The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas
Texas School Business
JULY / AUGUST
Schools work to meet students’, teachers’ social and emotional needs during COVID-19
Also in this issue: Texas ASCD President Chris Allen Spotlight on Stephanie Howell, Corsicana ISD
Supporting School Re-entry in Texas When faced with adversity in K-12 education, oftentimes it's just as challenging to resume normal school days as it is to move through the adverse event. We understand that social emotional learning (SEL) and trauma resiliency can be top of mind. RTI is here to support you. To help you with the transition back to school weâ€™ve collected resources and current initiatives that can help you successfully implement distance learning. And when tools aren't enough, we are here to offer custom virtual trainings to coach teachers and administrators through the impacts of COVID-19. Reach out to learn more about our custom virtual trainings
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Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
12 Cover Story
Schools work to meet students’, teachers’ social and emotional needs during COVID-19
In the Spotlight Corsicana ISD’s Stephanie Howell doesn’t shy away from hard work
by Dacia Rivers
by Dacia Rivers
18 ASCD President Profile Marble Falls’ Chris Allen takes helm at Texas ASCD by James Golsan
Departments 7 Who’s News 26 Calendar 30 Ad Index
5 From the Editor by Dacia Rivers 11 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 22 The Arts 24 Regional View 30 The Back Page by Riney Jordan
The views expressed by columnists and contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or Texas School Business advertisers. The publisher also makes no endorsement of the advertisers or advertisements in this publication.
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From the editor
elcome to what might be the least-relaxing summer break in recent history. I hope this issue of Texas School Business finds you all well, and that you’re squeezing in as much R and R as possible. School administrators face an unprecedented task this summer — deciding how to reopen schools in the midst of a pandemic. While I do not envy you that task, I know that no group is more capable of handling such a challenge. For many Texas school districts, supporting the social and emotional needs of students as well as staff is a top priority. Starting on page 12, you’ll find a feature piece that focuses on what some districts are doing to ensure that they’re providing support at a time when folks need it most. We’ve also got a great The Arts column out of College Station ISD on page 22, and a touching Regional View column on page 24 that you won’t want to miss. As always, we want to share your good news in the pages of this magazine. If you have an idea for a story, or would like to share something positive going on in your district, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at email@example.com. Until next time, thank you for keeping Texas’ school children safe. Be well.
Texas School Business
JULY / AUGUST 2020 Volume LXVII, Issue 4 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Dacia Rivers DESIGN
Dacia Rivers Editorial Director
Phaedra Strecher COLUMNISTS
Riney Jordan Jim Walsh
TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA RELATIONS
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978) is published online bimonthly with a special edition, Bragging Rights, in December, by the Texas Association of School Administrators. © Copyright 2020 Texas Association of School Administrators
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Who’s News Abilene ISD Christopher Bailey, a longtime educator in
Katy ISD, now leads Clack Middle School.
Andy Blessing, principal of Lee Elementary
School since 2003, is now with Thomas Elementary, where he will serve as assistant principal, principal of the DAEP (Disciplinary Alternative Education Program) and coordinator of the Newcomer Center.
Carmen Crane has been named principal
of Ortiz Elementary School. A product of Abilene ISD schools, she most recently led the Texas Leadership Charter AcademyAbilene.
Lori Ladyman has been promoted from
instructional specialist at Mann Middle School to principal of the Woodson Center for Excellence. Now serving as principal of Lee Elementary School is Melissa Scott, who was the campus administrator of instruction. Abilene High School’s assistant volleyball coach, Devron Shepherd, is now the team’s head coach. Debra Stewart has moved from serving as principal of Ortiz Elementary School to the same position at Craig Middle School.
Atlanta ISD The new assistant superintendent of Atlanta ISD is Jason Harris, former principal of Carthage High School in Carthage ISD. Prior to that assignment, he was principal of BakerKoonce Intermediate School in the same district.
Austin ISD Jon Bailey has accepted the position of principal of LBJ Early College High School after serving in the position on an interim basis. The 14-year educator previously was principal of Manor High School in Manor ISD and assistant principal of Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy. His bachelor’s degree was awarded from the University of Texas and his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. Travis Brunner, former interim principal of
Cowan Elementary School, has been named to the position permanently. An employee of the district for 12 years, he was previously a teacher at O. Henry Middle School.
Beth Cantu is now principal of Baranoff
Elementary School, having served as interim principal since July of 2019. She was previously the school’s assistant principal.
The new principal of McBee Elementary School is Yvette Celorio-Reyes, who had been serving as interim principal since the beginning of the school year. She has more than 20 years of experience, including four years as McBee’s assistant principal and a stint in the same position at Webb Primary School. Her bachelor’s degree was earned from the University of Texas and her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. Newly appointed Guerrero-Thompson Elementary School principal Briana Garcia was the school’s interim principal since June 2019. She previously served the campus as assistant principal and has been an employee of the district for more than a decade. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in education from Concordia University. Former Menchaca Elementary School assistant principal Ariel Greco has been promoted to principal of Summit Elementary. She has spent her 12-year career in Austin ISD. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from St. Edward’s University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Tarleton State University. Sunset Valley Elementary School now has former interim principal Marizza Marquez as its principal. An employee of the district since 2007, she was previously Webb Primary School’s program director and has worked as an administrator and a bilingual teacher. Cory Matheny, former Clayton Elementary
School assistant principal, now leads Kiker Elementary.
