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THE INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS FOR 55 YEARS

Cultivating a college-bound culture

TEPSA President Andra Penny Coppell ISD

In the Spotlight Myrlene Kennedy Friendswood ISD

September 2009


NEXT GENERATION DESIGN INSTITUTE

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The 2009 NGDI Students Angela Garcia (Crowley ISD) Taylor Lynn (White Settlement ISD) Jackson Eudy (Mansfield ISD) Josh Giles (All Saints Episcopal School, Fort Worth) Aaron Whiting (Crowley ISD) Austin Jones (Mansfield ISD) 5

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This year’s program partnered with Habitat for Humanity and challenged the students to create a single-family home using sustainable design strategies. The students were required to incorporate several “green” strategies into their design that they presented to a board of judges, family, friends and the Huckabee staff. Students received scholarships totaling $10,800 at the end of the program for achievement and participation.

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Texas School Business • September 2009

SPONSORS Ackerman Barnes Consulting Adams Engineering ARMKO Industries, Inc. Braswell & Associates Cunningham-Allen, Inc. Estes, McClure & Associates, Inc. Halff Associates, Inc. Jaster Quintanilla John Cook & Associates, Inc. Michael Lea Enterprises PIC Printing The Rogers Company Romine, Romine & Burgess, Inc. Roof Technical Services, Inc. SEDALCO, L.P. Teague Nall and Perkins, Inc. Wharry Engineering WRL Contractors Yaggi Engineering Huckabee Staff 170

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About NGDI This summer, six high school students from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex attended Next Generation Design Institute, a 10-day internship program hosted by Huckabee. The program is designed to give students with an interest in architecture or engineering an opportunity to see how a professional firm functions including client meetings, developing designs, working in teams and presentation delivery. The students visited a construction site, met with a landscape architect, learned the business of architecture and traveled to Texas Tech University to work in the architectural studio.

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CONTENTS In the Spotlight: Myrlene Kennedy, Friendswood ISD

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Melissa Gaskill

TEPSA President Profile: Andra Penny, Coppell ISD

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Jeff Carmack

Lessons in hurricane preparedness and recovery

15

Calvin Powitzky, AIA

H-E-B awards judge discusses top 2009 districts

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Nancy Oelklaus

COVER STORY: College is elementary, my dear Creating college-bound culture in grade school

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Raven L. Hill

photo FEATURES Conference marks ‘training season’ for THSCA

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TASPA hosts summer conference

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UT/TASA conference targets critical education issues

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TCWSE celebrates 25th anniversary

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DEPartments

COLUMNS

Who’s News

25

TSB Professional Development & Events Calendar

29

In Memoriam

53

Advertisers Index

54

From the Editor

5

Young’s Inbox

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The Law Dawg  —  unleashed

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The Back Page

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Katie Ford Jim Walsh

John Young

Riney Jordan

The views expressed by columnists and contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or Texas School Business advertisers. The publisher also makes no endorsement of the advertisers or advertisements in this publication. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • September 2009


From the Editor I often hear the phrase “It’s never too late to learn something new” from my friends who encourage my entrepreneurial streak. In our cover story, we talked to a handful of Texas elementary school principals who say it’s never too early to learn something new. These principals, and many others like them, have made strides on their campuses to ensure all students understand that a college education is within their reach if they want it. Traditionally, preparing kids for higher education has fallen heavily on the shoulders of middle and high school administrators. Yet, in her reporting, writer Raven L. Hill discovered that introducing and encouraging discussions about college “is elementary, my dear.” We hope that what these elementary school administrators are doing on their campuses will inspire you. Also, we have pages upon pages of Who’s News, a profile on TEPSA President Andra Penny of Coppell ISD and an “In the Spotlight” feature on Friendswood ISD’s Myrlene Kennedy, who this year celebrates 50 years in public education. We have two guest columns this month. In light of hurricane season, Calvin Powitzky, a principal at Bay Architects, shares some tips on how you can best prepare your facilities to weather the storm. Additionally, H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards judge Nancy Oelklaus provides a firsthand account of what she and fellow judges admired about this year’s district award recipients. Be sure to check out our photo features, which cover events hosted by TASA, TASPA, TCWSE and THSCA. I hope all of you have a great start to the 2009-2010 school year. Please keep writing to me with your feedback and suggestions at katie@texasschoolbusiness.com. Katie Ford, editor Photo by Scott Hales

(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) September 2009 Volume LV, Issue 11 1601 Rio Grande Street, #441 Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-478-2113 • Fax: 512-495-9955 www.texasschoolbusiness.com Publisher Ted Siff Editor in Chief Jim Walsh Editor Katie Ford Design Phaedra Strecher Columnists Riney Jordan, Jim Walsh, John Young Advertising Sales Manager Jim Johnson Business Manager Debbie Stover Director of Marketing and Customer Relations Stephen Markel Webmaster Ryan Mozek

Full range of architectural services K-12 educational facility specialists Bond planning Bond election publicity/marketing Facility assessment Master planning Sports Performing arts Vocational Early childhood Sustainable design, LEED, CHPS BIM - Building Information Modeling New, renovation, additions, upgrades Texas license #10138

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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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Texas School Business • September 2009

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pRoLoGIc: Randy Sumrall at 972.348.1170 or Randy.Sumrall@region10.org empoWeR: Craig Gray at 972.348.1376 or Craig.Gray@region10.org RamS: Gordon Taylor at 972.348.1004 or Gordon.Taylor@region10.org


THE LAW DAWG – unleashed by Jim Walsh

Who has the best DAEP in Texas?

T

he Dawg is sniffing around in search of the best disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) in Texas. If you think your program is top notch, send me an email! DAEPs are getting a lot of scrutiny these days. In 2007, the Legislature instructed the Texas Education Agency to adopt minimum standards for the operation of these programs. Those standards were adopted and became effective in December 2008. Meanwhile, local districts face pressure from TEA if special education students or racial minorities are over represented in the DAEP, which they usually are. Much of this scrutiny and pressure is the result of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Project, a multiyear study conducted by Texas Appleseed (www.texasappleseed. net). The nonprofit public-interest law center is one of 16 Appleseed centers in the United States and Mexico City. The folks at Texas Appleseed have studied the impact of school-based ticketing and arrests, court involvement in school disciplinary cases and the effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs, and they have concluded that DAEPs aren’t working very well. They dubbed their project “school-to-prison pipeline” in recognition of what every corrections official and every assistant principal already knows: Kids who do time in DAEP are much more likely to also do time in the joint later on. I have become more personally sensitive to this issue in the past few years as I have assisted my wife with her work with Truth Be Told, a Texas nonprofit that serves women in prison (www.truthbe-told.org). Truth Be Told provides incarcerated women with specific skills to help them both while behind bars and afterwards, in the community. One of those skills is public speaking. The women in her class learn how to give an effective five- to seven-minute speech, telling the story of what brought them to prison. My job is to visit the prison and listen to these women’s speeches and provide helpful feedback on how they can deliver their messages most effectively. I learned

how to do this through 22 years with Toastmasters. Almost all of the women I have heard speak were the victims of abuse before they committed their crimes. Many of them were raised in a pervasive climate of drugs, alcohol and family violence. You will not be surprised, therefore, to hear that their stories frequently involve trouble in school. You readers already know this. You know that schools do not cause good kids to go bad. Public schools do not create the problems in our society; they reflect them. When advocacy groups like Texas Appleseed criticize our school programs, we tend to respond defensively. “It’s not our fault. We do the best we can with limited resources. These problems are in the community, the family. Don’t blame us!” All of which is true. And all of which is beside the point. The point is that what Texas Appleseed has pointed out is true: The future prison population can be found in our DAEPs right now. So, what are we doing about that? We already know what others should do about it. Parents should do better. Other agencies should pitch in. We need more resources. But what are we — the leaders of the public school system — doing? That’s what I’m asking. And I’d like to start by identifying a really good program — one that is working well despite all the obstacles and intractable problems. We here at Texas School Business are interested in hearing about the successes. We aim to be part of the solution, not the problem. “Working well” means that kids don’t come back to DAEP. They get it. The self-discipline component of your program is getting its message across. If you have such a program, send me an email at jwalsh@wabsa.com. JIM WALSH is editor in chief of Texas School Business and the managing editor of Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest. Also a school attorney, he co-founded the firm of Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Aldridge & Gallegos PC. He can be reached at jwalsh@wabsa.com or by visiting www.walshanderson.com. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • September 2009


YOUNG’S INBOX by John Young

CARYing the burden

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as there ever been a worse waste of time than in-school suspension (ISS)? I know what you’re saying: It’s better than the alternative, which is keeping a disruptive student in class and making it impossible for others to learn. Can’t argue with that. But for chronic troublemakers, is there a worse waste than holding them in a room, making them stick their noses in a book and going through the motions of something against which every fiber in that young body is rebelling? Wouldn’t it be better to deal with the rebellion? If we don’t deal with some of the anger issues bubbling up in these kids, we aren’t going to address any other issues they have — period. Lecture all you want. Punish all you want. At some point the attitude that counteracts everything school has to offer will come to bear on all of us. Just about all his working life, Adrian Moore has seen this type of behavior — most of it in juvenile corrections, where no-hope kids are prepped for lives of crime with other no-hopers. Yes, I know the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) sometimes turns children around and even rescues their education. But every juvenile judge will do about anything to avoid sending a child to TYC. The judges even know that just about anything is a better use of a child’s time. So does Moore. That’s why he founded the Council on At-Risk Youth (CARY), www.councilonatriskyouth.org. CARY locates troubled adolescents and helps them deal with their anger so they can start dealing with everything else that school entails. CARY ensures these kids don’t make their journeys of selfdiscovery behind razor wire. How are students selected for CARY? “The most powerful predictor is whether [a student] has a serious school incident report,” Moore told me last January as he prepared to appeal to Texas lawmakers to build on CARY’s success with a state program. His program, now operating in five Austin ISD middle

schools and an alternative campus, employs something called Positive Adolescent Choices Training. Students who otherwise would be stewing in ISS or some other form of sanction are led to focus on their thought processes and “anger buttons.” This might cause those who utter “bring back the paddle and prayer” to roll their eyes, but Austin ISD reports a 50 percent reduction in serious disciplinary reports and juvenile court referrals for those CARY served. State lawmakers were sufficiently impressed two years ago for the House to back a $7 million program over two years for comparable programs. It died in the Senate. Similar legislation this year, again heavily supported, didn’t make it through the wreckage-strewn 81st Legislature. Disappointing though that might be, there’s no excuse for individual school districts not to investigate and employ CARY’s methods. What’s the cost, you ask? Well, what is the cost of sending a child up the river to TYC? TYC is about $100,000 a year. And that’s just the incarceration. Factor in apprehension and adjudication, not including the anguish victims and families endure, and, well, you burn up that calculator. But if cost is our sole concern, Moore cites a study that calculates that over 10 years the cumulative tally for one child who drops out and gets involved in crime is $2 million — in lost wages, prosecution, incarceration and probation. Every school district should be finding out what Moore knows. The guy should be Texas’ most indemand man, selling out more stadiums than George Strait. We know ISS is a waste of time. Before the child starts on the path to other costly black-hole acronyms, every community should be demanding something that diverts them. Every school district should be investigating CARY.

