

Awarded $25,000

Awarded $10,000

A matching grant went to their schools.

A $25,000 grant went to their schools.



Dr. Julia Battle

John Owen

Brenda Farias

Dr. Bertie Simmons

San Antonio, Texas

Rockport, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Houston, Texas

Awarded $100,000

Lamar Consolidated Independent School District LARGE DISTRICT WINNER Rosenberg, Texas

Awarded $50,000

IDEA Public Schools SMALL DISTRICT WINNER Weslaco, Texas

Over 230 finalists and semi-finalists were also recognized with awards ranging from $250 to $5,000.

Š2009 H-E-B Food Stores, 09-3953CS

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