Now serving as principal of Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy is Jose Mejia, who previously led Zavala Elementary School. Prior to that, he was assistant principal of Brooke Elementary. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and his master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. He is pursuing a doctorate from Concordia University. Pecan Springs Elementary School’s new principal, Andrea Williams, most recently worked as assistant principal of Pillow Elementary. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at Casis, Barton Hills and Andrews elementaries. An employee of the district since 1998, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Huston-Tillotson University and a master’s degree in multicultural special education from the University of Texas.
Bangs ISD A new superintendent is in place for Bangs ISD. Joshua Martin comes to Bangs from Farmersville ISD, where he was chief academic officer and previously served as the district’s director of special programs and as principal of Farmersville Junior High. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and his doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University.
Bastrop ISD Daniel Brown has been named principal of Cedar Creek Middle School, coming to his new job from Bastrop Intermediate School. He began his career in San Antonio’s Northeast ISD, joining Bastrop ISD in 2011. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University.
Bastrop High School’s new principal, Krystal Gabriel, led Bastrop Middle School for the past two years. She came to Bastrop ISD in 2010 after working as a teacher and coach in Lexington and Jacksboro ISDs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from Angelo State University.
Belton ISD Former Leander ISD chief of staff Matthew Smith has accepted the position of superintendent in Belton ISD.
Boerne ISD Shelene Livas has left her job as a principal in Houston ISD to lead Kendall Elementary School in Boerne ISD. An educator for 21 years, she has worked as a bilingual teacher, instructional specialist, instructional coach and assistant principal. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from Ohio State University and her master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Houston.
Borden County ISD New superintendent Stephanie Behrens was previously assistant superintendent of Timpson ISD.
Breckenridge ISD The district’s new superintendent, Bryan Allen, most recently led Merkel ISD.
Brenham ISD Brandi Hendrix, now serving as Brenham ISD’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, spent 16 of her 20 years as an educator in Montgomery ISD. She was a teacher, curriculum coordinator, director of special programs, associate principal of curriculum and instruction and, for the past three years, principal of Montgomery High School. > See Who’s News, page 8 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
• Belinda Garcia, assistant principal, Mossman Elementary School;
> Continued from page 7
• Nicole Hicks, principal, Seabrook Intermediate School;
• Elizabeth Horner, principal, Whitcomb Elementary School;
Brownwood ISD has welcomed Lindsay Smith as principal of Brownwood High School. Previously an assistant principal at the school, she served as interim principal since March. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas Permian Basin.
Bryan ISD Stephen F. Austin Middle School’s new principal, Kimberly Giesenschlag, is a graduate of Texas A&M University. She has been an educator for more than a decade, the past four in Bryan ISD. She was associate principal of Rudder High School for the last two years and, prior to that, was assistant principal of the Star Academy. She received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas State University. The new principal of Rudder High School, Rachel Layton, has spent her 20-year career in Bryan ISD. Most recently principal of Austin Middle School, she previously taught at Rudder and has worked as a girls’ basketball and softball coach. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska’s York College and a master’s degree in education administration from Lamar University. Stephen Mercer, a veteran
coach with more than 24 years of experience, is the new head coach of the Rudder High School tennis team. He was with College Station ISD since 2007, working as head tennis coach at A&M Consolidated Middle School and A&M Consolidated High School. A graduate of Schreiner University, he holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Texas Christian University.
Carthage ISD Carthage ISD’s former head baseball coach, John Goodwin, is now an assistant principal at Carthage Junior High. A teacher and coach for 16 years, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and his master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville.
Clear Creek ISD These administrative appointments have been made for Clear Creek ISD:
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
• Mallory Lee, principal, Goforth Elementary School; • Kara Massey, assistant principal, Goforth Elementary School; • Wendy Menachery, principal, Bauerschlag Elementary School; • Julia Montes, assistant principal, League City Elementary School; • Mark Smith, principal, Ferguson Elementary School; • Jenny Toups, assistant principal, Whitcomb Elementary School; • Sandy Varner, assistant principal, Gilmore Elementary School; • Brittney Walker, assistant principal, Westbrook Intermediate School.
College Station ISD Amy Drozd has returned to work in
public education finance as chief financial officer for College Station ISD. She served as assistant superintendent of business services for Bryan ISD from 1992 until her retirement in 2018. A licensed CPA, she received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University. The district’s new director of assessment and accountability, Cheri Hendrick, has led the department of assessment and accountability support services for ESC Region 20 since 2010. Prior to that, she was a teacher in Needville ISD and Terry High School’s testing coordinator in Lamar CISD. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and her master’s degree in education administration from the University of Houston at Victoria.
Kevin Ross, director of career and technical
education, served as Bryan ISD’s assistant director of career and technical education from 2015 until accepting his new job. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in public school administration from Texas A&M University.
