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The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas for 60 Years

July / August 2014

TSB

1953

Nurturing STEM growth in K-12 education

In the Spotlight Rick Sandlin Texarkana ISD

Texas ASCD’s Carl Key New Diana ISD

2013

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Y E A R S O F P U B L I C AT I O N


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TSB contents news and features

Experts share how to stimulate STEM education to meet future needs by John Egan

photo feature

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TACS hosts surprise roast at annual Presidents Luncheon

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TEPSA hosts summer conference

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departments

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In the Spotlight Texarkana ISD’s Rick Sandlin to keep enriching education, even in retirement by Elizabeth Millard

In Memoriam

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Who’s News

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Ad index

columns From the Editor

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The Law Dawg  —  Unleashed

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Tech Toolbox

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by Katie Ford by Jim Walsh

Texas ASCD President Profile Second term around is even sweeter for New Diana ISD superintendent By Leila Kalmbach

by Terry Morawski

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Game On!

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The Back Page

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by Bobby Hawthorne by Riney Jordan

On the cover: Mike Yakubovsky (left), head of Coppell ISD’s STEM Academy, works with two members of the Coppell Solar Racing Team, a student organization that has designed, built and raced a solar car named Aurora. 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. July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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THE News Magazine for Public Education in Texas! Since 1954, Texas School Business has published positive school news about and for Texas educators and the districts they serve. Considered an institution among public school administrators for its insightful writing and positive message, the magazine is a must-read for K-12 leadership teams in Texas.

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Each issue offers in-depth, Texas-based stories on educational and administrative best practices and the thought leaders behind them, as well as photos from industry events, district-by-district personnel announcements (our popular “Who’s News” section), and much more. Readers also look forward to the views and commentary shared by Texas School Business columnists: • Jim Walsh, The Law Dawg – Unleashed! • Terry Morawski, Tech Toolbox • Bobby Hawthorne, Game On! • Riney Jordan, The Back Page

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In the Spotlight Sharon Cox Denton ISD

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CD’s Texas AS Carl Key ISD New Diana

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

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From the Editor Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! We’ve been receiving a steady stream of Bragging Rights nominations. Being that it’s my job every month to highlight awesomeness in Texas K-12 public education, I’m not surprised at the influx. You’re making our job of selecting only 12 programs to highlight in our December special issue quite difficult, but I say: Bring. It. On. You still have time to nominate a program. The deadline is Monday, Sept. 1, at 5 p.m. For more information or to fill out a nomination form, visit www. texasschoolbusiness.com and click on the Bragging Rights link in the main menu. Speaking of awesome, you’ll find plenty of solid advice in our cover story for stimulating STEM growth in your district. It’s a timely read, especially given that the job market in Texas is increasingly demanding workers who have skills in science, technology, engineering and math. Also in this issue you’ll read about Rick Sandlin, a STEM rock star in Texarkana ISD. He’s retiring this December, but he’ll stay busy because the National Engineering Academy has asked him to serve on a committee charged with implementing K-12 engineering curriculum across the United States. Go, Rick! Lastly but not leastly (not a word, I know), you’ll find a profile on Carl Key, who is serving a second term as president of the Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. By the way, thank you to all the districts that submitted Who’s News announcements at the start of a new year. This section was so colossal in size that we had to hold tons of items for September. If you don’t see your district’s news in this issue, September is your month!

Katie Ford Editorial Director

(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) July / August 2014 Volume LX, Issue 10 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com Editorial Director Katie Ford Design Phaedra Strecher Columnists Bobby Hawthorne, Riney Jordan, Terry Morawski, Jim Walsh Advertising Sales Manager Lance Lawhon Texas Association of School Administrators Executive Director Johnny L. Veselka Assistant Executive Director, Services and Systems Administration Ann M. Halstead Director of Communications and Media Relations Suzanne Marchman ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620 Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and the Bragging Rights issue published in December by Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical 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.

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In Memoriam

H

ays CISD has lost an important figure in its history. William Mose “Moe” Johnson Sr. died June 23. He was 84. Born June 20, 1930, in Hays County, Johnson attended Buda schools and graduated from Buda High School in 1947. During his school days, he met lifelong friends Bob Barton and Henry ArmWilliam Mose bruster and excelled “Moe” Johnson Sr. in athletics, especially basketball and baseball. After a year at Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos (now Texas State University), Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army and re-enlisted at the onset of the Korean War. Stationed in Germany, he served in the military until 1952, when he returned home and married Eugenia “Gene” Crumley of San Marcos. In 1953, Johnson and Barton — neither of whom had newspaper experience or much money — bought the struggling Kyle News.

After a year in the newspaper business, Johnson sold his ownership interest to Barton for a box of cigars and accepted a position as a teacher and coach at Kyle High School. In his new job, Johnson taught eight subjects and coached all junior high and high school boys’ sports. He also drove the team bus to games, maintained the athletics field and cleaned the dressing rooms. Under his coaching, the Kyle Panthers basketball team became a powerhouse, winning its district every year between 1955 to 1960 and its region from 1956 to 1960 — a period during which the team lost only one home game and posted a record of 172 wins and 34 losses. The Panthers were state champion finalists in 1959. In 1960, a 29-year-old Johnson was appointed superintendent of Kyle ISD, beginning an administrative career that lasted 24 years. In 1967, he was chosen to lead the merger of Kyle, Buda and Wimberley schools into the new Hays Consolidated Independent School District. Because he was born in Buda and had become a pillar of the Kyle community, Johnson was in a unique position to bridge the intense rivalry between the two neighboring communities. He served as Hays CISD superintendent until 1984.

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Following his retirement as a school district administrator, Johnson served as a consultant on school campus for Pfluger and Associates, an Austin-based architecture firm. He also sat on the board of the Region 13 Education Services Center. Outside of work, he devoted himself to raising awareness of local history, a passion he shared with his wife. They published a book about Kyle High School titled “Panthers Fight, Never Die” and were active in efforts to preserve and restore Kyle’s historic downtown. Johnson is survived by his sister, Mac Freeman of Buda, and three children: Leslie Jones and her husband, Glen, of Buda; Buddy Johnson and his wife, Nancy, of Buda; and Bobby Johnson and his wife, Pam, of Longview. He is also survived by granddaughters Reagan Berry, Sarah Johnson, Emily Johnson, Bethany Johnson and Hannah Johnson; grandsons Jason Jones, Kyle Berry and Trey Johnson; great-grandson Wylie Berry; and numerous nieces and nephews. Moe and Gene Johnson were married for nearly 60 years before her death in August 2013. Adapted from the June 25 edition of the San Marcos Mercury. TSB

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THE LAW DAWG – Unleashed by Jim Walsh

Can you take ‘yes’ for an answer?

S

ome people do not want to take “yes” for an answer. That seems to be the case with the lawyers who support the cheerleaders in Kountze ISD. This story can be summed up as follows: CHEERLEADERS: We want to put Scripture quotes on the banners that the football team runs through. SUPERINTENDENT: You can’t do that. It’s unconstitutional. LAWYERS: If you don’t let the cheerleaders put Scripture quotes on the banners, we will sue you. SCHOOL BOARD: OK. The cheerleaders can put Scripture quotes on the banners. LAWYERS: We will keep suing you anyway. BEAUMONT COURT OF APPEALS: There is nothing to sue over. This case is moot. LAWYERS: We will take this up with the Texas Supreme Court! The Liberty Institute, the nonprofit legal organization supporting the cheerleaders in this case, is unwilling to declare victory and go on to the next fight. They want to make a point. They want to establish that the words printed on these banners are protected by the First Amendment. The Beaumont Court of Appeals did not say that, and thus, the constitutionality of the use of Scripture quotes on cheerleader banners remains unresolved. The cheerleaders in Kountze are happy. The lawyers are not. They have not made their point. Litigation is a lot simpler when it is about money. If you get rear-ended by a big truck, you can’t work and you have big medical bills. You sue to get the money back, plus a little bonus for your pain and suffering. That type of litigation is comparatively simple. Moreover, it’s a lot

easier to resolve — you just have to find the number that both sides can live with. Litigation over religion in the public schools is about making points, and that is much more complicated. Compromise becomes difficult when deeply held principles are at stake. The candy cane case in Plano ISD, now 11 years old and still going on, is a great example of this. There, the lawyers have sought to impose personal liability on public school principals who interpreted the First Amendment in a way that the lawyers did not like. I doubt the plaintiffs in that case are really interested in a monetary award. But that’s not really the point. The point is to make the point: Schools should allow the distribution of religious messages in the school. Public schools get battered around in the process — ground zero in the culture wars over the role of religion in public life. Jesus spoke about litigation. I think it’s fair to say that he did not encourage it. Of course, he spoke about being the defendant, not the plaintiff: “And if any man will sue thee at law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Jesus also spoke of how blessed it is to be persecuted for a righteous cause. He did not say: “Blessed are you when men persecute you for my sake, for you will then have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, as well as nonprofit lawyers ready to assist you.” Didn’t say that at all. But perhaps he would say: “If any man will sue thee over thy cheerleader banners, let him say what he wants on thy banners, and let him sue thee for attorneys’ fees also.” We shall see. JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Anderson Gallegos Green and Treviño P.C. He can be reached at jwalsh@wabsa. com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg.

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Who’s News Abilene ISD Cyndi Smith is the new principal of Madison Middle School. She was principal of Thomas Elementary School since 2010 and has more than 14 years of experience as a middle school instructional specialist, mathematics consultant and math teacher. She began her career in 1994 as a math teacher at Abilene ISD’s Cooper High School, then taught the same subject at Clack Middle School for five years. She was a middle school math consultant for AP Strategies Inc. for five years before taking her first administrative position as an instructional specialist at Mann Middle School. She then held the same position at Abilene High before her most recent job at Thomas. Allen ISD Greg Cartwright has been named the district’s chief financial officer. He comes to his new position from Frenship ISD, where he served in the same capacity for the past five years. Prior to that assignment, he worked in finance in the private secGreg Cartwright tor for the Neiman-Marcus Company, Texas Oil and Gas Company, and Conoco Petroleum. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he majored in finance and accounting, he is a CPA and a certified Texas School Business Official. Patrick Tanner is the district’s new executive director of technology. Most recently chief technology officer for the Responsive Education Solutions Charter School, he has also served as Carroll ISD’s chief technology officer and as a senior netPatrick Tanner work engineer for Garland ISD. In addition, he has been a manager of information and technology services with Skyward Inc., a systems engineer with Southwest Airlines, and an information systems manager in the U.S. Air Force. Tanner is a graduate of Dallas Christian College. Bryan ISD A new athletic director has been named for Bryan ISD. He is Lance Angel, who has served in similar positions for the past 12 years, most recently in Palestine ISD, where he was athletic director and head football coach since 2010. Prior to that, he was with Canton, Cooper, Aledo, Wink and Elgin ISDs. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University, he pursued graduate studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. Alison Boggan, former assistant princi8

