The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER
Texas School Business Keep them safe
What Texas superintendents are doing to protect their students from school violence
Also in this issue: TARS President Robert Dillard TASA President Gayle Stinson
School Furniture for 21st Century Learning Smart Solutions for Today’s Learning Spaces
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Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
TARS President Profile Robert Dillard seeks to protect Texas’ rural schools
TASA President Profile Gayle Stinson urges administrators to prioritize self-care
by James Golsan
Cover Story Keep them safe What Texas superintendents are doing to protect their students from school violence
by James Golsan
by Dacia Rivers
Departments 7 Who’s News 28 Calendar 42 Ad Index
5 From the Editor by Dacia Rivers 13 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 15 Digital Frontier by Cori CoburnShiflett 17 Game On! by Bobby Hawthorne
12 Annual TACS Presidents Luncheon honors longtime and retiring members 14, 16 TASSP welcomes 2,400 attendees to summer workshop 27 TASA and UT host 70th annual joint summer conference 35 Summer technology conference brings Texas ASCD members to Irving 40 TEPSA members gather for summer conference
31 Student Voices by Rachel Widder 42 The Back Page by Riney Jordan
The views expressed by columnists and contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or Texas School Business advertisers. The publisher also makes no endorsement of the advertisers or advertisements in this publication.
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From the editor
ll schoolchildren should have the undeniable right to pursue their educations in an environment where they are safe from harm. In an age where everything feels debatable, it’s one fact that no one can deny. But occasionally, things happen in our schools that challenge that right. Stories of school violence hit the media and spread like wildfire, affecting us all. And when they hit, we all react differently. Some get angry, some afraid. If you’re like me, you seek out every bit of news you can find on the topic until you nearly drown in it, overwhelmed and incapable of thinking about much else. For our cover story, I spoke with two Texas superintendents who are making great strides to prevent violent incidents on their campuses. Their clearheadedness on an emotional topic, their dedication to the safety of their students, and their forward-thinking approaches were heartening. It’s my hope that each of you reads their words and finds some inspiration in them. And when you’re done, pass the issue along to a colleague who might do the same. Thanks to all of you for reading. Here’s to another successful, and safe, school year for all of us.
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620)
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018 Volume LXV, Issue 5 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Dacia Rivers DESIGN
Dacia Rivers Editorial Director
Bobby Hawthorne Riney Jordan Cori Coburn-Shiflett Jim Walsh ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER
Ann M. Halstead
TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In the July/August 2018 Texas School Business cover story, we made an error in the name of the company that worked with Sheldon ISD to facilitate recovery following Hurricane Harvey. The company’s name is Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. We regret the error.
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SERVICES AND SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATION
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA RELATIONS
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978) is published bimonthly with a special edition, Bragging Rights, in December, by the Texas Association of School Administrators, at 406 E. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701. © Copyright 2018 Texas Association of School Administrators
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Who’s News Abilene ISD Larry Blair has accepted
the role of interim executive director of human resources. He is a retired superintendent who previously led Mansfield ISD. The new director of career and technical education is Ketta Garduno, who was principal of the Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math and Science since 2015. She began her career in the district as a teacher at Abilene High School in 1988. Stepping into the role of director of human resources is former Reagan Elementary School principal Chris Halifax. Jeff Howle is now principal
of the Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math and Science after spending the past two years as an academic specialist and assistant principal.
Leslye Roberts has been
appointed principal of Reagan Elementary School, where she previously taught before joining Lee Elementary as an instructional specialist.
school. Previously an assistant principal at Lovejoy Elementary in Lovejoy ISD, she has a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Austin ISD The new chief officer for school leadership, Michelle Chae, comes to Austin from San Antonio, where she was director of secondary education at Schertz-CiboloUniversal City ISD. She began her career as a bilingual educator in Houston ISD after earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. She is nearing completion of her doctorate from Texas State University. The following principal appointments have been announced: •
Michelle Amezquita-Navarro, Travis
Tai Choice, Covington Middle School;
Stacie Holiday, Fulmore Middle School;
Kristina Muehling, Bryker Woods
Claudia Santamaria, Uphaus Early
Heights Elementary School;
Balmorhea ISD Superintendent Manuel Espino has retired. interim superintendent.
Now serving as assistant principal of Vandagriff Elementary School is Shanna Smith.
Allen ISD Vaughan Elementary School has welcomed Tonya Jasenof as principal. She will also oversee the GATE (Gifted and Talented Elementary) Academy within the
formerly the superintendent of Hardin-Jefferson ISD, is stepping into the top role at ATPE. Holmes will serve as executive director of the association, bringing with him 20 years of experience with Texas public schools, a long history of involvement with public education organizations, a strong background in business and finance, and proven engagement with issues facing public education in Texas.
Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented The TAGT board selected
Paulina van Eeden Hill,
CAE, as the association’s new executive director. Hill is an experienced association executive with more than 10 years’ experience in leading Texas education associations. She previously served as the TAGT deputy executive director, leading professional development activities, events, business development and governance.
Douglas Moore has accepted the position of
Jerry Hollingsworth, the new superintendent, was previously Burleson ISD’s associate superintendent of educational operations.
Alice ISD has hired a new superintendent. Carl Scarbrough comes to Alice from San Antonio ISD, where he was assistant superintendent.
Association of Texas Professional Educators Shannon Holmes,
Aledo ISD announces the appointment of Amber Crissey as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She comes to her new job from White Settlement ISD, where she was executive director of curriculum and instruction.
The new director of digital learning and STEM career and technology education is Emily Bain, who was the district’s digital learning coordinator. Patricia Flores has been named director of bilingual/ ESL programs. She comes to Bastrop ISD from ESC Region 13, where she was coordinator of curriculum and instruction since 2008. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University.
Bastrop Middle School’s new principal is Krystal Gabriel, former principal of Cedar Creek Intermediate School. Prior to that assignment, she was associate principal of Cedar Creek High School. The new principal of Cedar Creek Middle School is Jim Hallamek, who returns to the school he led from 2006 to 2015. He most recently taught pre-AP chemistry and scientific research and design at the district’s Colorado River Collegiate Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in biology from Texas State University. Randy Sharp, former IT systems administrator and IT coordinator, is now director of information technology services.
> See Who’s News, page 9 Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
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Who’s News > Continued from page 7
Brock ISD The district’s new superintendent is Cade Smith, formerly with Georgetown ISD as executive director of campus operations and leadership. An educator for 18 years, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas State University, where he is pursuing a doctorate in school improvement. His master’s degree was awarded from Lamar University.
in leadership roles. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from Tarleton State University and she is at work on her doctorate.
Carroll ISD A new executive director for athletics is in place for Carroll ISD. Steve Keasler, who was director of athletics in Midlothian ISD, also served as assistant men’s golf coach at the University of Texas and coached in Grand Prairie and Callisburg ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Christian University. Rene Moses is now principal of Johnson
Bryan ISD Former assistant director of elementary curriculum and instruction JoLyn Bricker is now principal of Johnson Elementary School. She was an elementary teacher for 20 years and has spent the past eight years as a campus and district leader. Her bachelor’s degree is from Baylor University and her master’s degree was earned from the University of Texas at Tyler. The new director of financial services is
Stephanie Brumfield. She joins the district
from Texas City ISD, where she served in the same capacity.
Rudder High School’s new principal, Mario Bye, is a 22-year educator, most recently leading Liberty Hill High School in Liberty Hill ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. The new executive director of communications and public affairs is Matt LeBlanc, coming to Bryan from Temple ISD, where he was director of communications. With 16 years of experience in the field, he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College.
Elementary School, where she spent the past four years as assistant principal. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Texas.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD After serving as superintendent of Ennis ISD, John Chapman has accepted the lead position at Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. He began his career in Lubbock ISD, going on to serve as superintendent of Chillicothe and Comfort ISDs. He received his master’s degree from Wayland Baptist University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University.
Central Heights ISD (Nacogdoches) David Russell, the district’s
new superintendent, has been with Central Heights ISD for 18 of his 29 years as an educator, serving as an assistant principal, coach, testing coordinator, athletics director and, for the past seven years, high school principal.
Clear Creek ISD Karen Engle has been
promoted from Clear Lake High School principal to assistant superintendent of secondary education.
Now serving as director of special education is Kate Patterson, who most recently held the same position in Huntsville ISD. She is president of the Council of Administrators of Special Education in ESC Region 6.
The new director of counseling and student services, Natalie Uranga, was previously coordinator of student personnel services.
Mandy Wells has been
promoted from elementary language arts coordinator to principal of Houston Elementary School. She worked as an assistant principal in Georgetown and Killeen ISDs and has 13 years of experience
The following principal assignments have been announced: •
Kim Brouillard, Clear Creek Intermediate School;
David Drake, Clear Lake High School;
Michael Houston, Clear Springs High
Paige Hutchison, Ferguson Elementary
Marshall Ponce, Clear Horizons Early
Leatrice Sanders, Victory Lakes Intermediate School;
Suzanne Saunders, Hyde Elementary
College High School;
Mandy Scott, Creekside Intermediate
Monica Speaks, Clear View High
Stanley Zavala, League City
College Station ISD The new principal of College View High School is Justin Grimes, who joins the district from Huntsville ISD, where he led Huntsville High School. A graduate of College Station ISD’s A&M Consolidated High School, he went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education administration from Sam Houston State University. Molley Perry has accepted
the position of chief administrative officer. She comes to her new job from serving as the district’s executive director for special services and accountability. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University, where she is at work on her doctorate, and holds a master’s degree in special education from Texas Tech University.
Conroe ISD Jamie Almond is the new principal of San Jacinto Elementary School. Most recently an assistant principal at Broadway Elementary, she has also served the district as a language arts teacher and instructional coach.
Newly appointed principal of The Woodlands High School Ted Landry comes from Humble ISD, where he was principal of Kingwood High School. An employee of that district for 16 years, > See Who’s News, page 11 Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
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Who’s News > Continued from page 9
he also worked as a guidance counselor and assistant principal. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisiana and his doctorate from the University of Houston.
Coppell ISD The district’s newly appointed director of ESL and bilingual programs, Patricia Cheatham, brings 25 years of experience to her new job. She was principal of Lewisville ISD’s Vickery Elementary School for the past eight years. Cheatham is pursuing her doctorate at Dallas Baptist University. The new director of social studies, Maria McCoy, is a 23-year educator who spent the past five years with Irving ISD as pre-K-12 social studies coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tulane University and two master’s degrees, in secondary education from the University of North Texas and in educational administration from Concordia University. Laurie O’Neill is now director
of state and federal programs. A graduate of Texas State University, she holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Lubbock Christian University. She has been an educator for 25 years, working as a teacher and administrator, most recently as director of professional learning.
Corsicana ISD Tim Betts has accepted the position of principal of Navarro Elementary School. He has been with Corsicana ISD for 11 years, most recently as assistant principal of Collins Intermediate School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Bowie Elementary School began the 2018-19 school year with Verlena Bodie as assistant principal. She comes to Corsicana from Ennis ISD, where she worked as a fourth-grade gifted and talented teacher since 1999. A graduate of Wylie College, her master’s degree is from Lamar University.
The new assistant principal of Collins Intermediate School is Molly Corrington, a district employee for 11 years and most recently assistant principal of Carroll Elementary. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce and her master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington. Now leading Collins Intermediate School as principal is Scott Doring, who previously coached and taught in CISD before transferring to Van ISD as assistant principal of Van High School. In addition, he was athletic director and head football coach in Blooming Grove ISD. Tiffany Farmer is Navarro
Elementary School’s newest assistant principal. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington and was a fifth-grade math teacher in Corsicana ISD for the past six years. Ariana Hernandez has accepted the position of assistant principal of Carroll Elementary after serving as an instructional coach and interventionist at the school. She began her career in Dallas ISD, joining Corsicana ISD in 2012. She is pursuing her doctorate from Tarleton State University, where she also earned her master’s degree.