Coppell ISD Greg Axelson has been chosen
to serve as Coppell ISD’s chief operations officer after most recently serving as principal of Coppell Middle School North. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of North Texas.
Decatur ISD Eight administrative appointments have been announced. They are: • Debbie Boatright, coordinator of assessment; • Kyle Hutchings, assistant principal, Decatur High School; • Jadie Matthew, principal, Decatur High School; • Christopher Mogan, director of instructional support; • Roby Nunn, principal, McCarroll Middle School; • Brett Phipps, associate principal, Decatur High School; • Stephanie Quarles, director of student services; • Cindy Tatum, chief financial officer.
Denton ISD DeCorian Hailey has been
promoted from associate principal of Guyer High School to principal of Braswell High School. He brings more than 18 years of experience to his new position, 12 of those as an associate or assistant principal. In Denton ISD, he worked at Strickland and Crownover middle schools as well as Guyer High. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Austin College and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Rodney Webb, former head football coach at Rockwall High School in Rockwall ISD, has been named head football coach and athletic coordinator for Guyer High School. He leaves Rockwall High as its second winningest coach in school history and comes to Denton as only the second coach at Guyer. Prior to his time in Rockwall, he coached in Mesquite, Royse City, Garland, Austin and Elgin ISDs.
Dripping Springs ISD The district has a new assistant superintendent for learning and innovation. Karen Kidd has been an educator for 20 years, 11 of those in campus and central office administration. She was most recently Prosper ISD’s director of curriculum and instruction, and previously spent 12 years with Frisco ISD as testing and 504 coordinator and as a campus instructional facilitator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and master’s and doctoral degrees in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University.
Duncanville ISD Tambia Wesco has been approved to serve as principal of Kennemer Middle School. Most recently associate principal of Mansfield High School in Mansfield ISD and, prior to that, an assistant principal in Arlington ISD, she has been an educator for 16 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Now serving as assistant principal of Chisholm Trail High School is Meredith Birdwell. She spent the past four years as the school’s testing and 504 coordinator. In addition, she was an adjunct professor at Tarrant County College. She is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Gililland Elementary School has welcomed Adriana Cardona as its newest assistant principal. Most recently a teacher and instructional coach in the district, she has a bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and is completing her master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas Christian University. Claire Compton has accepted
the position of assistant principal of Northbrook Elementary School. The 10year educator most recently held the same job in Midland ISD. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Ron Gatlin, former Chisholm
Trail High School assistant principal, now leads Marine Creek Middle School as principal. An educator for 15 years, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is at work on his doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University. The new principal of Saginaw High School is Cynthia Webber, a 17-year educator whose most recent assignment was principal of Adams Middle School in Northwest ISD. She is a graduate of Rice University with a master’s
in special education from Texas Christian University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Willow Creek Elementary School now has Stacie Witt as principal. She comes to her new position from Boyd ISD, where she was a guidance counselor before going on to serve as the district’s testing coordinator and as director of college, career and military readiness. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University.
Eanes ISD Brad Wirht has been named interim principal for Cedar Creek Elementary School, which he previously led in the 1990s. He retired in 2016 after a long career in the district, coming back in 2018 as interim assistant principal of West Ridge Middle School.
Ector County ISD The district’s new chief financial officer is Deborah Ottmers, who joins ECISD from Fredericksburg ISD, where she was assistant superintendent for business and finance. She also worked in San Antonio’s North East ISD and in the private sector as a business and finance professional. Delesa Styles has been named principal of Permian High School, also coming to her new job from Fredericksburg ISD, where she was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She has 13 years of experience in Lubbock, Wichita Falls, HurstEuless-Bedford and Graham ISDs as well.
Elysian Fields ISD New Elysian Fields Middle School principal Troy Tatum most recently led Bruce Junior High School in Gilmer ISD. He began his career in Longview ISD in 2008 as a history teacher, going on to serve as a parent intervention specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wiley College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University.
Frankston ISD Nicci Cook has accepted the role of
superintendent of Frankston ISD. A graduate of Frankston High School, she has been an employee of the district since 2003, serving as assistant superintendent for the past 10 years.
Frenship ISD A new band and fine arts director has been named for the district. Ryan Smith joins Frenship ISD with more than 15 years of teaching experience on middle school, high school and collegiate levels. He comes to his new position from Lubbock Christian University, where he was director of bands and associate professor of music since 2016. He has a doctorate in musical arts from Texas Tech University.
Ganado ISD Erin Fasel, who was assistant superintendent of Johnson City ISD, has been named superintendent of Ganado ISD. She has spent the past 19 years as a teacher, coach and director of curriculum, instruction and assessment in addition to her most recent position. She holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria and is at work on her doctorate.
Georgetown ISD Rebecca Lambert, who was Village Elementary School’s assistant principal, has been promoted to principal. She formerly served in the same capacity at East View High School.
Frost Elementary School has a new principal. Tamra Marbibi, a 16-year employee of the district, was most recently principal of McCoy Elementary.
