THE INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS FOR 58 YEARS
A STAAR IS BORN Districts ramp up with new tests
TSPRA President Craig Eichhorn Beaumont ISD
In the Spotlight Mark Terry Carroll ISD
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TSB contents news and features
Spread the word! How to market your district’s choice schools and programs to kids who will benefit most
by Lorette Williams Corpus Christi ISD
In the Spotlight Carroll ISD’s Mark Terry sees no boundaries for public education by John Egan
TASA Midwinter Conference attacts nearly 4,000 educators, 400 vendors
Texas Council of Women School Executives hosts annual conference in Austin
departments TSB Professional Development & Events Calendar
TSPRA President Profile Craig Eichhorn addresses the heart of the matter in school public relations
columns From the Editor
by Katie Ford
The Law Dawg — Unleashed
by Whitney Angstadt
by Jim Walsh
by Terry Morawski
by Bobby Hawthorne
A STAAR is born
Districts, TEA share thoughts on new state testing system
The Back Page
by Riney Jordan
by Raven L. Hill
Above Spotlight photo: Mark Terry, a Carroll ISD principal, delivers to a young boy his first school picture. Terry traveled to the Dominican Republic this past fall to help build a school. 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. March 2012 • Texas School Business
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Texas School Business • March 2012
From the Editor Those who serve in public education know that there’s never a dull moment, and maybe that’s what attracts them to the field. Around every corner, down every hallway and in every classroom, opportunities to learn and grow abound. This spring, Texas schools are reaching for a new STAAR and perhaps feeling some growing pains in the process. Our writer Raven L. Hill spoke to a few administrators in districts large and small, as well as to Texas Education Agency’s Debbie Ratcliffe, to take temperature on how things are going and to outline what lies ahead. For this issue we also spoke with Beaumont ISD’s Craig Eichhorn, the new president of the Texas School Public Relations Association. This is a man who doesn’t do dull moments! Come rain or shine, Eichhorn plows ahead on the education front lines, supporting his district and communicating with stakeholders in a timely fashion. His optimism in the face of adversity is inspiring! Sharing Eichhorn’s “can do” spirit is Mark Terry of Carroll ISD, whom we interviewed for this month’s “In the Spotlight.” This past fall, Terry traveled to the Dominican Republic to help build a school in a severely impoverished neighborhood. Terry shared with us how this experience has given him new perspective and has shaped the way he serves as a principal in Carroll ISD and in his role as president-elect for the National Association of Elementary School Principals. On a separate note, we encourage you to visit our website, www.texasschoolbusiness. com, which is getting a facelift this month and will feature coverage of the second annual Austin-based SXSWedu (www.sxswedu.com), which you can only read on our website. As 2012 unfolds, we intend to bring more web-exclusive stories of cool things happening in Texas public schools. Stay tuned! Katie Ford Editorial director
(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) March 2012 Volume LVIII, Issue 6 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
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George H. W. Bush Elementary School Addison, Texas Dallas Independent School District
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THE LAW DAWG – Unleashed by Jim Walsh
News bulletin: Money matters
ell, what do you know? Money does make a difference. According to Rep. Scott Hochberg, districts in Texas that are rated “exemplary” by the Texas Education Agency are spending, on average, more than $1,000 more per pupil than those rated “unacceptable.” In fact, there is a direct and clear correlation between money spent per pupil and accountability rating all the way from “unacceptable” to “exemplary.” Hochberg cited the following from the TEA database: Exemplary Districts: $6,580 per student Recognized Districts: $5,751 per student Acceptable Districts: $5,662 per student Unacceptable Districts: $5,538 per student Coincidence? I think not. I continue to be baffled and mildly amused by the “no new revenue” crowd that insists that there is no correlation. Money matters in every other area of life. Why would it not matter in education? My wife and I recently bought a new car. As we were shopping around, it was pretty clear that more money bought more car. I notice this same phenomenon everywhere I go. Take something as simple as breakfast. More money gets you more eggs, and some bacon on the side. Being a sports fan, I notice the same thing there as well. In baseball, for example, the big-money teams are always going to be competitive. The little guys will have their occasional triumphs, but if you want to have a team that consistently competes for the Big Prize, you better spend some money. But there are those who insist that there is absolutely no connection between the amount we spend and the quality of our schools. Of course, they can cite lots of examples to prove their argument. There are schools that spend large amounts of money and continue to have poor student perfor-
mance. There are schools that operate on a shoestring with stunning success. But you can make the same argument with cars, breakfasts or baseball teams. The most expensive car I ever bought (relative to the times) was a gorgeous 1976 Audi. It was completely unreliable and incredibly expensive to maintain and repair. Bad decision. I have known people who have bought stripped-down basic cars from used lots and driven them happily for years. I once went to a breakfast buffet that was priced at $25, for which I got nothing better than what I would have gotten with the senior special at IHOP. The baseball movie “Moneyball” argues that really smart management can overcome gobs of money. Which it can — for a year or so. But these are all exceptions. Do we want to subject our children to the fortunes of good luck and exceptional leadership? We will not always have good luck, and we cannot count on exceptional leadership. Over the long haul, when you look at it on a statewide level, money matters. How we spend the money matters. What our priorities are matters. Of course. But could we please acknowledge that the sheer amount of the money matters also? If we could at least agree on that, perhaps then we could agree on two simple propositions. First, that everyone should have access to the same amount, at the same tax rate. If spending $1,000 more per pupil significantly increases the likelihood that the district will earn an “exemplary” rating, shouldn’t every district have an equal shot at that extra $1,000? Second, that when more kids are moving to Texas, when more kids are showing up with greater educational needs, when the state is committed to raising standards for student achievement, the overall pot of money should be more — not less — than in the past. Seems pretty simple to me. JIM WALSH, an attorney with Walsh, Anderson Gallegos Green and Treviño P.C., serves as editor in chief of Texas School Businss. He can be reached at jwalsh@ wabsa.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @jwalshtxlawdawg.
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Texas School Business_MAR12.indd 1 Texas School Business •
1/27/2012 3:56:38 PM
any factors have converged to transform the digital textbook from a futuristic idea to a reality. These factors are many but include falling prices of e-readers and tablets; Texas leaders’ support of the idea in policy and funding; and a growing understanding among teachers and school administration of the potential value of digital textbooks. It’s worth mentioning, of course, that Apple entered the market strongly this past January with a multimedia textbook format that is available for free to educators. These are all noteworthy signs that we’re on the verge of booting paper textbooks to the curb for good. However, a major hurdle faces school administrators as they step into this new frontier: Which digital device should we use? Or more specifically:Which device is right for which age group? This is where finding the right answer gets tricky. Most administrators favor tablets or e-readers for students in middle school and high school. But for younger students, the answer doesn’t seem as clear. A common thought is to purchase a smaller device for the younger lot. The reasoning is that these kids have smaller hands and their content needs aren’t as demanding. And most administrators would rather deal with loss and damages on devices that are traditionally less expensive. I would argue that younger students deserve the same advanced devices as their older counterparts. The fact that the students possess the necessary technical skills needed to operate a more advanced device is a nobrainer for anyone who has spent much time with elementary students. As technology advances, it seems counterintuitive to put outdated, watered-down technology in the hands of the students who will have 10 or more years remaining in their school career to learn with technology. The tech prowess of younger students is not a new story. I helped my parents program their VCR. My kids have found new features in my Tivo box that I didn’t know were there. The biggest problem in handing an elementa-
ry student a smaller device is I feel it ignores reading as the foundation of early learning. If you have ever tried to read a novel on a smartphone, it’s not pleasant in longer stretches. If the words were larger or the book included illustrations, forget about it. A digital book also can be offered in any language imaginable with a click. Still not convinced? Consider the following conclusions drawn from a Pearson Foundation Early Childhood Education Perception Poll in 2009: 1. Most Americans recognize that early childhood literacy is an important issue that receives too little attention or priority. 2. There is little awareness about the severe and lifelong consequences associated with the lack of early childhood literacy skills — especially the fact that many children never catch up. 3. Most Americans have little understanding of the “literacy gap” that disproportionately affects children from lowincome households. 4. All Americans agree that reading to kids younger than 5 years is the best method to develop early childhood literacy skills. What they don’t know is a majority of low-income families don’t have children’s books in their homes. These finding aren’t controversial or surprising, but they need to stay at the front of our minds as we make decisions about what types of devices to put in the hands of younger students. Also, if students bring devices home, what types of learning are you encouraging at home by the choice of device? There are no easy solutions, but hopefully I’ve given you a few things to think about. Please let me know about your digital textbook questions or other technology challenges, as I’d love to write a future column about it. As always, good luck out there. TERRY MORAWSKI is the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. He writes online at www. communicationsjetpack.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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GAME ON! by Bobby Hawthorne
In honor of the Bill Griffins and the kids they coach (Editor’s note: Game On! is a new regularly featured column that addresses athletics in Texas public schools.)