An eight-year employee of Corsicana ISD and former assistant principal of Corsicana Middle School, J.P. Johnson is now principal of that campus. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in education administration from Lamar University. Now serving as assistant principal of Corsicana Middle School is Meagan Pruett. She has been with the district for five years, working as a history teacher and as Corsicana Middle School girls’ athletic coordinator. She has a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. Holley Usery, the new principal of Bowie Elementary School, served as interim principal since spring. She joined Corsicana ISD in 2008 and has a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Lamar University.
Crosby ISD Scott Davis, former superintendent of Rusk ISD, now leads Crosby ISD as superintendent. He began his now 25-year career in Lockhart ISD as a teacher and coach.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD The district’s former director of human resources is now assistant superintendent for elementary school administration. Christina Cole has been an educator for 23 years, beginning her career in Spring Branch ISD as a bilingual teacher and joining CFISD two years later. Cole earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and her master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University. A new assistant superintendent for communication and community relations has been named. Leslie Francis, former director of marketing and business relations, is an alumna of Cypress Creek High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas. Tonya Goree, assistant
superintendent for school improvement and transformation, began her career 27 years ago. She joined Cypress Fairbanks ISD in 2009 and has been principal of Francone Elementary School since 2015. Goree earned her bachelor’s degree from Lamar University, her master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University, and her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Houston. Glenda Horner, district director of staff development, will be recognized with the Education Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration Excellence, to be presented at the association’s November national convention in Houston.
Now serving as assistant superintendent for facilities and construction is Matt Morgan, who came to the district in 2000 as director of food services. Since 2012 he has been assistant superintendent of support services. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas > See Who’s News, page 26 Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
ANNUAL TACS PRESIDENTS LUNCHEON HONORS LONGTIME AND RETIRING MEMBERS The Texas Association of Community Schools hosted its annual President’s Program and luncheon at a steakhouse in Austin this May.
▲ TACS President Bill Alcorn poses with TACS’ retiring deputy executive director, Linda Valk.
▲ TACS Executive Director Barry Haenisch presents a plaque to President Bill Alcorn.
▲ Barry Haenisch honors Danny Twardowski of Waller ISD with a plaque.
▲ Bill Alcorn presents an honorary lifetime TACS membership to Ronnie Kincaid, executive director of ESC Region 14.
▲ Barry Haenisch offers a plaque to Steve Long, superintendent of Reagan County ISD.
▲ Bill Alcorn offers an honorary lifetime membership to retiring TACS staff member Angela Petreczko.
▲ Barry Haenisch hands an honorary lifetime TACS membership to Monty Hysinger, superintendent of Dumas ISD. 12
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
◄ Dacia Rivers, editorial director of Texas School Business, presents a framed article to TACS President Bill Alcorn.
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
What are public school employees really allowed to say and share regarding elections?
by Jim Walsh
EAR DAWG: I feel pretty strongly about this upcoming election, but I sure don’t want to get in trouble. From the stories I hear in the teachers’ lounge, it sounds like we public school employees have to remain mum about these things. I know we get to vote, but we’re not supposed to publicly support any particular candidate, are we? I heard that even doing a simple thing, like retweeting something on Twitter might be a violation of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, the Gettysburg Address, the Geneva Convention and the Magna Carta. WHAT’S THE DEAL, DAWG? DEAR WHAT’S THE DEAL: Let’s just focus on the constitutions. The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech to everyone. That includes school employees. Freedom of speech applies to what you say, what you write, what you post on Facebook and what you tweet. The Texas Constitution has a similar guarantee. It also imposes a duty (A DUTY) on the Legislature to “establish and make suitable provision” for a public school system. This DUTY is imposed because “A general diffusion of knowledge” is “essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people.” So it’s pretty important that we use those “liberties and rights” to choose people to represent us who will understand this DUTY. Standard 2.4 in the Educator’s Code of Ethics tells us that, “The educator shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political, professional, or citizenship rights and responsibilities.”
account were to identify you as a school superintendent, or a board member, would you be barred from using that account to send political messages? I did not do any formal legal research on that question. I just looked around on Twitter. I found that Ken Paxton has a Twitter account that is labeled “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.” You can find it here: @KenPaxtonTX. It identifies Paxton as our attorney general and looks very official. A reasonable person might very well think that it’s the official, publicly funded account for the office of the attorney general. But the tweets you will find on that account lean far to the right. There’s lots of support for Republicans and some pretty harsh comments about Democrats. You will find a similar account @DanPatrick, complete with a logo for the Texas lieutenant governor and U.S. and Texas flags waving in the breeze. So, I’m thinking that if those politicians can do this, maybe a school board member or superintendent can do so as well. As we approach a very important election, let’s remember that all school employees have the constitutional right of free speech, and an ethical duty to promote good schools. Good educators should also be good citizens. Good citizens vote. They also talk to their relatives, friends and neighbors about their views. Educators have particular insight into how things are going in our public schools. Their voices should be heard and valued. They certainly should not be silenced or intimidated.
When educators think that they cannot speak out on matters of important public concern, I wonder if perhaps someone is violating that provision in the Code of Ethics. Is someone attempting to interfere with the exercise of “political” and “citizenship rights and responsibilities” of educators? Is someone trying to intimidate public school people from getting actively involved in politics?
If everyone who works for a public school got registered, voted and talked to others about the issues, we would see more respect for teachers and administrators. If educators were more respected, perhaps we would see more young people choosing education as a career. We would have leaders at the state level who encourage get out the vote efforts by educators, rather than trying to intimidate them from acting as good citizens.
Let’s consider Twitter. If your Twitter
So, talk it up. Tweet. Post. VOTE.
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JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
TASSP WELCOMES 2,400 ATTENDEES TO SUMMER WORKSHOP The Texas Association of Secondary School Principals held its annual summer workshop in Austin, with focus on leading schools into the future.
▲ Texas Association of Student Council officers bring greetings to 2,400 workshop attendees.
▲ A new member and first-time attendee greets his colleagues.
▲ Dr. Kate Biberdorf, University of Texas professor, demonstrates Fun with Science experiments.
▲ A group of administrators
caught working on campus plans after hours at the Hilton Austin.
▲ TASSP All State Academic Team and Teens Serving Texas.
► Carrie Jackson,
TASSP president, principal at Timberview Middle School, Keller ISD, greets the attendees at the Jostens Night of the Stars Texas Heroes Dinner.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
▲ Eric Logan, director of Sound-
wave, Abilene ISD, explains the reading system used by the special needs students who comprise Soundwave. > See more TASSP photos, page 16
T E X A S C O M P U T E R C O O P E R AT I V E
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By Cori Coburn-Shiflett
s a new academic year starts, many schools are piloting digital programs and implementing new technologies to provide their students the most innovative education experience possible. These programs and technology changes often come from the top down. They are instituted by administrators or those in positions of formal leadership. Innovations sometime receive pushback from educators who have to implement the changes. However, there are steps that can be taken to help get everyone involved on board. Pockets of innovations can exist and flourish even when crowds push against changes. To grow these pockets of innovation in our schools, we need to put forth a united effort to affect school culture. It really doesn’t take much effort to tilt technology implementation in a favorable direction. The most important step in implementing a new technology action plan is to involve all personnel in creating a welcoming culture. Everyone needs to understand why a new technology or tool is needed and its benefits. Getting input from multiple stakeholders also helps schools foresee challenges from different departmental points of view. One doesn’t need years of formal technology training to have valuable input in how technology can improve student outcomes. Veteran teachers can lead colleagues in strong curriculum connections and solid teaching practices. Likewise, new teachers are often willing to embrace the adoption of new technology and can offer advice from their perspective. It’s also vitally important that technology personnel be involved in every conversation about technology. These are the people who will make sure that the district has the infrastructure and requirements to make a new implementation roll out smoothly; they are the ones who can turn a shiny tech
dream into an effective reality. Together, all educators can provide valuable insights into how a new technology initiative will affect what they do. School leaders need to lead by example with confidence and with purpose in empowering their staff. New technology can be daunting for teachers, and it’s important for school staff to see their leaders embracing the challenge alongside them. This should include communicating the importance of using new technology, setting up technology training before, during, and after implementation, and actually attending training with staff whenever possible. Good school administrators should also take the time to demonstrate technology usage for their staff. This isn’t to say that school administrators have to be an expert in the new tech; however, they should have a basic working understanding of it so they can recognize who their expert users are. When providing training and professional development for new technology, make sure there is an emphasis on supporting followup. Many implementations suffer because of a lack of follow-up and few reflections on growth. Promote the leadership capacity of your top tech users. Have them mentor hesitant users and provide peer support during this journey. Whenever possible, invest in the professional growth of teachers. When investing in this growth, get input from your staff on what they feel they need to better implement technology in their classrooms. Like our students, staff members have different learning styles and can benefit from a variety of training methods and supporting documentation. Besides in-person trainings, PDF guides, videos, slideshows and online virtual trainings are usually easy to employ and easy for teachers to access. > See Digital Frontier, page 39
CareerPortal With over four decades of service to our Texas education communities, the TCC truly knows Texas. • • • • • • • • • • • •
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▲ John Martinez, principal at Mackenzie Middle School, Lubbock ISD, is joined by family and friends for his recognition as Texas Principal of the Year.
▲ Summer workshop attend-
ees take a keepsake photo as they enter the general session.
▲ Revolution from Abilene ISD showcases student talents in musical performance.
▲ Monica Bayarena, principal at Coles ▲ Kevin Carroll, keynote speaker, signs a book for Cindy Kirby, TASSP associate executive director, while many wait for Carroll’s autograph.
High School, Corpus Christi ISD, joins her parents as she is honored as the TASSP High School Principal of the Year.
▲ Carrie Jackson, past
president, pins Dr. Herb Cox, incoming TASSP president for 2018-19 and principal, Midway Middle School, Midway ISD.
▲ Campus teams enjoyed taking pictures in the photo booth.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
► Archie McAfee, TASSP
executive director, congratulates a recipient of the TASSP All State Academic Team Award.
▲ Jimmy Casas, author of “Culturize,” visits with Alison Smith, principal at Midway High School, Midway ISD.
▲ Don Brown and Fred Richardson,
TASSP past presidents, enjoy the time to recall good memories.