Gladewater ISD Scott Clower has been named the district’s
athletic director after serving in an interim capacity for several months.
Jonny Louvier has returned to Gladewater to serve as head football coach at his alma mater, Gladewater High School. He had two previous stints as an assistant coach at that school, returning to his hometown after spending a year as head football coach and athletic director at Spring Hill High School in Longview ISD. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Commerce and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Grapevine High School’s new principal, Alex Fingers, most recently held the top position at Cross Timbers Middle School.
Harleton ISD The new superintendent is Jay Ratcliff, who most recently led Big Sandy ISD. > See Who’s News, page 10 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Idalou ISD The district’s new superintendent, Robert Gibson, comes to Idalou from Schleicher County ISD, where he also held the top position.
> Continued from page 9
Hays CISD Aaron Loyd has been
promoted from Barton Middle School’s assistant principal to principal. An educator for 15 years, he began his career in 2005 as a biology teacher and coach at Lehman High School. He was promoted to assistant principal at Barton in 2013 and spent two years as assistant principal of HCISD’s summer school. His bachelor’s degree was awarded from the University of Texas and his master’s degree in school administration from Lamar University. Lehman High School’s new director of bands, Nathan Smith, most recently held the same position at Chapa Middle School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Texas State University and is nearing completion of his master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University.
Holliday ISD Superintendent Kevin Dyes has announced his retirement. He has served in the top position since 2011. The district has welcomed Dane Richardson as head band director. A graduate of Angelo State University with a master’s degree in music education from Texas State University, he has spent the past 12 years as head band director for Breckenridge High School in Breckenridge ISD. Prior to that assignment, he held the same position in Menard ISD.
Houston ISD Houston ISD has named Pedro Lopez Jr. its police chief. With more than 32 years of experience in law enforcement, 29 of those with the Houston Police Department, he completed his training at the FBI National Academy.
Huntsville ISD A longtime administrator has been promoted to assistant superintendent of student services and operations. An educator for 30 years and principal of Huntsville High School since 2018, Bill Roberts previously spent 13 years with Katy ISD.
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
principal of Fossil Ridge High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. The district has announced the appointment of Bart Helsley as its assistant athletic director, promoting him from head football coach at Central High School.
Iredell ISD Ben Eubanks, former elementary principal in Hico ISD, is now Iredell ISD’s superintendent.
Jasper ISD John Seybold has
accepted the position of superintendent. The former principal of Jasper Junior High, he was most recently the district’s director of operations.
Joshua ISD Tanya Chernow, Caddo Grove Elementary School principal, was previously assistant principal of Elder Elementary. Prior to that, she served in the same capacity at Loflin Middle School and worked as a teacher in Crowley ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanguard University and a master’s degree in teaching and administrative leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington.
The district’s new chief of administrative services is Corey Hickerson, who was principal of Buffalo ISD’s Buffalo High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and his master’s degree in business administration from Tarleton State University. Plum Creek Elementary School will welcome Jennifer Leonard as assistant principal for the 2020-21 academic year. She comes to Joshua from Midlothian ISD, where she taught fourth grade at Irvin Elementary. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Commerce and earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.
Keller ISD Tracy Arsenault has been
named principal of the district’s newest campus, Pathways in Technology Early College High School, slated to open in the fall of 2021. An educator for 23 years, she most recently led Vista Ridge Middle School and, prior to that, was assistant
Keller ISD’s new director of planning and bond management services is Paul Hughey, who was facilities planning manager and senior airport planner for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Derek Ramsey has been named head football coach and athletic coordinator for Fossil Ridge High School. He comes to his new job from Denton ISD’s Guyer High, where he spent the past 12 years as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. His 24-year career has also included stints in Ector County, Abilene and Marshall ISDs.
Taking the position of head football coach at Central High School is Mike Sports, who was the school’s defensive coordinator for 10 years. Timber Creek High School has a new head football coach and boys’ athletic coordinator. Marshall Williams has returned to Keller ISD, where he was running backs coach at Keller High School from 2009 to 2010. He was most recently assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southlake Carroll Senior High in Carroll ISD.
Kilgore ISD April Cox is now principal of Kilgore High School. The 20-year educator served as principal of Kilgore Middle School for the past nine years. Charles Presley has been hired to serve as director of the district’s newly created department of safety and emergency management. He is the former principal of Kilgore High School.
Killeen ISD Beckie Avery, a 16-year employee of the district, has been named principal of Trimmier Elementary School. Previously assistant principal of Saegert Elementary, she began her career as an ESL teacher. > See Who’s News, page 15
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
TSB has a new website!
