THE INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS FOR 57 YEARS
Mobile devices in the classroom In the Spotlight Christy Paulsgrove, Goliad ISD
CONTENTS In the Spotlight: Christy Paulsgrove, Goliad ISD’s first female superintendent
by Ford Gunter
An eye on the general election: Voters’ actions to influence public education
by Carolyn Boyle
COVER story: Districts explore acceptable use policies for mobile devices
by Jennifer LeClaire
From Our Readers
TSB Professional Development & Events Calendar
From the Editor
The Law Dawg — unleashed
The Back Page
by Katie Ford by Jim Walsh
by Terry Morawski by Riney Jordan
Above: Cartoon courtesy of Clyde Peterson 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. October 2010 • Texas School Business
Robert Chapa, United ISD
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From the Editor Another general election is on the horizon. Have you done your research? Our October cover story provides a nice overview on what’s at stake when it comes to public education. The issues are as diverse as the candidates’ stances on them. If you have a vested interest in public education, which we know you do, it’s simply not an option to avoid the polls or vote a straight-party ticket and feel confident that our public schools will be OK. I encourage all our readers to take the time to review the races – from congressional to State Board of Education to the Legislature. It’s a cliché because it’s true: Every vote counts. Also on the horizon is our Fourth Annual Bragging Rights 2010-2011 special issue, which will come out on Dec. 1. As I write this, we at Texas School Business are in the throes of reviewing all the nominations that have poured in over the summer. Needless to say, there is much to brag about in Texas public schools. Thank you for sharing your successes with us. We look forward to highlighting this year’s top 12 winning programs in the Fourth Annual Bragging Rights 2010-2011 special issue. In the October issue, there’s plenty to highlight and discuss. Freelance writer Jennifer LeClaire explores acceptable use policies for handheld devices, and writer Ford Gunter provides us with an insightful profile on Christy Paulsgrove, Goliad ISD’s first-ever female superintendent. And, as always, we have plenty of Who’s News to keep Texas school administrators connected and informed. I hope you’re having a great fall semester. Never hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) October 2010 Volume LVII, Issue 1 1601 Rio Grande Street, #441 Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-478-2113 • Fax: 512-495-9955 www.texasschoolbusiness.com
North Forney High School, Forney ISD
Barbara Walker Elementary School, Crandall ISD
Publisher Ted Siff Editor in Chief Jim Walsh Editorial Director Katie Ford Design Phaedra Strecher Columnists Riney Jordan, Terry Morawski, Jim Walsh Advertising Sales Manager Jim Johnson Business Manager Debbie Stover Director of Marketing and Customer Relations Stephen Markel Digital Media Manager Douglas Bigham ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620 Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and for the Bragging Rights issue published in December (11 times a year) by Texas School Business Magazine, LLC, 1601 Rio Grande Street, #441, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas School Business,1601 Rio Grande Street, #441, Austin, TX 78701. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $28 per year; $52 for two yrs; $72 for three yrs. Group rate: 10 or more, $18; single issues, $4.50.
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© Copyright 2010 Texas School Business Magazine LLC October 2010 • Texas School Business
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THE LAW DAWG – unleashed by Jim Walsh
My visit with Sister Mary Holywater
spent the first six years of my formal education at St. Sabina’s Grammar School on the south side of Chicago where I was instructed by a series of nuns: Sister Briga, Sister Luca and Sister Miguela. As many of you know from hearing me speak of those days, I never refer to the good sisters by those names. I prefer the generic “Sister Mary Holywater.” I picked up that moniker from my mother, who also taught at the Catholic school I attended. These sisters all came from the Dominican Convent in Sinsinawa, Wis. Lo and behold, my travels last spring took me within 10 miles of the place. I made a detour and popped in for a visit. This convent is not just a training ground for nuns, but also a retirement home. Thus, it occurred to me that it was possible that some of my former teachers were now living there. I asked about this at the front desk: Do you happen to know if there are any sisters here who taught at St. Sabina’s from 1956 to 1962? It turned out there were eight of them! Eight! I didn’t recognize any of their names, but I asked to visit with one them. Five minutes later, here came Sister Pat. Sister Pat and I were at St. Sabina’s at the same time, but we didn’t remember each other. It was a big school and she arrived to teach first grade when I was in second. So, it isn’t surprising that our paths didn’t cross. But as I sat and talked to this twinkly-eyed woman in her late 70s (that’s a guess), I was filled with gratitude for the good education I received. I told her so. I told her that I realized, somewhere about halfway through law school, that the foundation for all that followed was laid in those first few years. I have had a lot of fun over the years telling my stories of how Sister Mary Holywater kept us in a steady state of anxiety with intermittent flights of terror. It wasn’t that she would rap our knuckles
with a ruler; she had far more potent weapons at her disposal. Mostly, Sister Mary Holywater used fear to keep us in line. She skillfully combined Communism and Purgatory to convince us that we were likely to meet our Maker soon, and that a scorecard of our classroom transgressions was being kept. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Purgatory, let us just say that it’s sort of a celestial Disciplinary Alternative Education Program. Moreover, Sister Mary Holywater told us that the Communists were godless atheists and mean people and they had a particular dislike for little Catholic boys and girls. Thus, we would be the first to go in the upcoming nuclear attack. I don’t endorse this as a classroom management technique, but I will say that it worked. I have gone back to look at my class pictures to see if my memory is correct: Were there really more than 40 kids in that classroom with one nun, no teacher aides and no discipline problems? Yes. More than 40 scared kids. After my visit with Sister Pat, it occurred to me that perhaps I needed to make some amends. I’ve had my fun telling stories about Sister Mary Holywater. But all kidding aside, I got an excellent start to my education due to the loving service of a group of women who taught children with dedication, virtue and skill. I am grateful. So, for all you elementary teachers out there: Keep on keeping on. You are saving the world, one classroom at a time. You are laying the foundation. I hope you get the occasional thank-you. Consider this my thanks to all of you. JIM WALSH is editor in chief of Texas School Business. He is also a school attorney with the firm of Walsh Anderson Brown Gallegos and Green PC. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Tech Toolbox by Terry Morawski
What is cloud computing, anyway?
term that’s often tossed around, but not yet widely understood, is “cloud computing.” Whether you know it or not, much of your data is already living in the cloud. In addition, some of your data could, and arguably should, be part of the cloud. So, before we get too far off the ground, let’s define it. Cloud computing provides you with additional capacity for your organization without physically adding software, hardware or staff to your operations. Cloud computing refers to using Web-based tools as if they were programs installed locally on the user’s hardware. The space in which these Web tools reside is referred to as “the cloud.” Part of the problem with a term like cloud computing is that everyone from vendors to IT pros use the term to define an extremely broad set of tools. Gmail and Google Docs are probably two of the bestknown examples. To help you out, I’ll focus on some of the most common services that are considered part of a cloud solution. 1. Software as a service (SaaS) applications are gaining in popularity because companies (including school districts) can gain significant capability without purchasing additional equipment or servers. Student data systems, HR systems, many telephone notification system platforms and other solutions would fall into this category. SaaS will continue to expand and be a popular option for school districts. Salesforce (www.salesforce.com) is one of the most popular examples of an SaaS in the business world. 2. Utility computing represents the use of external cloud sources to provide additional storage and memory. These types of solutions can result in overall improvement in the capacity of a district’s memory, input/output and ability to speed up complicated computer processes. 3. Cloud Web services are smaller than the full-fledged applications represented in the SaaS category. These Web providers often perform a single service and can operate in the background without users ever knowing the service is running on
The Cloud Amazon Amazon
Zoho Zoho Rackspace Rackspace
Graphic credit: Sam Johnston
their computers. Many online credit card processing services would fall into this category. 4. Managed service providers (MSPs) are cloud services that are typically only utilized by technology staff. MSPs provide services that are a necessary part of operations for a district. School districts normally use MSPs for their spam filters, virus protection and desktop management software. These services would be nearly impossible and certainly not costeffective to create on your own. One of the greatest challenges for a purchaser of cloud products is figuring out exactly what you need. When it comes to applications, there are often free services available, such as the online document creation and sharing solution, Google Docs. Many cloud products offer a “light” version for free, in the hopes you will opt for an upgrade for increased functionability or power. Storage and capacity cloud products typically don’t offer services for free. As cloud-based applications continue to evolve, school districts will be able to ramp up their capacities without sending their budgets into the stratosphere. As with any technology purchase, be wary of unproven services — as well as promises of what a service will do in its next version. TERRY MORAWSKI is the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. October 2010 • Texas School Business
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Goliad ISD’s first female superintendent has worked in her district for 35 years by Ford Gunter
ntering her first school year as superintendent for Goliad ISD, Christy Paulsgrove already had made history. The first woman ever to assume that role, she pauses only briefly to reflect on what it all means. “We’re kind of a conservative community, so that’s something that’s kind of an accomplishment,” Paulsgrove says. A lifelong educator with several awards and honors to her name, she was far from a controversial choice. “I think the community really wanted someone who had been with the system and knew the kids,” she says. The district couldn’t have found a more qualified candidate. Paulsgrove, 58, started in education 37 years ago with Goliad ISD, and has been there ever since — aside from two years at neighboring Victoria ISD. During her tenure as a speech pathologist, teacher and principal, mostly at the elementary and middle school campuses, Paulsgrove brought some statewide recognition to the four-school district. In 2003, she was named Texas Principal of the Year. Paulsgrove missed out on the highest honor in the competition, but she took it with a grain of salt. “I didn’t get National Principal of the Year,” Paulsgrove says. “That guy [who received the honor] got shot by one of his students and still turned his school around.” Three years ago it would have been hard to picture Paulsgrove sitting in the superintendent’s office. In 2007, she had retired and was looking forward to spending time with her family: her husband, who still worked as an attorney; her daughter, a doctor; her son-in-law, a coach at Baylor University; and her soon-to-be-born grandchild. However, after two years in retirement at the age of 57, Paulsgrove decided she’d had enough of “the golden years.” “I just missed the kids and I missed the school,” Paulsgrove says. “I decided retirement isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.”
