The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER
Texas School Business
Marcelo Cavazos â&#x20AC;&#x2039; rlington ISD A 2016 Superintendent of the Year
Inside this issue:
2016 Outstanding Board Lancaster ISD TAGT President Priscilla Lurz TCASE President Don Schmidt
Houston Independent School District
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Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
2016 Outstanding Board
Lancaster ISD’s laser focus on student achievement proves transformative By Merri Rosenberg
22 2016 Key Communicator Amarillo ISD’s Shanna Peeples receives TSPRA’s top honor
14 Cover Story
2016 Superintendent of the Year
From ‘First Day’ to last, Arlington ISD’s Marcelo Cavazos shows students the way
By Bobby Hawthorne
TCASE President Profile Northside ISD’s Don Schmidt cites collaboration, funding as keys to success
by Ford Gunter
27 TAGT President Profile Retirement is a ‘new season’ for President Priscilla Lurz by Leila Kalmbach
6 Who’s News 36 The Arts 42 Calendar 46 Ad Index
Photo Features 10 THSCA convention held in Houston
32 TASA/TASB Convention draws more than 5,000 to Houston
5 From the Editor by Katie Ford 9 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 11 Digital Frontier by Kari Murphy 13 Game On! by Bobby Hawthorne 38 Student Voices by Mason Carroll and Katy Zimmerman 46 The Back Page by Riney Jordan
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.
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From the editor
o my awesome Texas School Business community: After 11 years with this magazine, I am moving on to new frontiers. This is my final editor’s letter.
It has been a pleasure and a source of pride serving as the editorial director of this magazine. Let me tell you, dear reader: In producing 117 issues, I was never hard-pressed to find stories about exemplary administrators, teachers and programs in public schools. Some of you know that for the past seven years, I have been volunteer facilitating a writing class at a women’s prison under the auspices of an Austin nonprofit. The vision of this work is to use expressive arts — such as writing, public speaking and movement — to unlock each woman’s potential to heal, believe in herself and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Nearly 70 percent of incarcerated women in the United States are mothers of young children, so I see this work as crucial to the health and success of generations to follow. The unexpected gift is that this volunteer work has unlocked my potential to believe in myself — so much so that I am taking a calculated risk, leaving my editorial work behind to pursue a career inspired by the work I do in prison. What this new role looks like exactly I have yet to figure out. What I do know is that I feel most alive when I am teaching writing as a tool of empowerment and helping people write and share their stories. As researcher and author Brené Brown says: “Only when we own our stories do we empower ourselves to write the ending.” I want to thank Ted Siff and Jim Walsh for offering me the opportunity in November 2005 to work with Texas School Business. I also want to thank Johnny Veselka and Ann Halstead for bringing me on board in 2014 when TASA bought this magazine. It has been incredibly inspiring to work on a publication that focuses on the strengths and merits of Texas public schools. This is how I want to approach the work I do moving forward — whether it’s leading programs in prisons, in the community or in our schools. I want to focus on the points of light where most others choose to see only darkness. I am grateful for all the writers, readers and featured personalities who have contributed to the pages of Texas School Business over the years. Thank you for being a part of the journey. As always, I welcome your ideas and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620)
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 Volume LXIII, Issue 8 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Katie Ford DESIGN
Phaedra Strecher COLUMNISTS
Bobby Hawthorne Riney Jordan Kevin Schwartz Jim Walsh ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER
Ann M. Halstead
TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Katie Ford Editorial Director
Johnny L. Veselka
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SERVICES AND SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATION
Ann M. Halstead
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA RELATIONS
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978) is published bimonthly with a special edition, Bragging Rights, in December, by the Texas Association of School Administrators, at 406 E. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701. © Copyright 2016 Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Who’s News Alvin ISD Former Navasota ISD Superintendent Rory Gesch is now Alvin ISD’s assistant superintendent for administrative and student services. A Texas educator for 24 years and an administrator since 2003, he joined Navasota ISD in 2006 as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, accepting the top job there in 2010. Gesch, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Sul Ross State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Angelo State University, is at work on his doctorate at Texas A&M University.
Bastrop ISD Luis “Chico” Portillo has been hired as Bas-
trop ISD’s first fine arts director. He comes from Pflugerville ISD, where he was fine arts coordinator since 2008. Prior to that, he was director of bands at that district’s Connally High School from 1996 to 2008. In addition, the following new hires were announced:
Brad Brown, principal, Bastrop High
Kristi Lee, executive director of communications; and Edgar Rincon, principal, Cedar Creek
Big Sandy ISD The former superintendent of Martinsville ISD now leads Big Sandy ISD. Jay Ratcliff, a graduate of Texas A&M University, earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. He is completing his doctorate in educational leadership from the same institution.
Birdville ISD The Birdville ISD Board of Trustees has approved Jody Lynn Fadely as principal of Foster Village Elementary School. She was an assistant principal in Splendora ISD from 1991 to 1998, served in the same capacity in Katy ISD for 10 years and was most recently a principal in Forney ISD. Fadely received her bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas.
Brazosport ISD Lisa Land, an educator for 19 years, has taken the position of principal of Bra-
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
zosport ISD’s Lighthouse Learning Center. She came to Brazosport as assistant principal of the Brazoswood Ninth Grade Center. Land, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston Downtown and her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston at Victoria, holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University. New Velasco Elementary School Principal Rhonda Wade has taught math, business and computer programming and worked as the district’s math coordinator and assistant principal at three campuses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and mathematics and a master’s degree in finance. Her doctorate in educational leadership was awarded from the University of Houston.
Bryan ISD Becky Ryberg has been approved as princi-
pal of Fannin Elementary School. Assistant principal of Milam Elementary since 2010, she completed her undergraduate work at Texas State University and Sam Houston State University and received her master’s degree in educational administration from Southwest Baptist University.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Now serving as principal of Long Middle School is Charde Dockery, former associate principal of Turner High School. She has been an educator for nine years, also previously working as an assistant principal of Creekview High. Kelly O’Sullivan, who was named principal of Polk Middle School, was most recently associate principal of Creekview High School. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at that campus and at Smith High.
Chico ISD Don Elsom, former superintendent of
Latexo ISD, is now superintendent of Chico ISD.
Clear Creek ISD The district has created a new Parent Assistance Center. Tony Davila is the director. He began his career as a middle school math teacher and assistant principal in Alvin ISD and was most recently a behavior specialist with Pasadena ISD. He also has worked as a behavior interventionist and support coach, a youth mental health trainer and a district-wide social-emotional trainer.
Cleburne ISD Chris Jackson has been
promoted to executive director of research and development after having served as principal of Cleburne High School for two years. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he holds a master’s degree in education from Baylor University and a doctorate in education administration from the University of North Texas. Former Cleburne High School Assistant Principal Mark McClure is now the district’s director of career and technology education. He taught agricultural science at Cleburne High for five years before taking his most recent position there. McClure earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture science from Tarleton State University and his master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Cooke Elementary School now has Jake Walker as principal. Since 2013, he was assistant principal of Holt Elementary in Mansfield ISD. An educator since 2005, he received his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Clint ISD The following new principals were announced: Cain Castillo, Montana Vista Elementary
Margarita Flores, Welch Elementary
Juanita Guerra, East Montana Middle
Jaime Hernandez, Red Sands Elementary
Lorraine Vidales, Estrada Junior High
Columbus ISD Brian Morris is the new superintendent.
He previously served in Hallsville ISD, from 2004 to 2016, as high school principal, executive director of operations and assistant superintendent for administrative services.
Coppell ISD Laura Flynn has been welcomed as principal of Mockingbird Elementary School. Her most recent position, assistant
principal of Corbell Elementary in Frisco ISD, came after serving seven years in that district as a math instructional specialist. In addition, she taught in Richardson ISD and in the Virginia Beach (Va.) City Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in applied learning and development from The University of Texas and a master’s degree from Lamar University.
Corpus Christi ISD The district has approved Brigette Clark as chief administrative officer. After completing her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston in 2004, she has gone on to accumulate 12 years of financial management experience, 10 of those in school districts. She was most recently with Goose Creek CISD. Susan Holt, the district’s new executive director of curriculum and instruction, was previously an employee of Austin ISD, where she managed that district’s professional development programs. In addition to her time in Texas, she has worked in school districts in Oklahoma.
Now serving as the the district’s director of communications is Leanne Winkler Libby, who most recently was director of corporate support for KEDT-TV in Corpus. In addition, she has been a reporter for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and a freelance writer. Angie Ramirez, the new director of elementary schools, has 22 years of service in Corpus Christi ISD. Beginning as an elementary teacher and assistant principal, she has spent the past 12 years as a principal at Dawson, Kostoryz and Mireles elementary schools. Ralph Smith, now serving
as director of facilities and operations, is a U.S. Navy veteran who began his career in facilities management in Arizona. He has worked with the American Red Cross, Intel, energy companies and school districts. He comes to Corpus Christi from Amarillo.
Coupland ISD Tammy Brinkman, former director of curric-
ulum and instruction in Iola ISD, is the new superintendent. An administrator since 1994, she has worked in districts in Clark County, Nev., and in Bryan, Waco and San Antonio. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications and elementary education from The University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree in
educational leadership from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Lissa Archuletta, the new
principal of Hancock Elementary School, joins the campus from Hairgrove Elementary, where she was an assistant principal since 2012. The 21-year educator also has worked in Mesquite, Kaufman and Huntsville ISDs as a teacher, instructional specialist and testing coordinator. She received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas State University and her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Patricia Myers, most recently an assistant principal at Owens Elementary, has been named principal of Moore Elementary School. After nine years as a music and art teacher in Midland, she came to Cypress-Fairbanks as a music teacher in 2000. She served in that position until taking her first administrative role in 2012. Myers holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Oklahoma City University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University.
Dallas ISD The new May Elementary School opened in August with Israel Rivera as its first principal. Initially a teacher at Bowie and Mount Auburn elementary schools, he was most recently principal of Budd Elementary. He is a graduate of Dallas ISD’s Skyline High School and attended The University of Texas, receiving his bachelor’s degree in communications and advertising from the University of North Texas. After making a career change to teaching, he completed his master’s degree in educational administration. Jason Rodriguez has been promoted from lieutenant to assistant chief of the Dallas ISD Police Department. A member of the force for 11 years, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree from Amberton University. He is the first Hispanic to be appointed to the department’s executive staff. Jennifer Tecklenburg has been named the
first female principal of W.W. Samuell High School since the campus opened more than 60 years ago.
Dayton ISD Former Lee College coach Brian Courtney has been hired as Dayton High School’s head basketball coach. Lecia Eubanks has come to the district from Galena Park ISD to accept the job of principal of Richter Elementary School. She
received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas State University and her master’s degree in mid-management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She is at work on her doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University. Dayton ISD’s new AP assistant principal is Brad Hadnot. Geoff McCracken, who has been with Day-
ton High School for 18 years, is now campus principal. After beginning his career in his native Louisiana, he came to Dayton High as head basketball coach and a social studies teacher, moving on to serve as the school’s assistant and associate principal.
Dayton High School began the academic year with a new assistant principal. Tom Swacker joins the district from four years in Sheldon ISD. Prior to that, he spent four years in Cleveland ISD.
Donna ISD The new superintendent is Fernando Castillo, who had been deputy and acting superintendent.
Duncanville ISD Tia Simmons is the new principal of Duncanville High School. The school’s first female principal in its 81-year history, she most recently led Spring High School in Spring ISD. Chad Wilhelm, the new director of safety
and security, is a native of Duncanville. He returns to his hometown from creating police departments for Kerens and Marshall ISDs. He previously worked for the Hunt County Sheriff ’s Office as a lieutenant.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Lisa Dunn has accepted the position of di-
rector of elementary services. She brings 29 years of experience to the position, having most recently worked in GrapevineColleyville ISD. She holds a master’s degree in education administration from Texas Woman’s University.
Jennifer Gann, newly appointed coordinator of secondary advanced academics and differentiation instruction, has 12 years of experience in education. She was most recently an advanced placement English teacher at Saginaw High School. Gann received her bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University. Angela Kennedy, newly appointed curriculum coordinator for English language arts, was formerly the district’s early literacy training specialist. She holds a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington. > See Who’s News, page 8 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Who’s News > Who's News continued from page 7 Danny Knowles has been
promoted from assistant principal of Willkie Middle School to principal. The 11-year veteran educator has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Tarleton State University. Gina Mayfield, a graduate of the University
of North Texas with a master’s degree in education administration, is now principal of Northbrook Elementary School. With nearly 30 years of experience, she comes to Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD from Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD.
Now leading Parkview Elementary School as principal is Mindy Miller, who most recently was assistant principal of Highland Middle School. Her master’s degree in education was awarded from Lamar University. The district’s new science curriculum coordinator, Theresa Parisi, earned her master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. She comes to her new position from Garland ISD with 16 years of experience. The district’s new Hollenstein Career and Technology coordinator, Kimberly Traylor, was previously the school’s sports medicine and clinical rotations teacher. She earned her master’s degree from Baylor University. Bryson Elementary School now has Whitney Wheeler, previously the school’s assistant principal, as principal. She received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas Wesleyan University. In addition, seven new assistant principals have been named for the district: Carrie D’Amico, previously an Response to Intervention specialist for the district, is now with Highland Middle School. The eight-year educator has a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. Nathan Driver has joined Willkie Middle
School from Birdville ISD. The eight-year veteran educator received his master’s degree in educational leadership from West Texas A&M University. Prairie Vista Middle School has welcomed
Ron Mendoza, who was most recently an
ESL teacher at that campus. He earned his master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington.
Now working at Greenfield Elementary School is Kelly Ramsey, who was a literacy intervention specialist at Northbrook Elementary. She holds a master’s degree in education from Lamar University and has been an educator for 14 years.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Kimberly Ray, an educator for 21 years, began the new school year at Bryson Elementary School, coming to her new job from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. She received her master’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Texas. Kimberly Scroggins comes to her new po-
sition at Gilliland Elementary from serving as a district literacy intervention specialist. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University with a master’s degree in education.
readiness. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Dallas. Nine additional appointments include: Sherry Crawford, associate principal,
Wakeland High School;
Amanda Dalton, assistant principal, Ander-
son Elementary School;
Kassandra Duncan, assistant principal, Reedy High School;
Michael Vargas of Boswell High School comes from Lewisville ISD with 17 years of experience. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Tarleton State University.
El Paso ISD
Krystle Mott, assistant principal, Nichols
Three longtime educators have been appointed as area superintendents. They are:
Tausha Robinson, assistant principal, Inde-
Dino Coronado, area 3; Blanca Garcia, area 1; Carla Gonzales, area 2.