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JOHN YOUNG is a columnist for Cox Newspapers. You can see more of his work at www.johnyoungcolumn.com. He can be reached at jyoungcolumn@ gmail.com. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • September 2009


In the

Spotlight

After 50 years in Friendswood ISD, Myrlene Kennedy has done it all by Melissa Gaskill

N

ame any program or event that has happened in Friendswood ISD in the past 50 years and chances are Myrlene Kennedy had something to do with it. Kennedy started teaching in the school district near Houston in 1959 and went on to serve as assistant principal and principal at Friendswood High School. Today she is the district’s assistant superintendent for student affairs. But those titles don’t even begin to cover the countless roles Kennedy has served in Friendswood ISD. Kennedy’s first gig at Friendswood ISD was teaching science and coaching girls’ sports. “I wanted to coach and not many schools then had girls’ athletics,” she recalls. When Kennedy interviewed for that teaching position back in 1959, Friendswood ISD employed 12 teachers who worked in one school building with an enrollment of about 250 students. Now the district boasts seven campuses with a student population of almost 6,000. Over the years, Kennedy has taught sixth and seventh grade science, as well as physical education for fourth through 12th grades. She has coached girls’ basketball, tennis and volleyball. She has supervised the high school yearbook and newspaper, sponsored the junior and senior high cheerleaders, worked with the pep squad and the high school’s first debate team. Kennedy took Friendswood ISD’s yearbook staff, debate teams and one-act plays to state and national UIL competitions. But that’s not all. In 1959, Kennedy planned Friendswood High School’s first homecoming, honoring the senior class from 1939. She organized concessions for home football and basketball games for most of the 1960s, back when everything sold was homemade. During Kennedy’s nine years of coaching, Friendswood ISD won nine district championships and only lost one district game. “That was quite an accomplishment for such a small school,” she says. “I don’t think I realized that until later. But I just

happened to come along when we had some outstanding talent. We worked hard and I demanded a lot out of the players, but they took the challenge.” When the high school band and choir director suggested staging a firstever musical in 1969, a long-standing tradition was born. Kennedy has worked on all 41 Friendswood High School produc- Myrlene Kennedy (left) is joined onstage by two leading ladies who starred tions since the inau- in “Brigadoon,” the first-ever Friendswood High School musical that was gural year; she says performed again last year. Pictured with Kennedy are Carly Taylor (center), who was Fiona in “Brigadoon” (2009) and Cyndy Eignus McCallon, the first many former students Fiona in 1969. return to take part in the festivities. Last year’s production, her tenure, as did the number of National “Brigadoon” — which happened to be the Merit scholars and students in Advanced very first Friendswood High School musiPlacement classes. Kennedy spearheaded cal — included three students whose parthe school’s transition from block schedulents also attended school in Friendswood ing to a seven-period day to give teachers a ISD and performed in earlier productions. team-planning period, and she changed the Friendswood High School Principal class rank formula to encourage students to Mark Griffon, who was a student at FHS take AP classes. when Kennedy was the principal, also Her innovative thinking and many sucparticipated in the high school musicals as cesses earned her a spot as one of three state a teenager. finalists for Principal of the Year during the “You always knew where you stood 2007-2008 school year. That same year, with Dr. Kennedy,” says Griffon of his forSam Houston State University’s College of mer principal. “She’d tell you exactly what Education named Kennedy a Distinguished she wanted to happen, and she was honest, Educator of the Year, and Friendswood fair and consistent. Her philosophy is to get High School recognized Kennedy as an students involved in whatever activity inhonorary alum. terests them. “When I came, I never intended to stay “Through the years she has created a long,” she muses. “But something always tradition of excellence; the bar is high and kept me here in Friendswood. I tell kids you are going to do the best you can,” he when they graduate, no matter where they says. “She lives and models that, and it is go they’re still ours and not to forget where alive and well here because of her.” they came from. I tell teachers to enjoy it Kennedy’s years at the high school inbecause it will go by before you know it.” cluded 25 as assistant principal and 10 as principal. The school achieved the state’s “exemplary” ranking eight of those 10 MELISSA GASKILL is an Austin-based years. Student SAT scores increased during freelance writer. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • September 2009


TEPSA PRESIDENT profile Cottonwood Creek Elementary principal in Coppell ISD is a treasured “lucky penny” by Jeff Carmack

A

ndra Penny’s claim to fame — or one of them, anyway — is that from the time she was six years old, she hasn’t missed a year of being in a Texas classroom in one capacity or another. Her love of learning, and of helping others learn, bears fruit for her students. Penny is principal of Cottonwood Creek Elementary School in Coppell ISD near Dallas; she is the only principal the school has ever had. According to Penny, she was hired for the position “when the school was still a pile of dirt.” “Apart from birthing my own kids, birthing that school was one of the highlights of my life,” she says. This past summer, Penny became president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Penny refers to her career in public education as her calling. “I’m proud of the education I got in Texas public schools, and I think that’s why I’m so passionate about education,” she says. “I want Texas kids to get the very best education they can.” A life in the classroom was not her goal initially. “I grew up in Linden, in far East Texas, and came to the University of North Texas to be a drama major,” she says. “I was going to be a big movie star.” But after doing a lot of tutoring at her sorority’s behest, she fell in love with teaching. “I have never looked back,” says Penny, and then quips: “Today, I settle for daily drama.” Penny’s career began in 1973. Straight out of the University of North Texas and armed with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, she hit the ground running as a kindergarten teacher in Seguin. She then taught kindergarten in Northwest ISD from 1974 to 1982 and in Denton ISD from 1982 to 1990. In 1990, Penny took her first administrative position as an assistant principal in Denton ISD, and she

Cottonwood Creek Elementary Principal Andra Penny reads to her students. This past summer Penny stepped up to serve as president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.

served in that role for two years. Penny then went on to be an assistant principal at Wilson and Mockingbird elementary schools in Coppell ISD. She took the helm as principal of Cottonwood Creek in 1996. Her parents inculcated in her a love of learning. They saw the value of a good education and encouraged Penny and her brother. Penny’s father never went to college — his only regret in life — because World War II interrupted his education. Even as an administrator, Penny never has lost sight of her first love: teaching. “I love to teach and I miss the classroom, so I’m an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas,” says Penny, who teaches prospective principals in the Department of Education Administration. “I feel like I am making a difference, and not just at my school.” “TEPSA is the largest state organization of elementary school principals in the nation, and being elected by my peers is extremely humbling,” she says.

Penny sees her role in this position as threefold. The first is “to inspire principals to sit tall in the saddle and be proud of their role. “I travel all over and I know Texas is doing a great job educating kids, and we need to take pride in that,” she says. Her second role is to help other principals find joy in their jobs. And third, she wants principals “to have a darn good time, enjoy our jobs, and have fun.” “I think I have a gift for finding joy, and I want to help other principals find it,” she says. Not surprisingly, Penny claims to never have bad days. “Every day is a good day at my school,” she says. “It’s been an amazing life and it has worked out fabulously. “I’ve always said that when the day comes that I don’t feel that way, it will be time to hang it up.” JEFF CARMACK is an Austin-based freelance writer. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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The storm as a teacher Lessons in preparedness and recovery from hurricanes Ike and Rita by Calvin Powitzky, AIA

I

n the early morning of Sept. 13, 2008, when Hurricane Ike roared through Bolivar Peninsula, wreaking havoc the entire upper Texas Gulf Coast, the Category 2 storm destroyed many of the town’s buildings. But one structure escaped damage: Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School. This pre-K through 8th grade campus, completed in 2005, was designed for 140 mph wind load and was the only commercial building on Bolivar Peninsula to survive the storm as its eye passed directly over the town. In the aftermath of Ike, Crenshaw became a regional relief headquarters for FEMA, Galveston County and the state of Texas. Hurricane Ike — and Hurricane Rita — proved to be adept teachers for builders of area schools and public structures. What building and design practices proved reliable, and how can advance planning help mitigate confusion and expedite recovery in the aftermath of such storms? Learning from buildings that survived Several construction decisions contributed to the stability and safety of Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School, including:

• A poured, insulated, lightweight concrete deck with a fully adhered roof system. This design proved superior to metal roofing systems and mechanically fastened, rigid insulation roof decks and systems. • A cast-in-place concrete, elevated structure, rising 18 feet above grade, and several feet above flood insurance guidelines. • Installation of 9/16-inch, impactresistant safety glass windows. • Inclusion of an automatic generator transfer switch (if not an actual on-site generator) to run critical systems in the aftermath of a storm. • Rooftop equipment safeguards to prevent loss of equipment and damage to the roof. Disaster preparedness Timely recovery after a natural

disaster depends heavily on the amount of planning conducted before the storm, the ability of teams to communicate during a crisis, and how quickly and efficiently teams can secure needed supplies and services. Here are some basic steps your school can make to be prepared: • Review facility design and remediate any potential hazards where possible (extra tiedowns on roof equipment, trees trimmed or removed, etc.). Port Bolivar ISD’s Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School before • Assign team leaders and after Hurricane Ike. (Photos courtesy of Bay Architects.) and alternates who • Execute a “dry run” or table-top drill will spearhead efforts to test hurricane disaster plan before during a disaster. the storm. • Review essential personnel; establish evacuation criteria. There are also lessons to take away post-storm. For example, even if flooding • Assign post-storm, on-site tasks for a does not breach a building’s entrance, recovery management team (RMT), a high winds can force water under doors, damage assessment and recovery team so it would be wise to eschew carpeting (DART), and an administrative support within 10 feet of doorways. Wet carpet can team (AST). become a mold issue, and mold adversely • Assemble pre-staged resource kits, impacts air quality and, therefore, liability. which might include items such as Also, canopies, which are more susceptible lighting, batteries, respirators, plastic to wind damage, should be designed with sheeting and air blowers. oversize anchors and heavier materials to • Plan for an alternate command post prevent becoming projectiles that could location. damage building facades or roofs. • Secure commitment from contractors/ Even the most damaging of storms can vendors prior to the storm. be weathered. With knowledgeable design, • Make sure computer systems are wind-resistant construction assemblies backed up and remote servers secured. and well-practiced preparedness planning, • Prepare pre-staged templates for Web damage can be prevented or at least site updates, press releases, phone tree lessened. These two Texas Coast schools messages, etc. are proof that wise planning can save the • Test cell phones and secure duplicative day. phone/radio systems where possible. • Arrange for generator back-up, securCALVIN POWITZKY, AIA, is a senior ing portable generators in advance. principal with Southeast Texas-based • Arrange for fans and dry vacuums in Bay Architects, an architectural firm specializing in responsible design for advance, top-off gas tanks and secure educational and institutional clients. diesel supply. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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TexasSchoolBusiness_Ad_Aug2009_v1.indd 1 Texas School Business • September