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

pal of Kemp-Carver Elementary School, is now the campus principal. She was the school’s dean of instruction from 1998 to 2013. Boggan has a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a Lance Angel master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University. Cathy Burgin is the district’s new director of special education. She comes to her new job from Klein ISD, where she served as special educaAlison Boggan tion program coordinator since 2005. She has also been a campus instructional specialist in Spring Branch ISD and an adaptive behavior teacher in Fort Bend ISD. In addition, she taught at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Montessori School in Houston and in Houston ISD. She is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas’ Department of Education. Burgin holds three degrees from the University of Houston: a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and a doctorate in educational psychology. The new principal of Neal Elementary School is Juanita Collins, who was the school’s assistant principal since 2012. Prior to that, she was a third grade teacher at the campus, where she also spent four years as a master teacher. From 1998 to Juanita Collins 2005, she was a fifth grade teacher in San Felipe Del Rio CISD. Collins has a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. Bridget Cooper is now principal of Bowen Elementary School, after serving as assistant principal of Kemp-Carver Elementary since 2013. Prior to that, she was a master teacher and professional development specialist at that school, as Bridget Cooper well as a teacher at Neal Elementary for five years. Cooper earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. Kammi Green has been appointed director of curriculum and instruction. Previously, she was interim superintendent, assistant superintendent, and executive director of

instruction and accountability at Anderson-Shiro CISD. Additionally, she served in Bryan ISD as a professional development specialist. Green received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies Kammi Green and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University. Leslie Holtkamp is now the district’s director of professional development. She most recently spent two years as chief of school choice initiatives for Willis ISD. Prior to that, she was principal of Willis High School and worked as an assistant principal at the Woodlands High School McCullough Campus in Conroe ISD. She also was assistant principal of Knox Junior High in that district. Previously, she was a counselor in Humble ISD and a teacher in Conroe, Lamar and Willis ISDs. Holtkamp earned her bachelor’s degree in business, her master’s degree in counselor education and her doctorate in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University. A director of the district’s new Department of Fine Arts is in place. He is Nicholas Luggerio, who worked as director of fine arts and director of bands for Huntsville ISD since 2004. He was also director of bands for Crosby ISD. Luggerio Nicholas Luggerio holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a law degree from South Texas College of Law, a bachelor’s degree in music from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a master’s degree in music from Sam Houston State University. Now leading Mitchell Elementary School as principal is John Rokenbrod, who comes to his new job from Virginia, where he was Amelia County Public Schools’ supervisor of technology and public relations and the principal of Amelia County John Rokenbrod Elementary School. Prior to that, he was the district’s coordinator of testing, technology and public relations; assistant to the coordinator of the gifted and talented program; principal of Amelia County High School; and assistant principal of Mills Godwin High. Rokenbrod, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, has a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. See WHO’S NEWS on page 10


TECH TOOLBOX

by Terry Morawski

Allowing students  to  sit  or  stand   Increasing  engagement  time  20%  

Common myths about education technology

H

ere are some common myths about education technology and some tips on how your district can combat them.

1. Online classes are cheaper than inperson classes. The answer is yes and no. Yes, a district can save money on physical classroom space. But on the other side, online programs require oversight. In addition, the online curriculum must meet state and district standards. Although state standards may be achievable from an out-of-the-box solution, the districts must be involved to verify that the curriculum meets their needs. Advice: Weigh all of the costs, hard costs and associated, when considering online education models. 2. This device/software/website is the answer! Too often, a technological solution is seen as the savior for learning. Marketing machines have been quick to oversell tablet computers or the latest online tool to effect massive change. The core of successful instruction rests with the teacher, and no tech tool can fill a gap without the teacher’s support and understanding. Advice: Keep perspective and don’t be afraid to pilot a project and monitor results. Also, provide great training on tech tools that your district sees as valuable.

The lesson here is not that electronic devices are bad; they just have negative social implications in certain settings. Advice: There are really two types of social interaction that must be learned by young people: in person and digital. Be careful not to dismiss digital interaction, as this has become a valuable part of people’s lives. 5. Teachers who are newer to the profession, or younger, are better at effectively integrating technology into learning. Research has shown that teachers fall in different points on a continuum of technology understanding. I previously wrote about one such design, the SAMR model. SAMR is an acronym for different stages of understanding, which includes Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. It is too simple to assume someone’s age would be the only factor that determines where they fall on the SAMR spectrum. Advice: Approach technology training from a coaching perspective, as opposed to dividing teachers into two groups, i.e., those who “get it” and those who don’t.

3. Interactive = educational. I admit, I’ve fallen victim to this one. It is easy to get excited about a whiz-bang technology that “immerses” students in their learning. Yes, learning should have elements of play to keep the school experience fresh and engaging. But it can be easy to convince yourself that all interactive play has a strong learning component. Advice: Evaluate interactive lessons and activities for their learning value. Don’t be too quick to judge the value of an activity, but it’s OK to ask these questions as an administrator.

6. Adding more technology is the answer. Often, technology success is measured by the number of computers in a school. Access to technology and the Internet are hugely important. But simple access is not enough. Everyone, from the superintendent to the teachers, needs to be fully committed to technology integration and training. Advice: Experts say teachers should be fearless about trying new technology, seeking opportunities to collaborate and learn, and openly sharing with parents what is being done with tech in classroom. Administrators should talk to teachers about their experiences. Create an open dialogue about shared expectations and realities and support professional development and training. Do you have any ed tech myths you’d like to share? Feel free to send them my way.

4. Technology is bad for social development. In our house, we have a strict rule about not using the phone while at the dinner table. There is a time and a place for technology.

TERRY MORAWSKI serves as the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. You can email him at terrymorawski@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @terrymorawski.

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 8

Carroll ISD A new assistant principal is in place for Walnut Grove Elementary School. He is Mike Landers, who was assistant principal of Johnson Elementary for the past seven years. From 1999 until 2007, he was a fifth grade math and science Mike Landers teacher at Porter Elementary School and a pre-AP math and science teacher at Smithfield Middle School in Birdville ISD. He joined Carroll ISD in 2007. Landers holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington. College Station ISD Jeff Durand is now principal of Creek View Elementary School, where he had served as assistant principal since the campus opened in 2009. Before that assignment, he was the enrichment specialist at Forest Ridge Elementary. He spent 11 years Jeff Durand teaching fourth and fifth grades in Humble ISD; Overland Park, Kan.; and Northside ISD. Durand received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas and his master’s degree in teaching and leadership from the University of Kansas. Now leading College Hills Elementary School as principal is Josh Hatfield, who spent the past four years as assistant principal of Southwood Valley Elementary. Before joining College Station ISD, he was a fifth grade math Josh Hatfield and science teacher and team leader in Hempstead ISD for five years. Hatfield earned both his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and his master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. Stormy Hickman, former assistant principal of A&M Consolidated High School, is now principal of Spring Creek Elementary School. She previously was assistant principal of Greens Prairie Stormy Hickman Elementary. Before taking 10

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

on administrative assignments, Hickman was an English teacher at A&M Consolidated for eight years, also serving as yearbook advisor, level leader and English Department chair. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. The new principal of Rock Prairie Elementary School is Robyn Jones, who has spent her career in College Station ISD. She was assistant principal of College Hills and Southwood Valley elementary schools, enrichment summer school prinRobyn Jones cipal, a Head Start teacher at Southwood Valley, kindergarten and fourth grade teacher at Forest Ridge Elementary, coordinator of the Texas School Ready Project, and director of and family engagement specialist at the Barbara Bush Parent Center. Jones has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University. Comfort ISD Leslie Vann, the district’s new superintendent, was most recently the assistant superintendent of finance and operations in Lamesa ISD. He took his first principal position in Lometa ISD in 1994 before moving to work in the same capacity in Wellman-Union ISD. In 1999, he returned to Lometa ISD as superintendent, remaining in that district until taking the top position in Gorman ISD, where he served for four years. He returned to Wellman-Union, where he was superintendent until his most recent assignment in Lamesa. Vann earned both his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and his master’s degree from Tarleton State University. Crowley ISD The following administrative appointments have been made for the district: • Joseph Branch, assistant principal, Harris Intermediate School; • Annette Duvall, director of college and career readiness; • Elisa Fisher, director of special services; • Ed Hernandez, chief instruction officer; • MaLisa Horton, principal, Deer Creek Elementary School; • Bill Johnson, deputy superintendent of policy and support services; • Theresa Kohler, chief employee services officer; • Jose Angel Lara, principal, Crowley Learning Center;

• • • • • • • • •

Trent Lovette, deputy superintendent of school administration; Rashad Muhammad, associate principal, Crowley High School; Theresa Paschall, coordinator of counseling services; Jim Phillips, principal, Stevens Middle School; Mary Preston, assistant principal, North Crowley Ninth Grade Center; Emily Scott, principal, Hargrave Elementary School; Renee Treat, director of staff development; Felicia Wilkerson, coordinator of elementary ELAR/social studies; and Clarence Williams, assistant principal, North Crowley High School.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Cypress-Fairbanks Board of Trustees member Bob Covey has been elected a director of the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards (GCAASB) for 2014-2015. GCAASB is an organization comprised of more than 50 school Bob Covey boards from the greater Houston area. Cypress Springs High School girls’ track and field coach Ruqayya Gibson has been named the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association (TTFCA) Girls’ Coach of the Year. After serving as an assistant principal at the AlRuqayya Gibson ternative Learning Center West since 2012, Kenneth Henry is now principal of Duryea Elementary School. He has been an educator for 16 years, nine of those with the district. After serving as a social skills and history teacher, intervention specialist and Kenneth Henry social worker in Texas City, La Marque and Galveston ISDs, he arrived at Cypress-Fairbanks in 2005. Initially a special education co-teacher and adaptive behavior teacher, he then was the at-risk coordinator at Lee Elementary. He took the position of assistant principal at Holmsley Elementary in 2010, remaining there until beginning his most recent position at the Alternative Learning Center. Henry, who earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lamar University, holds a masSee WHO’S NEWS on page 16


GAME ON! by Bobby Hawthorne

The often untold story of James Turner

J

ames Turner probably wouldn’t agree to an interview, even if I asked him nicely, because that’s not who he is. But I’m not going to let that stop me from writing about him. He is a former coach and assistant principal at Liberty High School in Liberty ISD, and if you’ve been in the school business for any time in that part of the state, then you probably have met or heard of him. In 1999, I attended an academic honors banquet at which I presented to him a UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. Only 10 are presented annually, and they’re spread among athletic and academic coaches, as well as fine arts directors. It comes with a cool plaque and a $1,000 check. James received his award not for all the years he spent as a baseball, basketball and football coach but for his success coaching the UIL number sense, calculator applications and science contests — three of the most difficult events in the UIL contest schedule. How it is that James came to coach these competitions is an interesting and inspiring story. Here it is: James graduated from West Liberty High School in 1954, during the worst days of Jim Crow and separate but equal. The school was a patchwork of bad intentions, attracting African-American students from Liberty and Hardin and a few other hamlets. It was intentionally under-funded and ignored, but James made the best of it. He was valedictorian and earned a football scholarship to Texas College in Tyler. In 1958, he returned to Liberty, took a coaching job at West Liberty and stayed there until 1965 when the school board finally integrated Liberty High — a full decade after the 1955 school board said it would study the prospects of ending segregation when it thought the time served “the best interest of the Liberty patrons.” James worked his way up the coaching ladder, served as an assistant principal and was named “Teacher of the Year” once or twice. By and by, his colleagues realized

he was something of a genius, and he began teaching all the advanced math classes while qualifying his UIL math teams to the state meet 14 consecutive years. Between 1985 and 1999, his math team placed second at state eight times and third place three times. Eventually, he told his superiors he wished to retire, but they wouldn’t hear of it. “We need you here, James,” they told him. “And not so much for the African-American students but for the white ones. They need to know that a man like you exists.” Some of them apparently didn’t or refused to admit they did, because Liberty has not always been the most liberating place, even by East Texas standards. You don’t have to look long or hard to find a Confederate flag thereabouts. So, James’ bosses pleaded with him to stay on, and he agreed to do so on a schedule that allowed him to wet a hook each afternoon. He also drove a bus and tutored UIL math kids when he could and wanted to. He’s fully retired now and living in New Caney — or was, the last I heard. I’m writing about James because he refused to be defeated — on the playing field, in the classroom, in life. He survived some of the worst times in our nation’s history, and he thrived in many of the best. He often told his students: “Hard work and commitment make winners,” and he was living proof of that. At some point this year, you’re going to be tired and frustrated, and you’re going to why, how, so what and what if. Before you decide to do anything foolish or rash, think about James, about his resilience, about his devotion to excellence, and if that doesn’t put your problems in perspective, then perhaps you are in the wrong business after all. BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” both published by The University of Texas Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.

