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TACS President Mary Ann Whiteker Hudson ISD
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TSB contents news and features
Attractive schools A look at Texas’ exemplary magnets by Autumn Rhea Carpenter
14 photo features Austin hosts third SXSWedu 16
In the Spotlight David Anthony raises the bar with Raise Your Hand Texas by Bobby Hawthorne
departments From Our Readers
TACS President Profile Hudson ISD super puts state rating system to the test
From the Editor
The Law Dawg — Unleashed
by Katie Ford
by Elizabeth Millard
by Jim Walsh
The Back Page
by Terry Morawski by Bobby Hawthorne by Riney Jordan
Point of View Is Texas public education headed toward privatization? By Julie Freeman Haney
Students at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin ISD show where they’re headed after graduation. Above cover story thumbnail: Students at the Science and Engineering Magnet School in Dallas ISD collaborate on an experiment. 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. May 2013 • Texas School Business
Texas School Business â&#x20AC;˘ May 2013
From the Editor It’s hard to believe that another school year is almost over, but here we are! It’s also time again to start collecting nominations for our annual Bragging Rights special issue. Between May 1 and Sept. 2, I encourage you to set aside some time to fill out a Bragging Rights nomination form and let us know about the brag-worthy programs happening in your school district or on your campus. Bragging Rights honors 12 deserving school districts and their innovative programs. Every winter, Texas School Business publishes and distributes this special issue to more than 8,000 stakeholders in Texas public education. With pass-along readership, the magazine reaches an audience of 25,000 readers! An independent panel of respected Texas education leaders will review and select the final 12. Winners will be announced with the debut of the Seventh Annual Bragging Rights 2013-2014 special issue in December. You can find the nomination form under Special Editions at www.texasschoolbusiness. com. Let us hear from you! Meanwhile, enjoy the May issue, which is packed with great stories, including profiles on the leaders of the Texas Association of Community Schools (TACS) and Raise Your Hand Texas. Also, I’m guessing many of you will be very interested in reading Julie Freeman Haney’s “Point of View.” Haney is a government relations and public affairs consultant who represents public education clients, including TACS. Her work frequently takes her inside the Capitol, and she has much to say about the perceived push to privatize public schools. As always, I welcome your ideas and feedback at email@example.com.
Katie Ford Editorial Director
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(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) May 2013 Volume LIX, Issue 8 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 Lance Lawhon Director of Marketing and Customer Relations Stephen Markel Office Services Ambrose Austin ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620 Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and for the Best in Class issue published in August and the Bragging Rights issue published in December (12 times a year) by Texas School Business Magazine, LLC, 1601 Rio Grande Street, #455, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas School Business,1601 Rio Grande Street, #455, Austin, TX 78701. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $28 per year; $52 for two yrs; $72 for three yrs. Group rate: 10 or more, $18; single issues, $4.50.
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Sunnyvale Elementary School Sunnyvale ISD
From Our Readers Mr. Walsh: I love how your article touched on what superintendents, parents and lawmakers are feeling with regard to CSCOPE. Have you or anyone else thought to ask how teachers and children feel? Is it effective? Where is the data to show its effectiveness? From what I see, our school’s rating has dropped, our ITBS scores have dropped, our state scores have dropped — all since the implemenation of CSCOPE. Nothing else has changed except bringing in CSCOPE. I am saddened by what you and everyone else is doing to public education in Texas. Thank you, A Public Educator TSB
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ohn Hoyle, a prolific researcher and reformer in leadership education, died March 12 from complications of leukemia. He was 78. Hoyle, who lived in College Station, was born Feb. 2, 1935, to Jess and Viola Hoyle in Rush Springs, Okla. He graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa. He received his bachelor of science degree in 1957, his master’s degree in 1963 and his Ph.D. in 1967 — all from Texas A&M University. Hoyle attended Texas A&M on an athletic scholarship and was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He played first base for the Southwest Conference Championship Aggie baseball team of 1955. Perhaps more important than his championship ring or his degrees were the stories and experiences he collected. Hoyle was the author of the Good Bull book series, which detailed the humorous happenings of students before, during and after his university days. Hoyle’s son illustrated the books. In addition to the Good Bull series, Hoyle wrote several books and scholarly articles on education. He was published more than 150 times during his 40 years in higher education. Hoyle met his wife, Carolyn, while attending Texas A&M. They were married in 1957. After graduating from college, Hoyle served as a teacher, coach and administrator in Odessa and Midland ISDs. He taught at Texas Christian University, Tulsa University and Miami University. In 1975, he returned to Texas A&M. In 2009, Hoyle retired as professor emeritus in the Educational Administration and Human Resource Development. His wife taught English at Blinn College before retiring. The couple have two children, John Jr. and Laura, both of whom became educators. During Hoyle’s 34 years of teaching at Texas A&M, he: • received two distinguished teaching awards; •
was selected as the American Association of School Administrators’ Professor of the Year in 1982; was named one of the top four Exceptional Living Scholars in educational administration/leadership; received the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration’s first-ever Living Legend Award in 1999; received the Texas Professors of Educa-
tional Administration’s Living Legend Award in 2008; and •
received Texas A&M’s Golden Deeds Award for distinguished service to Texas education.
In 2007, the Texas A&M University Administrative Leadership Institute created the Hoyle Leadership Award in his honor. The award is given each year to a Texas school leader who makes a positive difference in the lives of students for the betterment of society. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the many young school principals, superintendents, and beginning professors he encouraged and mentored. His peers selected him to serve on the first-ever Texas A&M Faculty Senate. Hoyle also served on the Texas A&M Athletic Council. He and his wife escorted three groups of education students to Texas A&M’s study abroad center in Italy. In 2012, Hoyle was invited to be the Texas A&M University Muster speaker. He was an active member of First Christian Church in Bryan, serving as elder, board chair, choir member and building campaign chairman. Hoyle was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Anna Carolyn Hoyle; son John Richard Hoyle Jr., and wife, Julie; daughter Laura Leigh Sanders; a sister, Beverly Dover, and her husband, Doice Dover, of Sand Springs, Okla.; a brother, Jay Hoyle, and his wife, Jill, of Kingsport, Tenn.; and nephews, Richard and David Dover. Grandchildren include David Sanders and wife, Gloria; Michael Sanders; Winston Hoyle; and Jennifer Hoyle.
The Independent Voice for Public Education in Texas for 59 Years Since 1954, Texas School Business has published the good news for and about Texas educators and the vendors who serve the public schools. Today, Texas School Business is considered an institution among school leaders and decision makers. Each issue includes: • In-depth features on Texas public education • Who’s News • The Law Dawg – Unleashed • Photo features of association events • Educator and administrator profiles • Riney Jordan • Bobby Hawthorne • Terry Morawski • And more…
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Austin Convention Center 500 East Cesar Chavez Street Austin, TX 78701 This Conference on Education Law for Principals features presentations on legal issues of particular concern to school principals and other campus-level personnel as well as superintendents, school board members, and school attorneys. View all the details and register at www.legaldigestevents.com.
ConfErEnCE ToPiCs & sPEakErs inCLudE: mAintAining A sAfe CAmpus: whAt Are your options? Jim WaLsh – Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Austin, Texas where Are your students? truAnCy & other student AttendAnCe issues david P. ThomPson, Ph.d. – University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas teACher evAluAtions: legAl issues & prACtiCAl strAtegies sandra CarPEnTEr – Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Houston, Texas the lAtest on bullying & hArAssment in our sChools david hodgins, Thompson & Horton, Houston, Texas soCiAl mediA & the lAw WaynE hagLund – The Haglund Law Firm, Lufkin, Texas whAt the prinCipAl needs to know About speCiAl eduCAtion lAw gigi maEz – Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Irving, Texas ConduCting legAlly defensible & effeCtive employee investigAtions sara LEon – Powell & Leon, Austin, Texas
Texas School Business • May 2013
THE LAW DAWG – Unleashed by Jim Walsh
Sylvia Mendez: a change agent we should remember
s there a public school in Texas named for Sylvia Mendez? There should be. Sylvia should be honored for what she and her parents did 60 years ago. She did a simple thing: She sought to enroll in the 17th Street School in Westminster, Calif. Actually, there were four children who sought enrollment in that school in September 1943 — Sylvia and her three cousins. The cousins were admitted. They had a French surname and were lightskinned. The darker-toned Sylvia, with a surname that was definitely not French, was turned away. She was told to enroll in the “Mexican school” 10 blocks away. Keep in mind that this was 12 years before Brown v. Board of Education. No one had yet heard of Rosa Parks. Americans of all colors, creeds and ancestry were fighting in Europe, Africa and the South Pacific. But in this country, segregation by race and ancestry was an accepted way of life.