She came back to serve as principal of the intermediate campus. “I have a love for this town and this community and these kids, because I know them all,” says Paulsgrove. “I was born and raised in Goliad, educated in the school system. The kids I work with — I taught their parents and I went to school with their grandparents. I have a real stake in this to know that we’ve made the education system stronger.” When the district’s superintendant resigned, Paulsgrove in May was named the replacement. She didn’t waste any time getting to work in her new role. This is the last year of the TAKS system, and administrators are gearing up to get their schools ready for the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR system, designed to avoid the teaching-to-the-tests issue of previous standardized test regimes. “We’re going to a more end-of-course type thing,” Paulsgrove says. “It’s based more on courses of study rather than certain skills.” Goliad ISD also is assessing a the curriculum model called CSCOPE, and Paulsgrove will be selecting leaders from each campus to train on the system at the Oct. 11 staff development day. Moreover, the district is beefing up its extracurricular programs, adding a new athletic director and band director. Paulsgrove’s passion for technology also is reflected in her leadership. She’s seeking to extend the Apple laptop program to elementary school students and introduce iPads into the classrooms. Teachers have smart boards in their classrooms, and many faculty members participated in technology training over the summer. In today’s trying times, however, Paulsgrove’s biggest challenge may be to simply maintain current successes and enrollment figures. Rural school districts are shrinking in population because parents are heading to the cities for work. But Paulsgrove already has strategies in place.
Goliad ISD Superintendent Christy Paulsgrove has worked for the district for 35 years, serving as a teacher, speech pathologist and principal. The students enjoying storytime with their superintendent are (left to right) Porter Boggess, Delaney Huber and Zach Hailey.
First-day enrollment this year was 1,359, up slightly from 1,315 last year. Goliad ISD is proactive in maintaining its population with public relations campaigns and accepting transfers from up to 25 miles away. Older students get character counseling to learn how to deal with other students and people. “The school’s role is to educate the whole child, not just the individual goals and objectives to learn, say, science,” Paulsgrove says. The best way to do that, according to Paulsgrove, is through face time. After all, you can take the educator out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the educator. “I try to start the day at the campuses greeting the kids,” she says. “The hardest thing for me is not being with the kids. I was a principal first. I just have that in me that I want to be with the kids.” FORD GUNTER is filmmaker and freelance writer in Houston. October 2010 • Texas School Business
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An eye on the general election Voters’ actions in November will influence future of Texas public education by Carolyn Boyle
ducation is a top issue in hotly contested campaigns for elected offices up and down the general election ballot — from the congressional, gubernatorial and legislative races to the State Board of Education. The more than 4 million Texans expected to turn out for the Nov. 2 election will cast votes that have a major impact on public education for our state’s 4.5 million schoolchildren. Educators are nervous about the fall elections, fearing that an anti-incumbent sentiment among Texas voters will result in the loss of effective incumbent legislators who are strong supporters of public education. Newly elected Texas lawmakers could determine the financial survival of school districts that already have had to cut staff and programs and spend money from rainyday funds to balance their budgets. Pollster Jeff Smith of Opinion Analysts in Austin says his surveys consistently show that public education is at the top of the pile of concerns among Texas voters. “Even in a time of great anxiety about the economy, voters want the public schools funded, teachers paid, and schools to have the resources they need to do their job,” Smith says. Voter attitudes were probed in depth through a national poll by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and the university-sponsored journal Education Next. When asked if they support more government funding for public schools, 63 percent of the poll respondents said they did. However, when asked whether “local taxes to fund public schools in your district should increase,” only 29 percent responded favorably. Texas House of Representatives races garner most attention Political forecasters are paying special attention to races for the Texas House of Representatives, where 86 out of 150 seats are being contested. The current makeup of the House is 77 Republicans and 73 Democrats, which forces negotiation and compromise on education issues. The Texas Tribune projects that as many as 21 House seats might switch from one political party to the other in the November election. Major shifts in Republican or Demo-
Cartoon courtesy of Clyde Peterson
cratic dominance in the Texas House could impact the speakership as well as speaker appointments to key education and appropriations committees. Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is considered to be a fairminded moderate. Ultra-conservative Leo Berman, R-Tyler, has announced his candidacy for speaker in 2011, and another potential speaker challenger is conservative Warren Chisum, R-Pampa. If Democrats pick up several seats in the House and achieve a majority, it is likely a Democratic speaker would be elected by the House members. Many House races feature one state representative candidate who is a strong supporter of public education versus an opponent who is lukewarm or openly antagonistic about Texas public schools. These differences show up in candidate positions on issues such as tax-funded private school tuition vouchers, how or whether to improve equity and adequacy in the state education funding system, and requiring the public to vote on all public education tax increases. Differences among candidates also are evident on professional and academic
issues, including retaining or eliminating teacher contracts, expanded state curriculum mandates, and 22-to-1 class size limits for certain elementary grades. There also are candidates who seek to limit state responsibility for the Teacher Retirement System by moving from a defined benefit program to a defined contribution program. At least 14 members of the Texas House of Representatives will be new, due to resignations and election defeats. House members who have or who are resigning are Frank Corte, Joe Crabb, David Farabee, Dan Gattis, Carl Isett, Brian McCall and David Swinford. Seven state representative incumbents were defeated in the primary election: Betty Brown, Norma Chavez, Terri Hodge, Delwin Jones, Tommy Merritt, Dora Olivo and Tara Rios Ybarra. Other federal and state races All 32 Texas congressional seats will be contested in the general election. The state of the nation’s economy, illegal immigration, financial and health care reform and partisan rancor in Congress are all top issues for voters in these races. See ELECTION on page 17 October 2010 • Texas School Business
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FERPA: The Law of Student Records
Sourcebook included with DVD purchase.
Employment Sexual Harassment At School
ARD Man Begins Or... The Four Secrets of Successful ARD Meeitngs
What is sexual harassment? What steps should the school take to prevent it? When is the school liable?
P U B L I C A T I O N S
P U B L I C A T I O N S
When High School Principal D.W. Doright takes over as 504 Coordinator (Coach) he hasn’t got a clue as to how to handle this new responsibility. But by the end of this highly entertaining DVD, you will see that “Coach Doright” has mastered the basics of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as it applies to students. Your staff will be educated as well as entertained about this important federal law, including its 2009 amendments.
• • •
Section 504 and Students
ARD Man Begins Paula Maddox Roalson
Park Place Publications and respected school law firm Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C. have produced this highly entertaining and educational DVD. Get ready to have fun while you learn the details of Section 504. Attorney narrator Paula Maddox Roalson guides you through the legal details while talented actors bring challenging school law situations to life.
Employment Sexual Harassment At School
Paula Maddox Roalson
P U B L I C A T I O N S
8-0-9825600-1-3 • DVD • 31 minutes • $99
der from Park Place Publications, LP o Grande, Suite 441, Austin, TX 78701 512.478.2113 • Fax: 512.495.9955 www.parkplacepubs.com
FERPA Guy Explains it all to You!
© Park Place Publications and derson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C.
Park Place Publications and respected school law firm Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C. have produced this educational DVD and Sourcebook.* In it attorneys Jim Walsh and Marquette Maresh identify the forms of impermissible sexual harassment and set forth guidelines for taking effective action to avoid litigation. Through entertaining scenes that are analyzed by Walsh and Maresh, the viewer gets the answers to three basic legal questions:
Or …Principal Doright Gets it!
Holly Mae Meanswell
Section 504 and Students
The Law of Student Records
Section 504 and Students
her Holly Mae Meanswell s “FERPA Guy” she learns s of the law pertaining to ntiality of student records. s will be entertained and d through this DVD which highlights of FERPA and gulations including the 2008 amendments.
The Law of Student Records Or … FERPA Guy Explains it all to You!
Park Place Publications and respected school law firm Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C. have produced this highly entertaining and educational DVD. Get ready to have fun while you learn the details of FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Attorney narrator Jim Walsh guides you through the legal details while talented actors bring challenging school law situations to life.
Understanding Discipline in Special Education
ELECTION continued from page 15
In the heated gubernatorial race among Republican Rick Perry, Democrat Bill White and two third-party candidates, major campaign topics are school funding, dropout rates, early childhood education, accountability and college affordability. Fifteen out of the 31 Texas Senate seats will be contested, but pundits don’t expect any of these races to be close. There will be two new members of the Texas Senate due to the resignations of state senators Kip Averitt and Eliot Shapleigh. Averitt’s successor is already known, as Brian Birdwell is running unopposed in the general election. While there are six contested seats on the State Board of Education in the general election, Republican primary election results were a bellwether for a shift toward moderation in the majority faction. PTA leader and school volunteer Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant defeated incumbent Don McLeroy, and public school teacher George Clayton defeated incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller. Cynthia Dunbar is resigning from the board, and the two respected educators competing for her seat are Marsha Farney and Judy Jennings. Urging school supporters to vote Texas public education supporters — including parents, educators, and business and community partners — can have a big impact on the election if they take time to research candidates and then vote for those with a track record of consistent support for public education. “We have seen voters who support public education make significant differences in Texas House races in the past,” says Christy Kaupert, associate professor of political science at San Antonio College. She pointed to the 2006 primary election in which Diane Patrick defeated Kent Grusendorf, a 19-year incumbent. A
2010 Primary Election Winners Endorsed By Texas Parent Pac First-time candidate primary winners (several have general election opponents): • House District (HD) 4: Lance Gooden, Terrell (defeated Rep. Betty Brown) • HD 87: Four Price, Amarillo (open seat) • HD 100: Eric Johnson, Dallas (defeated Rep. Terri Hodge) • HD 122: Lyle Larson, San Antonio (open seat) • HD 127: Dan Huberty, Humble (open seat) • SBOE 9: Thomas Ratliff, Mount Pleasant (defeated incumbent Don McLeroy) Endorsed incumbents winning the primary election: • HD 11: Rep. Chuck Hopson, Jacksonville • HD 44: Rep. Edmund Kuempel, Seguin • HD 99: Rep. Charlie Geren, Fort Worth • SBOE 15: Bob Craig, Lubbock Candidates endorsed by Texas Parent PAC for the general election are listed at www.txparentpac.com.
