Page 1

66

YEARS

The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas

Texas School Business

NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER

2019

Keith Bryant

Also in this issue: 2019 Outstanding Board Harlingen CISD 2019 TSPRA Key Communicator Charles C. Butt TCASE President Kelly Guillen

Lubbock-Cooper ISD 2019 Superintendent of the Year


JANUARY 26-29 Keynote Speakers

Kindra Hall

Charles Best

President and Chief Storytelling Officer, Steller Collective

CEO and Founder, DonorsChoose.org

Mike Morath Texas Commissioner of Education

Early-bird registration runs through December 6! tasamidwinter.org


Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

20

2019 Outstanding Board

Board of trustees in Harlingen CISD receives highest honor

16

23 2019 Key Communicator Chairman and CEO of H-E-B, Charles C. Butt, named TSPRA’s 2019 Key Communicator

Cover Story

2019 Superintendent of the Year Lubbock-Cooper’s Keith Bryant receives top honor, credits family, faith and the magic of educators

25

By Dacia Rivers

TCASE President Profile Amarillo’s Kelly Guillen takes the president’s seat for TCASE

Departments 7 Who’s News 27 Calendar 34 Ad Index

Columns

5 From the Editor by Dacia Rivers 13 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 15 Digital Frontier by Alice Owen

Photo Features

6 TASA and TASB hold joint convention 8 THSCA hosts 8th annual coaches convention

30 Regional View by Tammi Tinnin 32 The Arts by Lori Ashby, Misti Scaggs and Donna Pruitt 34 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.


Keep your eyes peeled... Watch your inbox! In early December, we’ll be releasing our 13th annual Bragging Rights issue, featuring 12 amazing programs going on in school districts across Texas. You won’t want to miss it!

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From the editor

I

n these pages, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to TASB’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year, Keith Bryant. You can read all about Bryant and his journey in Texas public education starting on page 16. His inspirational story is one of many you’ll find in this issue. On page 32, we have a special The Arts column, focusing on a project in Pine Tree ISD that serves the community through hands-on creation and philanthropy. You won’t want to miss it. Right now, we are hard at work creating our 13th annual Bragging Rights issue, which will be released in early December. We have chosen 12 innovative programs going on in school districts across the state to appear in the issue, and we hope their stories will inspire you to create similar programs in your own schools. Bragging on Texas public schools is a great gig, and one we are happy to do, but we need your help. If you have an outstanding program going on in your district that you’d like to let us know about, drop me a line at drivers@ texasschoolbusiness.com. We might just be able to highlight your good work in the magazine! I hope you all have a peaceful and productive fall and wonderful holiday season!

Texas School Business

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019 Volume LXVI, Issue 6 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Dacia Rivers DESIGN

Phaedra Strecher COLUMNISTS

Lori Ashby Riney Jordan Alice Owens Donna Pruitt Misti Scaggs Tammi Tinnin Jim Walsh

Dacia Rivers Editorial Director

ADVERTISING SALES

Jennifer Garrido

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Kevin Brown

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA RELATIONS

Amy Francisco

Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978) is published online bimonthly with a special edition, Bragging Rights, in December, by the Texas Association of School Administrators. © Copyright 2019 Texas Association of School Administrators

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

5


Photo Feature

2019 TASA|TASB CONVENTION BRINGS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND TRUSTEES TO DALLAS This September, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) held their annual joint convention, the largest gathering of public education policy makers in the state.

▲ Attendees from Milford ISD show their support for Texas’ public schools.

▲ Students from Clear Creek ISD perform for convention attendees.

▲ Keynote speaker Kevin Carroll ▲ Convention attendees from West Rusk ISD pose near the Learning Lounge.

addresses the crowd on unleashing growth through creativity and innovation.

▲ Attendees from Winona ISD come to the

convention for three days of speakers, exhibits, professional development and networking.

◄ Convention

attendees enjoy a presentation during the general session.

▲ Convention attendees enjoy a

▲ Manny Scott presents his inspiring

networking opportunity.

keynote speech, The Power of One.

▲ Terrance Owens, Hutto ISD, in the exhibit hall.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

▲ Speaker Ben Nemtin wraps

up the convention with his speech on the ripple effect of public education.

▲ Students from Silsbee ISD perform at the convention.


Who’s News

Bullard ISD

Bay City ISD Roberts Elementary School began the new school year with Ashley Hagg as principal. She joined the district in 2010 as a teacher, going on to serve as a counselor. She is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a master’s degree in school counseling from Lamar University.

Bellville ISD The district’s new superintendent, Nicole Poenitzsch, was previously Dripping Springs ISD’s assistant superintendent of learning and innovation.

Corpus Christi ISD Superintendent Todd Schneider, who led the district since 2015, retired in August.

Carroll ISD Renee James is now an assistant principal

at Carroll High School. An educator for 22 years, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s degree in education administration from Trinity University. Carroll Middle School has welcomed James Jones as assistant principal. The former assistant coach and principal has a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix.

Cedar Hill ISD

Belton ISD An interim superintendent, Robin Battershell, is in place for Belton ISD. She retired from her position as superintendent of Temple ISD in 2018.

Boerne ISD Yvette Reyna has been

named executive director of the Boerne Education Foundation and Boerne ISD Community Partnerships. A graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication arts, she previously worked in San Antonio’s Judson ISD, as an adjunct professor at the University of the Incarnate Word and, most recently, as director of marketing and events for Great Hearts Texas Public Charter Schools.

Breckenridge ISD Earl Jarrett, who retired

in 2017 after a 30-year career in education, has accepted the position of interim superintendent of Breckenridge ISD. In addition to serving as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal, he previously led Spur and Brazos ISDs.

Longtime athletic director Gina Farmer retired in August. An employee of the district for 31 years, she served in the top athletics role since 2001 and prior to that worked as an assistant principal at Cedar Hill High School and as a track and crosscountry coach and assistant basketball and softball coach.

Cleveland ISD Brandon Perry has relocated

from Huffman ISD, where he was principal of Hargrave High School, to Cleveland ISD to serve as the district’s director of secondary schools. A graduate of Cleveland schools, he also was a principal in Splendora ISD.

Coppell ISD Former Coppell Middle School West assistant principal Sarah Thornton has been promoted to principal of the school. She has more than 12 years of experience working at the middle school level, including five years as a language arts and social studies teacher and dean of students in Irving ISD. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and her master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is at work on her doctorate at Dallas Baptist University.

Now serving as principal of CCISD’s Student Support Center is Jessica Albert. An employee of the district since 2007, she was most recently an assistant principal at Coles High School and Education Center. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Carolyn Bence has accepted

the role of principal of Mireles Elementary School. The Emory University graduate has been with CCISD since 2009, serving as assistant principal of de Zavala Elementary since 2017. She received two master’s degrees from the University of Texas. The new principal of Sanders Elementary School is Criselda Castillo, former principal of the Early Childhood Development Center. She has been an educator for 20 years, 18 of those in CCISD. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. The district announces the appointment of Sandra Clement as executive director of school leadership. Previously the principal of Moody High School, she has been with CCISD for 15 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a doctorate in education, all from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Jamie Copeland is now

principal of Carroll High School, where she previously served as an assistant principal. A graduate of Incarnate Word University with a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, she was also principal of Kaffie Middle School. Ray High School’s new principal is

Roxanne Gonzalez Cuevas,

a former assistant principal at the school. A district administrator for 21 years, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and her master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

> See Who’s News, page 9 Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

7


Photo Feature

COACHES GATHER FOR THSCA’S 87TH ANNUAL CONVENTION IN HOUSTON The Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) held its convention and coaching school over the summer in Houston, welcoming more than 13,700 coaches, athletic directors, exhibitors and athletics fans.

◄ Texas

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath addressed a crowd of nearly 3,000 at the General Meeting to close out the convention.

▲ As part of the THSCA’s efforts with

Straight Line Recruiting and keeping the high school coach as the main conduit for communication in an athlete’s recruitment, Southern Methodist University Coach Jeff Jordan helped host a panel to facilitate education in the recruiting process.

▲ Texas A&M University

▲ Texas A&M University Volleyball Coach

Laura “Bird” Kuhn was part of the expanded lecture series for girls sports. For the first time ever, THSCA also hosted an entire series of lectures for middle school/junior high coaches.

Basketball Coach Buzz Williams gives a lecture on how to #getBETTER. THSCA’s convention agenda this year included more than 150 hours of lecture content.

▲ THSCA board members help pass out convention packets to pre-registered coaches as they arrive.

▲ THSCA President Rodney Webb of Rockwall High School welcomes attendees to the 2019 Head Coaching Academy Workshop.

▲ THSCA Executive Director Joe Martin and Assistant Director

Glen West met with Division I NCAA head football coaches to discuss Straight Line Recruiting, the safety of the game and what THSCA can do to continue to help coaches at all levels.

▲ SMU Head Football Coach Sonny Dykes

addresses the general assembly hall about his plans for the football program this season.

▲ The THSCA Hall of Honor Banquet kicked ▲ Past THSCA presidents and their wives enjoy an evening of catching up at their annual evening social in the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

8

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

off the convention on Saturday evening with a packed ballroom to welcome the class of 2019 inductees: Tommy Cox, Jim Rackley, Gary Joseph, Bubba Fife and John Outlaw.


Who’s News > Continued from page 7 Anna Fuentes, new principal

of Haas Middle School, is a graduate of CCISD schools and Corpus Christi State University with a master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. She is a 28-year employee of the district and was most recently principal of South Park Middle School.