Fort Bend ISD The new principal of Sartartia Middle School, Melissa King-Knowles, comes to the district from Leander ISD, where she was an assistant principal at the middle and high school levels. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). Joe Rodriguez has been tapped to fill the
position of assistant superintendent. His most recent assignment was in Harlingen CISD, where he was administrator for secondary education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University, where he also received his doctorate in educational leadership.
Frisco ISD Heather Cox, former assistant principal of Shawnee Trail Elementary School, has been promoted to principal of Riddle Elementary. She taught at Boals Elementary for seven years before joining Shawnee Trail. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler and a master’s degree from Lamar University.
Clark Middle School has welcomed Charese Duffy as principal. She comes to her new job from Stafford Middle School, where she was assistant principal. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas. The district’s new executive director of human resources, Charis Hunt, was most recently Richardson ISD’s executive director of elementary college and career
Jennifer Fowler, assistant principal, Stafford Middle School; Kathryn Gray, associate principal, Heritage
pendence High School;
Ryan Solano, assistant principal, Indepen-
dence High School; and
Sean Westby, assistant principal, Wakeland
Galena Park ISD Now serving as principal of North Shore Middle School is James Cline, who has been with the district for 14 years, most recently as assistant principal of Galena Park High. Cline holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Amy Cole, the new executive director of federal programs and compliances, is in her 22nd year of employment with the district. She was previously the principal of Tice Elementary. A graduate of SUNY at Cortland College, she received a master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Cobb Sixth Grade Campus has welcomed Wendell Deason as principal. The former assistant principal of Green Valley Elementary brings 17 years of experience to his new job. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Prairie View A&M University. The district’s new director for student support is Mechelle Epps, an employee of 21 years who was previously senior director for educational support. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her > See Who’s News, page 29
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
Teaching good citizenry
by Jim Walsh
recently had the opportunity to meet Mary Beth Tinker, the woman who, as a 13-year-old eighth grader, was the plaintiff in the famous case that ended with the Supreme Court’s decision, Tinker v. Des Moines. The case was prompted by Tinker’s suspension from school after she defied the principal’s directive by wearing a black arm band to school in protest of the Vietnam War. As most of you know, she won her case. The court declared that students enjoy the protection of the First Amendment, even when they are in school. Tinker told her story to the Arizona School Board Association at a law conference. I was the next speaker. My job was to explain all the trouble that decision has caused for the past 50 years.
of our schools. But look back at the first part of that section of our constitution. It expresses the purpose of the public schools: “A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people… .” We do not operate our schools to prepare kids for the workforce. We operate our schools to teach them to be good citizens. That linebacker who takes a knee during the “Star-Spangled Banner” is providing all of us with a rich opportunity to show that we are doing our part to preserve our liberties and rights, including our right of free expression. The wise coach uses this incident as a teachable moment. The foolish coach has the kid running laps the next day.
Shortly after that event, the National Football League season began, and star athletes started kneeling during the national anthem. Some college and high school athletes did the same thing. Many people found these silent demonstrations highly offensive. And so, once again, I am reminded of what superintendents taught me many years ago: The culture wars always find their way into the public school.
Do not cut off black outline
As a lawyer, I thinkAdvertiser: the high school football WRA Architects, Inc. player “taking a knee” during the national Art Deadline: Thursday, February 04, 2016 anthem is about as close to a true “Tinker” Submitted Friday, January 29, 2016 type of case as you can get. ItDate: is an expressive activity; it sends aPublication: message. It is silent. Texas It School Business Magazine Ann Halstead, 512-963-6584 will offend people, but it does not directly a h a l ste a d @ ta s a n et .o rg cause a disturbance. It is peaceful. It does not last long.
Full Architectural Services Facility Assessment Site Evaluation Feasibility Studies Pre-Bond Planning, Budgeting Bond Election Promotion Bond Program Management Programming Master Planning Architectural Design Interior Design Scope-to-Budget Management Construction Administration
PubofDate(s): March-April 2016 The primary purpose a public school is to prepare children to become adults who will preserve our liberties and rights while living Ad Size/Color: 1/3-page vertical, full color in this free, wide open, democratic society. 2.5” wide x 9.75” tall That’s what our state constitution says. ArtiArt Contact: Grady L. Frank, AIA cle VII, Section 1, has received a lot of attenWRA Architects, Inc. tion in school finance litigation because of its direction to the Legislature to make “suitable 214-750-0077 main provision for the support and maintenance” 972-658-0103 cell
email@example.com JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
THSCA CONVENES IN SAN ANTONIO More than 12,000 coaches, athletic directors, exhibitors and fans of athletics attended the 2016 Texas High School Coaches Association Convention and Coaching School in San Antonio.
Michael Jay and Karl Lawson of Northside ISD with Sam Carlin of North East ISD.
Jeff Lee, Eric Guajardo, Chance Johnson, James Cantrell and Cary McSwain of Mabank ISD.
Kevin Webb and Nicholas Burns of Cameron ISD.
Tommy Day, Jeff Priest and Carlon Branson of Canton ISD.
Todd Rankin and Mike Fredrickson of Conroe ISD.
Jesus Baez, Adolfo Dominguez and Joseph Alvarado of Alice ISD.
Jaime Arredondo, Damian Shipley and Garry Beveridge of Corpus Christi ISD.
Arturo Barrios and Rene Silva of Alice ISD.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Colton Brewer of Abernathy ISD and Logan Turner of Bells ISD.
Meeting the needs of Generation Z by Kari Murphy
reparing today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges” is the mission of Deer Park ISD. Today’s students are members of Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2011 and raised by Generation X parents. They make up 18 percent of the world’s population. They are smart — with IQ scores higher than previous generations — and will be smart adults, because they can process large amounts of information to make decisions. They are naturally flexible and expect institutions to also be flexible. They want to be active in their communities and their futures. Generation Z students are tech-savvy and demanding. They are truly the first generation of digital integrators, as they only know a phone to be a smartphone. Their brains are wired for instantaneous delivery of content, data and images provided through technology. They were born into a world with easy access to information and instant social connection, being most influenced by online video bloggers — real people to whom they can relate. They are the most entrepreneurial generation so far as their portable technologies allow them to participate in money-making ventures. They want products delivered to them as they demand efficiency and hassle-free processes. They are effectively engaged through visuals and by “trying and seeing.” For Generation Z students, education is a lifelong commitment. It is forecasted that one of every two will complete a university degree with the opportunity to participate in online education. As access to information continues to increase, they are more focused on ways of gathering it, analyzing it and applying the information. They live in an open-book world, not one of closed-book exams. They are more interested in the how (the process) than the what (the content). They are content creators and producers, preferring to contribute collectively to this growing bank of shared knowledge. Teachers serve as facilitators. Generation Z students want education to be customized like everything else is in their world.
Technology trends in education include robust mobile devices, wearable technologies, autonomous robots, drones and 3D printing. Many of these technologies are sensory driven. Also, because students of Generation Z prefer visuals, notetaking has taken on a new graphic look. “Sketchnoting,” more often referred to as “doodling” in my generation, is more favored and proven to increase retention with this generation. To address the growing need for personalized learning, many schools are acquiring learning management systems (LMS) that allow for easily accessible digital content. To facilitate the demand, more open-source resources are being collected and utilized instead of textbooks. There is an increase in educational applications based on game design and game theory that provide students with continuous grading and feedback, clear goals, and rewards and challenges. Beacon technologies, which track users’ locations and preferences, are creeping into classrooms and delivering content to students relevant to their location and the time of day. Imagine Pokemon Go for education! Technology will continue to play a key role in bringing change to our classrooms and schools. Generation Z students want teachers and school leaders to appreciate their digital skills and how their brains are wired. As students gather information and utilize it, they don’t always take time to check for accuracy and authenticity; therefore, digital literacy must be modeled and taught. Educators should challenge their students with project-based, active learning that offers choices. Educational leaders now more than ever are required to have visionary leadership practices for teaching and learning that will meet the needs of Generation Z. It is the responsibility of strong leaders to encourage innovation among students and teachers, to inspire a growth mindset and to provide a safe environment for risk-taking.
KARI MURPHY is the chief technology officer at Deer Park ISD. References for this article are available upon request at email@example.com. Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
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BARTON WITHROW, Senior Vice President 30 Years of Public Finance Experience BRADLEY C.F. ANGST, First Vice President 7 Years of Public Finance Experience
The truth shall set you free, even on Facebook by Bobby Hawthorne
ot long ago, I triggered a Facebook spat over a silly meme someone had posted. It featured an iconic photo of Abraham Lincoln, circa 1863, purportedly declaring: “You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.” Cynic that I am, I ran it through the Snopes website, and, of course, Lincoln never said it. It should come as no surprise, given that, circa 1863, Lincoln was social engineering a Union victory at Gettysburg and an end to Southern slavery. So, I pointed out the error and offered a link to verify the fact. For my efforts, I was told, rather curtly, “Relax, buddy. Facebook is not The New York Times.” Well, who said it was? The real question is: What are you suggesting? That a false attribution is not technically a lie? That it doesn’t qualify as a lie unless it appears in The New York Times? Surely not, I thought. The meme didn’t pretend to be humor or hyperbole. It presented itself as fact, which it clearly was not, so I pressed further. “Truth matters,” I insisted. And that’s when I was advised to cool my jets because Facebook isn’t about truth. It’s about friends sharing curiosities, such as cookie recipes and videos of skittish cats and Russian car crashes. I couldn’t agree less. I saw the futility of extending the debate online, but the incident has gnawed at me since, because it reminds me of other “untruths” spinning in the social media rinse cycle. Here’s one: Public schools are failure factories, which is why we need charters, vouchers and standardized testing. Here’s another: Public education should be run like a business, and a good place to begin is by slashing funding. Why, it wouldn’t shock me to receive a Facebook meme showing Mr. Lincoln, circa 1863, declaring: “Teacher salaries should be
performance-based.” Did he say it? No. Is the message true? Depends on whom you ask.
For my efforts, I was told, rather curtly, ‘Relax, buddy. Facebook is not The New York Times.’ Would it make a difference in terms of legitimacy if this quote were attributed to Lincoln? Of course, it would. And that’s perhaps why the quote in question — taxes destroy the rich — was erroneously attributed to Lincoln, rather than the true source: an obscure Presbyterian minister named William John Henry Boetcker. German by birth, Boetcker made his way to Brooklyn as a young man. He preached, among other things, social conservatism. In 1916, he circulated a pamphlet titled, “The Ten Cannots,” which stated, “You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.” I have no objection to Facebook friends espousing this maxim, so long as it’s attributed to Boetcker. To attribute it to Lincoln or Albert Einstein or Bill Gates gives the message gravitas that it otherwise lacks. So, again, I must insist: Truth matters, even on Facebook. The question before us is larger than a minor spat over a Facebook meme. It’s about who we are as citizens of a free society. It’s about engaged skepticism and differentiating hucksters and shills from experts and trustworthy institutions. So now, let’s end with something Lincoln did say: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” published by UT Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.
Join us! Summer Conference: July 13-16, 2016 Fall Conference: September 25-26, 2016 Winter Conference: Nov 30-Dec 2, 2016 The conferences are all at the Westin-Domain in Austin.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
yArlington ISD trustees gather around their superintendent at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston. Pictured from left to right: board member Kecia Mays, Chief Financial Officer Cindy Powell, board member Polly Walton, Chief Academic Officer Steven Wurtz, board member Bowie Hogg, Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos, Assistant Superintendent of Administration Michael Hill, board President Jamie Sullins, board member John Hibbs, Communications Director Leslie Johnston, Vice President Aaron Reich and administrative assistant Lisa Benjamin.
2016 Superintendent of the Year
ive years ago, Marcelo Cavazos, Arlington ISD superintendent and 2016 TASB Superintendent of the Year, started what he calls “First Day.” Every year on the first day of school, he and a few handpicked colleagues visit as many of the district’s 76 campuses as
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
From ‘First Day’ to last, Arlington ISD’s Marcelo Cavazos shows students the way By Bobby Hawthorne
possible. Their mission is to welcome students and teachers and remind them that “there is a way to success, and it’s not just about money or social status. It’s about self-fulfillment, and it begins here and now,” the superintendent says.
Cavazos does this, rain or shine, through sweltering Texas heat and humidity or — well, what else is there? In his first year, the superintendent finished the day by accompanying home an elementary school student who lived
2016 Superintendent of the Year nearby. It was a short stroll, but Cavazos was decked out in a business suit and tie, so, by the time he reached the student’s house, he was drenched in sweat. During First Day this past September, he visited 11 schools, drove 43.1 miles and logged 11,240 steps (the equivalent of 5.22 miles) in just more than nine hours. Why go to all this trouble, all this sweat? Because Superintendent Cavazos understands the challenges facing Arlington ISD’s 63,000 students, their parents and the entire community. He wants them to embrace the one thing he has come to know to be absolutely true: Education may not be the only way to get ahead, but it is the best path forward. The youngest of six children, Cavazos was born to Consuelo and Jesus Cavazos. He grew up outside San Benito, located five miles south of Harlingen and about a quarter-mile north of the Rio Grande. The town is best known for singer Freddie Fender — one of the first Hispanic musicians to reach the larger Anglo audience. Fender’s “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” reached No. 1 on the country charts in 1975. For the Cavazos family, neither days nor nights were wasted. Consuelo made certain of that. She understood that to escape the fields, you worked hard, you saved, you invested, you worked harder. By the time he was 12, young Marcelo had joined his parents, four brothers and a sister in the fields, picking okra — a tedious task that requires long sleeves and gloves, even on the hottest of days. Their earnings went toward purchasing clothes and school supplies for the coming year, even though the family could have used some of it to pay bills and buy food, given that all the children were out of school for the summer. “But she was insistent that that money was to be saved,” Cavazos says. “So, early on, we put our money in a big piggy bank. Meanwhile, my mom would buy clothes and supplies on layaway at the local department stores. At the end of the picking season, we’d break open the piggy bank and count our money, and then we’d go to town.” The highlight of the trip? The store’s airconditioning and a visit to the public library afterward. “The library, to us, was a fancy place, and we’d check out books, read them there, then
bring them home,” Cavazos recalls. “And my mom had the idea that all of this would help us down the road. The work. The savings. The reading. It all connected and serviced a larger plan.”