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texasschoolbusiness.com July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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Science, technology and math — oh my! Experts share how to stimulate STEM education to meet future needs

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by John Egan

n a mild spring day in early May 2013, President Barack Obama made a whirlwind tour of the Austin area. His first stop: Manor New Technology High School in Manor ISD. Before a boisterous crowd, Obama touted Manor New Tech High School as exemplary of what can be accomplished in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The President used the occasion to kick off his Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. It’s no wonder that the President wanted to shine a light on Manor New Tech’s STEM-oriented, project-based model for

learning. According to Principal Steve Zipkes, Manor New Tech boasts a 99.4 percent graduation rate, a 100 percent acceptance rate among school graduates who apply to colleges and Steve Zipkes universities, and an attendance rate of nearly 97 percent — the highest in Manor ISD. “My kids want to be here,” Zipkes says. Furthermore, the school’s ninth through 12th graders perform better than their Texas peers on state assessment tests, he says.

“There’s a reason why teachers and principals from all over the country are coming down to see what you’re up to,” Obama told the crowd during his visit. “Because every day, this school is proving that every child has the potential to learn the real-world skills they need to succeed in college and beyond.” Across Texas, more than 40,000 students are picking up real-world skills at 70 STEM academies and through another seven campus programs that blend early college and STEM education, according to Educate Texas, a public-private initiative. These initiatives, though strong, are barely scratching the surface, as more than

As part of his Texas tour, President Barack Obama visits with Manor ISD students who are members of FRC 2789 Team TEXplosion. The high school team has traveled nationally to compete in FIRST events, which challenge high school students to cooperate with experienced mentors to build a robot in six weeks that can complete a set tasks. FIRST — or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — is a nonprofit public charity that designs programs that allow K-12 students to pursue STEM education and career opportunities, while building their self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. 12

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Students perfect their creation during the fourth annual Manor ISD Elementary Robotics Competition, hosted in the Manor New Technology High School gym.

5 million students are enrolled in Texas public schools. If those numbers are any indication, Texas may have some lengths to go to compete in an increasingly STEMfocused economy. An October 2011 analysis from Georgetown University predicts that Texas will need workers to fill 715,380 STEM-related jobs by 2018, up from 584,120 in 2008. Texas isn’t alone in this predicament, of course. Some observers say the entire country is facing a “STEM literacy” crisis in the workforce. “I believe our future longevity as a nation is tied to STEM. Even those jobs that we consider low skill and low wage are increasingly being infused with the need to be STEM literate,” says Mike Yakubovsky, coordinator of the STEM Academy at Coppell High School in Coppell ISD. A congressional report released in 2012 stated that the United States is failing to produce enough skilled workers

to meet the growing needs of STEM and non-STEM employers. “Current statistics on STEM education in the U.S. highlight the challenge facing educators and policymakers, making it clear that the United States must do more to build a strong STEM workforce if it is to remain competitive in the global economy,” the report says. Yakubovsky says Texas historically has been at the forefront of STEM education in the nation, but other states are making gains and catching up. “Other states have been putting a lot of resources into improving their STEM education programs and learning from our progress,” he says. “Over the past couple of years, I have seen tremendous gains made in other states to close the gap. If we are not careful, we may find our state behind.” So, what can your school or district do to ensure it’s not left behind in STEM education? Educators offer these suggestions.

Build community partnerships. STEM programs work best when educators collaborate with local businesses, community representatives, parents and students to get a handle on what STEM education looks like from pre-K to college, says Ravae Shaeffer, a coordinator at the Region 20 Education Service Center. A school district should establish a long-range plan for STEM, she says, “to determine how to offer STEM programming that prepares students for the STEM jobs that currently exist — and those we’ve yet to imagine.” Also, a district should set up a STEM advisory group charged with building a basic curriculum model, launching the STEM program and evaluating its success, Shaeffer says. “Each community is unique,” Yakubovsky adds. “Regardless of the approach to implementing a STEM program, schools need to recognize and leverage the resources within the community, the See SCIENCE on page 15 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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TACS hosts surprise roast at annual Presidents Luncheon The Texas Association of Community Schools held a surprise roast for retiring Executive Director Ken McCraw at its annual Presidents Luncheon in Austin. The association also recognized outgoing President Mary Ann Whiteker of Hudson ISD, incoming President Herb Youngblood of Abernathy ISD and the new TACS executive director, Barry Haenisch.

Outgoing TACS President Mary Ann Whiteker of Hudson ISD and Ken McCraw.

TACS Executive Director Barry Haenisch and his wife, Linda.

Ken McCraw (right) with his son, Micah; daughter, Sara; and wife, Lynn.

TACS legislative consultant David Holt and Ken McCraw.

Blake Powell of Powell & Leon LLP, Ken McCraw, Sara Leon of Powell & Leon LLP, Mary Ann Whiteker of Hudson ISD and HD Chambers of Alief ISD. 14

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

Retired TACS Executive Director Ken McCraw.

Texas Rural Education Association Executive Director Don Rogers, TACS Director of Administration Linda Valk and AIM Inc. President Elgin Allen.

Mike Motheral of the Small Rural School Finance Coalition and Ken McCraw.

Photos: Rick Henson Photography, www.rickhensonphoto.com


SCIENCE continued from page 13

needs and interests of the students, and the abilities and strengths of the faculty.”

Do your homework. Penny Tramel, executive director of curriculum and instruction at Coppell ISD, recommended that districts get up to speed by delving into STEM education research and visiting other STEM schools and districts. Penny Tramel Part of that research could include the blueprint created by the Texas Education Agency for its T-STEM initiative. Yakubovsky says it’s “a great framework to create a STEM program that is integrated with the core classes.”

Be flexible. “A quality STEM program is not static. It must change and adapt continually,” Yakubovsky says. “Technology is changing at a breakneck pace. Things that were fantasy a couple of years ago are commonplace today and will be obsolete before you can blink.”

Don’t be complacent. Schools should continuously push past the status quo when it comes to STEM education, says Manor Principal Zipkes. While students and parents might seem satisfied with their schools, educators must examine whether the students’ needs are being met as technology and industry evolve. Along those lines, he says, educators must overcome any fear of failure regarding new approaches to learning. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” Zipkes says. This fall, Waco ISD is testing new waters as it rolls out a pre-K STEM initiative called STEMscopes Early Explorer. Made possible through a collaboration with Rice University and a Houston-based company called Accelerate Learning, the one-year pilot project will be offered to pre-K students in the district’s 15 elementary schools. Mary Konrad, coordinator of early childhood education, says STEMscopes Early Explorer promises to take the district’s pre-K STEM offerings to the next level. “It’s really learning through play, as far as the children are concerned, but it’s

well-designed and very intentioned and purposeful,” Konrad says. STEMscopes Early Explorer will emphasize hands-on activities that let pre-K students Mary Konrad “explore the world around them and expand their natural curiosity to build new concepts,” says Terri Patterson, executive director of elementary education.

Incorporate every element of STEM. Classwork in science, technology, engineering and math should be intertwined, says Araceli Martinez Ortiz, director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University. A few math and science classes alone do not constitute a STEM program, Zipkes adds. “When students learn STEM in an integrated manner, they benefit by learning fundamental concepts in science and mathematics within a real context, such as engineering, and they learn about careers, develop process skills and learn to use technological tools to aid their learning and problem-solving,” Ortiz says. Nowhere is that put into practice more than at Manor New Tech. There, teachers don’t lecture students, and students don’t regurgitate knowledge from lectures and textbooks, Zipkes says. Instead, the school’s nearly 400 iPad-equipped students are engaged every day in multifac-

eted STEM projects that excite and challenge them. For instance, a history teacher might team up with a math teacher to develop a project about the effect of castles on world history and the engineering work that goes into building a castle. State education standards shape every project, Zipkes says, and students are evaluated on such items as communication, collaboration, work ethic, research and critical thinking. “We don’t just teach content,” he says. “Those days are gone.” From pre-K all the way through high school, districts such as Coppell, Manor and Waco are stimulating the growth of STEM education. They are doing what former U.S. Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote about in a recent op-ed piece in the Houston Chronicle. Bennett recalled speaking at a gathering of 1,000 Rockwall ISD elementary teachers who collectively told him that American society as a whole needs “a full cultural embrace” of STEM. Wrote Bennett: “We need to counter any temptations to surrender the STEM disciplines by adequately training our teachers and educators and also encouraging students and parents to appreciate and pursue the STEM pathways. America’s future depends on it.” JOHN EGAN serves as editor in chief at an Austin-based startup and also writes for CultureMap. From 1999 to 2006, he was editor and managing editor of the Austin Business Journal.