post-election study showed that about 50 percent of school district employees voted in Patrick’s winning Republican primary election in Arlington. A lot of people who don’t take the time to research each candidate opt to vote straight-party tickets, either with the straight ticket option or by voting only for Democrats or Republicans. Yet, this strategy can unintentionally hurt candidates who would back pro-education policies. “Party is a simple shortcut for identifying candidates who are likely to share your values on a range of issues, and much more economical than taking the time to read, research, reflect and make a splitticket choice of the best candidate in each race,” says Smith of Opinion Analysts. “But raising the profile of public education issues can help break through that partisan shield.” “When school supporters don’t turn out to vote, we have seen legislative friends like Carter Casteel lose,” Kaupert adds. “It is important for educators to talk to their friends and neighbors and not be shy about saying they support or oppose candidates because of their views on public education.” According to guidance from the Texas Association of School Boards, school em-
ployees have the First Amendment right to campaign for or against a candidate in their non-work time using their personal funds. “The key is not to use school district resources — work time, money, facilities, equipment, supplies — for the political advertising,” says the TASB guideline. School leaders can promote voting in the general election in many ways. For example: Encourage voting and make it convenient. Like private-sector employers, school supervisors should encourage employees to vote at duty-free times of the workday during early voting and election day. Meetings can be scheduled near polling places during the 12-day early voting period. Inform people where and when to vote. Information may be disseminated to school employees about dates and times for early and election day voting and polling locations. It is actually patriotic to encourage voting using school district communication outlets, such as email and school marquees. Early voting for the 2010 election is Oct. 18 – 29. Election day in Texas is Tuesday, Nov. 2. CAROLYN BOYLE is a longtime advocate for public education and volunteers her time serving as chair of Texas Parent PAC
About Texas Parent PAC Texas Parent PAC is the only pro-public education political action committee not affiliated with a teacher association. Since the bipartisan committee was formed in 2005, the PAC has helped to elect 22 new members of the Texas House of Representatives. The Austin American-Statesman ranked Texas Parent PAC at No. 14 on its 2008 list of “Top 20 Texas Political Action Committees.” More than 900 individuals have contributed to Texas Parent PAC, making it one of the larger political committees in Texas. “PAC donors are parents, grandparents and educators seeking to elect state leaders who stand up for public education,” says Texas Parent PAC Treasurer Ellen Jones of Euless, who is a
school board member. “The current donor base includes about 200 school superintendents and 50 trustees, along with hundreds of parents who are active volunteers in PTAs and PTOs.” Texas Parent PAC had a successful primary election in 2010, helping to elect five new state representative candidates and one State Board of Education candidate. Many of these winners and nominees will replace incumbents who were not consistent supporters of public education. The PAC supported winning candidates in myriad ways, including direct mail campaigns, endorsement news releases, live phone banks, door-to-door canvassers, and campaign contributions that funded TV, radio, signs and campaign staff. October 2010 • Texas School Business
Smart use of smart technology Districts try various approaches to drafting acceptable use policies by Jennifer LeClaire
nce a nuisance to administrators and teachers, smartphones are becoming a 21st century learning asset for forward-thinking school districts. Indeed, districts across Texas are experimenting with smartphones and iPod Touches, widely known as “mobile learning devices,” to enhance classroom curriculum and homework completion rates. Such advancements are boosting student engagement and access to learning resources. These high-tech opportunities, however, also present low-tech challenges for school administrators. Districts considering adopting mobile technologies must first comply with government rules surrounding child protection, as well as address concerns from teachers and parents alike. The dos and don’ts of mobile learning device use need to be laid out in an Acceptable Use Policy that parents consent to — and to which students and teachers willingly subscribe. When it comes to drafting acceptable use policies, student use and school-issued devices are just the beginning of what needs to be covered. There are two sides to the acceptable use coin: how teachers are allowed to use mobile devices to interact with students and how students are allowed to interact with the Web using school-owned mobile gadgets.
Teacher-student guidelines School districts have basic expectations as to how their employees should and shouldn’t use email and social media in relation to school activities. Therefore, the first step in developing an Acceptable Use Policy for mobile devices is to apply those responsible use expectations to mobile de18
Texas School Business • October 2010
vices. A hot concern among many administrators is setting guidelines for communicating with students after school hours. “We’re trying to limit and, in some cases, stop any type of after-hours communications between students and staff members,” says Terry Morawski, assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. “We would not be opposed to a text message reminding a student about a test, if that is something a teacher wanted to do, as long as it was sent to the entire class. We don’t see one-to-one messaging as an appropriate use of mobile devices.” Because social networking sites are commonly accessed on mobile devices, guidelines on visiting these sites also should be addressed in an Acceptable Use Policy. Some districts restrict teacher use of social media sites altogether, while others allow teachers to use sites, like Facebook, for educational purposes. For example, a teacher might set up a fan page that’s accessible to staff, students and teachers, which would not be considered one-on-one communication, Morawski says. The Facebook fan page format could offer a forum for discussing assignments, calendar events and classroom projects. However, most districts don’t suggest that staff members use their personal profiles on social networking sites to send friend requests to students. “We promote the use of technology and new tools to find new ways to connect with students to further learning, so we’re building those systems,” Morawski says. “At the same time, we also have to build protections into that system. Those protections are in the Acceptable Use Policy.”
Making mobile devices safe Sometimes enforcing acceptable use policies requires more than a precisely written document. Some school districts are backing up written policies with software filters to encourage hesitant school
boards to sanction mobile learning devices in the classroom. “Many parents are not tech-savvy,” says Suren Ramasubbu, founder and CEO of Mobicip.com, a Thousand Oaks, Calif.based Internet filtering and parental control software developer that serves school districts. “Open Internet access is a big concern for parents and the school. So, a common part of schools’ acceptable use policies addresses access to the Internet, both in school and when the devices are sent home. Internet-filtering software helps enforce the guidelines that the schools define in their acceptable use policies.” Jim Ned CISD in Tuscola partnered with Mobicip.com when it decided to send iPod Touch devices home with every high school student in the district. By deploying the devices with Internet safety and parental control software already installed, the district could allow students to explore and experience the Internet with safe, school-generated and -approved content. Mobicip’s service ensures Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliance, supports the school’s acceptable use policy and makes the program eligible for eRate funding. “Children today are growing up in an era when they are exposed to technology and content that can transform their learning experience, and it is our responsibility to allow them to do so safely,” says Brant Myers, superintendent of Jim Ned CISD. “You wouldn’t give a hammer to a student and tell her that she can use it for anything except to drive a nail in the wall. We feel the same way about the iPods and learning.” Comal ISD in New Braunfels is also using Mobicip. Comal ISD had identified a subset of its student population as English language learners (ELL). The district launched an ELL program that enabled each participating student to have access to an iPod Touch. Like Jim Ned CISD, the New Braunfels district wanted to ensure child safety before deploying the devices.
Comal ISD technology coordinator Jennifer Wivagg says, “Students still have access to the Internet on any WiFi network, and teachers and parents can feel confident that they are not accessing inappropriate sites.” Of course, what constitutes an appropriate or inappropriate site goes back to the individual district’s Acceptable Use Policy. Ramasubbu says some districts are more strict than others. Some, for example, play Big Brother and monitor all usage. Others simply determine which categories are allowed or not allowed to be viewed on mobile devices. “The filters seem to depend on the history of the school district — whether or not they’ve had any issues or problems with students accessing inappropriate sites,” Ramasubbu says. “The challenge in any given district is to get consensus on what the Acceptable Use Policy should be. Most schools block sites like Facebook and Twitter, because teachers complain about students spending too much time
there. Ultimately, the teachers need to be involved in deciding what the acceptable use is in the classroom, but the parents need to be involved in what’s acceptable at home.”
Responsible use plans There’s yet another twist on acceptable use policies. It’s called the Responsible Use Plan, and it’s typically implemented in school districts where mobile learning devices are activated for texting and Internet use. In this paradigm, the students have to be responsible users of technology to maintain access to the devices. “The mobile learning devices have filtering software on them. But if kids really try, many of them are smart enough to get through that filtering,” says Cathleen Norris, a former public school teacher who is now chief education architect at GoKnow Learning, a Dallas-based mobile-learning consulting firm. “The basic premise of this policy is: If you violate the policy, you go back to pencil and paper.”
Norris says the Responsible Use Plan is effective in schools where technology is used as an essential part of the curriculum. When students become accustomed to doing their writing, reading, research, concept maps and timelines — in other words, most of their lessons — on a smartphone, they are not inclined to want to return to pencil and paper. In Norris’ experience, a Responsible Use Plan does lead to responsible use of the devices. “Students write more and they write better when they’re using something other than pen and paper,” she says. “I know of a student who took her mobile learning device to her brother’s soccer game so she could do her homework on the bleachers; she wouldn’t have taken her books. Technology makes it so convenient. Breaking the Responsible Use Plan just isn’t worth it to them.” JENNIFER LECLAIRE also has written for The New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor.