any of my fondest memories revolve around sports, either as a player, fan or coach. Many of my strongest friendships were forged on a football field or a tennis or racquetball court, and I’ve enjoyed every range of emotion possible — from a 13-1 record my senior year in football to a 3-13 record as a rookie coach of my 8-year-old daughter’s kickball team. I cried when the Dallas Cowboys lost to Baltimore 16-13 on a last-second field goal in the 1971 Super Bowl. The next year, they demolished the Miami Dolphins 24-7, and I still get goose bumps when I read Tex Maule’s story in Sports Illustrated, which I’ve saved. Bottom line: I love sports. My life has been indelibly molded by my involvement with athletes and athletics. Yet, while I appreciate the lessons young people learn by competing, I’m not lost to the damage misguided adults can inflict on them as well. I survived a season when my stepson was coached by a man whose chief strategy seemed to be berating and belittling his players. I’ve seen coaches run up the score just for the heck of it, and I once coached against a woman who, at a crucial moment in a key game, instructed the big, slow girl to fake an asthma attack so she wouldn’t have to bat. Just win, baby. Just win. Fortunately, I haven’t encountered many like her. Most of the coaches I’ve known are like Bill Griffin, an old friend who died in June 2000 after a long illness. Bill and I grew up together. He and I played football together, were both members of the high school newspaper and yearbook staffs and later worked together as novice sportswriters at the Longview Morning Journal. I went on to The University of Texas at Austin. He went to Louisiana Tech, but we remained close. After bouncing around from one job to another, Bill became what he was meant to be: a teacher and a coach. He began by coaching
junior varsity girls basketball, then he became an assistant varsity coach, then head football coach and athletic director at Danbury. In terms of wins and losses, he was no legend. In terms of helping kids grow and mature, he was without peer. Bill loved young people, loved joking and jostling with them, loved challenging them to suck it up and deal with it, regardless of what “it” was. He’d lost his father when he was still in grade school, and he understood something about determination and grit. Bill was the kind of person whom all parents wanted as their children’s coach, because the lessons he taught were lifelong. Of course, few conjure images of the Bill Griffins of the world when they think about sports today. It’s an unfortunate result of the times that athletics have become part of today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. A lot of us are weary of the “show me the money,” trash-talking, crime-and-scandal coverage that dominates TV and talk radio. The Dallas Cowboys may never win another playoff game, and I could not care less. But I don’t feel that way about high school sports. I want my alma mater to win even though I don’t know a kid in the school. I don’t glorify high school athletics; it’s not why we have public education. But I admire the kids who hustle out there on those playing fields and courts. I especially admire the men and women who coach them. Most aren’t doing it for the money or the prestige. They’re doing it because they love working with kids. Despite the occasional abuses — when fans turn into fanatics and coaches into tyrants — scholastic athletics remains one of the best aspects of the American high school experience. It’s a profession full of men and women like Bill Griffin, and the lessons they teach last forever. 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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Choice marketing for choice schools Learn how to promote your choice schools and programs with success by Lorette Williams
If you were to rank the top educational buzzwords floating around right now, you can bet schools/programs “of choice” would be near the top. Now more than ever, public education is being challenged to provide an array of educational options to meet the vastly different needs of students and their families. What you find are school districts both large and small venturing from traditional school settings and creating campuses that meet the unique needs of diverse populations. From dual-language immersion studies to career tech academies and from fine arts magnet schools to T-STEM (Texas Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) programs, there are an array of schools/ programs of choice offered throughout the state. So, how does one school or program set itself apart from all the rest while at the same time maintaining a culture of collaboration and inclusiveness? It sounds like a challenging feat to accomplish, but there are ways to market a school or program of choice that appeal to your target audience without creating uncomfortable competition with other schools.
One person who has had her share of experience maneuvering through “choice” marketing is Tracie Rodriguez, principal of Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi ISD. Collegiate High School offers an alternative setting for students who want to focus on college readiness. The school offers ninth through 12th graders the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and potentially an associate’s degree. When the campus opened in 2006, there were many questions surrounding what Collegiate High School was — and wasn’t. “We faced some challenges and misperceptions early on related to the populations we were looking to serve. Parents,
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Texas School Business • March 2012
and even students, were under the perception that our school was going to cater to the academically elite, when, in fact, we were looking to target first-generation college students,” says Rodriguez. “We worked really hard to be very clear on our purpose and intent, while at the same time expressing the many opportunities Collegiate had to offer.” When marketing a school or program of choice to the public, you need to be extremely clear on what you’re offering. For example, Collegiate High School offers the chance to earn free college credit and a college-going environment because it’s located on a college campus. However, it doesn’t offer traditional extracurricular activities, such as sports, band, debate, one-act play or cheerleading. Students and parents need to know exactly what a school or program offers. “When I present information about Collegiate to potential students and their parents, I often use the famous quote, ‘If the shoe fits, wear it.’ I like using the shoe analogy because we all need shoes to get us places, just like we need school to continue down the path of education,” Rodriguez says. “So I advise to look for the school that best fits you, but remain open to the possibilities.” Having clarity about a particular program often helps students and parents make a firm commitment to participate, which results in a higher motivation to continue in the program. Ultimately, students and their families are the real beneficiaries of upfront, clear communications. Coppell ISD, near Dallas, knows
firsthand how important it is to be clear on offerings and to identify a primary audience. The district established New Tech High @ Coppell back in 2008. Since then, the school of choice continues to fill to capacity and attract a waiting list each year. Coppell ISD Communications Director Tamarah Ringo attributes much of the school’s recruitment and retainment success to campus leadership and robust educational offerings. However, she says it also comes from the district proactively identifying students who would most benefit from the program. “Our teachers and counselors do a great job at identifying and encouraging those students who show potential to excel at New Tech to take a closer look at the school and all it has to offer,” Ringo says. “Meetings are held at the middle-school level to recruit students, and shadowing days are held at New Tech High. This is when interested students get the opportunity to shadow a current student. It really helps to open their eyes to all New Tech has to offer.” Indentifying your audience up front allows you to spend more time ensuring students receive the personalized educational experience they need. After all, isn’t that what choice schools and programs aim to offer? “New Tech High has really provided an opportunity for our community to look at education through a different lens,” Ringo says. “It has created a shift in thinking when it comes to providing educational choices for our students.” Research indicates that increasing choices leads to a more personalized learning experience for students. Lubbock ISD currently operates 15 schools/programs of choice from elementary through secondary. According to Marybeth Hines, the district’s coordinator for advanced academics, relationships often are cultivated long before the students attend or participate in their choice schools or programs. “It’s a partnership, and our parents immediately understand that this is a long-term investment on both our parts,” she says. Adds Hines: “Our administrators make a concerted effort to personally reach out to parents and students. I was at an open house for one of our choice schools just the other night and met a family whose child wasn’t even eligible to attend that particular school for two more years. What an opportunity to establish a relationship!”
Maintaining that relationship once it’s established is equally important. Orlando Salazar, Corpus Christi ISD director for magnet programs, has a daughter in the third grade at a choice school focusing on creativity, innovation and design. He says it’s her overall experience at school that keeps his daughter wishing school was open on Saturdays. “The lessons and projects that she participates in are actually personal to her,” he says. “She is allowed expression through choice. Her teachers act more as facilitators of learning, instead of traditional lecturers, which make them easier to approach. All of these things lead to a more personalized experience — not only for my daughter, but for me.” So, to recap: • be clear on what you offer; • identify your audience upfront; and • ensure the school/program experience is personal. Collegiate’s Rodriguez agrees that these three tactics can make a difference, especially when it comes to calming competitive spirits among schools. Rodriguez says this is her sixth year to market and recruit for Collegiate High School, and each year it gets smoother. In fact, this year she will be marketing to middle school students alongside five other colleagues — all of them leaders of choice schools.
‘When I present information about Collegiate to potential students and their parents, I often use the famous quote, ‘If the shoe fits, wear it.’ I like using the shoe analogy because we all need shoes to get us places, just like we need school to continue down the path of education.’ — Tracie Rodriguez, Collegiate High School, Corpus Christi ISD
“In the end, as educators we see that we are the bridge for these students and we all have one common goal, and that’s to get them college and career ready,” she says. LORETTE WILLIAMS is the director of communications in Corpus Christi ISD.