‘Kind and generous’ Fortunately, young Marcelo was a reader. He loved mysteries, such as the Hardy Boys, and biographies — particularly, presidential biographies. His favorite president was Abraham Lincoln. He also loved school and needed little coaxing when it came to homework. “I was very much into studies,” he says. “I was all about academics, clubs and organizations, such as student council and the National Honor Society.” He joined health organization clubs, skipped sports and band, and took mostly honors classes. When he feared the classes were too rigorous and wanted to drop them, his mother intervened. “No. Stick with it for six weeks,” she would tell him. “If you want out then, I’ll get you out.” In actuality, students had only a week to drop, but she insisted: “I can get you out after six weeks. I can do that. I promise.” So, Marcelo would buckle down and discover the course wasn’t so hard after all — and Mom never had to reveal her bluff. In the end, he graduated from San Benito High, close to the top of his class. “Marcelo has always been kind, generous, focused, studious and has had an unwavering commitment to faith and family,” says his older brother, Arturo Cavazos, who is the superintendent of Harlingen CISD. “These qualities were true then, and they are true today.” For example: Because he was one of the top graduates of his class, Marcelo received several academic scholarships. “When he started at The University of Texas-Pan American, there were two of us already in college,” Arturo says. “Coming from humble backgrounds, we had to work to make ends meet, and Marcelo would not think twice about contributing from his scholarship funds to help us out. He was always looking for a way to advance all of us, to make sure that all of us finished college.”
The path to Arlington Of course, they all did. In 1990, Marcelo Cavazos graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American with a degree in political science. He also earned his master’s degree at the university. He enrolled in an introduction to administration course, even before he had landed his first teaching job. There were approximately 60 students in the class — virtually all veteran teachers or coaches, trying to move up the education ladder. One day, the professor announced, “We have someone in our class who is looking for a teaching job, so if anyone has an opening for this young man, well, maybe that would be nice.” A short while later, Cavazos was teaching junior-level American literature at Mission High School. Two years later, he moved to McAllen to teach English and government. In 1993, he was appointed the secondary language arts supervisor for Mercedes ISD. In 1998, Cavazos moved to Austin to join the Texas Education Agency Department of School Finance and Support and to earn his doctorate at The University of Texas. Eventually, he moved to Arlington ISD to become an associate superintendent for instruction. He officially was named deputy superintendent in 2009 and became superintendent in 2012. Under his watch, Arlington voters approved a $663.1 million bond program. The district has opened two fine arts/dual-language academies, expanded community-based prekindergarten offerings, and signed agreements with The University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Texas and Tarrant County College to give high school students greater access to dual-credit and early admissions options. According to Arlington ISD board President Jamie Sullins, Cavazos has led a districtwide transformation “in a time that can still be measured in months — not the years and years that you may expect.”
The most powerful connection Being named Superintendent of the Year is certainly an honor, Cavazos concedes. He says he is humbled by it, but he knows the award isn’t his alone. > See SOTY, page 16 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
2016 Superintendent of the Year > SOTY, continued from page 15
“I realize how interdependent we are,” he says. “Early on, you think you can influence and affect all these things, and, to some extent, you can. But it’s limited. Eventually, you realize there’s this interdependency with all of us: students, parents, teachers, staff. That is a big leverage you can use. It makes the work more complicated, because it’s not about one person. It’s an entire interdependent system.” The key relationship, he insists, isn’t administrative. “The interaction between student and teacher is the most powerful thing we can leverage in a school system,” he says. “I remember when I was teaching. One young man was struggling emotionally, contemplating suicide. Class was wrapping up one day, and he stayed behind. I was gathering my things, and he was staring down, fumbling with his books, and then he slid a library book toward me. I could see that it was a book about suicide.” “I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” the student told Cavazos. “So, we talked and I referred him to a counselor, and we found a time and a place for him to resolve his problems,” the superintendent recalls.
“Teachers deal with these kinds of experiences every day,” Cavazos says. “You never know what students are dealing with, what they’re going to bring up, when they’re going to open up, so teachers must be as prepared to handle the social and emotional side as they are the academic side.”
more soap in the soap dispenser.
Your last meal: What would it be? Potato and egg tacos made by his wife, Nora.
Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets.”
The most attainable path
A song that makes you tear up? “Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel.
Cavazos says he understands that public education is more challenging now than ever — what with constrained budgets and layers of regulations — but he is determined to expand opportunities for all students. “And when we do that,” he says, “ it builds a momentum, not only with the students, but also with the teachers, the parents, everyone. It has a ripple effect throughout the entire community. It gives them the will to continue, to do even more.” Education may not be the only path out of poverty and toward greater social justice, he adds, but it’s the most attainable path to the vast majority of people. Cavazos is determined to expand educational opportunities to students — from the “First Day” of school to the last — “to help
Serving more than 21,000 students, Angi Williams has led Galena Park ISD for five years and has 20 years of administrative experience. The state selection committee cited her emphasis on the importance of teaching from the “crib to college” and her belief that every educator has to be the best every single day to ensure success for all students. Williams earned her bachelor’s degree at Prairie View A&M University and her master’s and doctoral degrees at Texas Southern University.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
What’s your biggest pet peeve? No
Favorite actor? Favorite role? Jack
2016 Superintendent of the Year
Fun Facts about Marcelo Cavazos –
At football games, are you a sitter or a stander? Stander. What’s No. 1 on your bucket list? Meet the Pope.
them be successful, to help them realize their dreams in a tangible way.” Says the Superintendent of the Year: “When I talk about the path — and I often do — it’s not just a talking point, not just a nice thing to say in public. It is the way.” BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” published by UT Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.
2016 Superintendent of the Year Finalists ◄
David Harris, superintendent of DeSoto ISD for four years, serves approximately 9,750 students. He has 12 years of administrative experience. Of particular note to the awards committee were his proactive approach to the challenges and financial obstacles in the district and his expectation that administrative staff be actively involved in the community. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University, a master’s degree at Prairie View A&M University and a doctorate at Lamar University.
At the helm of Temple ISD for eight years, Robin Battershell has 18 years of experience in education administration and serves about 8,600 students. The awards committee noted her outreach to business partners to discover what specific job skills were needed and her implementation of programs to address those needs. The committee also cited her strong emphasis on using measurement to help achieve district goals. Battershell earned her bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University, her master’s degree at the University of Houston and a doctorate at Baylor University.
Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD Superintendent Greg Gibson serves approximately 15,300 students and has 23 years of administrative experience. He has led the district for six years. The committee cited his collaborative efforts with other superintendents in preparing testimony before legislative bodies and his semiweekly campus visits to stay connected with students and staff. Gibson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Midwestern State University and his doctorate at the University of North Texas.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
The Lancaster ISD Board of Trustees is named 2016 Outstanding School Board at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston. Pictured left to right are President Ty G. Jones, Vice President Robbie Johnson, Secretary Rhonda Davis-Crawford, Past Vice President Ellen Clark, Past President Marion Hamilton and Superintendent Michael McFarland. Not pictured are members Cynthia Corbin-Jarvis (also past vice president) and LaRhonda Mays.
2016 Outstanding Board
alk about turnaround.
Only a few years ago, the Lancaster ISD Board of Trustees faced serious challenges. A state conservator was in place because the district had a low financial reserve. The community viewed the district as strong in athletics, but quite lacking in academic performance. Specifically,
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Lancaster ISD’s laser focus on student achievement proves transformative By Merri Rosenberg
student achievement in math and science was dismal. Also, there were complicated school board relationships that often got in the way of making progress. Lancaster ISD, in Region 10, is south of Dallas, with a student population of 7,000. Eighty-six percent of those students are identified as economically disadvantaged.
So how is it that the Lancaster ISD Board of Trustees ended up earning TASA’s 2016 Outstanding Board award? There were several factors that contributed to Lancaster’s selection, according to College Station ISD Superintendent Clark Ealy, who served as acting chair of the TASA School Board Awards Committee, a group composed of school
2016 Outstanding Board superintendents. He says the committee was impressed by the board’s focused support for educational improvement projects, for school transformation initiatives and for improving academic performance. The committee also noted the board’s commitment to a code of ethics and to ensuring that every step taken was for the students. “What set Lancaster ISD apart from the other finalists was the tremendous obstacles they have overcome, and how that turnaround would not have been possible without the full commitment of each board member,” says Ealy. He also offers accolades to the four other finalists for their good governance and working together on behalf of all students. The 2016 Honor Boards are Denver City ISD, Region 17; Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, Region 11; Robstown ISD, Region 2; and Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City, Region 20. The Outstanding Board and Honor Boards were recognized on Sept. 24 at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston. “Other school districts have faced similar obstacles, but Lancaster was able to overcome them,” Ealy says. “They did so because the board members did what it took to make needed changes, including hiring a strong superintendent leader.” Starting about five years ago, the board reached a mutual understanding of the need to make changes and demonstrate its commitment to making improvements. “We knew we needed more stability and a clear vision,” says board President Ty G. Jones. This awareness led to a laser focus on student achievement. Now, when the board examines the budget, the trustees are guided by what “touches our students,” Jones says. “The majority of our budget — 80 percent — goes toward students.” To reach this goal, Jones, who joined became a trustee in 2011, knew the board needed to align itself with the district’s Vision 2020. Trustee retreats were organized to do this visioning work. These retreats also gave the board an opportunity to understand how each member perceives the issues and how they can work together more effectively. “The board members had a conversation about how to treat each other,” says Superintendent Michael McFarland.
“They’re really committed to behaving in ways to alleviate some of the unnecessary disagreements.” Adds Jones: “We follow the three Rs on the board — reading, which ties into us being as knowledgeable as we can; relational capacity, so that we act as one unit, one family; and reflection, where we consistently reflect on whether it’s working and make changes as we progress.” The board also began soliciting feedback from parents about what they want their children to know — and skills they want their children to acquire — by the time they graduate from high school. More focus also was placed on external communication campaigns to ensure all stakeholders understand what the school board and district as a whole are doing to improve student achievement. “No one can tell our story better than we can,” says Jones. And it’s a story worth telling. Lancaster ISD has gained firm financial footing, has seen improvement in math and science scores on assessments, and experienced enrollment growth. “People are moving back to the district,” says Jones, noting that Lancaster ISD is now ranked near the top in the region. The board has been invited to present its success story at regional summer leadership academies; at the National School Board Association in Boston, Mass.; at a National Alliance of Black School Educators meeting; and at TASA state conferences for the past three years. To develop student interest in math and science, the superintendent and board have built partnerships with local industry, such as Texas Instruments. McFarland points out it’s not as much about grooming future engineers as it is about training students to “think critically, like engineers.” Toward that end, K-12 teachers are incorporating group problem-solving and project-based learning into their lesson plans. “This changes the entire instructional framework,” says McFarland. “We want to demystify the field. What we’re doing is about ensuring students leave with more than a high school diploma, so they can have self-sustaining success.” The district also now provides math and
'What set Lancaster ISD apart from the other finalists was the tremendous obstacles they have overcome, and how that turnaround would not have been possible without the full commitment of each board member.' science teachers with tuition to earn a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. “It’s a retention tool,” explains McFarland. In turn, the district can leverage those teachers to offer professional development to their colleagues. Despite the district’s progress and success, Ealy notes the board’s humility. “While the team of eight was proud of their accomplishments and the lengths they have come in the past seven years, they were resolute that they still have more work to do,” he says. Adds Superintendent McFarland, who nominated his board for the award: “When we can work together, regardless of the challenges we face, we can accomplish great things.” Since 1971, TASA has recognized Texas school boards that demonstrate dedication to student achievement and put students first. Each year, during the convention, committee members interview the finalists. Criteria for selection include support for educational performance, support for educational improvement projects, commitment to a code of ethics, and maintenance of harmonious and supportive relationships among board members. MERRI ROSENBERG is a former freelance education columnist and reporter for The New York Times. She covers education for national and regional publications.
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2016 Honor Boards Denver City ISD The Denver City ISD Board of Trustees includes Joey Rodgers, member; Connie Lozano, member; Russell Dial, member; Brad Woosley, president; Robbie Underhill, vice president; Johnette Mansur, secretary; and Brian Sutton, member.
Eagle MountainSaginaw ISD The Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Board of Trustees includes Paige Ring, vice president; Tony Owens, member; Liz Hatley, member; Steven Newcom, president; Dick Elkins, member; Tim Daughtrey, member; and Donna Webb, secretary.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
2016 Honor Boards
Robstown ISD The Robstown Board of Trustees includes Oscar Lopez, president; Ismael Gonzalez Jr., member; Eva Orona, member; Bertha Roldan, member; Lori Flores-Garza, assistant secretary; and Richard Gonzalez, member. Not pictured is member Ernest Gallegos, vice president..
Schertz-CiboloUniversal City ISD The Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD Board of Trustees includes Mark Wilson, member; Robert Westbrook, vice president; Gary Inmon, president; David Pevoto, secretary; Gerald â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jerryâ&#x20AC;? Perkins, assistant secretary; Amy Driesbach, member; and John Correu, member.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
2016 KEY COMMUNICATOR
Texas School Public Relations Association
Amarillo ISD’s Shanna Peeples receives TSPRA’s top honor
marillo ISD’s Shanna Peeples, who claimed the National Teacher of the Year title in 2015, is once again in the spotlight. The Texas School Public Relations Association tapped Peeples as the association’s 2016 Key Communicator, in recognition of her efforts as an ambassador for public educators throughout the country during the past year. Peeples received the award from TSPRA President Ian Halperin at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston in September.