A Manor New Tech High student sharpens his welding skills. July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 10

ter’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. Jeff LaCoke, former principal of Frazier Elementary School, has been hired as principal of Ault Elementary. He has spent his 16-year career in the district, beginning as a teacher at Sheridan Elementary and then serving as assistant principal and Jeff LaCoke then principal of Frazier Elementary. A graduate of The University of Texas with a degree in applied learning and development, he received his master’s degree in administration and supervision from Sam Houston State University. Cy-Fair High School head coach and Athletic Director Ed Pustejovsky was inducted into the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association Hall of Honor during the organization’s spring awards ceremony in May. A graduate of CyEd Pustejovsky Fair High and Texas A&M University, Pustejovsky served as a part-time coach at A&M for two seasons before joining Cy-Fair High as an offensive line coach, a position he held for 23 seasons. He has been head coach and athletic director for 10 years, leading the Bobcats to five district championships and 20 playoff games during his tenure. Gloria Vasquez has been tapped to serve as principal of Frazier Elementary School. She was an educator in Galena Park ISD for 16 years, working as a teacher, bilingual instructional specialist, counselor, assistant principal and principal. Vasquez Gloria Vasquez received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Houston-University Park and two master’s degrees, in counseling and educational management, from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dallas ISD Sylvia Reyna, director of the School Leadership Department, has retired. She served in that position for two years after joining Dallas ISD from Fort Worth ISD, where she was chief of administration. She also held administrative roles in San Antonio and Edgewood ISDs. Del Valle ISD A new head women’s basketball coach 16

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Steven Alves

is in place for Del Valle High School. He is Steven Alves, who spent the past eight years as associate basketball coach. He is a graduate of Del Valle High and has a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Edward’s University

in Austin. Lloyd Burton is the new head football coach of Del Valle High School, coming to the district from Dulles High in Fort Bend ISD, where he was defensive coordinator for eight years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in Lloyd Burton Syracuse, N.Y., and played in both the NFL and European League. Todd Gratehouse is Del Valle ISD’s chief technology officer. An educator for 22 years, he was a teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels. He has managed local and state assessment programs in Austin ISD and in Pflugerville ISD, Todd Gratehouse where he most recently was a technology project manager. Gratehouse holds a bachelor’s degree in music and master’s degrees in technology and education administration. The district’s new director of transportation is Zorna Jackson, who most recently was with Austin ISD. She has worked in the transportation field for 18 years and is an active member of the Centex Association of Pupil Transportation. Zorna Jackson Now serving as director for data and accountability is Michael Richards. He comes to his new position from San Antonio ISD, where he managed research and state assessment for special education and directed the operations Michael Richards of several campuses. He has been an educator for more than 10 years and has published numerous articles in national and international journals, including the Journal of School Leadership. Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD The new principal of Chisholm Trail High School is Dana Barnes, who comes to

her new job from serving as principal of Wayside Middle School. An educator with 24 years of experience, she joined the district as Boswell High School’s 504/RtI assessment and academic administrator. Dana Barnes She took over the position of assistant principal there in 2011 and took her job at Wayside in 2012. Barnes, who earned her master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas, is completing her doctorate in educational administration at Texas A&M University at Commerce. Amber Beene, the new principal of Saginaw Elementary School, had been serving as assistant principal of the school. Prior to that, she was with Coppell and Northwest ISDs. A new director of elementary services has Amber Beene been appointed. He is Daniel Gallagher, an educator for 18 years who was principal of Remington Point Elementary since 2013. He was principal of Butler Elementary in Arlington ISD. Gallagher has been a classroom teacher at both Daniel Gallagher the elementary and secondary levels. He received his master’s degree in education from Texas Wesleyan University. Now serving as executive director for educational services is David Priddy, who was principal of Saginaw High School since 2011. He formerly worked in Plano, Allen, Hillsboro and Burleson ISDs. An educator for 33 years, Priddy holds David Priddy a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. The new principal of Northbrook Elementary School is Doug Sevier, who comes to his new position from Irving ISD, where he was principal of Good Elementary. Also in that district, he spent six years as principal and three years as vice principal. Sevier, an educator for 20 years, is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. Melanie Stitt, former principal of Willkie Middle School, is now principal of Watson High School. She has been an educator for 19 years, 12 of those as an administrator. She has


Who’s News been a middle school principal and was named principal of Comanche Spring Elementary in 2007, remaining in that position until opening Willkie in 2009. Stitt earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Melanie Stitt Arkansas State University. Stacy Summerhill, now director of curriculum and learning services, was formerly the district’s English language arts/reading curriculum coordinator. She has been an educator for 22 years, 12 of those as an administrator and the balance as a classroom teacher. Summerhill, who joined the district in 2012, received her master’s degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University. Eanes ISD Cedar Creek Elementary School will welcome Jessica Brown as principal in August. A district employee for nine years, she was a counselor and teacher at Bridge Point Elementary and most recently served as assistant principal of Forest Trail Jessica Brown Elementary. Brown earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco and completed her master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University in Austin. Todd Dodge, former head football coach at Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls ISD, is the new district athletic director and head football coach of Westlake High School. He has 30 years of experience, including working as head football Todd Dodge coach of Southlake Carroll High School in Carroll ISD, Fossil Ridge High School in Keller ISD and Yoe High School in Cameron ISD. He has also held coaching positions at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Dallas. Dodge is a graduate of The University of Texas, where he was a three-year starting quarterback, with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. New Superintendent Tom Leonard spent the past seven years as superintendent of the Barrington 220 School District in Illinois. Prior to that position, he spent 20 years as a teacher, coach, Math Department chair, assistant principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent in Illinois. He was also an elected school board member for nine years in the Rondout El-

Tom Leonard

ementary School District in Lake Forest, Ill. Leonard, whose doctorate was awarded from Loyola University in Chicago, holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in secondary education, both from Northern Illinois University.

Ector County ISD Principals have been named for several schools, including three new campuses yet to be named: • Jacob Bargas, Cameron Elementary School; • Kendra Herrera, Ector Junior High School; • Andrea Martin, Hood Junior High School; • Jaime Miller, Ireland Elementary School; • Alicia Press, new elementary school; • Sunny Rodriguez, Gonzales Elementary School; • Autumn Sloan, Pease Elementary School; • Wayne Squiers, Reagan Elementary School; • Linda Subia, new elementary school; • Alicia Syverson, new elementary school; and • Pam Walker, San Jacinto Elementary School. El Paso ISD New Chief Financial Officer Arthur Martin brings more than 30 years of school finance experience to his new position. He most recently served as chief financial officer for Slaton ISD and as a school financial consultant for Plainview ISD. Prior to Arthur Martin that, Martin was assistant superintendent for financial services and chief financial officer for Lubbock ISD. He also spent 20 years with Midland ISD as a staff accountant and executive director of business services and eight years as chief financial officer. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and MBA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Ennis ISD A new head basketball coach has been named for Ennis High School. He is Ted Williams, who began his career in Kirbyville ISD as an assistant coach and has been head basketball coach in Jasper ISD for the past seven years. He

has a bachelor’s degree in health education and kinesiology. ESC Region 6 Former Forney ISD Superintendent Michael Holland is now executive director of ESC Region 6 in Huntsville. He was with Forney ISD since 2011 and has served a total of 20 years as a superintendent. Holland began his career in Overton ISD in 1982 as a teacher and coach, taking his first administrative position in Temple ISD, where he was assistant principal of Temple High School. He then worked in Rogers ISD as a junior high and high school principal. He was named assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Clifton ISD in 1993 and took his first superintendent position, in Thorndale ISD, in 1994. Three years later, he accepted the top position in Magnolia ISD. Holland holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from North Texas State University and a master’s degree in education from Tarleton State University. Fort Bend ISD Now holding the position of director of elementary curriculum is Kristi Corbitt, who began her career 10 years ago in Fort Worth’s Northwest ISD as a teacher at Seven Hills Elementary. In 2009, she joined Fort Bend ISD as assistant principal of Walker Station Elementary, going on to serve in the top position at Burton Elementary. Corbitt received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Michael Ewing is the new director of atrisk programs, returning to the district from Stafford MSD, where he was director of federal and state programs. Prior to that, he was a special education coordinator in Fort Bend ISD and worked in Alief ISD as an ARD coordinator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Texas Southern University and a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University. New Assistant Superintendent Anthony Indelicato, who spent the past four years as principal of Kempner High School, also has served as an educational leadership specialist at ESC Region 4, as an assistant principal and principal in Klein ISD, and as an adjunct professor at Sam Houston State University. Indelicato, who began his career as an art teacher, received his bachelor of fine arts degree from Southern Methodist University and his master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina. His master’s degree in administration and doctorate in education were awarded from Sam Houston State University. See WHO’S NEWS on page 19 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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IN THE

Spotlight

Texarkana ISD’s Rick Sandlin to keep enriching education, even in retirement by Elizabeth Millard

S

omeone may need to explain the concept of retirement to Rick Sandlin. This December, the Texarkana ISD administrator will wrap up 35 years of working in public education. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s all golf courses and road trips from here. Sandlin, who serves as the district’s director of elementary operations, hopes to become a force for change in retirement by serving on a National Academy of Engineering committee charged with implementing K-12 engineering curriculum in the United States. This past March, the academy asked Sandlin to serve on the national task force, which includes executives from leading scientific companies and even a former astronaut. Of the committee’s 18 members, Sandlin is the only elementary school representative.

“I think what I bring to the committee is practical experience because we’ve tried many strategies in terms of student education and teacher professional development, and they didn’t all work,” admits Sandlin, who was the first and only principal of Morriss Mathematics and Engineering Elementary School in Texarkana ISD until he moved into his current position this fall. “I feel that’s a valuable perspective. We don’t have all the answers here, but we do have years of practice when it comes to trying to increase STEM knowledge.” Sandlin’s love for elementary education began with his experience as a student. When he was in second grade, his father was killed in a car accident. Fellow students, teachers and administrators at his elementary school became a kind of extended family after the tragedy. When Sandlin met for the first time a male

Rick Sandlin (right), former principal of Morriss Mathematics and Engineering Elementary School, gives U.S. Sen. John Cornyn a tour of the campus. 18

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

teacher — in sixth grade — he knew he had found what he wanted to be when he grew up. Elementary education is compelling to Sandlin because children at that age still have a sense of wonder and discovery, he says. “There’s opportunity … to instill an awe for learning,” he says.

‘(The students) are not all going to become engineers, but what they’re learning is how to solve problems and think in different ways about all subject areas.’

Sandlin began his education career in Texarkana ISD as a teacher at Highland Park and Kennedy elementary schools; he then became assistant principal of Wake Village Elementary in 1992. He went on to serve as principal of Highland Park, Nash and Wake Village elementary schools before becoming the first principal of Morriss Mathematics and Engineering Elementary School when it opened seven years ago. Before starting at Morriss, Sandlin took a year off from campus administration to work on curriculum development for the new elementary school. A committee of residents was assembled, and Sandlin began interviewing engineers in the community to ask what they would recommend for a better start in elementary education.


The result was more courses in math but also a strong focus on how engineering is used in everyday experiences. For example, children reading the book “Mr. Bear’s Chair,” in which a bear’s chair breaks and he must build a new one, are given hands-on engineering experience by designing and building a chair. In classes about Native Americans, students learn how this population used engineering principles to build primitive dwellings. “Everything we teach is through the lens of engineering,” explains Sandlin. “(The students) are not all going to become engineers, but what they’re learning is how to solve problems and think in different ways about all subject areas. In my 35 years of education, I’ve seen a lot of programs that try to teach children how to learn, but this one really does.” When Sandlin first came to Morriss, he only planned to stay a few years, but the importance of the school’s mission fueled his passion for education. “This has been a mountaintop experience for me and so much fun to see kids interested in learning,” he says. “I’m excited for the next step. Being part of the committee is an honor and an opportunity.” Sandlin says he believes the national academy sought him because he presented to congressional subcommittees on education. He also has seen success in developing Morriss as a STEM school. He hopes

FUN FACTS ABOUT RICK

SANDLIN:

Last book I read that I really liked: “The Fundamental Five” by Sean Cain and Mike Laird. When I want to unwind, you’ll find me: doing yardwork. I earned my first dollar by: cutting lawns. Something I will not miss when I retire: the alarm going off early in the morning. Also, lunch duty!

to share the importance of teacher professional development and smooth transitional paths between elementary school, middle school, high school and college. “Right now, we have siloes of education, but if you lay those down, you create a continuous pipeline,” he says. “We need a K-16 perspective when it comes to education.” Morriss, for example, has a partnership with Texas A&M University to make sure the elementary school’s curriculum is on track for fostering future engineers. Sandlin’s retirement won’t focus entirely on education, however. There are some lucky grandchildren who are about to get many more visits from their newly retired grandfather. The veteran educator

also admits that he is looking forward to sleeping in sometimes. In general, he looks forward to a balance of leisure and engagement, and he looks back on his career with fond memories. “It’s been a satisfying and rewarding career, and I hope to keep doing my part to help education,” he says. ELIZABETH MILLARD writes for a variety of business and technology publications. When not stringing words together, she fights potato beetles and grows delicious food at Bossy Acres, a USDAcertified organic vegetable farm in Minnesota.

Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 17

Jessica McMullen has been appointed principal of Schiff Elementary School. She comes to Fort Bend ISD from Alvin ISD, where she was an elementary principal for two years and an elementary assistant principal for four years. She was the district’s Principal of the Year in 2013. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Hudson ISD, also serving as the Math Department chair, a campus trainer, new teacher trainer and curriculum writer. She taught at the middle school and high school levels as well. McMullen earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. The district has hired Heather Morgan as principal of Blue Ridge Elementary School. She began her career 15 years ago as an instructional specialist for Irving ISD’s Kinkeade Early Childhood School, also working as a Head Start

grant coordinator for that district. She joined Fort Bend ISD in 2006 as a fifth grade teacher at Mission West Elementary, advancing the following year to assistant principal, the position she held until accepting her new assignment. Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Texas. Frisco ISD Kenny Chandler has been named executive director of student services, moving to his new position from serving as area director for curriculum and instruction. He has been an educator for 30 years, 16 of those as an administrator. Chandler was a high school coach and science teacher at the beginning of his career, from 1984 to 1998, then spent two years as an assistant principal in Sweetwater ISD. He joined Frisco ISD as an assistant principal of Clark

Middle School and was principal of Wester Middle School for five years. Chandler, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, holds a master’s degree from Angelo State UniverKenny Chandler sity. A new director of coordinated school health is in place. She is Sheila Gardner from Lewisville ISD, where she was the K-12 health and PE coordinator. Gardner has been an educator for 17 years. She is a graduate of Montana State University. The new deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction is Katie Kordel, who was most recently an area director for secondary instruction. Kordel has 12 years of administrative experience and joined the district in 2003 See WHO’S NEWS on page 20 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 19

as an assistant principal at Clark Middle School. She went on to work as principal of Pioneer Heritage Middle School for three years before taking her most recent position. Kordel began her career Katie Kordel in Allen ISD as a biology teacher. She is completing her doctorate in education at the University of North Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Pam Linton, who was executive director for secondary in the Human Resources Department at Richardson ISD, is now assistant superintendent for human resources in Frisco. With 16 years of experience in administration, she began Pam Linton her career in Austin ISD. Linton’s bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas, and her master’s degree is from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). She is pursuing her doctorate at Dallas Baptist University. Grace McDowell is the new assistant athletic director. She has been an educator since 1992, joining Frisco ISD in 2002. She has taught science, health and PE in middle school and high school and has coached basketball, track, volleyball and softball. She also formerly was an assistant athletic coordinator at Liberty High. McDowell has a bachelor’s degree from Lyon College in Arkansas and master’s degrees from the University of Houston and Lamar University. Now serving as the district’s director of auxiliary personnel is Cory McClendon, who was previously principal of Maus Middle School. He came to Frisco ISD 10 years ago as a teacher and coach at Centennial High. He was an assistant Cory McClendon principal at Roach Middle School before opening Maus in 2010. He was a middle school and high school teacher and coach in Wichita Falls and Plano ISDs from 2000 to 2004. McClendon holds a bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas, where is at work on his doctorate. Now serving as director of assessment and accountability is Gary Nye. An educator 20

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since 1998, he taught middle school science in Fort Worth and Plano ISDs and was an administrative intern and dean of students before joining Frisco ISD in 2006 as an assistant principal at Wester Middle School. He served there until opening Hunt Middle School as principal in 2010. Nye earned his bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and his master’s and doctoral degree from the University of North Texas. The district’s new director of fine arts is Richard Oldham. He spent the past two years as assistant director of that area. Prior to that, he was an assistant principal and a visual arts teacher. He also worked in the private sector as the public art manager for the city of Frisco. Oldham received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Angela Romney is now an area director of secondary instruction. She was most recently principal of Wester Middle School, having come to the district in 2006 as an assistant principal. Prior to that, she was a coach, teacher and administrator in school districts in Arkansas and Utah. Romney earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, her master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and her doctorate from Dallas Baptist University. Clarence Williams has been named an area director of secondary instruction. He joined the district in 2009 as assistant principal of Heritage High School. The next year, he was named associate principal of Wakeland High, where he has been principal since 2013. Williams, who is a graduate of Northwestern State University, has a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Nine principals have been appointed for the 2014-2015 school year. They and their schools are: • Paige Brewer, Scott Elementary School; • Jodi Davis, Borchardt Elementary School; • Aaron Else, Hosp Elementary School; • Katherine Maas, Smith Elementary School; • Heather Meek, McSpadden Elementary School; • Pam Schaeffer, Shawnee Trail Elementary School; • Sherri Wakeland, Newman Elementary School; • Zach Wiley, Nichols Elementary School; and • Brenda Youngblood, Corbell Elementary School. Garrison ISD Lance Bernard, former principal of Garrison High School, now serves as the district’s head football coach and athletic director.

Reid Spivey has been promoted to principal of Garrison High School. He was previously a social studies teacher and football defensive coordinator at the school. Greenwood ISD The following administrative appointments have been finalized: • Stacy Jones, principal, Greenwood High School; • Debra Keel, director of testing and accountability; and • Byron Moreland, assistant superintendent of finance. Hays CISD Robin Kelley has retired after 34 years as an educator. She began as an elementary school teacher in Oklahoma, coming to Austin to serve in the same capacity and to work as an assistant principal. She joined Hays CISD in 2005 as principal of Tom Green Elementary, then led Pfluger Elementary when the new campus opened. Kelley, who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., received her master’s degree in education from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). Longtime educator Julie Ruisinger retired at the end of the school year, bringing to a close a 24-year career. She began as a middle school teacher in Round Rock ISD, teaching for eight years and serving in a number of administrative positions. She was named vice principal of Johnston High in Austin ISD in 2000, then spent 2004 to 2010 as a high school assistant principal and principal in California before coming to Hays CISD in 2010 to lead Live Oak Academy. Ruisinger’s bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas, and her master’s degree in education is from Texas State University. Ashley Taylor, who began her career in Hays CISD as a fourth grade teacher at Tom Green Elementary in 2005, is the new principal of Pfluger Elementary. She had been serving as that school’s assistant principal. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree in elementary education from the same institution. The district now has Michael Watson as principal of Live Oak Academy. He comes to Hays CISD from Gregory-Portland ISD in Corpus Christi, where he was director of alternative education. He began his career in Alice ISD as a teacher and coach. A former member of the U.S. Army, Watson earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Highland Park ISD (Dallas) April Estrada now holds the position of


Who’s News director of special programs. She has been director of special programs in Community ISD since 2010. She previously was a behavior specialist and special education teacher in Garland ISD and a special education teacher in Wylie ISD. Estrada, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas, received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University, where she is at work on her doctorate. The district’s new director of business services is Marlene Harbeson. She has 25 years of experience in the field of finance, the past nine in school finance. She most recently was Allen ISD’s director of finance and interim chief financial officer Marlene Harbeson and previously worked for Garland ISD as assistant director of finance and as a special revenue fund accountant. Harbeson earned her bachelor’s degree from LeTourneau University and her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. Nicole Villarreal has been named head girls’ basketball coach at Highland Park High School. She comes from Duncanville ISD, where she worked since 2006, most recently as a varsity assistant and junior varsity coach. Villarreal is a Nicole Villarreal graduate of Angelo State University. Houston ISD Shonda Huery Hardman, a graduate of the district’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, has been appointed Chief School Officer. With more than 20 years of administrative experience, she most recently was the assistant superintendent of the district’s Futures Academy. Huery Hardman began her teaching career in the Washington D.C. area and then joined Houston ISD to work as an assistant principal, principal, instructional coach and language arts teacher. She also served as an academic superintendent in Boston, Mass., and was chief of schools for Chicago Public Schools. Huery Hardman holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Trinity Washington University in Washington D.C. and a second master’s degree, in education policy and management, from Harvard University, where she also earned her doctorate. Hurst Euless Bedford ISD Four administrative appointments have been:

• • • •

Darrell Brown, director of curriculum and instruction; Anmarie Garcia, coordinator of bilingual/ESL; Hector Martinez, coordinator of auxiliary human resources; and Carolyn Wright, coordinator of English language arts.

Hutto ISD Lisa Patterson is the district’s new executive director for human resources. With 14 years of experience in human resources, she has a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Park University and is completing her master’s degree in business administration and management. Patterson served as Hutto ISD’s human resources administrator and has been with the district since 2008. Prior to that, she worked in the private sector in hiring, employee relations, benefits and compensation. Irving ISD Robert Abel, former principal of MacArthur High School, is now division director of high schools. He began his career in DeSoto ISD as a chemistry and physics teacher at DeSoto High School, going on to serve there as dean of students Robert Abel and assistant principal. He came to Irving ISD in 2006 as assistant principal of Crockett and then deZavala middle schools, before being appointed principal of Houston Middle School and then MacArthur High School. Abel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in molecular biology. He holds a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington. Dan Cummings, who has been principal of North Garland High School in Garland ISD, has returned to Irving as principal of MacArthur High School, where he served as principal from 2004 to 2007. He began his career in Garland ISD in 1996 as a health teacher and football coach at Bussey Middle School. He then was a world history teacher and coach at Naaman Forest High School. He taught and coached at Garland High School from 2000 to 2004. Cummings’ bachelor’s degree in business administration is from Lindenwood University in Missouri. His master’s degree in education administration was earned from Texas A&M University at Commerce. A new director of special education has been named for the district. She is Laurie Gagne, who was most recently the senior director of special education for Kerrville ISD, a position she held since 2011 when she was pro-

moted from director of special programs. Prior to that, she was a high school and middle school academic dean, reading teacher, and gifted and talented resource specialist in San Antonio’s Northside ISD. She also Laurie Gagne was a middle school assistant principal in North East ISD. Gagne’s two bachelor’s degrees were awarded from Illinois State University, and her master’s degree in education is from Schreiner University in Kerrville. Laura Gilcrease has been chosen to lead Travis Middle School as principal. She was with Lockhart ISD since 2009, serving as assistant principal of Lockhart High School and, most recently, as principal of Lockhart Junior High. She began Laura Gilcrease her career in 2001, teaching English language arts and U.S. history and coaching track at Navarro Junior High in Navarro ISD. In 2003, she transferred to Navarro High, where she taught and was Social Studies Department chair until 2008, when she joined Gonzales ISD to work as assistant principal of Gonzales High School. Gilcrease has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education administration from Texas State University. Ahna Gomez is principal of Irving High School. She was associate principal of MacArthur High, from 2007 to 2010, and summer school principal in 2010. She returns to Irving ISD from Dallas ISD, where she was principal of Stockton Middle Ahna Gomez School. Gomez holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary science from The University of Texas at Arlington. She earned a second master’s degree, in educational administration, from the University of North Texas. Now serving as principal of Barton Elementary School is Jackie Gorena. She has been principal of Stipes Elementary since the school opened in 2008. Prior to her time at Stipes, she was principal of Brown and assistant principal of Davis and Keyes Jackie Gorena elementary schools. She also worked as an educator See WHO’S NEWS on page 23 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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Texas ASCD PRESIDENT PROFILE Second term around is even sweeter for New Diana ISD superintendent By Leila Kalmbach