A titan of Texas education offers his advice to new administrators
by Bobby Hawthorne
was hoping George McShan would surprise me, but he didn’t. I asked him, “Did you have any meetings this week?” That would have been the week of July 1620. I thought he might reply, “Not a one, Bob. Played a little golf. Read a book. Even drove over to South Padre for a little boogie boarding.” But, no. Though he recently ended his 30year tenure as a member of the Harlingen ISD board of trustees, he was as busy as ever, and I don’t have room here to list all the projects he was kicking off or completing that week. I’m just glad he had time to take my call because I wanted to ask him what advice he had for beginning administrators, inasmuch as he’s worked with hundreds —probably thousands—of them since he began his career in education as a classroom teacher 50 years ago this fall. His didn’t hesitate a second, and I imagine he’s answered this question hundreds— possibly thousands—of times, given that he served as HISD board president seven times and was, in 1998, the first African-American to be elected TASB president. In 2004, he was elected president of the National School Boards Association, only the second Texan ever to hold that office. He grew up in Elgin, attended segregated public schools and Prairie View College because it was what it was back then. After graduation, he sold encyclopedias door-to-door for a while, taught biology in Brownsville and began his slow and deliberate climb up the ladder. For 32 years, he worked at Texas State Technical Institute (now “College,” in Harlingen), serving the last 20 years as dean of students. So, he knows what he’s talking about when he counsels young administrators to, first and foremost, see clearly. “You have to know what your reality is,” he told me. “What’s your mission? What’s your
vision? What are your values? Make sure you know yourself, especially in terms of your values.” Second, seek input. “As a new administrator, you’re probably young, and you tend to want to be the ‘sage on the stage.’ Don’t. Get input from the people who’ve been deep in the trenches already. What’s working? What are the challenges? What do we want to see happen?” Third, be humble and transparent. “You don’t have to have all the answers. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I need to do a little research first, and I’ll have to get back to you about that.’ Understand others and separate your personal feelings from the reality on the ground.” Fourth, be patient. “Go slow at first. Again, a lot of administrators and board members want to hit the ground running. They want everything now. Today. But don’t do that. Ask the right questions. Listen to the right people and figure out who’s playing checkers and who’s playing chess. Realize that a pawn can checkmate a game just as easily as a king can.” Finally, look for results. “We talk a lot about rigor, relevance and relationships, and they are important, but look for results. How do you get the results you want? You inspire people to buy in.” Some are willing, he said. Some are able. Some are both. Some are neither. “You’re a team. Teams play as a cohesive unit, or they lose.” Footnote: The winner of the UIL’s first Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition was Harlingen High School South valedictorian Erika Hernandez. The topic of her essay? George McShan. “I realized how one person could have an impact on a large group of people’s lives,” she said. “I liked his motto, ‘Every student can succeed.’” I suspect George would say that’s true for every young administrator, too. I’d be surprised if he didn’t.
BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” published by UT Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Keep them safe
What Texas superintendents are doing to protect their students from school violence By Dacia Rivers
uperintendents are the stewards of our school districts. The captains, the heads of household, these are the folks tasked with oversight, with keeping the whole system running like a well-oiled machine. Of all the wrenches that could be thrown into that system, the threat of a violent person showing up armed and ready to harm is one that weighs heavy on the heads of many school administrators. It’s an unenviable task, preparing for, or even worse, reacting to, a school shooting. It’s also one that’s on the forefront of a lot of superintendents’ minds, as the school year kicks off in a landscape where school shootings dominate the news and drive political rhetoric. But while the talking heads take to the news stations and anyone with a Facebook page shares their opinions on everything from mental health to gun control, school administrators are focusing on the concrete, hands-on things they can do to prevent on-campus violence now. They’re blocking out the hyperbole and trying to do their jobs, because ultimately, the safety of their students falls on them, and that’s no small thing.
The unimaginable On Jan. 22, 2018, a student in Italy ISD brought a gun to school, and before the first bell had even rung, used it to shoot and injure one of his fellow students. It’s a day that Superintendent Lee Joffre won’t forget. “As superintendent, I realized immediately that the responsibility of recovery was 100 percent on my shoulders,” Joffre says. “I knew that was going to be a tough task, but with the support of the staff and community I knew we would learn and be able to move forward.” The victim has recovered and returned to school last month, while the shooter awaits trial. But since that day, school safety has been paramount on Joffre’s mind. “The facts are, we had a child who was supposed to be here, and every adult was where they were supposed to be,” Joffre says. “We recognized that the required security measures that we put in place were implemented, but in our particular situation, it wasn’t enough.” Whether or not school shootings have increased is a point of contention for many, and data can be massaged to support either
argument. But it’s a fact that the student population in Texas is growing. And as it does, any gun violence at any school is going to impact more children, as even those not directly involved walk away from these incidents permanently affected. The CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention states that kids who are exposed to school violence can wind up with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, many of which can lead to drug use and even suicide. Joffre experienced this effect firsthand after the shooting at Italy High School, one of two campuses in the town, which lies between Dallas and Waco and has a population of nearly 2,000 residents. Two of his children attend the school, and his wife works on the campus where Joffre served as principal for five years before becoming superintendent in 2016. “All 628 of my students were victims of the school shooting on Jan. 22,” Joffre says. “We had all these victims, emotional victims, who were closely connected. They grew up together and they knew the physical victim. They knew the shooter. It seems real personal in a small town like this.” For two days after the shooting, attendance in the district dropped below 75 percent. Joffre reached out to parents, urging them to send their kids back to school, and within four days of the incident, attendance had climbed back to 95 percent at the high school. “There was an initial fear and reservation of coming back to school,” Joffre says. “But once the community rallied around the school and the students saw that the staff and administrators truly do care about
them, it went back to normal pretty quick.” Personally, Joffre says the moment he knew that everything was going to be OK was when he first met with the shooting victim in the hospital on the night of the incident. She was upbeat and positive, determined that she would make a full recovery, and that determination inspired him. “She and her family have been a pillar of strength for me to lean on so the district can lean on me and my staff,” Joffre says. “When you’ve got strength like that in your community, you can overcome anything.”
A philosophy of prevention Following the shooting, Joffre began thinking of ways the district could prevent another incident from occurring. For him, the biggest piece was prevention—to find a way to identify students who are suffering and might act out violently before it gets to that point. To this end, counselors in the district reached out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a grassroots organization working to provide support and education around mental illness issues. NAMI came to the district to provide training for Italy ISD’s teachers so that they might be able to identify the symptoms of mental illness in their students. The district had one counselor at the time of the shooting, and they’ve since added more, so they now have one at each campus and a third who splits roles between counseling and academic advising for graduating seniors. When the district hired the new counselor, Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
they chose someone who wasn’t a traditional school counselor, but instead opted for a licensed family counselor. This counselor will work with the students who are found to have some of the symptoms NAMI has identified as potential mental health risks. Further west, in Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Superintendent Keith Bryant has made similar changes to prevent school violence, using a system detailed in the book “Snapshot,” by Dan Korem. Korem has created a method for reading a person’s behaviors that is designed to identify those who might have a tendency to act out in violence, and in Lubbock-Cooper, teachers, administrators and even students have been trained to use this method of detection to keep students safe at the district’s seven campuses. “They watch for things kids are doing, listen to what they’re saying, but they also watch their behavior,” says Bryant, who has used the method for more than 20 years, with the last four as superintendent in LubbockCooper. “Does he act fearful instead of confident? Is he more unpredictable in his behavior than predictable?” Teachers and administrators on each
“If you can build their confidence, you can take them away from those dark places. We work behind the scenes to help kids make decisions out of confidence rather than fear.” — Lubbock-Cooper ISD Superintendent Keith Bryant campus have been trained to make these snapshot reads, as have some 250 students at the high-school level. Bryant says participating students weren’t chosen for their academic records, but because they were respected by their peers, and well connected to their fellow students. These
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
students help the school district identify kids who might be struggling emotionally, while also learning valuable interpersonal skills that can help them later in college admissions, job interviews and their ultimate careers.
Once a student in Lubbock-Cooper is identified as having behavioral issues that require an intervention, trained staff takes over, working to build the student’s confidence and help him or her make better decisions.
While both Joffre and Bryant urge that focusing on student behavior and relationships should be on the forefront when working to prevent campus violence, they also stress that physical security can’t be left by the wayside.
“If you can build their confidence, you can take them away from those dark places,” Bryant says. “We work behind the scenes to help kids make decisions out of confidence rather than fear.”
Following the shooting in Italy ISD, the district made several changes to bolster school security. They moved the check-in station for visitors to a location outside of the building, so that guests come to an electronic kiosk with camera surveillance and must be vetted before they can set foot in the building.
The district has also implemented a mentoring program, where students in need are partnered with adults who can build positive relationships with them and turn their behaviors around. These can include students who aren’t potentially violent, as well, such as pregnant or homeless teens, or students who lose a close relative. When a student needs support for whatever reason, the district is there to help. Through a partnership with Texas Tech’s TWITR (Telemedicine Wellness Intervention Triage and Referral) program, Lubbock-Cooper students who exhibit potentially violent behavior can be referred for intervention if necessary, so that corrective measures can be taken before an incident occurs. The district also works with Communities In Schools, an organization that serves to support students in need, and
Watch D.O.G.S., a group that puts adult volunteers on campuses to serve as extra eyes and ears when needed.
The district also added Barracuda Intruder Defense Systems in all classrooms on both campuses. These are metal devices that allow any staff member to physically bar a classroom door and prevent anyone from entering in the case of a lockdown. On the tech side, administration purchased a NaviGate Prepared system that interfaces with the district’s student database and information system. Through this system, staff can count students as present and share that information district-wide, so that if an incident occurs, administrators can identify which students are accounted for and which are not. It also provides an interactive map of the school to law enforcement agents, which when paired with the district’s
hallway cameras, provides authorities with live interior footage so they can identify and locate any intruders quickly and safely, minimizing response time and better protecting everyone involved. Italy ISD will also be implementing five school safety days into the calendar each school year. Unlike a typical active shooter or lockdown drill, staff will spend a full half-day focusing on safety planning and training. Joffre plans eventually to include reunification drills that involve parents and other community members. Following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, administrators in Lubbock-Cooper ISD placed police officers on each of the district’s seven campuses, with two at the high school. The schools have controlled access points, and the officers serve to not only keep students safe, but to engage with students and build positive relationships with them. The district also uses an app called IAN (Instant Alert Network), which allows administrators to notify everyone in the district of any potential emergency, from foul weather to an active shooter, with the touch of a button.
A close-knit community Both Lubbock-Cooper and Italy ISD and smaller school districts compared to many in Texas, and that presents its own set of challenges. For Italy ISD in particular, resources can be tight, not just due to financial reasons, but because of limited human resources. Where a larger district might employ a director of security, in Italy, the director of technology has stepped up to help implement new safety measures. Joffre urges other small school districts to avoid feeling insulated from school violence. He believes it’s important for all schools to dedicate everything they have to keeping students safe, even if they believe it could never happen to them. “Italy ISD is an example that it doesn’t matter how close-knit the community is, bad things happen to good people,” Joffre says. “You’ve got to be prepared.” Bryant agrees, and adds that small school communities have the benefit of being able to build personal relationships with every student, to get to know their families and effect change before negative behavior can take a turn for the worse. Lubbock-Cooper is one of the fastest growing districts in the
state, and trying to maintain that close-knit feeling is high on his list of objectives. “The challenge as we grow is to maintain that small school feel, that culture that we have,” Bryant says. “We can do that through the relationships, the people we hire, and keeping a focus on the human factor in this whole equation.” That human factor gets left out of many conversations around school violence, which tend to focus on hardening school buildings, making them impenetrable fortresses, and that is not always practical or even possible. Bryant and Joffre agree that solely focusing on the physical misses the most important part of violence prevention. “We’re not doing metal detectors,” Bryant says. “We’re not arming teachers. We want the physical presence there as a deterrent and as an intervention, but our focus is on the human factor side.” Joffre says the Jan. 22 shooting might be the greatest challenge he has ever encountered, but by concentrating on identifying students who need help before violence has a chance to arise, he is hoping to show the entire community that just as they supported him, he is there to do the same, keeping its most vulnerable members safe so they have the chance to learn and grow without fear. “I’ve got great teachers, great students and a great community, and we are bound to recover,” Joffre says. “I think it’s much better to open our ears and try to learn from one another before these things happen, rather than after.”