Hicks Elementary School began the new academic year with Alicia Garza as principal. Most recently an assistant principal at Smith Elementary, she spent 10 years as a teacher and teacher leader. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Karen Griffith is the new

deputy superintendent for business and support services. She comes to Corpus Christi from San Marcos CISD, where she was assistant superintendent of business and support services. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Werner (Bucky) Hartman is

the new principal of Driscoll Middle School, where he was an assistant principal for three years. He came to Corpus Christi from Victoria ISD, where he spent four years as an assistant principal at Victoria West High School. Kimberley James is now the

district’s chief of staff. She opened Veterans Memorial High School as principal in 2014 and spent seven of her 21 years as an administrator as principal of RockportFulton High School in Aransas County ISD. She has a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and is at work on her doctorate in educational leadership at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. George Lerma, former

principal of Driscoll Middle School, now leads Browne Middle School. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

Now serving as principal of the district’s Early Childhood Development Center is Kellye Loving, a 26-year employee of CCISD. With degrees from Texas State University and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, she spent the past six years as principal of Oak Park Elementary School. A new executive director of human resources is in place. Debbie Nunez has been with CCISD for 10 years as director of auxiliary personnel. Laura Perales, the new

principal of Oak Park Elementary School, has spent 21 of her 23 years as an educator in Corpus Christi ISD, most recently as an assessment and accountability advisor. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. John Prezas, now leading

Martin Middle School, is the former principal of Sanders Elementary. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Cunningham Middle School at South Park has welcomed Sandy Salinas-Deleon as the new school’s first principal. She is the former principal of Cunningham Middle School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Sul Ross State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Alexis Soulas, former

principal of Mireles Elementary School, now leads Kaffie Middle School. She has been with the district for 10 years and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Enrique Vela, former assistant

principal at Moody High School, is now the school’s principal. A graduate of Corpus Christi ISD schools, he went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

The new principal of Veterans Memorial High School is its former assistant principal, Scott Walker. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and his master’s

degree in educational leadership from Lamar University.

Crandall ISD Former Garland ISD deputy superintendent Wendy Eldredge now holds the top position in Crandall ISD.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD The district announces the appointment of Barbara Levandoski as assistant superintendent of educational support services. She has spent her 34-year career in CFISD, serving as a special education teacher and coordinator before taking her most recent position as director of elementary curriculum and instruction. Her master’s degree in administration and supervision was awarded from the University of Houston. Sage Papaioannou, former

director of instruction at Goodson Middle School, now leads Hamilton Elementary School as principal. She has spent 18 years of her 25-year career with CFISD, working as a teacher, counselor and assistant principal at Goodson. She is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a master’s degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M University. Soul Singh is the new director

of the Carpenter Center. Most recently an assistant principal at Cypress Ridge High School, she has been an educator for 15 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University.

Denton ISD A new director of digital learning is in place for the district. Ross Garison, who has been a department coordinator for the past five years, received his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.

Dripping Springs ISD Joe Burns, former principal of Dripping

Springs High School, retired from education in June but has agreed to return to serve as interim assistant superintendent of learning and innovation. > See Who’s News, page 10 Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

9


Who’s News > Continued from page 9

Former Eanes ISD superintendent Nola Wellman has agreed to serve as interim superintendent in Dripping Springs ISD. She spent 16 years with the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Colo., before joining Eanes, where she served until her retirement in 2014. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, her master’s degree from Colorado State University, and her doctorate from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Boswell High School principal Nika Davis is now president of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). An educator for 23 years, she has led Boswell since 2015. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Texas Woman’s University. The district also announces the following assistant principal appointments: • Allison Bode, High Country Elementary School; • Jerretta Henderson, Hafley Development Center; • Andrew Hohman, Wayside Middle School; • Dzung Huynh, Creekview Middle School; • Ebony Love, Willkie Middle School; • Jaime Morgan, Boswell High School; • Kim Ray, Dozier Elementary School; • Erica Sidman, Willkie Middle School.

Ector County ISD Kamye Smith has been named principal of

Pease Elementary School. She spent the past two years as assistant principal of Blanton Elementary and previously worked in West, Burleson and Goliad elementary schools.

El Campo ISD The new head basketball coach at El Campo High School is Chris Burrow. Gary Figirova has been

promoted from assistant principal to principal of El Campo Middle School.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

Mark Freeman, former principal of El

Campo Middle School, is now the district’s director of transportation.

Galena Park ISD Manuel Escalante comes to

his new job as principal of Woodland Acres Middle School from Laredo ISD, where he led Martin Elementary School. An educator for 20 years, he received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M International University and his master’s degree from the University of Houston.

The role of associate superintendent of human resource services has been filled by Wanna Giacona, who was most recently assistant superintendent of that area. An employee of the district for 25 years, she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of St. Thomas and a doctorate from Stephen F. Austin State University. Now serving as executive director for school and community relations is Sherrhonda Johnson, a 19-year employee of the district. She is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a master’s degree in education administration from Prairie View A&M University. The new deputy superintendent for educational support and school administration is Elizabeth Lalor, an employee of GPISD for 28 years and previously associate superintendent for education and academic support. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and her master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. Mike McKay, assistant

superintendent for human resource services, was previously that area’s executive director. An educator for 34 years, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and his master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Marcus Morrow has accepted

the position of principal of Zotz Education Center. Previously the school’s assistant principal, he has been an educator for 18 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University

and a master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Chad Perry has accepted

the role of senior director of special education. Most recently principal of CypressFairbanks ISD’s Carpenter Center, he is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Garland ISD The following principal assignments have been made for the 2019-20 school year: • Michael Arreola, North Garland High School; • Cecilia Bados, Bradfield Elementary School; • Kim Bain, Rowlett Elementary School; • Karla Beltran, Hickman Elementary School; • Carmen Blakey, Rowlett High School; • Coleman Bruman, Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center; • Vicki DeVantier, Beaver Technology Center for Math and Science; • Keith Ellis, Forest High School; • Earl Gilmore, O’Banion Middle School; • Amber Hope, Hudson Middle School; • Adrian Leday, Watson Technology Center for Math and Science; • Teresa McCutcheon, Spring Creek Elementary School; • Karla Massey, Montclair Elementary School; • Jeremiah Oliphant, Bussey Middle School; • Ida Perales, Memorial Pathway Academy; • Amanda Ramos, Back Elementary School; • Jenny Thomason, Weaver Elementary School; • Kenneth Washington, Coyle Middle School; • Cherelle Wilson, Pearson Elementary School; • Nikketa Wilson, Webb Middle School.

Georgetown ISD Jordan Vierra has been selected to serve as

head baseball coach at Georgetown High School. A graduate of the school, he began his coaching career at the University of Texas at Tyler, going on to work in the Alaska Baseball League, Tyler Junior College, New


York Collegiate League and Round Rock ISD. Most recently, he was freshman football and baseball coach and assistant varsity baseball coach in Georgetown ISD.

an assistant principal at Murphy Middle School, she received her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Lamar CISD

Tina Garrett is the new

principal of Cannon Elementary School. She was previously a science teacher in Garland ISD and has led the STEM program at Grapevine High School since 2017. Grapevine Elementary School began the academic year with Nancy Hale as principal. She began her career at the school in 2013 as a thirdgrade teacher and served as the school’s assistant principal since 2017. Newly appointed Heritage Middle School principal James Whitfield has been promoted from serving as assistant principal of Colleyville Heritage High School. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from Southwestern Adventist University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University.

Lorena Callis has accepted

the position of principal of Wessendorff Middle School. With more than 28 years of experience in Texas public education, she is a graduate of Houston Baptist University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Houston. Terry High School has welcomed Juan Nava as its new principal. An educator for 26 years, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University. The newly appointed assistant superintendent of secondary education is Andree Osagie, most recently principal of Terry High School. The 20-year educator received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, his master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and his doctorate from Texas A&M University. Sonya Sanzo, the new

Hays CISD The new director of safety and security is Jeri Skrocki, who comes to the job with 30 years of experience with the Hays County Sheriff ’s Office. Most recently supervisor of the county’s criminal investigations division, she holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas State University.

Killeen ISD The district announces the appointment of Kernisha Hill as principal of Palo Alto Middle School. Most recently the curriculum director and assistant principal of Harker Heights High School, she previously taught for seven years at Palo Alto. She holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Central Texas. West Ward Elementary School began the new academic year with Tammy Thornhill as principal. Previously a teacher at Clifton Park Elementary and

principal of Reading High School, has been an educator for 26 years. Most recently principal of Wessendorff Middle School, she received her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University, her master’s degree from Sam Houston State University, and her doctorate from the University of Houston. Now serving as principal of Meyer Elementary School is Kevin Smith, previously assistant principal of Patterson Elementary. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and his master’s degree from Lamar University. Melissia B. Smith, the new

principal of the Alternative Learning Center, is a graduate of the University of New Orleans. She comes to Lamar CISD from Fort Bend ISD, where she was associate principal of Willowridge High School. Her master’s and doctoral degrees were awarded from the University of Phoenix.

Monica Tomas has been

named the district’s director of child nutrition. An 18-year veteran of food services, she was most recently a catering and events manager in El Paso. She is a graduate of the University of Houston.

Laredo ISD Laredo ISD has hired its first female football coach. Robyn Colin has accepted the new position at Nixon High School after coaching two seasons of volleyball and one season of softball at United South High School. She is a graduate of Nixon High and Texas A&M International University.

Leander ISD Former Dripping Springs ISD superintendent Bruce Gearing is now superintendent of Leander ISD. Named ESC Region 13’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year, he spent 12 years in Dripping Springs, four years in the top position in Marshall ISD, and three years as assistant superintendent of Mount Pleasant ISD. He is a native of South Africa with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and chemistry from the University of Witwatersrand, a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Texarkana and a doctorate from Texas A&M University at Commerce.