2009

8/3/09 4:42:22 PM


H-E-B awards judge talks about top districts by Nancy Oelklaus

N

ear the end of every district finalist interview, one of the H-E-B Excellence in Education judges will ask: “What are you doing that sets you apart from the other finalists?” H-E-B’s Excellence in Education District Awards were created five years ago to celebrate and recognize the contributions of large and small public schools that inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities — and get outstanding results. We judges were excited to hear how — Lamar CISD (2009 large district winner) and IDEA Public Schools (2009 small district winner) — answered this question. And our observations while visiting these districts confirmed what they said is true. In answering what sets his district apart, Lamar CISD Superintendent Thomas Randle said: “We are ahead in actually reinventing ourselves with how we interact with children. … When we first started talking about this issue, everyone wanted to fix the kids. No. A better question is: ‘What do we, the adults, need to change in ourselves?’” Here’s what Lamar CISD administrators and educators are doing: • They incorporate ways to convey to students that they truly care about students’ lives. In one year this change in attitude resulted in a drop in discipline referrals, from 300 to 20. • They don’t default to mandating tutorials for kids who falter in performance, recognizing that some students might be dealing with issues in their homes or in their personal lives, which requires a different solution to get back on track. • The superintendent truly listens to student advisory committees and takes action. • Educators have conversations with each other about the brutal facts. They talk about what’s bothering them. Blame is forbidden. • Everyone is expected to reinvent themselves in how they interact with children. Bus drivers know they set the tone for the rest of the day. Custodians have raised money to give gift cards to kids for TAKS support, which was their idea.

During TAKS testing, they don’t mow the grass or perform other noisy duties. While visiting Lamar CISD, H-E-B judges witnessed a refreshing and authentic respect between students and teachers. When we asked students in the classroom what they were doing, they anNancy Oelklaus swered with confidence, not hesitantly looking at the teacher or principal for reassurance. They were meaningfully engaged in challenging work and having fun. Our student guides at a middle school introduced one particular teacher to us and, without any solicitation from us, began listing off the teacher’s strengths. These kids were proud of their teachers! It was noted that the district’s approach to inclusion had dissolved some barriers as well. In the hallway, a special education student walked by and gave a knuckle high-five to the young man who was our student guide. In Lamar CISD, we also noted how tightly instructional strategy, curriculum and achievement are interwoven, taking thoroughness of instruction to a level we had not seen before. It’s all business at IDEA Public Schools Tom Torkelson is founder, CEO and president of IDEA Public Schools. The big idea of IDEA is that all IDEA graduates will go on to receive a college education. Our 2009 choice of IDEA Public Schools as the best small school district marks the first time we’ve selected a charter school district. What stands out about this district is its clarity, focus and rigor in fulfilling its mission to send every student to and through a four-year university. Its marketing principles of customer retention are evident. To recruit students, IDEA goes out into the community and conducts door-to-door marketing. While visiting the newest IDEA campus, we saw inspirational words and phrases hanging from the ceiling. When I asked what these meant, my student guide said, “These are the principles for the International

Baccalaureate Program that we are preparing to launch.” At the oldest campus in the district, the banners hanging from the ceiling were used to teach principles of good behavior and manners. One banner read: “After a field trip, shake the bus driver’s hand upon leaving and say ‘Thank you.’” The experience reminded me of the directional signs one sees in airports to restrooms, baggage claim or ground transportation. IDEA students exuded confidence as they talked easily about what they were doing in class and their plans for the future. These students were serious about school! At IDEA Public Schools, an independent consulting firm conducts a 360-degree evaluation of the CEO, allowing the school board to focus on governance. This consulting firm also recommends the CEO’s compensation package. Every campus has an operating officer (not the principal), responsible for building maintenance, grounds and other duties that could distract from the business of learning. In addition to principals who are truly instructional leaders, every campus has well-trained instructional coaches. Empowerment and a “can do” attitude are what we witnessed in IDEA Public Schools. At one school, custodians were building a deck with recycled lumber. It was their idea to make the site improvement — and “go green” at the same time. (IDEA does not receive public funding for construction.) One parent summed up how IDEA Public Schools differs from other districts: “Here, kids learn not to shy away because they are struggling. They learn not to dread the difficulty. Teachers come up with all kinds of creative ways to say, ‘You can do it,’ and they make it fun. My son isn’t stressed out, even though this is a challenging place to be.” NANCY OELKLAUS has served as an H-E-B Excellence in Education judge for five years. She is an Austinbased executive coach and published author. She formerly worked for the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Brent Duvall and Kyle Blalock of Dawson ISD with Brandon Raesz of Manor ISD.

Phillip Franklin, Greg McCaig and Ed Pustejovsky of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.

Jay Keller and Brad Henze of North East ISD with Ryan Hamman of Northside ISD.

Shad Whiteley and Seth Parker of Fort Worth ISD.

Tarl Lloyd of Waco ISD and Anthony Dogan of Alief ISD. Burke Benning of Boerne ISD and Don Hood of Brownwood ISD.

Dick Olin of Lewisville ISD, Joe Sheffy of Katy ISD and Jackie Bird of Barbers Hill ISD.

Don Drake and J.W. Pate of McKinney ISD. Stoney Pryor and Paul Bedard of College Station ISD.

Ty Branyon of Austin ISD and Peter Martin of Grand Prairie ISD. September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Texas School Business • September 2009


TASPA hosts summer conference in July

Michael Williams of Tomball ISD, Kathy Sharples of Conroe ISD and Bob Crager of Pearland ISD.

JoAnn Collier and Connie Jones of Fort Bend ISD.

Tabatha Hubert and Margaret Duchamp of West Orange-Cove CISD.

TASB representatives Karen Hutto, Cindy Clegg, Erica Bonnell and Mary Barrett.

Sally Craycraft of TASB with E. Lee Felder Jr. of Bryan ISD.

ESC Region 11 staffer Jackie Brown (center) with Paige Curry and Suzy Compton of Birdville ISD.

Armando Maese and Kari Hutchison of Comal ISD.

Teena Johnson, Gradyne Brown and LouAnn Wiggins of Garland ISD.

Debra D. Tate and Toni Mendez of Del Valle ISD.

Shannon Bermel and Kathy Kenny of New Braunfels ISD. September 2009 • Texas School Business

21


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George Kazanas of Wichita Falls ISD and Marc Faulkner of China Spring ISD.

Kerry Moll of The New Teacher Project and Laura Pretty of Texas Teaching Fellows in El Paso.

Larry Taylor, Pam West and Bill Henderson, all of ESC Region 15.

Steven Saldivar and Ann McClarty of Big Spring ISD.

Pauline Hargrove of Little Cypress-Mauriceville ISD and Gail Krohn of Nederland ISD.

Timothy Miller of North East ISD, Al Rodriguez of Elgin ISD and Guillermo Mancha of Culberson County-Allamoore ISD.

Joseph Lopez of Garland ISD and Ruth Vail of Dallas ISD.

Katie Kordel and Deidre Parish of Frisco ISD.

John Folks of Northside ISD, Ruben Olivarez of ESC Region 20 and Lynn Moak of Moak Casey and Associates.

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Who’s News Abilene ISD Gustavo Villanueva, most recently principal of College Heights Elementary School, will lead Craig Middle School. Kathy Walker is now principal at College Heights Elementary. Previously, she was an instructional coordinator at Abilene High School. Alice ISD Salvador Cavazos has been named Alice ISD’s superintendent. With 23 years of experience in public education, 13 of those as a middle school and high school principal in districts throughout Texas, Salvador Cavazos he was most recently assistant superintendent for curriculum at Brownsville ISD. He holds a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas - Pan American. His doctorate in educational administration was conferred from The University of Texas. Birdville ISD Leading Grace E. Hardeman Elementary School as principal is Timothy S. Drysdale, who has been serving as the school’s assistant principal. He was one of the district’s summer school principals this Timothy S. year. He also has taught Drysdale fourth grade and special education at Hardeman. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree from Dallas Baptist University. Taking the helm as principal of Holiday Heights Elementary is Patrick Guy, who has been assistant principal at Foster Village Elementary since 2005. He was the district’s summer school principal in 2005 and 2006, and he also taught Patrick Guy at Haltom Middle School and Richland Elementary. Guy’s bachelor’s degree is from the University of Memphis and his master’s degree is from Texas Christian University.