From his own experience, Joffre has advice for other school administrators looking to implement changes in their schools that can help keep their students safe from harm. “I think it’s important for all school administrators to implement practices where they’re truly trying to identify students who need help,” Joffre says. “This goes along with what we do as educators. We help kids. We help kids learn. And, sometimes, we need to help them learn to deal with emotional adversity.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
Resources National Alliance on Mental Illness: nami.org TWITR Project: twitrproject.org Communities in Schools: communitiesinschools.org Watch D.O.G.S: dadsofgreatstudents.com
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Texas Association of Rural Schools
Robert Dillard seeks to protect Texas’ rural schools by James Golsan
t doesn’t take more than a few minutes of conversation with Robert Dillard, president of the Texas Association of Rural Schools (TARS), to realize the man has a passion for two things: education and small-town life. A self described “country boy,” Dillard’s roots run deep in North Texas oil country. But while his father carved a career in the oil industry from the prairie scrub near the Oklahoma border in Kamay—Dillard proudly highlights that his father began his career as a roustabout and worked his way up to production superintendent for his patch of the oil field—it was a career in education that Dillard found himself drawn to, as early as his own middle school days in Valley View ISD.
eight years teaching in Wichita Falls, but in 1992, he ultimately chose to follow that administrator’s advice and accepted a principalship in Gore ISD.
“I always loved school,” he says, adding that the coaches he had while participating in high school athletics were a major influence on him during those years. By the time he started college at Midwestern State University, teaching and coaching was where he saw his own life going.
It was during his time in Gore that Dillard first became involved with TARS. As his career has progressed and he’s moved into a leadership position with the organization, he’s come to recognize the important role it plays in, as he puts it, “defending a small school’s right to be small.” While a smaller, more rural school district might not have the same resources available as a larger one, Dillard emphasizes the importance of small district independence and is quick to highlight the merits of a smaller district versus a large one. Unsurprisingly, those merits align with the benefits of broader small-town life.
Dillard’s career in education began in 1984 in Wichita Falls ISD, and it wasn’t long before an administrator on his campus recognized Dillard’s leadership potential and encouraged him to get into administration himself. The move wasn’t immediate; Dillard spent
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Back in the sort of small town setting Dillard grew up in, his career thrived. Following a four-year stint as a principal/coach in the district, he became Gore ISD’s superintendent, a position he held for two years before moving “6 or 7 miles up the road” to Munday ISD. After another two-year stint as principal, Dillard became their superintendent as well, and held the position for 13 years before moving on to Littlefield ISD, where he’s about to start his fourth year as superintendent.
“Everybody knows everybody, and that’s twofold,” Dillard says. “You better watch out what you do and what you say, but we also know when you need support and attention and guidance. It takes a village to raise a child, and I think you get more of that in rural schools; every place I’ve been is like that.”
needs of smaller districts in mind and avoid the “cookie cutter.”
“We want to make sure that when legislators go to the table to make decisions, they keep us in mind.”
Dillard also points to the speed with which small districts can implement new ideas and reforms as an advantage over larger ones. “When an idea trickles out of the developmental stage to the implementation folks, there’s a big gap in large districts. In a rural district, the developers and implementers often work together.” None of that is to say Dillard views small district life through rose-colored glasses; he’s more than familiar with the challenges Texas’ rural districts face, such as funding, staffing and general resources, among others. However, when asked if TARS could be pushing the state to do more to actively support those districts, he speaks in terms of the organization’s role being more of a defensive one, and thinks autonomy for Texas’ rural schools to address those challenges in their own way is paramount.
“A cookie-cutter approach to rulemaking doesn’t work for all districts,” he says, and stresses that the needs of a multi-school rural district like his in Littlefield are quite different than those of a single-campus district. One of TARS’ primary functions, and one he says they’re going to be sure to emphasize during the 86th Legislature in 2019, is to make sure lawmakers keep the
“TARS supports and guides the legislative interests of rural schools, and we have boots on the ground in the Capitol,” Dillard says. “We want to make sure that when legislators go to the table to make decisions, they keep us in mind.” In Dillard, TARS has a president who both understands that Texas’ rural districts’ needs vary widely from district to district, and believes strongly in giving those districts the freedom to address those needs as they see fit. In a small town, he says, people often carve out a way of life that is unique and specific to the needs of those living there, and oftentimes, that town’s school is the beating heart of the community. “We just want to protect what we have,” Dillard emphasizes. To an outsider, it might be easy to make the mistake of assuming that isn’t much. In the eyes of Dillard, and others like him in Texas’ rural school community, it’s everything. JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
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Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Texas Association of School Administrators
TASA President Gayle Stinson urges administrators to prioritize self-care by James Golsan
r. Gayle Stinson is the definition of homegrown success as superintendent of Lake Dallas ISD. The president of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) is not just a Lake Dallas native, she’s a district legacy and alumna. Raised by a single mother who was an employee of Lake Dallas ISD, Stinson says that the halls of the education facility were always a big part of her life, and has fond memories of running through empty school hallways during childhood summers. None of that is to say a career in education was a foregone conclusion for Stinson. She recognized early in life that if she wanted to escape poverty, she had two paths forward: academics and athletics. A highly successful student-athlete at Lake Dallas ISD, Stinson was valedictorian of her graduating class in 1987 and a good enough basketball player to receive multiple athletic scholarship offers. She opted to prioritize her academic career and attended the University of Texas at Austin with a full scholarship from the Terry Foundation.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Stinson graduated from UT in 1991 with a degree in advertising, but it quickly became clear it wasn’t a career that felt like home to her. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for her hometown to come calling and offer an alternative—a position teaching English and coaching in Lake Dallas ISD. “The same people who raised me are the ones who turned around and picked me up as an adult, literally and figuratively,” she says. Success came quickly to Stinson in the education field. An assistant principal at age 27, it was then that she first became involved with TASA, at the insistence of a coworker. “He said ‘You’re going to be a part of this organization, and you’re going to learn,’” Stinson says. She proved a fast study. Marriage and her career took her to Texarkana for a decade, but in 2007, Stinson returned to Lake Dallas ISD, this time as superintendent. She’s held the position ever since, and is quick to credit TASA with a substantial share of her professional success.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my career around people who know the importance of a state organization and the professional learning that can be derived from that organization."
“I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my career around people who know the importance of a state organization and the professional learning that can be derived from that organization,” she says. As TASA’s president, Stinson highlights a three-pillared mission for the organization. The first, professional learning, is something she experienced firsthand as she advanced her career from teacher/coach to principal to district-level leadership. The second pillar is advocacy, both on behalf of Texas students, educators and administrators, and for an educated citizenry as a whole. The third pillar is strong membership engagement, which Stinson says supports the first two. “Strong membership engagement fuels strong leadership,” Stinson says, and stresses the importance of that leadership in a climate in which she says public education is often “under siege.” “It’s important for people to know that TASA believes in the promise of public education,” Stinson says. “Our goal is to transform schools into student-centered organizations.” It’s a goal TASA stands more than ready to address when the 86th Texas Legislature kicks off in January. Stinson says the organization will fight for more district-level discretion on education spending, improved school safety, and better funding for Texas’ struggling Teacher Retirement System, specifically to support healthcare costs for a growing population of retired educators.
Another major goal, and one that ties directly to TASA’s push for more student-centric schools, is a comprehensive accountability system that goes beyond high-stakes, multiple choice exams. “It’s important to give at least as much weight to what a local community deems important in their education system as we do legislators,” she says, and adds that TASA stands strongly opposed to the state’s A-F accountability system, which goes into effect during the 2018-19 school year. To say this is a busy time for Stinson, with a new school year kicking off and a legislative session on deck, would be an understatement, and she knows the same is true for everyone in Texas’ education community, particularly administrators. To that end, TASA’s new chief encourages those in education leadership positions to do something her own participation in TASA taught her: prioritize self-care. “You can’t serve from an empty cup,” she says. “Before you can take care of your district or your leadership team or your family, you have to be able to take care of yourself.” This sort of leadership, the kind that applies at once to an educator’s career and life as a whole, is what Stinson brings to the table as TASA president. Her passion for the work TASA does and the important role the organization plays in Texas’ education community shines through in everything she says, but perhaps no more clearly than in her parting words on the organization. “It’s important for people to know that I’m a better superintendent and human being for having an opportunity to spend time with my colleagues in TASA,” she says. “They refresh me, they inspire me, they challenge me and they give me a network to fall back on.” In a field as challenging as education, that kind of support system is invaluable, and one Stinson hopes more Texas educators will recognize the merits of during her time as TASA president. JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Who’s News > Continued from page 11
Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston-Victoria.
Dalhart ISD Coming to his new position as superintendent from Abilene ISD, where he was executive director of human resources, is Joe Alcorta. He began his career in Abilene ISD in 1992, leaving to take a principalship in Wylie ISD and returning to Abilene as director of personnel in 2011. Alcorta earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree from Tarleton State University, from which his doctorate in educational leadership was also awarded.
Decatur ISD Carson Elementary School’s new principal, Craig Weston, comes to Decatur from Keller ISD, where he was principal of Park Glen Elementary. He began his career as a teacher in Northwest, Leander and Austin ISDs before joining Keller ISD as an assistant principal in 2015.
Denton ISD Former Adkins Elementary principal Emily McLarty began the 2018-19 school year as principal of Borman Elementary School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Erin Vennell has been promoted from assistant principal to principal of Adkins Elementary School. She formerly taught in Lewisville ISD. Her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in educational leadership are from the University of North Texas.
Donna ISD New superintendent Hafedh Azaiez comes to Donna from Spring ISD, where he was assistant superintendent of middle schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from La Faculte des Sciences de Tunis in Tunisia, a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and a doctorate in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD The district’s new director for safety and security, Barry Baker, was previously director of secondary student services. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, his master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce, and his doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. Derrick Doyle has been
promoted from assistant band director and percussion director to director of bands at Chisholm Trail High School. He previously served as a percussion instructor at the University of Arkansas, Abilene Christian University and Owasso High School in Oklahoma. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music were awarded from the University of Arkansas and his master of divinity degree from Abilene Christian University. Boswell High School’s new director of bands is Kevin Fallon, who has been with the school since 2015 as assistant band director and jazz band director. Prior to joining the district, he was head band director at Azle High in Azle ISD and at Riverton High School in Utah. His bachelor’s degree was earned from Brigham Young University and his master’s degree in conducting and pedagogy from Sam Houston State University. Misty Fletcher is now assistant principal of Remington Point Elementary School, coming to her new position from working as an instructional math coach at Gilliland Elementary. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.
Ector County ISD Diana Mata has retired as district director of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Her 29-year career, 27 of those spent with Ector County ISD, began in Amarillo ISD, where she was a bilingual teacher. Mata earned her bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University) and her master’s degree in counseling from Sul Ross State University.
The following principal assignments have been made: •
Tanya Galindo, Zavala Elementary
Marissa King, Burnet Elementary School;
Crystal Marquez, Sam Houston
Julie Marshall, Hays STEAM Academy;
Katy Ochoa, Ireland Elementary School;
• • •
Adam Portillo, Alternative Education
Gerardo Ramirez, Falcon Early College
Valerie Rivera, Blackshear Elementary
Edgewood ISD (San Antonio) Eduardo Hernandez, former
chief of schools and chief officer of academics and innovation of Duncanville ISD, now leads Edgewood ISD as superintendent. During his 19year career, he has also worked in Terrell, Crowley and Dallas ISDs. His bachelor’s degree was awarded from Texas Christian University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
El Paso ISD Veteran educator Marc Escareno has been named principal of Coronado High School. Formerly assistant principal of Franklin High, he previously led Kohlberg Elementary. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. The new principal of Cooley Elementary School, Elizabeth Prangner, has 30 years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, including stints as a bilingual teacher in Grand Prairie and Dallas ISDs. Her bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees were awarded from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Fort Sam Houston ISD (San Antonio) Superintendent Gail Siler, who led the district for 14 years, retired at the end of August. During her tenure, the district received 2007’s HEB Excellence in Education award for best small school district. She was 2012’s ESC Region 20 Superintendent of the Year.