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Carroll ISD’s Mark Terry sees no boundaries for leaders in public education by John Egan
ne minute, Principal Mark Terry may be strolling the halls of Carroll ISD’s Eubanks Intermediate School in Southlake. The next minute, he may be chatting on the phone with colleagues from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), for which he is president-elect. Or you might find him reminiscing with fellow educators about their mission trip in late 2011 to the Dominican Republic. These days, Terry is getting schooled in the ways of effective time management. A Texas educator since 1980, Terry juggles his school and NAESP duties during workdays that he describes as often pressure-packed, busy and long. Nonetheless, Terry treasures his career in public education. “I grew up in a humble setting, and my first goal was to make money,” Terry says. “I began preparing to be a lawyer, but I wasn’t enjoying my classes or the
Texas School Business • March 2012
prospect of law school. I was introduced to a professor of education while playing racquetball one night, and he eventually invited me to take his class as an elective. I never looked back.” These days, as he looks ahead, Terry says he wants to capitalize on his leadership position at NAESP to spread the message nationwide that public schools are a great investment for this country. “We serve a population that is mobile and diverse in culture and language, and we serve every child who crosses our threshold,” says Terry, who lives in Grapevine. “No other country as large and diverse as ours seeks to improve the lot of every child, no matter their circumstances.” Gaining perspective This past fall, Terry saw schoolchildren in vastly different circumstances than those his students experience at Eubanks
Intermediate School. During a Lifetouch Memory Mission to Constanza, a farming village in the Dominican Republic, Terry and fellow U.S. educators helped build a school. The nonprofit Lifetouch Memory Mission sponsors trips for volunteers to work on charitable projects in the United States and other countries. Terry was stunned by the extent of poverty he witnessed in the Dominican Republic. “We only think we have poor families; the folks where we were, were often destitute,” Terry says. “The kids and families we worked with knew hunger. It was a humbling and gratifying experience at the same time.” Students at Eubanks Intermediate raised money to buy undergarments, toothbrushes and toothpaste for the kids of Constanza. For Terry, one of the most emotional parts of the trip was the day the visiting volunteers snapped school photos of the kids. Many of the children had never had their photos taken, Terry says. Back in the United States and with the memory of the Dominican kids still vivid in his mind, Terry returned to Eubanks with a renewed focus on his responsibilities as an education leader. At Eubanks Intermediate School, Terry views himself as CEO of a minicorporation. His job requires him to be proficient in curriculum and instruction, human relations, counseling, facilities management and crowd control. As principal, he is expected to ensure that every child – regardless of his or her background and skills – performs up to standards. “If the school cannot accomplish that task, the principal is the first to go,” Terry says. “We have no golden parachute on which to fall back. Most decisions that a principal makes in a stressful situation either make one party happy and one party
Eubanks Intermediate School Principal Mark Terry of Carroll ISD traveled to the Dominican Republic this past fall to help build a school. Of the experience, Terry says: “It was a humbling and gratifying experience at the same time.”
Fun facts about Mark Terry Something about me that most people don’t know is: I’m pretty much an open book. I’m Texan through and through. I grew up in humble means. I have a wonderful wife and family. Worst advice I’ve ever received: “You must make a decision immediately.” Most decisions take some thought. Most snap decisions turn out to be opportunities to apologize for rotten decisions.
mad, or even both parties angry. We see kids and adults at their best and worst.” Despite that environment, Terry says he loves the work he does. “To me, public schools are the greatest vehicle for imparting the American spirit on our children. Unfortunately, schools have been the place to ‘fix’ every societal ailment,” Terry says. “It pains me to hear the constant drumbeat that other countries have better schools. Those who say that are not comparing apples to apples. Ours is a diverse population that seeks out every child for schooling. Let’s see our schools as a tool for teaching the American way.” JOHN EGAN is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Austin Business Journal.
If I had a super power, it would be: I think to be invisible. I like observing folks, and it would give me that opportunity to see what they do when they think no one is looking. Besides, how cool would it be to be in a class and observe unnoticed? The last time I felt really proud: Every time I look at a picture of my wife and kids. (Mark Terry and his wife, Karen, have three adult children: Katie, Reed and Laura.)
SAVE THE DATE FOR 2012
BUILDING LEARNING COMMUNITIES
TECHNOLOGY & CURRICULUM CONFERENCE PRE CONFERENCE: JUNE 19, 2012 CONFERENCE: JUNE 20-22 in FRISCO, TX visit www.txascd.org for more information or register today at www.tinyurl/2012SWBLC March 2012 • Texas School Business
TSPRA PRESIDENT profile Beaumont ISD’s Craig Eichhorn returns the support he has known firsthand by Whitney Angstadt
f there’s one thing that Craig Eichstroke as soon as the surgeons turned on support he has received from his peers in horn, the new president of the Texas the device. school public relations has reinforced his School Public Relations Association, Just as Eichhorn was recovering from commitment to the organization. has proven time and time again, it’s that his stroke, his teenage son, Robert, suf“I had already done one two-year he can roll with the punches. In fact, if fered two injuries that required intensive term as vice president (before any health you asked him, Eichhorn would say that rehabilitation. The final blow came when issues surfaced),” says Eichhorn. “But the adversity makes him stronger. It’s a good Eichhorn punctured a lung after hydromore that I received support from TSPRA, thing too, considering all the challenges planing and wrecking on the beltway in the more I thought I’d like to give back he has faced along the way. Houston this past October. to the organization and to the people who He credits the support of his friends Both Eichhorn and his son are on the have supported me so much.” and fellow TSPRA members, as well as He served another term as vice presimend now, and through it all, the support his faith, for his steadfast optimism. dent of the Houston/Beaumont area before from friends and loved ones has never “My TSPRA friends are just amazrunning for president of that area in 2010. waned. An active TSPRA member since ing,” says Eichhorn, who is a communicaYou could call Eichhorn a career opti1991, Eichhorn says the overwhelming tions specialist in Beaumont ISD. “I would text or call 24 hours a day, and they would just immediately put a smile on my face and tell me that everything was going to be OK. I would get emails and calls and cards from all over the state.” Eichhorn rolled with his first real “punch” in 2005 when he began experiencing heart trouble. “It’s funny to have been relatively healthy all of my life,” says Eichhorn, “and then I turn 40 and discover that I have a heart problem.” A procedure in August of that year seemed to resolve things for Eichhorn, but then a year later, additional heart problems arose and Eichhorn suddenly found himself Texas School Public Relations Association President Craig Eichhorn (second from right) is also a communications going into surgery for a specialist and district spokesperson for Beaumont ISD. He frequently makes appearances on local talk shows and news pacemaker. He suffered a programs, like Fox 4 News, to report on what’s happening in Beaumont ISD schools. Pictured with Eichhorn is the Fox 4 News team (left to right) Dana Meloncon, weather; Sheldra Brigham, anchorwoman; and James Ware, sports.
Texas School Business • March 2012
mist. A 1987 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned degrees in English and journalism, Eichhorn followed his dream to write about sports. A tough job market in Houston led him to Atlanta, Ga., where he worked as a sports editor for a few years. Eichhorn then followed his heart back to Texas to marry Alicia Eichhorn, who now teaches at Klein High, where their son attends school. Upon returning to Texas, Eichhorn took his career to the next level, becoming the editor of three weekly community newspapers. He reported on everything from schools to local government to crime before Aldine ISD recognized his talent and recruited him to work in its public relations department in May 1991. Eichhorn jumped at the chance to focus on the positive aspects of education and the community. He also served stints in Galena Park ISD and Cypress-Fairbanks ISD before arriving at Beaumont ISD. Eichhorn, who parted ways with Alicia after 19 years together, says the challenges he has faced have only enhanced the positive spin he already applies to his job and to life in general.
My RTI Series
An annoying habit I’d love to break: Always checking my iPhone. First music concert: KISS, 1979 Dynasty Tour, at The Summit in Houston. I was 14 years old. Most influential person in my life growing up: It’s a tie between Vince Lombardi and David Middleton, my high school basketball coach. If my life had a theme song right now, it would be: It’s not my all-time favorite song (I’m more into the harder rock stuff), but “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” by Fleetwood Mac. “These challenges have helped me appreciate more what I do have,” he says. “I don’t dread coming to work. I’m excited to come to work because I realize that there’s a lot of people who don’t get a chance to work every day. “As they put me in the ambulance after my car accident, some of the EMT guys said, ‘You are here for a reason, sir. We’ve pulled dead people out of wrecks that weren’t this bad. Make the most of your life.’ So, I guess that’s why I see the good things in life and enjoy each day,” he says.
Eichhorn also says he has learned the value of moral support and friendship, and those are things he plans to focus on in his term as TSPRA president. “We (as public relations professionals) are there to provide support for our school districts,” he says. “Just as friends support friends in their time of need, we are there to support our districts in their time of need.” WHITNEY ANGSTADT is a freelance writer and filmmaker in Austin.
Four Response to Intervention books that are must-haves for any school reference library
by Andrea Ogonosky
Park Place Publications
RTI Laminated Reference Guides
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The RtI Documentation Handbook is an easy to use reference guide for documenting your RtI process. In The Response to Intervention Handbook Andrea Ogonosky gives you the step-by-step plan on how to implement RtI at your school or school district. In Response to Intervention for Secondary School Administrators, she describes the best way to implement RtI in middle schools and high schools. In RtI – 3 Tiers of Behavior Ogonosky and co-author Karen Mintsioulis create and clearly describe strategies and programs for decreasing behaviors that are disruptive to the learning environment. All four books include bonus CDs of RtI forms, a variety of useful checklists, a list of recommended online RtI resources, a glossary, and a bibliography of relevant RtI references.