Title IX headed the way of special ed by Jim Walsh
he federal government does not trust teachers and administrators to treat boys and girls equally. It does not trust them to operate schools free of sexual harassment. There is good reason for a lack of trust. Historically, our schools have favored boys’ sports over girls’, and our record on preventing sex-based bullying and harassment leaves a lot to be desired. Schools have employed some people who groomed children for sexual relationships. School leaders have sometimes covered this up, rather than owning up to it and addressing it. When trust is lacking, law steps in. In every relationship in our society, as trust diminishes, law increases. Consider parenthood. I can remember a time when child abuse laws were new. We trusted that all parents loved their children. The relationship did not need to be governed by a set of laws. Then we faced the reality — not all parents are trustworthy. We enacted laws about this. The laws about parenthood are not very intrusive. We don’t dictate how old a child can be before being allowed to watch an R-rated movie, or how much time they should be allowed to spend on devices. We don’t require them to eat their carrots every day. The laws are pretty basic: Just don’t abuse or neglect your child. In 1972 Congress passed Title IX, requiring that educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance refrain from discriminating on the basis of sex. This was the first indication of a lack of trust in educators to treat boys and girls equally. The entire law is all of 37 words. But the fact that Congress felt it necessary to enact those 37 words into law indicated a lack of trust. They did not believe that sexual equality would be achieved without the heavy hand of the law. Fast forward to Aug. 14, 2020, when a new set of Title IX regulations go into effect. The
Department of Education has promulgated a document of more than 2,000 pages to explain how those 37 words should be applied with regard to sexual harassment in our colleges, universities and public schools. Apparently, they don’t trust educators to handle things the right way. They seem to believe that schools need detailed guidance. As trust diminishes, we use the law to micromanage the process in the belief that detailed rules and regulations will produce the result we seek — fair treatment of girls and boys, and schools free of sexual harassment. I don’t know if the regulations will advance the cause of equality, but I am certain that they will only diminish trust in our public schools even further. The regulations will bury school administrators with process and paperwork. With more process and more paperwork there are more opportunities for finger-pointing. I can hear it now: “They did not comply with 34 CFR 106.45(b)(10)(D)(ii)! Obviously they don’t care about equal treatment!” With process and paperwork the focus becomes legal compliance rather than the care and nurture of young children. We lose sight of our primary purpose. It looks like special ed all over again to me. In 1975, Congress passed the law we now know as IDEA in an effort to micromanage services to students with special needs. Has it improved services for those children? I think so. Has it increased trust in our public schools? I think not. It has produced more than a “cottage industry” of publishers, consultants, bureaucrats, software developers, trainers and, not least of all, lawyers. We don’t trust educators to know how to serve these children — we turn it over to the lawyers to assure compliance with the mind numbingly detailed regulations.
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Texas School Business THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS
67 Years and Counting
Title IX is headed in the same direction. Good luck with it.
JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Schools work to meet students’, teachers’ social and emotional needs during COVID-19 by Dacia Rivers
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
chools are social hotbeds. From students catching up in the halls between classes to teachers meeting in the lounge during lunch, schools are a place where relationships are created and nurtured. When COVID-19 hit, and campuses were closed as remote instruction became necessary, many of those relationships changed, leaving students and staff alike suffering the social and emotional consequences. To go from being surrounded by people to being stuck at home, talking into a computer screen, was an unwelcome and difficult change for many, and some Texas school districts are using social and emotional learning in an attempt to maintain these important connections for their students as well as their staff.
“Technology is just so impersonal compared to the time you have together,” says Vicki Adams, superintendent in Hillsboro ISD. “I’m the type of person who likes to be on campus. I just want to go back to regular school and hug our staff and our kids.” Besides a lack of in-person communication, many school staff members have experienced an added stressor since turning to remote instruction — not being able to check in on their students in need, the ones they were keeping their eyes on out of concern for their wellbeing. “Remote learning is what we had to do,” says Bobby Ott, Temple ISD superintendent. “But a lot of kids who are in bad home situations, remote learning will veil that.” Social and emotional instruction is just one area in which schools serve their students. Because of the sudden nature of the change to remote instruction, districts had to respond quickly to taking their classrooms to a virtual or distanced space. Then there was the need to feed students, as districts worked to provide meals for students in need. Now that processes are in place to meet these more immediate needs, many districts are working to adopt practices that will address deeper issues. Last year, Hillsboro ISD implemented the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Curriculum, a social and emotional learning program created by Scarlett Lewis, a woman whose son, Jesse, died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. When the district switched to remote instruction, two counselors, Shae
Owens and Aleshia Fleming, began incorporating Choose Love exercises into classroom meetings. The counselors would pop into virtual meetings and lead the students through breathing and relaxation exercises, read to them and take time to check in with as many students as possible. “I asked teachers and counselors to please stay in touch with their kids, see if they need support, or if they’re becoming withdrawn or secretive,” Adams says. “It was really important to all of us that our kids’ social and emotional needs were met. The counselors in this district went above and beyond to make sure they were still staying in contact with the kids and trying to reduce their anxiety.”