President Barack Obama bestows the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez during a ceremony at the White House in Washington on Feb. 15, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch.
Sylvia’s father talked to the superintendent about this situation and then the school board. He was rebuffed. So he hired a civil rights attorney from Los Angeles and filed what became a class action lawsuit against four Orange County school districts. Federal district court Judge Paul McCormick ruled in favor of Sylvia and the plaintiffs. He noted that “segregation prevalent in the defendant school districts foster[s] antagonisms in the children and suggests inferiority among them where none exists.” The Orange County schools appealed to the 9th Circuit, which upheld the decision. While the case is historic, it was not the ringing endorsement of freedom and equality that Brown became several years later. The court noted that California law did not authorize the segregation of these children and, thus, the Orange County school officials were acting without the protection of state law. State law at the time apparently authorized only the segregation of “Indians under certain conditions and children of Chinese, Japanese or Mongolian parentage.” But not those “of Mexican blood.” The court viewed this not as segregation by race, but segregation within “one of the great races of mankind,” which was deemed arbitrary and unconstitutional. The court noted that all of the plaintiffs are “taxpayers of good moral habits, not suffering from disability, infectious disease, and are qualified to be admitted to the use of the schools and facilities within their respective districts and systems.” Sylvia was finally admitted to “the white school,” where, predictably, she endured considerable bullying. But she graduated. She became a nurse and retired after 30 years of service. She now lives in Fullerton, Calif. This case truly marked the beginning of the end of racial segregation in our
Keep Current As all school administrators, board members, and school attorneys know, school law L does not stand still. GAS T AS LE E TEX OL O S’ DIG SCH R O AT TR Published ten INIS ADM times a year, the Legal Digest provides the latest developments in Now in its the law to help 29th year of administrators stay publication abreast of this rapidly changing field and avoid litigation. . , L.P tions blica lsh e Pu Plac r: Jim Wa s Park ito Childres Siff d r sher: ing Ed Publi Manag r: Jennife ﬁcer: Te Of om Edito erating est.c Op ig ld Chief lega
n” Numb itutio e 27, const the “re from ce. Both an arose case cases perform In one nt Both rs. t. stude amine cher los the poor tea ng ex of heari case, the decision w. ww er ral the cy. oth ne cases, the Agen y Ge both .. ofﬁce torne by DE . cases, one Atissioner’ss. Here upheld mm cision INSI t nfire gie cour the Co e Bo OK ess de the Ag tock ort 11 from Aggi proc over A LO we rep cisions due tion Coms de Litiga wen v. ort this ation month This on, three ial educ by Bo we rep or not ec mpse Opini ree sp a gli cision ether gn ts. to de es th gh in verei vid hli —wh and steps e ) pro issue same “so the hig ge 10 agency stees. Th t are the n (pa . te to sta atio ency ts, bu of tru T.E.A Educ on Ag which the board argumen is is rs of ial ucati the in of . Th cial Powe Spec xas Ed situation removes a variety rsuasive ruling ee spe v. Te pe e r thr ll th and inary Ross very rar Of ou of you wi trict effort wi y of them a prelim dis of the school ght this ﬁnd an t rather y relief. many sting and t al bu ere porar a loc board fou did no s case, ely to ities. int tem lik urt bil in thi tion for local eral co ts we areresponsi cision mo presen cer the fed ﬁnal de trict’s ﬁnd” 11) led dis ng ofﬁ (page ently fai in not the school heari ert on neys e! Attor ty inadv ’s opini neral on the mor strict Coun General The ge ests And ty Di Tarrant y sted Requ Act). Coun torne reque sed. u of PIA rrant situation. for an At ormation t was In lie es, clo v. Ta al Inf on tha be dis uest cas Doe er unusu blic ati of req uld (Pu wg orm , wo ely st anoth ke a tim ore the Da with reque t the inf a PIA e is tha and theref ws. to ma new along sho cas nse to c, two respo such a be publi this case se Board lcome in ng Ca to we rule sumed to tions, as hted eresti 13) a delig st Int ge t is pre are excep cy for Mo ISD, (paation tha We areory There Agen isal Awardrth East Educ Advis the wg’s No ioner of tive appra ing n at dy the Da Hall v. the tra tio e iss e stu nis dg Ac We giv nth to the Commthe admi is worth ating the Aldri me e mo this from tails of so this on for evalu er agreed welco ion de s ion ” he decis of the rare, and bilitie mmiss valid Co ponsi some es are s “in ﬂawed, s l wa ve res hile the sses cas addre s. Such u who ha tors. W r appraisa praisal wa problem proces se of yo administra l, that he h the ap was no d people ug re me by tho ance of a principa Even tho And the unna rm of . . ll, ” rfo ief lid Ha up pe rel Ms. ther n was va cus gro l. d with d no fur icklan ). a “fo ncipa n pla —Str ordere erventio t’s use of t the pri s ISD (page 18 ou Dalla the int distric ation ab from Dallas ISD the ions inform with decis ussaint v. ther d two to ga To o issue ) and .A. als (page 17 and ses, The T.E s ISD Ca lla le of v. Da ex, Tab Volum
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The Leading Resource for Texas Education Law schools. Some of the key players in Brown v. Board of Education were involved in the Mendez case. The brief from the NAACP was authored by a young lawyer from New York who you may have heard of — Thurgood Marshall. As a result of the case, California’s governor pushed the state legislature to end the practice of segregating Asian and Native American children. You may have heard of that governor — fellow by the name of Earl Warren. The 9th Circuit decided the case on April 14, 1947. The next day, the first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers walked and scored a run in his Major League debut — fellow by the name of Jackie Robinson. The times they were a-changing. JIM WALSH, an attorney with Walsh Anderson Gallegos Green and Treviño P.C., serves as editor in chief of Texas School Business. He can be reached at jwalsh@ wabsa.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JWalshtxlawdawg. May 2013 • Texas School Business
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Join other first- and second-year superintendents from around the state for this valuable academy, approaching its 22nd year. You’ll GAIN new perspectives as well as CULTIVATE a network of peers that will serve you well in the coming years. We look forward to welcoming you to the 22nd Annual First-time Superintendents’ Academy in July! ● Session 1: July 31–August 1, 2013 ● Session 2: Nov. 6–7, 2013 Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas School Business • May 2013
● Session 3: Feb. 26–27, 2014 ● Session 4: April 9–10, 2014
Tech Toolbox by Terry Morawski
Tell NIH to RIP
n the school world, we love acronyms. There’s an acronym for everything. Sometimes, I repeat these acronyms a few times before I ever ask what they are. I’m not recommending that; I’m just being honest. This month, I wanted to share with you an acronym that should be a dirty word in your district, NIH. No, not the National Institutes of Health. NIH, in this context, stands for “Not invented here.” According to Wikipedia, “Not invented here (NIH) is the philosophy of social, corporate or institutional cultures that avoid using or buying already existing products, research, standards or knowledge because of their external origins and costs.” Sufferers of this professional condition are often said to have Not Invented Here Syndrome. To use a more common metaphor, people engaged in NIH are guilty of reinventing the wheel. What is the real danger in putting your spin on an existing idea? There are several dangers associated with falling into the NIH trap. Wasted time and effort. OK, duh, right? But how much time and energy will your group expend to copy something that has been done effectively already? The reality is that any amount of time or effort is too much if someone else has already done the work for you. A good test of your group’s NIH tendencies is how they approach a complex problem. The first step should be to seek out anyone who has had the same problem. You will gain valuable information whether they have solved the problem or not. Any information you collect saves your group some time and energy. In other words, you’re giving yourself a head start with other people’s work. The original is better. In many cases, an attempt to copy another effort will fall flat. In musical terms, would you rather see Eric Clapton or a dude who sorta looks like Clapton play his songs? This happens many times in the video realm. Departments feel they must make nearly a carbon copy of an existing video with their staff to be effective when the original would have been fine. More resources are required. It takes
more resources to make your own copy of something that exists already. It only takes one person to share something that is around already. You miss the big picture. Dan Woods, in a column about NIH for Forbes online, said that truly harnessing outside data can lead to what he labels “high-resolution management.” We have experienced this phenomenon in the communications area. New tools make it easy for us to monitor various social media sources to measure public sentiment. In the past, we would have had to create our own tools (surveys, for example) to gain insight into the public’s opinion. Why re-create the feedback wheel when people readily are sharing their opinions on Facebook and Twitter every day? You may be saying, “Hold it right there, Morawski! There are times when you have to re-create the wheel.” This is true, in some cases. For example, there is a long-standing debate in the software community about the value of creating your own source code so that you can modify the final product to fit your needs. In the school world, it is possible your district is so unique that there is no model from which you can work. This is rare, but it does occur. If you work in a very small or very large district, you have challenges that do not exist for the majority of districts in the state. Even with that said, almost any case has some community knowledge that can be called upon. The majority of students have this figured out. They have grown up with all the knowledge of the world just a click away. Calculators are there when they need them. YouTube is there waiting to teach them how to do anything. They love to modify everything. Re-creation is not in their script. I think they’re on to something. TERRY MORAWSKI is the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. Please send all future column ideas, reading suggestions, questions and comments to terrymorawski@ gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter too @terrymorawski.