THE RESPO NSE TO
• Past President, Texas Association of School Psychologists • National RTI presenter, trainer, and consultant • Ph.D. in School Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
Andrea Ogonosky, Ph.D., Author
Fun facts about Craig Eichhorn
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These handy laminated reference guides are designed to increase educators’ understanding of Response to Intervention (RTI). They provide valuable information on 1) the whole RTI process and its campus based implementation; 2) applying RTI in campus team problem solving; and, 3) using RTI in developing strategies to handle special behavior of students.
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From TABS to TEAMS and TAAS to TAKS, now a STAAR is born by Raven L. Hill
[Editor’s note: As we were going to press, news broke that Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, sent a letter to Education Commissioner Robert Scott suggesting that ninth graders taking the exams this year should be given a reprieve from the 15 percent requirement during the phase-in of STAAR.]
he State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR), the latest in the state’s decades-old testing program, is being rolled out this spring to ninth graders. The test has been years in the making, and educators have expressed a mix of feelings — anxiety, determination, cautious optimism — over whether they are ready for the first round of tests this month. The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills still will be administered to high school sophomores and juniors. For students in third through eighth grades, STAAR will measure the same areas as TAKS. But for ninth graders, STAAR represents a new approach. Students will be required to take endof-course grades in up to 12 core subject areas, to include English, science, mathematics and social studies. When it comes to state assessments, Jacksonville ISD educator Judy Terry, who has served in public education for 33 years, prefers to take the longterm view. “I have seen many changes; they always Judy Terry benefit our students,” says Terry, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “But it is not always an easy transition.” The state’s testing program began in 1980 with the Texas Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS), a reading, math and writing test given to students in third, fifth and ninth grades. Its successor, the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS), expanded the number of grades tested — from as young as first graders — and became the first state test that students 18
Texas School Business • March 2012
were required to pass to graduate high school. By 1990, when the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) was implemented, students in elementary and middle schools were tested, starting with third grade, along with 10th graders. Students could take four end-of-course exams as an alternative to meet graduation requirements. TAKS, now on its way out, tests students in third through 11th grades and includes high-stakes exams for students in third, fifth and eighth grades. Students must pass four tests in the core subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The origins of STAAR date back to the 2007 legislative session when the Senate voted to discontinue the high school TAKS amid complaints that the exam wielded too much weight. Lawmakers decided that end-ofcourse tests administered over four years would provide a more accurate measure of students’ abilities and curriculum weaknesses. Two years later, the state revamped the third through eighth grade testing program as well. The last TAKS-based accountability ratings were awarded in 2011. Ratings will be suspended this year while a new accountability system is developed, set to debut in 2013. Meanwhile, district and school leaders across the state are trying to wade through the new testing program. Setting itself apart Some educators say that STAAR is a refreshing change, citing the closer alignment to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and college- and career-
readiness standards. STAAR is a more accurate indicator of student achievement, they say. “This is what our teachers wanted — the state to assess the curriculum by subject at this level and not by grade level,” Terry says. Deana Lopez, Keller ISD assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, expects the new student growth model to have a major impact in the way that instruction takes place in classrooms across the state. “We will have early indicators of success or warning signs to help us with individual students, the curriculum and professional development,” Lopez points out. “We see that as a benefit from STAAR.” Harlingen CISD Superintendent Michelle Everett agrees. “It’s hard to hold teachers accountable in junior year for material that the students should have learned their freshman, sophomore or eighth grade year,” Everett says. “In the past, teachers had to stop and review concepts, especially at the high school level. At that point, that overemphasized the test.” Another major difference is that STAAR will be a timed test; students will have four hours to complete each exam. Giving students all the time they needed to complete TAKS wasn’t always a Debbie Ratcliffe good thing, says Debbie Ratcliffe, TEA communications director and State Board of Education support. “The downside was that they didn’t learn to manage their time on tests, so some had trouble completing the SAT or ACT in the time allotted for those important exams,” she says. Growing pains Despite satisfaction with some aspects of STAAR, there’s been considerable outcry over other areas, primarily the
requirement that test results must account for 15 percent of a student’s final course grade. Each district must determine how to compute the score, which has led to confusion among teachers and administrators, highly charged meetings with parents and harsh criticism from some superintendents. “The 15 percent grading requirement is clearly the area of greatest concern for educators and students because this is uncharted territory,” Ratcliffe says. “While the state tests have been a graduation requirement since the class of 1987, the scores have never before impacted course grades.” Educators says they are uneasy about students who typically struggle with standardized testing. STAAR, unlike TAKS when it was phased in, does not allow exemptions for any student groups. “There’s concern both from teachers and administrators about children from low-income families, and those with education gaps, and whether they will be able to meet the graduation requirement of these 12 tests,” says Shelly Slaton, assistant principal of testing and curriculum at Lufkin High School in East Texas. Unlike the state’s previous transitions from one assessment tool to another, there’s a sense among many district leaders that they’ve received less guidance this time around from the Texas Education Agency and lawmakers. “I think people in education are concerned about there still being so many unknowns. Local districts are being asked to make decisions when we’re not really ready or have enough information from the state,” Slaton says. Her colleague, Charlotte Davis, a math instructional specialist, adds: “We can’t make any determination about the 15 percent until we have more information.” The uncertainty is making parents like Dineen Majcher of Austin very uneasy. Her daughter is in ninth grade. “The concept of testing being able to evaluate how schools Dineen Majcher are doing — if it’s done right, it’s probably a worthwhile goal,” Majcher says. “None of the parents I’ve talked to are opposed to testing.” However, considering that the state has suspended school accountability ratings for 2012, Majcher says she and fel-
low parents have trouble understanding why STAAR results would be included in determining student grades this year. “We feel very strongly that this year, under such abnormal circumstances, we need to do everything we can to neutralize the impact (of STAAR),” she says. Best practices While such matters are being worked out, districts are trying to keep the lines of communication wide open with all stakeholders. Keller ISD officials have found ways to keep teachers and the community abreast of the latest TEA updates. Last school year, the district established task forces related to STAAR communication, curriculum and instruction, assessment and professional development. Jacksonville ISD’s instructional strategists and reading and math coaches on most campuses are working with teachers to ensure that the state standards are being addressed with the appropriate rigor. In Lufkin ISD, administrators are emphasizing training. “We encourage them to attend any state training through the educational service centers,” Davis says. Slaton has told colleagues to stay ahead of the changes by attending professional development conferences in their content areas and then reevaluating their curriculum. Everett, the Harlingen superintendent, says she fully expects some of these issues to be taken up by the Legislature during its next session.
“All of the schools are doing the best we can to apply the law and update our policies, but there’s just too much ambiguity,” she says. In addition to checking its website daily for updates, TEA recommends that districts focus on the TEKS. “It sounds simple, but the best thing districts can do to prepare their students for STAAR is to teach the state curriculum standards with the depth and complexity that was intended,” Ratcliffe says. “If teachers will do this, their students will be well-prepared for the exams.” She adds, “There is always uncertainty surrounding the launch of every new testing program. I think if educators will stay calm and give the STAAR a thoughtful review after it is first administered, they will like what they see.” But Troup ISD Superintendent Marvin Beaty says he’s already looking toward the future. “The question we should start asking is: What test will replace the STAAR/end-ofcourse tests?” he says. Marvin Beaty “Though today it is touted as the latest and greatest effort to ensure accountability, how will the Legislature view the test five years from now?” RAVEN L. HILL is a freelance writer and former education reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.
History of the Texas testing program Texas Assessment of Basic Skills (TABS) First state-mandated test; in use from 1980 to 1985; administered to students in third, fifth, and ninth grade in reading, mathematics and writing. Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS) In use from 1986 to 1990; tested reading, mathematics, and writing in first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth and 11th grade; first state test students were required to pass to earn a diploma. Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) In use from 1990 to 2002; tested reading, mathematics and writing, ultimately given to students in third through eighth grade and 10th grade; additionally, science and social studies tested at eighth grade; Spanish-language tests available for students in third through sixth grade; four end-of-course exams provide optional method for meeting graduation requirements. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) In use from 2003 to present; assesses mathematics, reading, writing, English language arts, science and social studies; students tested in grades three-11; promotion tied to test results for students in grades three, five and eight; graduation requirements expanded to include English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Source: Texas Education Agency March 2012 • Texas School Business
Administrators rally in Austin for TASA Midwinter The Texas Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference attracted about 4,000 attendees and 400 vendors to Austin in January for training and networking.
Todd Williams, Anthony Price, Natalie Parkas, Boyd Rice, Steve Coston, Pamela Thomas and Jaime Velasco of Rosebud-Lott ISD.
Karin Holacka and Daniel Schaefer of Brazosport ISD.
John Kelly and Don Marshall of Pearland ISD.
Roosevelt Nivens and Helena Mosely of Lancaster ISD.
Don Hooper, Center for Quality Leadership; Libby Turner, Coppell ISD; and Jeff Turner, Coppell ISD.