Breckinridge ISD New Superintendent Jennings Teel comes to Breckinridge from Navasota ISD, where he also served as superintendent. Canutillo ISD (El Paso) Canutillo ISD’s longtime public information officer, Alfredo Vasquez, retired at the end of the 20082009 school year. This brings to a close a 31year career in education, with 20 of those spent in Alfredo Vasquez Canutillo ISD. He had been the district’s public information officer since 1998. Prior to that, he spent nine years teaching journalism at Canutillo High School. He also had served as the part-time public relations assistant to the district’s superintendent since 1990. He formerly taught in Gadsden and San Elizario ISDs, as well as served as the public relations assistant to those districts’ superintendents. Before beginning his career in education, Vasquez was a staff writer and photographer for the office of public information at El Paso Community College and a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. Both his bachelor’s degrees in journalism and in English are from The University of Texas at El Paso. He is working on a master’s degree in writing. Carroll ISD Kevin Ozee was named Carroll High School’s athletic director. He comes to Carroll ISD from Duncanville ISD, where he initially was that district’s assistant athletic director and, for the past five years, director of athletics. A 15Kevin Ozee year education veteran, he has been a classroom teacher and football and track coach in Duncanville ISD as well. He also was assistant principal of DeSoto ISD’s ninth grade campus. He served as an assistant football coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and at Texas A&M University. In 2005, Sports Illustrated named his program in Duncanville ISD one of the nation’s top 25 athletic programs. Ozee earned a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology with a specialization in sports

management from Texas A&M University; his master of science degree in educational administration is from the same institution. Teri Morrison, most recently with Waco ISD’s Midway High School, will serve as head coach for the Lady Dragons basketball team and as girls’ athletic director. She was the 2008-2009 DisTeri Morrison trict Coach of the Year, an honor she has received 17 times during her 26 years in education. Her Midway High team won this year’s University Interscholastic League’s 4A girls’ basketball title. Morrison’s bachelor of arts degree in education was earned from The University of Texas at Arlington, and her master of science degree in secondary education from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Arthur Stanfield joins the Carroll High staff as head coach of the Lady Dragons volleyball team, coming to his new position from Red Oak High School in Red Oak ISD, where his Red Oak Lady Hawks won state titles in 1992, Arthur Stanfield 1995 and 2002. His 31year career has included 21 district, seven regional and three state championships. Stanfield has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. The new principal of Carroll Senior High School is Mike Rhodes, an educator who has been a principal for almost 20 years. He comes to Carroll from Texas City ISD, where since 2006 he served as the district’s high school Mike Rhodes principal. While in that position, he was named 2008 Texas City ISD Secondary Principal of the Year. Other honors include ESC Region 4’s Secondary Principal of the Year and 2006 Outstanding Advocate of the Year by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. His career began as a history teacher and coach in Early ISD in 1981, followed by a stint teaching in Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD. He See WHO’S NEWS on page 34 September 2009 • Texas School Business

25


College is elementary, my dear Grade schools make strides to promote college-bound culture By Raven L. Hill

26

Texas School Business • September 2009


W

hen Principal Doug Curry surveyed San Jacinto Elementary School in Amarillo ISD three years ago, he concluded that the road to college isn’t paved with good intentions alone. He says his teachers cared mightily about the students, many of whom came from economically disadvantaged families. But most students were moving on to middle school with skills that barely guaranteed a high school diploma, much less a college degree.

‘Parents will tell you the conversation has changed around the dinner table; these are families in which no one has been to college yet.’

Haidi Appel Mitzi Bond Elementary El Paso ISD

In the past, middle and high school teachers took the weight of getting students ready for college, working to fill in their learning gaps and preaching the collegegoing gospel. Now, many educators are starting as early as pre-kindergarten to get students ready for post-secondary education. At Curry’s school, that means having the expectation of “college for all.” “If we truly want our kids to have a better life down the road, then education is the answer,” Curry says. “We bombard parents and students with the message of what college will mean in their lives.” Texas’ efforts to enhance the preschool to college pipeline, known as P-16, picked up speed in 2005 when legislators mandated the inclusion of college and career readiness standards in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board are collaboratively developing the standards, analyzing secondary curriculum against the standards, and creating student support and professional development for implementation.

Teacher training in the revised English language arts/reading standards, for instance, stresses skills that students learn in the primary grades. “We’re showing the connection throughout,” says Joseph Kulhanek, director of TEA College and Career Readiness Program. “Speaking and listening starts early on, then you move on to writing and reading. It’s a continuum.” Kulhanek says he’s encouraged by the reception from educators in his presentations. “There seems to be consistent themes: ‘We have to address this early on,’” he says. “We have to look at how we’re all working together to achieve the same result. It’s a conversation that can’t just happen at the post-secondary level.” State legislators also mandated “Education: Go Get It Week” to stress the importance of higher education to middle and high school students. Many elementary school administrators say they celebrate the week on their campuses. Administrators at Chester E. Jordan Elementary School in El Paso’s Socorro ISD hope to spark conversations about college as soon as students and parents see the college banners lining the hallways. “We’ll ask the kids, ‘What college or university are you going to?’ It’s just considered a given that they are going. We use that kind of language so they know it’s not an option [but a given],” Principal Michelle Aube-Barton Michelle Aube-Barton says. “You hear the kids saying, ‘I’m going to Texas. I’m going to UTEP (University of Texas-El Paso).’ Just the banners alone generate a lot of excitement.” David Wehmeyer, principal of Corbell Elementary School in Frisco ISD, invites middle school guidance counselors to speak to his classes. He admits the concept of college can David Wehmeyer be a bit confusing to students in the primary grades. “Many times, they’re not even sure what it means to go on from elementary school to middle school,” Wehmeyer says.

Career nights are popular at Lamar CISD’s Hillman Forest McNeill Elementary School, says Principal Kenneth Davis. Students visit with working professionals in many fields, including the U.S. military.

The counselors invited to Corbell Elementary explain to students how going to college differs from their schooling at present, and how a college education can help them pursue a certain career path. Students can ask questions, and they receive worksheets that explore education and career goals. Parents are encouraged to get involved in these conversations as well, Wehmeyer says. Career nights are popular at Hillman Forest McNeill Elementary School, says Principal Kenneth Davis, whose diverse campus in Fort Bend in Lamar representing 27 cultures. “Parents underKenneth Davis stand the importance of a good education, and elementary school is the foundation of a college-bound student,” Davis says. Efforts like Career Night can help promote a college-going culture among younger students, researchers say, but educators must take assessments into account as well. See COLLEGE on page 35 September 2009 • Texas School Business

27


Back To School Special: Legal Workshops with Jim Walsh The 4th Annual Back to School Program will feature all of the new legislation that will impact the day-to-day operations of your school district. This year we have legislation at both the state and federal level to discuss.

In particular: • changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 that will impact both employment and student decisions; • regulatory changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allowing parents to revoke consent for the provision of services; • regulatory changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); • the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); and • all of the new laws promulgated by the 2009 Texas Legislature. This year’s program will be organized into four components: LEGAL ISSUES IN SERVING STUDENTS LEGAL ISSUES IN DEALING WITH PARENTS LEGAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYMENT LEGAL ISSUES IN ADMINISTERING YOUR SCHOOL As usual, the presentation will be lively, upbeat and interactive, allowing plenty of time for Q and A. You will come away with specific to-do lists and tools to help you avoid legal problems in the upcoming year.

Bring Your AdministrAtors, LeAd teAchers, counseLors, speciAL ed. stAff, And centrAL office teAm! 2009 Workshop Dates and Locations September 2 ESC Region XI Fort Worth, TX September 8 ESC Region VII Kilgore, TX September 10 ESC Region I Edinburg, TX September 15 ESC Region XIX El Paso, TX

September 16 ESC Region XVIII Midland, TX September 22 ESC Region XX San Antonio, TX September 23 ESC Region XIII Austin, TX

$99 per person online credit card required

28

register online • www.legaldigest.com Ph: 512.478.2113 • Fax: 512.495.9955

Texas School Business • September 2009


TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 28

WEEK OF OCTOBER 12

October 1 TCASE Legal Academy Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org

October 13 Risk Management Fund Seminar Holiday Inn Select, Tyler For more info, Stacy Hobbs, (800) 482-7276, ext. 7233. www.tasb.org Cost: Preregistration free to Risk Management Fund members; $35 fee charged for cancellation after Oct. 7; noshows and on-site registrants will also be charged $35.

October 1-2 Mapping Active Literacy Barry Center, Cypress For more info, (800) 717-2723, ext. 10. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $299; nonmembers, $349. October 2-4 TASA/TASB Annual Convention George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston For more info, Mark Pyeatt, (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: Preregistration (through Sept. 18): TASA/TASB members, $285; nonmembers, $385. On-site registration: TASA/TASB members, $355; nonmembers, $455. October 3 Middle Schools ARKLATEX Conference Cope Middle School, Shreveport, LA For more info, (512) 462-1105. www.tmsanet.org

WEEK OF OCTOBER 5 October 5 TCASE Legal Academy Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org

October 14 Fundamentals of Pay Systems TASB offices, Austin For more info, (800) 580-7782. www.tasb.org Cost: By Sept. 30, $180; after Sept. 30, $230. October 15 Controlling Complex Pay Systems TASB offices, Austin For more info, (800) 580-7782. www.tasb.org Cost: By Oct. 1, $180; after Oct. 1, $230. October 15 HR Legal Issues for Supervisors ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (800) 580-7782. www.tasb.org Cost: $165. October 18 Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers Centennial Celebration State Fair grounds, Dallas For more info, (512) 476-6769. www.txpta.org

WEEK OF OCTOBER 19 October 19 Get a Grip on the Family Medical Leave Act ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (800) 580-7782. www.tasb.org Cost: $175.

October 20 Risk Management Fund Seminar Leonard E. Merrell Center, Katy For more info, Stacy Hobbs, (800) 482-7276, ext. 7233. www.tasb.org Cost: Preregistration free to Risk Management Fund members; $35 fee charged for cancellation after Oct. 14; no-shows and on-site registrants will also be charged $35. October 20-21 Texas Facility Masters Conference Special Events Center, Garland ISD For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: $175. October 22-23 Superintendent Secretary Training Conference TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org October 25-27 Texas ASCD Annual Conference Embassy Suites, Frisco For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org

WEEK OF OCTOBER 26 October 27 TASA/Syfr Conference: A Whole New World (part three in a series of three) Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, Austin For more info, Susan Holley, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org

See calendar on page 30

September 2009 • Texas School Business

29


TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS

calendar continued from page 29

October 28 TASB Risk Management Fund Seminar Mac Bernd PDC, Arlington For more info, Stacy Hobbs, (800) 482-7276, ext. 7233. www.tasb.org Cost: Preregistration free to Risk Management Fund members; $35 fee

charged for cancellation after Oct. 22; no-shows and on-site registrants will also be charged $35. October 28 5th Annual TEPSA/Legal Digest Law Conference for Elementary School Leaders Renaissance Worthington Hotel, Fort Worth

For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Legal Digest subscribers and/or TEPSA members early registration (by Sept. 28): $129 online, $149 purchase order. After Sept. 28: $154 online, $174 purchase order. Nonsubscribers/ nonmembers early registration (by Sept. 28): $169 online, $189 purchase order. After Sept. 28: $194 online, $214 purchase order. October 29-30 TEPSA Fall Summit on Engagement Renaissance Worthington Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org Cost: Members, $217 by Oct. 1; $242 after Oct. 1. Nonmembers, $310 by Oct. 1; $335 after Oct. 1.

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Texas School Business • September 2009

www.sungardps.com 866-965-7732 © 2009 SunGard Public Sector Inc. All Rights Reserved.

