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THE INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS FOR 58 YEARS

July/August 2012

Athletic directors strive for fiscal fitness in lean times

Texas ASCD’s Al Hambrick Sherman ISD

In the Spotlight Robert Jaklich Victoria ISD


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TSB contents news and features

In the Spotlight Robert Jaklich, Victoria ISD

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by Jenny LaCoste-Caputo

photo features

Texas ASCD President Profile     

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TACS members gather for Presidents Luncheon

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TASSP summer conference heats up in Austin

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Al Hambrick, Sherman ISD by Jennifer LeClaire

departments Who’s News

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Ad Index

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columns From the Editor

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by Katie Ford

The Law Dawg  —  Unleashed

Athletics departments practice fiscal fitness in lean times

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by Jim Walsh

Tech Toolbox

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by Terry Morawski

by John Egan

Game On!

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by Bobby Hawthorne

The Back Page

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by Riney Jordan

  

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School district shares lessons on Instructional Rounds by Sheila Maher

Cover image courtesy Denis Kuvaev Shutterstock.com 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 2012 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012

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From the Editor By the time you read this, the 2012-2013 school year will be merely days away and the Sept. 3 nomination deadline for the Sixth Annual Bragging Rights special issue will be fast-approaching. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to visit our website at www.texasschoolbusiness.com and nominate your brag-worthy program! Bragging Rights, which comes out every December, celebrates 12 outstanding school programs. Our readership for this issue includes every school district in Texas, as well as other stakeholders in public education, such as legislators, board trustees, and members of the media and the community at large. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase outstanding learning strategies, operational policies, student performance, innovative uses of technology and other examples of excellence in Texas public schools. However, we can’t acknowledge your successes if you don’t share them with us. So, please visit our website today and fill out a nomination form! Speaking of success, the July/August issue showcases Texas superintendents Al Hambrick of Sherman ISD and Robert Jaklich of Victoria ISD. These men have devoted their careers to ensuring excellence in our public schools. Jaklich, a former coach, has earned an impressive track record as a school administrator. His efforts in Harlandale ISD, where he most recently served before moving to Victoria, were game-changing to the district that now thrives financially and academically. Moreover, this year Hambrick widens his sphere of influence as he steps up to serve as the president of the Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. Our cover story for July/August also illustrates the can-do attitude of athletics departments across the state. Though these departments are often the target of bad press when it comes to budgets and spending, the truth is that many districts in light of severe state funding cuts have slashed spending across the board – to include many athletics programs. Writer John Egan spoke with some athletic directors who have refused to admit defeat in the face of budgets cuts. They shared some of the ways they’ve gotten creative to ensure that athletics programs remain robust, no matter what happens at the state level. Please send me your feedback and ideas for future issues at katie@texasschoolbusiness.com. Your insight is golden to me! Katie Ford Editorial Director

(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) July/August 2012 Volume LVIII, Issue 10 1601 Rio Grande Street, #455 Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-478-2113 • Fax: 512-495-9955 www.texasschoolbusiness.com Publisher Ted Siff Editor in Chief Jim Walsh Editorial Director Katie Ford Design Phaedra Strecher Columnists Riney Jordan, Terry Morawski, Jim Walsh Advertising Sales Manager Jim Johnson Director of Marketing and Customer Relations Stephen Markel Office Services Ambrose Austin ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620 Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and for the Best in Class issue published in August and the Bragging Rights issue published in December (12 times a year) by Texas School Business Magazine, LLC, 1601 Rio Grande Street, #455, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas School Business,1601 Rio Grande Street, #455, 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.

© Copyright 2012 Texas School Business Magazine LLC July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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THE LAW DAWG – Unleashed

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by Jim Walsh

What’s your favorite Texas movie?

Y

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012

ou have to go see “Bernie.” This movie, directed by Austinite Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey, is a must-see for all Texans. The movie is based on the true story of Bernie Tiede (Black), a muchloved funeral director in Carthage; Marjorie Nugent (MacLaine), a rich, mean widow; and Danny Buck Davidson (McConaughey), an ambitious district attorney. Serving as a Greek chorus of sorts is an assortment of local characters from behind the Pine Cone Curtain. The movie involves a romance, a murder, a hidden body and a trial. It’s a terrific flick. I’ve added this one to my list of movies about or set in Texas that all Texans must see before they die — sort of a Texas Movie Bucket List. Here are a few others: “Giant,” “The Alamo” (John Wayne version), “The Last Picture Show,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Slacker,” “Sugarland Express,” “The Rookie,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Lonesome Dove,” “Hands on a Hard Body” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Am I missing anything? I’m sure I am, so be sure to send me an email and add your favorite to the list. (During this year’s “Back to School” tour of legal workshops — Aug. 28 to Sept. 27 — we will be polling our participants to find out what absolutely must be on the Texas Movie Bucket List. “Bernie” is a gem, the sort of story that you would not believe if it were not true. I mentioned this flick to my good friend, Patsy Wood, the director of special education in Hallsville, whom I have long thought of as the Queen of East Texas. Patsy knew all about Bernie — not the movie, but the real person. She informed me that she remembered the murder, the scandal and the subsequent trial well. She said that Bernie’s father was a highly respected college professor of music. More-

over, Patsy remembered Matthew McConaughey from his days in Longview, and she knew his mother, who plays one of the “local characters” in the movie. This just further proves that everyone in East Texas knows just about everyone else in East Texas. Then I found out that one of my law partners — Charlotte Salter — also knew Bernie personally. Charlotte grew up in Carthage. When her father died, Bernie was the funeral director. Charlotte confirmed that the movie portrayed Bernie accurately; he was exceptionally attentive, kind, thoughtful and caring — just the kind of guy you need in troubled times. It’s no wonder that all of the widows of Panola County loved Bernie. Charlotte also knew Danny Buck, the D.A. portrayed by McConaughey. She went to high school with him. Way cool! So I hope you will put this movie on your must-see list. Start thinking about your personal Texas Movie Bucket List. What movie represents Texans in the best light? The worst? What movie is the most accurate portrayal of Texas? The least accurate? Which character would you most like to spend time with? I expect most readers are familiar with the list of Texas movies above, with the possible exception of “Hands on a Hard Body.” This is NOT a porno flick. It is another East Texas classic, a documentary about a car dealer’s contest to give away a brand-new hard-body pickup to the person who could keep his or her hands on it the longest. When I saw this movie in Austin years ago, Ann Richards was in the audience, and she cackled through the entire movie. That’s a pretty good endorsement in my view. JIM WALSH, an attorney with Walsh, Anderson Gallegos Green and Treviño P.C., serves as editor in chief of Texas School Business. He can be reached at jwalsh@ wabsa.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JWalshtxlawdawg.


July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012


Tech Toolbox by Terry Morawski

Customer service lessons from The Magic Kingdom

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ello from Disney World in beautiful Florida! As I write this, I am on my way back from the “happiest place on Earth.” In Mansfield ISD last year, we held a district-wide book study on Tom Connellan’s book “Inside the Magic Kingdom,” which offers customer service lessons from Disney’s parks. Below are firsthand observations from my visit. Perhaps you can integrate some of these practices into your school operations. Fast pass. At Disney, you are allowed to use your ticket to get a “fast pass” for many of the most popular rides. The fast pass gives you a designated time to come back, so you can skip the long line, walk up, ride the ride and go on with your day. One of the most unpleasant parts of visiting any amusement park is waiting in a line for an hour to ride a ride that often lasts less than a minute. For schools: I know you do not have roller coasters, but you do have situations that create long lines (i.e., schedule pickup, school parking, school transfers and more). Would it be possible to give time-specific passes or RSVPs for any of these events? People will adjust to whatever system you set up. This fall, Mansfield ISD is utilizing a fast-pass setup for its student iPad distribution events. Under-promise, over-deliver. Many of you are familiar with the concept of underpromising and over-delivering. Any of you who (like me) worked in the restaurant business knows that a good host or hostess will tell you the wait is longer than it actually is. At Disney, wait times for rides are posted above each line entry. Any time we entered a line, the wait time was always less than the posted time. This happened repeatedly: Buses showed up earlier than projected and arrived at destinations more quickly than we were told. It was always nice. For schools: How often do you, as a school administrator, refer to any type of expectations for numbers, scheduling, student performance, etc.? There are enough

critics out there ready to bash schools for under-delivering. Set yourself up, instead, for a positive outcome. Specific instructions. We were staying on site and opted for the Magic Express service, in which — at no charge to you — the park sends you on a shuttle from the airport to your resort and your bags are taken directly from the airplane to your hotel room. All of the information about the Magic Express service was spelled out in writing, including detailed directions on how to find the bus from the minute you step off the airplane. For schools: For reference, the Magic Express was one of this Dad’s favorite parts of the Disney experience. Disney enabled its customers to bypass a frustrating, time-consuming part of airline travel: waiting on your luggage at the carousel. What school processes are simply not necessary, or what parts of those processes could you speed along for your staff or students? Secondly, Disney gives clear instructions on how Magic Express works. Often, because we school officials are so entrenched, we forget that our processes can be confusing or intimidating to staff, parents and students. Clear explanations can help ease fears and concerns. In our district, we have done our best to clarify processes, like attendance zoning and school transfers, to limit concerns. We also have streamlined our new-employee check-in process with a pass/ticket-style system. Hopefully, some of this will help you look at your district initiatives “through the Disney lens” and think about how to make your district a little more magical. As always, good luck out there and feel free to drop me an email with any thoughts or column ideas. TERRY MORAWSKI is the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. Please send all future column ideas, reading suggestions, questions and comments to terrymorawski@gmail.com.