Lewisville ISD The district’s new director of the Technology, Exploration and Career Center-West, Justin Gilbreath, was most recently assistant principal of The Colony High School and previously worked as a teacher at Marcus High School and as assistant principal of Huffines Middle School. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and a second master’s degree, in educational administration, from Lamar University. Lewisville ISD has announced the appointment of Lori Sowers as principal of Indian Creek Elementary School. An employee of the district since 1999, she began as a teacher and literacy dyslexia interventionist and was most recently assistant principal of Liberty Elementary School. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in educational leadership, both from the University of North Texas. > See Who’s News, page 12 Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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Who’s News > Continued from page 11

McKinney ISD Matt Arend, the new principal

of McClure Elementary School, comes to McKinney from Plano ISD, where he spent the past eight years as principal of Sigler Elementary. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Peru State College and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Now serving as principal of Press Elementary School is Rachel Constantinescu, former assistant principal of Bennett Elementary. She began her career 19 years ago in Pennsylvania, joining McKinney ISD five years later. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Baptist Bible College and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler. Christy Giddens, now

coordinator of health services, joined the district in 2009 as a campus nurse. She has 25 years of experience as a cardiology and staff nurse and as a team leader of education services. She received her bachelor of nursing degree from Northeast Louisiana State University. Zabdi Gonzalez has been

approved as the district’s senior director of ESL and bilingual education. An educator for 17 years, she came to McKinney ISD in 2017 from Garland ISD, having also served as an adjunct professor in teacher preparation at Richland College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce. In addition, the following assistant principal assignments are announced: • Jesse Abel, McKinney High School; • Kassie Halpin, Bennett Elementary School; • Justin James, Malvern Elementary School; • Russell Lewis, Dowell Middle School; • Michelle McHugh, Walker Elementary School; • Laura Stinson, Johnson Middle School; • Ferlanda Willis, Dowell Middle School.

Mansfield ISD Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas, an educator for 40 years, has announced his upcoming retirement, effective in February.

Midland ISD The district announces the following administrative assignments for the 2019-20 school year: • Claudia Alanis, executive director of accountability and student information systems; • Angie Aron, executive director of elementary education; • Nancy Parker, executive director of elementary education. In addition, the following principal appointments have been made: • Tina Briley, Long Elementary School; • Leti Camarillo, South Elementary School; • Brandy Copeland, Goddard Junior High; • Lara Devillier, Bunche Elementary School; • Maribel Hernandez, Burnet Elementary School; • Paul Hidalgo, Alamo Junior High; • Andra Jones, Franks Elementary School; • Cyndi Pyles, Abell Junior High; • Tonya Sanchez, Greathouse Elementary School; • Jennifer Seybert, Young Women’s Leadership Academy; • Judith Tarleton, Lee Freshman High School; • Brandon Thurston, Houston Elementary School; • Jessica Varner, San Jacinto Junior High.

Navasota ISD Former Navasota High School principal Derek Bowman has been promoted to district director of personnel and administrative services. He has been with NISD since 2004, serving in his most recent position since 2013. He is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University.

Kristi Ramsey, who had been

serving as Navasota High School’s associate principal, is now interim principal. An educator for 27 years, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from New Mexico State University. She joined NISD in 2000 and has worked as a teacher and instructional coach in addition to her most position.

Pasadena ISD Three principal assignments have been made for the district. They are: • Laura Gomez, Pasadena High School; • Amy McClellan, Young Elementary School; • Jessica Swenson, South Houston Intermediate School.

Peaster ISD Rod Townsend has accepted the position of

interim superintendent. An educator with 36 years of experience as a teacher, principal and superintendent, he previously worked in Rochester, Hico and Decatur ISDs and led Spring Hill ISD in Longview on an interim basis.

Plano ISD The district’s new executive director for special education services, Janna Crow, was most recently Goose Creek CISD’s director of special education. She has also served in that capacity in the Jackson-Madison School District in Tennessee. She is a graduate of Bob Jones University and holds two master’s degrees, in special education and educational leadership, both from New Mexico Highlands University. Rhonda Davis has accepted

the position of executive director for advanced academics and career, college and military readiness. She comes to her new job from Garland ISD, where she was director of special programs and the district’s advanced academics administrator. She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, her master’s degree from Western Kentucky University, and her doctorate from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Now serving as executive director for secondary academic services is Ashley Helms, who was previously the district’s director of professional learning. In addition, she has been an administrator and teacher in Little Elm, Gainesville and > See Who’s News, page 14

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019


THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED

Bringing your A-game by Jim Walsh

I

think it was Tiger Woods who popularized the idea that we have an A-game, which obviously means that we also have a B-game, a C-game and perhaps others. I read a couple of federal court cases lately that made me think about A-games in the context of public school administration. Both cases were special education disputes that had gone on for years. Both cases went through a due process hearing, a federal court review and an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In both cases the court complimented the professionalism, courtesy and perseverance of teachers and administrators. Both cases were decided in favor of the school district. In both cases it was obvious that school officials had brought their A-games. They had to. They were dealing with High Maintenance Parents. Just from reading the court’s recounting of the facts and its dry legal analysis, you can discern involved and caring parents advocating for what is best for their children. The parents had high expectations for their children and high expectations for the schools. The schools did not completely meet those expectations — thus litigation. But when the court reviewed the situation, it concluded that the school had satisfied its legal obligations. In fact, in both cases the court observed that the school went above and beyond mere legal compliance. I have heard many special education directors express frustration at the time and effort it takes to meet the demands of some parents. I often hear, “We have bent over backwards to try to work with and please this parent.” Educators often do “bend over backwards” when dealing with High Maintenance Parents. Education is not unique in this respect. The same holds true in any service industry.

Waitresses spend more time on one table than another because that table makes greater demands. When I first started practicing law, I asked my boss how I was supposed to allocate my time among so many competing demands. He told me, “Put out the fire that’s burning the brightest.” Inevitably that meant the client who demanded more of my time and had higher expectations of me. I suspect that school superintendents spend more time answering questions from one board member than some of the others. Higher expectations lead to greater demands, which lead to more effort. We bring our A-game when we need to. Kids who have High Maintenance Parents are fortunate. They have won the Parent Lottery. It’s important to bring our A-game to meet the expectations of the High Maintenance Parent, but it’s equally important to remember that we owe the same level of service to kids who have not won the Parent Lottery. This is particularly challenging in the public sector because it’s a zero sum game. There is a finite amount of people and money available to meet the needs of the kids in your district. It’s different in the private sector. If Walmart finds its staff stretched too thin by too many customers it can hire more workers. More customers bring in more revenue, which enables Walmart to hire more staff. It doesn’t work that way in the public sector, where a budget is set for the year.

It’s important to bring our A-game to meet the expectations of the High Maintenance Parent, but it’s equally important to remember that we owe the same level of service to kids who have not won the Parent Lottery.

We are nearing the halfway point in the long slog of the school year. Some parents will demand your A-game, but they all deserve it. Here’s hoping you can continually muster the courage, fortitude and energy it takes to bring your A-game to every day and every situation.

JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at jwalsh@wabsa.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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Who’s News

University and a master’s degree from West Texas A&M University.

> Continued from page 12

Now serving as principal of Robinson High School is Kati Dietzman, a 17-year educator who was most recently coordinator of secondary curriculum. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from Angelo State University and her master’s degree from Tarleton State University.

Denton ISDs. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Lariza Liner comes to her new position as

principal of Mitchell Elementary School from previously serving in Richardson and Irving ISDs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Gloria Martinez is the new executive director

for school leadership and innovation. In addition to serving Plano ISD as a principal and assistant principal, she worked in Tornillo ISD. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University. Robinson Middle School now has Kennitra Robertson as principal. The Louisiana State University graduate previously worked in East Baton Rouge Parish Schools and, in Plano ISD, as a teacher and administrator at Otto and Wilson middle schools. She has a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. The following assistant principal assignments are announced: • Bryan Crowson, Hightower Elementary School; • Elyse Daly, Barksdale Elementary School;

• Anthony Dunnington, Sigler Elementary School; • Angela Ewing, Rice Middle School; • Stacey Flake, Plano East Senior High School; • Kelly Foster, Mendenhall Elementary School; • M’Cheyl Herrera, Daffron Elementary School; • Jonathan Jamar, Forman Elementary School; • Mark Kelly, Otto Middle School; • Kisha Mize, Shepton High School; • Jordan Mullins, Rice Middle School.

Robinson ISD Travis Braugh, Robinson

High School’s new assistant principal, has also served in the district as a teacher and coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

The new director of special programs,

Amy Mathews-Perez, has

over 25 years of experience as a teacher, speech language pathologist, diagnostician, assistant principal, principal and director of special education. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a master’s degree from Baylor University and doctorate from Texas A&M University.

Marc Scott has been

promoted from assistant principal of Cedar Valley Middle School to principal of Johnson Elementary School’s STEAM Academy. An educator for over 20 years, he previously worked in Leander ISD as a teacher, math interventionist and assistant principal. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.

Rowlett ISD The new principal of Rowlett High School is Carmen Blakey, an educator who has spent her career in Garland ISD, most recently leading Hudson Middle School in Garland ISD.

David Wrzesinski has accepted the position

of coordinator of safety and security. Previously a teacher, coach and principal, he was most recently RISD’s director of special programs.

San Angelo ISD Claudia Becerra now leads

the Carver Learning Center as principal. She has been an educator for 10 years and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Angelo State University.

Rockdale ISD Dell Giles has been chosen

to serve as Rockdale ISD’s instructional coordinator. She comes to her new job from Wayside Schools in Austin, where she was the network bilingual literacy specialist. She is a native of Rockdale and a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Georgia State University and a doctorate in language and literacy from the University of Georgia. The new assistant principal of Rockdale Intermediate School is Cheyenne Miller, who began her career in Post ISD as an elementary teacher and counselor. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lubbock Christian University.

Round Rock ISD Newly appointed Anderson Mill Elementary School principal Amanda Molina comes to her new position from Canyon Creek and Robertson elementaries, where she was an assistant principal. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction from Texas State University.

The new principal of Glenmore Elementary School, Teri Gould, has spent the past 18 years of her 20year education career in San Angelo ISD. Most recently the instructional coach at Alta Loma Elementary, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Angelo State University.

Terrell ISD An interim superintendent for Terrell ISD has been selected. Bruce Wood spent 33 years with the district as a teacher, administrator and superintendent, retiring in 1997. He subsequently joined Kaufman ISD as superintendent, retiring for a second time in 2006. A graduate of East Texas State University, where he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, he was also an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas, Dallas Baptist University and Texas A&M University at Commerce.