Sandra Banda, Dowling Elementary
> See Who’s News, page 32
TASA AND UT HOST 70TH ANNUAL JOINT SUMMER CONFERENCE The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education teamed up with the Texas Association of School Administrators to host a joint summer conference with a focus on engaging communities to protect students.
▲Alissa Parker signs copies of her book, “An Unseen Angel: A Mother’s Story of Faith, Hope, and Healing After Sandy Hook,” for Jack Irvin, Pine Tree ISD.
▲Mikayla Myers, Austin ISD, and Chris Evoy, Austin Police Department, address conference attendees.
▲ Conference attendees took in two full days of presentations concerning school safety.
► Rep. Gary VanDeaver, John Booth, DeKalb ISD, and Ben Coker, BuyBoard. ►Chris Cook, Texas Tech University, speaks on the importance of having a well-prepared crisis communication plan.
◄ Conference attendees network between sessions. Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Calendar Professional development & events
S TA N D O U T F R O M T H E C R OW D ! Get premium placement and get noticed! For a nominal fee, you can showcase your conference, workshop or seminar on the opening page as a Featured Event. Contact Ann Halstead at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. O C TO BE R October 1 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop ESC Region 7, Kilgore For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by July 13), $145; regular registration, $175. October 2 TEPSA Region 12 Fall Meeting Location TBA, El Paso For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 2-4 TASA Curriculum Management Audit Training, Level 1 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850. October 3 TASSP Region 16 Fall Meeting ESC Region 16, Amarillo For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA Region 16 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Amarillo For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 4 Texas ASCD Workshop: Empowering Leaders to Align and Adopt Resources ESC Region 5, Beaumont For more info, (512) 477-8200. www.txascd.org
October 5 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop ESC Region 19, El Paso For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: $175. October 6 TEPSA Region 10 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Arlington For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 8-9 TASPA Fall Support Staff Conference Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org October 9 TASSP Region 1 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Laredo For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org October 9-10 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 1 of 4) San Angelo ISD, San Angelo For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,995 for all four sessions. October 10 TASBO Operations and Facility Masters Conference Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. TASSP Region 11 Fall Meeting Joe T. Garciaâ€™s, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
October 11-12 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy (session 1 of 3) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco For more info, (512) 477-8200. www.txascd.org October 14-15 TASSP Fundamental 5 National Summit Location TBA, San Antonio For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA Assistant Principals Conference Omni Southpark Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org Cost: Early Bird registration (by Sept. 21): TEPSA members, $232; nonmembers, $292. After Sept. 21: TEPSA members, $282; nonmembers, $342. October 15 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop Harris County Department of Education, Houston For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: $175. October 16 TASBO Personnel and Payroll Academy Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $295; nonmembers, $345. TEPSA Region 2 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org Legal Digest Conference: Texas Educator Ethics in the Digital Age Friendswood ISD, Friendswood For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: $150. October 17 TASBO CSRM Course: Measuring School Risks TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org
TASSP Region 9 Fall Meeting ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TASSP Region 17 Fall Meeting Shallowater High School, Shallowater For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA Region 4 Fall Meeting ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org TEPSA Region 9 Fall Meeting ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 18 TEPSA Region 5 Fall Meeting ESC Region 5, Beaumont For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 18-19 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org October 19 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop ESC Region 2, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: $175. TASBO Course: Board Policies and Administrative Procedures Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Colleyville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $170; nonmembers, $220. October 21 Texas ASCD Transformative Principal Leadership Academy (session 3 of 3) Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay For more info, (512) 477-8200. www.txascd.org
October 21-23 Texas ASCD Annual Conference: A Legacy of Leadership Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay For more info, (512) 477-8200. www.txascd.org October 23-25 TASA Curriculum Management Audit Training, Level 1 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850. October 23-27 Texas ASCD Five-Day Workshop: Rigorous Assessment Strategies for Math and STAAR M.O. Campbell Educational Center, Houston For more info, (512) 477-8200. www.txascd.org October 24 TASSP Region 10 Fall Meeting Spring Creek Barbecue, Richardson For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA Region 7 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Tyler For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 25 TASPA Documentation Workshop Little Elm ISD, Little Elm For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org TASSP Region 8 Fall Meeting ESC Region 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TEPSA Region 6 Fall Meeting ESC Region 6, Navasota For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org TEPSA Region 8 Fall Meeting ESC Region 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 29 TASBO Accounting and Finance Symposium Courtyard Hotel, Pflugerville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $295; nonmembers, $345.
October 29-30 Legal Digest Conference: National Educators for Restorative Practices Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: $475. TASB/TASPA HR Academy Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $450.
N OV E M B E R November 1 TASSP Region 3 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Victoria For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org November 4-5 TEPSA Grow Leadership Conference Hilton Hotel, Rockwall For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org November 6-7 TASB Conference: Asbestos Maintenance and Operations TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org November 7 TASBO Purchasing Boot Camp Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $215; nonmembers, $265. TASSP Region 14 Fall Meeting ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org November 7-8 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 3 of 4) Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: All four sessions: Members, $695; nonmembers, $795. Any one session: $250, members and nonmembers. November 8 TASBO Purchasing Academy Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $295; nonmembers, $345. TASPA Certification
Fundamentals Workshop Little Elm ISD, Little Elm For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org November 8-9 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy (session 2 of 3) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org November 11-14 Texas Assessment Conference Hilton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: Early Bird registration (Aug. 9-Sept. 21): $125. Preregistration (Sept. 22-Oct. 26): $145. On-site registration: (online registration closes midnight Oct. 26): $195. Alternative registration for TACTP members and other collegiate personnel: Early Bird registration (Aug. 9-Sept. 21): $125 for Assessment Conference and TACTP Conference. Pre-registration (Sept. 22-Oct. 26): $145 for Assessment Conference and TACTP Conference. On-site registration (online registration closes midnight Oct. 26): $195 for Assessment Conference and TACTP Conference. November 13 TASBO Accounting and Finance Symposium Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $295; nonmembers, $345. November 13-15 TASA Curriculum Management Audit Training, Level 2 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850. November 14 TASSP Region 15 Fall Meeting Location TBA, San Angelo For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TASSP Region 18 Fall Meeting Location TBA, Midland For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
November 14-17 Texas Counseling Association Annual Professional Growth Conference Sheraton Hotel, Dallas For more info, (512) 472-3403 or (800) 580-8144. www.txca.org November 27 TASSP Region 2 Fall Meeting Veterans Memorial High School, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org November 27-28 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership (session 2 of 4) San Angelo ISD, San Angelo For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,995 for all four sessions. November 28-30 TAGT Annual Conference Location TBA, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org November 28-December 1 TAHPERD Annual Convention Moody Gardens Convention Center, Galveston For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org Cost: Early Bird registration (by Oct. 1): Professional and associate members, $105; student and retired members, $35. Pre-registration (by Nov. 1): Professional and associate members, $125; student and retired members, $35. Late registration (after Nov. 1): Professional and associate members, $145; student and retired members, $45. November 29-30 Dr. John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute Texas A&M University, College Station For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasanet.org
DECEMBER December 3 TASBO Workshop: Project Management for School Business Professionals TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $390; nonmembers, $440. Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
December 3-4 TASA Curriculum Management Planning Workshop TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $450; nonmembers, $500. December 4 TASBO Course: Handling School Risks Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org December 5-7 TASA Curriculum Writing Workshop TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $450; nonmembers, $500.
December 6-7 Texas Association of Mid-Size Schools Annual Legislative Conference Lakeway Resort and Spa, Austin For more info, (512) 346-2177. www.midsizeschools.org Cost: TAMS districts: $150 for first participant, $100 for all others from same district. All other districts: $200 per participant with $100 rebate for joining TAMS. December 12 TASPA/Legal Digest Personnel Law Conference for School Administrators Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org December 12-14 TASPA Winter Conference Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org
JANUARY January 10-11 TASB XG Summit Location TBA For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (512) 580-8272. www.tasb.org January 11 TASA Leadership Forum: Every School a STEM School Texas Medical Center, Houston For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $65. January 27 TASA Budget Boot Camp Location TBA For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org
You can help Texas School Business brag on your schools! Submit your nomination today for possible inclusion in the 12th Annual Bragging Rights 2018-19 special issue, which honors 12 deserving school districts and their innovative programs. Every winter, Texas School Business publishes and distributes this special issue to thousands of stakeholders in Texas public education. Does your school or district have a program that's wildly successful? Then you could be featured among our Top 12!
HOW DO I NOMINATE A PROGRAM? Simply visit texasschoolbusiness.com and fill out the Bragging Rights online nomination form. The nomination deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Winners will be announced with the debut of the 12th Annual Bragging Rights 2018-19 special issue, out on Dec. 1, 2018.
RULES • Nominated programs must have been in operation for at least one school semester. • There is no limit on number of nominations submitted per school or school district.
Questions? Contact email@example.com
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
January 27-28 TCWSE Annual Conference: Framing Our World Hilton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tcwse.org January 27-30 TASA Midwinter Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org/midwinter ◄
How a safari adventure developed my love for writing by Alora Jones
he lights were dimmed, and the gleaming eyes were staring at me. No, I was not kidnapped and locked inside a cave. Rather, I am talking about the days I sat in my fourth-grade classroom and developed my love for writing. My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Ball, was such an interesting character. She welcomed us to her safari, also known as her classroom, each and every morning. Her safari looked like an actual jungle, she kept the lights dimmed at all times, had a multitude of stuffed animals in every nook and cranny, and of course plants were dispersed throughout the room. This place was an oasis for fourth-graders. We began each morning by writing a story on Freddy, our overhead projector. We went around the classroom and everyone contributed the next sentence to the story. Once we were finished, Mrs. Ball would draw a beautiful picture next to our story. Often, these were very silly and got us energized for a wonderful day at school. We had to copy these stories into our journals that we decorated with pictures of ourselves, and of course safari animals, with our special, customized, zebra-print pencils that were labeled “Mrs. Ball’s Safari Adventure.” After we finished our stories, we would gather up in Cozy Corner. Cozy Corner was an area of the classroom that was filled with couches, chairs, pillows and blankets and was dedicated to reading. Mrs. Ball would sit on the couch, while we sat in a semicircle around her. She read us numerous mystery books in Cozy Corner. Mrs. Ball would never read to us without her flashlight illuminating her face to give the story a spooky aura. While she read, she encouraged us to yell out every time we heard figurative language. This taught us how to apply similes, metaphors, power and voice to our writing.