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GAME ON! by Bobby Hawthorne

What the game is really about

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mber wasn’t the worst player I coached, but she was close. She had all the tools. She was big enough, strong enough, fast enough, but she was spectacularly passive, and so she rode the bench as much as the rules allowed. Fact is, Amber couldn’t catch because she wouldn’t move. She couldn’t kick because the second she entered the kicker’s circle, she locked up like rusty brakes, intimidated by the pitcher, her teammates, the handful of moms and dads and siblings who attended our afternoon games, certainly by us — her coaches, Carl, Molly and me. As best I can remember, Amber reached first one time during the regular season — on a walk. And so, it’s ironic that she came through at the biggest moment of the biggest game that year — the biggest in my eight years as a girls’ kickball coach. Here’s the story: It was my third year coaching fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls. Our first year, we were 3-13. Our second, 8-8. Our third, 11-5, was good enough for the post-season tournament. Somehow, we won the two games necessary to reach the championship game against our rival. As legend had it, the coach of the rival team once ordered his Amberequivalent to fake an asthma attack at a crucial moment during a game so he could rotate in his star kicker. The championship game started at 9 on a hazy, hot, humid Saturday morning. Carl and I bumped into each other at a coffee shop across the street from the playing fields around 8. We looked like a pair of insomniac war criminals and sat at different tables, sipping our coffee and staring into space, knowing we didn’t stand a chance. We’d lost to our rival twice during the regular season. We would have been fine finishing second, but the girls had higher aspirations and they played like it on that day. Late in the championship game, we trailed by one run with girls on second and third and one of our better players at the plate. For a moment, it seemed possible — and then it didn’t. Our girl popped up,

bringing Amber to the plate. “Well, look who’s up,” the pitcher said sarcastically, grinning and spinning around to make sure each of her infielders got the message: Easy out. We win. Again. We suspected as much as well, even while we went through the motions: Relax, Amber. Watch the ball. Step out of the circle if you need to catch your breath. Run all the way to first base. Don’t slow down. You can do this. Relax. Now, let’s go.” It was purely obligatory because we knew the game was over, and sure enough, Amber froze. She watched two good pitches saunter across the plate. Strike one. Strike two. I don’t remember the third pitch. Maybe I was too nervous or nauseous to watch. Maybe I was gazing at the sky, surprised that the haze had begun to burn off and that the sun was peeking between the clouds. Maybe, if I’d been listening, I might have heard God speak to Amber because I believe He (or She or whatever) did. I believe God said, “Amber, this is God, and I want you to do something for me.” I believe Amber heard God and answered, “Yes. What would you have me do for you?” And God said, “Amber, kick the dang ball.” And Amber did. She pile-drived it into right centerfield where — guess who? — their Amber was planted. The ball rolled and rolled and rolled until two runs had scored, and we won the post-season tournament. Our girls squealed and screeched and sprayed Gatorade on each other, while Carl and Molly and I hugged in silent disbelief and wonder. A few of the parents wept. I love telling this story and often do when I teach writing. It reminds me of the beauty of sports, of why we coach and why they play, and what the game is — or should be — really about. BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” both published by The University of Texas Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.

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In the

Spotlight

Victoria ISD’s new superintendent brings strong track record to district by Jenny LaCoste-Caputo

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coach at heart, Robert Jaklich believes in people. And, like all good coaches, he possesses a charisma that motivates those around him to do the best job possible. “We say it’s not where you are, but where you’re going. It’s not what you’re driving, but what’s driving you,” says Jaklich, who in July stepped down as Harlandale ISD’s superintendent to become Victoria ISD’s new leader. He delivers the lines with the passion of a street preacher and a sincerity that is undeniable. “Our parents, our community, believe our kids deserve the very best,” Jaklich says. “With that comes a huge responsibil-

ity. Our teachers and principals all know their roles in making excellence happen.” Under Jaklich’s leadership, Harlandale ISD on San Antonio’s south side has become a beacon of excellence. Jaklich came to Harlandale in 1997 and led Harlandale High School as principal before heading to the district office in 2002 to oversee human resources. In 2008, he was named superintendent. His four years of superintendent leadership made an indelible mark on the district. When Jaklich took over in 2008, test scores were down and the district’s fund balance had dwindled to $2.9 million — with $1.9 million of it dedicated to bal-

Superintendent Robert Jaklich leads story hour at Gillette Elementary School in Harlandale ISD. This summer, Jaklich made the transition to Victoria ISD, where he also holds the top post. 12

Texas School Business • July/August 2012

ance the budget at the end of the year. Enrollment was declining, and an elementary school had just shut its doors. Moreover, a 2007 tax rate election to bring in more money had failed by 65 percent. To add insult to injury, the odds were stacked against the district to begin with. Ninety-one percent of Harlandale ISD students are economically disadvantaged, and the district has the lowest property wealth in San Antonio. In fact, it’s among the lowest in property wealth in the entire state. Jaklich knew the district had to do a better job of telling its story. “We wanted to be the administration of communication,” he says. Jaklich met with every group he could: employee groups, student groups, community groups, you name it. He wrote pieces for the local community newspaper. The strategy worked. In Jaklich’s first year as superintendent, Harlandale passed a tax rate election with a 65 percent approval rating. The next year voters approved a bond election. Now, four years after Jaklich took the helm, Harlandale ISD has a $45 million fund balance and a plan for moving forward with important initiatives, even if the state continues to cut public education funding. But the improvements aren’t just financial. The number of Harlandale schools rated exemplary or recognized by the state has nearly doubled to 18 — and that’s out of 19 total campuses. Enrollment has increased by more than 500 students, and a recent ranking by Education Resource Group put Harlandale ISD at No. 1 in San Antonio (and seventh in the state overall) based on an index of academic performance and spending. Perhaps the sweetest recognition came this past school year when Harlandale ISD won the H-E-B Excellence in


Education Award for outstanding district in the state. Jaklich tells people he understands the students of Harlandale ISD because he faced similar obstacles. Raised by a single mother in Racine, Wis., Jaklich earned a basketball scholarship to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He began his career in education at Northside ISD as a teacher and a coach. As an administrator, Jaklich has maintained a culture of high expectations and has fought for equity for his students. He talks about recapture in terms of money, time and personnel, squeezing as much as possible from every resource. He focused on expanding prekindergarten by partnering with AvanceSan Antonio and Head Start to help fund the initiative. Last school year, he increased the number of Harlandale children being served from 700 to 1,235. “We’re seeing a huge difference now in first- and second-grade performance and we’re excited about upping rigor because kids are coming so much more prepared,” he says. The district also is planning an early college high school model, as well as a middle school hybrid model that serves as

a safety net for students falling behind in eighth grade and at risk for dropping out. Jaklich made such an impact in Harlandale ISD that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro showed up at Jaklich’s final school board meeting as Harlandale’s superintendent to praise him — and ask him to reconsider his move to Victoria. Jaklich says he appreciates the compliments, but he believes the culture of excellence he helped cultivate in Harlandale ISD will continue in his absence. “It was truly an honor for the community to come out and to just know they were very appreciative for all of our efforts,” Jaklich says. “The power of our school district is the power of our people. Everyone is valued for the expertise they bring to the table.” Jaklich is ready for a new challenge in Victoria ISD. “Victoria ISD is a wonderful opportunity,” he says. “I am just so grateful they considered me for this position and so honored that they chose me.” JENNY LACOSTE-CAPUTO is the director of communications and media relations at the Texas Association of School Administrators.

Fun Facts about Robert Jaklich First penny earned: by collecting soda bottles and returning them to the grocery store. Skill/hobby I would like to learn: how to play the piano or guitar. When I need to unwind you will find me: on the golf course, at the movies or in the backyard barbecuing. A quality you must have to be a superintendent: I truly believe you need three qualities -passion, flexibility and a sense of humor. A person I go to when I need professional advice: A certain group of my superintendent colleagues, including TASA.

July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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Texas ASCD PRESIDENT profile Sherman ISD’s Al Hambrick pursues lifelong passion for mentoring and teaching by Jennifer LeClaire

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l Hambrick knew he wanted to be an educator by the time he hit his teen years. Decades later, the LaRue native is about to begin his 34th year in the field. “My interest in education began in my middle school years,” recalls Hambrick, superintendent of Sherman ISD and incoming president of the

Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). “I was fortunate to have great support from my parents, great teachers, excellent college professors and coaches who motivated, pushed and encouraged me to pursue a career in education.” Hambrick officially launched his educational career in Sherman ISD in

Sherman ISD Superintendent Al Hambrick questions Sory Elementary student Jefferson Tran about the properties of liquids in one of Sherman ISD’s Summer Enrichment courses. The young student had such a grasp on the scientific concept that he playfully quizzed Hambrick on the lesson at the end of the conversation. “Today’s students exemplify the meaning of 21st century learning,” Hambrick says. “They catch on very quickly, and they are ready to learn through cutting-edge technology and hands-on experiences.” 14

Texas School Business • July/August 2012

1979, serving as a high school math teacher and coach for 11 years. In fact, his first job in education was in the same town as where he attended college to earn his bachelor of arts and masters of arts degrees at Austin College. That’s also where he received the King Foundation Outstanding Student in Teacher Education Award. Growing up, Hambrick enjoyed school at all levels, succeeding in both academics and athletics. Even as a student, he was fueled by a passion to help other students find joy and success in the classroom. That passion has, in turn, fueled his career in public education. In 2005, Hambrick was awarded the Austin College Distinguished Alumnus Award. “I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to serve 32 of my 33 years in education in the same school district,” Hambrick says. After his 11 years as a high school coach and math teacher — six of which he served as a Class 5A head basketball coach — he became a middle school assistant principal for four years. Hambrick’s next career stop was high school principal for eight years. He says that working full time as a high school principal and completing his doctorate degree simultaneously has proven to be his biggest career challenge to date. He earned his doctorate of educational administration from Texas A&M University in Commerce. He also participated in the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass. Hambrick’s constant pursuit of learning paid off. He was promoted to assistant superintendent, where he served for three years before being named superintendent of Sherman ISD, a position he has held for the past six years. Along the path to success, Hambrick says he has learned plenty and he is eager to share with others. First, he says, education is a lifelong process that begins


at birth. Second, the impact of educators and their work with students are beyond measure. “The responsibility that we as educators have to work with students should not ever be taken lightly,” Hambrick says. “Whole-child education is important and everybody’s business. It takes parents, school staff and the community working together in partnership to support the needs of each student.” It’s this belief that drove Hambrick to join the Texas ASCD several years ago. He is a big believer in the mission and vision of the organization to develop the professional and innovative capabilities of diverse educational leaders and influence policy in support of continuous achievement in education. As president, he says he hopes to help Texas ASCD remain an influential force in learning, teaching and leadership. “Through my research, I discovered that Texas ASCD is the only organization of its kind that I am aware of that is about improving teaching, learning and leadership and whose membership includes multiple levels of educators, teacher assistants, teachers, assistant principals, principals, coordinators,

FUN FACTS ABOUT AL HAMBRICK A skill I would love to learn: to fly/pilot an airplane. I earned my first dollar by: completing tasks as a child for my parents. Last book I read that I really enjoyed: “The Difference Maker” by John C. Maxwell. A bad habit I would love to break: working long hours. directors, assistant superintendents and superintendents,” he says. Off the clock, Hambrick is a family, church and community man. He points to his parents, coaches and teachers as role models — his parents because of their strong work ethics; his coaches because they taught him how to plan, prepare and work with others for success; and his teachers, who pushed his academic performance to the top of his class both at the high school and college levels. Hambrick is committed to servant leadership and serves as a deacon and trustee at the Greater New Hope Baptist Church. He also serves on several professional boards and committees, including the Sherman Economic Development Corp.; Region 10 Council of Superinten-

dents and Region 25 Music Executive Committee. He and his wife, Pat, have three children. “Community involvement brings learning to life,” Hambrick says. “This is an opportunity for all of us to reach out to each other. I ask the community to learn about how we advocate for high standards for students, fair and meaningful evaluations of their work, and resources that go directly to the classroom. “Better than an apple or a thank-you card, a community’s active support of the work we mutually do to teach and care for the community’s students would be ample reward for all of us.” JENNIFER LECLAIRE also has written for The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor

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July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News Bastrop ISD Sara Guerra has been named principal of Lost Pines Elementary School. An educator for 28 years, she began her career at Bastrop Primary School, going on to work as a second grade teacher and ESL teacher in Sara Guerra the district. She then moved to Del Valle ISD as a bilingual elementary school teacher. For the past 13 years, she has been a campus administrator at Hillcrest and Baty elementary schools in that district. Guerra earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Stephen F. Austin State University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Delores Moore will lead Emile Elementary School as principal beginning in the new school year. She had been serving as the school’s interim principal. She was a teacher with Bastrop ISD in the 1995-1996 academic Delores Moore year. She then moved to teach in Smithville and Bryan ISDs before returning to Bastrop as a high school teacher. She also has been an assistant principal for Mina and Emile elementary schools. Both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from Texas State University. The new principal of Cedar Creek High School is Adelaida Olivares, who came to Bastrop ISD as principal of Lost Pines Elementary in 2011. Prior to that, she spent 12 years in various capacities in Del Valle ISD, most recently as dean Adelaida Olivares of instruction at Del Valle High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Edward’s University in Austin and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Olivares is a 2009 recipient of the prestigious Milken Foundation Excellence in Education award.

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012

Beaumont ISD Dwaine Augustine, who previously was assistant superintendent of HamshireFannett ISD, is now the district’s assistant superintendent for research, planning and evaluation. Patricia Lambert has been named assistant superintendent for secondary schools. She had been principal of Central High School. Debra Oge is now principal of Guess Elementary School, moving up from serving as assistant principal of the school. Big Sandy ISD David Allen, formerly Big Sandy High School principal, is now wearing two hats: He is assistant principal of Big Sandy Elementary and the district’s instructional technology director. Kim Stradley has been named principal of Big Sandy High School. She comes to the district from Tyler ISD, where she was a math facilitator for all levels since 2008. Her education career also has included service as a classroom teacher and assistant principal. Birdville ISD April Chiarelli has been named the district’s elementary social studies/English language arts consultant, with emphasis in writing. She comes to her new position from serving as principal of North Ridge Elementary School. She previously was principal of Bransom Elementary in Burleson ISD and assistant principal of Mound Elementary in the same district. She taught fifth grade at Porter Elementary in Birdville ISD as well. Chiarelli holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Allison Cobb is the new principal of North Ridge Elementary School. Principal of Serene Hills Elementary in Lake Travis ISD since 2004, she also was an assistant principal and counselor in Van Alstyne ISD and a speAllison Cobb cial education teacher in Frisco ISD. Additionally, she has worked as a private school principal, a resource special education teacher, a Head Start teacher and a department head. Her bache-

lor’s degree is from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), and her master’s degree is from the University of Houston. Kimberly Hamilton has been appointed secondary math consultant for the district. Most recently a math coach at Richland High School, she taught math and science at Waco High School in Waco ISD and at Kimberly Brighton High School in Hamilton Brighton, Mich. Hamilton holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Lorene Ownby is now the district’s director of elementary education and campus support. She has been an administrator in Keller ISD since 2006, serving as Chisholm Trail Intermediate Lorene Ownby School principal and Eagle Ridge Elementary School principal, and as Keller Middle School assistant principal. She also was principal of Longview ISD’s Ware Elementary and assistant principal of Forest Park Middle School in the same district. Ownby earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and her educational specialist degree from the University of New Mexico. Ann-Marie Trammell has been appointed secondary language arts consultant for Birdville ISD. Formerly the K-12 language arts coordinator for the district, she also has been a reading technical assistance specialAnn-Marie Trammell ist with The University of Texas System, a reading specialist at Keller ISD’s Florence Elementary School and a sixth grade reading teacher at North Richland Middle School in Birdville ISD. Trammell earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Phoenix. Justin Glenn Vercher is the new principal of Wautauga Elementary School. He comes from Forney ISD, where


Who’s News he was principal of Crosby Elementary since 2008. Prior to that assignment, he was assistant principal of Katy ISD’s Fielder Elementary School. Also with that district, he taught physical education at Franz Elementary and kindergarten at Alexander Elementary. He also spent a year as a first grade teacher at Windom Elementary in Windom, Kan. Vercher holds a bachelor’s degree from Sterling College in Sterling, Kan., and a master’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Bryan ISD Kristina Brunson, who comes to the district from Mexia ISD, where she was director of student services, is the new principal of Sul Ross Elementary School. Bryan High School has a new principal. He is Lamond Dean, who served as director of operations for Chapel Hill ISD since 2011. Prior to that, he spent five years as a principal in the district, two years as an assistant principal, and seven years as a teacher and coach. Holly Haverman, former principal of Sul Ross Elementary, will lead Sam Houston Elementary School as principal. The new principal of Navarro Elementary School is Hugo Ibarra, former assistant principal of Bryan High. Holly Scott will move from leading Sam Houston Elementary to serving as principal of Milam Elementary. Callisburg ISD Steve Clugston comes to his new job as superintendent from Riesel ISD, where he also held the top position. After graduating from high school in Crandall ISD and earning his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, he returned to his home district to begin his career as a high school biology and physical science teacher and a middle and elementary school P.E. teacher. He went on to coach and teach in Alto and Rusk ISDs, taking his first administrative position in Simms ISD, when he served as the junior and senior high school principal. He held similar positions in Beckville and Diboll ISDs before becoming assistant superintendent of Needville ISD and, ultimately, superintendent of Riesel ISD. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin, Crandall holds a master’s degree from that institution.

Carroll ISD Shawn Duhon is now principal of Carroll Senior High School. Most recently associate principal of Northwest High, he was also with Carroll ISD from 2008 to 2009 as assistant principal and textbook coordinator of Dawson Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. Rockenbaugh Elementary School will have Lisa Young as principal when the school year starts. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Coppell ISD in 1989 and most recently was a coordinator in the Carroll ISD administration. Castleberry ISD Julie Davis has been named principal of Castleberry High School. An educator for 18 years, she has been a high school assistant principal for the past four years in Irving ISD. Additionally, she worked as a special education diagnostician, service center trainer and classroom teacher in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She holds a doctorate in special education. Hope Delery will lead Marsh Middle School as principal when the new school year begins. She comes to the district from Birdville ISD, where she was a middle school assistant principal for five years. Prior to that, she taught middle school science and at the elementary level. She recently completed coursework for her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies. Como-Pickton CISD The new superintendent is Kay Handlin, formerly assistant superintendent of Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD. Conroe ISD Longtime Conroe ISD educator Kathy Clark retired at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. A 37-year veteran of the district, she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of human resources, coach and drill team director. Her most recent position was director of communications. Copperas Cove ISD A new superintendent has been named for the district. He is Joseph Burns,

who comes to his new position from Vidor ISD, where he was superintendent. He also has served in the top position in Hubbard ISD and Kirbyville CISD. He was a teacher and principal in Jasper, Lufkin and Zavalla ISDs. Burns earned his bachelor’s degree in biology, master’s degree in educational administration and doctorate in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. Corpus Christi ISD Sandra Villarreal Clement has been named principal of Moody High School, the first woman to hold that position in the school’s history. Most recently principal of South Park Middle Sandra Villarreal School, she also served as principal of Mary Clement Grett School and assistant principal of Martin Middle School. Before joining Corpus Christi ISD, she was an assistant principal, counselor and special education teacher in Robstown and Calallen ISDs. Culberson County-Allamoore ISD The new superintendent is Marc Puig, who most recently served in the same capacity for Luling ISD. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD The district’s chief of police, Alan Bragg, is the recipient of the of Cy-Fair Houston Chamber Commerce’s firstever Shooting Star Award. He was recognized for his support of the community through coordinating the Salute to Law Enforcement, an event that began with 15 participating agencies and has grown to more than 100. The new principal of Cypress Springs High School is Travis Fanning, who comes to the district from Galena Park ISD, where he was principal of North Shore High School’s ninth grade campus. He has been an Travis Fanning educator for 12 years, working as principal of Normandy CrossSee WHO’S NEWS on page 18 July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News educational management from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Yvette Garcia is the new principal of Holbrook Elementary. A 27-year education veteran, she has spent 25 of those with the district, most recently as principal of Francone Elementary. Yvette Garcia She began her career as

WHO’S NEWS continued from page 17

ing Elementary in Galena Park ISD and as an assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, an advisor for the U.S. Department of Education’s GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and a mathematics teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Alabama A&M University and a master’s degree in

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a teacher at Moore Elementary, where she spent six years before transferring to California for two years. Returning to Cy-Fair, she taught for nine years at Sheridan Elementary, then served a year as an instructional specialist and three years as an assistant principal at Post Elementary. She next transferred to Holbrook, where she was assistant principal for three years, before taking the top position at Francone. Garcia earned her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and her master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. David Hughes now leads Langham Creek High School as principal. He was most recently associate principal at Cypress Ranch High, where he served since the school opened in 2008. Prior to that, he David Hughes was an assistant principal at Cy-Fair High School and was summer school principal for both Cy-Fair and Cypress Ranch high schools. He began his teaching career at Norton Primary School in Runcorn, England, coming to Texas to coach and teach U.S. history at Spring Woods High School in Spring Branch ISD. He came to CypressFairbanks ISD as a teacher and coach at Langham Creek High, where he spent eight years before transferring to Cypress Falls High School in the same capacity. Hughes received his bachelor’s degree in education from Chester College at Liverpool University in England and his master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. Ana Martin, director of instruction at Cypress Ridge High School since 2009, is now principal of Kahla Middle School. She has been a teacher at Cy-Fair High School, a team leader and teacher Ana Martin at Cypress Falls High, a counselor at Cypress Springs High and an assistant principal at Cypress Ridge High School. Martin earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary teaching and her master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Houston, as well as a second master’s degree, in