> See Who’s News, page 35


DIGITAL FRONTIER

Get ready for new security requirements by Alice Owen

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istricts are quickly becoming the “soft targets” for hackers and cyberattacks. Student data can be very lucrative on the dark web if hackers obtain medical records or just use students’ personal information for identity fraud. Schools are just now hearing the message loud and clear about how important the security of their technology environment is to district operations. Districts have the responsibility of protecting the privacy and security of student and employee data and building a culture of trust and transparency among their stakeholders. Now with new legislation in Texas and the passage of SB 820 and HB 3834, schools will need to make sure they are compliant with the new laws, some of which went into effect on Sept. 1. These pieces of legislation need to be addressed as soon as possible. This article will highlight some steps that districts need to take to stay compliant.

Designate a security coordinator for your district SB 820, which went into effect Sept. 1, 2019, requires that: (d) The superintendent of each school district shall designate a cybersecurity coordinator to serve as a liaison between the district and the agency in cybersecurity matters. Each district should determine the best person to oversee security matters. Districts will report their designees to TEA through the AskTed system; TEA is in the process of adding the role of cybersecurity coordinator to that application.

Report cybersecurity breaches to TEA No matter how many resources districts provide to protect their network and data, cyberattacks are occurring more frequently. Recent research shows that end users remain the greatest threat for any organization, with attackers gaining access to systems and information through phishing emails. Some say it’s not a matter of if, but when your district will be hacked. Under the new SB 820, the security coordinator: “(e) … shall report to the agency any cyberattack or other cybersecurity incident against the district cyberinfrastructure that constitutes a breach of system security as soon as practicable after the discovery of the attack or incident.” In SB 820, the definition of “breach” reads as follows: (1) “Breach of system security” means an incident in which student information that is sensitive, protected, or confidential, as provided by state or federal law, is stolen or copied, transmitted, viewed, or used by a person unauthorized to engage in that action. TEA has set up a special email address to receive any incident reports from district security coordinators at cybersecurity@tea. texas.gov. Your security coordinator should report any breaches to TEA through this email.

Notify parents of cyberattacks As with any incident, districts are responsible for notifying parents as soon as possible about student data breaches. SB820 states:

ALICE OWEN, Ph.D., CAE, CETL, is the executive director of the Texas K-12 CTO Council, a nonprofit organization for chief technology officers and technology leaders in schools.

(f) The district’s cybersecurity coordinator shall provide notice to a parent of or person standing in parental relation to a student enrolled in the district of an attack or incident for which a report is required under Subsection (e) involving the student’s information. Districts should follow their local policy about the procedures and format for notifying parents of such attacks.

Provide cybersecurity training The new HB 3834 mandates that certain employees of government entities be required to take cybersecurity training. The law states: (a-1) At least once each year, a local government shall identify local government employees who have access to a local government computer system or database and require those employees and elected officials of the local government to complete a cybersecurity training program certified under Section 2054.519 or offered under Section 2054.519(f). Local governments have been defined to include school districts. The Department of Information Resources (DIR) will be the entity responsible to certify training programs for state and local government employees. Once those training programs have been established, districts will have some reporting requirements in relation to training. HB 3834 states: b) The governing body of a local government may select the most appropriate cybersecurity training program certified under Section 2054.519 or offered under Section > See Digital Frontier, page 35

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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2019 Superintendent of the Year 16

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

Lubbock-Cooper’s Keith Bryant receives top honor, credits family, faith and the magic of educators by Dacia Rivers


2019 Superintendent of the Year

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than having content knowledge, are they passionate about teaching and learning?”

So, he reversed course and returned to his hometown of Lamesa to work as a teacher and a coach at an alternative school. There, he had one student who stood out to him — a girl who struggled in class, repeatedly failing the state’s standardized tests. Bryant didn’t give up on her. He helped her, supported her and eventually held the door for her as she walked into the auditorium for her high school graduation, an event that had seemed impossible only a few short years before. It was a moment that let him know he’d made the right choice when he walked away from his job in finance, and one he remembers nearly three decades later, as he serves the students in Lubbock-Cooper ISD as superintendent.

“Schools cannot continue to look like a factory model institution from the 1950s,” Bryant says. “The world is changing, and we’ve got to change with it. That doesn’t mean our core values and beliefs have to change, but the delivery of instruction, the tools we use and the way we listen to kids and involve them in decision-making for the betterment of their district — I’d like to see us doing more of that across the state.”

ven after 27 years working in education, Keith Bryant will never forget his first year of teaching. He’d earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas Tech University and spent a year or two working for a large accounting firm in downtown Dallas, but found the work unfulfilling. It didn’t move him or give him purpose. He felt the drive to do more.

“I feel like every student is capable of learning, and I have a responsibility to make sure every student does learn,” Bryant says. “My passion all along has been to make sure that every child has the opportunity to be successful.” Bryant spent a few years teaching and coaching in Lamesa before a colleague, Ken McCraw, who later served as superintendent in the district, encouraged him to make the move to administration. Bryant went back to Texas Tech to get his master’s and eventually his superintendent certification, working as an assistant principal, vocational director, principal and assistant principal before becoming superintendent in Bullard ISD, where he served for six years before taking the helm in Lubbock-Cooper six years ago. Lubbock-Cooper is a fast-growth district. When Bryant was hired, the district served about 4,800 students, and the school board let him know that his number-one job was to maintain LCISD’s small-school feel despite its ever-growing enrollment. Six years later, enrollment in the district has just hit 7,000, and Bryant says he’s been able to achieve his goal by hiring stand-out educators. “We look for teachers who don’t just like kids — they love kids,” Bryant says. “More

One reason Bryant is able to attract dedicated educators to the district is his commitment to staying on the forefront of learning techniques, equipment and opportunities. With a growing student body, new construction is a constant in the district, and Bryant employs state-of-the art design techniques in new buildings, providing teachers and students campus environments made to inspire learning and collaboration.

Flexible floorplans are one way in which Bryant brings this innovation to LCISD. The district has also put iPads in the hands of students, who use them for content creation, harnessing the technology so they can learn in ways beyond lectures and display their achievements in manners beyond testing. “The status quo should not drive what we do in education,” Bryant says. “We should be on the cutting edge to give kids the greatest opportunity for success in an everchanging world beyond high school.” This fall, Bryant was named the 2019 Superintendent of the Year at the TASA|TASB convention. He was surprised and humbled by the honor. Texas school superintendents are a tight-knit group, and Bryant knows all of the other finalists personally. He says he could have easily seen any one of them receiving the award in his place. “I am honored to represent our profession, because I think education is a profession that has the greatest impact on the future of our society,” he says. “I always say superintendents are some of the least important employees in the district. You have to have someone in that role, but the campus-level staff are where the magic happens.”

“The status quo should not drive what we do in education. We should be on the cutting edge to give kids the greatest opportunity for success in an ever-changing world beyond high school.”

teachers, but I’ve been impressed with the intelligence, the drive, the creativity and the vision that this generation has,” Bryant says. “I think they’re rock solid in terms of their drive for success, and I’m really encouraged about the future of public education in Texas. I think we’re going to be in good hands with this group of students who will become teachers, school board members, administrators and community supporters.” In a job that can be stressful, challenging, even isolating, Bryant says that his spiritual faith, his family and his commitment to his health keep him going, even when things get tough. Bryant’s wife is an educator, and they have three grown sons. Their first grandchild is due in December. Bryant knows firsthand that it’s easy for superintendents to put their own needs on the backburner in times of stress. “It’s good to have downtime,” he says. “Take time off, do things you enjoy. Faith, family, recreation and friends, things of that nature keep me grounded and help me be able to escape some of the stress of the job.” Though decades have passed since Bryant first felt the thrill of watching one of his students graduate, attending the ceremony each year is still his favorite thing about working in education.

It’s clear Bryant has his eyes set on the future, and when it comes to Texas public education, he believes that great things are on the way.

“It sounds silly, but graduation is my alltime favorite thing we do,” he says. “It’s an accomplishment for many that is their first big step in their lives, and that’s the most meaningful accomplishment for me.”

“A lot of people are down on this generation of students, even on some of our younger

DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business. Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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2019 Superintendent of the Year Finalists

CHARLES DUPRE has served as an administrator for 24 years and has led Fort Bend ISD for six years. The selection committee cited Dupre’s advocacy efforts and the encouragement he gives staff to speak up for the district and public education. The committee also noted his strategic alignment with his school board, his accessibility to staff and the support he provides to help them face the challenges of serving the district’s nearly 77,000 students. Dupre received his bachelor’s degree from Harding University, his master’s degree from the University of Houston and his doctorate from Lamar University.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

At the helm of Brenham ISD for the last four years, WALTER JACKSON serves around 5,100 students. He has 21 years of administrative experience. The committee cited his visibility as a leader and as a champion for public education. The committee noted his efforts to herald public education as the equalizer for all students — providing a path out of poverty through learning and academic achievement — and the foundation for the nation’s future. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University, his master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University and his doctorate from Baylor University.


2019 Superintendent of the Year Finalists

TYLOR CHAPLIN has 12 years of administrative experience. He has been superintendent of Burkburnett ISD for four years and serves approximately 3,300 students. The committee cited his passion for protecting public education’s future and his civic involvement. The committee noted his efforts to be involved at every level in the district — whether visiting each campus to greet arriving students or being inclusive when gathering input and ideas to make sure the district and students are future-ready. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tarleton State University and his doctorate from Lamar University.

BRUCE GEARING serves as superintendent in Leander ISD and has been in education administration for 18 years. Previously, he held the top office in Dripping Springs ISD, where the school board nominated him for the award. The committee described Gearing as a visionary and catalyst for change and noted his focus on preparing students broadly for the world of today. They also cited the encouragement he gives staff to interact and learn from one another and his efforts to stay on top of changing needs by proactively listening. Gearing earned his bachelor’s degree from University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; his master’s degree from Texas A&M University - Texarkana; and his doctorate from Texas A&M University - Commerce.

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y

The Harlingen CISD board of trustees are: Dr. Bobby MuĂąiz, Dr. Nolan Perez, Eladio Jaimez, Gerry MacPherson Fleuriet, Greg Powers, Dr. Belinda Reininger, Superintendent Dr. Arturo J. Cavazos and Javier De Leon.