November 2-3 Five-Day Math Intensive Academy: Using Graphic Organizers and Assessment Tools to Make Mathematics Content More Accessible to Struggling Students (session one of three) Galena Park ISD For more info, (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $750; nonmembers, $850. November 2-3 Texas School HR Administrators Academy Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: By Oct. 12, $385. November 4-5 First-Time Superintendents Academy (session two) Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: $595, four sessions; $175, one session.


TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS

November 5 Purchasing Academy Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $220.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 9 November 11-12 Maximizing Student Success Professional Development Center, El Paso ISD For more info, (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: $349. November 12 Get a Grip on the Family Medical Leave Act ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (800) 580-7782 Cost: $70 for out-of-region or nonRegion 9 district participants. November 12-15 TESA Fall Work Conference Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org November 13 Jumping Hurdles and Raising the Bars Toward Achieving Excellence in Science Professional Development Center, El Paso ISD For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: $100.

November 18-19 New Essential Curriculum for 21st Century Learners Transportation West Training Room, Frisco For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $299; nonmembers, $349.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 23 No events listed.

See calendar on page 32

Immediate Impact. Long-Lasting Results. Region 4. As Stimulus funds arrive, how will you invest in the future? Because we are an education service center, Region 4 is held accountable for student achievement. Like you, our passion for student success is the driving force behind all that we do. At this crucial time, our commitment is as strong as ever. From products aligned to standardized tests to professional development in all subject areas, Region 4 resources are comprehensive, third-party tested, research based, and developed by Educators for Educators.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 16 November 17 Staffing Controls for Public Schools TASB offices, Austin For more info, (800) 580-7782. www.tasb.org Cost: By Nov. 3, $180; after Nov. 3, $230.

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TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS

calendar continued from page 31

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 30 December 2 Get a Grip on the Family Medical Leave Act ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (800) 580-7782. www.tasb.org Cost: $165. December 2-4 TAGT Professional Development Conference: Growing Their Gifts George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org December 2-5 TAHPERD Annual Convention Arlington Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org Cost: Early bird registration: Professional and associate members, $85; retired and student members, $35. Preregistration: Professional and associate members, $105; retired and student members, $35. On-site registration: Professional and associate members, $125; retired and student members, $45. December 6-9 Texas Assessment Conference Hilton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org

WEEK OF DECEMBER 7 December 8-9 Boot Camp for Curriculum Administrators Bolin Elementary, Allen ISD For more info, (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $249; others, $295.

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Texas School Business • September 2009


TSB Calendar

Professional Development & EVENTS

December 9 Annual TASPA/Legal Digest Conference Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Legal Digest and/or TASPA members early registration (by Nov. 27): $135 online credit card; $145 purchase order. Legal Digest and/or TASPA members regular registration (after Nov. 27): $170 online credit card; $180 purchase order. Nonsubscribers and/or non-TASPA members early registration (by Nov. 27): $185 online credit card; $195 purchase order. Nonsubscribers and/or non-TASPA members regular registration (after Nov. 27): $210 online credit card; $220 purchase order. December 9-11 Annual TASPA Winter Conference Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353 or (800) 346-4111. www.taspa.org Cost: Conference only: Members, $150; retired members, $75. Conference fee and renewal dues: Active members, $235; professional associate, $215; support staff associate, $195; retired, $90. December 11-12 TAMS/TARS Joint Annual Legislative Conference Hyatt Regency Hill Country, San Antonio For more info, (512) 346-2177. www.midsizeschools.org

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WEEK OF DECEMBER 14 No events listed.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 21 No events listed.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 28 No events listed.

“Grant Professionals Round-Up - Skills, Strategies & Success”

11th Annual National Conference WHEN: November 4-7, 2009 WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX Special Pre-Conference workshop and sessions hosted by the US Department of Education Over 50 workshops specifically geared toward grant professionals already scheduled! For more information: www.grantprofessionals.org Keynote Speaker: Call 913-788-3000 or e-mail US Department of Education Info@grantprofessionals.org

September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 25

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gained administrative experience in Andrews, Quitman and Dublin ISDs. Rhodes has a bachelor of science degree with a social science composite from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). He earned his master’s degree in education, mid-management certificate and superintendent’s certification at Sul Ross State University. Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Bobby Burns, who has been serving the district as its interim superintendent, has accepted the position of superintendent. His first teaching position was with Garland ISD, where he spent two years as a high school coach and Bobby Burns English teacher. He then coached and taught in Richardson ISD for five years, coming to Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD in 1988. During his 21 years with the district, he has served as a coach, teacher, associate principal at R.L. Turner High School, assistant principal of Blalack Middle School, principal of DeWitt Perry Middle School, and assistant superintendent for administration and personnel. Burns earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University at Commerce) and his doctorate in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Colmesneil ISD Stacy Ackley has been appointed superintendent. He was formerly the high school principal at Riesel ISD. Coppell ISD Leanne Dorhout is new to Coppell High School, joining the campus as its associate principal. She is a nineyear education veteran, beginning as a teacher of middle school and high school English and preLeanne Dorhout AP English in GrapevineColleyville ISD. In 2005, she accepted an administrative position in See WHO’S NEWS on page 36

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Texas School Business • September 2009


COLLEGE continued from page 27

Schools need to get all students performing at the commended level on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills to increase their chances of being suited for college, says Chrys Daugherty, Chrys Daugherty senior research scientist at the National Center for Educational Achievement in Austin. Students need to begin accumulating a large body of knowledge and vocabulary from a young age. Those from moreaffluent families tend to do so through conversations with their parents and through exposure to travel, the cultural arts and the like. “Kids need a general knowledge about the world and an academic vocabulary. If they don’t get that at home, then schools need to do it,” Daugherty says. “Functioning at the commended level on TAKS must be the target for all kids if we’re going to target college readiness for all kids.” According to Daugherty, students also need a strong curriculum and proper assessments. “That doesn’t mean you’re giving them three different versions of the TAKS. It means taking whatever you’re teaching in the curriculum, assessing that and re-teaching what kids don’t learn,” he says. Aube-Barton says her staff is focused on “preparing kids for the 21st century.” Teachers are promoting higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. “The data speaks for itself,” she says, noting that Chester E. Jordan’s commended-level passing rates increased over the past year. “If the kids are improving, then they are more prepared.” A message that hits home Promoting college readiness can be difficult when dealing with families who have little knowledge about what it takes to succeed in college. For these families, Daugherty advises getting teachers on board first. “They then can sell it to parents,” he says. “You’ve got to convince parents that you are stimulating a child’s brain, and that

San Jacinto Elementary School Principal Doug Curry gets into the college spirit with his students. Curry’s school in Amarillo ISD is one of two No Excuses universities in Texas.

you can do it in a way that is interesting and exciting to the kids.” Damen Lopez, a former school principal in California, founded No Excuses University, a program that emphasizes college readiness. The program is in place at 59 schools in 10 states, including two campuses in Texas. Damen Lopez “The frustration that drove me to work on No Excuses University was there were many educators who thought kids were too young to understand college or they assigned them to the same station in life as their parents,” Lopez says. “Many educators were counting kids out before they even gave the students a shot at dreaming.” Haidi Appel, principal of Mitzi Bond Elementary in El Paso ISD, one of the two No Excuses University schools in Texas, says her students’ parents have bought into the concept of college. “Parents will tell you the conversation has changed around the dinner table; these are families in which no one has been to

college yet,” she says. “These children are saying they will go and their parents support them.” After years of being among the district’s lowest-performing schools, the faculty at San Jacinto Elementary in Amarillo ISD decided to adopt the No Excuses University framework. Principal Curry describes the changes as mostly philosophical. “Everything we changed was between our own ears. No specific program or curriculum is as important as what the adults in the building think.” This year, the campus found itself among the top schools statewide, earning an “exemplary” rating. While the school will celebrate the honor in its own way, Curry says he’s proud of the message it sends. “It means we are genuinely doing better with kids. We’re doing a better job of turning out kids. They will be in college someday.” RAVEN L. HILL is a freelance writer and former education reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.

September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 34

in educational administration from Georgia State University. Laurie O’Neill is the new principal of Austin Elementary School. With 21 years in education, she began as a fourth and fifth grade teacher in Eanes ISD, serving there for nine years. She then relocated Laurie O’Neill to Lubbock, where she spent four years as an elementary-level gifted and talented teacher. In 2002, she accepted her first administrative position as an elementary school assistant principal in Georgetown ISD. She moved to Clear Creek ISD in 2005 as principal of North Point Elementary, where she served until accepting her new position with Coppell ISD. O’Neill earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education with an emphasis in special education from Texas State University; her master’s degree in education/educational administration was awarded from Lubbock Christian University.

The district’s new director of K-12 mathematics is Kay Neuse. She began her career as a middle school math teacher in Bossier Parish, La., moving to Plano ISD in 1994 as a mentor teacher and department chairman. Most Kay Neuse recently, she was a middle school mathematics curriculum specialist. Neuse’s bachelor of science degree in secondary mathematics and bachelor of arts degree in elementary education are from Louisiana State University at Shreveport; her master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology is from Louisiana Tech at Ruston. Corpus Christi ISD Superintendent Scott Elliff recently announced that Jose Hernandez, formerly principal of Allen Elementary, is now assigned to the Office of Leadership Development. Also, 12 principals have been assigned to the following schools:

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Carroll ISD, and most recently served as assistant principal of Carroll High School. Dorhout graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English. Her master’s degree in educational administration and her principal certification were earned at the University of North Texas. Leading Lakeside Elementary School as its principal is Gema Hall, formerly assistant principal of Town Center Elementary. She began her career 15 years ago in Fulton County , Ga., as a pre-K teacher, followed by a stint as a kindergarGema Hall ten and fourth grade teacher in Atlanta. She was a principal’s intern in Cobb County, Ga., beginning in 2003, until she relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2007 to take her most recent position at Town Center. Hall earned her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree

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Who’s News • Aurelia Barrera, Crockett Elementary • Steve Barrera, Haas Middle School • Kay Bircher, Club Estates Elementary • Eddie Chachere, Carroll High School • Lynda De Leon, Allen Elementary • Jaime Gonzales, Shaw Special Emphasis School • Debbie McAden, Smith Elementary • Rosa Sanchez, Oak Park Special Emphasis School • Debbie Scates, Casa Linda Elementary • Ralph Silva, Martin Special Emphasis Middle School • Delma Yzaguirre, Hamlin Middle School • Maria Elena Zavala, Prescott Elementary

Evant ISD New Superintendent Lance Johnson comes to Evant from Hubbard ISD, where he was that district’s interim superintendent. Fort Worth ISD Twenty-two administration positions have been filled for the district. They are: • Jocelyn Barnett, principal, James Middle School • Hilda Caballero, principal, Kirkpat-

rick Elementary • Alfreida Colvin, principal, Beal Elementary • Kelly Davis, principal, Springdale Elementary • Victorius Eugenio, principal, Tanglewood Elementary • Andrea Harper, principal, Sims Elementary • Jerri Harris, principal, Walton Elementary See WHO’S NEWS on page 38

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Cypress-Fairbanks ISD A new principal has been named for Keith Elementary School: Cheryl Fisher, former assistant principal at Sheridan Elementary. Fisher has spent her entire 11-year career with the district, beginning at Cheryl Fisher Metcalf Elementary and moving to Farney Elementary before taking her role at Sheridan, where she has served for the past six years. She earned her bachelor of science degree at Texas State University and her master’s degree in education from the University of Houston. She is also certified in elementary self-contained and elementary early childhood education.