Who’s News educational administration, from Sam Houston State University. Sheri McCaig, formerly assistant principal of Goodson Middle School, has been appointed principal. An educator for 18 years, she has been with the district for 11 of those. She taught at Sheri McCaig Horne and Matzke elementary schools from 1993 to 1997, moving to Katy and Giddings ISDs for several years before returning to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as a teacher at Adams Elementary. She then was an instructional specialist at Reed Elementary, after which she was the school’s assistant principal. She also has been a summer school principal with the district. McCaig earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. Francone Elementary School begins the new school year with Christine Melancon as its principal. She has been an educator for 13 years, beginning her career in the public schools of Crowley, La., Christine and coming to CypressMelancon Fairbanks ISD in 2001 as a teacher at Adam Elementary School. She held that position for four years, spent the next year as a math helping teacher at Frazier Elementary and then spent two years as an instructional specialist at Reed Elementary before being promoted to assistant principal at that school. Two years later, she moved to Rennell Elementary to serve in the same capacity. She was most recently the district’s elementary math coordinator. Melancon has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University. Michelle Merricks is the new principal of Emery Elementary School. She has been assistant principal at Owens Elementary since 2004. Prior to that, she was a counselor at Sheridan Elementary. She came to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in 1999 from Aldine ISD. Merricks holds two

bachelor’s degrees from The University of Texas, one in psychology and one in applied learning and development. She earned her master’s degree in eduMichelle Merricks cation from the University of St. Thomas. The Houston Business Journal named Stuart Snow, associate superin-

tendent for business and financial services, the Best Education CFO of the Year in a late-May awards ceremony. He has served in his current position since 2007, supervising three assistant superintendents and 1,500 employees. Deborah Stewart is now associate superintendent for human resources and student services. An educator for 28 years, See WHO’S NEWS on page 24

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Athletics departments strive for fiscal fitness in lean times by John Egan

I

n most of the more than 1,200 public school districts across Texas, athletic directors, coaches, student-athletes and parents are finding less to cheer about. To cope with the state’s budget cut of more than $5 billion in public education, school districts across Texas took heavy swings at their athletics budgets in 20112012. Many districts may feel the same level of financial pain — or worse — in 2012-2013. Athletics staffers in districts like Hutto ISD have resigned to making tough financial choices. “We had to quit complaining and find a solution to provide for our kids. We had to find a way to run things the same with less money without affecting our kids,” says Stephen Hale, boys’ sports coordinator for Hutto ISD, near Austin. School districts’ responses to the monetary hurdle have ranged from the extreme to the elementary. At the extraordinary end of the scale, Premont ISD —

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012

which faces possible closure at year’s end if certain TEA benchmarks aren’t met — suspended all of its high school sports to save $150,000. “Cutting off the Friday night lights is a tough, tough thing,” Ernest Singleton, superintendent of Premont ISD told The Wall Street Journal in a Jan. 26 article. “But I am trying to explain to everyone that in the big, big picture we are talking about survival — of a school district and a town.” Budget-conscious districts also have reported slicing extra-duty stipends for coaches, cutting back on athletic supplies and equipment, charging students to participate in sports and reducing their athletes’ travel time. From 2010-2011 to 2011-2012, Texas school districts slashed funding for extracurricular activities — including sports — by nearly $30 million, according to the Texas Association of

School Business Officials. That’s a decline of almost 3 percent. In many cases, districts are trying to bridge the sports funding gap by stepping up community fund-raising efforts. Plano ISD has wrestled with a more than $400,000 reduction in its athletics budget for 2011-2012. Johnny Ringo, athletic director and head football coach at Plano East High School, says the district: • • • • •

Decreased all coaching stipends by 10 percent; Dropped middle school tennis; Cut travel for the junior varsity boys’ and girls’ golf teams; Did away with all letter jackets for athletes; Stopped supplying workout gear for student-athletes; and


Stopped funding travel for coaches’ professional growth activities.

Ringo, who is also the incoming president of the Texas High School Coaches Association, laments the fact that historically public education in Texas has been underfunded. “It’s puzzling because the future of our Johnny Ringo state enters our academic and athletic hallways each day,” he says. In Keller ISD, near Fort Worth, cuts in sports spending were even steeper than in nearby Plano. Bob DeJonge, the district’s director of athletics, says the 2011-2012 budget for things like supplies, equipment and travel Bob DeJonge fell by $582,000. Moreover, coaches lost $770,000 in funding for stipends. That adds up to more than $1.3 million in budget cuts. Among the results: • • • •

All middle school swimming and soccer programs were eliminated; The high school gymnastics program was dropped; One assistant athletic director position was eliminated; and Several coaching positions were dropped at the middle school and high school levels.

To help maintain funding levels for the remainder of Keller ISD’s sports programs, the district has turned to outside help. In 2011, district supporters organized the nonprofit Keller Athletic Association to support athletics. So far, the association is generating about $70,000 to $80,000 a year, DeJonge says. The booster clubs at the district’s four high schools produce another $100,000 a year for athletics, he says. “It’s important to recognize that the entire school district experienced a great financial challenge this year,” DeJonge says. “All programs suffered significant staffing reductions and budget cuts. We had larger classes, fewer teachers and reduced staffing at central administration. We even initiated a pay-for-ride plan for bus service. The Athletics Department needed to be part of the budget solution.” When it comes to budget solutions, not all athletic programs have felt the

strain — or least they have felt it less than others. In Corpus Christi ISD, for instance, only $30,000 of the $10 million axed from the district’s 2011-2012 budget came from the athletics program, says Lorette Williams, the district’s director of Lorette Williams communications. The district carried out the $30,000 cut by scaling back the middle school golf and tennis programs from a full year to a half year; limiting non-varsity teams in baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball to attending two tournaments a season rather than three; and scheduling non-varsity, non-district football games within 100 miles of Corpus Christi.

‘All programs suffered significant staffing reductions and budget cuts. We had larger classes, fewer teachers and reduced staffing at central administration. We even initiated a pay-forride plan for bus service. The Athletics Department needed to be part of the budget solution.’ — Bob DeJonge, athletic director, Keller ISD Even though Corpus Christi ISD decreased its athletics budget by $30,000, it still recognizes the need to fortify outside fund-raising. Athletics officials are reaching out to local businesses and stakeholders for sports sponsorships, Williams says, and are working to maintain already strong relationships with campus booster clubs. One statewide athletics booster is PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America Snack Food Division, based in Plano. In May, Frito-Lay announced the awarding of $90,000 total to 18 public high schools throughout the state as part of the company’s “Score for Your School” promotion. The campaign let consumers raise money

for their favorite school sports programs. “Throughout Texas, high school sports bring communities together and help students learn critical lifelong skills like leadership, teamwork and cooperation,” Craig Musgrove, vice president of sales for Frito-Lay North America, said in a news release. “Yet with so many local schools facing financial challenges, funding athletics programs can be a real challenge. Through the ‘Score for Your School’ promotion, fans from all across the state had a fun and easy way to be part of the solution and make a difference for their local sports programs.” As part of the online promotion, thousands of fans entered a nine-digit product code from a Frito-Lay snack to earn points for the high school of their choice. Each high school was grouped according its division (5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A). Firstplace ($10,000), second-place ($4,000) and third-place ($1,000) prizes were given to the three schools in each division that collected the most points from their fans. In the 1A through 5A divisions, the $10,000 winners were: •

1A – Trenton High School, Trenton ISD

2A – Clifton High School, Clifton ISD

3A – Falfurrias High School, Falfurrias ISD

4A – Rio Grande City High School, Rio Grande City ISD

5A – United High School, Laredo ISD

Three private high schools also received prize money in the Frito-Lay contest. Upping the fees Meanwhile, districts like San Antonio’s Northside ISD are relying on other See ATHLETICS on page 22

July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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ATHLETICS continued from page 21

ways to make up the difference. Following a 2011-2012 cut of about $300,000 in athletics, Northside ISD raised ticket prices for sporting events and got more aggressive about charging facility rental fees. In the past, advance tickets for Northside ISD football games cost $3 for students and $6 for adults; on-site tickets were $7. The district raised the prices across the board by a dollar. Adult ticket prices for all other varsity sports also went up a dollar. Moreover, Northside ISD introduced ad-

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mission prices for middle school and nonvarsity track meets. The district instituted a formal fee structure for renting Northside ISD athletics facilities as well. For instance, Northside ISD now charges $1,000 for a school group to rent one of its two football stadiums. Nonprofits pay $1,200; for-profits pay $1,400. Hutto ISD has adopted another method for raising money: charging fees to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports, in grades seven through 12. Parents and community members suggested the

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fee during public hearings on the district’s budget plight. Hutto ISD started charging a one-time annual “activity fee” of $25 per student during the 2011-2012 school year, with discounts for students who qualify for reduced-price and free lunches. The fee covers all of a student’s extracurricular activities during a school year. In 2012-2013, the activity fee — regardless of a student’s household income — will jump to $100. Emily Grobe, Hutto ISD’s public information officer, admits the planned fee hike has prompted some parents to pull their students from extracurricular programs. Hutto ISD also reduced its athletics budget by almost $75,000, or 15 percent, in 2011-2012. An additional 5 percent budget cut is set to take effect this school year. Permanent elimination of the district’s golf, swimming and fall tennis programs is being considered, says Grobe. Janiece Nelson, Hutto ISD girls’ sports coordinator, says the budget solutions were hard to digest initially. “But we chose to face it head-on,” she says, “and now we are determined that our kids will have programs and success in spite of funding cuts. Our staff is determined to work harder for our kids because all students deserve to have these experiences.” Whatever financial sacrifices Texas school districts make in their sports programs, school athletics officials say the measures are necessary to preserve a cornerstone of public education. “Athletics is definitely an important program in our public schools,” says Paula Gonzalez, athletic director at McAllen ISD. “It is an investment in the overall educational program and the best atPaula Gonzalez risk program available. Our student-athletes excel in the classroom as a result of their participation in athletics. They learn many valuable lessons, which include dedication, discipline, teamwork, determination and the value of hard work.” JOHN EGAN is the former editor of the Austin Business Journal. In addition to Texas School Business, he freelance writes for outlets such as The San Francisco Examiner, Technorati Media and Bankrate Inc.


TACS members and past presidents gather to welcome new president at May luncheon The Texas Association of Community Schools hosted its annual Presidents’ Luncheon in May in Austin.

Jan Meares of Automated Logic and Jan Hundate of West ISD.

Clead Cheek, formerly of Brock ISD and now with A. Bargas and Associates, with wife, Pat.

Paul and Marla Vranish of Tornillo ISD.

Vickie Adams of Palacios ISD and Curtis Rhodes of Needville ISD.

Sheryl and Larry Johnson of Anna ISD.

Beth and Roger Huber of Texas Retired Teachers Association and Jeff McClure of Henrietta ISD.

Bob Jameson, formerly of Gregory-Portland ISD and now with A. Bargas and Associates, and wife, Diana.

Jan Hundate of West ISD, Edna Kennedy of Ogelsby ISD and David Kennedy of Westoff ISD.