George Kazanas of Wichita Falls ISD and Tony Fidelie of Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott.
Ricky Edison of Abbott ISD and David Edison of Aquilla ISD. Amber Holland, Sharolyn Finley, Angela Barton and Christy Cooper of Gruver ISD.
Linda Rowntree and Billie Harrison of ESC Region 17.
Doug Killian, Eduardo Ramos and Ben Carson of Hutto ISD. 20
Texas School Business â&#x20AC;˘ March 2012
Irma Martinez, Laura De La Garza, Janie Vela, Teresa Marie Trujillo and Veronica Cantu of Corpus Christi ISD.
Gary Bates and Sonerka Mouton of Royal ISD.
Professional Development & EVENTS WEEK OF APRIL 2 April 2
TASBO Workshop: Developing a Fiscal Manual TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $180; nonmembers, $220.
Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Leadership Conference Marriott Airport South, Austin For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org Cost: Members, $189; nonmembers, $289.
Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted/ Talented Learners Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100. TCASE/Legal Digest Conference Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by March 5): Members, $135; nonmembers, $160. Regular registration (after March 5): Members, $165; nonmembers, $190.
Creativity and Instructional Strategies of Gifted/Talented Learners Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100. TASSP Region 13 Spring Meeting City and location TBA For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (part 3 of 4) Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: $2,450 for four sessions.
TASSP Region 7 Spring Meeting Whitehouse High School, Whitehouse For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
WEEK OF APRIL 9 April 10
TASB Training Workshop: Asbestos Designated Person ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222.
www.tasb.org Cost: On site for members, no charge; nonmembers, $425.
TCASE/Legal Digest Conference Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by March 12): Members, $135; nonmembers, $160. Regular registration (after March 12): Members, $165; nonmembers, $190. Texas Association of Community Schools Hardin Simmons Conference Johnson Multipurpose Room, Hardin Simmons University, Abilene For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org TASB Training Workshop: IPM Coordinator ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: On site for members, no charge; nonmembers, $425. TASBO Workshop: Federal and State Compliance Issues ESC Region 8, Mount Pleasant For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $180; nonmembers, $220. TASSP Region 4 Spring Meeting High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Houston For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TASSP Region 6 Spring Meeting Magnolia High School, Magnolia For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA District 10 Meeting Hackberry Country Club, Irving For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org TEPSA District 16 Meeting ESC Region 16 offices, Amarillo For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org
TASB Training Workshop: Indoor Air Quality Coordinator ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: On site for members, no charge; nonmembers, $425.
TASSP Region 5 Spring Meeting ESC Region 5 offices, Beaumont For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA District 17 Meeting Lake Ridge Country Club, Lubbock For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org
Conversational Spanish for School Personnel (Beginner and Intermediate) Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $120.
School Finance Council Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8249. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: No charge. Social Studies Leadership Group Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: No charge.
TESA STEM Class: Interpersonal Communication Spring Branch ISD offices, Houston For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
TASB Risk Management Fund Members Conference Hyatt Regency, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
WEEK OF APRIL 16 April 16
TASB Wichita Falls Spring Workshop ESC Region 9 offices, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
TASBO Leadership Academy Location and city TBA For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org
TASB Lubbock Spring Workshop ESC Region 17 offices, Lubbock For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org TEPSA District 2 Meeting Harrison’s Landing, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org
See CALENDAR on page 22
March 2012 • Texas School Business
Professional Development & EVENTS
CALENDAR continued from page 21
For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Regions 3 and 6 Meetings Location and city TBA For more info, (469) 593-0121. www.thsada.com
National School Boards Association Annual Conference Convention Center, Boston, Mass. For more info, (703) 838-6722. www.nsba.org
Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Region 5 Meeting City and location TBA For more info, (469) 593-0121. www.thsada.com
WEEK OF APRIL 23 April 23
Early Childhood Leadership Group Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: No charge.
TASA First Time Superintendents’ Academy (Session four of four) Marriott North Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: Four sessions, $595; one session, $195.
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 9 ESC Region 9 offices, Wichita Falls For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Legal Series: Legal Update for School Counselors and Health Services Personnel Harris County Dept. of Education For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $129.
Cattleman’s Steak House, Fabens For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 2 St. John’s Lutheran Church, Corpus Christi For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 1 First Baptist Church, Harlingen For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
WEEK OF APRIL 30 April 30
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 18 ESC Region 18 offices, Midland For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 7 Holiday Inn Select, Tyler For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
TASB Gulf Coast Area Association Spring Workshop ESC Region 4 offices, Houston For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
TESA STEM Class: Professional Growth Spring Branch ISD offices, Houston For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 3 Grace Lutheran Church, Victoria For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
TEPSA District 3 Meeting Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Victoria For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org
TESA STEM Class: Profile for Success Garland ISD offices, Garland
TASB Far West Texas School Board Association Spring Workshop
FiFth Edition The new fifth edition of this highly valued handbook is now available. Whether your goal is performance improvement or a negative employment decision of both professional and auxiliary personnel, this userfriendly handbook guides the way. • All chapters and appendices updated • New chapter on teacher professional communication • Expanded sample directives to change teacher behavior • Revised focused observation instruments for classroom walk-throughs • CD with forms ready for computer downloading and use included
Put the new fifth edition of the Texas Documentation Handbook to work for you. Order your copy today! order online at:
Texas School Business • March 2012
TASB Alpine Spring Workshop Sul Ross University, Alpine For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
TASB Cross Timbers School Development Council Spring Workshop Tarleton State University, Stephenville For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org TEPSA District 5 Meeting Sanderson’s, Nederland For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org TESA STEM Class: Professional Image Garland ISD offices, Garland For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 19 St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, El Paso For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
WEEK OF MAY 7 May 7
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 10
TASB Canyon Spring Workshop West Texas A&M University, Canyon For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
Professional Development & EVENTS
First Baptist Church, Allen For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org Using Data to Pull Small Groups in Mathematics (Elementary) Harris County Dept. of Education For more info (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100.
TEPSA District 12 Meeting Location TBA, Killeen For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Region 7 Meeting Logan’s Road House, Round Rock For more info, (469) 593-0121. www.thsada.com Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Region 8 Meeting City and location TBA For more info, (512) 593-0121. www.thsada.com Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 11 First United Methodist Church, Granbury For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
TASB Workshop: Grounds Management TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: On site for members, no charge; nonmembers, $325. TASBO Workshop: Federal and State Compliance Issues ESC Region 11 offices, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $220.
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, Region 8 College Church of Christ, Paris For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 16 ESC Region 16 offices, Amarillo For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 5 First Baptist Church, Nederland For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
WEEK OF MAY 14 May 14
STEM Careers in Science and Engineering Harris County Dept. of Education For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: No charge.
TASB Commerce Area Spring Workshop Texas A&M University, Commerce For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org TASB Nacogdoches Area Spring Workshop Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
TASB Victoria Spring Workshop Parkway Church, Victoria For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 17 Lubbock Women’s Club, Lubbock For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA) Part 1 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info (713) 696-8246. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100. TASB Temple Spring Workshop Temple High School, Temple For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
Differentiating the Curriculum for the G/T Learner Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100. Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA), Part 2 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8246. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100.
See CALENDAR on page 24
New for the ‘11-’12 School Year: Bench Marking of Statewide Data
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 6 ESC Region 6 offices, Huntsville For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
TASB Region 14 Spring Workshop ESC Region 14 offices, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org TASBO Workshop: Federal and State Compliance Issues ESC Region 15 offices, San Angelo For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $220. March 2012 • Texas School Business
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 15 Brownwood ISD, Brownwood For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Professional Development & EVENTS
CALENDAR continued from page 23
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 4 Memorial Church of Christ, Houston For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
WEEK OF MAY 21
TASB Region 1 School Board Association Spring Workshop South Padre Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center, South Padre Island For more info, (512) 467-0222.
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 13 First Christian Church, San Marcos For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 14 ESC Region 14 offices, Abilene For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
Texas Retired Teachers Association Leadership Training Conference, District 12 ESC Region 12 offices, Waco For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
WEEK OF MAY 28 No events listed.
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Summer Best Practices Conference: Teaching Diverse Learners Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $100. TASB Workshop: MIA (Managing Inevitable Absences) TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $120.
TASB Workshop: Get a Grip on the Family and Medical Leave Act TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: Members, $120; nonmembers, $180.
All About Grants: Two Day Institute Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1393. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: Early registration: $350.
Texas Retired Teachers Leadership Training Conference, District 20 DeLeon Events Center, Floresville For more info, (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
WEEK OF JUNE 11 June 12
TASSP/Legal Digest Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by May 12): Members online, $135; members off line, $150; nonmembers online, $160; nonmembers off line, $175. Regular registration (after May 12): Members online,
Professional Development & EVENTS
$180; members off line, $195; nonmembers online, $205; nonmembers off line, $220.
Texas Rural Schools Association Summer Conference DFW Marriott Hotel and Golf Club, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 423-0293. www.txrea.com
TASSP Summer Workshop Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: Advance registration: Members, $205; nonmembers, $375; student nonmembers, $95. On-site registration: Members, $225; nonmembers, $395; student nonmembers, $95.
Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org
WEEK OF JUNE 25 June 28-30
TASB Summer Leadership Institute Omni Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
TASA Summer Conference on Education
TEPSA Summer Conference Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org Cost: By May 15: Members, $304; nonmembers, $543. After May 15: Members, $329; nonmembers, $568.
STEM Careers in Science and Engineering Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: No charge.
TxEIS selected as a State-sponsored Student Information System by the Texas Education Agency! www.txeis.net
TASBO Summer Conference Location TBA, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org
TASB Summer Leadership Institute Marriott River Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
WEEK OF JUNE 18 June 18-19
Texas ASCD Southwest Pre-Conference: The Southwest Building Learning Communities (Southwest BLC) Technology and Curriculum Conference Embassy Suites, Frisco For more info, (512) 477-8200. www.txascd.org
TESA Summer Work Conference Omni Hotel at the Colonnade, San Antonio For more info, (512) 528-0046. www.tesatexas.org
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Texas ASCD Southwest Conference: The Southwest Building Learning Communities (Southwest BLC) Technology and Curriculum Conference Embassy Suites, Frisco For more info, (512) 477-8200.
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Aransas Pass ISD - Ms. Joy Pinto, Principal, Ms. Martha Rose, Director of Special Education
Aransas Pass ISD - Dr. Royce Avery, Superintendent
Aransas Pass ISD - Mr. David Patterson, Principal, Ms. Liz Harris, Principal
ESC Region 2 - Ms. Dawn Schuenemann, Carrizo Springs ISD - Dr. Debra Dobie, Super- West Oso ISD - Dr. Luz Martinez, Principal, Ms. Associate Director for CPDA, Ms. Rita Hall, intendent, Ms. Monique Gonzalez, Executive Di- Elizabeth Saenz, Superintendent, Cotulla ISD Field Service Agent CRI, Mr. Dan Baen, Field rector of Human Resources Ms. Isabel Olivarez, Program Coordinator Service Agent CRI
ESC Region 1 - Mr. Tony Lara, Deputy Director, Mr. Jack Damron, Executive Director, Mrs. Debbie Damron, Mrs. Frances Guzman, Deputy Director, Mr. Enrique Guzman
ESC Region 12 - Mr. Gary Barker, School Finance Agent, Mr. Woody Brewton, School Finance Agent, ESC Region 6, Mr. Thomas Poe, Executive Director
ESC Region 7 - Mr. Ronnie Hemann, Deputy Director, Mr. Jim Wright, Field Service Agent, Mr. Marvin Thompson, Field Service Agent, Mr. Vernis Rogers, Field Service Agent
Monte Alto ISD - Ms. Donna Hilliard, Superin- Ingleside ISD - Mr. Troy Mircovich, Superinten- Ingleside ISD - Ms. Heather Waugh-Freeze, tendent, Mr. John Hilliard, Mr. Juan Gutierrez, dent, Ms. Lynne Porter, Assistant Superintendent Principal, Mr. Danny Glover, Principal Business Manager 26
Texas School Business â&#x20AC;˘ March 2012
13th Annual Customer Appreciation Dinner of Texas School Districts at the TASA Midwinter Conference
Driscoll ISD - Ms. Lynn Landenberger, Principal, Ms. Cynthia Garcia, Superintendent, Ms. Cindy Pelagio, ACE Program Director, [Seated] Riviera ISD - Mrs. Karen Unterbrink, Superintendent
Coppell ISD - Ms. Marilyn Denison, Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, Mr. Brad Hunt, Asst. Superintendent of Administration
Three Rivers ISD - Mr. Donald Kasper, Business Henrietta ISD - Mr. Jeff McClure, Manager, Mr. Charles Odom, Principal, Mr. Kenneth Superintendent, Mrs. Darla McRohrbach, Superintendent, Ms. Thomasine Rushing, Clure Director Technology
Edcouch-Elsa ISD - Ms. Frances Rocha, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Lasara ISD - Mrs. Janie Livas, Special Programs, Mr. Artero Livas
ESC Region 2 - Ms. Linda Villarreal, Executive Director for CRI, Ms. Sonia Perez, Deputy Director for CRI, A. Bargas & Associates - Chico Bargas, President
Sweetwater ISD - [Top] Mr. Terry Pittman, Superintendent, Mr. Billy Smartt, Mrs. Rajeania Pittman, [Seated] Mrs. Kathy Smartt, Asst. Superintendent, Mrs. Torey Ehlert, Mr. Nathan Ehlert, Business Manager
San Diego ISD - Dr. Ignacio Salinas, Jr., Superintendent, Del Valle ISD - Ms. Ann Heuberger, Board Member, Premont ISD - Mr. Ernest Singleton, Superintendent
Cuero ISD - Mr. Henry Lind, Superintendent, Gonzales ISD - Ms. Denise Graves, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Cuero ISD Mr. Stetson Roane, Principal
Karnes City ISD - Ms. Jeanette Winn, Superintendent, Excelsior ISD - Mr. Wayne Mason, NR2 Architects - Mr. Chris Jones, Mr. Christiaan Bovard, Falls City ISD - Ms. Linda Bettin, Superintendent, Karnes Superintendent, Joaquin ISD - Mr. San Saba ISD - Mr. Michael Bohensky, Assistant SuperPhil Worsham, Superintendent intendent, Bronte ISD - Mr. David Bedford, Principal City ISD - Mr. Tom Warlick, Principal Paid Advertisement March 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ Texas School Business
TCWSE convenes for annual conference In January, the Texas Council of Women School Executives met in Austin for its annual conference.
Denise Majewski and Tina Seaman of Katy ISD.
Nancy Harn and Robye Snyder of Spring Branch ISD.
Leslie Milder and Jane Braddock of Friends of Texas Public Schools.
Becky Burns of Mildred ISD and Jana Garner of Forney ISD.
Nicola Esch of Annunciation Orthodox School and Matilda Orozco of Houston ISD.
Mary Lookadoo of Mineola ISD and Linda Gossett (retired) of Crowell ISD.
Nancy Oelklaus of Entrepreneurial Systems and Nancy Vaughan of NKV Consulting.
Priscilla White of ESC Region 11 and Elizabeth Clark of the University of Houston — Clear Lake.
Denise Daniels of Katy ISD and Lu Stephens of Lamar University Academic Partnership.