Almost every school day, she had a special writing prompt planned for us. One day, she told us we were not allowed to bring our backpack to school, and we could only bring our school supplies in a large black trash bag. We were very confused, and other kids from different classes looked at us funny when we showed up to school with trash bags slung over our shoulders. Our prompt that day was to write about what it would be like to live only with the items that could fit into our trash bags. Her message to us was that some people live every single day with items inside a trash bag and to be extremely grateful for the blessings we are given. Another day, she asked us to bring umbrellas to school. Again we were confused because the weather showed it was not going to rain. She made us go outside and write a story under our umbrella about what it would be like if it never stopped raining. Sure enough while we were outside, it started to rain. Our class could not control our laughter—thank goodness we had umbrellas. We all thought Mrs. Ball was psychic after that day. Not long after umbrella day, I tried out for the UIL Creative Writing team. Sadly, I did not make the team. I went to Mrs. Ball’s room so upset that afternoon. She consoled me, telling me it was going to be alright and those people had no idea what they were doing. She collected all the writing I had done throughout the year, marched me down to the coach’s classroom and made them read my samples. She then proceeded to tell them they made the wrong choice, and sure enough the next day I was on the team. As you can probably tell, Mrs. Ball spent a lot of time teaching us how to write. Her dedication to writing paid off—all of my classmates were commended on our end-of-the-year writing test, and most of us received a perfect score.
We ended our year with Worm Day. We had to decorate a T-shirt for this special day. Mine said, “Worms are fish bait, not fourth-grader bait.” She bought each of us a live worm, and we had to write a story about the life of our worm. While we were writing, she was cooking “worms” for us to eat in a Crock-Pot. She told us that four lucky students were going to have a bag put over their head and be fed live worms, while the rest ate cooked worms. We all had a slight freak-out session because we had our worms sitting on our tables and didn’t want to eat members of their family. Well, it turned out the live “worms” were hotdogs, and the cooked “worms” were Frito pie. Mrs. Ball loved writing and was adamant on getting every single student to share her love of the art by the end of the year. After Worm Day, every student not only loved Mrs. Ball with all their heart, but writing as well. Mrs. Ball believed in me more than any teacher I have ever had. She encouraged me every single day to continue to write no matter what. She told me that some people may love your writing while others may hate it, but if you love it that’s the only thing that matters. Two short years later when I was in the sixth grade, I received a call that Mrs. Ball had passed on. She had been battling cancer but wanted to stay with her students until the very end. Hearing she was gone was some of the hardest news I have ever had to fathom. This woman impacted my life significantly. Some of her last words to me were, “Alora, I want you to become a writer one day; you have some of the best talent I have ever seen.” So here I am, a high school senior who is going to the University of Texas to major in journalism, all thanks to a teacher who changed my life forever. ALORA JONES graduated from Little CypressMauriceville High School in May. She currently studies journalism at the University of Texas.
“Student Voices” is a regularly featured column in Texas School Business. It’s an opportunity for students of all ages from across Texas to share their experiences in K-12 public schools. Contact Editorial Director Dacia Rivers at firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing guidelines. Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Who’s News > Continued from page 26
Fort Worth ISD Daniel Garcia has accepted the role of
director of safety and security. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he has more than 15 years of supervision experience in law enforcement and security. He is a former member of the Fort Worth Police Department, where he was the first Hispanic captain. The district announces the hiring of
David Johnson as senior budget and finance
officer. Formerly Cleburne ISD’s chief financial officer, he also served in that capacity in Keene ISD.
A new director of athletics is in place. Todd Veseley comes to Fort Worth from Ector County ISD, where he held the same position. With more than 20 years of coaching experience, he has led five state championship teams, is a four-time Texas Coach of the Year and was twice named the National High School Gymnastics Coach of the Year. The following principal appointments have been made: •
Roberto Baeta-Gutierrez, Waverly Park
Suzelle Birkmire, Meadowbrook Elementary School;
Ronnita Carradine, Beal Elementary
• • •
Keith Christmas, Peak Elementary
Terry Guthrie, Boulevard Heights
Alberto Herrera, Rosen Elementary
Kendall Miller, Daggett Elementary
Steven Moore, Leadership Academy at
Logan Elementary School;
Misty Rothermund, Morningside
Sharon Schultze, Peace Elementary
Julie Yost, McRae Elementary School.
Friona ISD Jimmy Burns has been hired to serve as superintendent. Most recently the superintendent of Hawley ISD, he has been an educator for 25 years.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
The new principal of Austin Middle School is Matthew Neighbors, former assistant principal and director of media arts, innovation and entrepreneurship at Ball High School. He spent the past 14 years of his 21-year career at the school, also working as a social studies teacher, instructional coach and cross-country and basketball coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from Texas Tech University.
Tom Green Elementary School has a new principal. Jennifer Hanna was most recently assistant principal of Hillcrest Elementary. Prior to that, she was an instructional coach and third-grade teacher. Charli Lennon, principal of Simon Middle School, comes to her new campus from Klein ISD, where she was an assistant principal at Cain High School.
Former Austin Middle School principal
Cathy Van Ness is now principal of
Rosenberg Elementary School. She began her career in the district in 1991 as a teacher at the school, going on to lead Alamo Elementary before taking her most recent position in 2008. A Galveston native, she received a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Georgetown ISD Courtney Acosta, who for the past four years has been principal of McNeil High School in Round Rock ISD, is now Georgetown ISD’s executive director for campus operations and school leadership. She began her career in Goose Creek and Clear Creek ISDs after earning a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Her master’s degree in educational administration was awarded from Lamar University.
Georgetown ISD announces the appointment of Alfonso Longoria as principal of Tippit Middle School. He was academy director at Austin ISD’s Kealing Middle School and prior to that was a coach and teacher in Del Valle, Pflugerville, Round Rock and Leander ISDs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from Texas State University, where he also received his master’s degree in education and community leadership.
LaTonya Ordaz, Elliott Elementary
Harris County Department of Education Stephanie Ross has been named director of the Harris County Department of Education’s adult education division. A graduate of Texas Southern University, she earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Highland Park ISD (Dallas) Hyer Elementary School began the new academic year with Debbie Burt as principal. Most recently principal of Vaughan Elementary and the GATE (Gifted and Talented Elementary) Academy in Allen ISD, she is a graduate of the University of Texas with master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and Dallas Baptist University. Betsy Cummins has returned
to HPISD to serve as principal of Armstrong Elementary. She was a teacher at that school before joining Garland ISD as principal of Abbett Elementary. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.
Houston ISD Houston ISD’s first female athletic director, Marmion Dambrino, retired in August. After four years in Aldine ISD, she joined Houston ISD 30 years ago, becoming athletic director of the largest school district in Texas and seventh largest in the country in 2010. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Southern Mississippi University, she began her career in Pascagoula, Miss., going on to receive a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University.
Humble ISD Michael Nasra, principal of
Kingwood High School, has returned to Humble ISD after spending the past four years as principal of Keller High School in Keller ISD. His 16 years of experience in HISD also includes serving as associate principal of Atascocita High and assistant principal of Sterling Middle School and Humble High.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Houston.
Irion County ISD Former Union Grove superintendent Brian Gray is the new district superintendent.
Irving ISD Barton Elementary School began the new school year with Manuel Espino as principal. Most recently an assistant principal at Austin Middle School, he came to Irving from Garland ISD after earning his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. He also holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce and is at work on a doctorate. Kelly Giddens has transferred from Barton Elementary School, where she was principal for the past three years, to the top job at Stipes Elementary. She received her master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington. Henry Taylor has been
promoted from Haley Elementary School assistant principal to principal. He began his career in Irving ISD before working in Dallas ISD for several years, returning to Irving in 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. Former Haley Elementary School principal Alberto Zavala has accepted the lead position at Good Elementary. An educator for more than a decade, he began his career in Dallas ISD and joined Irving ISD in 2011. The Irving native and Nimitz High graduate earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Jacksonville ISD New West Side Elementary School principal Alicia Tennison is a 26-year educator who has worked as a music teacher, elementary classroom teacher, instructional coach and assistant principal. Most recently, she was the district’s ESL coordinator.
Judson ISD Jeanette Ball has accepted the role of
degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Diego Linares has been named principal of Raines High School and the district’s Opportunity Awareness Center. He spent 15 years with Houston ISD before joining Katy ISD.
district superintendent. She began her career in 1998 in San Antonio’s Southwest ISD as a teacher, going on to serve as an administrator there before spending the past five years as superintendent of Uvalde ISD.
Katy ISD Kerri Finnesand is now principal of Seven Lakes High School. She is the former principal of Wood Creek Junior High and a 22-year educator. A graduate of Penn State University, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Houston. Michelle Gaskamp, former assistant principal of Randolph Elementary School, is now principal. Her 18-year career began in Alief ISD and she joined Katy ISD in 2005. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in education management from the University of Houston.
A 28-year veteran educator, Cheryl Glasser, is now principal of Rylander Elementary School. She came to the district in 2013 as principal of Morton Ranch Elementary. The new principal of McMeans Junior High is Steve Guzzetta, a 24year employee of the district. Initially a teacher at Katy Junior High, he was associate principal of Taylor High School for the past three years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. Kristin Harper is the new principal of Seven Lakes Junior High. She has been an educator for 24 years, 10 of those as a teacher and 14 as an administrator. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from the University of Houston. Anna Hinojosa, the new
principal of Wolfe Elementary School, returns Katy, where she taught for four years before accepting a position in Allen ISD. She most recently served as principal of Mission Bend Elementary in Fort Bend ISD. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s
Newly appointed director of purchasing Gloria Truskowski previously worked in Fort Bend ISD as assistant director of purchasing and material management. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston. Former Seven Lakes High School principal Ted Vierling is now assistant superintendent of operations. The Katy High School graduate has been with the district for 20 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston.
Keller ISD Keller High School has a new principal. Lisa Simmons, who has been with the district for 15 years, was associate principal for the past three years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree in education administration from Grand Canyon University.
Kerens ISD Previously the principal of Malakoff High School in Malakoff ISD, Martin Brumit now leads Kerens ISD as superintendent. An educator for 25 years, he also served as an assistant principal in Denton ISD, receiving the Educator of the Year award from the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE).
Killeen ISD Former Montague Village Elementary assistant principal Jane Apodaca has accepted the principal position at Skipcha Elementary School. Named 2011’s ESC Region 12 Elementary Teacher of the Year, she graduated from Northern Kentucky University and received her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. > See Who’s News, page 34 Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
assessment and evaluation. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, he earned his master’s degree from the University of Texas and his doctorate from Texas A&M University.
> Continued from page 33
The new principal of Manor Middle School is Rhea Lynn Brooks Bell, former director of curriculum and instruction at Ellison High School. She has also worked in the district as a teacher and summer school principal. New Rancier Middle School principal Alan Gawryszewski began his career as a teacher and coach in Culberson County ISD in 1990, going on to work in Kerrville, Yorktown and Victoria ISDs. He has been assistant principal of Killeen High School since 2013. Kara Trevino, who was principal of Patterson
Middle School since 2014, is now principal of Killeen High School. She has taught and coached in KISD since 2001, joining Killeen High in 2005 as an instructional specialist. Jennifer Washington has been promoted
from Manor Middle School principal to district director of student hearings. She has been an educator for 30 years, also working in Denton, Mansfield, DeSoto and Temple ISDs. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from Tarleton State University and her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Micah Wells has been named principal of
Shoemaker High School, transferring from Rancier Middle School, which he led since 2015. Prior to joining Killeen ISD in 1999 as a teacher and coach, he spent nine years as head baseball coach at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. Now leading Patterson Middle School is Latisha Williams, who was the school’s assistant principal. She began her career in the district in 1999 as a teacher and coach and served as head girls’ basketball coach at Killeen High School.
Lake Travis ISD (Austin) A new principal has been named for Lake Travis Middle School. Sherry Baker, who holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in educational leadership, has been an educator for more than 20 years. She began her career in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and was most recently principal of Wildwood Elementary School in Tomball ISD.