Jimmy Parker of Roosevelt ISD and Eddie Bland of Bridgeport ISD. July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 19

she began her career teaching at Cy-Fair High School in the district for seven years. She then was a counselor in Klein ISD for two years, returning to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD to spend six years as an assistant principal. She was next promoted to director of student services, remaining in that position for eight years. Stewart received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Prairie View A&M University. She is pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Houston. The new principal of Cypress Creek High School is Sandy Trujillo, whose most recent job was principal of Leander Middle School in Leander ISD, a position she held since 2002. Before that, she was an assistant principal and Sandy Trujillo special education teacher at Cedar Park High School in Leander ISD. She was also director of special edu-

cation for Lago Vista ISD and an at-risk elementary school teacher in Florida’s Brevard County School District. Trujillo, who received her bachelor’s degree in language and learning disabilities from the University of South Florida, holds a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern University. Ed Warken is the district’s new director of athletics. He served in the same position at Galena Park ISD since 1991. He began his education career as a teacher and coach at West Bloomfield High Ed Warken School in West Bloomfield, Mich. He came to Texas to teach and coach at Spring High School in Spring ISD and went on to serve as assistant principal at Westfield High School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. Warken earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and his master’s degree in athletics administration from Michigan State University.

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012

The new principal of Hopper Middle School is Wendi Witthaus. She was most recently director of the Alternative Learning Center West. She has spent her entire 18 years as an educator in the district, teaching at Wendi Witthaus Cook Middle School for six years before spending a year as a midmanagement intern and another six months as an academic achievement specialist. She then was an assistant principal at the Alternative Learning Center for seven years before being named director of the school in 2009. Witthaus holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University. Del Valle ISD The new executive director of curriculum and instruction is Jonathan Harris. An educator with more than 20 years of experience, he was most recently with the student assessment division of the Texas Education Agency. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biochemistry and is completing his doctorate in educational administration at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Geneva Kayser, formerly office manager for the district’s facilities department, is now the purchasing coordinator. She came to Del Valle ISD in 2010, having spent several years in construction finance and telecommunications and 13 years with Pasadena ISD. Del Valle Middle School now has Ruth Vail as principal. She spent 15 years in Dallas ISD, the past six of those as principal of Wilson High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University. She is working on her doctorate in educational administration from The University of Texas. Denton ISD A new superintendent has been appointed for the district. He is Jamie Wilson, who has been with the district since 2005, when he was hired as assistant superintendent for academic programs for secondary schools. Two years later he was


Who’s News promoted to deputy superintendent. He also has worked for Aubrey and Keller ISDs as an assistant principal and principal and has been a coach and science teacher in Keller and A&M Consolidated high schools. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. Deweyville ISD A new superintendent has been named. He is Kevin Mathis, formerly assistant superintendent for business in Diboll ISD. Duncanville ISD The new chief financial and operations officer for the district is Ronald Kuehler. He most recently was chief financial and operations officer in Wichita Falls ISD. Prior to that, he served as Burleson Ronald Kuehler ISD’s assistant superintendent of business and support services and as business manager of Levelland ISD. Kuehler earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Texas Tech University and his master’s degree in business administration from Regis University. Eanes ISD The new principal of Westlake High School is John Carter, who comes to his new position from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., a nationally recognized campus at which he served for 13 John Carter years, two of those as principal. He has been an educator for 25 years, 11 of those as an administrator. Additionally, he has been an adjunct professor of education at Lake Forest College in Illinois. Carter earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. He holds two master’s degrees from the same institution, one in educational administration and one in secondary education. His doctorate in mathematics education was conferred by Illinois State University.

Linda Rawlings retired at the end of the school year after serving as principal of Westlake High School since 2006. Prior to that, she spent three years with Clear Lake High School in Clear Creek ISD. Rawlings, who Linda Rawlings earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, holds a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Clear Lake and a master’s degree from St. Andrews University in Scotland. Ector County ISD Henri Lewis, formerly principal of Hood Junior High School, is the district’s new director of Title II programs. She has been an educator for 14 years. She began as an English teacher in Fort Bend ISD, going on to work in Pearland ISD and Waco ISD, where she was most recently principal of Brazos Middle School. Lewis earned her bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Baylor University and her master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from the University of Houston. Wayne Squiers, who spent the past six years as principal of Cavazos Elementary School, is now principal of Hood Junior High. He is a 19-year Wayne Squires

employee of the district, serving as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and curriculum specialist. He was assistant principal of Zavala Magnet Elementary and Goliad Elementary. Frisco ISD Rocky Agan, an educator for 23 years, is the new principal of Pioneer Heritage Middle School. He was a teacher and coach in Terrell, Santa Fe and Mount Pleasant ISDs and then was an assistant princiRocky Agan pal at Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie ISD. He came to Frisco ISD in 2004 as an assistant principal at Pioneer Heritage, before helping open Fowler Middle School in the same capacity. Agan has a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Rebecca Bustillos, formerly assistant principal of Corbell Elementary, is now principal of Spears Elementary. An educator for 18 years, nine of those as a counselor and five as an administrator, she came Rebecca Bustillos to Frisco ISD in 2007 as an assistant principal. Her bachelor’s degree was earned from See WHO’S NEWS on page 26

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Texas Tech University, and she holds two master’s degrees, one in counseling from Sul Ross State University and one in education from Texas Tech. Serita Dodson has been promoted from assistant principal of Isbell Elementary to principal of the school. She taught at Frisco ISD’s Carroll Elementary for two years and in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD for four Serita Dodson years. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree is from Texas Woman’s University. Todd Fouche is the district’s new director of finance. He spent the past four years as principal of Pioneer Heritage Middle School. Prior to that, he was assistant principal at Roach Middle School Todd Fouche and spent three years as a teacher at the elementary and middle school levels. Fouche’s bachelor’s degree is from Texas A&M University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees were earned from the University of North Texas.

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Kristin Hebert, formerly the district’s curriculum coordinator, is now principal of Vandeventer Middle School, which opens this year. An educator for 14 years, she began as a teacher in Trinity ISD before moving Kristin Hebert to Grand Prairie ISD, where she was an assistant principal. She came to Frisco ISD in 2005 in the same capacity at Wester Middle School. Hebert’s bachelor’s degree is from Sam Houston State University and her master’s degree is from Stephen F. Austin State University. Jim McDaniel has been appointed director of fine arts. He comes to Frisco ISD from CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD, where he served in the same capacity since 1996. He has been an educator for 32 years, Jim McDaniel serving as supervisor of fine arts in Bryan ISD and as director and assistant director of bands in Dallas and Arlington ISDs and at Texas A&M University. Both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Texas Christian University. Derek McDowell has been named high school science coordinator, mov-

ing from his most recent position as science instructional coach at Liberty High School. An educator for 16 years, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Lyon College, Derek McDowell a master’s degree from Lamar University and a doctoral degree from Rice University. Courtney Murphy is the new principal of Nichols Elementary School, which will open for the upcoming academic year. She has spent her 10 years as an educator with Frisco ISD, beginning as Courtney Murphy a teacher at Borchardt Elementary before being appointed an assistant principal. She served in that capacity at Borchardt and Isbell elementary schools and at Bledsoe Elementary, her most recent assignment. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Richard Oldham is now assistant director of fine arts, coming to his new position from Frisco High School, where he was assistant principal. The 16-year educator has a bachelor’s degree from Richard Oldham Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Pam Orr has been named principal of Comstock Elementary, a campus that opened this year. She began her career in Pflugerville ISD, coming to Frisco ISD in 2005 to teach at Curtsinger Elementary. Pam Orr She has been the assistant principal of Anderson Elementary since 2009. Orr holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University and a master’s degree from Concordia University, both in Austin. Diedre Parish, formerly the district’s secondary science coordinator, is now assistant director of professional devel-


Who’s News opment. An educator for 10 years, she holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. Shawn Perry is Diedre Parish now principal of the Acker KEYS School. An educator for 11 years, he came to Frisco ISD in 2008 as an assistant principal, most recently serving in that capacity at Griffin Middle School. His bachelor’s Shawn Perry degree is from Midwestern State University and his master’s degree is from the University of North Texas. Dana Solomon, most recently assistant principal at Spears Elementary School, has been named principal of Phillips Elementary, which opens this fall. An educator for seven years, she was a teacher Dana Solomon at Fisher Elementary. She has been in her most recent position since 2009. Her bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas at Dallas and her master’s degree is from Concordia University. Laurie Weeks has been hired to serve as principal of Ashley Elementary School. She began her career in 2001 as a kindergarten teacher at Frisco ISD’s Christie Elementary. She then taught third Laurie Weeks grade at Carroll Elementary. She was most recently assistant principal of Ashley. Weeks earned her bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo and her master’s degree at Lamar University. Fourteen assistant principal positions have been announced. They are: Danny Barrentine, Griffin Middle School; Laura Booker, Corbell Elementary; Laura Del Hiero, Anderson Elementary;

Emily Gray, Bledsoe Elementary; Chastity Johnson, Elliott Elementary; Ashley Miller, Gunstream Elementary; Kardel Miller, Sparks Elementary; Carri Newnham, Clark Middle School; Jamie Peden, Mooneyham Elementary; Katie Reedy, Scoggins Middle School; Jeimi Sayklay, Spears Elementary; Pam Schaeffer, Rogers Elementary; Andrea Sibley, Christie Elementary; Kranti Singh, Vandeventer Middle School. Georgetown ISD The new principal of the Georgetown Alternative Program is Mike Miller, who had served as assistant principal of Georgetown High School since 2004. Prior to that assignment, he was an assistant principal in Belton ISD for eight years, a teacher in Georgetown ISD for eight years and a teacher for one year in Lake Travis ISD. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from The University of Texas, a master’s degree in theology

from Dallas Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Walter Prothro is now director of transportation for Georgetown ISD. He served in the same position in Temple and Corpus Christi ISDs and was a state director for the Texas Education Agency’s Office of Walter Prothro Transportation funding. He retired as a logistics officer from the United States Army. Prothro holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in counseling and a second master’s degree in military science. Granbury ISD Anna Roe is the new principal of Acton Elementary School, where she had been serving as interim assistant principal. She began her education career teaching first grade at Carden Elementary in Crowley ISD. In GranAnna Roe bury ISD, she taught kindergarten and fourth grade and was an intervention specialist. She has been See WHO’S NEWS on page 28