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Detroit ISD The district’s new superintendent is Steve Drummond. He was, until accepting his new position, the district’s assistant high school principal. Edinburg CISD Rene Gutierrez, most recently assistant superintendent of administration and finance for LaJoya ISD, is the new superintendent. Ennis ISD Barbara Qualls is the district’s new superintendent, coming to Ennis from Lago Vista ISD, where she held the same position.

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Financial and Administrative Services: FAS@esc4.net Transportation Solutions: TransportationSolutions@esc4.net Facility Solutions: facilityservices@esc4.net Benchmarking: info@benchmark4excellence.com September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 37

• Dian Korman, principal, Eastern Hills High School • Todd Koppes, principal, North Hi Mount Elementary • Yassmin Lee, principal, Southwest High School • Benjamin Leos, principal, Rosemont Middle School • Teresa Luna, principal, Huerta Elementary • Terri McGuire, principal, Woodway Elementary • LeeAnn Michalak, principal, Leonard 6th Middle School • Jerry M. Moore, director III, elementary school leadership • Elsie Schiro, controller • Elida Silva, principal, Turner Elementary • Paula Carter Taylor, principal, Mitchell Boulevard Elementary • Rian Townsend, director III, secondary school leadership • Rudy Valdez, principal, Riverside Applied Learning Middle School

• James Wellman, principal, Western Hills High School • Liz Yoder, principal, Western Hills Elementary Frisco ISD Karen Kraft is principal of the new Lone Star High School. Currently associate principal of Frisco High School, she became an educator in 1986 and joined Frisco ISD in 2002. She was previously with Coppell ISD and taught Karen Kraft English before making the transition to administration. Kraft is a graduate of the University of North Texas. Galena Park ISD Superintendent Mark Henry was honored during July’s Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees meeting for being named Region 4 Superintendent of the Year. Region 4 is the largest educational service center in Texas, providing services to 54 school districts. Henry began his educa-

tion career in 1982 as a classroom teacher. Six years later, he moved into administration, serving in assistant principal and principal positions in Texas and Arkansas. Mark Henry His first assignment as superintendent came in 1991 in Milford ISD. Two years later, he moved to take the top job in Collinsville ISD, transferring to serve as superintendent of Sulphur Springs ISD in 1998. Henry came to Galena Park ISD as superintendent in 2004. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from The University of Texas at Arlington and a master of education degree in administration from the University of North Texas, where he also earned his doctorate of education degree in administration with an emphasis on finance. Goldthwaite ISD Ronny Wright is the district’s new superintendent. He comes to Goldthwaite from Merkel ISD, where he was the high school principal. Prior to his time in Merkel,

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Texas School Business • September 2009


Who’s News he served in Gorman ISD as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and high school principal. In May ISD, he was a teacher and coach. Wright’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Ronny Wright Tarleton State University and his superintendent certificate is from Angelo State University. Gonzales ISD Three new appointments have been made at Gonzales High School. Dennis Boucher has taken on the job of head band director. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., he worked during his college years with Boston-area high school marching bands and training drum corps as a percussion instructor. Arriving in Texas after working in Florida, he spent seven years teaching in the Rio Grande Valley, one year as a middle school assistant director in Brownsville, and six years as assistant director at Weslaco High School. He has been head band director at

Killeen High School and also at schools in the Houston area. Graciela Boucher is the new assistant band director. She also will direct the beginning band program at North Avenue School. The new head basketball coach is Jeremy Mills, who also will teach health at the high school. For the past nine years, he has been assistant coach with Georgetown ISD, where his team went 22-12 in 2009, earning a place in the state playoffs. Mills was awarded a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. Granbury ISD Stacie Brown is the new principal of Brawner Intermediate School. A 15-year education veteran, she began as a teacher in Fort Worth ISD, joining Granbury ISD in 1999 as an instructional specialist at Acton Elementary Stacie Brown School and later serving as that school’s assistant principal. Since

2002, she has been with the curriculum department, first as an all-level math and science coordinator and most recently as an elementary coordinator in all academic areas. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree from Radford University in Virginia and a master of education degree from Tarleton State University. Marsha Grissom, principal of Granbury High School, will retire in December. An educator with 41 years of experience, 35 of those in Granbury, she began as a teacher and coach in Clear Creek ISD. She Marsha Grissom then spent a year at Central Junior High School in Lawton, Okla., before returning to Clear Creek, working at Clear Lake Intermediate School, where she coached girls’ sports, including volleyball, basketball, track and tennis. In 1974, Grissom returned to her hometown of Granbury, serving as the district’s homebound teacher for seven years See WHO’S NEWS on page 42

September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Texas Council of Women School Executives celebrates 25 years at summer conference

Karla Burkholder and Jean Bahney of Northwest ISD.

Vicki Rice and Fredda Schooler of Morton ISD.

Sue Strickland of Coppell ISD and Fonda Huneycutt of Forestburg ISD.

Denise Bushald and Sarah Reagans of Windham ISD.

Diane Stegall of Chisum ISD and Stacey McGraw of Plano ISD.

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Texas School Business • September 2009


Carol Brady, Nancy Wooten and Alicia Salinas of Grand Prairie ISD.

Wendy Ruthart of Chisum ISD, Shelly Slaughter of Camby ISD and Lindy Robinson of Milano ISD.

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September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 39

Grissom earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master of education degree from Tarleton State University. Stepping in for Grissom at Granbury High School is Donna Jeffries, who hails from Fort Worth ISD, where she was executive director for science, health and physical education in the district’s curriculum department. Also in Fort Worth, she was principal of Western Hills High School for

and then as a teacher and coach at Granbury Junior High. Her administration career began in the early 1980s as a vice principal and counselor at Granbury Middle School. She then led Granbury Intermediate for five years, moving to Granbury Middle School as its principal. She made the transition to Granbury High School in 1997 as associate principal, taking the lead role there in 2005.

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Texas School Business • September 2009

nine years. She began her education career in 1988 as a secondary science teacher at Happy Hill Farm Academy, a private school in Granbury, and moved to Fort Worth in Donna Jeffries 1994 as a science teacher at Arlington Heights High School. In 1996, Jeffries took her first campus administration role when she served as assistant principal at Forest Oak Middle School. From 1998 to 2000, she was principal of W.C. Stripling Middle School. Jeffries earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Texas Christian University. Additionally, she holds an associate of arts degree from Weatherford College. Jan Van Dorn, assistant superintendent since 2000, has announced her retirement. Initially a teacher in Beaumont and Midland, she has been with Granbury ISD since 1989, when she came to the district to teach sixth grade Jan Van Dorn at Granbury Intermediate School. Following her teaching career, she was assistant principal of Granbury Middle School and principal of Granbury Intermediate. In 1996, she was named the first principal of Mambrino School. Following that assignment, she served as the district’s first curriculum director. Van Dorn’s earned a bachelor of science degree and a master of education degree from Lamar University. Guthrie CSD New Superintendent Nelson Coulter has come to Guthrie from Pflugerville ISD, where he was principal of Hendrickson High School. He began his education career coaching football, basketball, golf, and Nelson Coulter track and field in Robert Lee, Rankin, Haskell and Jayton-Girard ISDs. He also taught math, health, industrial technology, English, student leadership and physical education in those districts, as well as in Round Rock ISD. He was athletic director in Robert Lee and Haskell ISDs for seven years. From 1994 to 2002, he was principal of Jayton-


Who’s News Girard ISD’s K-12 schools, after which he moved to Round Rock ISD to lead McNeil High School. In addition to his public school duties, Coulter has been a clinical assistant principal in the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas, and he continues to serve as an adjunct professor there. He has a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in mathematics from Angelo State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sul Ross State University. His doctorate in educational leadership is from Texas Tech University. Houston ISD The new principal of Worthing High School, Tamara Sterling, is the school’s eighth principal and the first woman to hold that position in the school’s 50-year history. She came to Houston ISD in 1996 as a substitute teacher and has taught at Edison, Holland and Sharpstown middle schools and Wheatley High School. In Chicago, Sterling was an administrator at Manley High School and at the Reavis Math and Science Specialty School; she also served as principal of Simeon Career Academy. Sterling received her teaching certification in special education through the Region IV alternative certification program. Her master’s degree is from Prairie View A&M University. Irving ISD Jeremy L. Earnhart is the district’s new director of fine arts. He began his music education career in 1997 at Fort Worth ISD’s Brewer High School. He moved to Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD in 1998 as assistant director of bands at L.D. Jeremy L. Earnhart Bell High School; he was promoted to director in 2002. During his tenure at Bell, the school’s bands have grown by 50 percent. The band also won the 2004 Texas UIL marching competition and the Sudler Shield from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The band won the grand national championship at 2007’s Bands of America competition. Earnhart has a bachelor of music degree and master of music education degree from the University of North Texas. The new principal of Thomas Haley

Elementary School is Tanya Jones, who most recently served as vice principal of Nimitz High School. She came to Irving ISD in 2005 from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, acTanya Jones cepting a teaching position as an English teacher at MacArthur High School. In New Orleans, she served as principal at McMain Magnet Secondary

School and as assistant principal of Rabouin High School. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xavier University. Klein ISD Associate Superintendent for Community Relations Liz Johnson has retired after 36 years with the district. She began her career in Klein in 1973 as a kindergarten teacher, becoming an instructional officer in 1976. She then served as an assistant See WHO’S NEWS on page 44