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3/19/13 10:54 AM
GAME ON! by Bobby Hawthorne Shweiki here
They’re the talk of the town
he founder and CEO of the Dallas Triple S Academy says you must understand that his charter school is more than a speech and debate factory. “I am at my wit’s end with those who contend that we care only about forensics when I, in fact, put 18 years of hard work into developing children athletically,” said H. Douglas Arkwright. “Alas, enmity is inevitable, and I am reminded of William Penn, who wrote, ‘The jealous are troublesome to others but a torment to themselves.’” Arkwright insisted that Triple S (Study! Speak! Study!) also offers chess, squash, golf and polo — and is adding field hockey next year. “So, you can see, we’re more than just extemp and interp,” he added. “I can even see the day when we’ll offer something as frivolous as basketball, should our students ever express an interest in it.” For now, Triple S remains famous, or infamous, for one thing: forensics. Its crossexamination debate team recently completed an undefeated season by thrashing tiny Pinecone High for the UIL 1A state title. Triple S was led by sophomore Bennett Harriman Arkwright, the son of the school’s founder and great-great-grandson of British shipping magnate Sir Richard Arkwright. Bennett is mulling full-ride scholarship offers from Oxford, Stanford, and all the Ivies and the Ivy wannabes — as well as an immediate seat on the Microsoft board of directors. He recently accompanied Secretary of State John Kerry to Baghdad, where he met privately with Iraqi officials regarding Iran’s meddling in the Syrian civil war. “President Obama thought I might be helpful, given my knowledge of the region,” Bennett said. “It’s so rare that one has the chance to employ one’s Farsi in the service of one’s country.” He might need his diplomatic skills next year. Triple S’s success — its 41 consecutive tournament wins and domination of the likes of Baylor, Rice, The University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth, not to mention the Class A teams it obliterated during the
playoffs — has become a flash point in a conflict between charter schools and the UIL. In fact, those attending the state CX awards ceremony booed and hissed and spilled their vanilla lattes and Mountain Dews during the awards presentation to the Triple S team. Whether Triple S will remain in Class A remains in doubt. An amendment approved by the UIL’s Legislative Council in October last year — one that seemed specifically constructed to target Triple S Academy — will alter how the state’s charter schools participate in academics. The proposal requires charter schools to compete in the same conference as the smallest high school in their district. When enacted, it would force Triple S to compete in 3A — unless the Legislature or the courts rush to their rescue. Either way, Arkwright says the matter is of trivial consequence. “We will continue to win, regardless,” he said. “Oh, sure, we try not to underestimate our opponents, but let’s be candid. Defeating Dartmouth was an accomplishment. Trouncing Pinecone and our other so-called competitors was a formality, satisfying only in a Shakespeare versus Nicholas Sparks kind of way.” As for that other local school that’s been mired in similar controversy — the Dallas South Oak Cliff basketball powerhouse Triple A Academy, which dismantled previously undefeated Mumford, 80-54, for the Class A Division 1 state championship — Arkwright concedes that he admires their spunk. “They too enjoy a good shellacking of an inferior opponent,” he said. “I like the cut of their jib.” Would he care to take them on? “Indubitably,” Arkwright chortled. “We’d love to get our hands on them in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Or squash.” 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. May 2013 • Texas School Business
Attractive campuses: A look at exemplary magnet schools in Texas by Autumn Rhea Carpenter
s spelled out by the Texas Education Agency, Texas high school students must be tested in math, science, social studies, language arts, reading and English and must earn at least 22 credits to receive a diploma. However, a growing number of magnet schools in Texas now offer much more than the basics. These schools arm teenagers with specialized skills and work experience that will prepare them for success well beyond the classroom. When it comes to programming at magnet schools, Texas is doing something right. For several years now, the state’s public magnet schools have ranked highly on U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best High Schools list. In 2012, the magazine assessed 21,776 schools on studentto-teacher ratio, college readiness, and average proficiency on the state math and reading exit exams. While 400 Texas high schools made the list, the state’s magnet schools, in particular, made an impressive showing: • School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG), Dallas ISD, ranked No. 1 in the nation and in Texas; • School of Science and Engineering Magnet, Dallas ISD, ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 2 in the state; • Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD, ranked No. 36 nationally and No. 4 in Texas; • Science Academy of South Texas (Sci Tech), South Texas ISD, ranked No. 48 nationally and No. 6 in Texas; and • Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), Austin ISD, ranked No. 54 nationally and No. 7 in Texas. 14
Texas School Business • May 2013
Why are these public magnet schools so successful? LASA Principal Stacia Crescenzi says her staff and faculty work hard to create a community where students no longer feel isolated, and Stacia Crescenzi that affects her students’ self-esteem and performance. “It’s ‘cool’ here to do your homework or debate the existential questions of life,” she says. “We also recognize that students come from every ethnic background and economic situation and have interests that span from the ordinary to the esoteric.” Sci Tech Principal Michael Aranda adds that his magnet school focuses on project-based learning, which prepares students to tackle real-world issues, such as population growth and renewable Michael Aranda energy. “Jobs are changing, and no matter the field, math skills, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking will always be needed,” he says. Today’s job market demands more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, as well as more female engineers. Sci Tech in the Rio Grande Valley is answering that call. “Currently, 40 percent of our students are female,” says South Texas ISD Superintendent Marla Guerra. “However, our aim is to continue growing this population, as the potential for females to be successful within the science, technology, engineering and math fields is undeniable.
“Our female students tend to lead the school — not only soaring academically, but also taking on leadership roles within student organizations,” she says. “As a matter of fact, our top two stuMarla Guerra dents at the moment are females.” Sci Tech further has plans to emulate Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) events, sponsored by The University of Texas-Pan American, in neighboring Edinburg. At these gatherings, mothers and daughters are invited to meet successful women who work in STEM fields. These professionals speak to the young girls about the opportunities inherent in these career paths. Sci Tech plans to reach out to girls as early as elementary school. “Our goal is for our current female students, as well as successful alumni, to share the reasons why they chose to attend that particular campus within our district and to pursue a STEM focus,” says Guerra. “This type of outreach would raise awareness of the STEM fields as career options and help females feel more empowered.” Guerra says she anticipates other science-focused magnet schools in Texas will follow suit. Sci Tech also stays competitive with its powerhouse of technology tools, to include personal computers for the students, smartboards, iPads, CPS learning systems, specialized software and apps and Wi-fi access on school buses. Many Texas magnet schools are moving away from standard textbooks as well.
Digital books take hundreds of hours for teachers to write and design, but the benefits are well worth the investment, says LASA’s Crescenzi. “ibooks meet students where they are in terms of technology and allow for the most differentiated instruction I’ve ever seen at the high school level,” she says. How is her campus handling the transition to digital? “We are in the infant stage of the movement,” she says. “Right now we are covering the cost of writing them with curriculum-writing money and looking for grant money to help buy class sets of iPads. It’s still too early to say how direct the correlation will be between using the ibooks and a greater depth of conceptual understanding on the part of the student, but we are excited about the potential.” Providing technological and academic support is important, but it’s only part of the formula for success. More magnet schools have put supports in place to deal with student issues of “perfectionism, suicidal ideation and overextending,” according to Crescenzi. The emotional stress some students experience due to the competitive nature of magnet schools cannot be ignored. “We are also using professional development time to help our staff understand some of the unique issues that our students bring, such as a high number of students who exhibit behaviors that might classify them as being on the autism spectrum,” Crescenzi says. As the saying goes, it “takes a village,” and many of Texas’ most successful magnet schools rely on partnerships with community stakeholders to reach longterm goals. “When students apply their skills in local schools, pharmacies, hospitals, vet offices and businesses, the community can witness the relevant training in action,” says Guerra in South Texas ISD. “Additionally, partnerships with universities, such as Texas A&M Kingsville, South Texas College, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Rochester Institute of Technology and The University of Texas-Pan American have strengthened Sci Tech’s program.” What teachers and students think For a magnet program to be successful, the curricula must be relevant, according to David Lerma, a social studies teacher at Sci Tech.