2019 Outstanding Board 20

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

Board of trustees in Harlingen CISD receives highest honor


2019 Outstanding Board

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very year at the TASA|TASB Convention, the Texas Association of School Administrators presents one Texas school board with the Outstanding Board honor, and this year Harlingen CISD’s board took home the award. But while board president Dr. Nolan Perez is thankful, he’s quick to point out that the board is just getting started.

the important role the school district plays in keeping the local community thriving.

“Don’t judge us by what we did to get this award,” he says. “Judge us by what we’re going to do in the next 10 years.”

When the Harlingen CISD board sat down to create a strategic plan, which was adopted in 2014, the district already had a solid reputation in the state. But board members wanted to go beyond that. They wanted to set a course for a systemic transformation that allowed all students in the district to succeed. They wanted to increase the rigor, increase innovation and better the learning environment for every child. From working to attract top talent to the district to focusing on arts and athletics as well as academics, the board of trustees set out to make a plan that would transform students into self-learners who graduate ready for whatever the future brings.

Harlingen is a close-knit community, nestled between the Texas-Mexico border and the Gulf of Mexico, and the school district is a large one, with more than 18,000 students currently enrolled. When he’s not serving on the school board, Perez works full-time as a practicing physician and CEO of Gastroenterology Consultants of South Texas. Some might wonder how, and even why, he juggles these roles, but for him, and for the others members of the board, it’s all about the community. “I’ve had someone ask me, ‘Don’t you feel like a clay pigeon sometimes?’ and I just say, ‘You have to understand Harlingen,’” Perez says. “Harlingen is an amazing community, and I have always believed that great communities come together to support their public schools.” Of the seven board members in Harlingen CISD, five, including Perez, are originally from the Rio Grande Valley area. The commitment and dedication they have to the community runs in their veins, and is evident when looking at the way they work as a group. Perez says the Harlingen CISD board is different from others, in that every member is 100% focused on governance. They are all there for the students, and they all take pride in their work. By staying in that governance role, the board has been able to avoid the type of controversies that can pop up in any district. When challenges or disagreements arise, board members maintain their focus, and redirect issues back to the district in a strategic way, rather than stepping into operational areas that are best addressed by administration. Every member of the Harlingen CISD board does the work because they want to, not because they have to. They all have multiple outside commitments, but have been drawn to serve because they realize

“We want to set our students up on a path of success,” Perez says. “They should have the soft skills, the motivation, the desire and most importantly, the heart and the character to do well in life and be vested in their community going forward, just like we are.”

Because the graduation rate in Harlingen CISD was high, it was easy to see the district as already successful, but board members decided to look deeper, taking into consideration kindergarten readiness and college graduation rates for its students. There, they saw a need for change. “We want our graduates to be able to not only provide for themselves and their families, but to become leaders,” Perez says. “We want to get them on a path where they can succeed in the 21st century and have the skillsets and knowledge to get degrees and certifications so they can enter the economy and be adept at changing jobs and becoming entrepreneurs so they can contribute to society in a meaningful way.” To grow leaders in Harlingen CISD, the board decided the best first step was to attract top teachers to the district. They also made campus culture a focus, inspiring community service among students and cultivating a family feel among the district and the community. During the strategic plan development, the board made the decision to end the district’s dependence on bonds and hold a tax ratification election. The community supported the move, and through the TRE, the district can now pay for updates and improvements as needed, putting it in a

“Harlingen is an amazing community, and I have always believed that great communities come together to support their public schools.” — Dr. Nolan Perez

better position to financially support its goals. Perez is sure to mention that the success of Harlingen CISD’s board is due in no small part to its eighth member: Superintendent Arturo Cavazos. “You can have the best board in the world, but without the right superintendent, your bold vision and mission are never going to get implemented,” Perez says. “Dr. Cavazos ensures fidelity to the strategic plan.” Years after its approval, the strategic plan in Harlingen CISD serves to guide the district. Eight design teams work to address the goals made in the plan, meeting each month to develop action plans to move the district in the right direction. This work has helped make the plan a reality, a transformation, and not just a pipe dream. Despite an ever-growing population, Harlingen retains its small community vibe. That feeling is evident in the way the school board members work as a cohesive unit, laser focused on providing students the opportunities, the tools and the role models they need to in turn keep the community thriving. “At every meeting, we remind ourselves to leave our egos at the door, but we bring our intelligence, our experience and our common sense,” Perez says. “It’s been a lot of work, and a lot of fun, and we’re really happy to bring this award home to our amazing HCISD community.”

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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2019 Honor Boards Frenship ISD Brandon Autrey; Jamey Phillips; Greg Robinson; Brad Draper, president; David Miller, vice president; Dr. Michelle McCord, superintendent; Kyle Rogers, secretary; and Mikella Newsom.

Pasadena ISD Kenny Fernandez, secretary; Dr. DeeAnn Powell, superintendent; Marshall Kendrick, president; Mariselle Quijano; Vickie Morgan, assistant secretary; Jack Bailey, vice president; Nelda Sullivan; and Fred Roberts.

Rockwall ISD Christopher Cuny; Linda Mitchell Duran; Jim White, secretary; Leigh Plagens; Jon Bailey, president; Stephanie Adams; Russ Childers, vice president; and Dr. John “JJ� Villarreal, superintendent.

Tyler ISD Andy Bergfeld; Aaron D. Martinez; Dr. Patricia Nation; Dr. Marty L. Crawford, superintendent; Rev. Orenthia Mason, vice president; R. Wade Washmon, president; Freeman Sterling; and Rev. Fritz Hager, Jr.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019


2019 KEY COMMUNICATOR

Texas School Public Relations Association

Chairman and CEO of H-E-B, Charles C. Butt, named TSPRA’s 2019 Key Communicator

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he Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) has named Charles C. Butt, chairman and CEO of H-E-B, as the recipient of the association’s 2019 Key Communicator Award. Butt receives this award in recognition of his work as a champion for public education. Over the years, he has greatly enhanced the academic experience of thousands of students, teachers, administrators, school boards and districts.

Butt has developed several initiatives, including Raise Your Hand Texas, a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to strengthen Texas public education. Butt committed $50 million in scholarships for high school students who commit to a career in teaching. The organization also invests in leadership development and coaching programs for principals and campus/ district teams, provide grants to innovative education organizations, pursue research-

driven public policy advocacy at the state level and inform and engage the public on issues impacting all students. Created in 2002, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award Program is designed to honor outstanding public school professionals and to thank them for their dedication and commitment. Since its > See Key, page 24

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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> Continued from page 23

inception, the program has awarded more than $10 million in cash and grants.

Finally, in 2017, Charles established The Holdsworth Center, investing $100 million to create a nonprofit leadership institute for Texas public school administrators. The Center is named after his mother, Mary Holdsworth, who taught school in the 1920s in Center Point.

children, I believe we have a tremendous responsibility and opportunity to provide the best possible education to all kids. But it has to start with great leaders — supportive principals, administrators, superintendents and teacher leaders in every classroom. There is no shortcut and no silver bullet. If we want to get to the root of making longterm, sustainable improvements to public education, we’ve got to invest the time to go deep within our districts. We need to strengthen the leadership pipelines that can build the foundation for a stronger system and provide more opportunities for growth for our teachers. My hope is that over time, we provide education leaders a place to turn to for growth and that our comprehensive approach will serve as a model to replicate across the nation.”

In a letter penned by Butt on The Holdsworth Center website, he states: “We live in a time when support and funding for the nation’s public schools is declining and faith in the system is eroding. My investment in The Holdsworth Center is a vote of confidence in our public schools. I believe that the future economic outlook for our state and our country depends on our ability to provide a high-quality education to each and every child. With Texas school districts serving 10% of the nation’s

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.

Butt has also committed millions of dollars to open a network of Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) schools in Texas. The announcement first came in 2016 with the first school opening in August 2017. In May 2019, the CAST Schools Network announced the August 2020 opening of is fourth campus along with a $2 million award.

"I believe that the future economic outlook for our state and our country depends on our ability to provide a highquality education to each and every child." — Charles Butt, TSPRA's 2019 Key Communicator

2019 KEY COMMUNICATOR Charles Butt committed $50 million in scholarships for high school students who commit to a career in teaching.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

Butt has also committed millions of dollars to open a network of Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) schools in Texas.

In 2017, Charles established The Holdsworth Center, investing $100 million to create a nonprofit leadership institute for Texas public school administrators.


PRESIDENT PROFILE

Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education

Amarillo’s Kelly Guillen takes the president’s seat for TCASE by Dacia Rivers

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his year, the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education (TCASE) welcomed Kelly Guillen as the group’s new president. It’s a role Guillen didn’t originally see herself taking, much like her job as special education director in Amarillo ISD, but both are positions that have become central to her own personal mission: improving services for Texas’ schoolchildren.

Guillen made the transition, serving as the district’s special services director. This move put her in charge of all of the title programs in the district, including special education. When the district was able to hire more help, they split up the job, and Guillen was asked if she’d rather stay with the overall title programs or work exclusively in special education. The choice was an easy one for her.

Guillen grew up in Texas public schools, graduating from Dumas High School before receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at West Texas A&M University. Despite coming from a family of educators, when she started college, Guillen wasn’t sure she wanted to become a teacher herself.

“I chose special education because I had found that I just loved it,” she says. “I loved the mission, I loved the work, I loved the kids and seeing the progress and the difference that our services could make in their lives and their families’ lives.”

“It seems like everybody in my family is teachers,” Guillen says. “I was actually three classes short of a degree in psychology when I had a conversation with one of my cousins that finally led me to say, ‘Oh yeah, education’s probably the life for me.’” In 1995, after receiving her bachelor’s degree, Guillen kicked off her teaching career back in Dumas ISD, working as a seventh-grade English teacher and earning her master’s degree. A few years later, a central office position opened up in Dumas, and

After eight years as special services director in Dumas, Guillen worked in Region 16, holding several titles, all of which involved special education. Nine years ago, she made the move to Amarillo ISD and took the special education director position, which she still holds. Guillen joined TCASE as soon as she began working in special education. New to the field, she was looking to gain as much information and support as possible, and the association provided the greatest opportunities for her to do so, from educational conferences to networking opportunities. Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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“When you’re a special education director, you’re kind of isolated in your district, since there’s nobody else who does what you do who you can reach out to,” Guillen says. “TCASE provides a network across the state to reach to for brainstorming answers and ideas, and that’s extremely powerful.”

allows members to post their job-related questions and receive answers and support from fellow special education specialists across the state.