Former Paschal High School principal Theresa Mossige has left Fort Worth ISD to assume the role of assistant superintendent for secondary education. She was in her previous position for eight years. Mike Rockwood has accepted
the position of chief of staff. He has been with LCISD since 2012, serving as executive director of community relations. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree from The George Washington University, he is at work on his doctorate in educational leadership at Baylor University. Stepping into the role of school safety coordinator is Dallis Warren, former police chief of Rosenberg. He has 40 years of law enforcement experience, 25 of those in administration and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University.
Leander ISD Angela Hodges is the new principal of
Steiner Ranch Elementary School. She began her career in 2006 in Baton Rouge, La., coming to Texas to join Pflugerville ISD, most recently serving as principal of Windermere Elementary.
Now serving as principal of Parkside Elementary School is Lauren Meeks, who has spent her career in Leander ISD. She was previously assistant principal of Henry Middle School. Former Parkside Elementary principal Kimberly Waltman is now principal of Canyon Ridge Middle School. She has spent her career with Leander ISD, also working as a special education teacher and as assistant principal of Stiles Middle School.
Lewisville ISD Jeffrey Brown, newly
Lamar CISD Jonathan Maxwell has accepted the role of executive director of student programs, coming to his new job from Clear Creek ISD, where he was executive director of
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
appointed principal of Flower Mound 9th Grade Campus, was most recently an assistant principal at Flower Mound High School. Prior to that assignment, he spent five
years as the school’s athletic trainer. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Adam Gray has been
appointed principal of Vickery Elementary School after having served as principal of Polser Elementary since 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Ohio State University and two master’s degrees, one from American University and a second in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. Lisa Phelps has been
promoted from assistant principal of Wellington Elementary to principal of Polser Elementary School. She has been an administrator in the district for seven years and was a teacher in Lewisville and Denton ISDs for 11 years prior to that. She received her bachelor’s degree in education and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University.
Lipan ISD Now serving as superintendent is Ralph Carter, who most recently led the Jessieville School District in Arkansas. In Texas, he was superintendent of West Hardin County CCISD and director of the Leon County Special Education Co-op. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma Christian University and a master’s degree in educational administration and doctorate in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.
Lockhart Mark Estrada has been named district superintendent. He came to Lockhart ISD in 2012 as principal of Plum Creek Elementary School, going on to lead Lockhart Junior High and Lockhart High School’s freshman campus before being promoted to assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. A graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in secondary education, he is a doctoral candidate in the cooperative superintendency program at the University of Texas.
> See Who’s News, page 36
SUMMER TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE BRINGS TEXAS ASCD MEMBERS TO IRVING The Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development held its ignite18 conference this summer in Irving, offering three days of hands-on sessions designed to transform curriculum with technology integration.
▲ DJ April Shaw, Grand Prairie ISD (left) takes song requests at Monday’s Welcome Reception.
▲ Joshua Brown, Aldine ISD (left) talks with attendees after the Innovative Highlights session.
▲ Dr. Chris Allen, board vice president (left) and Alice Keeler at Monday’s keynote.
▲ Bridget Visser (left), David Arencibia and Jessica Heaton from Colleyville Middle School prepare for their Innovative Highlights session.
▲ Board President Abigayle Barton welcomes attendees to ignite18.
▲ Participants at Makerspace Monday.
▲ Vendors Collin Osburn (left), Craig Dudley, Dr. Charly Simmons, Karen Barclay and Morris West at the Welcome Reception.
▲ Shaily Baranwal (upper left), Lisay Young, Cori Gagliardi, Danielle Jackson, Gena Gardiner, Tasha Barker, April Shaw (lower left), Jessica Whitney and Therese Wafford at ignite’s Welcome Reception. Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Who’s News > Continued from page 34
Longview ISD Jennifer Bailey, former
principal of Jackson Elementary in Chapel Hill ISD, now leads JohnsonMcQueen Elementary School. She also worked as a teacher and administrator in Kilgore and Hallsville ISDs and was a professor at Stephen F. Austin State University and a consultant for ESC Region 7. The new principal of Foster Middle School, Ryan Carroll, was previously principal of Daingerfield-Lone Star High School in that district. A graduate of Texas Christian University, he began his career in Tyler ISD. Ware Elementary welcomed new principal Patricia Duck at the beginning of the school year. She comes to Longview from Chapel Hill ISD, where led Wise Elementary. She also taught in White Oak and Tyler ISDs and at LeTourneau University. Joaquin Guerrero, former
middle school principal in New Diana ISD, returns to Longview ISD as principal of South Ward Elementary. Prior to his time in New Diana, he worked at Longview High School and at Early Graduation High.
Now leading Williams Elementary School is Melanie Hamilton, who had been a district instructional specialist. She also served as a fifth-grade teacher and UIL coordinator at Ware Elementary. Maureen Lewis has accepted
the position of director of special education. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and Texas Christian University, she earned her doctorate from Iowa State University. She was a classroom teacher for 16 years before working as an administrator in Burleson and Duncanville ISDs. Most recently, she was a special education field specialist with ESC Region 9. The district’s new director of bands is Tommy Moore, a 30year band director who most recently served as assistant band director at Longview High School. Prior to that
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
assignment, he was with Henderson ISD. John York has been promoted from principal
of Foster Middle School to the district’s director of elementary education.
Lubbock ISD Alma Cunningtubby has
been named principal of two elementary schools, Guadalupe and Jackson. She previously served as assistant principal of Dupre and Maedgen elementaries and, most recently, Waters Elementary.
Lufkin ISD Now serving as district superintendent is Lynn Torres, previously deputy superintendent of teaching and learning. She spent 30 years at Lufkin High School as a Spanish teacher, department head, activities director, and assistant and associate principal.
McKinney ISD McGowen Elementary School’s new principal, Kimberly Luyster, was previously an assistant principal at Glen Oaks and Malvern elementaries. With more than 28 years of experience in education, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. She is pursuing a doctorate in the same field from the University of North Texas.
Magnolia ISD Magnolia ISD announces the appointment of Mike Overman as director of conference facilities. He will oversee the district’s new conference center, which opened in August. He brings 16 years of experience to his new position, including serving as head athletic trainer for Magnolia High School.
Midlothian ISD Kristopher Vernon, now principal of Seale Middle School, has joined the district from Plano ISD, where he held the top position at Frankford Middle School. He began his career in 2004 in DeSoto ISD, going on to work in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Becky Wiginton has been approved as director of college and career readiness, coming to her new job from serving as the district’s lead elementary school counselor. She has been with MISD since 2010 and holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). Her master’s degree in education was awarded from Tarleton State University.
Miles ISD After 19 years with the district, superintendent Robert Gibson has retired. His career began with six years in Eden CISD and continued in Aspermont ISD, where he spent seven years as the high school principal before joining Miles ISD.
Nacogdoches ISD The new chief academic officer is Daya Hill, who comes to Nacogdoches from Pine Tree ISD in Longview, where she was assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment. She held a similar position in Center ISD and also served in administrative positions in Texarkana and New Boston ISDs and at Texas A&M University at Texarkana.
Northside ISD (San Antonio) The following administrative appointments have been made: •
Lilia Brown, vice principal, Northwest Crossing Elementary School;
Brent Draker, vice principal, Jordan
Deanna Flader is the new principal of
Nicole Gomez, assistant principal, Neff Middle School;
Laura Hernandez, principal, Mireles
Theresa Long, academic dean, Stevenson Middle School;
Scharbauer Elementary School. She has been a member of the MISD team since 2011. The new Sam Houston Collegiate Preparatory Elementary School has Stephanie Ramos as chancellor.
Michael Lopez, assistant principal, Taft
Naomi Miller, director of governmental
Sherry Mireles, principal, Rawlinson Middle School;
Wendy Reyes, vice principal, Stevens
Pine Tree ISD (Longview) The new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction is Eric Cederstrom. He comes to his new job from Palo Pinto ISD, where he was superintendent.
Aydee Ruiz, principal, Langley Elementary School;
Matthew Scherwitz, vice principal, Los Reyes Elementary School;
Serena Torres, vice principal, Mora
Courtney Trevino, assistant principal, Holmes High School.
Jill Clay, who was principal
of Birch Elementary School, is now principal of Pine Tree Middle School.
Stephen Cooksey, former principal of
Formerly the principal of Callisburg Elementary in Callisburg ISD, Derrick Conley began the new academic year as principal of Birch Elementary School.
Palestine ISD has named William Stewart coordinator of its newly formed safety department. He was most recently principal of Palestine High School.
The district’s newly created director of student services position has been filled by Stephen English, former principal of Bremond High School in Bremond ISD.
Palestine ISD Palestine Junior High, is now principal of Palestine High School.
The district has approved the hiring of a new fine arts and UIL academics director. Annette Johnson comes to her new position from Carthage ISD, where she spent the past eight years as technology director.
Paris ISD Jeff Chapman has been named head
girls’ basketball coach and girls’ athletics coordinator. With 20 years of experience managing and coaching at the high school level, he was most recently with Sulphur Springs ISD and previously worked in Oklahoma’s Idabel and Enid public schools. He is a graduate of Sheridan Junior College and Phillips University. The new director of career and technical education and director of secondary education, John McCullough, began his career in Jacksonville ISD 25 years ago, going on to work in Sulphur Springs ISD before serving as superintendent of Sulphur Bluff and North Lamar ISDs. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and his master’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Plano ISD The district’s new chief operations officer is Theresa Williams, former deputy superintendent of Lubbock ISD. She held that position for four years.
Ponder ISD Former Lorenzo ISD athletics director Kevin Roberts has accepted the position of assistant principal of Ponder High School.
Mary Pugh as principal of Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School. She comes to Rockwall from Coppell ISD, where she was an assistant principal of Wilson Elementary. The 17-year educator holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa; her master’s degree in human development and doctorate in curriculum and instruction were awarded from the University of North Texas. Kevin Samples, a 21-year educator, has accepted the position of Rockwall High School principal, returning to the district where he previously worked as a teacher and coach. He spent the past four years leading Mesquite High in Mesquite ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Rule ISD Brad Jones has been named superintendent
of Rule ISD, coming to his new position from Cross Plains ISD, where he was high school principal.
Rusk ISD New superintendent Grey Burton has joined the district from Nacogdoches ISD, where he was associate superintendent. The following administrative appointments have also been made: •
Cadi Collins, assistant principal, Rusk
Tim Eden, assistant principal, Rusk High
Ashley Oliver, assistant principal, Rusk
Jason Wilcox, principal, Rusk Intermediate School.
San Angelo ISD
Now serving as chief human resources officer is Willie Watson, Jr., former assistant superintendent of human resources for San Marcos CISD. With more than two decades of experience in the field, he holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies and public administration from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas.
After working for Quinlan ISD for 24 years, the last five as superintendent, Debra Crosby retired in June.
Rocksprings ISD The district’s new superintendent, Daron Worrell, comes to Rocksprings from Sonora ISD, where he was principal of Sonora Middle School.
Rockwall ISD The Rockwall ISD board of trustees has announced the appointment of
Now serving as director of campus operations and safe environments is Monte Althaus, who most recently was principal of Lake View High School. The new director of assessment and counseling is Rebecca Cline, who has been with the district since 1998, most recently as assistant principal of Lincoln Middle School. Michelle Helms has been named director
of child nutrition. She comes to her new position from Midland ISD, where she served in the same capacity.
Nick Martinez is the district’s new director
of transportation. He comes to San Angelo
> See Who’s News, page 38 Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
Who’s News > Continued from page 37
from San Antonio’s Edgewood ISD, where he was senior executive director of transportation.