Students in a fifth grade social studies class in Keller ISD use smartphones both in class and at home to accompany their daily lessons. October 2010 • Texas School Business
6th Annual TepsA Fall summit pre-Conference On
Education Law for Elementary School Administrators Wednesday November 10, 2010 at the
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel The Woodlands, Texas Produced in partnership with the Texas Elementary CoNfErENCE TopiCS & SpEAkErS iNCLudE: Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA), RTI Legal Update: Issues & Answers this conference will focus on legal issues of Jim Walsh – Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos & particular interest to Elementary School Green, p.C., Austin Principals, Supervisors, and Legal Issues That Arise in Student Grading Administrators, as well as Lisa Brown – Thompson & Horton, LLp, Houston school personnel directors, Termination and Nonrenewal of attorneys, and board members. Employee Contracts & Selected Cases Dorcas Green – Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos & Green, p.C., Austin
Attorney Question & Answer Session The Principal’s Role in Handling Student Bullying Wayne Haglund – Haglund Law Firm, p.C., Lufkin
A Guide to Dealing with Family Law Issues That Impact Kids at School
Jeana Lungwitz – Lungwitz & Lungwitz, p.C., Austin
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www.legaldigest.com The Leading Resource for Texas Education Law
Texas School Business • October 2010
Professional Development & EVENTS WEEK OF NOVEMBER 1 November 1-2 Texas School HR Administrators Academy Marriott North, Austin For more info, (800) 580-8272, ext. 2219. www.tasb.org Cost: Early registration (by Oct. 10), $385. Regular registration (after Oct. 10), $450. November 2 TCASE Legal Academy Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org November 3 TASSP Region 11 Meeting Joe T. Garcia’s, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org November 3-4 First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 2 of 4) Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: All four sessions, $595; single session, $195. Using Graphic Organizers and Assessment Tools to Make Mathematics Content More Accessible to Struggling Students (session 2 of 3) Galena Park ISD, Houston area For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org November 4 Purchasing Academy Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $220. November 5-7 TESA Fall Work Conference Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
WEEK OF NOVEMBER 8 November 9 Basics of Investing School Funds ESC Region 15, San Antonio For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $140; nonmembers, $180.
TCASE Legal Academy Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org November 9-10 Leadership Development Process Salesmanship Club, Dallas For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org November 10 Investing School Funds ESC Region 15, San Antonio For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $140; nonmembers, $180. TAPE Dallas Regional Conference and Education Partnership Planning Forum Center for Community Cooperation, Dallas For more info, (512) 473-8377. www.tape.org Cost: Members, $40; nonmembers, $60. TASSP Region 14 Meeting ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA/Legal Digest Law Annual Conference Waterway Marriott, The Woodlands For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org Members, online, $124; members, offline, $149; nonmembers, online, $164; nonmembers, offline, $189. November 10-12 Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Professional Development Conference Convention Center, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org November 10-13 Texas Counseling Association Professional Growth Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 472-3403 or (800) 580-8144. www.txca.org Regular members, $165; retired members, $90; student members, $90; nonmembers, $295; nonmember students, $155. November 11 TASSP Region 2 Meeting Coles High School, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
November 11-12 Business Managers Academy Embassy Suites, Frisco For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $260; nonmembers, $300. TEPSA Fall Summit Waterway Marriott, The Woodlands For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org Cost (by Oct. 11): Members, $222; registration and membership, $585; nonmembers, $315. After Oct. 11: Members, $247; registration and membership, $610; nonmembers, $340.
WEEK OF NOVEMBER 15 November 15 TASBO Pre-Legislative Workshop Capitol Building, Room E2.036, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $220. Texas Business and Education Coalition Annual Honor Roll Event Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio For more info, (512) 480-8232. www.tbec.org November 16 TASSP Region 3 Meeting ESC Region 3, Victoria For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Staffing Controls for Public Schools TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: By Nov. 3, $180. After Nov. 3: $230. November 17 TASSP Region 15 ESC Region 15, San Angelo For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org November 17-18 IPM Coordinators Conference Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $75; nonmembers, $115.
See CALENDAR on page 22 October 2010 • Texas School Business
Professional Development & EVENTS
CALENDAR continued from page 21 Texas A&M/TASA Administrative Leadership Institute Hilton Hotel, College Station For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: $250.
November 18 TACS Annual Construction Conference Thompson Conference Center, Austin For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org
(800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: $95.
November 19-21 Texas Association of Suburban and Mid-Urban Schools Fall Conference Moody Gardens, Galveston For more info, (512) 477-6361 or
WEEK OF NOVEMBER 29
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WEEK OF NOVEMBER 22 No events listed.
November 30-December 3 Texas Assessment Conference Hilton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org December 1-4 TAHPERD Annual Convention Moody Gardens, Galveston For more info, (512) 459-1299 or (800) 880-7300. www.tahperd.org Cost: By Nov. 1: Professional and associate members, $105; student and retired members, $35; emeritus members, no charge; out-ofstate visitors, $105. After Nov. 1: Professional and associate members, $125; student and retired members, $45; emeritus members, no charge; out-of-state visitors, $125.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 6 This celebratory issue spotlights 12 successful Texas school programs.
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Texas School Business • October 2010
December 8 Annual TASPA/Legal Digest Conference on Personnel Law for School Administrators Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Members: online, $140; offline, $155. Nonmembers: online, $180; offline, $195. December 8-10 TASPA Winter Conference Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353 or (800) 346-4111. www.taspa.org December 10-11 TAMS/TARS Annual Legislative Conference Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio For more info, (512) 346-2177. www.midsizeschools.org Cost: $100 for first district participant; $90 for all other participants from same district. $35 late fee per attendee after November 20.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 13 No events listed.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 20 No events listed.
Professional Development & EVENTS
WEEK OF DECEMBER 27 No events listed.
WEEK OF JANUARY 3 No events listed.
WEEK OF JANUARY 10 January 12 Budget Boot Camp for Superintendents ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: $105.
January 30-February 1 TAPE Annual Conference: Powerful Partnerships Marriott South, Austin For more info, (512) 473-8377. www.tape.org January 30-February 2 TASA Midwinter Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org
January 13-14 TASBO Budget Academy Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $260; nonmembers, $300.
WEEK OF JANUARY 17
January 18-20 TCASE Great Ideas Convention Hilton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org January 21-23 Texas Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference Moody Gardens, Galveston For more info, (800) 694-8680. www.tctela.org TAHPERD Annual Leadership Conference Inn of the Hills, Kerrville For more info, (512) 459-1299 or (800) 880-7300. www.tahperd.org
WEEK OF JANUARY 24 January 27-30
TheatreFest 2011 Hyatt Regency Downtown, Houston For more info, (979) 826-5533. www.tetatx.com January 28-29 Annual Texas School Health Association Conference Marriott Westchase, Houston For more info, (800) 410-8742. www.txschoolhealth.org Cost: $180 plus membership fee.
Cost: Individuals affiliated with an educational entity, $245, conference only. Others, $345. Complimentary registration for TASA honorary life members and TEA and ESC staff. Midwinter Conference combined with Aspiring Superintendents Academy, $345.
WEEK OF JANUARY 31 No events listed. TSB
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Texas School Business • October 2010
Arlington ISD David Gutierrez is now principal of South Davis Elementary School. He began his career as a first grade bilingual teacher at Thornton Elementary in 1998, became assistant principal in 2002, and has been the school’s principal since 2007. Seven assistant principals have also been appointed. They are: • Selena Bastidas, Hill Elementary • Michelle Harris, Atherton Elementary • Derek Hinton, Ferguson Junior High • Jaqueline McDowell-Walton, Ellis Elementary • Melinda Schweig, Bryant Elementary • Max Smith, Gunn Junior High • Jacob Wilson, Sam Houston High School • Clifton Womack, Atherton Elementary Austin ISD Sheila Henry leads LBJ High School as its principal. She comes to Austin from Florida’s Palm Beach County Schools, where she was a teacher and administrator since 1983. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida Memorial University and a master’s degree in special education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Bay City ISD The district’s new assistant superintendent of administrative services is Rodney Fausett, who was superintendent of Cameron ISD from 2007 until accepting his new post. He began his career as a teacher and coach and took his first administrative Rodney Fausett position in 1993 as an assistant principal at North Lamar High School in Paris ISD. He was then principal of New Boston ISD’s middle school, and then he served as superintendent of Cayuga and Winona ISDs. Fausett is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Brownsville ISD Sandra K. Cortez is now principal of Sharp Elementary. She began her career in Brownsville ISD as a teacher at Morningside Elementary followed by classroom teaching assignments at Paredes Elementary. She then was named assistant principal of Hudson Elementary, where she served until taking on her new role. Cortez earned her master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. Kathleen R. Jimenez, the district’s new
administrator for special services, has been serving in that position on an interim basis since the summer. She came to Brownsville ISD in 1988 to teach special education at Resaca Elementary and then at Hanna High School. She made a move to San Antonio in 1995 to spend six years with that city’s Northside ISD before returning to Brownsville in 2000 as a supervisor for special services. Jimenez has a master’s degree in educational curriculum and instruction from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Canutillo ISD (El Paso) Mohammad Tati Hadavi started the new school year as assistant principal of Canutillo High School. Before becoming an educator, he was a federal air marshal and a border patrol agent. His education career has included stints as a high school science teacher, an AP high school teacher and a boys’ basketball coach. His most recent position was director of campus support and district testing coordinator in Tornillo ISD. Hadavi holds a bachelor’s degree in biopsychology from The University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in school administration from The University of Texas at El Paso. Childress Elementary School now has Julieta Melendez as assistant principal. With 16 years’ experience in education, her most recent position was instructional coordinator at Damian Elementary. She also has been a first and third grade teacher, a reading interventionist, and a high school girls’ volleyball and basketball coach. Melendez earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Texas at El Paso, where she also earned her master’s degree in education. Elvia Moreno is the new principal of Childress Elementary School. An educator for 21 years, she was previously the school’s assistant principal. Her bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas at El Paso and her master’s degree in administration was earned from the University of Phoenix. The board of trustees named Connie Parker the principal of Canutillo Elementary School, where she had served as interim principal since March. She was previously assistant principal of Aldrete Middle School and has spent all of her 13 years in education with Canutillo ISD. Parker earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Texas at El Paso and her master’s degree from Sul Ross University. Robert Seeburg, assistant principal of Alderete Middle School, comes to his new job from Canutillo High School, where he was chair of the Social Studies Department. In addition to being an educator, Seeburg also spent eight years as an officer with the El Paso Police
Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from The University of Texas at El Paso and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Phoenix. Carroll ISD The new principal of Durham Intermediate School is Debra Hart, who comes to her new job from Coppell ISD, where she served for 23 years — 13 of those as a classroom teacher and the past 10 as an administrator. Hart’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Texas Tech University. Cleburne ISD Tim Miller has been named interim superintendent, moving to his new position from serving as the district’s assistant superintendent of educational programs. An administrator for 10 years, he began his career as a special education teacher in Tim Miller San Antonio’s North East ISD, going on to serve as principal of Eisenhower Middle School in that district. Miller holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary and special education and a master’s degree in special education, both from Trinity University. He earned his doctorate in educational administration from The University of Texas. Coppell ISD Donna Carpenter, career and technical education coordinator, was named CTE Administrator of the Year this summer by the Career and Technology Association of Texas (CTAT). A new principal began the school year at Wilson Elementary School. Katy Cooper is beginning her eighth year as an educator — five of those spent as a classroom teacher and two in her most recent position as assistant principal of Cottonwood Creek Elementary. Prior to coming to Coppell, she taught first and third grades in Northwest ISD. Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. Seven new assistant principals began the school year. They and their schools are: • Anne Beckman, Coppell High School • Kelly Giddens, Lakeside Elementary School • Cooper Hilton, Austin Elementary School • Chantel Kastrounis, Cottonwood Creek Elementary School See WHO’S NEWS on page 26 October 2010 • Texas School Business
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 25
• • •
Michelle Kellen, Coppell High School Jeremy Vernell, Coppell High School Amanda Ziaer, New Tech High @ Coppell
Corpus Christi ISD Kimberly Bissell is the new principal of Windsor Park Elementary. Her career in education began in Tampa, Fla. She also has taught in Louisiana. In Texas, she was an assistant principal in Calallen ISD, where she was named an Outstanding Kimberly Bissell Educator in 1998 and 1999. In Corpus Christi ISD, she taught at Calallen Middle School and Calallen High School. Bissell also served as principal of Galvan Elementary School and Montclair Elementary, her most recent assignment. She is the regional director of the South Coastal Bend Chapter of Texas Destination ImagiNation, a creative problem-solving organization for students in kindergarten through college. Bissell earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and her master’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Her doctorate was awarded from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Christine Marroquin, new principal of Menger Elementary School, started the year by returning to the school where she began her teaching career in 1990. She was most recently principal of Lamar Elementary. An educator for 23 years, MarChristine roquin was initially a paraMarroquin professional at Los Encinos SES Elementary in Corpus Christi ISD, working with children in kindergarten through fifth grade. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, she spent five years at Menger, followed by service as assistant principal of Crockett and Travis elementary schools. She then was named principal of the Early Childhood Development Center, serving there for nine years before transferring to Lamar CISD. She was the 2008 recipient of the H-E-B Educational Excellence Award for principals. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Marroquin also earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Rose Mary Pompa is now principal of the new Zavala Elementary. She held the same position at the school of the same name which closed at the end of last school year. 26
Texas School Business • October 2010
Norma Reyna, who formerly led Lexington Elementary, is now principal of Hicks Elementary. Victoria Smith, whose most recent assignment was principal of Windsor Park Elementary School, now leads Montclair Elementary as principal. Other positions in Corpus Christi ISD have been principal of Barnes Elementary, assistant princiVictoria Smith pal of Jones Elementary and second grade classroom teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary. She also taught kindergarten and first grade in Flour Bluff ISD. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor in the Department of Education at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Smith’s bachelor’s degree is from Marshall University in Huntington, W.V., and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, where she also completed her doctorate. She is Region II president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Sylvia Cook, coordinator of family and consumer sciences, has been named 2010’s Outstanding Career and Technology Administrator by the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Association of Texas (FCSTAT). She was honored in August during the organization’s annual awards proSylvia Cook gram in Dallas. Nancy Frankel has been chosen to take on the responsibilities of a newly created position, director of federal programs. In her new job she will monitor special grant programs for compliance with legal requirements, including career technology Nancy Frankel education; Titles I, II, III and IV; and IDEA. She will also act as a grants liaison between program coordinators, administrators and federal agencies and will train and work with special program coordinators to ensure grant compliance. Frankel, who has been with Cypress-Fairbanks ISD for 21 years, was a reading specialist at Bane Elementary before assuming her most recent position as a Title I curriculum coach. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Minnesota State University at Moorhead and a master’s degree in reading and language arts from the University of Houston. The new coordinator for secondary science is Debra Hill, who has spent 10 of her
21 years in education with the district. She was a high school science teacher in Mesa, Ariz., for nine years before coming to CypressFairbanks ISD in the same capacity at Cypress Falls High School. She spent two Debra Hill years there, took a break from classroom teaching and then served three years at Langham Creek High School before accepting her most recent position as secondary science curriculum specialist. Hill earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s degree in physics from Arizona State University. Athletic Director Sheri Stice was inducted into the Texas High School Athletic Directors (THSADA) Hall of Fame in July during the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) annual coaching school in San Antonio. Stice, who has been Sheri Stice an athletic director for 14 years, began her career as a health and physical education teacher at Houston’s St. Pius X High School. She came to Cypress-Fairbanks in 1978, where she spent six years as a middle school teacher and coach and then 11 years as a middle school assistant principal. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from Sam Houston State University. Decatur ISD Former Hico ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend is now superintendent of Decatur ISD. An educator with 28 years’ experience, he was with Rochester ISD for 17 years, 10 of those as a teacher, five as a principal, and two as superintendent. Townsend, Rod Townsend who holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sul Ross State University, served as vice president of the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2009 and is now the organization’s president-elect. Ector County ISD Robin Fawcett, an Odessa native who attended Nimitz Junior High School, is now principal of that campus. Before returning to Odessa, she taught in Keller, Hurst-EulessBedford, Judson and Colleyville-Grapevine ISDs. Her most recent assignment was assistant principal at South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie ISD. Fawcett earned
her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Texas Lutheran University and her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Bowie Junior High’s Robin Fawcett new principal is Shelia Stevenson, who comes to her new post from Permian High School, where she served as vice principal from 1998 until her appointment to the top job at the school. She also was a grade-level principal there Shelia Stevenson for three years. Stevenson has a bachelor’s degree in communications from The University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree in education administration from The University of Texas at Permian Basin. Edgewood ISD (San Antonio) Judith York has been named director of fine arts. In her new position she will oversee the integration of a fine arts curriculum for the district and lead the Fine Arts Academy. She began her career in 1961 as a teacher in the public schools of Portland, Ore., and then moved to teach in San Francisco, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz., returning to Portland in 1973 as an early childhood educator. She next spent several years working in arts management before coming back to education as a drama and music specialist in the New York City public schools. She was arts coordinator for the New York City Department of Youth Services for six years, arriving in San Antonio in 1991 as executive director of that city’s Business Committee for the Arts. Also in San Antonio, York was an adjunct professor at Our Lady of the Lake University; director of the Center for Educational Development and Excellence; director of programs at the Institute of Texan Cultures; director of the annual fund and special events for the San Antonio Symphony; director of development for the National Kidney Foundation of South Texas; and director of the North East School of the Arts, a magnet school housed on the campus of Robert E. Lee High School. York earned her bachelor of arts degree in music and elementary education from Oklahoma Baptist University and her master of science degree in education from Portland State University. Her doctorate in educational theater is from New York University.
Forney ISD The new chief financial officer for the district is Robert Seale. He began his career as a CPA in the private sector in Houston, becoming an educator in 1995 when he was named assistant superintendent and chief financial officer for Fort Bend ISD, where he Robert Seale also served as interim assistant superintendent for human resources. In 2000, he was appointed chief financial and operations officer for Galena Park ISD. He then returned to Fort Bend in 2007 as the district’s CFO and COO. Two years later, Seale began a private business and served as a consultant for the Texas Education Agency before joining a CPA firm to oversee federal grant compliance reviews. Seale was awarded his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Baylor University and his master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. Fruitvale ISD Former Martin’s Mills ISD Principal Jennifer Jones is now superintendent of Fruitvale ISD. She began her career in education as a visual arts teacher at Dallas ISD’s Adams Elementary School, followed by service as a special education teacher at Rowlett Jennifer Jones and Lakeview Centennial high schools in Garland ISD. In 1999, she transferred to Wills Point ISD as a high school counselor, and then she served in the same capacity at the high school in Martin’s Mill ISD. Her first administrative position came in 2002 when she returned to Dallas ISD to accept the job of assistant principal at Lanier Elementary. In that district, Jones was associate principal of Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and then principal of Long Junior High. While with Dallas ISD, she also was an educational and counseling consultant for the Ranch Academy in Canton, a role she continues to fulfill. In 2007, she returned to Martin’s Mill to serve as principal of the district’s high school, where she remained until accepting her new position. Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in clothing and costume design at Texas Woman’s University. She then obtained two master’s degrees, one in educational administration and one in counseling, from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Her doctorate in educational administration was conferred by the same institution.
Galveston ISD The new superintendent is Larry W. Nichols, an honors graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in education; he also holds a master’s degree in educational administration from that institution. He began his career in Lexington ISD, where he served as a teacher, special education liaison, counselor, administrative assistant to the superintendent, elementary principal and director of transportation. He next moved to Thorndale ISD to accept the job of superintendent, a post he held from 1989 to 1992. At that time, Nichols took on the same role in Caldwell ISD, where he remained until 2000, when he became superintendent of Calhoun ISD. He was with that district until accepting his new role in Galveston. Georgetown ISD The new superintendent is Joe Dan Lee, who led the district from 2004 to 2007, at which point he joined the Texas Association of School Boards as a field services representative. He is a 30-year veteran of Texas public education, with 23 of those spent as a superintendent. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Elaine Cogburn has been selected to serve as chief financial officer. After earning an associate’s degree in accounting from South Plains College in Lubbock and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from Texas Tech University, she Elaine Cogburn worked in the private sector for six years before joining Lubbock ISD as a programs accountant, where she remained for four years. She then moved to Frenship ISD as assistant director of finance, rising to chief financial officer two years later. She remained in that position until becoming manager of accounting services for Dallas ISD in 2009, a position she held until accepting her new role with Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. Robin Ryan is in place as the district’s new superintendent. He comes to Grapevine-Colleyville from Dallas ISD, where he served as an area superintendent and chief academic officer. Initially a life science teacher in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Robin Ryan he also taught biology in Graham ISD before becoming principal of San Angelo ISD’s alternative school, the Carver Learning Center. He See WHO’S NEWS on page 28 October 2010 • Texas School Business
master’s degree in education from Midwestern State University and his doctorate in education from the University of North Texas.