F

or Carl Key, Texas politics is more than a spectator sport. Last year, when the Texas Legislature was debating House Bill 5, Key and others from the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) went to the Capitol in Austin to lobby for the bill and to speak with legislators about school funding. As Texas ASCD’s president for a second term and as superintendent of New Diana ISD, Key holds these issues close to his heart in more ways than one. While the school funding issue didn’t pan out exactly as hoped, Key has been pleased with the changes that HB 5 have brought to his and other school districts

around the state. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done in interpreting the law. “I think that probably the bill was much more encompassing than any of us might have realized,” Key says. “It takes a while just to process the thing because it’s such a massive piece of legislation.” He says that early on in the game, the reduction in standardized testing was the most-discussed aspect of HB 5. Now that administrators are digging deeper into implementing the legislation, the differences in graduation requirements and the endorsements are becoming more important issues — not to mention how to get the word out to parents, staff and stu-

New Diana ISD Superintendent Carl Key, who will serve a second term as the president of the Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, says his state board service has given him a new appreciation for the work his trustees do in New Diana ISD. 22

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

dents about changes in graduation plans and requirements. But it’s worth it, Key believes. For one, he thinks the traditional four-by-four plan — four years each of math, science, social studies and English — is outdated in its push to get every kid into college. “I think HB 5 is more reflective that there are lots of other good-paying jobs that aren’t necessarily four-year college products,” he says. “What I like to say sometimes is that instead of it being college and career, it’s career and college. Some careers necessitate college, and others don’t.” Aside from HB 5 implementation, a big concern for Key lately has been how to incorporate new technology into the classroom. Even though New Diana ISD serves a small enrollment of 1,000 students, the district has struggled to provide technical infrastructure and wireless capabilities to support those students who are adopting the BYOD (bring your own device) policy. Things are changing, however. “This summer, we’re significantly upgrading our wireless capability so that we can have multiple access points,” he says. Beyond getting technology into the hands of students, Key is aware that training teachers on how best to use classroom technology is equally important. That’s why New Diana ISD’s two-year plan includes issuing tablets to a select group of teachers before students start using them routinely in the classroom. Once the teachers get acclimated, the schools will begin rolling out the technology on a larger scale. Key, who is going into his second year as president of Texas ASCD, plans to continue along the path he and past presidents have started. One of the things he is excited about this term is expanding


the organization’s Curriculum Leadership Academy for aspiring curriculum directors and central office staff. “Most college and university master’s degree programs don’t focus so much on what it’s like to do some of the day-in, day-out things as a curriculum specialist,” Key explains. For Key, serving on the Texas ASCD board has complemented his work as superintendent of New Diana ISD. He says he now understands the challenges school board members face coming in once a month and trying to get up to speed on the issues that administrators face on a daily basis. “I always remember one person telling me that you can take pictures of the Grand Canyon all day long, but until you actually see it in person, pictures just don’t do it justice,” he says. “So, I think having been superintendent and president of the board for Texas ASCD, it’s given me a whole different understanding of my board president in New Diana.” Key says he feels fortunate to have a school board that’s been supportive of him in his role with Texas ASCD, and he’s optimistic about the school year. He plans to visit Austin again during the 2015 legislative session as legislators work through the details of HB 5 and discuss the school finance law court case.

FUN FACTS ABOUT CARL

KEY:

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you? A comfortable chair, a Dan Brown novel and a nice pitcher of iced tea. Last time you felt really proud: In July, we launched a new website for our district that we’ve been working on for more than a year. Describe a perfect weekend. One where there’s no set agenda. Get up and enjoy a cup of coffee, and there’s nothing you have to do. If you could trade places with someone for one day, with whom would you trade, and why? I’d be a Motor Trend editor, just because I love cars and trucks. I know those guys get to test drive and review all the new goodies that are coming out.

Certain things will never change as far as politics and public schools, he says, such as funding issues. But he hopes that he and others will be able to move the state forward in other areas. “HB 5 has had a year to be worked through, and I think there will be other things to still evolve from that,” Key says. “And hopefully Texas ASCD can still be

in the thought running, as far as advocating for teaching and learning.” LEILA KALMBACH is an Austin-based writer and the author of several books, including “Best Summer Ever,” a collection of summer art and learning activities for kids.

Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 21

in Oklahoma. Gorena received her bachelor’s degree in education from Texas State University and her master’s degree from East Central University in Oklahoma. She is working toward her doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Adam Grinage, who has been with the district for 17 years, most recently as the division director of elementary schools, is now leading that area as associate superintendent for academic services. He has also served as division director for student and Adam Grinage, family engagement, principal of Brown Elementary School, assistant principal of Britain Elementary and Austin Middle School, and as a teacher at Houston Middle School. He was also principal of Webb Elementary in Arlington ISD. Grinage earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and his master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of North Texas.

Magda Hernandez has been named assistant superintendent of administration. She returns to the district from Waxahachie ISD, where she was assistant superintendent of human resources. Hernandez previously worked in Irving ISD as a bilingual Magda Hernandez instructional aide, a gifted and talented teacher, an assistant principal, a human resources staffing and recruiting coordinator, and a director of human resources. She is a cum laude graduate of Texas Woman’s University, where she also received her master’s degree in educational administration. She is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Tanya Jones has been appointed a division director of K-8 schools. She has been with Irving ISD for the past 10 years, beginning as an English teacher at MacArthur High and then working as assistant principal of Nimitz High. Before coming to Texas, she was a teacher, vice principal and principal in secondary schools in

New Orleans, La. Jones, who was awarded the NAACP Educator of the Year Award in 2011, was the New Orleans Public Schools Campus and District Middle School Teacher of the Year in 1998. She Tanya Jones earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xavier University in Louisiana and is at work on her doctorate at Dallas Baptist University. A new director for human resources for secondary staffing is in place for the district. Lizzy Kloiber was most recently the division director of secondary schools, serving in that capacity since 2012. Prior to that assignment, she was director of secLizzy Kloiber ondary education in Celina ISD and assistant principal of Strickland Middle School in Denton ISD. She See WHO’S NEWS on page 25 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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TEPSA hosts summer conference “Fundamentals of Leadership” was the theme of the Summer Conference hosted by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, June 11-13, at the Austin Renaissance Hotel.

Marie Sumrall, Pam Mitchell and Jennifer Braafladt of Coppell ISD.

Jodi Rebarchek and Sharon Boothe of Grand Prairie ISD.

RaDonna Burleson and Sharon Wilcoxen of Cisco ISD.

Melissa Parham and Cynthia Velasquez Socorro ISD.

Nancy Robertson, Shannon Thompson and Natalie Dennington of Midlothian ISD.

Kimberly Recio and Deborah Cary of New Braunfels ISD.

Elizabeth Calk and Lori Alexander of Denver City ISD.

Dave Halbert, Marty Ortega and Paul Alverez of Northside ISD.

Sandee Calame and Kathy Pelzel of Rockdale ISD.

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Texas School Business • July / August 2014


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began her career in Northwest ISD as a middle school teacher. Kloiber received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas, where she is pursuing a doctorate in education. Katy ISD Franz Elementary School will begin the new academic year with Yvette Sylvan as principal. She spent nine years as a teacher in Alief ISD before coming to Katy ISD in 2007 as assistant principal of Stephens Elementary. She has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in education management, both from the University of Houston. Keller ISD The Keller ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors announces the appointment of Kelli Marshall as executive director. A graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, Marshall previously worked in the private sector as director of events and Kelli Marshall marketing for BSwarms, where she handled event logistics. She began her career with the Northwest ISD Education Foundation and also worked with the Northwest Metroport Chamber of Commerce as marketing director and with Jailbreak Racing Events as director of operations. A new principal has been appointed for Bear Creek Intermediate School. Stacie Meadows comes from Paradise ISD, where she was executive director of instructional design since 2012. Prior to that, she was principal of Paradise Elementary School and served as an assistant principal and as a reading specialist at that campus. In addition, she was a university supervisor and course instructor at Texas Woman’s University. She was also an elementary teacher in Boyd ISD. Meadows’ bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and master’s degree in education administration were awarded from Texas Woman’s University. New Keller High School Principal Michael Nasra joins the district from Humble ISD’s Kingwood High, where he was associate principal for two years. He was an administrator in that district for 10 years, working as associate principal of Atascocita High and assistant principal of Sterling Middle School and Humble High. Nasra earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Southwestern University in Georgetown. He also has a master’s degree in administration and supervision and a doctoral education degree in professional leadership from the University of Houston. Leander ISD

Leander ISD’s Educational Excellence Foundation has chosen Gloria GonzalesDholakia to serve as its executive director. The Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to providing resources that support innovation, enrichment and equity in the pursuit of academic excellence. Gonzales-Dholakia has more than 20 years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors, having served the past two years as the Foundation’s vice president of marketing and events. She holds a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from The University of Texas. Lewisville ISD Lewisville ISD hired Jeff Crownover to serve as the district’s human resources administrator/ombudsman. He comes to his new position from working in the private sector with the law firm of Walsh Anderson Gallegos Green & Treviño, where he practiced school law since 2010. Shawna Miller is the district’s director of professional learning. The principal of Highland Village Elementary School since 2011, she previously served as the assistant principal there, as well as at Wellington and College Street elementaries. Miller earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree in education from Dallas Baptist University. Highland Village Elementary School has a new principal, Leslye Mitchell. She was a social studies and physical education teacher in Abilene ISD from 1987 to 1998, when she came to Lewisville ISD as counselor at Morningside Elementary. She has been that school’s assistant principal since 2008. She is a graduate of Abilene Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in counseling. She earned a second master’s degree, in educational administration, from the University of North Texas. Lockhart ISD The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees appointed Rolando “Rudy” Treviño as superintendent. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature and education from Sam Houston State University, as well as two master’s degrees, one in educational Rolando “Rudy” leadership and counseling Treviño from Sam Houston and one in Spanish literature and linguistics from the University of Houston. He began his career teaching Spanish, Spanish literature and speech communications at his alma mater, Reagan High School, in Houston ISD. Additionally, he was assistant principal of Burbank Middle School,