One of Guillen’s friends had previously served as TCASE president, and at the time, Guillen could not see herself taking on the role, especially since the job included standing on a stage and speaking to crowds at the group’s large conferences. But the more Guillen became involved with the group, the more she wanted to aid its mission of helping special education directors and others who work in the field.

During her tenure as TCASE president, Guillen hopes to continue to move the organization forward. She says she is always focusing on what’s next, looking to see what members need and how TCASE can expand in those areas.

“If you’re brand new to special education, we have people who have been where you are and can help you through it,” Guillen says.

In her own 20 years of experience in special education, she sees an abundance of technology as one of the biggest challenges facing the field. When children show up to pre-K or kindergarten, they’ve already been exposed to so much technology that some struggle with language and behavioral skills, Guillen says.

“I didn’t see myself on the presidential track at the time, but I knew I wanted to be involved in keeping that mission going and making sure we continued the great progress that was being made.”

“It impacts the wiring of those children’s brains, and their language is incredibly impacted,” she says. “It’s a huge challenge for public education in general, but also for special education teachers to determine whether

Over the years, TCASE has increased its benefits to its members. The group holds two large conferences every year along with other, smaller training opportunities. Recently, TCASE created an electronic platform that

12:15 PM

iPad

67%

Sunshine Valley High School - 401

2

Emma Sargent

ADMINISTRATIVE ACCESS

Reports

My Messages

Help Center

Print Screen

Compress

Sign Out

Search

Dock

New Window

Administrative Access

Food Service Customer List

Food Service Reports Purchase History

TotalReport Food Service Manager Sales (Past 30 days)

FoodHealth Service Office Customer List

6

2042

Action Detail Maintenance

1

101 - Orbit 1 Elementary School

3

203 215 181

182

401 - Orbit North High

188

402 - Orbit South High School

189

403 - Orbit East High School

240

212

404 - Orbit West High School 501 - Orbit North Middle School

191

503 - Orbit East East School

194

504 - Orbit West West School

192 0

50

100

150

200

Report Manager

Health Office

1

0

251 250

Building Location

Grade Book

300

Account

506.82

337.66

440.45

183

502 - Orbit South Middle School

280.08

341.12

120

187

265.96

360

224.08

202 181

400 - Jobs High School

239.52

206 200

200 - Burr Middle School

205.49 202.63

199

119 - Orbit 18 Elementary School 120 - Orbit 19 Elementary School

316.75

117 - Orbit 16 Elementary School 118 - Orbit 17 Elementary School

289.48

201 175

254.79

Available Funds

197

116 - Orbit 15 Elementary School

457.33

480

210 209

114 - Orbit 13 Elementary School 115 - Orbit 14 Elementary School

401.03

112 - Orbit 11 Elementary School 113 - Orbit 12 Elementary School

359.59

198

330.09

197

318.73

190 189

312.63

108 - Orbit 8 Elementary School 109 - Orbit 9 Elementary School 110 - Orbit 10 Elementary School

505.89

521.13

187

111 - Orbit 10 Elementary School

524.53

600

222

107 - Orbit 7 Elementary School

222.18

106 - Orbit 6 Elementary School

278.15

104 - Orbit 4 Elementary School 105 - Orbit 5 Elementary School

Number of sick days taken by Employees

614.75

205

103 - Orbit 3 Elementary School

Attendance Entry

0

720

191

102 - Orbit 2 Elementary School

6

Classroom Attendance

Account Balances

Sick Days taken per Location

Reports

New Student Applications

234.8

2038

Student Count East HS

221.31

Student Count West HS

a child really has a disability or if that’s just the way they’ve been raised.” While she’s unsure of the exact solution to this issue, Guillen knows that education must be a part of it. Along with her forward-looking philosophy for TCASE, she likes to focus on growth in her district when faced with challenges. No matter what heights students in Amarillo achieve, Guillen is always looking ahead, asking herself what else the district can improve on, what other services it can provide, and how can it do better. Though the work can be challenging, Guillen keeps a positive focus with her eyes-on-thefuture approach. She tries to cultivate a fun workplace environment in her district, and says that at the end of the day, it’s the students she serves who keep her going. “I focus on what we can do to make this a fun place to be, and how we can hone our craft to improve services to the kids,” she says. “Because ultimately, it’s all about what our kids need.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019


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 ahalstead@tasanet.org for more details. DEC EM BE R December 2 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 3 of 6) Allen High School, Allen For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org

December 4-6 Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Conference Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org December 4-7

TEPSA Region 14 Meeting ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org

TAHPERD Annual Convention Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org Cost: Early Bird registration (by Oct. 1): Professional and associate members, $125; retired members, $45; student members, $35. Pre-registration (by Nov. 1): Professional and associate members, $145; retired members, $45; student members, $35. Late registration (after Nov. 1): Professional and associate members, $165; retired members, $55; student members, $45.

December 4

December 5

December 3 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 3 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org

TASBO CSRM Course: Administering School Risks TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org TASSP Region 10 Meeting Spring Creek Barbecue, Richardson For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org December 4-5 TASA Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) Event Clear Creek ISD For more info, (512) 477-6361. futurereadytx.org

TASBO Workshop: EDGAR and Texas School District Procurement ESC Region 2, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $205; nonmembers, $255. TASBO Workshop: Leading Organizational Change TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $205; nonmembers, $255. December 9 TASBO Workshop: The Happiness Advantage ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $335; nonmembers, $385.

December 10

December 18

TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Lubbock Area Cohort (session 3 of 6) Frenship ISD, Wolfforth For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org

TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi/Victoria Cohort (session 3 of 6) Victoria ISD, Victoria For more info, (512) 47i7-6361. www.tasanet.org

December 11 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Austin/San Antonio Cohort (session 3 of 6) Georgetown ISD, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org TASPA/Legal Digest Personnel Law Conference for School Administrators Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $205. Texas ASCD Five-Day Math Workshop (session 2 of 3) Bamberg Center, Houston For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd. org December 11-13 TASPA Winter Conference Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org December 12-13 Texas Association of Mid-Size Schools Annual Legislative Conference Lakeway Resort and Spa, Austin For more info, (512) 346-2177. www.midsizeschools.org Cost: Participants from TAMS and TARS districts, $150 for first registrant, $100 each for all other registrants from the same district. All other districts: $300 per participant. December 17 TASBO Course: Financial Coding for Texas Schools ESC Region 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $175; nonmembers, $225.

JANUARY January 8 TASPA Workshop: Personnel Skills for Supervisors of NonExempt Staff Pearland ISD, Pearland For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: TASPA members, $110; nonmembers, $135. January 9 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss ESC Region 20, San Antonio For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $500; nonmembers, $550. January 9-10 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy XXIX (session 3 of 3) Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org January 13 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss Katy ISD, Katy For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $500; nonmembers, $550. TASBO Workshop: Deep Dive for 2020 Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275.

> See Calendar, page 28 Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

27


> Continued from page 27 TASBO Workshop: The Happiness Advantage ESC Region 20, San Antonio For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $335; nonmembers, $385. January 13-14 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss Katy ISD, Katy For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $500; nonmembers, $550. January 14-15 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 3 of 4) Georgetown ISD, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,995. January 15 TASBO Workshop: Deep Dive for 2020 ESC Region 2, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. January 16 TASB Training Session: Environmental/Facilities Regulatory Compliance TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org TASBO Workshop: Deep Dive for 2020 Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. January 17-19 TAHPERD Annual Leadership Conference Conference Center, Granbury For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org January 21 TASBO Workshop: Deep Dive for 2020 ESC Region 25, San Angelo For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275.

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

January 22 TASBO Workshop: Leading Organizational Change ESC Region 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $215; nonmembers, $265. January 23 TASBO Workshop: Deep Dive for 2020 ESC Region 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. January 26-29 TASA Midwinter Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. tasamidwinter.org January 29 TASA/TASB/TASBO Budget Cohort for Texas District Leaders (session 2 of 4) Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasbo.org January 29-30 Texas ASCD Five-Day Math Workshop (session 3 of 3) Bamberg Center, Houston For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org January 31 TASBO Course: Competitive Sealed Proposals/Request for Proposals, ESC Region 1, Edinburg or ESC Region 1 extension office, Brownsville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $175; nonmembers, $225.

FE B RUA RY February 3-5 TCASE Great Ideas Annual Convention Marriott, Austin For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org February 4 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss ESC Region 10 Richardson For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $500;

nonmembers, $550. February 5 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Austin/San Antonio Cohort (session 4 of 6) Georgetown ISD, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org February 6 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Cohort (session 4 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org February 6-7 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $264. February 7 TASBO Course: Financial Essentials ESC Region 1, Edinburg or ESC Region 1 extension office, Brownsville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $175; nonmembers, $225. February 9-11 TASSP Assistant/Aspiring Principal Workshop Hilton Airport Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: Early Bird registration (by Jan. 24), $246; after Jan. 24, $296. TCA Professional School Counselor Annual Conference Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 472-3403 or (800) 580-8144. www.txca.org February 10 TASBO Course: Budget and Financial Planning ESC Region 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $175; nonmembers, $225. February 10-11 Texas ASCD Workshop: Creating an UnderstandingBased Curriculum and

Assessment System Victoria ISD, Victoria For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org February 11-13 TASA Level 1 CMAT TASA HQ, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850. February 19 TACS Region 15 Conference ESC Region 10, San Angelo For more info, (512)440-8227. www.tacsnet.org TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Cohort (session 4 of 6) Allen High School, Allen For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Lubbock Cohort (session 4 of 6) Frenship ISD, Wolfforth For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org February 19-20 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 4 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $795; non-members, $895. February 19-23 TABSE Annual State Conference Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio For more info, (937) 617-1706. www.tabse.net Cost: $495. February 24-27 TSPRA Annual Conference Omni Barton Creek Resort, Austin For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org TASA Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) Event For more info, (512) 477-6361. futurereadytx.org February 25-27 TASA Level 2 CMAT TASA HQ, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org


Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850. February 27-29 TASB Winter Governance Seminar Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org

M ARC H March 1-3 TASSP Symposium: Making Middle School Matter Hilton Airport Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100.

www.tassp.org Cost: Early Bird registration (through Feb. 14), $265; after Feb. 14, $315. March 1-6 TASBO Engage Annual Conference Location TBA, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org March 3 TACS Region 12 Conference Location TBA, Waco For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org

TASA/TASB/TASBO Budget Cohort for Texas District Leaders (session 3 of 4) Location TBA, Houston For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasbo.org March 29-31 TAGT Leadership Conference Location TBA, Sugar Land For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org March 30-31 CMSi Curriculum Management Planning Workshop TASA HQ, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org

Cost: TASA members, $450; nonmembers, $500. March 31 TASB Training Session: Best Practices in Maintenance and Operations TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $500; nonmembers, $550. â—„

Where did you find that great conference?