While teachers are always concerned about a summer slide, and now a possible COVID slide, Ott says he’s also concerned about an SEL slide. To counter this, the district is creating an SEL Jump Start program, which will kick off at the beginning of August. At each campus, teachers and counselors will choose a handful of students about whom they are concerned — students with abnormal discipline reporting or observed behaviors — to participate in Wildcat Check-ins. Since small in-person school meetings are now allowed, these students will gather on campus twice a week in groups of four or five for these check-ins. The meetings will include lunch, and discussions will focus on five areas. The first area will feature basic COVID-19 information designed to combat
Embedding SEL throughout your transition plan Use this quick checklist to think through practical ways your school can integrate SEL into transition plans: Two-way communication: Are we staying in close contact with school staff, students, families and community partners — both to share new information and address concerns, and to receive ongoing input and feedback into transition plans? Staff community-building: Have we set aside time for staff to reconnect, process their emotions and experiences, reflect on what they have learned and how they are applying social and emotional competencies and collaborate on ways to support students’ SEL throughout in-person or distance learning? Staff professional learning: Have we prepared professional learning that staff will need to promote students’ SEL, build strong relationships and create supportive learning environments in person and during distance learning, and support students who may be grieving or have experienced trauma? Supportive learning environment: Have we planned that all classes (whether in-person or distance learning) will devote time to building community, reflecting on experiences and listening to students’ ideas and concerns? Promoting student social and emotional competencies: Have we identified ways that all teachers help students enhance and practice competencies through distance learning and in-person settings, either through existing programs, regular class meetings, group and individual check-ins, or instructional practices that allow for reflection, discussion and collaboration? Student support: Do we have plans in place and have we partnered with families and community agencies to proactively identify, provide and monitor additional supports to students who are struggling socially, emotionally, behaviorally or academically? Source: Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning: “An initial guide to leveraging the power of social and emotional learning as you prepare to reopen and renew your school community.” casel.org
> See Needs, page 14 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
> Continued from page 13
misinformation and address students’ fears about the virus. The second will address perspective, and how students can exercise reflection and introspection. Coping skills and self awareness are the third and fourth areas of discussion, while the last focuses on preparations for returning to school and the shift in expectations that might mean for some students. “We really want to focus on social-emotional learning and getting people back into socializing,” Ott says. “We want to get them in, and we want to start getting them back to being comfortable.” Ott is also working with other Bell County superintendents to figure out how to bring in outside groups, such as CPS, to make sure the district can continue to aid social services in the community. Even if most Temple ISD classes are held remotely in the fall, Ott says these in-person Wildcat Check-ins will continue with the students who need them the most.
“I think that transitional piece socially got left out in finishing the school year because the focus was on instruction and logistics behind meal planning, but we have to make double darn sure it doesn’t get left out going into the next school year.” Anxieties are high for teachers right now, from adjusting to remote instruction to the uncertainty of what the fall might look like and how their students are faring away from their classrooms. In Hillsboro, Adams says the district’s counselors knew staff was going to need emotional support to cope with the sudden changes. “Many of our teachers were struggling. They wanted to make sure they were able to teach meaningful lessons to their kids, but they were feeling inept and they didn’t have each other for support or to vent to or bounce ideas off of.” The counselors set up once-a-week virtual meetings for staff, called Coffee With a Counselor, to check in. The meetings have only one rule: They’re for sharing good news only. From self-care tips and mindfulness exercises to sharing happy news,
Care for the caregiver: tips for families and educators Parents, teachers and other caregivers play a critical role in helping children cope with crises, often ignoring their own needs in the process. However, caregivers must take good care of themselves so they are able to take good care of the children in their charge. All caregivers need to consider the following suggestions to prevent burnout:
• Physical self-care. Maintain healthy eating habits and drink plenty of water; limit the use of alcohol or other substances; get adequate sleep.
• Emotional self-care. Know your limitations; recognize that your reactions are normal and occur frequently among caregivers, including many welltrained crisis professionals.
• Social care and connection. Maintain normal daily routines;
connect with trusted friends or family; connect with systemic supports such as your faith and school communities; process or debrief the events at the end of each day with other caregivers or colleagues. This is especially important for crisis responders.
• Adequate support resources. Acknowledge that you
and your family may need additional help. Access crisis support resources provided by community and volunteer services, including social–emotional and mental health supports.
• Systems/procedural care. Advocate for and set limits on the number of consecutive responses; promote policies that allow for crisis responders to step away from a response if the crisis hits too close to home; ensure that crisis team leaders establish a supportive atmosphere of self-care.
Source: National Association of School Psychologists: “Care for the caregiver: tips for families and educators.”
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
these meetings were designed to meet the emotional need of educators — a social group by nature. “The reason teachers get into education in the first place is to be with kids,” Adams says. “Our counselors knew they would have a tough time adjusting.” Coffee With a Counselor has been so successful that the meetings will continue over the summer and into the fall. Attendees have been so grateful for the outreach that at one campus, a group got together to paint the counselor’s parking space as a thank you. Another counselor received a drive-by thank-you parade in front of her house, as school staff honked and waved to show their appreciation. While schools were once viewed as a place for learning the fundamentals, their roles have expanded as our communities, and life in general, have become more complex. Besides covering curriculum and instruction and providing meals, districts are taking on the social and emotional aspects of learning, working to better support students’ needs in a more holistic way. As regulations change and flexibility is a must, Texas schools are stepping up to continue to meet the needs of all students, no matter what it takes. “Our counselors are excited about reconnecting, our teachers are excited,” Ott says. “That’s why they’re in those positions. It’s their calling.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
Who’s News > Continued from page 10 Jennifer Carranza, who had been serving
as Clifton Park Elementary School’s interim principal, now holds the position permanently. She had been the school’s assistant principal since 2010.