“We show how electro physics relates to chemistry and how technical writing relates to English, so that the students get a holistic view of their studies,” he says. “They don’t
The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) — Dallas ISD The School for the Talented and Gifted follows the state’s Distinguished Achievement Program and places an emphasis on Advanced Placement curriculum — a minimum of 11 AP courses are required for graduation. Students may conduct field research via partnerships with local universities, take electives such as Web mastery, and enroll in mini-courses, like ballroom dancing or glass blowing, during interim terms. Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1 College Readiness: 100 percent Math State Exit Exam: 100 percent Reading State Exit Exam: 100 percent School of Science and Engineering Magnet — Dallas ISD Students at the School of Science and Engineering Magnet start Advanced Placement courses their freshman year and can earn college credit via dual-enrollment opportunities with several area community colleges and universities. Located in a complex that houses five other magnet schools, the School of Science and Engineering Magnet offers AP courses in calculus, biology and statistics, among others. Parents can get involved through fundraising and by hosting collegeplanning nights. Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 College Readiness: 100 percent Math State Exit Exam: 100 percent Reading State Exit Exam: 99 percent Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions — Houston ISD DeBakey High School for Health Professions is located on the Texas Medical Center campus, and students have access to research facilities and academic programs at the center. Graduates are eligible for the Houston Premedical Academy, an undergraduate program at the University of Houston designed specifically for DeBakey High School students. Those selected for the premedical academy
memorize definitions; they analyze situations and apply knowledge into capstone courses — and later, to their careers.” Vaishnavi Singh, a senior at TAG in Dallas ISD, says the faculty’s encouragement helped her solve “impossible” reacSee MAGNET on page 18
receive provisional acceptance to the Baylor College of Medicine. DeBakey’s Parent Teacher Association provides volunteers and sponsors school activities. Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 College Readiness: 92.9 percent Math State Exit Exam: 100 percent Reading State Exit Exam: 100 percent Science Academy of South Texas (Sci Tech) — South Texas ISD Students at the Science Academy of South Texas can access grades and course calendars on their smartphones using the school’s Campus Mobile Portal. Student clubs include National Honor Society, student council and a solar car team. The school offers advanced placement courses and student exchange programs, as well as vocational programs focused on automotive and technology. Parents can engage in their children’s learning through open houses and newsletters. Student/Teacher ratio: 14:1 College Readiness: 87.5 percent Math State Exit Exam: 100 percent Reading State Exit Exam: 99 percent Liberal Arts & Science Academy (LASA) — Austin ISD The Science Academy was created on the LBJ High School campus in 1985 upon the request of the Austin business community, which wanted more graduates with skill sets that matched the represented industries. The Liberal Arts Academy (LAA) was created in 1988 on the campus of then-Johnston High School as a liberal arts complement to the Science Academy. In 2002, the two magnet programs, LAA and SA, were combined on the LBJ campus, creating LASA. Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 College Readiness: 86.5 percent Math State Exit Exam: 100 percent Reading State Exit Exam: 98 percent Data and overviews as published in U.S. News and World Report.
May 2013 • Texas School Business
Austin hosts third SXSWedu The third annual SXSWedu in Austin grew by leaps and bounds, attracting keynote speakers Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and G. Asenath Andrews, founder of the Catherine
Ferguson Academy, a nationally recognized alternative public high school for teen mothers. SXSWedu also featured a keynote conversation on massive open online courses (MOOCs), moderated by
Laura Pappano of The New York Times, Andrew Ng of Coursera and Anant Agarwal of edX.
JoAnn Hohenbrink of Ohio Dominican University and Mary Shreffler, retired Ohio teacher.
Ana Silva and Micha Villarreal of Ysleta ISD.
Luke Muszkiewicz of Anderson ZurMuehlen in Austin and Ann Teich of Austin ISD.
Jennifer Sanders and Brad Harper of Round Rock ISD.
John Boyer and Katie Pritchard of Virginia Tech University.
Marcy Mueller of Marble Falls ISD and Sherry Hall of Liberty Hill ISD.
Laura Pasquini of University of North Texas and Renee Setser of Manor ISD.
Shefali Choksi of Art institute of Fort Lauderdale and Margot Underwood of Joliet Junior College. LeAnn Hooper and Sherri Guerra of Mesquite ISD. 16
Texas School Business â&#x20AC;˘ May 2013
Kristen Fason of St. Andrews Episcopal School in Austin and Mary Clare Matthews of Explore Austin.
Joshua McDonald of Channelview ISD and Thurman Nassoiy of ESC Region 4.
Judi Lapointe and Pamela Culbertson of Pearson Learning.
Anna McClane and Pam Wells of ESC Region 4.
Nicole Pasteur and Ron Robertson of Picmonic in Tempe, Ariz.
Bob Baker and Dianna Garland of ESC Region 4.
Kevin Malandruccolo and Katie Campbell of Hays CISD and Raegan Witt Malandruccolo of Austin ISD.
Roger Osorio of Studee-Lounge in New York, N.Y., and Aerin Guy of Space Race in British Columbia, Canada. May 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ Texas School Business
MAGNET continued from page 15
tions in chemistry and to gain a better understanding of her lessons in biology. “TAG taught me to always stay ahead of the game and to never let anyone say you can’t,” she says. Texas magnet school inspire teens to think outside the box. “Because this school has prepared me for college, offered so many extracurricular Olivia Aguilar
activities and pushed me so far academically, my world has expanded far beyond the Valley,” says Olivia Aguilar, a Sci Tech senior. Replicating success An important part of creating a successful magnet school is establishing a signature course, according to Crescenzi. “I believe that anyone considering starting a magnet high school should look
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Texas School Business • May 2013
at developing specific courses that students and staff identify as being part of that school’s experience,” she says. “We call them ‘signature courses,’ and these courses written by staff members are required for all students entering the campus.” Also important are incorporating measures to support all students academically. “We ensure that all students, regardless of their background or previous schooling, enter their junior year with similar advanced level skills,” Crescenzi says. “We want students to be creatively and interpersonally challenged. And, finally, we give students a shared experience that fosters a sense of community.” Finding faculty and staff dedicated to working with entire classrooms of gifted/ talented or academically motivated students can be a challenge. Staff members who are excited about being intellectually stimulated by their students and want to continue to stay on the cutting edge of their disciplines are good matches, says Crescenzi. “You can’t be defensive when a student knows more than you on a topic; they will at some point — guaranteed,” she says. As school finance continues to be a hot issue in Texas, magnet schools in smaller districts are becoming more difficult to support. Yet, TAG Principal Michael Satarino encourages administraMichael Satarino tors to exercise patience with their magnet programs. “Starting a magnet school is expensive because of their low student-toteacher ratios,” he says. “If a school board is willing to give the school five years to show progress with their chosen principal, then the graduating class will show the results of the hard work. “It takes commitment from the parents, students, teachers, administration and school board for the effort to really pay off. That’s why we are blessed to be where we are today,” he says. AUTUMN RHEA CARPENTER is a freelance writer in Austin.
David Anthony raises the bar with Raise Your Hand Texas by Bobby Hawthorne
s a young man, David Anthony wanted nothing more than to escape the dirt-poor hamlet of Florien, La., in Sabine Parish, a pocket of poverty and pine needles wedged between Toledo Bend Lake and what was in the early 1800s known as the “Free State of Sabine,” a demilitarized zone of murderers and robbers and assorted other riffraff. From 1806 to 1821, it was an outlaw’s utopia, governed by neither the United States to the east nor Spain to the west.