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at Acton since 2007 and was the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2010. Roe received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Tarleton State University and her master’s degree in education from Lamar University. Gunter ISD Jill Siler is the district’s new superintendent. A native of Rochester, N.Y., she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, moved to Austin in 1996 and joined the Educator Certification Program Jill Siler of ESC Region 13. She then taught world geography and served as the swimming coach at Pflugerville ISD’s Connally High School. After earning her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University, she took her first administrative position as assistant principal for instruction in Marble Falls ISD. Siler joined Lake Travis ISD in 2004 as associate principal of Lake Travis High School, going on to serve as director of secondary academic services and executive director for academic and organizational development. She completed her doctoral degree in educational administration at The University of Texas. Hale Center ISD The new superintendent is Carl Krug, who was assistant superintendent of Muleshoe ISD. Hereford ISD Rene Cano, who was most recently assistant principal of Hereford High School, is now principal of the new Hereford Preparatory Academy. A graduate of Hereford High School, he began his career at that school teaching geometry and algebra and coaching. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science and his master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Canyon. Ortencia Mendez, formerly principal of Northwest Elementary School, is now leading Tierra Blanca Elementary as principal. She began her career in Her28

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eford ISD as a first grade teacher. She is a graduate of Hereford High School and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Texas A&M University at Canyon. Hitchcock ISD New Superintendent Barbara Derrick is a Hitchcock native whose most recent job was with Pearland ISD. Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Shady Oaks Elementary School has a new principal. She is Darla Clark, most recently assistant principal of Stonegate Elementary. She was a teacher in the district from 1989 to 2008, working at Shady Oaks, Hurst Hills Darla Clark and Bellaire elementary schools. A product of the district’s schools and a graduate of Bell High School, Clark received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. Tommie Johnson is the district’s new assistant superintendent of human resources. She comes to the district from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, where she was executive director of huTommie Johnson man resources. An educator for 27 years, she has served in Keller, Arlington and Lancaster ISDs as well. Jordan holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. The new principal of Harrison Lane Elementary School is Gina Mayfield, who comes to her job from Shady Oaks Elementary, which she has led since 2008. A graduate of the district’s Trinity High School, Mayfield Gina Mayfield taught at Spring Garden Elementary for 16 years. She then was an assistant principal at Midway Park Elementary and a math facilitator. She holds a

bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. After serving as the interim, Rene Riek is the new director of special education. She has taught in Birdville and Cedar Hill ISDs. At Hurst-EulessBedford ISD, she has been a special education Rene Riek teacher, educational diagnostician and coordinator of special education. Riek earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Keller ISD Joel Aguilar-Villenueva is now principal of Freedom Elementary. He comes to Keller ISD from Fort Worth ISD’s Seminary Hills Elementary, where he also was principal. He was with that district for four years. Prior to that, he spent a year teaching at Keller ISD’s Chisholm Trail Intermediate School. Di Nardo Bazile will lead Chisholm Trail Intermediate School as principal after spending a year as the school’s assistant principal. He served in the same capacity at the district’s Trinity Springs Middle School for two years. Before coming to Keller ISD, he was an assistant principal in Arlington ISD. Former Whitley Road Elementary Assistant Principal Amy Erb now leads the school as principal. She has been with the district since 2006, also serving as assistant principal of Independence Amy Erb Elementary. Mark Jackson has been appointed to serve as interim superintendent. He began his career in and spent 20 years with Grand Prairie ISD, where he was a math teacher, tennis coach, assistant princiMark Jackson pal, principal, executive director of planning and evaluation, and See WHO’S NEWS on page 30


Instructional Rounds Observations of a Texas school district by Sheila Maher

C

ritics inside and outside the field of education frequently lament the lack of progress in America’s schools in comparison to our international competitors. This criticism is validated by multiple international assessments. For example, the United States, out of 60 countries, performed 17th in science, 25th in math and 14th in reading on The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2009). PISA assesses students understanding of concepts, mastery of processes and how to apply these in a real-world context (Stewart, 2012). Countries such as Estonia, Poland and Hungary are outperforming the United States. What are these data telling us? School reform efforts have focused mainly on structural changes — block scheduling, lengthening the school day, double-blocking struggling students, etc. Author Richard Elmore comments on this notion in his article “The Limits of Change” by stating, “We are attracted and drawn to these things largely because they’re visible and, believe it or not, easier to do than to make the hard changes, which are in instructional practice.” Although these changes have a role to play in school reform, we will not reach the promised land of high student achievement for all without focusing on the tough-sledding of engaging seriously in instructional improvement practices in the context of a real classroom with real kids and a real teacher. Instructional Rounds is such an improvement practice.

instruction, they never actually seemed to change teachers’ practices. Instructional Rounds is different. The Rounds process offers the promise of changing instructional practices at scale. Instructional Rounds addresses the instructional core, which is most often visually represented in a triangle with the teacher, the student and the content at each point of the triangle and the ever-important instructional task nestled in the center of that triangle. As the book “Instructional Rounds in Education,” by Elizabeth A. City, Richard F. Elmore, Sarah E. Fiarman and Lee Teitel, states: There are only three ways to improve student learning at scale. The first is to increase the level of knowledge and skill that the teacher brings to the instructional process. The second is to increase the level and complexity of the content that students are asked to learn. And the third is to change the role of the student in the instructional process. That’s it. If you are not doing one of these three things, you are not improving instruction and learning. (p. 24) The Rounds observational process is structured, and descriptive evidence is captured, analyzed and used in ways that the typical walkthrough does not achieve. The four components of Instructional Rounds are: Problem of Practice, Observation, Observation Debrief and Next Level of Work. Problem of Practice (POP)

Instructional Rounds in action Like most school systems, CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD has participated in numerous walkthroughs, learning walks and classroom observations over the years. Although these experiences have been helpful in providing insight into what is happening in the classroom and have resulted in interesting dialogue about

The POP is an instructional problem that can emerge from data, dialogue, observation or current work. It is a problem, that if it were to become an effective practice, it would have a positive impact on teaching and learning. Each POP includes a Problem of Practice, Theory of Action and Essential Questions. Example: Teachers do most of the talking and students sit silently a signifi-

cant portion of class time. When students do participate, they are answering teachers’ questions with one- or two-word responses. The majority of questions and instructional tasks are at the “remember and understand” level of Bloom’s II. Questions are answered by a small percentage of students. Theory of Action: If students increase the amount and level of discourse in the classroom as a result of strategic, high-quality questions and tasks, then critical thinking will improve. Essential Questions: (Descriptive evidence is captured by network participants answering Essential Questions that emerge from the Problem of Practice.) 1. What is the level of questions being asked? What is the level of the instructional task? 2. How is the task contributing to the amount and level of student discourse? 3. What evidence of teacher/ student talk moves do you see? Observation In a network visit, teams of four to six participants observe four teachers for 20 minutes each. Two teams observe the same four teachers at different points in the class (beginning or end of the class). There are typically six to eight teams in a network, making a total of around 30 participants. Campus and central office administrators, teachers, instructional coaches and specialists make up the network. Observation Debrief The Observation Debrief takes approximately three to four hours. Half of that time the team is working together to note the patterns in the descriptive evidence See INSTRUCTIONAL on page 36 July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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director of administration and fine arts. He was superintendent of Kerrville ISD from 1997 to 2002, when he accepted the top job in Burleson ISD, where he remained until retiring at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. Killeen ISD Diana Miller, formerly the district’s chief academic officer, is the new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Lake Travis ISD Christopher Allen has been hired to serve as the district’s deputy superintendent. He was most recently interim superintendent of Midway ISD in Waco. During his 16year career, he has been Christopher Allen a classroom teacher, a high school assistant principal and principal and an assistant superintendent for administration. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas at Arlington and his doctoral degree from The University of Texas.

Susan Bohn, who had been serving as both deputy superintendent and general counsel for the district, will retain her position as the district’s attorney while taking on additional duties as an assistant suSusan Bohn perintendent. April Glenn is now principal of Serene Hills Elementary, coming to her new job from Austin ISD, where she spent 20 years, the past 12 as principal of Cowan Elementary School. April Glenn Glenn’s bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction are from The University of Texas. Susan Mitchell is now assistant principal of Lake Travis Middle School, where she spent the past six years as a language arts teacher and held other leadership roles. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from John Brown University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of St. Thomas.

Amanda Toon will take on the position of assistant principal at Hudson Bend Middle School. She has 15 years’ experience as an educator, the past 12 of which have been spent at Hudson Bend. Her bachelor’s degree in sociology was awarded from the University of California at Riverside and her master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. Juanita Worthy has been appointed assistant principal of Bee Cave Elementary School, where she has spent the past 12 years in several different capacities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston. Laneville ISD Superintendent Ronald Tidwell has retired. An educator for 40 years, he was with Laneville ISD for 15 years. Hosea Lee has been tapped to serve as district principal and basketball coach. A former history teacher in the district, he is a graduate of East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University at Commerce). Taking over as superintendent will be Brian Nichols, most recently a principal and basketball coach with the district. Little Elm ISD Kelley Carr has been tapped to serve as principal of Brent Elementary School. She has spent the past two years as assistant principal of Hughes Elementary in Northwest ISD. In that district, she also was an assistant principal of Justin Elementary School and was a math teacher at Chisholm Trail Middle School. She began her career in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD as a middle school math teacher. Carr holds a bachelor’s degree in education from New Jersey’s Paterson University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Shon Joseph, who has spent the past two years as principal of Tyler High School in Tyler ISD, is the new principal of Little Elm High School. Prior to his time in Tyler, he was principal of Palestine High School in Palestine ISD. Additionally, he served as assistant principal of Wylie High

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Who’s News School in Wylie ISD. Joseph attended Louisiana College and earned a bachelor’s degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. Kevin Moffitt, formerly principal of Brent Elementary School, has been appointed testing and assessment coordinator at Little Elm High School. He came to the district in 2004 as principal of King Early Learning Academy, then spent five years as principal of Hackberry Elementary. He served as a counselor and assistant principal in Denton ISD after beginning his career in Fort Worth ISD as a kindergarten and third grade teacher. Moffitt holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and control systems from the University of North Texas and two master’s degrees, one in counseling and student services and one in educational administration, from the same institution. The new principal of Lakeside Middle School is Ray Winkler, who has spent the past four years as associate principal of Lovejoy High School. He is also the district’s coordinator of K-12 fine arts programs. Prior to joining Little Elm ISD, he was an assistant principal at Frankford Middle School in Plano ISD and at Field Middle School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. Winkler, who earned his bachelor’s degree in music and master’s degree in education administration from the University of North Texas, is completing his doctorate at the same institution.