I found it in Texas School Business! Discover upcoming conferences and continuing education opportunities in the calendar section of each issue of Texas School Business and on our website.

TexasSchoolBusiness.com Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

29


REGIONAL VIEW

Education service center programs & practices

Teaching is a team sport by Tammi Tinnin

y Students and teachers at Sivells Elementary School participate in the Lesson Study program.

N

avigating the day-to-day teaching labyrinth requires a series of maneuvers to balance the responsibilities of caring for pupils on a social-emotional level, imparting knowledge on an academic level, and meeting administrative demands on a professional level. All too often, this balancing act significantly limits a teacher’s professional knowledge landscape. Region 3 ESC aims to bridge this gap by embracing and actively implementing a professional development practice known as Lesson Study. The premise of Lesson Study is simple: Teachers improve instruction by carving out time (one collaborative planning period per week) to learn and grow professionally with their colleagues. Teachers design their personal growth path and develop their own research questions. Teacher teams utilize each other, empirical research and ESC Texas Lesson Study (TXLS) instructional coaches to seek out solutions to their most complex classroom challenges. As teachers explore best practices and dive deep into content-specific methodologies that address their students’ specific needs, capacity is built through collaborative learning what augments both pedagogy and content. Solution-based learning is solidified, as teachers deepen their knowledge of learning gaps and collaboratively work to resolve narrowly defined problems. The

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

varied experiences and perspectives that each member of the TXLS team brings to the table adds tremendous value to the Lesson Study process. These experiences inform the development, methods and content that comprises the team’s learning outcomes. Texas Lesson Study is a framework for collaborative, instructional research and lesson design that can be implemented at any campus, and across any grade level or content area. Lesson Study has positively impacted teacher effectiveness and significantly improved student outcomes in Region 3. Teacher self-efficacy also increased considerably as a result of this teacher-driven practice. Specifically, educators reported gains in the ability to craft good questions, utilize a variety of assessment strategies, provide alternate examples to alleviate student misconceptions, and implement alternative instructional strategies. Sivells Elementary has served as the primary school in Wharton ISD for 69 years and was recently named a TEA TXLS Focus Campus. Billed as “the Gateway to the Texas Gulf Coast,” Wharton is a rural community situated on the banks of the Colorado River, 60 miles southwest of Houston. The student population draws from many diverse cultures and with a rich history. It's not unusual to


find several generations of a family represented within the school system. On Aug. 30, 2017, the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey rose from the Colorado River, inundating much of the city in waist-deep water. More than 60% of the homes in Wharton were flooded, and approximately half of the teachers at Sivells Elementary were displaced. Personal stories of loss, resilience and hard-won triumphs defined the 2017–18 school year. This was the same year that campus leaders Dana Foyt and Monica Rath recognized that it was important for professional development to reflect the idea that “teaching is a team sport.” As a result, TXLS PD was presented as an alternative to the traditional professional learning protocol. Wharton ISD district and campus leaders value the opportunity to provide ongoing, job-embedded professional development to their teachers and are dynamically invested in the implementation of TXLS. In particular, teachers are allotted a 90-minute planning period to ensure ample time for purposeful, professional learning. Because campus leaders consider the research lesson observation (first teach), reflection, revision and reteach (second teach) components to be exceptionally beneficial, funds for substitutes are designated so that TXLS teachers can comprehensively engage in this phase of the learning cycle. School leaders regularly attend weekly TXLS PD sessions and solicit feedback from teachers to capture their unique perspectives. Campus leaders meet weekly with

Spring 2018

Fall 2018

1. 2 grade (ELA) 1. 1 grade (ELA) nd

st

Region 3 TXLS instructional coaches to discuss learning gaps, coaching strategies and T-TESS alignment. Campus leaders regularly report teacher efficacy and outcomes data to stakeholders at district-level curriculum meetings, and at the superintendent’s request, teacher growth and improved student outcomes are celebrated annually at an open school board meeting. At Sivells Elementary, Texas Lesson Study is an inquiry-based professional development practice that encourages teachers to

Spring 2019

3. Kinder (ELA)

2. 2nd grade (Math) 4. Kinder (Math)

y Lesson Study is a framework for collaborative, instructional research and lesson design.

experiment and observe to improve their craft. Lesson Study has ignited a passion for teaching and learning among teacher teams, which is evidenced in the expansion map below. TAMMI TINNIN is a Texas Lesson Study coach and educational specialist at the Region 3 ESC.

Fall 2019

Spring 2020

1. 1 grade (Math)

1. 1 grade (Math)

2. 3rd grade (Math)

2. 3rd grade (Math)

3. 3rd grade (ELAR)

3. 3rd grade (ELAR)

4. 4th grade (Math)

4. 4th grade (Math)

5. 4th grade (ELAR)

5. 4th grade (ELAR)

6. 5th grade (Math)

6. 5th grade (Math)

7. 5th grade (ELAR)

7. 5th grade (ELAR)

8. 6th grade (Math)

8. 6th grade (Math)

9. 6th grade (ELAR)

9. 6th grade (ELAR)

10. 7th grade (ELAR)

10. 7th grade (ELAR)

11. 8th grade (ELAR)

11. 8th grade (ELAR)

st

st

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

31


THE ARTS

News in fine arts education

Make a bowl, make a difference: Parkway Elementary’s Empty Bowl Project by Lori Ashby, Misti Scaggs and Donna Pruitt

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” — Thomas Merton

▲ Students in Pine Tree ISD get their faces painted at the Parkway Elementary School Art Show.

E

xcited students and proud parents mill through a maze of hallways, rooms and creativity stations. Bright banners breezily welcome visitors. Tempting aromas waft through the balmy spring evening, enticing hungry patrons to the food trucks. Excited voices fill the not-sosilent auction area. It must be the Annual Art Show at Pine Tree ISD’s Parkway Elementary!

showcase the talent of Parkway students has grown into a community event that gives back. For all the food, fun and festivities, at the very heart of Parkway’s Annual Art Show is the Empty Bowls Project.

Since its 2014 inception, Parkway Elementary’s Art Show has showcased the individual creations of first- through fourthgrade students. The brainchild of Misti Scaggs, Parkway Elementary’s art teacher, this annual celebration of art has grown exponentially to encompass a student art showcase, hands-on art experiences, ukulele performances from the Jolly Roger Jam Band, food trucks and hundreds of enthusiastic patrons. What began as a vehicle to

“Trolling social media one evening, I came across an article about an amazing program started around 1990 by some high school students in Michigan. Students created a bowl, then hosted a dinner of soup and bread with all proceeds from the event benefiting the local food pantry,” explains Scaggs. “I knew instantly I wanted to begin a similar program here in Pine Tree.”

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Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

The Empty Bowls project was originally launched to provide Parkway Elementary Art Club members a service project of their own while directly impacting the community in which they live.

The Empty Bowls Project provides students an authentic way to apply their creative

skills in a real-world application, empowering them to make a difference in our immediate community. The 2014 Art Show boasted 300 attendees and an initial donation of $800 to the backpack program. In 2019, Parkway Elementary’s Empty Bowls project generated more than $2,700 for the district’s backpack program, more than doubling Parkway’s donation from Art Show 2018. These funds provide assistance in purchasing supplemental food that is sent home with students on Friday afternoons. In addition to raising funds, the program has grown from 60 Parkway Elementary Art Club members to include more than 270 participants including Parkway students, parents, teachers, school employees and school board members, as well as members of the community, further heightening the awareness of childhood hunger within our school and our community.


According to Jennifer Applegate, Parkway Elementary counselor, “Our backpack food program provides non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, cereal, powdered milk and snacks for students in need. The bags are provided to students on Friday afternoons so that they can have food for the weekends. We currently have more than 40 students participating in the program on our campus and they look forward to receiving their bags each week. This is a worthwhile program, and we are so grateful for all the donations we receive to make this available to our students.” The evolution of Parkway’s Art Show is in direct proportion to Parkway’s passionate commitment to this service project. In 2014, in a quandary over how to create, fire and glaze bowls for 60 elementary Art Club members, Scaggs contacted Mary Graham, Pine Tree High School’s art instructor. Using Graham’s art department kiln and with the help and support of PTHS art students, the first bowls were produced. In 2016, in a show of support for the burgeoning art instruction and the Empty Bowls project, the PTISD Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a kiln for the Parkway campus. This investment allowed for the creation of more than 150 bowls on campus, opening the field for more than just 60 Art Club students to participate. Says Graham, “I just loved the idea of Art Club students coming to the high school to make bowls with our older students. It was a great mentoring opportunity for my high schoolers. I love that Misti invited adults to join the project, turning this little idea into a real community effort!” PTISD Superintendent Steve Clugston attended the annual event for the first time in May 2018. “The Parkway Art Show was one of the first district events I attended as superintendent. I was so impressed with the energy and enthusiasm exhibited by students, staff, parents and community members,” says Clugston. “What makes this event special is twofold: When students are given the opportunity to express their individual creative talents and involve the community to impact the lives of people living in the community, that’s special.” Preparation for the Empty Bowls campaign begins months in advance. Scaggs hosts after-school workshops so that participants can work with clay, design and create a bowl of their choice, glazing and firing the piece. The final products are put on display at the Art Show and sold at the Silent Auction during the event. Dr. Lisa Mullins, PTISD curriculum coordinator, says, “I love to attend the annual Art