A century and a half later, Sabine Parish was second poorest in Louisiana. The longleaf pines had been harvested, and the few decent jobs had dried up and scattered — offshore or to the paper mills in Mansfield. Anthony wanted out. His ticket? Basketball. Basketball then was the only thing Florien did right. It was the only thing Florien did at all, actually. There was no band, no student council, no pep squad, no girls’ sports, no nothing. “I was a good student, but I found out that really good students don’t always get scholarships,” says Anthony, a 6-foot, 4-inch guard/forward. “But basketball players do.” He played two years at Panola Junior College in Lufkin, then finished at East Texas Baptist College in Marshall. He majored first in engineering, then pre-law, then history/ English with a double minor in math and P.E. Married after his sophomore year, he decided he wanted to teach. His first job was, of all places, back in dirt-poor Florien. That was in 1974. Today, Anthony is CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas, a lobbyDavid Anthony speaks with Becky Koop, principal of Matzke ing group for traditional Elementary in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, at the annual Raise Your Texas public schools Hand Texas Leadership Conference. Anthony attributes much of (admittedly, not an easy what he has learned about working in public education to his early days serving as a principal in Converse. task). The Legislature
is full of people who think the only way to solve the student performance puzzle is to slash and squeeze while handing out vouchers and charters. It’s misguided, to say the least, Anthony says. “What we oppose is the creation of a boutique environment where you have parallel systems, especially if there’s little or no investment in traditional public schools — the only institution that can serve 5 million kids,” he says. Furthermore, Anthony says the state hasn’t shut down those charter schools with low performance rates and high costs. Until that happens, the state should limit or curtail new charters until qualitycontrol mechanisms based on best practices are implemented. To those who carp about the 100,000 families on wait lists, Anthony has one response: 5 million. “We’re for 5 million kids,” he says. “How can we provide all of them a better education? Sixty percent or more are economically disadvantaged, and that population is growing by about 1 percent per year.” And yet, the Legislature raised standards, increased testing and chopped funding. Says Anthony: “It’s kind of like what Bill Ratliff said: ‘You don’t add weight to a pig by weighing it every day.’ You have to feed it.” Early in his career, Anthony loved teaching at Florien High but was talked into becoming principal in Converse, 30 miles north up Hwy. 171. The current principal was dying of cancer, the kids were out of control and teachers were despondent. The hard-scrabble parents — some descendants of the old Free State outlaws See SPOTLIGHT on page 20 May 2013 • Texas School Business
SPOTLIGHT continued from page 19
— felt like second-class citizens. Still, they wanted something better for their children. They just didn’t know what. After Anthony squelched the discipline issues in Converse, he began spending much of his days observing the teachers — especially elementary teachers, some of whom had been in the classroom for more than 30 years. He was only 25 years old at the time — the youngest principal in the state. “I learned how to be a principal from them,” he admits. Five years later, the school was the best-performing in Sabine Parish. When it was announced at the graduation ceremony that Anthony was leaving after nine years to become superintendent at High Island ISD, parents, teachers and students wept. It was like a funeral, Anthony recalls. Yet, all the success he has enjoyed since in his career can be traced to those days. And that gets us back to 2013. “I enjoy this job (at Raise Your Hand) because I feel like our organization is fo-
Texas School Business • May 2013
‘Public education is an investment. It’s not a lineitem cost in the budget. It’s an investment in our future.’
cused on every district in the state, but we only have one constituent: the kids,” says Anthony, who also served as superintendent for Texas City, McKinney and Cypress-Fairbanks ISDs. “We’re not out defending administrators or teachers. We want whatever it takes to provide a quality education for the kids — all of them. Public education is an investment. It’s not a line-item cost in the budget. It’s an investment in our future.” And when he is meeting with business executives or testifying at the Capitol, he remembers how he got here from there.
“I never forgot what it’s like in the classroom,” he says. “I’ve taken that microcosm of 500 students and those parents back in Converse — 90 percent of whom were economically disadvantaged, some of the poorest you’ll ever meet — and I’ve tried to replicate it everywhere I’ve been.” He also remembers a seventh grader he taught back in 1974. Her parents were poor. She lived in a shack. She did her best every day to make sure no one noticed that her red hair hadn’t been brushed and her ragged clothes hadn’t been washed. Like most introverts, she hid behind a book. But Anthony noticed her, forced her to come out of her corner, gave her a little responsibility and pushed her out of her path to nowhere. Today, she works as a registered nurse. She reminds him that the future begins one kid at a time. 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.
TACS PRESIDENT profile Incoming President Mary Ann Whiteker puts current rating system to the test by Elizabeth Millard
n early March, Mary Ann Whiteker spoke at the Save Texas Schools rally at the state Capitol, delivering a strong message that reverberated through a crowd of thousands. “What we have done to the children of this state is criminal,” she says. “What we’ve been doing in the state of Texas is the wrong game, and shame on me as an educator for playing that game well. But I have rededicated myself to education, and that means I’m not playing anymore.” Whiteker says she believes that performance-based measures have pitted schools against each other, inadvertently pushing aside real education. Students develop and learn at different rates, she notes, and achieving “false performance labels” benefits no one. As superintendent of Hudson ISD in Lufkin, she removed all banners and plaques that recognized TEA ratings — with full support from the district’s school board, the community and teachers. Says Whiteker: “We have raised our standards for the right reason — for quality learning for the 21st century, not for a banner on the wall. All children will be valued, challenged and acknowledged for success on multiple measures, not just the state assessment.” She says she understands that policy changes don’t happen overnight. Coming from a small school district, Whiteker is familiar with transitions that take a long time because resources are limited. “I have a great deal of patience,” she says. “If you know you’re moving in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It just matters that you keep moving.” Whiteker’s focus and commitment isn’t surprising, given her background and personality. Growing up as the daughter of a schoolteacher, she knew she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps. When
she went to Stephen F. Austin State University, she made sure that every course applied to her degree. “No art history or philosophy for me,” she muses. “I had every class planned before my freshman year.” When she graduated, Whiteker ended up teaching in her hometown of Corrigan
— in fact, her first grade class was right across the hall from that of her mother’s. That experience had a profound effect on her teaching. “My mother was a master teacher, so she mentored me daily,” she says. See TACS on page 22
Hudson ISD Superintendent Mary Ann Whiteker says she believes transformation takes time, and she has the patience to endure it. “If you know you’re moving in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It just matters that you keep moving.” May 2013 • Texas School Business
TACS continued from page 21
Twelve years into Whiteker’s teaching role, the district superintendent created a curriculum position and offered Whiteker the opportunity to work on kindergarten through sixth grade curriculum. Although she loved teaching, Whiteker relished the prospect of developing learning systems that could be flexible for all levels of learning. As a first grade teacher, she often had seen students learning at different paces and in different ways. She wanted to help develop curriculum that matched students’ needs. A year later, her role expanded to include developing K-12 curriculum, and she later became assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Hudson ISD because it was closer to her home. When the Hudson ISD superintendent decided to take an early retirement, the school board expressed its desire to have Whiteker take the position. She was less enthusiastic. “I never, ever wanted to be a superintendent,” she says with a laugh. “And now I’m in my 19th year as one.” When she stepped into the job, the
board asked about her goals and Whiteker said she had only one: to create a school system so excellent that people would want to move to town simply to place their children in Hudson ISD schools. Crediting the work of a group of phenomenal people, including a strong administrative team, Whiteker has seen that goal realized. Now it’s time to expand that mission across the state, she says. As incoming president of the Texas Association of Community Schools, Whiteker is ready to jump into the new role and continue her advocacy. She looks forward to discussions with the association’s membership about 21st century education that can be tailored to community and district needs rather than statewide testing models. Whiteker intends to be a support system for other superintendents and to encourage more participation in creating excellent schools. “We need a learning environment that embraces the excitement for learning, that embraces the diversity of our students and allows parents and communities to control their schools,” says Whiteker, who urges both educators and community members
to support initiatives that dismantle the current model of test-based measures. “Rescue your children and take back your schools.”
FUN FACTS ABOUT MARY ANN WHITEKER If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The power to grant wishes. If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be? Professional golfer. Name an author you love to read or a favorite book, and why. I love a spectrum of authors, from Ayn Rand to James Patterson to Maeve Binchy; it’s all about character development. If someone gave you $1,000 tax free to spend as you wish, what would you do with it? I would take a deserving high school student shopping and let them feel like a king or queen for a day.