“Shanna is an exceptionally qualified recipient for TSPRA’s highest honor,” said Halperin. “She has been a champion for public education not just in Texas, but across the globe.” As an English teacher and instructional coach at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo ISD, Peeples has taught a wide range of students, from those in AP classes during the school day to students in the evening credit recovery program. She also has worked with English language learners, who have backgrounds in 27 different languages. Peeples is now a secondary ELA curriculum specialist for the district. “She seems to have an innate ability to understand where her students come from, their personal stories and cultural history, and makes that a part of how she advocates for them,” said Viet Tran, one of her former students. Those experiences helped shape her message as an ambassador and advocate for teachers during her tenure as the nation’s top teacher. “Ms. Peeples has not only used her year as the nation’s top teacher to talk about the positive, she has also worked hard to shape the national conversation about reaching students in poverty and those who have faced other extreme challenges,” said TASA Executive Director Johnny L. Veselka. “At every opportunity, whether it was a one-on-one interview with a reporter or a speech to a ballroom full of people, she shined the light on these
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
◄Jim Duggan of SchoolMessenger (left) and TSPRA President Ian Halperin present Shanna Peeples with the 2016 Key Communicator Award at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston. challenges facing public schools and on the importance of public education.” As National Teacher of the Year, Peeples traveled more than 200,000 miles, spoke in 27 states and five countries, delivering more than 300 speeches on public education and her experiences teaching students who were living in poverty or who were new to the country. “We simply cannot think of another teacher in this city, in this state or in this country who has done more work to communicate the good work of educators than Shanna has in the past year,” said Chris Hays, CEO of Panhandle PBS, who featured Shanna in an episode of the station’s newsmagazine, “Live Here,” in November. “She shared her experiences as National Teacher of the Year and discussed the diversity of her students and the effects of poverty upon them.” A portion of the episode was translated and shared with educators in Shandong Province, China. Peeples’ efforts have won her recognition from across the nation. She is a 2016 National Education Association Global Learning Fellow and a member of the Global Teacher Prize Academy, the Scholastic’s National
Advisory Panel and the U.S. Presidential Scholar Blue Ribbon panel. She received Texas A&M University’s Outstanding Educator Award and the Texas State Teachers Association’s Instructional Advocacy Award. “In my role as a Texas state representative, I meet many exceptional individuals all over our great state,” said state Rep. Four Price, “Shanna Peeples is a standout. She possesses great communication skills and characteristics that I know will continue to serve her and her profession well.” Before becoming a teacher, Peeples worked as a reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News. She earned her bachelor’s degree at West Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington. Since 1981, TSPRA has recognized a Key Communicator for outstanding contributions to public education through effective communications. The recipient may be a legislator, educator or a professional in another field who has improved school communications, or a member of TSPRA who has contributed outstanding service to the profession of school communications. Recipients have included leaders from business, media, PTA, politics and education. ◄
Preparing administrators to lead 21st century learning By Jennifer S. Jones and Yanira Oliveras-Ortiz
eading 21st century learning in schools looks radically different than it did 25 years ago. The rapidly changing demographics of culturally, ethnically, linguistically, racially and economically diverse students brings a complicated mix of challenges for administrators who must respond to the interests and needs of their school communities. Former Wallace Foundation President Christine DeVita, in a 2005 report called, “School Leadership Study: Developing Successful Principals,” described the role of 21st century principals as those who “…need to be educational visionaries, instructional and curriculum leaders, assessment experts, disciplinarians, community builders, public relations experts, budget analysts, facility managers, special programs administrators, and expert overseers of legal, contractual, and policy mandates and initiatives. They are expected to broker the often-conflicting interests of parents, teachers, students, district office officials, unions, and state and federal agencies, and they need to be sensitive to the widening range of student needs.” The responsibilities of administrators have certainly changed from the past. No longer can preparation programs primarily focus on teaching leadership and management theories, school law and managing facilities. Administrators must develop the depth of knowledge to lead curriculum and instruction, as well as influence and develop others while addressing equity and diversity issues. Effective school leaders must be equipped to lead a wide range of school transformation that affects teaching and learning. As the role of the school leader continues to shift, significant consideration must be given to the preparation of these leaders. Higher education has an extraordinary opportunity to prepare aspiring administrators to lead the schools of tomorrow. School leaders must have a vision for a future world where they must prepare students for careers that do not yet exist.
Cultivating future administrators In their book, “Preparing Principals for a Changing World,” authors Linda Darling-Hammond, Debra Meyerson, Michelle LaPointe and Margaret Terry Orr note that principal preparation coursework often overlooks instructional design and professional development, organizational design of schools and building a school community that addresses diversity. Visionary administrators — and those who prepare them — need to keep student performance accountability, pedagogical shifts and experiential learning in mind when developing instructional strategies. This can be done through meaningful leadership experiences that transform theory to practice. In a 2016 Wallace Foundation report on improving university preparation programs, the foundation reviewed a decade of research emphasizing a strong need for university and district partnerships for high-quality principal preparation. This research expressed that effective principal preparation programs include practical leadership experiences interwoven with coursework, giving aspiring administrators relevant knowledge and experiences they can apply on the job. It is essential for school districts and preparation programs to collaborate in practicum experiences that include instructional leadership on the diverse learner and developmental supervision and how to shape a school’s culture through coaching and feedback. The need for educational leaders with strong instructional coaching skills is more prevalent than ever before. After 19 years of 86 percent of Texas school districts using the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) as the method of assessing teacher effectiveness, according to 2014 Texas Education Agency (TEA) numbers, districts across the state are implementing the Texas > See Preparing, page 24 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
> Preparing, continued from page 23
focus on helping learners gain a deeper understanding of their roles as instructional leaders and their roles as supervisors — not merely as evaluators of instruction.
'It is essential for school districts and preparation programs to collaborate in practicum experiences that include instructional leadership on the diverse learner and developmental supervision and how to shape a school’s culture through coaching and feedback.'
To develop the future leaders’ skills as supervisors, higher education programs must expose students to instructional coaching theory and practice. By developing future leaders’ instructional coaching skills, higher education programs can groom future leaders who will have the understanding and skills to help teachers grow professionally. According to Jim Hull’s 2012 “The Principal Perspective: Full Report,” school principals are second only to classroom teachers with regard to the impact they have on student achievement. Highly effective school principals can influence student achievement by two to seven months in one school year; ineffective principals can be detrimental to student achievement at the same rate, according to “School Leaders Matter: Measuring the Impact of Effective Principals” by Gregory F. Branch, Eric A. Hanushek and Steven G. Rivkin.
Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). For the past two decades, school principals have focused on measuring and judging the quality of instruction in the classrooms, but a limited number of principals have engaged in supervising teachers. Evaluations focus on assessing the teaching process, while supervision focuses on improving the teachers’ skills and, eventually, student achievement. Although PDAS was designed with the goal of improving teacher practices, the system has been used as a checklist with little to no impact on instruction. Higher education faculty members have the moral responsibility to develop future school leaders that will comprehend and address the dissonance between teacher evaluations and the true degree of teacher effectiveness in the classroom.
In a March 9 Education Week blog post, Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, wrote that educational research has little to no impact on school practices, given the disconnect between research and practitioners. Stakeholders in the higher education community have the potential to influence the craft of practicing school leaders by creating a culture of collaboration. Action should be taken to build these connections and strengthen these partnerships.
TEA describes T-TESS as a system that “focuses on providing continuous, timely and formative feedback to educators so they can improve their practice.” The use of the T-TESS rubric in conjunction with instructional coaching cycles has the potential to help teachers improve their instructional practices. However, the success of a teacher evaluation and professional growth model, such as T-TESS, hinges on the ability of Texas campus leaders to serve as instructional coaches or instructional supervisors. Schools of the 21st century are required to go beyond assessing teaching practices. Principal preparation programs must commit to developing instructional leaders who have the instructional and curricular knowledge and skills to utilize the T-TESS rubric as a platform for instructional supervision. Programs must provide future school leaders with experiences that develop their understanding of instruction while engaging them in dialogue about effective instructional practices and best practices for instructional coaching.
An integrated learning approach Research has shown that highly effective educational leadership programs include internship experiences that provide future leaders with authentic, relevant opportunities. The experiences future leaders engage in should include activities that focus on developing their curriculum and instruction skills to facilitate instructional leadership. Higher education programs should require future leaders to spend time in the classroom, observing instruction, engaging in discourse about the observed lessons and using an observation tool, such as the T-TESS rubric, as their platform. Conversations should
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Practicing school leaders and higher education
Higher education and school district collaboration is essential for closing the gaps in achievement. By conducting educational research in school districts to evaluate the effectiveness of educational leaders, higher education and practitioners could begin to transform educational leadership. Higher educational research collaboration can impact student achievement in considerable ways by analyzing different variables for statistical significance and determining best practices for instruction and leadership. School districts and the higher education community have the same mission — improve learning and the profession of teaching. Higher education and school districts have a mutual responsibility to partner in preparing aspiring leaders. Educational leaders must be “beacons of inspiration and direction for teachers and students in their schools,” wrote Chris Sun in a discussion guide titled, “School Leadership: Improving State Systems for Leader Development.” This requires a strong foundation through effective leadership programs that prepare future leaders to meet innumerable challenges. The efficacy of these partnerships can have the potential to collectively impact schools one administrator at a time. JENNIFER S. JONES is an assistant professor and superintendent program coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas at Tyler. References for this article are available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YANIRA OLIVERAS-ORTIZ is an assistant professor and principal certification program coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas at Tyler.
Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education
Northside ISD’s Don Schmidt cites collaboration, funding as keys to success by Ford Gunter
nlike so many in his profession, Don Schmidt did not come from a family of educators. His dad worked for the railroad and his mom raised five children. He is the only one in his immediate family with a college degree. Today, Schmidt is president of the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education and the assistant superintendent for student, family and community services for Northside ISD. As a kid, Schmidt attended North East ISD schools. He didn’t know he wanted to teach until he worked at a summer camp during his junior and senior years of high school. “That was the deciding factor that I wanted to move into the education world,” he says. “I enjoyed working with kids and teaching them things.” Schmidt studied at The University of Texas at San Antonio and then earned his master’s degree in school administration from Texas A&I in Kingsville (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville). He went to work for Northside ISD in 1970, first teaching elementary school and then middle school and high school. It was a simple yet effective progression to prepare for his move into administration. “Going from elementary to middle to high school is an unusual situation,” he says. “Most teachers stay at one level their entire careers, and I did all three, in order.” Schmidt’s classroom experience exposed him to a range of instructional methods.
Northside ISD Assistant Superintendent for Student, Family and Community Services Don Schmidt (right) chats with Superintendent Brian Woods.
“One of the things I believe is that changing levels opens up experience,” he says. “I got to see different approaches to education at those three levels.” Schmidt worked as an assistant high school principal and then as a principal at two different schools. In 2004, he became the assistant superintendent for student, family and community services. Part of that position entails availing the best of public schools to special needs kids, something that has been important to Schmidt long before he studied it in college. “I had a brother who received some special education when he was young,” he says. “Back in the ’70s, families kept those children home. You had to have an aggressive school district that was seeking out those kids. In the ’60s, with my brother, they came to the house.” Over the past three decades, Schmidt has seen the way special education — and issues surrounding and feeding into it — have evolved. “Back then, our numbers were much smaller,” he says. “The elementary school caseload was very small. The way we ID students, the numbers now, are completely different. Autism was one in the thousands at that time.” Now the number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder is one in 68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. > See TCASE President Profile, page 26 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
> TCASE President Profile, continued from page 25
With Schmidt’s help, Northside ISD has become a statewide leader in special education. “We’re in more of a co-teach, collaborative model in our school district,” he says. “That is more of the norm in the past eight to 10 years. Every classroom has a regular and a special ed teacher.” Schmidt has seen collaboration between the medical and education communities soar in recent years. “There’s a lot more research out there, from universities across the country, and it’s filtering down to the school districts,” he says. “We are working very closely with the medical side in our school districts.” So closely, in fact, that Northside ISD contracts with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which assigns a faculty doctor to the district as a medical consultant. “Families go to general practitioners, and doctors a lot of times don’t know what’s happening in the schools,” Schmidt says. “We can have doctor-to-doctor talk, our doctor to the family doctor.” On the educational side, the focus is on putting students in least restrictive environments (LREs). For special education students, that
means spending time in regular classes. “One of most powerful things in the classroom is a student teaching another student,” Schmidt says. “When you expose a special needs child to a regular student, a lot of times they rise to a higher level. They see those kids do it so they want to do it. They want to be successful. They’re going to learn at a higher rate.” Despite expanding partnerships with the medical community and other focused efforts, the success or failure of these initiatives almost always comes down to funding — which means, like just about every school district in Texas, Northside ISD is at the mercy of politicians in Austin. “We need to fund education,” Schmidt says, slowing down to hit every word. “If we don’t put the money in now, unfortunately, we put it into many other services later to take care of our population in prisons and so forth. Education is the best place to start.” It doesn’t help matters that the Texas Education Agency has proposed a 15 percent budget cut to Communities in Schools (CIS), which Schmidt says will adversely affect the neediest students across the state. “CIS supports our students in areas that are critical to the individual students and their families, like utilities, clothing, food and school supplies,” he says. “There are other places to
Fun Facts about Don Schmidt –
A skill I would like to master is: the continuing development of technology My favorite way to unwind is: a peaceful weekend with no obligations, no commitments, in the Texas Hill Country. I earned my first dollar by: throwing papers.
make cuts, but not to CIS.” Through his tenure in public education, including a co-chairmanship of the TCASE legislative committee, Schmidt says he has seen enough of Austin politics to have a realistically grim take on the odds of money coming in soon. He also knows that, at its heart, this is a simple problem with a simple solution. “If we appropriately fund education, then we’re going to provide a better service to Texas in the long run,” he says. FORD GUNTER is a freelance writer and filmmaker in Houston.
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Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented
Retirement is a ‘new season’ for President Priscilla Lurz by Leila Kalmbach
At a Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented conference, President Priscilla Lurz spends time with Lynette Breedlove, past president; D’lana Barbay, treasurer; Brenda Davis, board member; and Mary Christopher, immediate past president.
rowing up in Corpus Christi, Priscilla Lurz’ public schoolteacher mother would always tell her, “People can take away everything you own. But no one can take away the education that enlightens a mind and a heart.”
Lurz’ involvement with TAGT began in 1989 when, after 10 years of general classroom teaching, she accepted a position in Alamo Heights ISD, teaching a K-5 class exclusively composed of gifted and talented students.
At the time, Lurz didn’t realize what an impression the comment made on her. Sure, she enjoyed helping her mom set up her classroom each year and playing teacher at home with her make-believe students. But in high school, her true passion was drama. She dreamed of moving to New York to work on Broadway or become an actor in some capacity.
“I was very comfortable having a few identified gifted students in my general classroom, but having a classroom of only identified GT students presented a challenge,” she says.
Eventually she realized: Teachers are actors. If they don’t feel well, they still get pumped up to teach their students. If things aren’t going well at home, it doesn’t matter during the workday. And her mother’s quote stuck with her. Fresh out of college, Lurz became a fourth grade teacher. “I wanted to help my students realize that life at school can be fun, exciting and ever so joyful, no matter what you left behind at home or what you’re going to go home to,” Lurz says. “I wanted to entertain them, and I wanted to have fun. Sometimes, it took music and acting and bringing in the arts to make things fun.” Today, Lurz is an education consultant in the San Antonio/Boerne area. In December, she completes her first year on a two-year term as president of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT).