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 43

principal and associate director for student services before accepting her most recent position in 2001. Johnson holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Trazanna Moreno steps into Johnson’s position. Most recently, she was vice president of communications for the YMCA of Greater Houston, where she was responsible for planning, implementing Trazanna Moreno and coordinating internal and external communications, as well as directing media, public relations and community relations plans for the organization. She also has served as weekend morning news anchor and general assignments reporter for KPRC in Houston and as an anchor and reporter for stations in Austin and Illinois. Moreno’s bachelor’s degree is from Syracuse University and her master’s degree is from the University of Houston - downtown. Kelly Schumacher is the new executive director of school administration. She

began her career in Klein as an English and Spanish teacher, also serving at Kleb Intermediate School as an English and language arts teacher and cheerleading sponsor. She took her first administrative position when she moved to Klein High School to serve as assistant principal and then associate principal. She was subsequently principal of Wunderlich Intermediate School for three years and of Klein Oak High School for two years. Ron Webster takes the position of principal of Klein Oak High School, moving up from associate principal of that campus. He began his career in Tomball ISD, where he taught general mathematics and algebra and coached Ron Webster football and track. After a break from public education to work in the private sector, he accepted a teaching position with Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, moving to Klein in 2004 as assistant principal of Klein Collins High School. In 2007, he transferred to Klein Oak High to serve as

its associate principal. Webster is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. His master’s degree in educational leadership was awarded from Stephen F. Austin State University. Lamar CISD Walter Bevers will be the district’s new executive director of secondary education, overseeing schools with students in grades 6 through 12. Lamar CISD currently has three high schools, three junior highs Walter Bevers and three middle schools. Bevers has been principal of Lamar Consolidated High School since 2006. His career began in Pearland ISD, where he was a teacher and coach; before coming to the district, he was an assistant principal and principal in Clear Creek ISD. Bevers holds a bachelor of arts degree from The University of Texas and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.

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Texas School Business • September 2009


Who’s News Sara Dries is the assistant principal of Williams Elementary. She has four years of teaching experience and was a counselor for three years in Stafford Municipal School District. She was awarded a bachelor of science degree in interSara Dries disciplinary studies from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston at Victoria; she also holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision from that institution. Hubenak Elementary School’s new assistant principal is Emily Drummond, who taught for seven years in Katy ISD. She earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Sam Houston Emily Drummond State University and her master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.

The new assistant principal of Thomas Elementary is Amy Shepard. She has seven years of teaching experience in Fort Bend and Galena Park ISDs and Lamar CISD, and six years of administrative experience in Fort Bend ISD. She has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Ken Davis, principal of McNeill Elementary School, was named Texas’ Elementary Level National Distinguished Principal at the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association’s summer conference in Austin. He received a $10,000 check and will represent Texas at the National Distinguished Principals program in Washington D.C. in October. Before opening McNeill Elementary this past school year, Davis was principal of Pink Elementary School, which he led from a TEA “academically acceptable” rating to “exemplary.”

Lampasas ISD The district’s superintendent is Randy Hoyer, former superintendent of Columbus ISD. Luling ISD Luling ISD’s new superintendent is David A. Davis, formerly high school principal at Mt. Pleasant ISD. Mercedes ISD The new superintendent is Heriberto Gonzalez, formerly deputy superintendent of Brownsville ISD. Midland ISD James Morton is Robert E. Lee High School’s new head football coach. His most recent assignment before accepting the new position was head coach at Monterey High School in Lubbock ISD, where he James Morton served for 11 years. In addition, he coached for two See WHO’S NEWS on page 46

September 2009 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 45

years at West Texas State University and one year at the University of Richmond. He also was an assistant coach for one year at Friona ISD and head coach in that district for six years. Morton has a bachelor of science degree in political science and a master of science degree in health and physical education, both from West Texas State University.

North Hopkins ISD Donna George, newly appointed superintendent, comes to North Hopkins from Miller Grove ISD, where she served as a principal. Northside ISD Superintendent John Folks is the new president of the Texas Association of School Administrators. He will serve through May 31. He is an educator with 39

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46

Texas School Business • September 2009

years of experience; this year he begins his 23rd year as a superintendent. Gerardo Marquez will be principal of William J. Brennan High School, slated to open in August 2010. It will be John Folks the district’s 10th comprehensive high school. Principal of Jay High School for the past six years, he joined Northside ISD in 1998 as assistant principal at Jay High, later moving up to Gerardo Marquez first vice principal and then principal of that school. His education career began in San Antonio ISD as a teacher and coach at Fox Tech High School. In 1997, he became vice principal of Martin Luther King Middle School in that district. Marquez earned a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Palmer ISD New Superintendent Kevin Noack arrives in Palmer from Crawford ISD, where he also held the top position. Prior to his time in Crawford, he was first a principal in Groom ISD and then superintendent of that district. He also Kevin Noack has served as a principal in Grandfalls-Royalty and Brownfield ISDs and as assistant principal and teacher in Muleshoe ISD. Noack earned a bachelor of science degree from Wayland Baptist University and a master of education degree in administration from Eastern New Mexico University. Panhandle ISD Robin Fulce, who was the district’s special programs director, is the new superintendent. Red Lick ISD Rose Mary Hargett-Neshyba is the new superintendent. She began her career as a fourth grade teacher in Bryan ISD, moved to teach in Arlington ISD for a year and returned to Bryan for her first adminis-


Who’s News trative assignment as assistant principal of Milam Elementary School. She then served in that district as principal of Bowie and Crockett Elementary schools. In 1997, she relocated to Pleasanton Rose Mary Hargett-Neshyba ISD as assistant principal of Pleasanton Junior High, becoming director of special education for the district. She served next in Texarkana ISD as principal of Spring Lake Park Elementary, transitioning to Atlanta ISD in 2002 as the district’s director of special education. She then served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction until her new position with Red Lick ISD. Hargett-Neshyba earned an associate of arts degree from Kilgore Junior College and a bachelor of science degree from Stephen F. Austin State University; her master’s degree in educational administration is from Texas A&M University. San Marcos CISD Mark De Leon is assistant principal of Goodnight Middle School. He comes to San Marcos CISD from Comal ISD, where he held the same position at Spring Branch Middle School. He taught crimiMark De Leon nal justice at San Antonio’s Ronald Reagan High School for four years, and he was the safe and drug-free schools coordinator for Dahlstrom Middle School in Hays CISD. De Leon also has worked as a grants specialist at Texas State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wayland Baptist University and a master’s degree in management-vocational technical education from Texas State University. Daniel Guerrero is the new executive director of the San Marcos Education Foundation. He will have responsibility for fundraising, development, strategic planning and generating public awareness. GuerDaniel Guerrero rero is a graduate of San Marcos High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Texas State University. He is completing work on his master’s degree in

organizational leadership and ethics from St. Edward’s University in Austin. Smithville ISD Smithville ISD has named Rock McNulty the new superintendent. His career began in 1986 in Lewisville ISD, where he was initially a fourth and fifth grade teacher, moving on to serve as gradelevel chair and then elementary school as-

Rock McNulty

sistant principal. A move to Rio Vista ISD came in 1993 when he accepted an elementary principalship. He then was superintendent and athletic director of Kopperl ISD until taking on the superintendency of Rio Vista See WHO’S NEWS on page 48

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ISD in 2001. He served there until accepting his new position with Smithville ISD. McNulty also has been an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University. A U.S. Navy veteran, he continues to serve in the Navy Reserve at the rank of captain. He has an associate’s degree from Lee College in Baytown and a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas A&M University. Both his master’s and doctoral degrees in public school administration are from the University of North Texas. Socorro ISD The new superintendent is Xavier de la Torre, who comes to Socorro ISD from Elk Grove Unified School District in California, where he was associate superintendent of human relations. Daniel Gurany is principal of Spec. Rafael Hernando Middle School. Gurany was principal of the Jane A. Hambric School for the past five years. An educator for 19 years, he has taught seventh, eighth and ninth grade math. He has been a counselor at both the elementary and middle school levels; he also was assistant principal of Sanchez and Socorro middle schools. Steve Troxel is principal of Hambric School. He has been with the district since 2000 and was a teacher for 13 years, three of those at Montwood Middle School. For the past six years, he has been assistant principal of William D. Slider Middle School. Texarkana ISD The district’s new director of performing arts is Buddy Deese. He has been with Texarkana ISD since 1980, serving nine years as band director for Westlawn Junior High and the past seventeen as director of music and band director at Texas High School. In his new position, he will continue as band director at Texas High and will take on the additional responsibilities of overseeing all performing arts programs in grades Buddy Deese K-12. He also will lead the new Sullivan Performing Arts Center and John Thomas Theatre. Deese earned both his bachelor’s and master of arts degrees in music education from Henderson State University. Wake Village Elementary’s new principal is Mindy Gennings. A member of the Texarkana ISD faculty and administration since 1998, she was most recently principal of Highland Park Elementary. Before coming to Texarkana, she was an intern and then a teacher with New Boston ISD. At Texarkana ISD, she served as a prekindergarten teacher at Spring Lake Park ElMindy Gennings ementary, then taught third and fourth grades at Highland Park. She became an administrative intern at that school in 2003, and in 2004 took the role of curriculum intern at Texas Middle School. She was named sixth grade principal at that school in 2005; she returned to Highland Park in 2006. Gennings earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. Donna McDaniel is the new principal of Texas Middle 48

Texas School Business • September 2009


Who’s News School. A 10-year education veteran, she began as a secondary teacher in Hooks and DeKalb ISDs, serving as principal of DeKalb Middle School before transferring to Donna McDaniel Texarkana ISD. As principal of Wake Village Elementary School, she led the campus to an “exemplary” TEA rating. McDaniel earned her bachelor of business administration degree from the University of North Texas and a master of education degree with superintendent and principal certification from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. George Moore has retired from his position as principal of Texas Middle School, but he will continue with the district as assistant superintendent for alternative education. He has been with the district George Moore for 38 years, beginning as a biology teacher at Texas High School and serving in that position for 15 years. He then was named assistant principal of Westlawn Middle School, followed by principalships at Fifteenth Street Elementary (now Jones Early Literacy Center) and Pine Street Middle School. He became assistant superintendent for campus operations in 2001, where he remained until 2003 when he took the position of principal of Texas Middle School. Rae Ann Patty will take the helm as Highland Park Elementary’s principal. She began her career as a special education teacher at Kennedy Elementary School. From 1999 to 2001, she taught fourth grade at Highland Park. Rae Ann Patty She then accepted a position at Windsong Intermediate School in Friendswood ISD, returning to Texarkana in 2003, again as a fourth grade teacher at Highland Park. From 2005 to 2008, she was an elementary curriculum coordinator, and in 2008-2009 she served as eighth grade assistant principal at Texas Middle School. Patty earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. See WHO’S NEWS on page 50