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Texas School Business • May 2013
point of view Is Texas public education headed toward privatization? By Julie Freeman Haney
n recent years, there has been a clear push to reform public education not only through the introduction of virtual schools and private-school tuition vouchers, but also through efforts to privatize services. Some argue these efforts to privatize public education are forming and funding key policy decisions across the nation. Texas is not excluded from these reform efforts. For the past several legislative sessions, public education stakeholders have pushed back on such reforms, and this session is shaping up to be another fight. At its core, the very concept of privatizing a public service seems almost comically ironic. Perhaps that is the reason “outsourcing” often has replaced “privatization” terminology not only in everyday rhetoric but in policy discussions, briefings and position papers. What are often touted as cost-saving measures might end up costing school districts, the state and taxpayers more in the end. Meanwhile, corporations are profiting off the business of public education and the billions of dollars that flow into public schools each biennium. In recent years, educators have witnessed the debate over whether to turn the Teacher Retirement System over to private investors. For the time being, those discussions have quieted; however, it’s always just a bill away from becoming reality. If such changes occurred, a private investment firm would profit from each transaction or investment, unlike the current structure where retirees have no overhead fees or charges when their dollars are invested because of the “in-house fund manager,” so to speak. Another scenario might be that individuals would determine their investments (in most cases from an approved vendor list) and potentially realize better earnings. However, the result if the investments falter is devastating:
Entire retirement savings plans could be swept away without any recourse. Under the state’s current guaranteed benefits plan, the state can tell a retiree exactly how much she will earn in retirement according to her years in the system — just one benefit of a large, solvent, actuarially sound fund. Legislation from the last session suggested such changes as mandatory participation and investment advisory fees of up to 2 percent of the annual value of the account — not to mention the elected class would have been exempt from the mandatory participation, fees, etc. School districts are all too familiar with how the previous legislative session’s budget cuts affected operations at the local level. Districts across Texas have explored and implemented various strategies to offset the cuts. Many districts looked toward outsourcing operations as a means to save money. Transportation and custodial services are two of the more common functions outsourced to third-party vendors. At first glance, outsourcing these services seems to generate automatic savings; however, there are often additional costs in the out-years when contracts are up for renewal, buses need to be replaced, or you no longer need to outsource only to find out you can’t afford to take the service back (because you’ve let go of your equipment/fleet). Additional concerns arise when outsourcing custodial services. Districts often are surprised to find out the custodial workers have very specific contracts, and certain services once covered on a daily basis are no longer allowed under the new contract. As a result, districts have to hire or find someone else on staff to cover the now-restricted duties. The move from an in-house custodial staff that cleans classrooms, bathrooms, and empties trash cans on a daily basis to possibly a weekly service results in classroom teachers and
principals taking on many of the daily custodial duties. Another concern over outsourcing services involves the status of the employees. Once employees are contract rather than in-house district employees, they no longer pay into the Teacher Retirement System — meaning the overall benefit to retired teachers is lessened. Additionally, the contract employees do not benefit from the state’s retirement system, accrued sick or vacation days, etc. So why outsource or privatize such services? It’s no wonder, with increasing pressure on district officials to save money, operate more “efficiently,” meet ever-increasing accountability standards — and all for significantly less money per student. It’s difficult to reconcile the severe cuts to the public education system while also seeing firsthand the simultaneous efforts to create an unproven school choice (new label for vouchers) system. Wouldn’t it be more fiscally conservative and responsible to invest in the existing infrastructure of the state and put resources into the system that will serve the vast majority of public school students? Instead, we see repeated efforts to invest the state’s limited resources in an experimental pet project met in several states with lawsuits regarding the very constitutionality of such programs. As we read these news stories and policy papers from think tanks in Austin proposing school choice as the solution for low-income, single, working mothers with kids in failing schools, we can’t help but notice the identical bills being filed across the country, which indicate there is much more to this debate than a handful of Texas students. As Bonnie Lesley, cofounder of Texas Kids Can’t Wait, pointed out, “money interests have fooled people See POV on page 24 May 2013 • Texas School Business
POV continued from page 23
into thinking that school choice is the right thing to do.” Vouchers are simply a political diversion and do not address the needs of the 4.9 million students attending Texas public schools. Many unanswered questions remain surrounding admissions policies, transportation needs, and extra expenses for meals, uniforms, books, extracurricular activities, parental involvement, fair treatment of taxpayers, constitutionality and more. Despite these concerns, a few
legislators continue to push such policies seemingly undisturbed by the damaging cuts and increasing needs of public schools across the state. Business tax credits as discussed by certain legislators would give businesses a tax break for donating a portion of their business taxes to a third-party nonprofit company that then would give scholarships to families for their children to attend private school. Though approached from a different angle, public education advocates still call this attempt a voucher, because the funds that would have been collected and
S C H O O L S
Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School Dallas Independent School District
June 17-19, 2013 F Frisco, Texas
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Texas School Business • May 2013
paid into the state’s general revenue fund are now supporting a private, and possibly religious, education. Supporters of Texas public education should be diligent in their efforts to inform their communities about the intent behind such bills, to find out what the research really shows and to ask the difficult questions. Texas is a diverse state; the differences between our large and small districts and rural and urban districts pose quite a challenge for anyone writing public education policy. However, pushing districts toward outsourcing and authoring policies that promote privatization and vouchers will have lasting effects on our public schools. As Deann Lee, state/federal programs director for Paris ISD and president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, says: “You can never have just one conversation about this. … There is a different face on a large versus small district.” Public education is a founding principle of a solid democracy — one that our forefathers wrote into our constitution, without hesitation, without question and without confusion. As Lee summarizes: “Any time money is a priority over a child’s best interest and education, there will be conflicts and problems.” JULIE FREEMAN HANEY is a government relations and public affairs consultant representing public education clients, including the Texas Association of Community Schools.
Tune into the 83rd Legislature in the coming months as the state budget is finalized and House and Senate education committees continue to meet and take testimony on bills that affect Texas public schools. Keep in mind the school finance court case will probably be appealed to the Supreme Court and we will wait for its finding – expected possibly in the spring of 2014 – and probably with a special session on school finance to follow. To watch legislative hearings, look up specific bills or read the latest member press releases, visit www. house.state.tx.us and www.senate. state.tx.us.
Abilene ISD Cary Owens, who worked as the district’s coordinator of instructional technology since 2008, is now chief technology officer. She began her career 18 years ago as a math teacher at Jefferson Middle School, moving to Madison Middle School in the same capacity. She has been in the Abilene ISD Technology Department for 12 years, serving as a technology analyst and instructional technology specialist before taking her most recent position. Owens has earned four degrees from Abilene Christian University: two bachelor’s degrees, in computer science and mathematics instruction, and two master’s degrees, in school principalship and school supervision. Cynde Wadley has stepped into the role of coordinator of instructional technology. She previously was assistant superintendent of curriculum and technology integration at Abilene’s Wylie ISD and a technology consultant for ESC Region 14. Earlier in her career with Abilene ISD, she served as an elementary teacher. Athens ISD Janie Sims, a district assistant superintendent since 2000, is now superintendent. She was most recently curriculum director and also has served as an intermediate and elementary principal with Athens ISD. Sims, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler, holds a doctorate from Stephen F. Austin State University. Birdville ISD Charles “Chris” Feris is the district’s new director of athletics. He comes to his new position from Plano ISD, where he was associate athletic director since 2003. A longtime member of the National Interscholastic Athletic AdminisCharles “Chris” trators Association, he Feris is treasurer of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. He was an assistant baseball coach at Rice University from 1994 to 2000 and was assistant director of marketing and development in the school’s athletics department in 19931994. Feris has a bachelor’s degree from Rice University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston. Burleson ISD A new human resources director has
been named for the district. She is Cretia Basham, who previously served as a teacher and, most recently, as principal of Hajek Elementary School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. China Spring ISD Marc Faulkner, who had been serving as the district’s assistant superintendent, has been promoted to superintendent. An educator for 16 years, he also has worked as China Spring ISD’s high school principal and interim superintenMarc Faulkner dent. He began his career teaching agricultural science at Marlin High School in Marlin ISD in 1997, going on to take his first administrative assignment in 2001 when he became assistant principal of Robinson High School in Robinson ISD. He joined China Spring ISD in 2004. In 2008, he was named ESC Region 7 Principal of the Year. Faulkner earned both his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and his master’s degree in education from Tarleton State University. He is near completion of his doctorate at Stephen F. Austin State University. Clint ISD Superintendent Edward Gabaldon has announced his upcoming retirement, effective in June. Comal ISD David Anderson is the district’s new chief financial officer. He most recently held the same position in Manor ISD and has served in similar capacities in other Central and South Texas districts, including Hays CISD and David Anderson Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City, Seguin and Pflugerville ISDs. Kari Hutchison has been appointed the district’s deputy superintendent. She joined Comal ISD in 1999 as director of communications, and in 2009 she was promoted to assistant superintendent for administrative services. Before Kari Hutchison coming to Comal ISD, she spent 10 years in El Paso