The whole class learned at an accelerated pace. They were extremely opinionated and passionate. They weren’t satisfied with textbook answers and hungered for in-depth learning. She also discovered that the GT students were more comfortable with their academic or cognitive peers than with their chronological peers. Very early on, she reached out to TAGT for resources and support. Gifted and talented education and the state organization that supports it have been close to Lurz’ heart ever since. “For so long, our accountability system has almost forced us as educators to focus on our struggling students, which is important because every student, no matter where they are on the spectrum as a learner, needs excellent teachers,” Lurz says. “But it’s really easy for the high-ability gifted student to go under a teacher’s radar.” > See TGAT President Profile, page 28 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
> TGAT President Profile, continued from page 27
When accelerated learners don’t have their needs met, they can get frustrated, lose self-esteem, underachieve and sometimes even resort to dangerous behaviors. Not to mention, she points out, we all lose out on what those bright minds could’ve contributed to society. For years, as Lurz taught her GT students and eventually became an administrator in Northside ISD, helping to maintain and grow the district’s gifted enrichment program, TAGT was always there for her — whether for professional development, relationships with others facing similar challenges or resources. “In time, I felt that I needed to do more than just receive,” Lurz says. “It was my turn to offer TAGT my volunteer service in supporting and helping to move the association forward.” She got involved with presenting at conferences and working on various committees and eventually sought volunteer leadership opportunities on the board.
get to have this education and these wonderful professional experiences to just simply retire and not do something else with it,” she says. One of Lurz’ first duties as TAGT president was to serve on a Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Education panel, along with representatives from the Texas Education Agency and the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, to discuss instructional accountability of high-performing students. She was also able to travel with the TAGT executive director to the National Affiliates Conference offered by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), a privilege she never would’ve been able to undertake while under contract with the school district. “It was kind of sad to see my public school career come to a close, but life is full of different seasons,” she says, “and I’m so grateful to be in the one that I’m in now.” In her free time, Lurz loves traveling with her husband, attending a scholarly-yet-spiritual, cross-denominational women’s Bible study class, and watching live hockey games. She also does Pilates and yoga and is trying to spend more time at the gym.
Then, two years ago, Lurz retired after 35 years of teaching and school administration work. After taking five or six months off from professional work, she began working as an independent educational consultant and, last year, took on the TAGT presidency.
“It does a lot to know that I’m taking care of myself, inside and out,” she says.
“I felt that I still had much to offer, like I didn’t
In her remaining year as TAGT president, Lurz says she is excited to continue looking
Fun facts about Priscilla Lurz –
Three guests at my fantasy dinner table would be: President Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Anne Frank.
Last book I read that I really enjoyed:
“The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything” by Daniel Coyle.
My dream vacation is: A river barge cruise through the French wine country and have a chef pair the local French wines with the local cuisine. Ooh la-la!
A moment in my life that made my heart sing: When my preteen stepdaughter first called me Mom.
at the organization’s strategies and goals and how well the current programs follow the association’s mission statement. “I see my job as maintaining the excellence that’s there and then helping us to grow and improve until we reach the next level of where we can go as an association,” she says. LEILA KALMBACH is a freelance writer in Austin.
Professional Learning th e gift that keeps g iv ing
This season, join Texas ASCD and make next year the most educational yet!
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Who’s News > Continued from page 8
master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Southern University. The GPISD Board of Trustees has approved Sonny Fletcher as director of new facilities and planning. He received his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Murray State University. Wanna Giacona has accepted
the job of assistant superintendent for human resources services. She has been with the district for 22 years, previously serving as executive director of federal programs and compliances. Her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were awarded from the University of St. Thomas. Aronda Green comes to her new position as Tice Elementary principal with 13 years of experience, having worked in Fort Bend, Alief and Klein ISDs. She has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston at Victoria. Yvonne Johnson, executive director for treasury and capital projects, was previously the district’s executive director for accounting. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University and a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University. Jerid Link is now senior
director of human resources services, having worked in Huntsville and Katy ISDs. He graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor’s degree in English, going on to earn a master’s degree in administrative supervision from the same institution. Terri Moore is the new assistant superintendent for communication services and professional development. She has spent the past 25 years with the district, beginning as a teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree from McNeese State University and a master’s degree in school administration from the University of Houston.
MacArthur Elementary School is now led by Maria Munoz as principal. A graduate
of Galena Park High School and a district employee for 18 years, she was most recently assistant principal of North Shore Elementary. Munoz received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Christopher Pichon comes to his new job as senior director for school administration from Alief ISD. The 26-year education veteran holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Houston and a doctorate from Texas Southern University.
Galena Park Elementary School now has Jaime Rocha as its principal. The former assistant principal of Woodland Acres Middle School received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Houston. Holli Sherrard is the district’s
new account coordinator. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and her master’s degree in business administration and management from Houston Baptist University.
Aneka Vancourt has accepted
the position of senior director for recruitment and retention. Previously principal of Cobb Sixth Grade Campus, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University and a master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. Her doctorate in education was awarded from the University of Houston. Amicha Williams, a North Shore High School graduate and an employee of the district for six years, has been named director of payroll services. She was previously that department’s coordinator. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Arkansas.
Galveston ISD Now serving as superintendent is Kelli Moulton, who most recently held that position in Hereford ISD.
Garland ISD Athletics Director Homer Johnson has retired. The 1945 Garland High School graduate began his career at that school
as the youngest coach in Texas. He served the Owls for 14 years as an assistant and head coach for baseball and football, leading the teams to district, bi-district, regional and state championships. He was promoted in 1963 to the district’s athletic director, a position he has held for the past 53 years as his work grew to oversee seven high schools and 12 middle schools. Johnson has been inducted into the Garland Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Texas Athletic Directors Hall of Honor, the Texas Football Hall of Honor and the Oil Bowl Hall of Honor.
Georgetown ISD Lindsay Harris has been appointed principal of the district’s as yet unnamed Middle School No. 4. The principal of Long Middle School in Bryan ISD for the past five years, she is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational administration. Jessica McMullen, now serving as principal of Ford Elementary School, comes to her new assignment from Fort Bend ISD, where she led Schiff Elementary. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University.
The district’s new assistant superintendent of human resources, Lisa Napper, was a teacher, assistant and associate principal, and principal in Round Rock ISD before taking her most recent role as executive director of human resources in Leander ISD. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas.
Grand Saline ISD Micah Lewis, former superintendent of
Frankston ISD, is now superintendent of Grand Saline ISD.
Grape Creek ISD New Superintendent Angie Smetana is a former Grape Creek ISD student who went on to earn her undergraduate degree from Angelo State University. She served as a transition coordinator with the Three Rivers Coop’s special education program before returning to Grape Creek as an assistant principal in 2009.
> See Who’s News, page 30 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
working in the same capacity in Dallas ISD. Prior to that, he spent 30 years with the City of Dallas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
> Continued from page 29
Happy ISD Ray Keith is the district’s new superinten-
dent, having served as Happy High School principal for the past three years. The 18year education veteran previously served as an administrator in Petrolia ISD. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Midwestern State University.
Harlingen CISD Superintendent Art Cavazos has been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Texas State Board for Educator Certification. One of 11 voting members, only two of whom are superintendents, Cavazos will serve until 2021.
Highland Park ISD (Dallas) Stephanie Brown has been appointed director of accountability, assessment and research, coming to her new position from Little Elm ISD, where she was director of research, accountability and program evaluation. She is also an adjunct professor at Texas Woman’s University and at the University of North Texas, where she earned her doctorate in educational administration.
Highland Park ISD’s new chief of staff, Jon Dahlander, has 25 years of experience in public education, five at the state level in Oklahoma. He was most recently the district’s director of communications. Now serving as director of special programs is Laurie Gagne, who comes to the district from Irving ISD, where she was division director of specialized learning services. In addition, she has been an administrator in Kerrville ISD and in San Antonio’s Northside and North East ISDs. She earned two bachelor’s degrees from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in education from Schreiner University and is at work on her doctorate from Southern Methodist University. The new principal of University Park Elementary School, Candace Judd, joins the district from Spring Creek Elementary in Richardson ISD, where she was principal since 2009. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University. Ed Levine, now executive director of con-
struction services, spent the past five years
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Houston ISD Houston ISD’s new superintendent, Richard Carranza, took the reins of the country’s seventh largest public school district in August. Most recently superintendent of San Francisco’s Unified School District, he has been a bilingual teacher, principal and senior-level administrator in Tucson, Ariz., and Las Vegas, Nev. Carranza earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. He is pursuing his doctorate through Nova Southeastern University.
Huckabay ISD Huckabay ISD has hired Troy Roberts as its new superintendent. He most recently held the top position in Tom Bean ISD.
Irving ISD Now serving as Irving ISD’s staff attorney is Sarah Flournoy, who earned her juris doctor degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. She also received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College and an executive doctorate in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. She spent the past three years as an attorney with West & Associates LLP in Dallas, representing school districts in Voting Right Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act cases. Ruth Pervis, the district’s new director of special education, most recently filled the same position in DeSoto ISD. A graduate of East Texas State University, she received her master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University.
Jacksonville ISD The district’s new police chief, Bill Avera, was sworn in during a meeting of the Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees in September. He is a graduate of Jacksonville High School.
Keller ISD Keller ISD has approved Jacque Hughes as principal of Florence Elementary School. She was most recently assistant principal of
Ridgeview Elementary, which she opened in 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University and a master’s degree from Lamar University. Other new hires for the district are: Leah Beard, director of organizational im-
provement and strategic planning;
Leigh Cook, coordinator of student and
Jennifer Martinets, coordinator of student
Kay Meseck, coordinator of assessments.
Klein ISD Jenny McGown, former executive director
of student performance, is now the district’s associate superintendent for teaching and learning. With a background as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels, she also has taught in Central Asia. She is a doctoral candidate.
Larry Whitehead has been appointed deputy superintendent. Now beginning his 43rd year as an educator and 29th year with Klein ISD, he was most recently Klein High School principal. In addition to his time in Klein ISD, he was superintendent of Athens ISD for seven years.
La Villa ISD Jose Cervantes has been appointed as superintendent. He was superintendent of Edgewood ISD from 2011 to 2015. A graduate of Sul Ross State University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he holds a doctorate from The University of Texas.
Lamar CISD Tiffany Foster has been approved as
principal of Pink Elementary, where she served as assistant principal since 2014. A former administrator in Grand Prairie and Fort Bend ISDs, she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a master’s degree from Texas Southern University.
Lazbuddie ISD The district’s new superintendent, Steve Wolf, was most recently Motley County ISD’s principal.
Leander ISD Steve Clark, director of guidance and coun-
seling, began his career as a special education teacher in Kansas, Hawaii and Guam. He was lead counselor at Westwood High in Round Rock ISD since 2014. He received his bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University and his master’s degree from Emporia State University, both in Kansas.
Grandview Hills Elementary School hired Kathy Goecke as principal in August. She was an elementary teacher before becoming an administrator and spent the past 17 years as principal of Central Elementary in Nevada, Iowa. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred by the University of Iowa. Abby Kennell now leads Mason Elementary
School as principal. She has been with the district since 2005 and most recently served as assistant principal of Reagan Elementary. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas.
Mark Koller took the helm as principal of
Leander Middle School in August. He has been principal of Pleasant Hill Elementary for the past four years. Koller received his bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and his master’s degree from Lamar University. Now leading Pleasant Hill Elementary School as principal is Heather Robbins, who has been with the district since 2000. She was most recently assistant principal of River Place Elementary. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, she holds a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. Shelley Roberts now leads River Ridge Elementary School as principal. An employee of the district since 2004, she has served as assistant principal of Bush Elementary for the past 12 years. Roberts earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas.
Running Brushy Middle School’s new principal is Jim Rose, a graduate of Franklin College of Indiana. He holds a master’s degree from Indiana University. He was opened River Place Elementary as principal in 2009. Christine Simpson is principal of Rouse
High School. She was principal of Leander Middle School since 2012, having joined the district in 2000 as a language arts teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her master’s degree from Texas State University.
Ramiro Zuniga has been named the district’s senior executive director for information technology services. He began his career in Harlingen CISD as a computer programmer and since that time has served in a variety of capacities, including chief technology officer and director of technology in districts in the San Antonio area and in Port Arthur. Zuniga earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas Pan-American, where he also received his doctorate in educational leadership. His master’s degree was awarded from the University of Texas at Brownsville.
Lewisville ISD Amy Acosta has accepted the position of principal of Timber Creek Elementary School, where she most recently served
as assistant principal. She joined the district 12 years ago after beginning her career in Houston as a bilingual teacher. A cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Spanish, she earned her master’s degree in education from Concordia University. Former Marcus High School Principal Amy Boughton now holds the top job at Griffin Middle School. A product of Lewisville ISD schools, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Woman’s University and is at work on her doctorate. Now leading Coyote Ridge Elementary School as principal is Padgett Cervantes, who was assistant principal of Heritage Elementary since 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Angie Deaton is the new
principal of the Lewisville Learning Center. She spent the past 10 years as assistant principal of The Colony High School, having joined Lewisville ISD 14 years ago after beginning her career in Irving ISD. She received her bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Valley Ridge Elementary School began the 2016-2017 school year with a new principal: Rachel Garrett. She has been an employee of the district for nine years, most recently working as an RtI facilitator. Garrett is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she received bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and psychology. Her master’s degree in educational administration was conferred by Concordia University. McKamy Middle School has welcomed Kelly Knight as principal. She has been with the district for 13 years, most recently working as assistant principal of Downing Middle School. She is a graduate of The University of Texas, where she received her bachelor’s degree in speech and organization communications, and of Texas Woman’s University, where she received her master’s degree in educational administration. Now serving as associate principal of Night High School is Michael Todd.
The newly appointed principal of Lewisville Elementary School, Lakshmi ValdesNatividad, has been with the district since 2008, most recently serving as supervisor of the literacy/dyslexia, RTI and at-risk programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from State University of Coahuila, Mexico, and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.
Lubbock-Cooper ISD Annie Crawford is principal of North Elementary School. Previously, she spent a year as an ESL teacher at Bush Elementary and LubbockCooper Middle School. She is a graduate of Lubbock Christian University and Texas Tech University and has 11 years of experience as a teacher and administrator.
McAllen ISD Jose Gonzalez is the
new superintendent. Gonzalez, who served as interim superintendent since February, has been with McAllen ISD for 18 years. Prior to his interim assignment, he was an associate superintendent.
McKinney ISD Secondary science coordinator Kendra Durham was most recently a middle school science coordinator in Frisco ISD. A graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, she received her master’s and doctoral degrees, both in curriculum and instruction, from Texas Tech University. Darla Jackson, former
assistant principal of McNeil Elementary, has transferred to lead Evans Middle School, where she served as assistant principal from 2013 to 2015. An employee of the district since 1999, she holds a bachelor’s degree in human learning and development from Texas Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. The district’s new senior director of curriculum and instruction is Melanie Magee, an educator with 17 years of experience. She was most recently principal of Polk Middle School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. A middle and high school administrator for eight years, Magee earned her bachelor’s degree in > See Who’s News, page 34 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
TASA/TASB CONVENTION DRAWS MORE THAN 5,000 TO HOUSTON Administrators and school board members gathered in Houston for three days in September for networking, learning and inspiration at the annual TASA/TASB Convention.