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 49

A new assistant superintendent of student and community development, Jo Ann Rice, begins the school year. She came to the district in 1979 as a first grade teacher at Beverly Elementary School, remaining there until 1985, when she moved to teach first grade at Fifteenth Street Elementary (now Jones Early Literacy Center). In 1993, she accepted the position of district language arts coordinator. She was promoted Jo Ann Rice to director of parent involvement and Partners in Education and then to director of corporate, community and parental involvement. In 2008, she was named executive director of that department, where she remained until taking on her new assignment. Rice earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. The new associate principal of Texas Middle School is Terry Taylor. His education career began when he served as a coach and history teacher with the Henry County School District in Paris, Tenn. He came to Texarkana ISD in 1998 in the same capacity at North Heights Junior High School. He was named assistant principal of College Hill Middle School in 2003. He took on the role of principal of College Hill Terry Taylor Middle Magnet Academies in 2007. A year later he was named principal of North Heights Junior High. Taylor earned a bachelor of arts degree in history and teacher certification from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Autumn Thomas, most recently associate superintendent for human resources, public relations and community involvement, moves to the role of deputy superintendent. In her new position, she will be responsible for merging the curriculum and instruction and human resources divisions. A member of the Texarkana ISD team since 1997, she initially served as the district’s personnel director. Thomas has a bachelor’s Autumn Thomas degree from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. Tina Veal-Gooch, who came to the district in 2005, is now executive director of public relations. Her new role will include overseeing parent, student and staff communications for the district. She will continue to lead marketing and promotion, as well as manage the print shop and web and graphic arts for the district. She will take on new responsibilities as she leads the Tina Veal-Gooch Texarkana Public Schools Foundation and its fundraising efforts. Veal-Gooch holds a bachelor’s degree in history/marketing from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. Texhoma ISD The district’s new superintendent is Michael Scott. 50

Texas School Business • September 2009


Who’s News Throckmorton ISD The new superintendent is R. Clay Tarpley, who served as principal of Vernon High School in Vernon ISD since 2007. He began as a junior high school history teacher and coach in Levelland ISD, moving to teaching and coaching assignments in Sweetwater and Lone Oak before taking his first administrative role as junior high principal and head high school football coach in Milano R. Clay Tarpley ISD. There, he remained for three years before taking his most recent position in Vernon. In addition to his education background, Tarpley has also been a professional baseball umpire and was the recreation supervisor of athletics and aquatics for the Lubbock Parks and Recreation Department. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education and a teacher’s certification at Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix; his superintendent certification was awarded from Angelo State University. Tomball ISD One new principal and four new assistant principals are on board at TISD for the 2009-10 school year. Anita Gilchrist takes the assistant principal role at Tomball Elementary School. She comes to Tomball ISD from Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, where she spent 12 years as a kindergarten and fifth grade English immersion teacher, and as an instructional specialist. She earned a bachelor of science degree at Austin Peay State University, in Clarksville, Tenn., and a master’s degree in adminisAnita Gilchrist tration at Sam Houston State University. Kristen Lee is the new assistant principal at Rosehill Elementary. She began her career 16 years ago as a teacher in Marshall ISD. When she joined Tomball ISD in 1997, she taught third grade, health and physical education. In 2004, she began teaching third grade gifted and talented, her most recent assignment until taking her new position. Lee was awarded a bachelor of science degree in education from Kristen Lee East Texas Baptist University. Her master of education degree in administration was earned at Sam Houston State University. The new principal of Northpointe Intermediate School is Darrell McReynolds, who has been with Tomball ISD since 1986, serving in numerous administrative positions. He came to Tomball ISD from Iowa, where he spent 11 years as a teacher. McReynolds earned a bachelor of science degree at Calvary College, in Kansas City, Mo., and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Iowa. Darrell Joining McReynolds at Northpointe InMcReynolds termediate is Mike Metz, who will serve as the school’s assistant principal. He began his career in Spring ISD, joining Tomball ISD in 2004 as a math teacher and boys’ head

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soccer coach at Tomball High School. He earned a bachelor of science degree in recreation, parks and tourism studies from Texas A&M University and was awarded a master of education degree in Mike Metz administration from Sam Houston State University. The new assistant principal at Tomball Junior High is Lee Wright, who has spent his entire 11-year education career in Tomball ISD, serving as a social studies teacher and mentor, U.S. history team leader, TAKS coordinator, and head swimming and diving coach. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in administration from Sam Houston State University.

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Texas School Business • September 2009

Victoria ISD Vickers Elementary School has as its new principal Steve Carroll. He makes this move from his role as principal of Mission Valley Elementary. Sylvia Davila, formerly assistant principal of Smith Magnet School, Steve Carroll is the new principal of Mission Valley Elementary. Carlos Garza, formerly of Waelder ISD, will be principal of Patti Welder Middle School. He also is an adjunct professor at Concordia University’s College of Education, teaching courses in educational leadership, curriculum Carlos Garza and instruction and school law. Garza has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture science from Southwest Texas State University, and a master of science degree and doctorate in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Leading the new Rodolfo Torres Elementary School as its principal is Sherry Gorsuch. She takes on her new role from her previous assignment as principal of O’Connor Magnet School. Sherri Hathaway Sherry Gorsuch will lead Profit Magnet

School as its principal. Since 2008, she has been the associate principal at Memorial High School Senior Campus. Prior to that assignment, she was assistant principal at that Sherri Hathaway school and at Howell Middle School. Hathaway earned her bachelor of science degree in exercise and sport science from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and her master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria. Another new school, Ella Schorlemmer Elementary, will have Ginger Henry as its princiGinger Henry pal. She was most recently principal of Vickers Elementary. Jill Lau has moved from her role of assistant principal of Rowland Magnet School to lead O’Connor Magnet School as its principal. Jill Lau

Wichita Falls ISD The new superintendent is George Kazanas, who until recently was superintendent of China Spring ISD, where he has served since 1999. He was first the middle school principal and then the interim superintendent and assistant superintendent. Kazanas also has taught business at West ISD’s high school. He received a bachelor of business administration degree with a teacher certification from Baylor University. He also earned a master of science degree in educational administration there. His doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies is from Tarleton State University. Chad Brewster leaves his post as principal of Zundy Junior High School to take over as principal of Wichita Falls High School. Linda Young is the new principal of Zundy Junior High School. An 18-year employee of the district, she taught language arts at Washington-Jackson Math Science Technology Magnet School for 10 years before moving to Milam Elementary to serve as a reading teacher for four years. She then was named assistant principal of Zundy in 2005. TSB


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In Memoriam

V

ernon Newsom, who retired as superintendent of Mansfield ISD in June, died July 22 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident while vacationing in South Dakota with his wife, Nadyne. As of early August, Nadyne was reported to be in stable condition and had been transported to a hospital in Texas. Newsom stepped up to the role of superintendent of Mansfield ISD in 1996. In the time that he served, the district grew from one high school to four. Mansfield ISD also opened the Ben Barber Career Tech Academy and 23 other school facilities. Newsom oversaw the creation of the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation, which raises money to support innovative education projects in the district. During his career in public education, Newsom served on the Region 11 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) study group, TASA’s executive

committee, the UIL Legislative Council and the UIL Legislative Council Athletic Committee. He also once served as president of the Texas Association of Suburban and Mid-Urban Schools. Funeral services were held on July 28. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to a scholarship fund for Newsom’s granddaughters or to the Vernon Newsom Memorial Grant through the Mansfield Education Foundation. To contribute to the scholarship fund for Newsom’s granddaughters, make a check to Frost Bank and write in the memo line, “For Vernon Newsom Scholarship Fund; Account No. 822053438.” To contribute to the Mansfield ISD Foundation, you can donate online at www.mansfieldisdfoundation.org or mail a check to 609 E. Broad, Mansfield 76063.

September 2009 • Texas School Business

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THE BACK PAGE Advertisers Index

by Riney Jordan

You’re going to be glad you’ve done this

G

ampy, it was awesome! I want to go again next summer!” I got chill bumps when he said it. This grandson had just returned from a summer church camp, and he had been less than thrilled on the days leading up to the departure date. On the morning all the children were arriving at the church to leave for camp, pure excitement was everywhere. Parents piled their kids’ luggage into small mountains next to the vans. Hugs and laughter were rampant. Everyone appeared to be looking forward to the week ahead. That is, everyone except my grandson. Tears welled up in his eyes as his dad and me hugged him goodbye. I whispered in his ear, “Trust me, you’re going to be glad you’ve done this. Just wait and see!” He shot me a look that said: “You have got to be kidding! NEVER!” I thought about my grandson the whole time he was gone. Had we made the right choice in sending him? What if he was miserable? Would he ever believe me again? I also thought about things that my parents and other caring adults had coerced me into doing when I was young; not once — not one single time — could I think of a time when I didn’t benefit from those experiences. As most of my readers know, I speak regularly to school districts, civic groups and such. It is one of the great joys in my life, but it hasn’t always been that way. During my teen years, I was horrified (perhaps mortified is a better word) to stand in front of people and say anything. I would never volunteer to give a book report or other presentation in class. The teacher would have to say something like, “Riney, all the others have given their reports. You’re the only one left.” My knees would shake; my nerves

54

Texas School Business • September 2009

were ready to crash. I was miserable! Ironically, a classmate suggested that I apply for a job at one of the local radio stations, and I did and I was hired. There was something about being closed up in a small control room that made talking to the masses a whole lot easier. Occasionally, however, the station manager would tell me that I had to do a live broadcast at a new business or an event. “Please, don’t make me!” I would plead. “No, you’re the one. There’s no getting out of it!” And little by little, with each event, my fear of public speaking went away. Now, as a public speaker, I’ve addressed hundreds of groups, many audiences numbering in the thousands. While standing at the podium the thought often will flash across my mind: “I can’t believe that I’m doing this! And more importantly, I can’t believe that I love it!” And so it was, on the day the church van arrived in the parking lot, bringing our kids home, one of the first faces I saw was my grandson’s. With a smile that extended from one ear to the other, he ran up to me, gave me a giant hug and proclaimed, “Gampy, it was awesome! I want to go again next summer!” This school year, when your child or one of your students puts up a resistance to trying something new, be firm in the knowledge that this is an opportunity for them to grow. And who knows, you might just open up a whole new world that will influence them for the rest of their lives! 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 riney@htcomp.net or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.

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