ISD, where she was executive director for communications and business partnerships. The new executive director for facilities and construction is Helen Keaton, who spent 20 years in the public sector with Joeris General Contractors as vice president of estimating and preconstruction. Last year, she was treasurer of the Helen Keaton political action committee for Southwest ISD’s successful bond election in San Antonio. The new executive director for human resources is Catherine Robert, who joined the district in 2011 as coordinator of community education. She began as a teacher in Fredericksburg ISD and also worked in Kerrville ISD. Prior to Catherine Robert coming to Comal ISD, she was an education specialist in academic services for ESC Region 13. Conroe ISD Snyder Elementary School, the district’s newest primary school, will have Lindsay Ardoin as principal when it opens for the 2013-2014 school year. She has been an educator for 12 years, the past five with Conroe ISD. Lindsay Ardoin She has been an assistant principal at Coulson Tough K-6 School and at Birnham Woods Elementary. Before coming to Conroe, she taught third and fifth grades and worked as an instructional and intervention specialist. Ardoin, who earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, holds a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University. Another new school, Conroe High School Ninth Grade Campus, will open in the fall with Jeff Stichler as principal. An educator for 18 years, he has spent the past 14 in Conroe ISD as a teacher, assistant principal, summer school Jeff Stichler principal and associate principal. His most recent position was associate principal of curriculum and instruction at Conroe High School. See WHO’S NEWS on page 26 May 2013 • Texas School Business
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 25
Stichler holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University and a doctorate in education from the University of Houston. Crosbyton CISD Shawn Mason, former director of the Lamb County Shared Services Arrangement in Littlefield ISD, is the district’s new superintendent. He began his career as a junior high teacher and coach in Fredericksburg ISD, then returned Shawn Mason to his native west Texas to teach and coach in Anton ISD, where he also served as athletic director for five years before moving to Littlefield. In Littlefield ISD, he was a high school assistant principal, junior high principal and director of special education. Mason, who attended Abilene Christian University before earning his bachelor’s degree in education from Angelo State University, has a master’s degree in education from Lubbock Christian University. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Cathy Jacobs has moved from her former position as assistant principal of Swenke Elementary School to principal of Matzke Elementary. She has spent her entire 14year career with the district, beginning at Ault Elementary, where she taught for six
years and served as an instructional specialist for three. She took her first assistant principal position in 2007 at Moore Elementary, serving there for two years before opening Swenke in 2009. Jacobs Cathy Jacobs received both her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. A new assistant superintendent for communications and community relations is in place for the district. She is Nicole Ray, who comes to the district from the private sector, where she had a career in sales, marketing and Nicole Ray management. Ray earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Houston and has been an active volunteer in CypressFairbanks ISD. Director of Student Services for Admissions Dave Schrandt has been appointed to the board of directors of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. He has been a member for four years and is only the Dave Schrandt fourth Texas representa-
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Texas School Business • May 2013
tive to serve on its board of directors since the organization’s founding in 1989. Dalhart ISD Former Eden CISD Superintendent John Massey is now superintendent of Dalhart ISD. He began his career as an agricultural science teacher in Hereford ISD. He also has served as an assistant principal and principal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas Tech University. Deer Park ISD Stephen Harrell, former principal of Bonnette Junior High, is the district’s new assistant superintendent for administration. A graduate of Deer Park High, he began his career in Pasadena ISD in 1989. In 1996, he was hired as a Stephen Harrell teacher and coach at Deer Park High. Three years later, he was named assistant principal of Deepwater Junior High and became the school’s principal in 2005. He held that job until moving to his most recent position at Bonnette. Harrell earned his bachelor’s degree in physical science from Sam Houston State University and his master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Del Valle ISD Teresa Jara is now director of the Del Valle Alternative Education Program. Formerly assistant principal of Baty Elementary School, she has been an educator for 17 years. She received her master’s degree in educational administration Teresa Jara from Sam Houston State University. The new director of human resources is Ray Prentice. An educator for 15 years, he has worked in Del Valle ISD as a P.E. teacher, assistant principal and principal of Hillcrest Elementary. Prentice, who holds a master’s degree in kineRay Prentice siology from the University of North Texas, is at work on his doctorate in school improvement from Texas State University.
Ector County ISD Superintendent Hector Mendez has announced his plan to retire at the end of this school year, capping a 33year career in education, 29 of those with Ector County ISD. He began as a teacher in San Angelo ISD for a year, followed Hector Mendez by four years with Midland ISD. He came to Ector County ISD in 1980 and has served as a teacher, principal, executive director and assistant superintendent. He was named interim superintendent in 2007, and the position was made permanent in 2008. Mendez earned his bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and his master’s degree from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Electra ISD A new superintendent is in place for the district. He is Scott Hogue, who had been serving as superintendent of Meridian ISD. An educator since 1984, he was initially a teacher and coach in Throckmorton ISD. He went on to Scott Hogue serve as the district’s high school principal, K-12 principal and superintendent, moving to take his most recent position in Meridian ISD in 2009. Hogue holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and a master’s degree in education from Texas Woman’s University.
ance and counseling from The University of Texas at El Paso. Fort Worth ISD Dunbar High School Principal Carlos Walker was honored in February as the Administrator of the Year by the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members. His award was presented during the group’s annual education summit in Austin. Frisco ISD Mike Farish is retiring at the end of the school year from his position as principal of Wakeland High School. This will complete his 32-year career as an educator. For 16 years, he taught history and coached football, basketball, baseball, track, and cross country in Plano, Highland Park and Frisco ISDs. He spent five years as associate principal of Frisco High School before taking on the top position at Wakeland High when it opened in 2006. He was named ESC Region 10’s Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals in 2012. Farish holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s and doctoral degree in education. The district’s newest campus, Independence High School, is scheduled to open in August with Scott Warstler as principal. He is finishing this school year as associate principal of Liberty High. He has been an Scott Warstler
educator for 17 years, coming to the district in 2010. Before that time, he was an assistant and associate principal in Canyon ISD and also served as a math and science teacher for 10 years. Warstler earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his master’s degree from West Texas A&M University. Taking the reins as principal of Wakeland High School is Clarence Williams, who is currently finishing his assignment as an associate principal of that campus. An educator for 19 years, he came to the district in 2009 to serve Clarence Williams as an assistant principal at Heritage High after working as a teacher in Dallas ISD and as an assistant principal in Richardson ISD. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University and his master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Georgetown ISD Cade Smith has joined Georgetown ISD as principal of Georgetown High School. An educator for 14 years, he comes to his new job from Frisco ISD, where he served as an associate principal and assistant principal since 2009. Beginning his career as a teacher in Lockhart ISD, he also has been an administrator in Allen ISD and a teacher and coach at Allen High School and See WHO’S NEWS on page 28
El Paso ISD Carolyn Legorreta is now principal of Andress High School. She has been with the district since 1970, most recently serving as assistant principal of the school. She has spent her entire career in El Paso ISD, beginning in 1970 as a fourth grade teacher at Putnam Elementary. She also has been a science teacher, counselor, science facilitator and assistant coordinator. Legorreta has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in science from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her doctorate in curriculum and instruction was awarded from New Mexico State University. Adan Lopez has been named principal of Hughey Elementary School. He joined the district in 1994 as a bilingual teacher at Lee Elementary and also has been a counselor at Jefferson and Irvin high schools. Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in guidMay 2013 • Texas School Business
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 27
Kaufman High in Kaufman ISD. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Goose Creek CISD Melissa Martinez is the new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She began her career in Harlingen CISD in 1992 as a sixth grade teacher at Wilson Elementary. She transferred to Mission ISD as a second grade teacher at Melissa Martinez Pearson Elementary for a year, then spent two years teaching third grade at de la Garza Elementary in La Joya ISD. She joined Sharyland ISD in 1996 as the district’s elementary curriculum and instruction coordinator, then served for three years as executive director for curriculum and instruction before being named assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Martinez earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of Texas-Pan American. Katy ISD A new chief information officer has been named for the district. He is John Ala-
wneh, who comes to Katy from Austin ISD, where he was executive director of information technology and chief information officer. Prior to that assignment, he was executive director of technology operations for Plano ISD and administrative director of information technology and services for the Hospital Corporation of American’s North Texas division in Irving. Alawneh received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso. In addition, he earned an MBA in operation management from New Mexico State University. Killeen ISD Joseph Welch is the district’s new director of student services. He has been a classroom teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal at the middle and high school levels. He comes to Killeen from Manor ISD, where he was principal of Manor Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a master’s degree from National University. Lake Travis ISD Gary Briley, director of athletics, has announced his upcoming retirement, effective in July. Hank Carter, Lake Travis High School football head coach, has taken on additional duties as the district’s director of athletics. He came to Lake Travis ISD
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Texas School Business • May 2013
in 2008 as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Lake Travis High. In 2010, he was made head coach and athletic coordinator. He was named 2012’s State Coach of the Year for football by the National Federation of High School Coaches Association. His 13 years of coaching and teaching have been spent in Eustace, Bay City and Stephenville ISDs, as well as Lake Travis.