TASA Executive Director Johnny L. Veselka and TASB Executive Director Jim Crow.
Bret Begret, immediate past president of TASB.
Shannon Beasley, Jennilea Campbell and Beth Zinsmeyer of Medina Valley ISD.
Author Simon T. Bailey speaks on releasing leadership brilliance during the second general session.
Author, musician and storyteller Mike Robertson helped kick off the convention.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Crockett ISD board members Roy Johnson, Lela Wheeler and Karen Johnson with Superintendent Terry Myers.
Jed Reed, Larry Glick and Linda Griffin of Garland ISD.
Alamo Heights ISD students perform at the convention.
Pamela Nelson-Rey, Wade Schueler and Jason Rector of Friona ISD.
TASB staff member David Koempel (center) with Trey Wharton (left) and Patrick Antwi of Huntsville ISD.
Fort Elliott CISD students perform at the convention.
Willis ISD student Joshua Brookshire (center) asks Willis ISD Assistant Superintendent Robert Whitman to participate in a poll with the DLR Group.
Trustees engage in a Small School District Seminar.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Who’s News > Continued from page 31
English and journalism from the University of Delaware and worked as a newspaper reporter for 10 years before becoming an educator. McKinney ISD’s director of athletics, Shawn Pratt, has been elected vice president of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. He has been with the district for 24 years, beginning as a coach for McKinney High. Misty Young, the district’s new coordinator of elementary math, hails from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, where she was an elementary math specialist since 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Additional announcements include: Larry Dominguez, assistant principal, Evans
Maria Hafner, assistant principal, McClure
Rhonda Hamilton, assistant principal, Mal-
vern Elementary School;
Jennifer Harrison, assistant principal, Mc-
Neil Elementary School;
Aretha Jackson, assistant principal, Dowell
Paula Kent, associate principal, McKinney
North High School;
Danny Ledbetter, assistant principal, McK-
inney North High School;
Kim Luyster, assistant principal, Glen Oaks
Elementary School; and
Gilbert Salinas, assistant principal, Malvern
Mansfield ISD Paul Cash, now serving as ex-
ecutive director of facilities and operations, has spent 26 years in education He joined Mansfield ISD in 2008 as an academic intervention coordinator. He was named director of student services in 2009. Cash received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and two master’s degrees — in education and urban affairs — from The University of Texas at Arlington. His doctorate in education was awarded from Walden University. Icenhower Elementary School began the new academic year with Mendy Gregory as principal. She was formerly lead counselor at Legacy High, assistant principal of Lake Ridge High and academic associate
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
principal at Barber Career and Technology/Frontier High School. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, she earned her master’s degree in counseling at Prairie View A&M University. Holly Teague is the district’s
new associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction. An educator for 39 years, she was most recently associate superintendent of student services and support. Teague earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). Now serving as assistant superintendent of student services and support is David Wright, who was director of campus support. Wright received his bachelor’s degree from Lubbock Christian University and holds a master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
May ISD Mike Carter, a 26-year educator, has accepted his first superintendent role. He has a bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University. He was a teacher and coach in Fredericksburg and Coleman ISDs and a principal in Ballinger ISD.
Mesquite ISD Tanya Armstrong is assistant principal of Poteet High School. She comes to her new position from North Forney High School in Forney ISD, where she served in the same capacity. Blake Cundiff has been hired as director of
strength and nutrition, working with the district’s 5,000 athletes and coaches. Prior to joining Mesquite ISD, he was a strength coach at the University of Minnesota, Albana University and Texas State University. He also was an assistant strength coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
Jordan Simmons is the new assistant
principal of McDonald Middle School. He worked in Gatesville ISD for four years and Rockwall ISD for two years before joining Mesquite ISD, spending the past three years as a social studies teacher at Mesquite High.
Now serving as assistant principal of Mesquite High School is Joyce Wascom, who has spent 20 of her 24 years as an educator with the district. She was an English teacher at Mesquite High for eight years before being reassigned as an instructional coach at Poteet High.
Midland ISD An interim superintendent has been named for the district. Rod Schroder retired in 2015 from his position as superintendent of Amarillo ISD, a district he served for 42 years, 15 of those as superintendent.
Millsap ISD Deann Lee, who served as interim super-
intendent since June, is now the superintendent. A graduate of Southern Nazarene University with a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University, she spent 22 years in Paris ISD as a teacher and administrator before coming to Millsap in 2014.
Moran ISD Kelsey Evans is the new director of girls’
athletics. After graduating from Tarleton State University with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, she spent two years in Eastland ISD as Eastland High School’s head cross-country coach and baseball varsity assistant coach.
Natalia ISD Newly appointed Superintendent Hensley Cone comes to Natalia from San Marcos CISD, where he was executive director of secondary education.
New Caney ISD Dan Carr, who was a teacher and coach at
Atascocita High School in Humble ISD, now serves as an assistant principal of New Caney High School.
Caneidra Chambers-Dick is an assistant
principal at White Oak Middle School. She was most recently an assistant principal intern at Cleveland Middle School in Cleveland ISD.
William Douget, former assistant princi-
pal at Vidor Middle School in Vidor ISD, now holds the same position at White Oak Middle School.
Stacey Paine is the assistant principal of
Kings Manor Elementary School. A newcomer to the district from Richter Elementary in Dayton ISD, she holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Nick Strickland, a former teacher at Infinity
Early College High School, is now assistant principal of New Caney High School.
New Caney Elementary School’s new assistant principal is Lydia Young, who had been serving as a counselor at that campus. Both of her degrees, a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s in counseling and guidance, were awarded from Lamar University.
Northside ISD A longtime NISD administrator has retired. Pascual Gonzalez, executive director of
communications, has spent his 40-year career with the district, working as an English and journalism teacher and serving as executive director of media and technology before heading the communications department. The former president of the Texas School Public Relations Association is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) with a degree in English and journalism. He holds a master’s degree in educational management and leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University. Barry Perez, the new execu-
tive director of communications, has spent much of his career with Northside ISD, most recently as principal of Folks Middle School. He graduated from St. Edward’s University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Trinity University.
Northwest ISD (Fort Worth) A new superintendent has been named for the district. Ryder Warren, who led Midland ISD since 2010, has also served as superintendent of Marble Falls, Crane and Thorndale ISDs and as an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University, from which his doctorate was awarded. He received his bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and master’s degree in educational administration from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University).
Pasadena ISD South Belt Elementary School Principal Candy Howard was named Region 4 president-elect of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Howard, who has been with Pasadena ISD for 32 years, has led South Belt since 2009 and was the district’s 2016 Principal of the Year.
Pearland ISD Now serving as principal of Pearland Junior High East is Charles Allen, who began his career with the district as a teacher and coach and spent the past seven years as an assistant principal. He is at work on his doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston. Larry Berger is the district’s
new director of maintenance, operations and facilities. He formerly served as principal of Pearland High School since 2009. He holds a master’s degree in educa-
tional administration from the University of Houston at Victoria. Carleston Elementary School now has Amy Beverly as principal. She has spent 12 of her 21 years as an educator with Pearland ISD. She earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas. Now leading the PACE Center as principal is Kimberly Darden. She comes to her new position from Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, where she was an assistant principal and director of instruction. Darden received her master’s degree in educational leadership and technology from Lamar University. Now in place as principal of Pearland High School is John Palombo, who led the district’s alternative campus since 2014. Before coming to Pearland ISD, he was a teacher and assistant coach in the Lafayette (La.) Parish School System and in Clear Creek ISD. He holds a master’s degree in mid-management from Concordia University. Jennifer Walker is the principal of Lawhon Elementary School. She worked as an assistant principal for the past 11 years. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Pflugerville ISD Jason Smith, now in his 20th year as a law
enforcement officer, is the district’s new police chief. He had been serving as a police sergeant and resource officer at Pflugerville High School.
Pleasant Grove ISD Jason Smith has agreed to serve as Pleasant
Grove ISD’s superintendent. Most recently superintendent for Melissa ISD, he also served as a principal in McKinney and Maypearl ISDs. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Red Oak ISD Oscar Lewis has been named head boys’
varsity soccer coach after having served as varsity assistant coach at Killeen ISD’s Harker Heights High. He also taught world history there and was an AVID team member. He played soccer while attending Huston-Tillotson University and has been coaching club soccer in Austin with the Lonestar Soccer Club since 2010.
New head girls’ varsity soccer coach Adam Prachyl has been with Red Oak ISD since 2007, most recently working as assistant boys’ soccer coach. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from The University of Texas at Arlington. Jason Sasser is head boys’ varsity basketball
coach. He comes to Red Oak from Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill ISD, where he was assistant basketball coach and taught business. In addition, he has more than 13 years of experience as a professional athlete, playing for the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Vancouver (Memphis) Grizzlies.
Rio Grande City CISD Former interim Superintendent Alfredo Garcia has been selected to serve as superin-
tendent. A 39-year veteran of the district, he has served as an elementary, middle school and high school principal.
Robinson ISD Michelle Chudej is now principal of Robinson Junior High School, where she had been serving as assistant principal. An employee of the district for 22 years, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree from Lamar University.
The new assistant principal of Robinson Junior High School is Patricia Goforth, who joins the district from Waco ISD, where she held the same position. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington and has a master’s degree from Lamar University. Now serving as dean of students at Robinson Elementary School is Rebecca Hahne, formerly an instructional coach for the district. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from the University of Arkansas. A former elementary school teacher for the district, Amanda Schwartinsky is now dean of students at Robinson Primary School. She has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from Lamar University. David Wrzesinski, who was
previously principal of Robinson Junior High School, is now director of special programs. An employee of the district for 19 years, > See Who’s News, page 40
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
News in fine arts education
◄Alamo Heights ISD fine arts educators and students collaborate and create a student showcase for the annual TASA/TASB Convention.
Alamo Heights ISD educators reap lessons from the fine art of collaboration By Bari Wenglein
t’s hard to believe that it all started with an email, inviting the Alamo Heights ISD fine arts staff to a “quick, 20-minute meeting.” Our superintendent, Kevin Brown, was stepping up to serve as president of the Texas Association of School Administrators, and our district was being invited to perform a student showcase at TASA’s joint annual conference with the Texas Association of School Boards in September. We would be a part of the team that would create, develop, produce and perform the show. That brief meeting turned out to be the beginning of a journey that has been more than I could have ever imagined. The collec-
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
tive group of elementary music and strings directors; middle school choir, strings, band and theater teachers; and high school choir, orchestra, band, theater and dance teachers in our district had the incredible opportunity to collaborate and create a production that represented the culture and ideals of Alamo Heights ISD and the principles and standards of public education in Texas. As we came together to design the TASA/ TASB Student Showcase, we agreed from the very beginning that we would tell a story celebrating the joy of everything related to public education — the joy of learning, the love of teaching, the expectations, chal-
lenges, convictions, values and character that define our purpose. In working with one another, it was evident that we were on our way to creating something much bigger than ourselves. There was a story that had to be told about the great work in Texas public schools. It became more than our one classroom, school or district. It was more than one teacher or bus driver, coach or custodian. We knew there were classrooms, schools, districts and communities, just like ours, all over the state of Texas. We knew that each was making a difference in the life of a child, and this was the story that needed to be shared. With this
in mind, our showcase, “Shaping the Future of Texas,” was born. American industrialist Andrew Carnegie said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” We came together as a team to express ideas. It was amazing to see the talent and genius as teachers brainstormed, illustrating their individual artistic talents. The high school dance instructor, Jessica Marie Sanchez, helped us see how we could use the art of dance to tell our story. We agreed that it would be powerful to incorporate a creative and innovative style of dance as a method of storytelling. The unique element of shadow movement was then added to the show. A variety of song selections were researched and discussed, with the intent of seeking meaning for our students and our audiences. As we collaborated, we realized the vision would take much more time and planning to bring to fruition. We worked through the Schlechty Design Process with one of our instructional coaches to ensure we were targeting our message to our audience while maintaining an engaging and ongoing lesson for our students. We continued to share concepts, offering our individual areas of expertise to make the vision come to life. An amazing opportunity for an extended collaboration of music occurred between singer-songwriter Lucas Jack and our team. He generously allowed us to use his song, “Because of You,” for a segment of our show. The original composition was used in our local “Go Public” campaign, celebrating the great work being done in Bexar County public schools. Musical arrangements were written and rewritten by choir, band and orchestra directors to help our vocalists and instrumentalists perform to the best of their abilities. We gathered and shared props from the elementary, middle school and high school theater departments. Lighting cues, blocking and plot design were prepared by our high school theater teacher, elementary music teacher and communications coordinator. As our theme conveyed, everyone had a hand in shaping the show. True to our theme, we wanted the show to give voice to districts from across the state. So, we created a video that would allow us to illustrate the connection we all hold. We spoke with our colleagues and friends to secure video of the great work being done in our Texas public schools, and they gladly
supported our efforts. Our friends at H-E-B grocery company and its Excellence in Education awards team supported our efforts by contributing video from their library. Watching the relationships that emerged between the students from across the district was a beautiful experience. With students ranging in age from 7 to 18, we lovingly referred to our group of performers as bigs, middles and littles. Relationships among students began to grow as team-building sessions, designed by our high school students, were implemented at their request. Students were genuinely in awe of one another and the various talents they observed in each other. They supported each other, even requested time to observe each other’s rehearsals. Students shared input and positive feedback, creating a sense of pride and ownership. Their voices and contributions to the production of the show were considered and used. “This collaborative project has promoted growth in a couple of unexpected ways. First, the band students were able to watch the design process and performance of singers, dancers and actors from off stage. The band students usually are in the middle of the action, but this gave them a different perspective, allowing them to evaluate what they might need to do in their performance on the field in marching band or on stage in concert band,” says Alamo Heights High School Band Director David Stephenson. Much encouragement was given to students to have fun, enjoy themselves and just be themselves. I think as the students saw the fine arts directors learning from one another and enjoying the overall experience, they too felt a sense of safety in letting go and finding the joy in the overall experience. It was evident that the performance was successful because of the authenticity of the joy expressed by everyone involved in the production of this amazing showcase. “I count it a wonderful honor that I was able to train and take these children to this once-in-a-lifetime event. It gave me a huge respect for the work that the fine arts teachers execute,” says DuAnne Hamby, an elementary strings teacher at Cambridge and Woodridge elementary schools. “I was impressed by the way they handled difficult situations and worked for the good of the goal and by the overall camaraderie that we developed as a team. “I am thankful for the collaborative work that made this giant masterpiece possible. Each little part fit into a larger, beautiful piece of living art that touched the hearts and minds of thousands,” she says.