principal of Herrera Elementary, founding principal of the Ninth Grade College Preparatory Academy and principal of Eastwood Academy High School. He most recently was a school support officer for K-8 schools in Houston ISD. Treviño will complete his doctorate this summer. Lubbock ISD A new fine arts director has been named for the district. He is Christopher Anderson, who comes to his position from Arkansas Tech University, where he was director of bands and an associate professor of music. Gionet Cooper has moved from his job as assistant principal of Coronado High School to serve as principal of Dunbar College Preparatory Academy. Former Alderson Elementary School Associate Principal Joshlyn Cotton is now principal of Ervin Elementary. Karla Mann, who was assistant principal of McWhorter Elementary, will start the 2014-2015 academic year as that school’s principal. She came to Lubbock ISD in 1993 as a teacher at Rush Elementary, going on to serve as an administrator at Murfee, Wolffarth and Guadalupe elementary schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and master’s degrees from Texas Tech and Lubbock Christian University. The new head football coach and athletic coordinator of Coronado High School is Seth Parr, who held the same position at Caprock High in Amarillo ISD, where he also coached at Palo Duro High School. Parr attended college in Kansas before completing his undergraduate degree at McMurry University in Abilene. Kelly Smiley, former principal of Centennial Elementary School, now leads Wilson Middle School as principal. She was a classroom teacher at Guadalupe Elementary, then worked as an instructional specialist and principal of Bozeman Elementary. She Kelly Smiley spent four years as principal of Maedgen Elementary and has led Centennial Elementary since 2010. A native of Lubbock, Smiley attended colleges in Arizona and Florida before returning to Lubbock to continue her education and graduate Theresa Williams studies. Theresa Williams has been named deputy superintendent for academic services. She has been with Garland See WHO’S NEWS on page 26 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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ISD since 2006, where she began her career as a Spanish teacher in 1994 and most recently served as executive director of educational operations. Earlier with that district, she was director of special programs and of student services. She became an assistant principal in 1999 and then left the district to work as a principal in Dallas ISD. Williams is a graduate of Texas Tech University. Lubbock-Cooper ISD Superintendent Pat Henderson, who held the top position in the district for 19 years, has retired. After completing a military career, he became an educator at age 30. His first job was with Levelland ISD. He then worked in Lamesa and Meadow ISDs, coming to Lubbock-Cooper ISD in 1992 as principal of Lubbock-Cooper High School. Three years later, he was named district superintendent. Henderson, who has twice won the designation of ESC Region 17 Superintendent of the Year and was ranked as one of the top five superintendents in the state in 2002, holds the record for longestserving superintendent in the district’s history. Manor ISD Steven Zipkes, principal of Manor New Tech High School, was honored with the National STEM Visionary Award, recognizing his “unprecedented vision and dedication to the STEM field,” according to the International Association for Science, Steven Zipkes Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Leaders. Marshall ISD The district announces the following administrative appointments: • Darnisha Carreathers, principal, Crockett Elementary School; • Penny Champion, academic dean, Marshall Junior High School; • Marcus Clark, assistant principal, Marshall High School; • Amy Dickson, testing coordinator; • Cindy Peavy, director of special programs; • Terry Ann Rodriguez, priority schools officer; • John Rush, assistant principal, Marshall High School; and • Travis Woodsworth, assistant principal, Crockett Elementary School. Midland ISD Kellie Ebenstein has been named an ex26

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ecutive director of elementary education. Most recently the district’s director of reading, she has also worked as principal of Santa Rita and Burnet elementary schools; assistant principal of Burnet Kellie Ebenstein and Rusk elementaries; fifth grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary; first grade teacher in San Angelo ISD; first grade and multi-age first and second grade teacher in Christoval ISD; and second grade teacher in Amarillo ISD. Jane Rambo has been appointed executive director of literacy for Midland ISD. Previously an executive director for elementary education, she also has been a teacher, coordinator of the district’s dyslexia program, Reading Recovery site coordinator, assistant principal and principal. Rambo is a contributing author to “Spotlight on Comprehension” and co-author of “Shapes All Around Us” and “Even and Odd Numbers.” She is a recipient of the Billy Askew Award for Excellence in Literacy. Mineral Wells ISD Wendell Baker, who was assistant principal of Mineral Wells Junior High School, is now principal. He has spent most of his career in the district, beginning at Houston Elementary as a second and third grade teacher. He transferred to Springtown ISD to work as a counselor for grades one through four before returning in 2010 to Mineral Wells, where he was a seventh and eighth grade teacher and Mineral Wells Junior High counselor. Northside ISD Darren Calvert is the new principal of the Excel Academy, where he had been serving as a counselor. He has been a teacher at Holmgreen Junior/Senior High School and at Jordan Middle School and has worked as a behavior specialist and Darren Calvert counselor in the district’s Special Education Department. Calvert earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a second master’s degree from Lamar University. Now serving as principal of Hobby Middle School is Lawrence Carranco, who was the school’s vice principal. He started as a classroom Lawrence teacher in Beeville and Carranco Brownsville ISDs and in

Catholic school districts before taking his first administrative job as an assistant principal in Beeville ISD. He was a principal in SkidmoreTynan ISD before joining Northside as a vice principal in 2006. Carranco, a graduate of Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, has a master’s degree in middle management and school administration from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Now leading Beard Elementary School as principal is Blanca Hemann. She was most recently principal of Thornton Elementary and was a pre-K teacher in San Antonio ISD, a first grade teacher in Corpus Christi ISD, an educational technology Blanca Hemann specialist at ESC Region 20, and an instructional technologist in Lackland ISD. She was a fourth grade teacher at Blattman Elementary until taking the jobs of vice principal of Leon Springs Elementary in 2007 and principal of Thornton in 2010. Hemann earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Stinson Middle School will begin the new academic year with Lourdes Medina as principal. She was an English teacher at Neff and Jordan middle schools, then transferred to the Language Arts Department at the new Warren High Lourdes Medina School in 2002, becoming the school’s academic dean in 2006 and vice principal in 2013. Medina holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Lisa Richard has transferred from Zachry Middle School, where she was vice principal, to Luna Middle School to serve as principal. She began her career as a speech and language arts teacher in Midland ISD, moving to Irving ISD in 1990 as a Lisa Richard debate and speech teacher at Irving High. She came to Northside ISD in 2000 and took her first administrative position in 2004 as an assistant principal of Luna Middle School. She then was vice principal of Rawlinson Middle School from 2008 until accepting her most recent position at Zachry. Mark Rustan, who was principal of Beard Elementary School, is now principal of Rawlinson Middle School. He came to North-


Who’s News side ISD in 1997 as a fifth grade teacher at Knowlton Elementary and served as assistant principal of Jones Middle School for a year before becoming vice principal of Beard Elementary when it opened. He became Mark Rustan principal in 2005. Rustan earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and his master’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Carson Elementary School will welcome Lori Shaw as its new principal in August. She began her Northside ISD career as a second and third grade teacher at Evers Elementary and third grade teacher at Hatchett Elementary. She then was vice principal of Lori Shaw Oak Hills Elementary from 2005 to 2008, taking her most recent position, principal of Michael Elementary, in 2008. Shaw holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio. The district also announced these appointments: • Mark Alvarado, vice principal, Bernal Middle School; • Joseph Castellanos, assistant principal, Jefferson Middle School; • Claudia Colunga, vice principal, Fernandez Elementary School; • Gregory Dylla, vice principal, Hobby Middle School; • Jacqueline Faucher, assistant principal, Bernal Middle School; • Manuela Haberer, vice principal, Ellison Elementary School; • Valerie LaCour, vice principal, Warren High School; • Jaime Liendo, vice principal, Zachry Middle School; • Jose Mendez, academic dean, Bernal Middle School; and • Valerie Rabadan, vice principal, Blattman Elementary School. Northwest ISD (Fort Worth) Jennifer Alexander, who has served as assistant director of special education since 2010, now serves as executive director of student services. She has been with the district for 14 years, also working as a special education supervisor, eduJennifer Alexander cational diagnostician and special education support

teacher. Prior to that, she was a special education teacher and speech therapy assistant in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. Alexander earned her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Texas. Her doctorate was awarded from Nova Southeastern University. Now working as executive director of curriculum and staff development is Stephanie Espinosa. She has been with the district since 2007, most recently as principal of Lakeview Elementary. She was also principal of Seven Hills Elementary Stephanie Espinosa for five years and worked as a classroom teacher, assessment specialist and assistant principal in Fort Worth and Crowley ISDs. Espinosa has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education administration, both from Texas Christian University. Her doctorate in education administration is from Nova Southeastern University. Kimmie Etheredge, principal of Granger Elementary School, was named the Texas 2014 National Distinguished Principal by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. She was awarded a $10,000 check and will Kimmie Etheredge represent Texas at the National Distinguished Principals program to be held in Washington D.C. in October. Nelson High School will have Ron Myers as principal. He worked in Keller ISD as director of intervention support and in Oklahoma public schools before joining Northwest ISD, where he was principal of Peterson Elementary and, most recently, assoRon Myers ciate principal of Nelson High. An educator for 26 years, he earned his bachelor’s degree from East Central University in Oklahoma, his master’s degree in education from Baylor University, and his doctorate in educational administration curriculum and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. Linda Parker will begin the new academic year as executive director of secondary education. She has been an educator for 28 years, working as a teacher for 17 years and as an administrator for the past 11. Most recently principal of Nelson High School, which she opened in 2009, she has been with the district since 2001.

Prior to joining Northside, she worked in Boyd and O’Donnell ISDs. Parker earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in education from Texas Woman’s University. Linda Parker Her doctorate in education was awarded from Nova Southeastern University. Leading Lakeview Elementary School as principal will be Mary Seltzer. She comes from Beck Elementary, where she was assistant principal. She also taught at Medlin Middle School and was a campus instructional teacher at Hatfield Elementary Mary Seltzer and Chisholm Trail Middle School. Currently a doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University, Seltzer holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in leadership and administration from Chapman University. The new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction is Robert Thornell, who most recently was executive director of curriculum and staff development. He received his bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from Texas Tech Robert Thornell University and his master’s degree in education administration from the University of North Texas. His doctorate in education administration is from Baylor University. Pflugerville ISD Now leading Barron Elementary School as principal is Virginia Caudle, who has been a principal in Austin and Elgin ISDs, the latter of where she most recently was director of school improvement and community outreach. She holds a bachVirginia Caudle elor’s degree in elementary education from HustonTillotson University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Benjamin O’Connor is now principal of Rowe Lane Elementary School, where he had been serving as assistant principal. He has been a teacher and assistant principal for the district for the past 15 years. O’Connor has a bachelor’s See WHO’S NEWS on page 28 July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

27


Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 27

degree in English and history and a master’s degree in educational administration, both from The University of Texas. Camille RamirezLongoria, who was most recently assistant princiBenjamin pal of Caldwell ElemenO’Connor tary School, is the new principal of Wieland Elementary. She has been a classroom teacher, ESL administrative supervisor and assistant principal at the elementary level. She was also an assistant principal at Delco Primary School. Camille Ramirez- In Austin ISD, she worked Longoria as an ESL administrative supervisor and as assistant principal of Ortega Elementary. Ramirez-Longoria, who earned her bachelor’s degree in applied learning and development from The University of Texas, holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University. The new principal of Dessau Middle School is Jane Vigliotti, who comes from Round Rock ISD, where she was executive director of human resources. Also in that district, she was assistant principal then principal of Cedar Valley Middle Jane Vigliotti School and assistant principal of McNeil High. In addition, she was an assistant principal of Dripping Springs High in Dripping Springs ISD. Vigliotti received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Anne Villerot has been appointed superintendent for curriculum and instruction. She was most recently assistant superintendent of curriculum and academics in Comal ISD. Before joining that district in 2012, she was executive director of curAnne Villerot riculum and special programs in Manor ISD, secondary school literacy curriculum integration specialist in Round Rock ISD and Stony Point Learning Community’s literacy program specialist. Villerot, who began her career as a third grade teacher in the Delaware Valley School District in Matamoras, Penn., earned her bach28