Texas School Business • March 2012
Who’s News Alvin ISD Shirley Brothers, director of public information, retired in January after 40 years with the district. She was a teacher for 14 years, then became Alvin ISD’s first director of public information, a position she Shirley Brothers held for 26 years. The recipient of many awards during her career, she was Alvin ISD’s Teacher of the Year in 1985 and the Alvin Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1996 and in 2008. She was named Most Valuable Member of the Texas School Public Relations Association in 2004 and received that organization’s Professional Achievement Award in 2009. Childress ISD Rick Teran is the district’s new superintendent. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Western New Mexico University, he came to Texas as a classroom teacher and coach. He went on to serve as a primary and secondary principal, then spent two years as superintendent of Loraine ISD before taking his most recent position as superintendent of Hale Center ISD seven years ago. Teran’s master’s degree in education was awarded from Texas A&M University at Commerce and his superintendent’s certification from Texas Tech University. He was named ESC Region 17’s Superintendent of the Year in 2010. Coahoma ISD The new superintendent is Amy Jacobs, who comes from Marble Falls ISD, where she was assistant superintendent of academic services. Also with that district, she was executive director of curriculum and instruction, execuAmy Jacobs tive director of secondary education, associate high school principal of instruction and a high school English teacher. Before joining Marble Falls ISD, she was a kindergarten teacher in Cayuga ISD and taught middle school English and coached in Palestine ISD. Jacobs, who earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary English from Angelo State University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Stephen
F. Austin State University, is working on her doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University. College Station ISD Steve Huff has been named head football coach and athletic coordinator for College Station High School. He has spent the past six seasons as athletic director and head football coach at Midwest City High School in Midwest City, Okla. He worked in College Station ISD previously, from 2000 to 2006, as offensive coordinator at A&M Consolidated High School. In addition, he has been head football coach at Grant High School in Oklahoma City; Kennewick High School in Kennewick, Wash.; Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh, Okla.; and DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Mo. While completing his education and shortly thereafter, he was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Kansas, a part-time assistant at Western Michigan University, a graduate assistant coach at the University of North Dakota and an assistant coach at Platte County High School in Platte City, Mo. Huff’s bachelor’s degree in physical education is from Central Missouri State University, and his master’s degree in the same area was earned at the University of North Dakota. Ernest “Buddy” Reed, who has served as principal of A&M Consolidated High School since 2008, is now the district’s director of student activities. Before coming to Texas, he was superintendent of Lafourche Parish schools in Thibodaux, La. He also served in Ouachita Parish schools in Monroe, La., where he was an assistant principal and principal at the secondary level. Reed holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Copperas Cove ISD Rose Cameron, who has served as the district’s superintendent since 2006, has announced her upcoming retirement, effective at the end of this academic year. Prior to taking the position of superintendent, she was the district’s Rose Cameron deputy superintendent for three years. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, she came to Texas and received her
bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Texas Wesleyan College and her master’s degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University. She began her career in Joshua ISD, spending 12 years there as a teacher, curriculum assistant, director of instruction and assistant superintendent. In 2000, she became an assistant professor in the educational administration, counseling and psychology departments of Tarleton State University. She taught there for three years before joining Copperas Cove ISD as deputy superintendent. Cameron’s doctorate in education was earned through the cooperative programs of Texas A&M University and Tarleton State University. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD The new principal of Cypress Ranch High School is Bob Hull, former principal of Truitt Middle School. He has been an educator for 34 years, 19 of those with CypressFairbanks ISD. In addition to his time at Truitt, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Cypress Falls High School, an administrative intern at the Instructional Support Center and an associate principal at Cy-Fair High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial arts education from the State University of New York and his master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. Gary Kinninger is now principal of Cypress Woods High School. An educator for 29 years, he has spent 18 of those in CypressFairbanks ISD. His most recent assignment was principal of Spillane Gary Kinninger Middle School, which he opened in 2005. Prior to that, he was principal of Campbell Middle School for three years and director of instruction at that campus for a year. He came to the district in 1992 as a math teacher, going on to serve as an assistant principal at Cypress Creek and Langham Creek high schools. Kinninger holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio Northern University and a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University. Denton ISD Aleta Atkinson, an educator for 20 years, retired in 2010 but has been called See WHO’S NEWS on page 30 March 2012 • Texas School Business
Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 29
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Texas School Business • March 2012
back to serve as acting principal of Rayzor Elementary School. She is the former principal of that campus and also served as the school’s assistant principal. In addition, she was principal of Aleta Atkinson Pecan Creek Elementary and taught at Ginnings Elementary. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. Paige Boroughs has retired. She was principal of Sparks Campus, which is a part of the Denton County Juvenile Detention Program, for the past 14 years. She joined Denton ISD in 1998 and before that was a principal Paige Boroughs in Van Alstyne ISD, an assistant principal and speech pathologist in McKinney ISD and a special education teacher in Aldine ISD. She also taught at Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas. Boroughs holds a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Texas Tech University and two master’s degrees, one in general education and one in special education, from Sam Houston State University. Denton High School has a new principal. He is Daniel Ford, an educator for 15 years who comes to his new job from CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD, where he was principal of Field Middle School for the past six years. Prior Daniel Ford to that, he was assistant principal of Smith High School and a math teacher at Long Middle School in the same district. Ford earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southwestern Assemblies of God University and two master’s degrees, one in administration and one in business administration, from Texas Woman’s University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of North Texas. Carlos Ramirez is the new principal of Calhoun Middle School. He was most recently head of school at Rayzor Elementary. Ramirez was a middle school principal,
assistant principal, high school vice principal and elementary school principal in San Francisco, Calif., schools and served as principal of elementary schools in Sacramento and San Lorenzo, Calif. Carlos Ramirez Now working toward his doctorate in educational administration at the University of North Texas, Ramirez earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis and his master’s degree from Chapman University. Angela Ricks, associate principal of Ryan High School, will become principal of the district’s new as yet unnamed middle school when it opens in the fall of 2013. She has been in her current position at Ryan for two years and Angela Ricks was assistant principal there for seven years. She was a health science technology education teacher for five years at Ryan as well. Ricks earned both her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development and her master of education degree in applied technical training and development from the University of North Texas. Additionally, she holds an associate’s degree in nursing from North Central Texas College and has worked as a registered nurse. The new principal of Sparks Campus is Anthony Sims, who has served as head of school at Calhoun Middle School for the past 11 years. Prior to that assignment, he was the school’s assistant principal. He came to the disAnthony Sims trict in 1992 to work in the alternative education programs. He also was a science, English and resource teacher and football coach at Denton High School. Additionally, he has been a pastor in Breckenridge, Albany, Fort Worth, Lubbock and Denton. Sims, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard Payne University, holds a master’s degree in administration from Texas Woman’s University. Dripping Springs ISD The board of trustees named Bruce Gearing as the new superintendent in early January. Gearing began his career teaching
Who’s News high school science and math, including three years at international schools. He spent eight years in Mount Pleasant ISD as principal of Sims Elementary and Mount Pleasant Junior High and Bruce Gearing as assistant superintendent. He comes to Dripping Springs from Marshall ISD, where he served as superintendent since 2009. A native of South Africa, Gearing earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, his master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Texarkana and his doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Dublin ISD A new superintendent has been selected for the district. He is Rodney Schneider, who has been serving as interim superintendent. He has been with the district for two years, previously serving as assistant superintendent. An educator for 25 years, he has been a teacher and coach in Ozona and Raymondville ISDs, a principal in Ira ISD, and superintendent in Whitharral, O’Donnell and Plemmons-Stinnett-Phillips Consolidated ISDs. Schneider earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies and composite science from North Dakota State University and his master’s degree in education from Sul Ross State University. His doctoral degree was awarded from Texas Tech University. Elkhart ISD The new superintendent is Ray DeSpain, who comes to his new job from Alto ISD, where he was superintendent since 2006. An educator for 30 years, he has been a teacher, coach, UIL coordinator, curriculum director, assistant principal, secondary principal, and assistant superintendent for operations, serving in Itasca, Ganado, Falls City, Three Rivers, Jourdanton and Victoria ISDs. DeSpain earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Sul Ross State University, and his doctoral degree in education was awarded from Texas A&M University. Fort Bend ISD Athletics Director Keith Kilgore, a 20year veteran of the job, retired at the end of January. During his tenure, six high schools have opened in the district, and a new sta-
dium, field house and natatorium were built. Additionally, Fort Bend introduced softball in 1993; nine years later, district high schools Clements and Elkins met in the Region III5A championship game. Elkins took home the state championship the following year. Before coming to Fort Bend, Kilgore was a baseball and football coach and then an assistant athletic director in Alief ISD. His retirement brought to a close a 45-year career. Fort Davis ISD The district has a new superintendent. She is Judi Whitis, who was most recently assistant superintendent of Burnet CISD. She began her career as a first grade teacher, taking her first administrative assignment in 1994 as an instructionJudi Whitis al coordinator in Lampasas ISD. She remained with that district until 2005, going on to serve as director of instructional accountability, interim superintendent and assistant superintendent. She then made the move to Burnet ISD, where she held her most recent position until accepting her new job in Fort Davis. Whitis holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Angelo State University, a master’s degree in reading from Texas State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University. Granbury ISD Acton Elementary School Principal Ralph Purget has announced his upcoming retirement, which will take effect at the end of this school year. An educator for 41 years, he has held the top position at Acton since 2001. He beRalph Purget gan his career as a teacher at Millwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Okla. He has been a teacher, principal and special education director for districts in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Acton earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma. Granger ISD Ernie Laurence is now serving as interim superintendent. Hale Center ISDSee WHO’S NEWS on page 32
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March 2012 • Texas School Business
The Four QuadranTs:
Sorting Out Student Need ADRANTS FOUROUTQU THE SORT STUDENT NEED ING By Jim Walsh
DOES NOT HAVE
HAS A DISABI
TWO QUADRANT Section 504
DOES NOT NEED SPECIALLY DESIGNED INSTRUCTION (SDI)
s... These student is ty as that term • Have a disabili 504. ent defined in Section l or mental impairm a major • Have a physica limits them in that substantially life activity. of n provisio the to • Do not require d instruction” “specially designe disability. address their
s... These student that term is a disability as • Do not have used in the law. esses,” ions,” “weakn ty. • May have “condit but not a disabili or “impairments,” in some to work harder • May need others. in subjects than of any special type • Do not need a general rule. instruction as
FOUR QUADRANT NEEDS SPECIALLY DESIGNED INSTRUCTION (SDI)
s... These student is ty as that term • Have a disabili Individuals with defined in the on Act. Disabilities Educati ion ly designed instruct • Need special disability. because of their on for special educati • Are eligible IDEA. services under
s... These student that term is a disability as • Do not have used in the law. ly ion that is special s. • Require instruct other concern designed to address of the definition meet ly • Typical are “at risk.” students who
result of the services as a in fedspecial education way education is defined analysis is a useful n,” disability. Special The Four Quadrant y designed instructio and why studiagram how eral law as “speciall to explain in a special profor some of the or SDI. than dents qualify Quadrant will occupy more offer. The Four Some students a speech imgrams schools that are . A student with on the two criteria one quadrant analysis turns may be in Quadrant education example, special , for qualify for , but in the stu- pairment necessary to speech concerns to IDEA. To qualify, Four due to the services pursuant (2) need and have a disability dent must (1)
Suite 455 1601 Rio Grande, 78701 Austin, Texas • Fax: (512) 495-9955 (512) 478-2113 cepubs.com www.parkpla
L.P., Place Publications, Gallegos, P.C. © 2009 Park & Brown, Aldridge may be and Walsh, Anderson,No part of this publication of All Rights Reserved. the express consent reproduced withoutPublications, L.P. Park Place
in all other respects. Quadrant One the quadrants lines between Note that the scientific in the law with on are not described s to be made are judgment precision. There could fit basis. Some students g on an individual quadrants, dependin into two different the students’ school interprets how the local the law. services, and needs, the district’s
be used is intended to to This publication only and is not for general information legal advice. If specific be considered consult advice is sought, specific legal an attorney.
by Jim Walsh
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 31
The Four Quadrant Chart is a useful way to explain and diagram how and why students qualify for specially designed instruction.