Lumberton ISD Gerald Chandler, former principal of Lumberton Intermediate School, is the district’s new assistant superintendent. He has been with Lumberton ISD since 2002. He was assistant principal of Lumberton High School from 2006 to 2009, moving to his most recent job at that time. Marlin ISD A new superintendent is in place for the upcoming academic year. He is Michael Steck, who had been serving in the same position in Veribest ISD. Marshall ISD Angela Fitzpatrick is the new principal of Houston Middle School. She had been serving as the school’s assistant principal. A graduate of Marshall High, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Wiley College in Marshall and her master’s degree in education from Letourneau University. She was the district’s parental involvement coordinator and then taught at Crockett Elementary for six years before moving to her most recent position. Stephanie Henderson, former assistant principal of Travis Elementary School, is now principal of Washington Early Childhood Center. She came to Marshall ISD in 2005 as a second grade teacher at Travis Elementary and was promoted to

her most recent position in 2010. She is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. Marc Smith is the district’s new superintendent, coming to Marshall ISD from Fort Bend ISD, where he was assistant superintendent. Maud ISD The new superintendent is Brandon Peavy, who was most recently Collinsville ISD’s high school principal. Meyersville ISD Tina Herrington, former secondary principal in Schulenberg ISD, is the new superintendent. Mineola ISD Clayton Harris has been hired as the girls’ basketball coach. Superintendent Mary Lookadoo retired at the end of June, concluding a 44-year career in education, the past 14 of those with the district. She is an active member of the Texas Association of Community Schools, serving on the organization’s Legislative Committee. Mineral Wells ISD Gail Haterius, most recently an educational consultant in Cedar Hill ISD, is the new superintendent. See WHO’S NEWS on page 32

Longview ISD After spending the past two years as principal of Forest Park Middle School, Brian Bowman is now the executive director of campus accountability at Longview High School. Lubbock ISD A new head baseball coach has been named for Lubbock High School. He is Steve Ribera, who has coached baseball and football in several districts, including Canyon, Slaton and Tulia. Twice named Coach of the Year by the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame and five-time winner of the district Coach of the Year award, he is a graduate of the University of Mary HardinBaylor.

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Nacogdoches ISD The new principal of McMichael Middle School, Kevan Webb, returns to the district where he began his career as a teacher at Rusk Middle School in 1993. He comes to Nacogdoches ISD from Fredericksburg ISD, where he was dean of instruction. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, Webb has been an educator for 19 years, nine of those as a middle school principal. Navasota ISD Deanna Beauchamp is now principal of Navasota High School. She comes to Navasota ISD after spending two years as an associate principal at Tomball High School in Tomball ISD. She has been an educator for 17 years, working as academic dean and assistant principal at Boerne High School in Boerne ISD and as assistant principal at Lewisville High School and McKamy Middle School, both in Lewisville ISD. She also taught English for eight years. Beauchamp earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Tarleton State University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University.

New Diana ISD The new superintendent is Carl Key, who comes to New Diana ISD from serving as an assistant superintendent in Greenville ISD. Carl Kay replaces Joyce Sloan, who has been an educator for 45 years, serving as the district’s superintendent since 2009. She retired at the end of the 20112012 school year. The East Texas native worked in education in New York, Chicago, Dallas and other cities, returning to Texas to teach and hold administrative jobs in Gilmer ISD. She came to New Diana in 2006 as the district’s curriculum director, holding that position until becoming interim superintendent and, ultimately, superintendent. Northside ISD Fourteen new campus administrators are in place for the 2012-2013 school year. They are: Russell Barber, assistant principal, Northside Alternative High School; Mirella Campbell, vice principal, Locke Hill Elementary School; Yvonne Correa, principal, Neff Middle School; Jennifer Escamilla, vice principal, Hull Elementary School;

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Norma Farrell, vice principal, Los Reyes Elementary School; Robin Fields, principal, the Reddix Center; Natalie Gray, academic dean, Neff Middle School; Richard Halle, assistant principal, Taft High School; Talia Hernandez, vice principal, Mireles Elementary School; Nathan Koudouris, assistant principal, Stinson Middle School; Lisa Richard, vice principal, Zachry Middle School; Nicole Salazar, assistant principal, Taft High School; Audrey Sifuentes, vice principal, Howsman Elementary School; and Mary Usrey, principal, Steubing Elementary School. Patty Hill has been appointed assistant superintendent for human resources. She taught for 15 years and has 22 years of administrative experience, having spent her entire career with Northside ISD. She was a math Patty Hill and business teacher and cheer and pep squad sponsor at Holmes High School, a math teacher at Ross Middle School, and a math and business teacher and pep and cheer squad sponsor at Marshall High School. She took on administrative responsibilities as a summer school principal and as an assistant principal at Marshall High. She then opened O’Connor High School as a vice principal and was the first principal of Warren High when it opened in 2002. Hill has a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree from Trinity University. Sylvia Wade, principal of Neff Middle School for the past 10 years, has retired after 50 years as an educator. A graduate of San Antonio’s Wheatley High School, she left Texas to attend Fisk University in Tennessee, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in French. She then taught those languages in Chattanooga, later earning a master’s degree in educational administration from the


Who’s News University of Tennessee. Returning to San Antonio, she taught Spanish at Northside ISD’s Jay High School. Seven years later, she took the job of assistant principal at the school, going on to serve as vice principal of Rayburn Middle School and, finally, as principal of Neff. She also holds a second master’s degree, in bicultural studies, from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Three additional administrative appointments have been made. They are: Linda Cavazos, director of budget and research; Ernest Vasquez, director of integrated infrastructure services; and Nicole Villalpando, director of psychological services. Pflugerville ISD The new principal of Delco Primary School is Sonya Collins. She spent the first nine years of her career in San Antonio and Del Valle ISDs, coming to Pflugerville ISD in 1998 as a team leader Sonya Collins and second grade teacher at Windermere Primary School. She transferred to Caldwell Elementary in 2002, where she was a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Collins earned her bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M University, where she also completed her master’s degree. Park Crest Elementary now has Tiffany Commerford as principal; she was the school’s assistant principal. She worked in Texarkana, Pleasant Grove and Redwater ISDs, coming to Pflugerville in 2004 as teacher and Tiffany coach at Pflugerville Commerford ISD. Her bachelor’s degree is from Southern Arkansas University and her master’s degree is from Texas State University. She is pursuing a doctorate in public school administration from Texas A&M University.

Troy Galow has been named deputy superintendent. He joins the district from Copperas Cove ISD, where he served in the same capacity. Prior to his time in Copperas Cove, he was with Leander ISD in a variety of Troy Galow roles, including middle school teacher and coach, high school associate principal and director of employee relations. Lara Labbe-Maginel will assume the responsibilities of principal of Wieland Elementary this August. She began her career as an elementary teacher in 1994, joining Caldwell Elementary in Lara Labbe2002 as an ESL teacher. Maginel She spent the past three years as assistant principal of Caldwell. Jose Medina will lead as principal of the district’s 19th elementary campus, Barron Elementary School, which opens this year. He served as a teacher in Copperas Cove, Ysleta and SoJose Medina corro ISDs and as an as-

sistant principal in Austin ISD, coming to the district in 2008 as assistant principal of Pflugerville High School. He accepted the job of assistant principal of Highland Park Elementary in 2009 and then became the school’s principal in 2010. Medina holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at El Paso and a master’s degree from New York University. Colby Self has been named principal of Caldwell Elementary School. He has spent his career as an educator in Pflugerville ISD, the past six as assistant principal of Pflugerville and Dessau elementary Colby Self schools. Orlando Vargas comes to Pflugerville ISD from Palestine ISD, where he was principal of Palestine High School for the past two years. He will now lead Dessau Middle School as principal. Former Pflugerville High School Assistant Principal Kermit Ward has been named principal of Westview Middle School. He joined Pflugerville ISD as Pflugerville High’s assistant principal in Kermit Ward 2009. Prior to that, he See WHO’S NEWS on page 34

Educators need answers, too Do you have financial questions? Our expert insurance professionals offer free, educational workshops to give teachers and administrators information to help put their financial picture in focus. Workshop topics include: • State Teachers’ Retirement System • Cash management • Organizing and managing personal finances We won’t even make a sales pitch. Contact your local rep to schedule a workshop today or visit horacemann.com.

July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 33

was with Waco ISD as a teacher, instructional specialist, assistant principal and principal. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and his master’s degree from Tarleton State University. Pine Tree ISD (Longview) Carla McAvoy has been appointed principal of Pine Tree Intermediate School. She has previously been employed by Hallsville, Ore City, Leverett’s Chapel, Karnack, Wells, Arlington and Burleson ISDs as a teacher, coach, principal, athletic director and director of curriculum. Plano ISD The district has announced a new chief financial officer and associate superintendent for business services. He is Stephen Fortenberry, who most recently held the same position in McKinney ISD. Prior to that assignment, he was with three other Texas districts, including serving as

an accountant and as the assistant director of finance for Plano ISD. Fortenberry is a graduate of Texas Tech University. Richard Matkin Stephen is now the district’s suFortenberry perintendent. He came to Plano ISD in 2001 as the associate superintendent for business services and chief financial officer and has been serving as interim superintendent since January. He began his career Richard Matkin as a classroom teacher and coach and has held finance positions in other districts, including CarrolltonFarmers Branch and Duncanville ISDs. Point Isabel ISD Lisa Garcia is the district’s new superintendent. She has been a special education teacher, department chair, assistant principal, and middle school and high school principal. Most recently, she was with ESC Region 1 as the department administrator for school improvement, accountability and compliance. Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the Florida International University and a doctorate in education from the University of Phoenix. Queen City ISD Queen City High School will welcome a new band director when school starts in August. He is Billy Vess, who comes to his new job from Prairiland ISD. Rotan ISD New Superintendent Lindy Robinson comes to Rotan from Milano ISD, where she also served as superintendent. Round Rock ISD Carla Amacher has been promoted to assistant superintendent of elementary education from her most recent position as the district’s director of elementary education. She has been an educator for 18 years, joining Round Rock ISD in 2004 as princi-

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Texas School Business • July/August 2012

pal of Brushy Creek Elementary School. The new assistant superintendent of secondary education is Rebecca Donald. She has been with the district for 28 years, serving as principal of Westwood High School since 2002. Great Oaks Elementary School now has Heath Frazer as its principal. An educator for 16 years, he comes to his new position from Callison Elementary, where he was assistant principal. Lisa Roberts is now principal of Berkman Elementary School. She has been with the district since 1999 as a fifth grade teacher, special education instructor and as an instructional specialist. For the past four years, she has been assistant principal of Caldwell Heights Elementary. Martha Salazar-Zamora has been named the district’s deputy superintendent of instruction and administration. She has spent 25 years as an educator in Houston and South Texas. When England Elementary opens in August, it will do so with Jana Stowe at the helm as principal. Nancy Varlijen comes to her new position as principal of Sommer Elementary School from Killeen ISD, where she was principal of Mountain View Elementary. An educator for 25 years, she began her career as a kindergarten teacher at the Children’s Network in Austin. Smithville ISD Wayne Childs has been named head football coach and athletic director. Serving as interim athletic director since May, he was the district’s defensive coordinator. Socorro ISD An interim superintendent has been named for the district. He is Pat O’Neill, who had been serving as assistant superintendent for administrative services. Spring ISD Dalane Bouillion, associate superintendent for curriculum and instructional services, was honored with the 2012 National Outstanding Women in Curriculum Award from the Research on Women and Education segment of the American Educational Research Association. She was recognized for her work with student engagement and student-centered learning.