‘We knew that each was making a difference in the life of a child, and this was the story that needed to be shared.’
Adds Stephenson: “Any time you are presented with a new opportunity or project, there is some apprehension. However, a project like this allowed me to learn from my amazing colleagues who all brought different ideas, talents and knowledge to the group. We are all better for the preparation process and the final performance.” “I loved watching my colleagues work with their students,” says Shelly Bynum, a theater teacher at Alamo Heights Junior School. “It was evident that their kids adored them, which I believe was key to the success of the show.” Alamo Heights ISD performed for the second general session of the TASA/TASB Conference on Sept. 24 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. We had 20 minutes to share our message, one that we truly came to understand through our work: Each of us has a role in shaping the future of Texas. As we boarded the buses that took us back home, back to our regular schedules, we congratulated our students and colleagues on a great performance. We thanked each other for all the work that went into the production, and, then, we began to brainstorm ways to continue the enhanced collaboration, looking forward to what the next “quick, 20-minute meeting” might bring. Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” BARI WENGLEIN is an elementary fine arts teacher in Alamo Heights ISD. You can watch the Alamo Heights ISD student showcase on the district’s YouTube channel: Alamo Heights Mules.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
◄This past summer, Lubbock ISD staff and students traveled to New York on scholarship to see how the pros in the field make it happen. Pictured left to right are LISD-TV coordinator and teacher Kenneth Dixon, student Mason Carroll, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, student Katy Zimmerman and Lubbock ISD teacher Carol Alonzo.
Lubbock ISD scholarship creates life-changing experience for journalism students By Mason Carroll with Katy Zimmerman
e knew we were going to New York, but even after preparing and packing for a month, it still didn’t feel real. Even after saying goodbye to our families, watching our bags being loaded onto the plane and flying east for five hours, it still wasn’t clicking. The surprise and excitement hit us all at once when we finally saw the city — Manhattan and Central Park — through the airplane window.
After newswriting during my sophomore year at Coronado High School in Lubbock ISD, I knew I wanted to pursue journalism in some way. Katy Zimmerman, whom I’ve known since sixth grade and who also traveled to New York, has known since she was a little girl, watching the nightly news on television, that she wants to be a broadcast reporter. I was the managing editor for our high school publication, and I was planning to learn more about broadcast news at Lub-
bock ISD’s student-run television station, LISD-TV, during my senior year. Katy was already reporting and studying at LISD-TV. LISD-TV allows students to experience a one-of-a-kind education. The program is very student-oriented. We receive handson experience with shooting, editing and producing our own packages and newscasts. Being a part of Lubbock ISD’s journalism program teaches us personal skills too. Were it not for this program, we would not
“Student Voices” is a regularly featured column in Texas School Business. It’s an opportunity for students of all ages from across Texas to share their experiences in K-12 public schools. Contact Editorial Director Katie Ford at email@example.com for publishing guidelines.
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
have learned to develop our own questions and communicate with people through the practice of interviewing and interacting in a myriad of situations. During my freshman year, while taking beginning journalism, I became aware of the Marjorie Wilson Memorial Scholarship, which provides an incredible opportunity for two Lubbock ISD students to travel to New York to attend the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s summer workshop. Jane Pelley, wife of “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley — a Coronado High School graduate — began the scholarship as a tribute to her husband’s high school journalism teacher, Marjorie Wilson. The opportunity was always in the back of my mind, and I hoped and prayed I would have an opportunity to earn the scholarship. Katy and I learned in the spring that we were selected for the scholarship, and this past summer, we were off to New York! At the Columbia Scholastic Press Association workshop, Katy and I met students from across the nation who shared the same interests in journalism. When I showed the other workshop participants my school’s magazine, The Coronado Crest, they were curious to know how our school could produce such a high-quality publication. After
Katy finished rattling off everything about broadcasting and the technology we use at LISD TV, they were shocked because they didn’t have a clue what she was saying. Katy and I knew exactly what she was saying, because we have learned to speak the language of broadcasting. Tuesday evening was the best night of the whole week. That was the night we went to the CBS studio to met Mr. Pelley. It was an amazing, life-changing experience. Mrs. Pelley met us at the door and personally greeted each of us. She then took us on a tour of the studio. We arrived in the control room just before they were beginning the news broadcast, and Mrs. Pelley explained what each person was doing. Then, we all sat back and watched the magic of broadcast news happening right before our eyes. After the broadcast, we met Mr. Pelley on the set, took pictures and visited with him. I was almost speechless because everything seemed so surreal. It felt like a dream. The iconic journalist Scott Pelley was standing right there, talking directly with us, and we were just two high school students from Lubbock, Texas. Sometimes, you don’t truly understand the impact a special moment has on your life
until afterward, and that’s how this moment felt. I spent the entire dinner soaking up every single word that Mr. Pelley shared, trying to learn as much as possible, so that maybe one day, I can be a fraction of the renowned journalist that he is today. After that night, the rest of the week flew by, and we enjoyed every second of it. It was an amazing experience. Katy and I are so grateful to the Pelleys and to Lubbock ISD for making it possible. Mr. Pelley credits his teacher, Marjorie Wilson, for igniting his passion for journalism. “She had fire in the belly for journalism, and I’m not sure that anybody who left her classroom did not go into a career in journalism, because you just felt it was the most important thing in the world,” he said. On the flight home, we once again looked out a similar airplane window, but, this time, we saw flat, dusty West Texas plains. It was nice to be home, but after this experience, we now understand the fire Mr. Pelley carries for journalism and his work, because we now share that same flame. MASON CARROLL is a senior at Coronado High School and editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper. KATY ZIMMERMAN is a senior at Coronado High School.
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Who’s News > Continued from page 35
he earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and his master’s degree from Tarleton State University. Missy Zacharias has been
promoted from assistant principal to principal of Robinson Primary School. Initially a teacher in Austin ISD, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree from Concordia University.
Round Rock ISD Canyon Creek Elementary School’s new principal, April Crawford, has worked for Round Rock ISD for 11 years, most recently as assistant principal of Great Oaks Elementary. She is a graduate of Texas State University, where she also earned her master’s degree in elementary education. Now serving as the district’s interim chief of teaching and learning is Mandy Estes, formerly executive director of secondary teaching and learning. She has more than 25 years of experience in education, serving in her most recent position since 2014. The new principal of Callison Elementary School is Krista Kuwamura. She most recently was assistant principal of Callison and of Caldwell Heights Elementary. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas State University. Nachelle Scott is now principal of Her-
nandez Middle School. She was formerly lead assistant principal of Humble Middle School in Humble ISD and that district’s summer school principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in science and educational management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Roxton ISD Dustin Smyers is the new dis-
trict principal. An educator with 17 years of experience, 12 of those as an administrator, he has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Heather Gore, assistant principal, Shepherd
Tommy Hues, coordinator of technology;
Now serving as district superintendent is James Bakewell “Bake” Barron, former director of student services for Livingston ISD.
Saltillo ISD David Stickels is the new superintendent.
San Benito CISD Gilbert Galvan, principal of the Veterans
Memorial Academy, has been named to the ESC Region I Board of Directors for the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. The 39-year educator and former Texas Classroom Teachers Association president earned his associate degree from Texas Southmost College, his master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville and his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Brownsville.
San Marcos CISD James Barton has been
approved as the district’s executive director of secondary education. His most recent assignment was in North East ISD, where he was assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Churchill High School. His bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in educational administration were awarded from The University of Texas at San Antonio. The district has welcomed Monica Ruiz-Mills as assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and assessment. She most recently was Harlandale ISD’s curriculum and instruction fine arts coordinator. Her bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s degree in music were awarded from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She is pursuing her doctorate in school improvement at Texas State University.
Santa Gertrudis ISD Former Cedar Hill ISD lead high school Principal Corey Seymour has been named superintendent of Santa Gertrudis ISD.
Shallowater ISD Donna Bowles, principal of Shallowater
Intermediate School, will serve as Region 17 president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.
Shepherd ISD The district announced these appointments: Brenda Cronin, director of personnel;
Tammy Jordan, assistant principal, Shep-
herd Intermediate School;
J.W. Kirkham, business manager; Mary Lariviere, dean of instruction, Shepherd High School; Jimmy Meekins, principal, Shepherd High
Sandra Meekins, principal, Shepherd Pri-
Steve Pierce, superintendent; Michael Smith, principal, Shepherd Middle
Hannah Williams, director of curriculum;
Mary Williams, principal, Shepherd Inter-
Sherman ISD Tyson Bennett, formerly the district’s
assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is now assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
Susan Horowitz, now serving as assistant
superintendent for curriculum and instruction, comes to the district from Allen ISD, where she was principal of Ford Middle School for seven years. The new principal of Sherman High School,
Chris Mogan, is the former principal of
Wakeland High School in Frisco ISD. With 17 years of experience in education, he also has been an administrator in Little Elm and Plano ISDs.
Emily Parks, the new director of commu-
nications, was most recently executive director for communications and community services in Bastrop ISD. In addition, she was Hutto ISD’s first public relations officer and was named one of the “Top 35 Under 35” school public relations officials by the National School Public Relations Association.
Tamy Smalskas is the assistant superinten-
dent for student engagement and support. She hails from McKinney ISD, where she was a teacher and administrator, including serving as director of student services and college and career readiness.
Socorro ISD Nathan Ballard is principal
of Paso del Norte School. An educator for 15 years, he joined Socorro ISD in 2007 to teach AP and AVID courses at El Dorado High School. In addition, he coached varsity football for eight years. Ballard’s bachelor’s degree in sociology and public
administration was awarded from Colorado’s Metropolitan State University of Denver. His master’s degree in school leadership is from Sul Ross State University. The district’s new director of human resources for employee benefits and risk management, Mario Carmona, has 16 years of experience in the field. Most recently employee benefits manager in El Paso’s Canutillo ISD, he is a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a master’s degree in business administration. Newly hired Socorro Middle School Principal Nadia De La Rosa, a product of Socorro ISD schools, has returned to the district where she served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal from 2005 until 2015. She was most recently the director of bilingual education for El Paso’s Clint ISD. The new principal of Mission Ridge Elementary School, Jesus Mendez, is a graduate of Socorro ISD schools and an employee of the district for 19 years, nine of those as an administrator. He earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and his master’s degree in educational administration, both from The University of Texas at El Paso. Rosa Vega-Barrio, now
principal of Sanchez Middle School, has spent her 16-year career in Socorro ISD. After serving as principal of Shook Elementary for four years, she opened Mission Ridge Elementary in 2014. Vega-Barrio earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from The University of Texas at El Paso and her master’s degree in educational administration from the same institution.
Stephenville ISD Now serving as the district’s director of special programs, Kelli Crain brings 13 years of experience to her new position, having served as a special education teacher and a consultant and teacher mentor for ESC regions 18 and 11. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. She earned her master’s degree in education from Sul Ross State University. Renee Goodwin has been promoted from principal of Henderson Junior High to the district’s director of testing and accountability. She has been an educator for 13 years, the past six with the district. She earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s
degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University. Brianna Hodges, newly
appointed director of digital learning, began her career in 2005 in the fields of marketing and public relations. She became an educator in 2010 when she taught and coached in Weatherford ISD. She joined Stephenville ISD in 2014 and was previously a digital learning integration specialist. Hodges, who earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas, received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Tarleton State University. Daresa Rhine, new assistant principal of Hook Elementary School, has 13 years of experience as an educator, 10 of those as a teacher and librarian at the campus. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tarleton State University.
Chamberlin Elementary School’s new assistant principal, Esther Tucker, taught first and second grade at the campus prior to accepting her new position. She is a graduate of Tarleton State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s degree in education administration. Now serving as principal of Henderson Junior High is Donna Ward. She most recently was assistant principal of Belton High School in Belton ISD. She is a graduate of Tarleton State University. David Woods has been
named Stephenville ISD’s director of transportation. He comes to the district from Fort Stockton ISD, where he spent 15 years, most recently as social studies department chair. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Sul Ross State University.
Sulphur Bluff ISD Blake Hill, the new athletics director, returns to the district where he served from 2012 to 2015 as a teacher, coach and athletics director. Last year, he was with Moody ISD as a teacher and assistant junior varsity and varsity football coach, head boys’ basketball coach and assistant baseball coach. Hill, who earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Stephen F. Austin State University, holds a master’s degree in the same field from Texas Woman’s University.
Sweeny ISD Kelly Bertsch, former instructional technology specialist, is now director of technology services. She has spent her 20 years as an educator with the district and is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Les Kluttz has been promot-
ed from assistant principal of Sweeny High School to executive director of school support services. He has been an educator for 33 years, 29 of those with the district. His bachelor’s degree in agriculture science was earned at Sam Houston State University. His master’s degree in education is from the University of Houston. Former Athletic Director
Brett Miksch is now the
principal of Sweeny High School. He has been with the district for eight years. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from The University of Texas. Gerald Nixon, the new executive director
of human resources and public relations, comes to his new position from Columbia High School in Columbia-Brazoria ISD, where he was assistant principal. An educator with 23 years of experience, he received his bachelor’s degree in education and his master’s degree in educational administration from Sam Houston State University. A new dean of students is in place for the district. Joey Olguin, former athletic coordinator and head football coach, has spent 11 of his 17 years as an educator in the district. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Sam Houston State University.