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 27
returned to Hurst-Euless-Bedford in 1995 as a student services coordinator. He then spent from 1996 to 2004 with Carroll ISD as an assistant principal of Carroll High School and a principal at Carroll Middle School, Carroll Junior High and Carroll Senior High. He joined Grapevine-Colleyville ISD in 2004 to serve for two years as principal of Colleyville Heritage High School, leaving for Dallas ISD in 2006. Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in health education from Texas A&M University, his
Highland Park ISD (Dallas) New Highland Park High School Principal Walter Kelly was most recently principal of Lake Highlands High School in Richardson ISD. Also in that district he was principal of Richardson West Junior High. Before coming to the Dallas area, he was principal of Telluride High School and Middle School in Telluride, Colo. Additionally, he served as assistant prin-
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Texas School Business • October 2010
cipal of Austin High School in Austin ISD and of Hill Country Middle School in Eanes ISD (Austin). After earning his bachelor’s degree in biology and philosophy from Baylor University and his master’s deWalter Kelly gree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), he began his career teaching high school and middle school science and coaching tennis. He also has completed postgraduate studies in physiology at The University of Texas. Houston ISD Tamera Bolden is the new dean of students at East Early College High School, where she has been a dean since the school opened in 2006. An employee of Houston ISD for 29 years, she has been a teacher and coordinator at several schools, including Scarborough and Kashmere high schools and Black Middle School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and her master’s degree from St. Thomas University in Houston. Marmion Dambrino has been hired as the first female athletic director in the history of Houston ISD. She has been with the district for more than 20 years, serving as a coach, teacher and administrator. She has worked in the athletic department since 2005 and for the past three years was the senior athletic program administrator. She also has coached in Aldine ISD and was a secondary assistant principal, associate principal and dean of students in Houston ISD. Dambrino holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M. Jose Espinoza has been promoted from principal of Burbank Middle School to Houston ISD school improvement officer. He came to the district in 2002 as assistant principal at Burbank. Prior to that, he was a school counselor and elementary teacher in Spring ISD. He has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in counseling from The University of Texas – Pan American. Charles Foust is the new principal of Fondren Middle School, one of nine schools in Houston ISD involved in the Apollo 20 Project, which aims to improve student achievement at schools identified as persistently lowperforming or unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency. Foust comes to Fondren from Greensboro, N.C., where for the past four years he was principal of the Brooks Global Studies School. Prior to taking on principal duties, Foust was an assistant principal at the elemen-
tary and middle school levels and a high school curriculum facilitator in the Guilford (N.C.) County School System. He began his career teaching at-risk students in Virginia’s Danville Public School System. Foust was awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Carolina A&T State University and is pursuing a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Michael McKenzie is now principal of Ryan Middle School, another Apollo 20 Project school. He was most recently principal of William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity (WALIPP), a Houston ISD external charter school. Prior to that assignment, McKenzie was a principal resident in Aldine ISD in partnership with the Houston A+ Challenge Regional Principal Leadership Academy. He began his career as a teacher in Houston ISD’s Long Middle School and Sanderson Elementary School. His bachelor’s degree is from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and his master’s degree is from Texas Southern University, from which he is pursuing a doctorate. Irving ISD The new principal of Crockett Middle School is Raymond Edwards, who comes to Irving from Grand Prairie ISD, where he was principal of Arnold Middle School. He was previously an English teacher at Spruce High School in Dallas ISD Raymond Edwards and assistant principal of Duncanville ISD’s Reed Middle School. Edwards holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Texas and a master of education degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Angie Gaylord now leads Lady Bird Johnson Middle School as its principal. She began as a teacher in Dallas ISD in 1996, moving to Glendale (Calif.) Unified School District a year later. In 1999, she returned to Dallas to serve as a health teacher. Angie Gaylord She was an assistant principal at Perminter Middle School in Cedar Hill ISD from 2001 to 2003, joining Irving ISD as vice principal of Travis Middle School in 2003. Gaylord was promoted to principal of Crockett Middle School in 2007, where she remained until taking on her new job. She earned her bachelor of science degree from the University of North Texas and her master of arts degree from California State University. The former vice principal of de Zavala
Middle School, Frank Ramirez, has been named principal of Pierce Early Childhood School. His first assignment as an educator was as a bilingual fifth grade teacher at Good Elementary School, followed Frank Ramirez by work as an instructional specialist at Townsell Elementary and a stint at Houston Middle School. He was appointed assistant principal of John-
ston Elementary in 2006. The next year he transferred to Fort Worth ISD to serve as an assistant principal, returning to Irving in 2009 to begin his most recent position. Ramirez holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville and master’s degrees in education and in liberal arts from Texas Christian University. Linda Tucker, most recently principal of Pierce Early Childhood School, now serves as principal of Good Elementary. She began See WHO’S NEWS on page 30
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WHO’S NEWS continued from page 29
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Texas School Business • October 2010
her teaching career in 2000 in San Angelo ISD after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Angelo State University. She came to Irving ISD in 2004 as assistant principal of Brown Elementary, moving to Pierce in 2006.
Lamar CISD Amber Babarow began the 2010-2011 school year as principal of McNeill Elementary School. An eight-year veteran of Lamar CISD, she was a teacher at Pink Elementary and an assistant principal at Austin and Hillman Forest McNeill elAmber Babarow ementary schools before accepting her new position. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and master’s degrees in both psychology and administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria. The new assistant principal of Williams Elementary School is Henva Bohla, a 10-year education veteran who has been a teacher, instructional specialist and administrator in Houston ISD. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human development and famHenva Bohla ily studies from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria. Jill Halligan is now assistant principal of Thomas Elementary. She comes to Lamar CISD from Fort Bend ISD, where she spent six years as a teacher and administrator. She was also an administrator for three years in a private school. She earned Jill Halligan her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and her master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria. Lamar Junior High School has Jerry Kipping as its principal. An educator for 22 years, he has spent 12 of those as an administrator with ESC Region 2, Corpus Christi ISD and Lamar CISD. In Lamar CISD, he served as assistant principal of George Junior High and Terry High School. Kipping earned his
bachelor’s degree in physical education from Eastern New Mexico University and his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Kelly Kirila is the Jerry Kipping new assistant principal of Foster High School. A graduate of Texas State University with a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston, she has five years’ experience teaching in Fort Bend ISD. Kelly Kirila The new director of staff development is Kathy Mathison. A 30year educator, she spent the past six years with Fort Bend ISD, most recently as that district’s coordinator for organizational development. She holds a bachKathy Mathison elor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Houston Baptist University. William Waddill began the school year as assistant principal of Velasquez Elementary School. He was a teacher for seven years in Fort Bend ISD and Lamar CISD, and he has three years’ experience as an administrator in Brenham ISD. He earned William Waddill his bachelor’s degree in music from Harding University and his master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Hillman Forest McNeill Elementary School has Toron Wooldridge as its new assisant principal. Prior to joining Lamar CISD, he taught for five years in Houston ISD. His bachelor’s degree in agriculture was earned from Texas A&M University, and Toron Wooldridge his master’s degree in educational administration is from Prairie View A&M University. London ISD Superintendent Hal Roberts arrived at his new job from Bay City ISD, where he was initially the district’s high school principal and assistant superintendent. He began his career in education in 1976, teaching health and world
history at Bay City Junior High. Two years later, he moved to a teaching position at Bay City High School, followed by serving as the Health and Physical Education Department chair at Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. He took his first administrative position, as athletic director, in 1985 in Longview ISD, where he remained for 13 years, later serving as an elementary principal. He then was principal of West Orange-Stark High School in West Orange-Cove CISD. Roberts earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Houston and his master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. His new position comes with a distinctive challenge: opening a high school for the district, which has served only kindergarten through eighth grade for the past 100 years. Lubbock ISD Overton Elementary School has Ann Archer as its principal. She was most recently a special education quadrant coordinator and, before that assignment, spent four years as principal of Preston Smith Elementary. She was also an instructional specialist at Smith and at Bowie Elementary. Brad Blalock has been named women’s basketball coach at Lubbock High School. He is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University and began his coaching career as an assistant at Wayland Baptist University. He then served as an assistant coach at Rockwall ISD’s Rockwall High School before taking on his most recent position as head coach of women’s basketball at Breckenridge High School in Breckenridge ISD. Scott Burke has taken on the responsibilities of head women’s soccer coach at Monterey High School. He also will teach science at the school. Formerly a dentist who received his degree from The University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, he also has played semi-professional soccer and has coached a number of boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, one of which advanced to the 2010 world championships in Florida. The new principal of Maedgen Elementary School is Drue Coleman, who has served as assistant principal at the school and at Tubbs Elementary. She also has been a classroom teacher and an instructional specialist. Directing Coronado High School women’s basketball as its head coach is Kriss Ethridge. A graduate of Lubbock’s Monterey High School, where she was a member of the state championship basketball team, she was named to the Converse All-American team and was an all-state selection in 1991, which earned her a full basketball scholarship to The University of Texas. While there, she was a
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student assistant coach for the Longhorns’ 1985-1986 NCAA national championship team under coach Jody Conradt. She also served as an assistant coach at Texas State University and earned her master’s degree in sport psychology from Ball State University. Ethridge returned to Lubbock in 1998 as a teacher and coach at Coronado. Coronado High School has a new head baseball coach. Gary Hix comes to his new role from Amarillo ISD’s Amarillo High School, where he had served in the same capacity since 2003. With 22 years of experience, he was named Baseball Coach of the Year by the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame six times. Hix holds a bachelor’s degree from Lubbock Christian University and is pursuing a master’s degree from West Texas A&M University. Lisa Leach is the new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. The new head baseball coach at Estacado High School is Mark Llanas. The West Texas native attended Lubbock Christian University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education and was a pitcher for the LCU Chaparrals. Llanas has been a physical education teacher and assistant varsity baseball coach at Estacado since 2003. He also has assisted with the school’s ninth grade football program since 2007. Ofelia Mendez is now principal of Guadalupe Elementary School, where she previously served as assistant principal. Most recently an assistant principal at Rush, Brown and Wheatley elementary schools, she has also been an instructional specialist and bilingual teacher.