An interim superintendent has been appointed for the district. He is Oran Hamilton, former superintendent of Abernathy ISD.
• QUADRANT ONE: General Education • QUADRANT TWO: Section 504 • QUADRANT THREE: At Risk • QUADRANT FOUR: IDEA-Eligible Jim Walsh has used this analysis for decades to train educators on the proper implementation of federal law. Now, in an easy reference chart, this analysis can be readily available to any educator. Perfect for all school administrators. This reference chart measures 17” x 22” and is laminated. Price: $12.95
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Hallsville ISD Technology Director Mike Stanfield, cited for seeking out new technological directions and products for teachers to use in their classrooms, has been named one of the top innovators in digital education by Converge Magazine Yearbook. Stanfield, who has been with the district for 15 years, was recognized in 2009 as one of the three top technology teachers in the state by the Texas Computer Educators Association. Irving ISD Aaron De La Torre has been named head football coach at Irving High School. He comes to his new job from Denton ISD’s Ryan High School, where he was an assistant coach. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin State University. De La Torre, who is a graduate of Irving High, earned his bachelor’s degree from Ste-
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Texas School Business • March 2012
phen F. Austin State University and played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys and NFL Europe’s Scottish Claymores. MacArthur High School girls head basAaron De La ketball coach Suzie OelTorre schlegel has been named National Coach of the Year in girls’ basketball by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The annual honoree is chosen based on career coaching record, Suzie Oelschlegel community service, involvement in additional school activities, and professional involvement at the local, state and national levels. Oelschlegel led MacArthur’s Lady Cardinals to the state championship last year. Judson ISD Judson High School head football coach Jim Rackey retired at the end of January after 26 years at the school. A coach for 41 years and head football coach for 18, he was with Judson High for 26 years. He coached in the Texas Jim Rackey High School Coaches Association (THSCA) All-Star Game for the South in 1984 and again in 1994. In the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he was defensive coordinator for the West. The following year, he was named head coach for the West in the same competition. Rackey was president of the THSCA in 2010 and was the 2011 winner of the association’s Tom Landry Award. Lamar CISD Christy Willman, Lamar CISD’s executive director of community relations, retired at the end of January. She began her career as an elementary teacher, spending 13 years with Cypress-Fairbanks and Christy Willman Austin ISDs and in Lamar CISD. She was named Lamar CISD’s director for communications in 1996 and took her most recent position in 2004. A past president of the Texas School
Who’s News Public Relations Association, she was given the association’s Professional Achievement Award in 2011 and was named 2012’s Administrator of the Year by the Texas Educational Support Staff Association. Laneville ISD Brian Nichols, who was serving as the district’s elementary principal, has been appointed superintendent. Levelland ISD After 44 years as an educator, including 33 years with Levelland ISD, Superintendent Mark Holcomb will retire at the end of the academic year. He has served in his current position for three years. Marshall ISD Brian Nichols has been named the district’s interim superintendent. McAllen ISD The Texas Classroom Teachers Association has honored Milam Elementary School Principal Linda McGurk with its Elementary Administrator of the Year award. She is the 14th McAllen educator to win a TCTA Linda McGurk state award since 2000. An educator for 25 years, McGurk has led Milam for 20 of those. Prior to that, she was the school’s assistant principal and principal of St. Joseph Catholic School in Edinburg. She began her career teaching first grade in Edinburg and Lyford ISDs. McGurk earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas Pan American. Northside ISD Steve Bassett is now serving as assistant superintendent for budget and finances. After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin and his CPA designation, he worked as a Steve Bassett tax consultant with Price Waterhouse. Beginning in 1990, he held positions with Santa Rosa Medical Group, HealthSouth, USAA and SBC . He joined San Antonio’s North East ISD in 2003 as senior director of budgets and financial control, remaining there until 2008, when he was named chief financial officer of San Antonio ISD.
Nueces Canyon CISD An interim superintendent is in place for the district. He is Rick Howard, whose 34 years in education include 18 spent as a superintendent. He held the top position in Ira ISD from 1991 to 2000, followed by nine years as superintendent of Rich Howard Comanche ISD. This was followed by serving as interim elementary principal in Dublin ISD in 2010. In addition, he has been a senior consultant and executive coach for Chorus Inc., an affiliate with Strategic Partnerships Inc., and a field support specialist with ESC Region 13’s CTE alternative certification program, all since 2009. Howard has been president of the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of Community Schools. San Elizario ISD Sylvia Hopp has been named superintendent for the district, having served in an interim position since September. Prior to that assignment, she was the district’s assistant superintendent of planning and instruction. An educator for 36 years, she began as a
special education teacher in El Paso ISD, going on in that district to serve as an assistant principal, principal, instructional consultant, director of elementary personnel and executive director. With Sylvia Hopp San Elizario ISD, Hopp has been principal of Alarcon and Borrego elementary schools in addition to her most recent assignments. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from The University of Texas at El Paso. Tomball ISD Mary Ann Marshall is the new principal of Willow Creek Elementary School, where she began as a teacher and has spent the past nine years as assistant principal. An educator for 28 years, Marshall earned her bachelor’s degree in Mary Ann elementary education Marshall from Baylor University and her master’s degree in the same field from Sam Houston State University. TSB
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March 2012 • Texas School Business
THE BACK PAGE Advertiser Index
by Riney Jordan
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What money cannot buy
h, you haven’t seen anything yet! Next school year we’re going to be hit so hard that I’m not even sure we can open our doors!” “I know what you’re talking about! I don’t see how we can function with less money for our budget.” And the conversations go on and on. You can walk up to a group of school administrators, and nine times out of 10 they’ll be talking about school finance — or the lack of it! Doom and gloom. Worry and wailing. Negative and numbing. I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Stop it!” Would someone please tell me what good can come from all of this discussion about how bad things are going to be? A friend of mine always closes her emails with a quote that is attributed to Wally Byam. It simply says, “It was impossible, so it took longer to accomplish.” Well, first of all, we’re going to have classes open next school year, and the year after, and the year after that. We are going to continue to teach kids, inspire kids, motivate kids and improve their chances to succeed in life. Oh, I know: Money does provide for programs and opportunities that might not have been possible without help from the state and the nation’s capital. But I also know you have all seen the MasterCard commercial that talks about the things money can buy and then ends with something so much more impressive and life changing that it’s referred to as “priceless.” In this world of education, there are so many “priceless” moments that money could never have purchased. Consider the teacher who stays after school to spend time with a child who is going through unthinkable challenges at home. Priceless. Or what about the coach who gets a phone call in the middle of the night from one of his athletes who has been jailed? He gets up, goes downtown and listens as the kid cries his heart out because he didn’t have anyone else to call. Priceless. I remember a teacher who took the time to stay in touch with as many of her students as she could, just to continue to encourage
Texas School Business • March 2012
them and let them know that she cared. Priceless. And then there’s the teacher who loves her students in spite of the fact that their speech is not understandable, that they drool throughout the day, that they have accidents and must be cleaned. Why does she do it day after day? Because her love for these kids with special needs requires so much more than money can buy. Quite simply, it’s priceless. The list could go on and on. Every single day there are countless numbers of educators who give so freely of their time to make a difference in the lives of the students they serve. Every day they trudge home and late in the evening they’re grading papers, writing encouraging notes to the students, planning activities that will leave a lasting impression in the minds of the students. They’re building relationships that will last a lifetime. They’re building character, understanding and stamina in their students. They’re shaping dreams and aspirations that for many indeed will become reality. They are believing that there is good in every child. They are believing that the God-given talent inside of each of them can be nurtured and developed. They are believing that what they are doing is far beyond what money can buy. So, the next time you have an opportunity, thank these individuals. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Acknowledge the custodians, the cafeteria workers, the maintenance department and the bus drivers who keep this giant machine running so smoothly. For those of us who have chosen this profession know that money cannot buy our passion. Money cannot buy our determination to help a child. Money cannot begin to pay for the extra time we spend on touching the hearts and souls of the kids who are hurting. Why? Because I believe that God Himself has instilled in us that amazing gift to teach, to encourage and to forever change the lives of those who cross our paths. And that, my friend, is indeed priceless. 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 email@example.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.
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