Who’s News Spring Creek ISD The new superintendent is Amanda Pore, who was most recently an assistant high school principal in Borger ISD. Taylor ISD J. Russell “Rusty” Purser has been appointed as the head coach of Taylor High School and as the district’s athletic director. He comes to his new position from Borger ISD, where he was head football coach of the Borger High School Bulldogs for the past three years. A graduate of Texas Tech University, he also coached at Midland, Greenwood, Alice and Floydada ISDs. Thorndale ISD Craig Spinn is the new superintendent, coming to his new job from Burnet ISD, where he was principal of Burnet High School. Prior to that, he was the school’s assistant principal and principal of Burnet Middle School. An Craig Spinn educator for 26 years, he began his career as a high school teacher and coach in Ballinger ISD, going on to serve in the same capacity at Travis High School in Austin ISD. Spinn earned his bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University, his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University. Tyler ISD Gary Brown has been named principal of Lee High School. He began his education career as a social studies teacher and coach at Pine Tree High School in Longview ISD. After more than a decade in those positions, he was Gary Brown appointed assistant principal of Wylie High School in Wylie ISD. Next, he was principal of Burnet Junior High in that district and principal of Wylie High School. His bachelor’s degree in educational curriculum and instruction was awarded from Texas A&M University, and his master’s degree in education adminis-

tration is from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Christy Hanson is the new executive director of secondary education. She comes to Tyler ISD from Grand Prairie ISD, where she was director of secondary schools. She began her career as an elementary teachChristy Hanson er in Hurst-EulessBedford ISD, joining the Grand Prairie schools in 2002, where she was a counselor, assistant principal, dean of instruction, associate principal and principal before taking her most recent position. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in counseling and development from Texas Woman’s University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix. A new head football coach for Tyler High School has been named. He is Ricklan Holmes, a graduate of the school and of Oklahoma State University, where he earned a degree in business adminRicklan Holmes istration. He also spent three years with the New England Patriots. Michael Timms is now principal of Tyler High School, where he had been serving as associate principal of curriculum and instruction. Michael Timms

West Rusk County CISD Lawrence Coleman, who had been an assistant principal, is now the district’s director of human resources. Gwen Gilliam, formerly an elementary school teacher with the district, will be director of testing, accountability and special programs. Wichita Falls ISD Wichita Falls High School’s Assistant Principal Debbie Dipprey is now principal of the campus. She has been with the school for 25 years. TSB

Submit Who’s News to: news@ texasschoolbusiness.com Texas School Business provides education news to school districts, state organizations and vendors throughout the state. With ten issues a year, TSB can be an effective news source for your organization.

www.texasschoolbusiness.com 1601 Rio Grande Street, #455 Austin, Texas 78701 512-478-2113 • Fax 512-495-9955

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July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

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INSTRUCTIONAL continued from page 29

to analyze the data. The team creates an artifact on chart paper depicting what they observed in classrooms. Instructional Rounds is a growth improvement strategy; therefore, evaluative language is not used. This is a strong norm in the process.

Next Level of Work The Next Level of Work is simply ideas/suggestions each team generates to leave with the host school. It addresses the question: What are possible next steps to continue to move the instructional work forward and improve our practice as it relates to the POP?

A Texas school district’s observations At the Level I and Level II Instructional Rounds Institute at Harvard University, participants are encouraged to improve on what they learn. CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD officials, who attended the institute, have done this. For example, we learned early on that for this work to change teachers’ practices and become sustainable, we needed to build in opportunities for teachers to see progress and experience success. We have studied John Kotter’s work on change and understand the power that short-term wins contribute to motivating participants in any kind of change effort or formidable task. Consequently, we encouraged schools to establish what we refer to as short-term targets. Additionally, we learned that the network visit is an insightful day for the host school. However, it is only one day. We understand that to keep this work moving forward, each school must have a plan. Thus, a Rounds Momentum Plan (RMP) was introduced in year two. The RMP includes the following components: Observation, Data, Study, Inquiry, Professional Development, Videotaping and Surveys. This is a powerful and important requirement to ensure that Instructional Rounds fulfills the promise it holds as a top instructional lever in improving student achievement. We believe Instructional Rounds, when implemented with fidelity, holds the promise of improving teaching and learning at scale because:

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that Instructional Rounds supports the work already being done, versus replacing it or serving as an add-on.

The power of collaborative discourse around one instructional issue that the whole school is striving to improve provides focus and allows colleagues to learn from one another.

The identified Problem of Practice is a high-leverage instructional problem that, if improved, will make a significant difference in student learning.

Determine the network structure for the district. How many schools will be in a network? How many site visits? What instructional staff will serve on a network?

Identify an instructional leadership team and a district Instructional Rounds facilitator. The district facilitator needs to be a high-ranking instructional officer in the district.

Train the Instructional Rounds leadership team, either at the Instructional Rounds Institute at Harvard or through a consultant leading Instructional Rounds work.

Observe an Instructional Rounds network site visit in a district that uses rounds as an improvement practice.

The process focuses on capturing descriptive evidence; it is not evaluative. This focus suggests a level of “safety” for teachers. It is all about meaningful dialogue that can deepen our understanding of what constitutes high-quality teaching and learning. Quantitative data can emerge from the qualitative data collected in classrooms to establish short-term targets for improvement. Short-term targets enable faculties to achieve short-term wins, which serve as a motivator to teachers.

The Rounds Momentum Plan ensures that the instructional improvement process inherent in the rounds work is sustained.

Rounds work is not viewed as an “add on,” but as a vehicle for implementing existing instructional initiatives being promoted in the district.

It is consistent and ongoing. This is the way we examine our practice for continuous improvement — not only this year, but each and every year. Instructional Rounds is how we ensure commitment to what matters: improving the instructional core.

Taking action If your district is interested in adding Instructional Rounds as an improvement practice, here’s how to begin: •

Conduct a book study on “Instructional Rounds in Education.”

Meet with the district’s instructional leaders to determine the big levers the district is already pursuing to improve instruction. It is important

There are no silver bullets that will improve our standing on international assessments. We must engage in the timeconsuming, arduous task of relentlessly and seriously studying instructional practice. We must observe it, talk about it and improve it. SHEILA MAHER is the associate superintendent of educational services in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. She can be reached via email at mahers@cfbisd. edu. References City, E. A., Elmore, R. E., Fiarman, S. E., & Teitel, L. (2009). Instructional Rounds in Education: A network approach to improving teaching and learning. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press. Elmore, R. E. (2002). The Limits of Change. Harvard Education Letter, January/February. Stewart, V. (2012). A World-Class Education: Learning from international models of excellence and innovation. Alexandria: ASCD. TSB


TASSP summer conference heats up in Austin In June, the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals hosted its annual summer conference in Austin.

Catherine Leonard and Grace McDowell of Frisco ISD.

Maria Villarreal, Oscar Perez and Elias Alonzo of Laredo ISD.

Shandi Davis and Stephanie McLeod of Denton ISD.

Laurie Molis, Kay Bradford and Brian Dawson of Georgetown ISD.

Tracy Gleghorn, Lisa Boudiette and Amanda Davis of Buffalo ISD.

Jeff Robert Pack, Jaime Williams and Robert Ford of Dickinson ISD.

Jeff Abbe and Mike Bremer of Needville ISD. July/August 2012 • Texas School Business

37


THE BACK PAGE Advertiser Index

by Riney Jordan

Top 10 ways to reduce stress

S

tress. Just hearing the word brings tightness in my neck and shoulders. As we begin another school year, let’s approach things a little differently. Here are my top 10 ways of reducing stress.

10. Spend time around children. Nothing works better for me than to sit down with kids and get them to talking. It’s pure, unadulterated joy! Once, after visiting with first graders, a little girl handed me a note as I was leaving. It read: “Mr. Jordan ...You are the beast princepal in the wurld!” I just know she meant “best,” but that laugh helped me forget about my problems for a while. As someone once said, kids spell “love” as T-I-M-E. 9. Laugh more. Not at others, but at ourselves. As some of you know, I wear a hairpiece, and I decided a long time ago to milk it for everything I could. Once it blew off at the gas station and flew around the pump and under the car on the other side. I was dressed in a suit and tie, but that hairpiece was important to me, so I flattened myself out like a snake and scooted under that old car and grabbed it. I was covered in dirt and grime and oil, but I got it back! I thought I was going to have to take my wife to the emergency room; she was so tickled at the sight. 8. Say “no” more often. Oh, if only you would! Those of us who are “doers” always take on too much. It’s time to take a few things off of our plates. 7. Avoid negative people. Hey, they’re no fun and they drag us down. Stay away from them. It’s true that misery loves company, but let the company be someone else who’s miserable. 6. Do everything in moderation. I think God developed a 24-hour day so that we could have eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work, and eight hours for our families and ourselves. When we have 38

Texas School Business • July/August 2012

balance in our lives, it’s guaranteed to make things go more smoothly. 5. Feed the birds. It works for me. I buy sunflower seeds in a 50-pound bag, and the relaxation that comes from watching those birds is worth every effort. 4. Cook a meal and eat by candlelight. Ah, yes, a little romance and “quiet time.” Need I say more? 3. Help someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” 2. Simplify your life. “Uncluttering” your life can make an amazing difference. Start with your desk. Throw most of it into the trash receptacle. At home, give away things you aren’t using. And finally, the one that I personally find most helpful. It’s tragic that this one has become so “controversial” to some. Nevertheless, I feel I must share it. 1. Trust in God. “What? You can’t talk about religion! This is America!” (That comment always makes me laugh.) OK. I’ll just suggest that whenever the world is getting the best of you, take out a onedollar bill, flip it over, and read the words right above the word “one.” It worked for our forefathers, and it still works today. Well, there you have it: my top 10 ways to reduce stress. Try them. The alternative is a visit to the doctor. I tried that once, and he told me to avoid any unnecessary stress. So when his bill came, I didn’t open it. Until next time, have a great, stressfree day! RINEY JORDAN, whose best-selling book “All the Difference” is now in its sixth printing, is an international speaker and humorist. He can be reached at riney@yahoo.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.

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