Who’s News Northside ISD (San Antonio) Susan Cleveland, who has spent much of her education career as an administrator at Clark High School, is now the school’s principal. She began her career as a coach and teacher at Taft High School, moving to Clark in 2002 to serve as assistant Susan Cleveland principal. She was named academic dean in 2005 and vice principal in 2008. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in educational leadership from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Pearland ISD Five new administrators have been assigned for the 2010-2011 school year. They are listed with their positions and schools (if applicable) below: • Kim Brooks, principal, Berry Miller Junior High • Marlo Keller, principal, Kim Brooks Shadycrest Elementary
• • •
Dana Miles, principal, Rogers Middle School Ben Pardo, athletic director Michelle Pourchot, principal, Lawhon Elementary
Pflugerville ISD Ryan Merrit has returned to Pflugerville ISD as director of career and technical education. He taught in the district for four years and was promoted to coordinator of career and technical education in 2008. He then transferred to Lake Travis ISD in Austin to serve as coordinator of college and career readiness. Merrit, who is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and holds a master’s degree in business administration. The district has appointed a new executive director of technology and planning. Victor Valdez comes to Pflugerville from Manor ISD, where he was director of technology since 2005. While in that position, he was named Administrator of the Year by the Texas Computer Education Association. Valdez, who is finishing a master’s degree in business administration after earning a bachelor’s degree in government from The University of Texas, has also worked in San Antonio’s Northside ISD as a Web technologist. Richardson ISD Pam Aitken began the school year as principal of Prestonwood Elementary School. A 16-year employee of Richardson ISD, she taught at Spring Valley Elementary and was an assistant principal at Wallace and O. Henry elementary schools and at Forest Lane Academy, where she had served as principal since 2008. Peggy Dillon is now principal of Lake Highlands High School. She has spent her 13 years in education with Richardson ISD, beginning as a teacher at Lake Highlands Junior High, followed by service as an assistant principal of J.J. Pearce High School. Her most recent assignment was principal of Westwood Junior High. Dillon’s bachelor’s degree was earned at The University of Texas at Dallas and her master’s degree in education administration is from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Forest Lane Academy greeted Von Ensley as the school’s new principal when the
Texas School Business • October 2010
school year began. She has been an educator for 13 years, eight of those with Richardson ISD. She taught at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School and Stults Road Elementary, where she most recently was assistant principal. Ensley earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. The new director of REACH/Gifted and Talented Programs is Monica Simonds, who has spent 11 of her 20 years in education with Richardson ISD. She was a teacher at Richardson High School and then the school’s advanced placement coordinator. In addition, she has served the district as UIL academic coordinator and gifted and talented certification trainer. Simonds holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Rocksprings ISD Superintendent Janet Patton comes to her new position from New Braunfels ISD, where she was assistant superintendent. She began her career in San Antonio’s Northside ISD, serving first as a teacher at Jones Middle School and then as assistant principal of that school. Her first principal position was with Stevenson Middle School in that district. Her last position with Northside ISD was vice principal of Rudder Middle School. A move to Sonora came next, where she was director of the district’s technology and gifted and talented programs and then principal of Sonora Middle School. Patton left the public schools to join the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals in Austin for three years as the organization’s director of middle level services. She also worked in New Braunfels ISD as executive director of personnel services, moving on to assistant superintendent of administrative and personnel services and, finally, to assistant superintendent of administrative, personnel and student services. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and her master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her doctorate in educational administration was awarded from The University of Texas.
a middle school teacher. Yonker, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sam Houston State University, was most recently principal of NixonSmiley High School in Nixon-Smiley CISD. San Angelo ISD Carl Dethloff is the district’s new assistant superintendent of human resources and staff development. He came to San Angelo in 2008 as executive director of human resources.
In College Station ISD, he was principal of three different schools over the course of a decade. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Austin College in Sherman and a doctorate in educational administration from Carl Dethloff Texas A&M University. Twyla Tasker comes to San Angelo ISD to serve as principal of BeSee WHO’S NEWS on page 34
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Round Rock ISD John Yonker is the new principal of Cedar Valley Middle School. An administrator with 15 years’ experience, he has served as an elementary principal, middle and high school assistant principal, and an assistant principal for planning and developJohn Yonker ment. In addition, he was October 2010 • Texas School Business
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 33
laire Elementary School from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. An educator for 19 years, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Baylor University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TarTwyla Tasker leton State University. Before becoming an educator, Tasker spent 10 years in human resources for two major federal agencies. She began her career in Texas public schools as a middle school English teacher in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, transferring to Grapevine-Colleyville ISD in 1994, where she again taught middle school English and worked as a literacy coach. Becky Trojcak is now executive director of federal programs and academic initiatives. An educator since 1980, she began as a teacher in Veribest ISD, coming to San Angelo ISD in 1989 as a first grade teacher at Austin Elementary. She took her first adminBecky Trojcak istrative position as assistant principal of that school in 1992, then was named principal of Day Elementary a year later. She returned to Austin Elementary in 1999 to serve as its principal, remaining in that position until she accepted the role of executive director of schools in 2005. Trojcak earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Angelo State University.
San Felipe Del Rio CISD The school year began with Aidee G. Garcia in place as principal of East Side Elementary School. Her career began as a third grade teacher with the district’s Garfield Elementary. She then taught fifth grade at that school before becoming a counselor at Buena Vista Elementary, where she subsequently served as principal. In 2008, she was named assistant principal of Del Rio High School, where she remained until taking over her new role at East Side. Garcia holds an associate’s degree from Southwest Texas Junior College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University. Sealy ISD Mary Hlozek, who has been with Sealy ISD for seven years, is now assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She most recently served as the district’s secondary coordinator. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in secondary science instruction, she spent five years with Shell Development in analytical chemical research. She has 17 years of education experience, including four years as a science specialist with Sealy ISD and three years as the district’s coordinator of secondary curriculum and instruction and testing coordinator. Owen Hurt has been named personnel director/district testing coordinator and grant writer. He began his career in Katy ISD, where he spent seven years as a junior high teacher of U.S. history, football coach, and supervising mentor-teacher and Safe and Drug-Free program coordinator. In 2007, he
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moved to that district’s Selman Intermediate School, where he served first as assistant principal and then as principal, his most recent job before making the move to Sealy. Hurt earned his bachelor of science degree Owen Hurt in kinesiology from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University. Southwest ISD (San Antonio) Arlene Williams is the district’s new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. An educator for 18 years, she has been a high school and special education teacher, middle school and high school counselor, freshmen at-risk facilitaArlene Williams tor, assistant principal, academic dean, and federal programs and grants coordinator. She also was a program specialist with the Texas Education Agency and most recently served as the college and career readiness coordinator for San Antonio’s North East ISD. In the private sector, she has worked with the Psychological Corporation for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. Spearman ISD Crystal Dockery is Spearman ISD’s new assistant superintendent for curriculum and student support. A graduate of West Texas A&M University, she completed her doctorate in educational leadership at Texas Tech University. She began her career Crystal Dockery in Amarillo and River Road ISDs as a counselor and special education and second grade teacher. She has spent the past 12 years with ESC Region 16 working in the areas of leadership development and compliance and certification, as well as in the capacity of a field service agent and coordinator of administrative services. Spring ISD Melissa Dean is the new principal of Bammel Elementary School. Most recently assistant principal of Hirsch Elementary, she has spent her entire career in Spring ISD. She began in 1996 teaching third and fourth grade language arts, sciMelissa Dean
Texas School Business • October 2010
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Trinity ISD The new superintendent, Dave Plymale, comes to Trinity ISD from Waelder ISD, where he served in the same capacity since 2006. He began his education career in 1978 in Novice ISD as a teacher and coach. His first administrative appointment came in Prairie Lea ISD, and he also held administrative positions with Coolidge and Yorktown ISDs before taking his first superintendent assignment in Waelder. Plymale earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University and his master’s degree from Marshall University in Huntington, W.V. Six more administrative appointments were announced at the beginning of the school year.