Donna Hardy has been promoted from
assistant principal of Fowler Elementary School to principal. Jeremy Key, who spent all of his 28 years as
an educator in Killeen ISD, retired in May after spending the past five years as principal of Eastern Hills Middle School.
Lake Travis ISD Serene Hills Elementary School students will welcome Keegan Luedecke as principal this fall. She had been serving as the school’s assistant principal. A teacher for nine years before becoming an administrator, she joined Lake Travis ISD in 2010. Former Serene Hills Elementary principal Julie Nederveld now leads Hudson Bend Middle School. With 30 years of education experience, she has worked as a teacher, RtI specialist and campus administrator in Florida and North Carolina as well as Texas. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from the University of South Florida and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.
Dallis Warren has been named chief of police, a position he held on an interim basis since February. Prior to that assignment, he was the district’s first school safety coordinator. Before joining LCISD in 2018, the 40-year law enforcement officer was police chief of Rosenberg.
Lewisville ISD The new chief executive director of student support services, Jeffrey Kajs, is the former principal of Lewisville High School. In addition, he was principal of Griffin Middle School, an assistant principal at Lewisville High, and a teacher. A graduate of Texas Tech University, he holds a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas.
Lufkin ISD The new principal of Kurth Elementary School is Dana Bickley, former assistant principal of special education at Lufkin High School. A graduate of Lufkin High, she attended Stephen F. Austin State University and received a master’s degree in school counseling from Lamar University. Now serving as principal of Anderson Elementary School is Cindy Nerren, who spent the past six years leading Trout Primary School. Prior to that, she was a teacher in Bryan and Huntington ISDs and an instructional coach at Kurth Elementary. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University. Cindy Stewart has been
Pam Schaeffer has been
promoted from interim principal of Lake Travis Elementary School to principal. An educator for more than 20 years, she was principal of Shawnee Trail Elementary in Frisco ISD and has also worked in Terrell and Crandall ISDs. She received her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in education administration from Concordia University.
Lamar CISD Keith Johnson has been approved to serve
as Lamar Consolidated High School’s head football coach and athletic coordinator. He was the school’s head track coach, special teams coordinator and linebacker coach for the varsity football program. Tamarron Elementary School will have
Mark Melendez as principal when it opens
in August. Now in his seventh year leading Hutchison Elementary, he previously served as assistant principal and principal of Smith Elementary.
promoted from assistant principal to principal of Trout Primary School. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in counseling from Stephen F. Austin State
McKinney ISD Garry Gorman has been
hired as the district’s senior director of curriculum and instruction. He comes to McKinney from Red Oak ISD, where he spent the past three years as executive director of elementary learning. He began his career 25 years ago in McKinney ISD, spending 16 years in the district before accepting a principalship in Prosper ISD. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in school leadership from Texas Woman’s University. Now serving as McKinney ISD’s chief human resources officer is Chad Teague, a 25-year educator who was most recently
Little Elm ISD’s executive director of human resources. He began his career in Keller ISD, going on to work in Coppell, Bastrop, Katy and Lewisville ISDs. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate in administration and supervision from the University of Houston.
Mansfield ISD Greg George has been appointed head
football coach and athletic coordinator at Mansfield High School, where he had been serving as interim head football coach. He has been with the district for 17 years.
Marlin ISD New superintendent Darryl Henson comes to Marlin from Cedar Hill ISD, where he was assistant superintendent of school leadership since 2018. Prior to that, he was principal of Houston ISD’s North Forest High School and of Parkland High School in El Paso’s Ysleta ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. His doctorate in curriculum and instruction was awarded from the University of Houston.
Mesquite ISD New Horn High School assistant principal Jerome Berglund has been with the school for two years as a teacher. Prior to that, he worked in Marshall, Dallas, and Richardson ISDs. Tiffany Brown has arrived in Mesquite ISD
from North Little Rock High School in Arkansas to serve as assistant principal of Lawrence Elementary. Clinton Elsasser is set to
serve as dean of Mesquite ISD’s new high school, the Mesquite ISD Innovative Education Center, set to open in August of 2021. He comes to Mesquite from Garland ISD, where he was assistant principal of the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center. Moving from Agnew Middle School, where she was principal, to serve in the top job at Poteet High School is Kelly Long.