The district’s new executive director of curriculum, compliance and special programs is Amy Pope, former assistant principal of Sweeny Junior High. She has been an educator for 18 years, the past three with Sweeny ISD. She attended Texas A&M University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, and the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she received a master’s degree in mid-management. Sweeny High School’s new assistant principal is David Smothers, who had been serving as a counselor at Sweeny Junior High. The > See Who’s News, page 44 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Calendar Professional development & events
S TA N D O U T F R O M T H E C R OW D ! Get premium placement and get noticed! For a nominal fee, you can showcase your conference, workshop or seminar on the opening page as a Featured Event. Contact Ann Halstead at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. DEC EM BE R December 1 Biology EOC: A Closer Look at Evolution and Classification Science Center, Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60. Teaching Geography Concepts and Skills Science Center, Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60. December 1-2 Texas ASCD: Designing Authentic Performance Tasks to Promote Meaningful Learning and Measure What Matters Most Campbell Education Center, Houston For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org December 2 Raising the Bar: Literacy Strategies in Science Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $85. TSPRA North Central Regional Meeting Little Elm ISD, Little Elm For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org December 5-6 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 2 of 4) Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: School Transformation Network districts: TASA members, $2,395 per person; nonmembers, $2,495 per person. Non-School Transformation
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Network districts: TASA members, $2,595 per person; nonmembers, $2,695 per person. December 6 Model Drawing for Grades 2-5 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $125. TASBO Certified School Risk Managers Workshop: Handling School Risks Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Instructional Support Center, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org December 6-8 TASPA Human Capital Leaders in Education Program (session 2 of 2) Comal ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org December 7 Texas ASCD Academy: Rigorous Assessment Strategies for Mathematics and STAAR, Grades 3-8 (session 3 of 3) Richardson ISD Professional Development Center, Richardson For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org December 8 Digging Deeper: Applying Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to the Science Classroom Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $75. December 9 Building Your Bookshelf Series: Grow Reluctant Readers Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $130.
Engaging Students with Disabilities Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150. TSPRA Houston/Beaumont Regional Meeting Shadow Creek Ranch High School, Alvin For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org December 9-10 Texas Association of Mid-Size Schools Annual Legislative Conference Hyatt Lost Pines, Bastrop For more info, (512) 346-2177. www.midsizeschools.org Cost: TAMS districts: $100 for first district participant; $90 for additional individuals from same district. All other school districts: $135 for first district participant; $125 for all other participants from same district. December 13 Capturing Kids’ Hearts Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $525. December 14 TSPRA San Antonio Regional Meeting Offices of ESC Region 20, San Antonio For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org
JANUARY January 9 Science STAAR: A Closer Look at Matter or Energy (Grades 5 or 8) Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60. Understanding ADHD and Application of Instructional Strategies Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $75. January 11 Make Them THINK!: What Successful Readers and Writers Do
Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $85. TASBO Budget Boot Camp Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $210; nonmembers, $260. TSPRA San Antonio Regional Meeting North East ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org January 11-12 TASA Crucial Conversations Training TASA office, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members: $565; nonmembers, $595. January 12-13 TASBO Budget Academy Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340. Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy XIX (session 1 of 3) Birdville ISD, Birdville For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org January 13 TASBO Workshop: Approaches to Leadership and Management Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $170; nonmembers, $220. TSPRA Central Regional Meeting Manor ISD, Manor For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org TSPRA North Central Regional Meeting Denton ISD, Denton For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org January 13-15 Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Annual Leadership Conference Hilton Garden Inn, Granbury
For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org January 14 TEPSA Winter Meeting ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org January 17 Defining Academic Rigor and Aligning Vertically for STAAR Success Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $165. January 17-19 TCASE Great Ideas Conference Marriott, Austin For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org January 18 TASB Workshop: Asbestos TASB office, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org TASBO Budget Boot Camp Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $210; nonmembers, $260. January 18-19 TASPA Human Capital Leaders in Education Program (session 3 of 3) Keller ISD, Keller For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org January 19 Integers, Equations and Algebraic Reasoning in Grades 6-8 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150. Manuel Scott: How to Create an Unquenchable Thirst for Education in Young People Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $175. TASB Workshop: Integrated Pest Management TASB office, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org January 19-20 TASBO Budget Academy Marriott North, Austin
For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340. Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy XVIII (session 3 of 3) ESC Region 6, Huntsville For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Texas Middle School Association Annual Conference Orozco Professional Development Center, Pasadena ISD, Pasadena For more info, (512) 462-1105. www.tmsanet.org January 20 Winning Strategies for Limited English Proficient Students Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150. January 23 Refer or Not Refer: On the Right Track with RTI Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150. January 23-24 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 3 of 4) Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: School Transformation Network districts: TASA members, $2,395 per person; nonmembers, $2,495 per person. NonSchool Transformation Network districts: TASA members, $2,595 per person; nonmembers, $2,695 per person. January 24 Quest for Grants Training Series: Writing Composition and Its Process Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1393. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: In county, $25; out of county, $45. January 25-26 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 3 of 4) Klein Multipurpose Center, Klein For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: School Transformation
Network districts: TASA members, $1,995 per person; nonmembers, $2,095 per person. Non-School Transformation Network districts: TASA members, $2,195 per person; nonmembers, $2,295 per person. January 25-28 TheatreFest Moody Gardens, Galveston No phone number provided. www.tetatx.com January 26 Biology EOC: A Closer Look at Biological Processes and Systems Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60. TEPSA Winter Meeting ESC Region 17, Lubbock For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org January 26-28 TASSP Workshop: Making Middle School Matter Hilton Airport, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org January 27 TASBO Workshop: Managing Special Revenue Funds and State Programs Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $170; nonmembers, $220. January 28-29 Texas Council of Women School Executives Annual Conference Hilton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tcwse.org Cost: Active members, $130; student members, $85; Saturday only, $95. January 29-February 1 TASA Midwinter Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org/midwinter Cost: Early bird registration: educational entity, TASA member: $245; educational entity, nonmember, $295; non-educational entity, TASA member: $345; non-educational entity, nonmember, $395; TASA student member: $75; TEA/ESC: no charge. Regular registration: educational entity, TASA member: $275; educational entity, nonmember: $325; non-educational entity, TASA member: $375; non-
educational entity, nonmember: $425; TASA student member: $75; TEA/ESC: no charge. On-site registration: educational entity, TASA member: $300; educational entity, nonmember: $350; noneducational entity, TASA member: $400; non-educational entity, nonmember: $450; TASA student member: $75; TEA/ESC: no charge. Aspiring superintendent: all categories, $100.
F EBRUARY February 1-3 TASB Legal Services Boot Camp TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org February 7 Model Drawing for Grades 6-8 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150. Raising the Bar: Literacy Struggles in Science Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $85. February 8 TASB Winter Legal Seminar Holiday Inn South Broadway, Tyler For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $160. TSPRA San Antonio Regional Meeting Southside ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org February 9 Spanish Literacy (Pre-K through 2) Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1304. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150. TASB Winter Legal Seminar ESC Region 17, Lubbock For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $160.
> See Calendar, page 44 Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Who’s News > Continued from page 41
Sam Houston State University graduate has spent his 22-year career with Sweeny ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s degree in school counseling. Sandra Vandaveer has been promoted from the district’s special education coordinator to special education director. She has been an educator for 19 years, the past four with the district. She earned her bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree in school psychology from the University of Houston.
Three Way ISD The district’s new principal, Ronda Melton, is a 10-year veteran of Goldthwaite ISD, where she taught ESL at the high school level.
Tyler ISD Gary Brown has been promoted from principal of Lee High School, which he led since 2012, to executive director of college and career. The 28-year veteran educator received his bachelor’s degree in educational curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Now leading Bonner Elementary School as principal is Zack Cazares. He previously worked in Dallas ISD, where he most recently was assistant principal of the Ross Campus of the Texas Can Academies. His bachelor’s degree in kinesiology was awarded from The University of Texas at Arlington. He has a master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Austin Elementary School has welcomed Brandy Holland as principal. She joins the district from Pine Tree ISD, where she worked as assistant principal and > Continued from page 43 February 10 TSPRA Central Regional Meeting Del Valle ISD, Del Valle For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org TSPRA North Central Regional Meeting Duncanville ISD, Duncanville For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org February 12-14 Professional School Counselor Conference Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 472-3403. www.txca.org
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
then principal of Pine Tree Primary School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dillard University in New Orleans, La., and received her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Steve Lenz, most recently superintendent of Texhoma ISD, is the new director of the Career and Technology Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural development and a master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. Bobby Markle, new principal of the Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy, most recently led Bonner Elementary. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in kinesiology. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
Ramey Elementary School’s new principal, Tremayna Thomas, comes to her new job from Dallas ISD, where she was principal of Pleasant Grove Elementary for three years. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management, a master’s degree in organizational management and a second master’s in educational leadership, all from The University of Texas.
Uvalde CISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Michael Rodriguez comes to the district from San Antonio ISD, where he was Lanier High School’s principal. An educator since 1997, he is a graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
TASSP Assistant/Aspiring Principals Workshop Hilton Doubletree, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org February 15 Lead4ward: Poetry and the Author’s Craft (Grades 6-8) Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1310. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $160. February 16-17 TASA: Engaging the Next Generation Sheraton Hotel and Conference
Now serving as director of school improvement is Sandra Zuniga. She has been an educator for 26 years, 16 of those in administrative roles. Zuniga received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Angelo State University, a master’s degree in school counseling from Sul Ross State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Corpus/Christi.
Webb CISD The district’s new superintendent is Heriberto Gonzalez.
Wylie ISD A new executive director of finance, Lynn Lyon, has been appointed. She hails from Allen ISD, where she was director of accounting since 2008. Prior to that, she worked in private sector finance and accounting positions and served as a financial analyst in the real estate and construction industries. She holds an accounting degree from Baylor University.
Yorktown ISD A new superintendent has been selected for the district. Chad Gee has 23 years of experience as a teacher, coach and administrator, working in Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Decatur, Mansfield, Fort Worth, Comanche and Northside ISDs.
Ysleta ISD Patricia Ayala, former di-
rector of the district’s public relations department, is now chief communications officer. The 11-year employee is a member of the superintendent’s executive cabinet. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in organizational communications from The University of Texas at El Paso. ◄
Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $595 for individuals whose districts are members of the School Transformation Network; $695 for all others. February 19-22 TASA Texas Assessment Conference Location TBA, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Early bird registration (through Nov. 25): $125; preregistration (Nov. 26-Feb. 3): $145; on-site registration: $195.
February 20-23 TSPRA Annual Conference Convention Center, Galveston For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org February 21 Revving Review for STAAR Success: U.S. History (Grade 8) Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $165. TASA/TASB Legislative Conference Sheraton at the Capitol, Austin
For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: No charge for TASA and TASB members. February 22 Rap and Read Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $150.
Hilton, Austin For more info, (512) 536-1206. www.fastgrowthtexas.org February 28 Science STAAR: Closer Look at Earth and Space (Grade 8) Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60.
February 22-23 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy, Year 2 (session 2 of 2) Hilton Doubletree, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $395 for both sessions; nonmembers, $495 for both sessions.
February 28-March 2 TASA Curriculum Management Audit Training, Level 1) TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850.
February 23-24 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals TASB office, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $155.
M A RC H
February 27-March 3 TASBO Annual Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Fast Growth School Coalition Conference
March 1-2 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 4 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $695 for all four sessions; nonmembers, $795 for all four sessions. March 2-4 TASB Winter Governance and Legal Seminar Omni Bayfront, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 467-0222 or
(800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org March 8 Digging Deeper: Applying Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to the Science Classroom Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $75. TSPRA San Antonio Regional Meeting North East ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org Workstation Make and Take: Comparing Numbers for Grades 1-2 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $525. March 9 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy XIX (session 2 of 3) Birdville ISD, Birdville For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org March 21 Not Just Dictionary Skills for Social Studies: Meaningful
Vocabulary Work Every Day Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $85. March 22-23 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 4 of 4) Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: School Transformation Network districts: TASA members, $2,395 per person; nonmembers, $2,495 per person. Non-School Transformation Network districts: TASA members, $2,595 per person; nonmembers, $2,695 per person. March 26-29 Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Conference Hilton Hotel, Waco For more info, (832) 623-7803. www.thsada.com ◄ March 27-29 Texas Retired Teacher Association Annual Convention Hilton, Austin For more info, (512) 476-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org ◄
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by Riney Jordan
Harris County Dept. Education....11 www.hcde-texas.org
I’ll never forget the morning she called and told me that Steven was home in bed, sound asleep, and she was at work.
I remember being totally amused by one of my students who had lost one of his textbooks. Every day I would ask him if he had found it, and every day I got the same negative response. One morning, he came bounding into the classroom, waving the textbook above his head.
“I’d love to do that!” I responded. “This will be great.”
“I found the book, Mr. Jordan. I found my missing book!” “Oh, man, that is great,” I responded. “Where did you find it?” His eyes lit up. A huge grin came across his face. “I found it in the one place I hadn’t looked,” he answered. “It was in the back of the refrigerator behind the butter!” I couldn’t help but laugh. I read once about a middle school student who came up to his English teacher at the end of the day. “I’m sorry, but you owe me an apology,” he began. “I didn’t appreciate your calling me an inappropriate name today.” Stunned, the teacher looked at her student and said, “What are you talking about? I didn’t call you anything that was inappropriate.” “Yes, you did,” he responded. “I don’t know what the ‘oxy’ part meant, but I sure do know what a ‘moron’ is, and you looked straight at me when you said it.” Sometimes, school personnel are called upon to go above and beyond the call of duty. I recall a young boy in the school where I was principal. He missed far too much school, and when he was there, he was usually tardy. His mother often called to tell me that she could not get him out of bed in the morning. “I scream. I beg. I plead, and he just turns over and goes back to sleep,” she said. “I have to get to work, so I just leave him in the bed.”
“Mr. Jordan,” she asked, “Would you mind driving over to our house, waking him up and taking him to school? The back door is unlocked.”
So, it was on a dreary spring morning that the assistant principal and I arrived at Steven’s house. Sure enough, the back door was unlocked, and we proceeded to his bedroom. There he was, sound asleep, sprawled across the bed. “Steven,” I said in a loud, commanding voice. “It’s Mr. Jordan. Wake up! You’re getting dressed and going to school!” I’ve never seen such grabbing for sheets nor seen anyone wake up so wide-eyed. His expression was priceless. “Mis… Mis… Mister Jordan!” he stammered. “Wh… wh… what are you doing here?” “I’ve come to get you to take you to school. And, I’ll be here every morning that you pull this stunt. Understood? Now, we’re going to step out in the hallway while you get dressed. You have five minutes.” Years later, I ran into Steven at a school program. Almost immediately, he looked at me and said, “Mister Jordan, do you remember when you came and woke me up to take me to school?” “I’ll never forget it!” I grinned. “Neither will I,” he said. “That really changed my life. Even now, at 18 years of age, whenever I think, ‘I’ll just sleep a little longer,’ immediately I think of you standing at the foot of my bed, telling me to get up. You wouldn’t still do that, would you?” he asked. “Don’t be too sure about that,” I responded. “And if you have kids in a few years and need me, just give me a call. Nothing would make me happier.”
RINEY JORDAN’S “The Second Book” is now available at www.rineyjordan.com, along with his other publications. You can contact him at (254) 386-4769, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter: @RineyRiney. Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
Kids say such funny things orking in education provides so many benefits, not the least of which is enjoying the kids. One of the greatest joys of working with them is being entertained by their comments, their actions and their honesty.
Texas School Business
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