Lansberry. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sam Houston State University. Allison Kirby is the new counselor at Trinity Middle School. She began her career with Trinity ISD in 2004 as a world geography teacher at Trinity High School and then moved to Georgia to serve as a special education teacher and a middle school counselor. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor College in Michigan and her master’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
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The new assistant principal of Lansberry Elementary School is Natalie Barrett, who was previously assistant principal of Trinity High School, where she also served as a math teacher. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sam Houston State University and began her career as a middle school math teacher in Huntsville ISD. Gillian Campbell, new principal of Lansberry Elementary, has been with Trinity ISD since 1993, serving first as a second grade teacher and going on to be assistant principal of
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ence and social studies at Ponderosa Elementary. She subsequently served as a kindergarten through fifth grade reading intervention specialist, first grade ESL teacher, second grade self-contained classroom teacher and summer school principal. Dean is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Kimberly Stanley Martin began the school year leading Clark Intermediate School as its principal. Her first education assignment was in Houston ISD, where she taught an ESL kindergarten class. She then moved to Aldine ISD in 1998, where Kimberly Stanley she was an assistant prinMartin cipal, testing coordinator, Title I program director and, most recently, principal of Gray Elementary School. Her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and mid-management certification were earned from the University of Houston. Lewis Elementary School has Tracie Malrey Robinson as principal. She began her career in Houston ISD teaching English at Stevenson and Revere Middle Schools before becoming an administrator in Kilgore ISD, Alief ISD and, ultimately, Spring Tracie Robinson ISD, where she was principal of Jenkins Elementary. She is also an adjunct professor for the University of Houston at Clear Lake and an associate faculty member of the University of Phoenix. Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Her doctorate in educational leadership is from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 35
Trinity Middle School has John Lindsay IV as its principal. He began as a teacher at Dallas ISD’s Thornton Elementary School and then was appointed to serve as assistant principal of Anderson Middle Learning Center. He next moved to Aledo ISD, where he served as principal at Aledo and Stuard elementary schools and Aledo Middle School. Before joining Trinity ISD, he was high school principal in Lake Worth ISD. Lindsay earned his bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College and his master of education degree from the University of North Texas. New Trinity High School Principal Craig Ruby comes to his new position from Diboll ISD, where he held several administrative positions, including high school principal. He began as a teacher in Lufkin ISD and took his first administrative post as an intermediate school principal in Brady ISD and then moved to Goodrich ISD to serve as high school principal. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University. Mike Shank returns to Trinity ISD as the assistant principal of Trinity High School. He was a teacher and head baseball coach for that school before moving to Georgia to serve as assistant principal of Calhoun City School. His bachelor’s degree was earned from Michigan’s Spring Arbor College and his master’s degree is from Sam Houston State University. Van Vleck ISD The new superintendent is John O’Brien, a graduate of Van Vleck High School. He has been an educator for 22 years, the past 10 in the district, where he served as principal of Rudd Intermediate and Herman Middle schools and as director of operations. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree in education from the University of Houston at Victoria. Victoria ISD Melissa Flyger has been appointed assistant principal of Dudley Magnet School. Most recently Shields Magnet School’s learning facilitator, she was a teacher for two years at that school. She also has served as a teacher in a number of other Texas districts. Flyger has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce and a master’s degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Howell Middle School has Clark Motley as its principal. He was first employed with Lamar CISD as a teacher, coach and specialist in intervention and behavior before joining Victoria ISD in 2007 to serve as assistant principal of Memorial High School Senior Campus; he subsequently was the school’s princi-
pal. Howell earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Victoria. Steve Janca is now leading both Guadalupe Elementary and Wood Elementary as principal. He has served as assistant principal of De Leon Elementary since 2002. Prior to that, he was a teacher and the instructional technology facilitator at O’Connor Magnet School. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria. Vidor ISD Vidor ISD has chosen David Croak as executive director of business and finance. He returns to the district where he previously served as a math teacher and an assistant principal after working in the private sector with an energy company. Waco ISD Sheryl Davis is serving as interim superintendent. While in the interim position, she will continue to fulfill her duties as assistant superintendent for business and support services. Ysleta ISD (El Paso) Serving as principal of Hacienda Heights Elementary is Maria Aguilar, who since 2004 has been assistant principal of Eastwood Heights Elementary. She began her education career in 1984 in El Paso ISD, teaching for 19 years in that district and Maria Aguilar in Ysleta ISD until being appointed early literacy facilitator in 2003. Aguilar’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from The University of Texas at El Paso. Marie Anaya is the new principal of Riverside Middle School. Initially a special education teacher at Valley View Middle School, she taught for 16 years before taking her first administrative position as assistant principal of Eastwood High School Marie Anaya in 2004. She held that position until 2008, when she was appointed assistant principal of Hanks High School. Anaya holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas at El Paso. Cesar Chavez Academy has Austin Burton as principal. He began his career in Eagle Pass ISD in 1972, teaching for 21 years in several Texas districts before coming to Ys-
leta ISD in 1993 as assistant principal of Bel Air High School. Two years later, he moved to Hanks High School to serve in the same capacity, remaining there until 2005, when he returned to Bel Air to take on Austin Burton the same job. Burton earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University. Now serving as principal of Tejas School of Choice is Juan Contreras. He also will continue to fulfill the role of principal of Plato Academy, where he has been since 2004. His education career began in 1972 when he taught social studies, ESL and speech at El Paso’s Lydia Patterson Institute. He continued as a teacher for the next 23 years until he was appointed change agent in the bilingual education department. In 1998, he was named assistant principal of Ysleta ISD’s Rio Bravo Middle School, taking on the same role at Riverside Middle School in 2002. Contreras holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at El Paso. Taking the helm at Del Valle High School as principal is Carmen Crosse, who was principal of Valley View Elementary since 2008. Her career began in 1993 in Socorro ISD as a social studies teacher at Socorro High School. She was named that district’s instructional specialist in 2004, serving in that capacity until becoming assistant principal of Del Valle High in 2006. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas at El Paso. Frances Cox has come out of retirement to take on the responsibilities of principal of Hulbert Elementary School. She started her career in 1978 as a special education teacher at Ysleta Middle School. In 1990, she received her first administrative appointment Frances Cox as assistant principal, a job she held at several of the district’s schools until 1998. That year, Cox was named principal of Parkview Middle School. The following year she took on the same job at Lancaster Elementary. In 2003, she became principal of Presa Elementary, where she remained until her retirement in 2008. Both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were earned from The University of Texas at El Paso. Dora de la Rosa started the school year as principal of Bel Air High School. She began her career with El Paso ISD, teaching for 14 years in that district and in Ysleta ISD before accepting her first administrative assignment
in 1993. In 1999, she was named dropout recovery coordinator, taking her first principal position in 2001 at Plato Academy, followed by service in the same capacity at Tejas School of Choice in 2002. De la Rosa’s bachDora de la Rosa elor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from The University of Texas at El Paso, where she also earned her doctorate. Ricardo Lopez began the new school year as Area I associate superintendent. He began his education career in 1995 as a history teacher at Ranchland Hills Middle School in Ysleta ISD, becoming the school’s assistant principal in 2000. He then took on Ricardo Lopez that role at Eastwood High School, subsequently serving as principal of Desert View Middle School. Lopez earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at El Paso and his master’s degree from New Mexico State University. Now serving as principal of Ysleta PreK Center is Sandra Perez, who was previously assistant principal of Kennedy Pre-K. She began as a teacher at Mesa Vista Elementary. In 2003, she was named that school’s literacy leader, a position she held until making the move to Kennedy in 2005. Both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from The University of Texas at El Paso. The new Area II associate superintendent is Susanna Russell, who comes to her new position from Lake Travis ISD (Austin), where she was executive director of administrative and human resource services since 2007. She began her career in 1986 as an Sandra Perez elementary school teacher in Harlandale ISD. She then was an instructional specialist in San Antonio’s Edgewood ISD from 1991 to 1994, when she was named vice principal of that district’s Las Palmas Elementary. She transferred to another of San Antonio’s school districts, Judson ISD, in 2001 to serve as principal of Crestview Elementary. Russell moved to Katy ISD in 2004 to serve as principal of Nottingham Country Elementary. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
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October 2010 • Texas School Business
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by Riney Jordan
I’m almost mature enough to have my own cell phone
s your kid mature enough for his own cell phone? It’s a major question that parents are asking themselves these days. When is the child responsible enough? Frankly, I am amazed that any of us are responsible enough to have a cell phone. Why would I make such a statement, you ask? Well, I am a mature adult, and I’m not responsible enough to have one. Let me explain. When Apple introduced the 3G iPhone, I couldn’t wait to get one. And, as I’ve said more than once, “When you fall down on the showroom floor and kick and scream, the mate will usually give in.” So, with my wife’s blessing, I became the proud owner of a smartphone. And smart it was! It would take pictures, record memos, deliver my mail and allow me to search the Internet. This little toy was amazing, and I carried it everywhere in my shirt pocket. That is, until one day when I was repainting a concrete floor with dark orange paint and I leaned over to fill the roller brush. The phone slid out of my pocket and landed squarely in the middle of the paint tray. As it began to sink, an image of the Titanic flashed in my head. I muttered something like, “A-yy-y-y-y!” and quickly scooped it up. “Gotta get the paint off! Gotta get the paint off!” I thought to myself as I rushed toward the sink. I immediately turned on the water to wash off the orange paint. And then, almost as quickly, I thought, “You idiot! Water is no good!” Grabbing a towel, I began wiping off paint and water from the phone and thinking that my smartphone days were over. I know it’s hard to believe, but after using toothpicks and Q-tips to clean out the phone’s inputs, I pushed the power button, and miraculously, it came alive! The days of putting the phone in my shirt pocket were over. I bought something called an OtterBox to encase my “miracle phone.” A few weeks ago, the wife and I were spending the night at a nice motel, and she suggested we take a dip in the pool and spend some time out in the sun. We gathered up our reading material, bottled water, lotion and
Texas School Business • October 2010
phones, and out the door we headed. Once settled poolside, we both read for a while and then she got in the pool. “Come on in, Riney. The water feels great!” And, indeed it did. We exercised and waded around in the cool water. And as I began to climb back out of the pool, I felt something in the pocket of my swim trunks. I know. You’re way ahead of me, and you’re right: It was my phone. As I secretly tried to pull the phone out of my pocket, the wife looked at me with the same expression my mom used to have on her face just before a scolding. “Riney, is that your phone you’re drying off?” “Yes,” I muttered. Well, my days of phone miracles were over. That phone was as dead as dead could be. Oh, I have placed it in a plastic, zippered bag and covered it with rice at the advice of several folks, but it can take up to three or four months, some say, for the phone to dry out and work again. In the meantime, another trip to the phone store and another kicking and screaming on the showroom floor netted me a new 4G iPhone. Oh, man, this one does everything the old one did — except it’s brighter and it has more apps! It even can show me a live picture while I’m talking to friends and family who also have the new, improved 4G phone. Am I responsible enough yet to have my own phone? I’m not sure, but I’m keeping this one away from paint, water, grandkids, our dog and any other harmful possibilities. It’s locked up in our bedroom and I check it once a day. So, should kids be allowed to have cell phones? Let’s just put it this way: They couldn’t be any worse on them than this mature adult, so why not give it a try? RINEY JORDAN, whose best-selling book, “All the Difference,” is now in its sixth printing, is an international speaker and humorist. He can be reached at email@example.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.
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