Show, particularly the Empty Bowls Silent Auction at Parkway Elementary. This event has become a friendly competition between bidders trying to outbid each other for a coveted piece. In my office and home are two pieces I outbid someone on in order to add them to my art collection.” “We are a Title I campus with approximately 70% percent of our families qualifying for free/reduced lunch. While we are now able to provide free breakfast and lunch for all our students, the Backpack Program fills in the gaps for those students who may not have access to meals over the weekends,” says Melanie Keoun, Parkway Elementary principal and parent of a Parkway third grader. “As a campus, we work hard to create a culture of family where we take care of each other. The Empty Bowls project allows our students the opportunity to create something that impacts the quality of life for their peers.” Scaggs invites PTISD employees to make bowls for the event. Becky Greer, a thirdgrade English/language arts teacher, says, “The Empty Bowls project involves kids in an activity they love while providing them the experience of community involvement. It teaches them about giving to those in need.” In addition to staff members, community members are invited to flex their creative muscles and create a bowl. Adam Graves, PTISD board trustee, parent and financial advisor and planning specialist for the Bell Graves Wright Group at Morgan Stanley, participated in the fundraising event. “My daughter, Savannah, had me purchase a wonderful looking rooster bowl which we keep out on our kitchen table,” Graves says. “When I was making my item for the event, I was just happy to make a plain bowl that held together!” Teresa Jenkins, a retired Parkway first-grade teacher participated in the event when Scaggs invited staff members to make a bowl to donate to the cause. “Every year, the event grows and grows, bringing awareness not only to the needs that surround us, but it also makes us aware of the importance of the arts and how valuable they are to the education of our students, in problemsolving, creativity, community and sharing,” says Jenkins. Scaggs is a dreamer and a doer, and her vision doesn’t stop here with the Empty Bowls project. “In the future, I see an exclusive Empty Bowls event featuring a simple supper of soup and bread prepared by students in the Pine Tree High School Culinary Department, with musical performances by the PTHS Show Choir, Jazz Band, musical

▲ Community members and students

create ceramic bowls to be raffled off at the Art Show.

theater, and Junior High School Choir,” Scaggs says. “Student-made items will be offered for purchase in order to raise as much money as possible. And patrons will go home with a souvenir bowl crafted by Parkway students.” Like the students who go home on weekends with more than just food items in their backpacks, patrons of Parkway’s mega-event go home with more than just a silent auction purchase, a handful of souvenirs, and a heart full of memories. Students, parents, community members and district staff walk away from Parkway’s Art Show with priceless gifts crafted by talented hands and generous hearts of young artists. “Each bowl created not only represents a hungry child who we wish to feed, but it also represents the young artist who created this bowl in an effort to show love and support to a fellow Pirate,” says Keoun. “These bowls represent the vision and commitment of our campus and our district as we pour ourselves into our students, investing in them as individuals and future productive citizens of our society.” LORI ASHBY is assistant principal and campus behavior coordinator at Parkway Elementary School. MISTI SCAGGS teaches art at Parkway Elementary School. DONNA PRUITT is volunteer coordinator for Pine Tree ISD. Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

33


THE BACK PAGE

On becoming passionate about our profession by Riney Jordan

I

n all my years of writing this column, I do not recall ever recommending a book for you to read. Shame on me! Or “My bad,” as the kids say today. I was recently given a copy of the book, “The Water is Wide,” by Pat Conroy. It’s been out for years, and why I never read it is beyond me! How did I miss this book? They’ve even made two movies of it, the first called “Conrack,” with Jon Voight, and the second by Hallmark, which carries the book’s original title. Without telling you too much, it’s about Pat Conroy himself, as a teacher — a teacher who cared, a teacher who loved the kids, and a teacher who would go to bat for them when necessary. I inhaled this book. I couldn’t put it down (as you so often hear from an avid reader). To me, it was spellbinding, captivating, intriguing, uplifting and encouraging. You get the idea. I loved this story. But, more than anything else, I deeply valued one attribute of Pat Conroy that I long for every educator to have. And that is passion. We sometimes tend to overuse that word, but when a teacher, principal, superintendent or any school employee is passionate about their job, you have an employee that should be treasured, praised and used as a model for others. It doesn’t take long for an observer to spot an individual who is passionate. They inspire their students. They encourage them. They mirror good habits. Heck, even their eyes sparkle! Passionate teachers sacrifice for their students. Let me explain. I had been assigned to do my student teaching with a local veteran teacher, Mrs.

Ione Bledsoe, in Early ISD. She had told me over the phone that she had 50 (exactly 50!) students in her fifth-grade classroom. “Don’t let that scare you off,” she said with a chuckle. When I walked into the classroom for the first time that September morning, she and the students enthusiastically welcomed me. With kindness and compassion, I sat mesmerized as she went from one subject to another throughout the day. She had those students “in the palm of her hand.” There was order, joy, excitement in her voice. It was amazing to watch. That afternoon, when the children had left for the day, I told her how awesome it had been to see how beautifully she handled that many students. “You’re passionate about this, aren’t you?” I muttered. “Oh, I love it. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction.” Then, she proudly pointed to the overhead projector she had used throughout the day. “I saved my money and bought it this summer,” she said. “It has really helped for all the students to be able to see things more clearly when the words are up on the screen. I’m so proud of it!” Here she was. A widowed teacher who was so passionate about providing the best learning opportunities for her students that she purchased her own equipment! There’s a paragraph in “The Water is Wide” that talks about the change in thinking that needs to occur for passionate educators to be able to reach their students: “It demands for a brief moment that you forget about money and budgets and balanced books. Forget about your building plans, ordering new volleyballs for the high

RINEY JORDAN is the author of two books and a frequent public speaker. To invite him to speak at your convocation, graduation or awards banquet, visit www.rineyjordan.com.

34

Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

school, and how many tractors to purchase next year. Think instead about children. People. Human beings. Feel for once that education is about people — not figures.” You simply have to read the book. It made me wish I was back in the classroom, helping a child with a difficult problem, planning impressive lessons that they would remember and praying that their lives would be better because of my actions and my reactions. Today, be grateful for the opportunity that you have been given to change a life. Be more excited about the possibilities than ever before. Be proud! Be personable! Be passionate!

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> Continued from page 15

2054.519(f) for employees of the local government to complete. The governing body shall: (1) verify and report on the completion of a cybersecurity training program by employees of the local government to the department (DIR); and (2) require periodic audits to ensure compliance with this section.

How Texas K-12 CTO Council can help Protecting your network and information systems may seem like a daunting task for school districts, especially on limited resources. The Texas K-12 CTO Council, in partnership with our parent organization, the Consortium of School Networking (COSN), has numerous resources to support districts as they work to provide the greatest protection possible for their systems. Last summer our CTO Clinic’s theme was about

building a trusted learned environment through physical, network and data security. On Oct. 18, we continued that conversation at our Fall Technical Summit in Aldine ISD. There are many resources that are free to our members, and nonmembers may also participate in our support cohorts. We are hosting a Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) cohort this fall, which will help districts become aware of their security vulnerabilities and take steps to address them. Districts may even want to work toward achieving the TLE seal from COSN as a way to demonstrate to their communities that they are meeting the standards for secure environments. Security will continue to be a hot topic for CTOs, so our organization will always have this as a training piece for our members. Our Winter Leadership Summit will be held on Jan. 26, 2020, at the Hilton Hotel in Austin, right before the TASA Midwinter Conference, and our summer CTO Clinic 2020 will be held on June 17-18, 2020, at the Sheraton Hotel in Georgetown. We welcome technology leaders and other staff

members to attend our meetings, where we will continue these important security conversations. Find out more about our events at: www.texask12ctocouncil.org

Resources Turner, C., (2018, March 17). Cyberattacks are one of the biggest threats that schools face, experts warn. Retrieved from https:// www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/03/17/ cyber-attacks-one-biggest-threats-schoolsface-experts-warn/ Ashford, W., (2019, July 4). Email still top security vulnerability, survey shows. Retrieved from https://www.computerweekly. com/news/252466256/Email-still-topsecurity-vulnerability-survey-shows. Hardison, T., (2018, Jan. 8). The top four security vulnerabilities you might be overlooking. Retrieved from https:// cybersecurity.isaca.org/articlesdetails?articleId=the-top-four-securityvulnerabilities-you-might-be-overlooking

Who’s News

Who’s News

> Continued from page 14

Waco ISD

West Orange-Cove CISD

Belton ISD’s former superintendent, Susan Kincannon, has been hired to lead Waco ISD. She has been an educator for 30 years, the past eight in her previous post in Belton. In addition, she has worked as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and deputy superintendent.

West Orange-Cove CISD has established a police department and appointed Darryl Hunt as police chief. He has 16 years of experience in law enforcement, including working with Humble and Beaumont ISDs and Prairie View A&M University. He holds a master’s degree in criminal justice.

Three head coaches have been appointed for the district. They are:

White Oak ISD

• Jesus Anaya, girls’ soccer, Waco High School; • Ricardo Felix, boys’ basketball, University High School; • Manuel Ordones, softball, Waco High School.

Superintendent Mike Gilbert has announced his retirement, effective in December. He has led the district since 2006.

Do you have good news to share about your district? Send news items for Who’s News directly to news@ texasschoolbusiness.com

Wimberley ISD The new director of student support services is Amy Lyles, a 24-year educator who spent the past two years with WISD as a counselor. Roz Simmons is now the district’s director

of safety. She spent the past five years as principal of Wimberley High School after a 25-year career as a trauma nurse. ◄ Texas School Business NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019

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Profile for Texas Association of School Administrators

TSB—November/December 2019  

In these pages, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to TASB’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year, Keith Bryant. You can read all about Bryant an...

TSB—November/December 2019  

In these pages, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to TASB’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year, Keith Bryant. You can read all about Bryant an...

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