Lamar CISD Henva Bloha has been promoted from assistant principal of Williams Elementary School to principal of that campus. Formerly, she was a teacher and assistant principal in Houston ISD. Kera Faltysek is Velasquez Elementary Henva Bloha School’s new principal. A graduate of Lamar CISD schools, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her master’s degree from the University of Houston at Victoria. Before becoming an adminisKera Faltysek trator, she taught at Velasquez, Travis and Beasley elementary schools. She was most recently assistant principal of Hutchinson Elementary. The district’s new coordinator for student achievement and data interpretation research and accountability is Kara Landgrebe. She comes to the district from Katy ISD, where she was a coach and special education teacher. She Kara Landgrebe also worked as a teacher in Del Valle ISD. Landgrebe earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her master’s degree from Lamar University. The new head football coach and campus Shaun McDowell coordinator at Foster High School is Shaun McDowell. He played fullback at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and was head foot-
ball coach and campus athletic director at Fort Bend ISD’s Willowridge High School. Prior to that, he was a coach and teacher in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. McDowell, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, holds a master’s degree from Lamar University. Heather Patterson will be the first principal of Ryon Middle School when it opens this fall. She served as assistant principal at Velasquez from that school’s beginnings in 2006. She was named principal in 2009. Prior to becoming Heather an administrator, she was Patterson a teacher at Travis and Pink elementary schools. Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree from the University of Houston at Victoria. Carla Thomas is now assistant principal of Smith Elementary School, where she had been serving in an interim position. Jennifer Zebold will lead another new school, Adolphus Elementary, as principal Carla Thomas in the fall. She has been principal of Williams Elementary since 2008. Before joining the district, she was a teacher and assistant principal in Katy ISD and a teacher in Alief ISD. She has a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Jennifer Zebold Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree from Houston Baptist University. Mexia ISD Donna Savage has been named interim superintendent. She had been serving as the district’s director of curriculum and instruction. John Turpin, superintendent since 2010 and an employee of Mexia ISD since 1988, has retired. He also served as an assistant superintendent, coach and principal. Paris ISD Paul Jones, who was superintendent of Saltillo ISD for 11 years, is Paris ISD’s new superintendent. He began his career as a teacher in 1992 in Greenville ISD’s Houston Elementary School, going on to serve there as assistant principal. In 1996, he transferred to Saltillo ISD as an elementary school teacher.
Six years later, he was appointed as the superintendent. Jones attended the University of North Texas and received his bachelor’s degree in the double major of political science and business administraPaul Jones tion. His master’s degree in educational administration is from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Pine Tree ISD Scott Mann is the district’s new director of transportation. The former Pine Tree Junior High history teacher also taught and handled administrative duties at Pine Tree Middle School. Prior to joining the district, he taught at AraScott Mann gon Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, at Thornton Middle School in Katy ISD and at Carpenter Elementary in Nacogdoches ISD. The new assistant principal of Pine Tree Elementary School is Deanna Turner, who returns to the school where she began her career teaching first grade in 1994. For the past five years, she has taught first grade at Spring Hill Primary School in Longview’s Spring Hill ISD. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler. Plainview ISD A new superintendent is in place for the district. He is Donald “Rocky” Kirk, former superintendent of Lake Travis ISD in Austin. Round Rock ISD Superintendent Jesus Chavez received the Architect of Change Award at the Blueprint for Educational Change Leaders Summit, which was held in March. The award was given to Chavez by the E3 (Education = Economics) Jesus Chavez Alliance, a data-driven education collaborative based in Austin. The award recognized the Round Rock ISD superintendent for his “diligent work to eliminate achievement gaps across different student populations.” Sands CISD Wayne Henderson is the new superintendent. He was the district’s head football
coach for the past nine years, adding to those duties the job of assistant principal of the district three years ago. He was mentored in his pursuit of superintendent certification by former Sands CISD Superintendent Wayne Blount. Spring ISD Willie Amendola, who was Dekaney High School’s athletic coordinator and head football coach since the school opened in 2007, is now Spring ISD’s assistant athletics director. He began his career in 1978 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston. He earned his master’s degree in administration from Sam Houston State University while serving as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Nimitz High School in Aldine ISD. He then joined Westfield High School in Spring ISD in 2000 as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. He served in that position until 2007. Anthony C. Williams has been named athletics coordinator and head football coach of Dekaney High. A teacher and coach for 14 years in Louisiana and Texas, he began his career at McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge. He then worked in the East Feliciana Parish School System in Clinton, La., and came to Texas to join Aldine ISD. He has been at Dekaney High since the school opened in 2007, working as a special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge and a master’s degree in administration and supervision. Tuloso-Midway ISD A new assistant superintendent for school operations has been named, coming out of retirement to accept the position. He is Rodney Sumner, who began his career in the district in 1976. He was a classroom teacher, coach, assistant Rodney Sumner principal, principal, athletic director and personnel director before transferring to Spearman ISD in 1999 as superintendent. He served in that position for 12 years and was named ESC Region 2 Superintendent of the Year in 2007. He retired in 2011. Sumner earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Hardin-Simmons University and his master’s degree in education administration from Corpus Christi State University (now Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi). TSB
May 2013 • Texas School Business
THE BACK PAGE by Riney Jordan
On becoming an inspirational leader, Part 2
n the April issue, I addressed the first two components of becoming an inspirational leader: being a good example and being an encourager. Now, let’s consider another vital quality of a great leader. 3. An inspirational leader is someone who gives hope to others. Hope is one of the greatest things one can be given during a lifetime. It’s been said that when we lose hope, we’ve already lost. Why should one of our major goals be to give hope to others? Perhaps H. Jackson Brown Jr., in his best-selling paperback, “Life’s Little Instruction Book,” said it best when he penned, “Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.” Oh, how true! Sometimes the simplest acts of giving hope will have long-reaching effects. I remember a 10-year-old boy who came into the principal’s office and confided in me. With tears streaming down his face, he told me that his mother had left that morning and taken his younger brother, saying to him as she left, “I don’t have room for you!” He had been left with his father, who because of a serious dependency on alcohol, was without a job more often than not. The shack of a house was devoid of furniture, except for a sofa that should have been thrown out years ago and a mattress on the floor. How do you give hope to a boy who suddenly has been given the responsibility of self-preservation? In this case, the school became his “family” for the remainder of that year. He came early. He stayed late. Various staff members would help him with his homework. He was made to feel loved by the entire staff. At the end of the school year, he moved. We didn’t know where, as no school records were ever requested. I must have thought about this young man thousands of times over the next few years. Eventually I retired and moved to 30
Texas School Business • May 2013
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Central Texas. One day, late in the afternoon, some 10 years later, the telephone rang. “Is this the Mr. Jordan who used to be a principal?” he asked. “Yes, it is,” I answered. He then told me his name and said, “Do you remember me? You and the teachers helped me so much when my mother left and I lived with Dad. I just wanted you to know that I got through it. You always told me to take one day at a time, and that’s what I did. “I just wanted to locate you and say thanks for giving me hope during that time.” Today, this young man and I keep in touch on Facebook. He’s married and has a beautiful daughter and a good job. Life is good. When life gets difficult, it’s good to remember that it’s not the end; it’s just a “bend,” as someone has said. Recently, I came across a list of the top 100 inspirational leaders in world history. It included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther, Samuel Adams, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and even Bob Hope. But near the bottom of the list was Todd Beamer. Remember him? He was a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when it was hijacked as part of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. His cry of hope — “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” — became the message of hope as we have fought terrorists around the globe. Want today to be worthwhile? Give someone hope. Next issue: An inspirational leader displays passion about his purpose.
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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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CONGRATULATIONS! 2013 REGIONAL FINALISTS Rising Star
Barton Hills Elementary
Principal Genia Antoine Pflugerville Elementary
Travis Heights Elementary
Dr. Thomas Esparza Elementary
Stephanie Cravens Early Childhood Academy
John & Margie Stipes Elementary
Ben Milam Elementary
Deanna Swenke Elementary
James & Margie Marion Elementary
Kristen Guerra Frank Tejeda Middle School
Ada Joella Ballesteros
George Washington Middle School
Rockport-Fulton Middle School
Joel Johnson Armando Chapa Middle School
Cindy Jones Woodrow Wilson Jr. High
Ryan Patton Stephen F. Austin Middle School
Steve Davidson Douglas MacArthur High School
Ponderosa Griggs North Shore Sr. High School
Dr. Rachel Lawton North Side High School
Andrew Jackson Elementary
Dr. Mary Longloy
Redland Oaks Elementary
Fulton 4-5 Learning Center
Walter W. Fondren Elementary
Madge Griffith Elementary
Dr. R. Scott Allen
The High School for the Performing & Visual Arts
Midlothian High School
William McIntire W.B. Ray High School
Penny Smeltzer Westwood High School
Carri Eddy Herman E. Utley Middle School
Dr. Barry Lanford Jose M. Lopez Middle School
Dr. Mary Velasquez
Jack C. Hays High School
Luther Burbank Middle School
Terry Zablocki Warren High School
Judith Solis Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Memorial High School
McNeil High School
Small Districts • Brownwood ISD • Hillsboro ISD • KIPP ISD Large Districts • Humble ISD • Lewisville ISD • McAllen ISD Early Childhood Award • Brownsville ISD • Del Valle ISD
• Round Rock ISD • Southwest ISD • Keeble EC/PK & Head Start Center
• Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD • Sunshine Cottage School
Finalists receive the following AWARDS • Teachers receive $1,000 and a matching grant goes to their school. • Principals receive $1,000 and their school receives a grant for $2,500. • Small School Districts receive $2,500. Large School Districts receive $5,000. • Early Childhood facility receives $5,000. All of these finalists will go on to the statewide competition in May where they have a chance to win $5,000 to $100,000 for themselves and a matching grant for their school.
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