San Antonio ISD Burbank High School has a new head football coach. Phil Barron spent the past year as offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs after beginning his coaching career in 2007 at South San Antonio ISD and working in North East and Harlandale ISDs.
San Marcos CISD San Marcos High School’s new band director, Matt Valentine, received his bachelor’s degree in music studies from Texas State University. He previously was the associate director of bands in Austin ISD’s Travis Early College High School and was an instructional staff member for Texas State’s Bobcat Marching Band, also serving as drum major. From 2010 to 2014 he served in the United States Marines’ Drum and Bugle Corps.
Seguin ISD Robert Arriola has been promoted from vice
principal of Rodriguez Elementary School to principal. He has spent his career at the campus, beginning as a fifth-grade teacher. His bachelor’s degree in bilingual education was awarded from the University of North Texas and his master’s degree in educational community leadership from Texas State University.
The new principal of Weinert Elementary School is Mary Hernandez, former assistant principal of Barnes Middle School. During her 25-year career, she has also been a teacher, instructional specialist, science coordinator and specialist with ESC Region 13. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University.
Sinton ISD Former Iola ISD superintendent Chad Jones now leads Sinton ISD. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a master’s degree from East Central University, he began his career in Norman, Okla., coming to Texas 13 years later as an administrator in College Station ISD and going on to
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
serve as high school principal in Rockdale ISD and as superintendent of West Hardin County CISD. The 28-year educator earned his doctorate from Sam Houston State University.
Tyler ISD Hubbard Middle School now has Geoffrey Sherman as principal. The former Tyler ISD employee rejoins the district from Jacksonville ISD, where he was principal of West Side Elementary School since 2015. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Previously principal of Brown Primary School, Michael Caudill has been chosen to serve as assistant superintendent. The 14year educator has also been a teacher, coach, assistant principal and superintendent as well as a consultant in college readiness preparation.
Union Grove ISD (Gladewater)
Former Hawkins ISD high school principal Kelly Moore has been approved as superintendent of Union Grove ISD.
The former assistant principal of Sun Ridge Middle School, Laura Jean Garcia, is now principal of Keleher Elementary. She has spent her 23-year career in Socorro ISD and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso. A new director of fine arts has been announced for the district. Armando Martinez was most recently director of bands at Del Valle High School in El Paso’s Ysleta ISD. He has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Texas at El Paso and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Scranton. Sandra Sanchez-Chavira has been appointed principal of Shook Elementary, coming to her new position from Escontrias Elementary, where she was assistant principal. A graduate of Texas Tech University, she began her career in Fabens ISD. Her master’s degree in educational leadership was awarded from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Temple ISD Brent Mathesen has been selected to serve
as Temple High School’s head band director. He has been an educator for 30 years, the past nine at Temple High, primarily leading the school’s jazz band. Prior to that, he worked in Bonham, Belton, Rogers and Itasca ISDs and at the Seoul International School in South Korea.
Renota Rogers, formerly an assistant principal and then associate principal at Temple High School, is now executive director of secondary education. She began her career in Florida, joining Killeen ISD before coming to Temple. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies and a master’s degree in public administration from Louisiana State University and a second master’s in education from Texas A&M UniversityCentral Texas.
Vega ISD A new superintendent has been named for the district. Jody Johnson was formerly superintendent of Texline ISD.
Veribest ISD Ryder Appleton has accepted the position of district superintendent, coming to his new job from Abilene ISD, where he was director of career and technical education. He began his career in Waxahachie and Hempstead ISDs and took his first administrative assignment in Ennis ISD in 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Waco ISD In a reorganization of the special education department, three new directors have been named for Waco ISD. They are: •
Suzanne Hamilton, director of
Curt McCollum, director of instruction;
Keith Schneider, director of compliance.
Ysleta ISD (El Paso) Javier Aguilera, previously a support teacher at Bel Air High School, has been named assistant principal of Moore Elementary, which opened its doors in August.
Ysleta ISD has announced the appointment of Rachel Blair as principal of Sageland Elementary School. The former Parkland Elementary assistant principal has been an educator in the district for 19 years. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Texas at El Paso. Maritza Fernandez is now
assistant principal of South Loop Elementary School, transferring from El Paso’s Socorro ISD, where she held the same position.
Norma Myers, most recently
assistant principal at South Loop Elementary School, is now the school’s interim principal. She has worked in Ysleta and Socorro ISDs for 27 years and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso. LeBarron Park Elementary School’s former assistant principal is now principal of Capistrano Elementary. Christopher Puga began his career in 2007 and previously worked at Capistrano as a math and science instructional coach. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at El Paso and his master’s degree in education from Lamar University. ◄
> Continued from page 15
Don’t forget the students are also being challenged to accept big changes. Yes, we should acknowledge staff who have embraced digital learning and teaching, but it is just as important to acknowledge the students. Reward demonstrations of successful educational technology usage in the classroom. It’s one challenge to train your staff, but it’s a larger challenge to make sure your staff is passing on their learning to your students. These are your pockets on innovation, and it is crucial to support the transfer of digital knowledge to others regardless of their school roles. After all, it isn’t necessary for our technology champions to be only teachers and staff. Students can be empowered to be digital leaders and can become some of the most knowledgeable and and creative instructors for schools. Last but not least: Exercise patience. Sometimes changes in our schools do not happen as quickly as we would like. Innovating our schools’ digital educational landscapes requires planning, buy-in and connection to agency to make ideas work within school culture. Every idea
“When providing training and professional development for new technology, make sure there is an emphasis on supporting follow-up.”
and implementation will not be met with success, but every idea is guaranteed to be a learning experience. With good followup and reflection, you can better adapt your next program or idea to work for your school. In recognizing and nurturing our pockets of innovation, the culture of connecting with good digital practices can enhance learning experiences for the whole school. CORI COBURN-SHIFLETT, M.Ed., is a digital learning coach for blended learning in Georgetown ISD and is the Texas Computer Educator Association Area 13 Director. You can reach her on Twitter @CoburnCori.
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Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
TEPSA MEMBERS GATHER FOR SUMMER CONFERENCE In June, the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association hosted its annual summer conference in Austin, welcoming school leaders from across the state for a week of learning and networking. Photos by Lifetouch, official photographer of TEPSA.
◄ Corpus Christi ISD principals are #tepsastrong. ▲ Austin ISD principals find new ideas in the exhibit hall. ► Browsing titles in the Scholastic Bookstore.
◄ Executive Director Harley Eckhart recognizes TEPSA Region 6 officers: Navasota ISD’s Amy Bay-Weatherwax, Goodrich ISD’s Kathryn Washington and New Caney ISD’s Crystal Mayes
▲ Attendees discover new children’s books at the Book Talk. ▲ David Lewis, Danielle Taylor and Duane Trujillo from New Braunfels ISD at the general session. ◄ Attendees explore new resources in the exhibit hall. ▲ Ellie Maxwell and Elena Hillje from Boerne ISD play the Passport to Prizes game. ► Fort Worth ISD’s Stephanie Hughes and Mansfield ISD’s Tami Vardy.
Texas School Business SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2018
▲ Growing our professional learning network at the Early Career Leaders Luncheon. ◄ Frisco
ISD principals wait for the keynote speaker to begin.
► Katy ISD’s Lorena Zertuche takes a group selfie during the Early Career Leaders’ Luncheon.
▲ Keynote presenter Jaime Casap, Google education evangelist.
▲ Keynote speaker Christine Cashen and Canyon ISD’s Jet Delaney. ◄ TEPSA Deputy Executive Director Mark Terry, TEPSA President Manuel Gonzales, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, Rep. Dan Huberty and TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart with Abigail Watson and Trajan Godbee.
▲ Mentoring Minds’ CEO Shad Madsen and Founder Michael Lujan awarding Texas NDP Jennifer Parker a $10,000 check. ◄
Nancy Davis, Nacogdoches ISD, and Reuben Sampson, Port Arthur ISD, take time to share ideas.
► Outgoing TEPSA President Manuel Gonzales, Frisco ISD, hands the gavel to 201819 President Yolanda Delaney, Canyon ISD.
▲ EPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart with Lufkin ISD’s Cindy Tierney and Fort Worth ISD’s Vic Eugenio.
▲ North Carolina’s Travis Crowder and Navasota ISD’s Todd Nesloney with T-TESS Cube superheroes.
▲ NAESP’s Ann Henley, TEPSA’s Anita Jiles and Oklahoma Principal Kas Nelson at the NAESP booth in the Exhibit Hall.
▲ Outstanding principals from across Texas host the Early Career Leaders’ Luncheon. Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2015
THE BACK PAGE
You’ve got to have HEART Part one: Be happy by Riney Jordan
fter 50 years in education, which included being a teacher, working with teachers, talking to teachers and listening to teachers, I have reached several conclusions as to what I think makes an exceptional educator. Of course, the list is virtually endless, but if you’ll strive to focus on the five qualities I have selected, I have a strong belief that you will make a difference in the students you serve. Over the next five issues, I’ll highlight one of these each time, and if you’ll truly make an effort to develop these qualities, I guarantee you’ll be happier and rewarded greatly for your effort. And this brings us to our first quality. And it is simply to … #1 … BE HAPPY For centuries, philosophers and others have pondered the virtues of being happy. But of everything I’ve read, researched and analyzed, nothing sums it up better than the title of a book I read years ago which simply stated, “Happiness is a Choice.” The book itself, by Frank Minirth and Paul Meier, is filled with clinical studies, statistical data, etc., but if you only remember the title, it will be a source of help to you every day. Yes, happiness is, indeed, a choice. We can choose to be angry and unhappy in our situations, or we can take steps to change the problem. For every day we are unhappy, we lose one day of happiness in our life. What a sad thing! For our purposes here, let’s focus only on your role as an educator, while realizing that outside problems can often affect our attitude on the job. Ask yourself these questions. First, do you love what you’re doing? Do you think you were given the “gift” of teaching? Do you get excited about introducing new ways for your students to learn? Do you delight in sharing your successful day at school with colleagues, friends and family? Are you excited about the possibilities of success each day as you arrive at your job site? Do you enjoy
talking and visiting with your students? Do you have a smile on your face most of the day? I know these are simple questions, but honest responses can reveal if you are either are suited for this job, or not. Some of you may be experiencing “burn out.” It happens to practically everyone at some time or another, so overcome it by creating some balance in your life. Leave work on time occasionally. Spend more leisure time with family and friends. Be good to yourself and create some leisure time that you enjoy. Don’t be ashamed or discouraged if teaching is not for you. Ask yourself, “What would I be doing if I followed my passion?” Maybe it’s time to follow your dream. Being an educator today is tougher than ever, no matter what your position. It requires patience, diligence, compassion, planning, analyzing and commitment. Due primarily to new and even greater expectations in our profession, many are leaving and seeking other careers. To those who stick with it, the rewards are often few and far between. This school year, commit to being happy. Smile at students. Spread enthusiasm and excitement to fellow colleagues. Let others see your joy. As the gift shop sign reads, “Remember, you can never have too much happy.”
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Let’s be a place where kids are welcomed and nurtured. Let’s be a place where joy is evident. Let’s turn our schools into campuses filled with happy stuff and a happy staff. As my Momma always said, “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” Next issue: Part two of the series, “You’ve got to have HEART.”
convocation, graduation or awards banquet, visit www.rineyjordan.com.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about educators from parents and non-parents in the community is that “they look mad.” Let’s change that perception of educators.
RINEY JORDAN is the author of two books and a frequent public speaker. To invite him to speak at your
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