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

elor’s degree from Bloomsburg University, her master’s degree in education from East Stroudsburg University and her doctorate in education from The University of Texas. Timmerman Elementary will welcome Sara Watson as principal. She has been a teacher, assistant principal and principal, most recently serving as Meadows Elementary School’s principal in Killeen ISD. In Liberty Hill lSD, she was a teacher at Sara Watson Liberty Hill Middle School and assistant principal of Liberty Hill Elementary. In addition, she taught at Killeen’s Grace Christian Academy. Watson holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University. Richardson ISD Josh Eason has accepted the position of principal of Richardson North Junior High School. A product of Richardson ISD schools, he has been with the district for 18 years, working as a science teacher and coach before serving as assistant principal of West Junior High and Richardson High School. Eason, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Abilene Christian University, earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Round Rock ISD Former England Elementary Assistant Principal Katrina Bailey has been named principal of Caraway Elementary. She began her administrative career as an assistant principal at Live Oak Elementary, prior to opening England three years ago. Katrina Bailey Before joining Round Rock ISD, she was a teacher in Pflugerville and Austin ISDs. Bart Bratcher, a high school baseball coach for 42 years, has retired. For 33 of those years, he was the only head baseball coach Westwood High School the school had ever known. He joined Westwood in 1981, the year the school opened, Bart Bratcher and has taken the Warriors to playoffs 24 times. Nearly 40 Westwood players coached by Bratcher have gone on to play baseball in college and 12 turned pro, including Yankees third baseman Kelly Johnson, a nine-

year Major League player. Seven of his Westwood players became high school head baseball coaches themselves. In addition to his work in Round Rock ISD, Bratcher has coached players on the Zimbabwe national baseball team. San Marcos CISD Kelli Lopez, a 1989 graduate of San Marcos High School, is now principal of her alma mater. An educator for 21 years, she was most recently associate principal of Bastrop High School in Bastrop ISD. Prior to that, she served in San Marcos Kelli Lopez CISD as assistant principal of San Marcos High and of Del Valle High in Del Valle ISD. Additionally, she has been a math teacher, math instructional coach, Math Department chair, and head volleyball and soccer coach. Lopez earned her bachelor’s degree from Schreiner College in Kerrville. She did graduate work at The University of Texas and Lamar University and earned two master’s degrees, one in mathematics and the other in educational administration. Spring ISD Willie Amendola is the new athletic director. He has been with the district since 2000, when he joined the coaching staff of Westfield High School. He advanced to working as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator there, before transWillie Amendola ferring to Dekaney High School as athletic coordinator and head football coach when that campus opened in 2007. He has been an educator for 37 years, 28 of those as a classroom teacher of health and social studies and nine as an administrator. Prior to Spring ISD, he worked in Houston, Klein and Aldine ISDs. He has been Spring ISD’s assistant athletic director since 2013. Amendola has a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in administration from Sam Houston State University. Rodney Watson, an administrator in Houston ISD since 2010 who was most recently that district’s chief human resources officer, is the new superintendent. Prior to his time in Houston, he was a principal in the Hickman Mills School District and the Lee’s Summit School District, both in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area. In addition, he has been a national trainer and consultant for the Haberman Education Foundation and a clinical adjunct professor at The University of Texas and at the


Who’s News University of Missouri. Watson earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and music education from Northwest Missouri State University and his master’s degree in counseling psychology from Webster Rodney Watson University. He also has an education specialist degree in higher education administration and K-8 administration from the University of Missouri, where he received his doctorate in urban leadership and policy analysis and curriculum and instruction. Tahoka ISD George McFarland is the district’s new superintendent. He comes to his new position from Abilene ISD, where he was principal of Madison Middle School. He began his career as a teacher and coach in 1991 and has been an administrator since 2008. Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Twenty principals have been named TEPSANs of the Year. TEPSA members from the association’s 20 districts annually recognize a colleague for outstanding service. This year’s honorees are: • Michelle Aube-Barton, District 19, Socorro ISD (El Paso); • David Adams, District 14, Abilene ISD; • Kurt Adams, District 2, Corpus Christi ISD; • Dana Bashara, District 20, Alamo Heights ISD (San Antonio); • Sharon Butler, District 18, Midland ISD • Yolanda Delaney, District 16, Canyon ISD; • Jackie Gorena, District 10, Irving ISD; • Tana Herring, District 7, Elkhart ISD; • Amanda Jenkins, District 5, HamshireFannett ISD; • Natalie Jones, District 6, Bellville ISD; • Trish McKeel, District 11, Keller ISD; • Ben Perez, District 4, Lamar CISD; • Clarisa Richie, District 9, Wichita Falls ISD; • Judy Sage, District 17, Seminole ISD; • Lynn Schniers, District 15, San Angelo ISD; • Pat Viera, District 1, Sharyland ISD; • Missy Walley, District 8, Chapel Hill ISD; • Sara Watson, District 12, Killeen ISD; • Pam Weathersby, District 3, Calhoun County ISD; and • Martha Werner, District 13, Round Rock ISD.

Tom Bean ISD Troy Roberts, former Grand Prairie ISD Dubiski Career High School dean of students, is now superintendent of Tom Bean ISD. Roberts, who has a master’s degree in administration and management from Hardin-Simmons University, had worked in Grand Prairie ISD since 2008 as a teacher and athletic trainer. Tyler ISD An interim superintendent is in place for Tyler ISD. Kim Tunnell was most recently the district’s chief leadership and performance officer. She has served in numerous roles since joining Tyler in 2001, including executive director of strategic planning, executive director of curriculum and instruction, coordinator of staff development, instructional consultant and acting principal. She also taught and worked as an administrator in the Sierra Sands United School District in California. Also, the following administrative appointments have been made: • Patricia Henderson, principal, Jack Elementary School; • Shauna Hittle, executive director of elementary education; • Jamey Johnson, director of elementary instruction; • Forrest Kaiser, principal, Three Lakes Middle School; • Johnita Martin, director of research and accountability; • Stacy Miles, director of Head Start; and • Greg Priest, athletic director. Weatherford ISD Frances Adams, former interim principal of Seguin Elementary School, will now serve as principal. She has been an educator for 20 years, working as an elementary school teacher, a literacy coach and an administrator. Before taking the interim position at Seguin Elementary last April, she was a bilingual coordinator for the district. Adams has a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at Tyler. Ysleta ISD (El Paso) Penelope Bankston is the new principal of Valley View Middle School. Most recently an assistant principal at Ysleta High School, she began her career in 1995 as a middle school English teacher in El Paso ISD. She came to Ysleta ISD in 2008 to work Penelope Bankston as an instructional specialist and assistant principal

at Parkland High. Bankston received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University. The new associate superintendent is Brenda Chacon, who comes from El Paso’s Socorro ISD, where she was a teacher, instructional technologist, assistant principal, principal and, most recently, interim assistant superintendent. She holds a Brenda Chacon bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and two master’s degrees, in reading and in educational administration, all from The University of Texas at El Paso. Camino Real Middle School now has Charles Garcia as principal. He was formerly with Socorro ISD, serving as a teacher, counselor and administrator since 2003. He concurrently worked as an Ysleta ISD counselor from 2009 through 2012. Garcia Charles Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Edward’s University in Austin and a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix. Beth Ann Harbison has been hired to serve as Scotsdale Elementary School principal. She comes to the district from Socorro ISD, where she was principal of Ituarte Elementary. Catherine Kennedy is now the area associate Beth Ann superintendent for the Harbison Del Valle and Ysleta learning communities. She has been with Ysleta ISD since 1990, working as a teacher, assistant principal and principal of Valley View Middle School. Rebecca O’Neill, who was assistant superCatherine Kennedy intendent for elementary education in Socorro ISD, is the new area associate superintendent for elementary schools in the Hanks, Parkland, Bel Air and Eastwood high school feeder patterns. She previously worked in the district as a teacher and principal. Rebecca O’Neill

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July / August 2014 • Texas School Business

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THE BACK PAGE by Riney Jordan

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Why are you doing this?

T

hat’s a very thought-provoking question. Why do you get up every morning, rush to get to your desk — many of you fighting traffic that is almost beyond belief? I know. Some of you will immediately think: “I need the money. I have to work.” If that’s the only reason, let me encourage you to find a job that pays better, involves less stress, requires less responsibility. Oh, those jobs are out there. If that paycheck is your only reason for teaching, do yourself a favor and submit your resignation today. For, you see, the really effective school employee — be it a teacher, principal, school secretary, bus driver, superintendent, school board member or whatever — does it because they care about making a difference in the lives of others. There may be other reasons, but if that one is not No. 1 on your list, I believe you’re missing the greatest reward that our profession has to offer. Our youngest daughter and her husband recently adopted an infant from Ethiopia. Now, bear in mind that they already have three children of their own, but they saw an opportunity to make a difference in the life of another human being. They named her Violet, and how things have changed for her! Violet had been discarded — literally. She was found abandoned in a box. The policewoman who found her turned her over to a local orphanage, where her future was uncertain. Violet had been born with severe facial defects. Her nose was in the roof of her mouth; her lips were nonexistent. Yet God had blessed her with the most beautiful eyes you have ever seen. She uses her eyes to smile. They sparkle and you know what she is expressing. Our little Violet has turned 2. The reconstructive surgery has begun; although, she has a long way to go. When I am holding her or watching her as she learns to walk or listening to the guttural sounds she makes for speech, I cannot help but think: “Where would she have been if the policewoman had not heard her cries? What would have 30

Texas School Business • July / August 2014

happened if caring individuals at the hospital and orphanage had not invested in saving her life? What if our daughter and son-in-law had not had the desire to help such a child in need? On a recent day, things were not going well for our daughter. There were too many errands to run. Baseball schedules for the boys had to be met. Dance lesson for the older daughter. On top of the stresses of everyday living, plumbing problems reared an ugly head that day. Then, during a brief thunderstorm, a leak was discovered in the roof. Violet had not been at her best behavior either this particular day. As our daughter was rushing out of the grocery store, pushing a cart with Violet in it, Violet dropped her bottle. As our daughter reached down to pick up, a few things fell out of her purse. At that moment, she wondered: “Why am I doing this?” Tears welled up in her eyes. She was at her wits’ end. As she stood back up, she looked at Violet, who returned her gaze with those big, gorgeous, understanding eyes. For just a moment, the world stopped. And as they looked into each other’s eyes, this beautiful little 2-year-old girl raised her little hand, formed it into a fist with her thumb extended and placed it over her heart. The small, circular motions said it all. In the language of those who cannot express audibly, she was signing, “I’m sorry.” Yes, they will disappoint us. They will make mistakes. There will be days when you are at your breaking point. But remember one thing: You might just be the most important person in their lives, and they need to know that you care. Every day, you have the opportunity to change a life — forever. Why are you doing this? I think you know the answer. RINEY JORDAN, whose best-selling book “All the Difference” is now in its sixth printing, is an international speaker and humorist. He can be reached at riney@yahoo.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.

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TSB—July/August 2014