> See Who’s News, page 17 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Thought leaders and innovators in education
Corsicana ISD’s Stephanie Howell doesn’t shy away from hard work by Dacia Rivers
“Stephanie exemplifies leadership and motivation. From the classroom to district leadership, she models innovation and a love of learning. She makes us better as a district.” — Corsicana ISD Superintendent Diane Frost
t’s hard to imagine that anyone is as familiar with Corsicana ISD as Stephanie Howell. A Corsicana graduate herself, she currently serves as executive director of technology and innovation in the district, though she took a somewhat circuitous path to her position. Initially, Howell worked as a paraprofessional in the district while raising her young children and getting her degree. She then began teaching second grade at Carroll Elementary School. She loved the work, but the school was having trouble retaining a principal, which made Howell wonder why. She decided to attend Lamar University to earn her master’s in educational leadership and eventually make the jump to administration. Her chance came sooner than she expected, and she wound up serving as assistant principal at the middle school where both of her children were students. “It was a hard year, I was coming from second grade and a lot of the teachers I was supervising were my teachers when I was growing up,” Howell says. “I always say you have to be a little crazy to like middle school, but I think that was two of my best years. I loved it and I learned a lot.” After her stint at the middle school, Howell spent a year as assistant principal at a high school in the district. Then Corsicana ISD
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Superintendent Diane Frost asked her to serve as principal at a duallanguage improvement-required campus. Howell made the move and helped to get the school out of its IR rating, spending two years in the position before being asked to return to Carroll Elementary as principal. The school was also labeled as improvement required, and Howell spent two years in the position, again successfully working to change the school’s rating. Howell served at one more campus in the district, working to help open a new intermediate school for fifth and sixth graders. From there, she jumped into a wider role, serving as the district’s director of innovation and transformation, which led her to her current position, one she’s held for the last year … and plans on keeping. “Sometimes change isn’t good, but for me it was a challenge each time the district asked me to move someplace else,” Howell says. “My whole family is a lot of educators and I’ve loved the different experiences I’ve been able to have.” As executive director of technology and innovation, Howell continues to wear many hats. She oversees all technology in the district, from infrastructure to instruction. At a time when COVID-19 has increased the need for remote instruction, Howell has prioritized making Corsicana a 1:1 district, hoping to get devices and internet access to all students this fall.
Initially, Corsicana purchased 400 hot spots, handing them out to high school students first, then working downward from there. It was an expensive move, and Howell says she is now looking at other solutions to extend internet access to students. Currently, any student can pull into a Corsicana ISD building parking lot and access the district’s Wi-Fi. But in the longterm, Howell is hoping for the district to have its own 4G LTE network that any student could access. Working with a few local companies, the district will unveil a pilot program in August, where students will have access to Corsicana’s LTE network through district-provided devices. This system would allow the district to control content on the devices, blocking apps such as Snapchat or Instagram to help keep students safe and focused on learning. On the innovation side, Howell leads the computer science program in Corsicana, helping prepare children for future careers. The district has one computer science immersion campus, and coding programs are available at every level in the district. Partnering with Code to the Future, Corsicana provides coding lessons in Scratch along with Lego- and Minecraft-based coding systems, which are popular with students of all ages.
At the end of each nine-week coding program, the district hosts an Epic Build event, where parents and community members can come to the schools and see the work the students have done. Howell is working to expand the coding offerings, including adding Apple-coding lessons at the middle-school level. “If I can find anything that is new and creative and good for our students, then we look at it,” Howell says. “We’re adding more computer science classes to our middle school and high school for their CTE pathway as well.” New this year in Corsicana is an esports team. While COVID-19 has delayed the program’s start, Howell is working to get the competitive online gaming team off the ground in the fall. Starting at the high school level, the district’s esports program will offer students the opportunity to work in teams to compete online with other students in several video games, such as Rocket League and League of Legends. “Even if we’re not back at school 100% in the fall, they can still do everything together, even from home,” Howell says. The esports class will include embedded PE curriculum, such as lessons on healthy eating or different exercise suggestions from coaches. In addition to the esports group,
she has served as Mesquite ISD’s assistant director of food and nutrition services.
> Continued from page 15
Now serving as principal of North Mesquite High School is Kenneth Washington, whose last position was principal of Coyle Middle School in Garland ISD.
Taylor Morris has been promoted from principal of Poteet High School to executive director of administrative services. He has spent his 17-year career in Mesquite ISD, beginning as a history teacher and advancing to serve as assistant principal of West Mesquite High before moving to Poteet High. Azalea Salazar now serves
as assistant principal of Woolley Middle School, coming to her new position from Rutherford Elementary School, where she was an instructional specialist. She spent seven years as a bilingual teacher in the district. Lark Stewart is now director
of food and nutrition services. She has seven years of experience in the field, initially working as a dietician for Fort Worth ISD. For the past four years,
Carissa Williams, most recently an instructional specialist and student success teacher at Floyd Elementary, will join Henrie Elementary this fall as an assistant principal.
Moulton ISD The new superintendent, Chris Ulcak, was previously assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Goliad ISD. Prior to that, he was superintendent of Nursery ISD. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He was awarded a second master’s degree from Texas State University.
Nacogdoches ISD New superintendent Gabriel Trujillo comes to Nacogdoches from Grand Prairie ISD, where he was an area superintendent. Prior to that, he was an elementary and secondary principal in
Howell is creating a Tiger Tech Team — a group of Corsicana students who will provide tech support to students and staff in the district. If all of these tasks isn’t enough to keep Howell busy, she also oversees counselors and librarians in the district. It sounds like a lot of work because it is a lot of work. But Howell wouldn’t have it any other way. A dedicated worker to her core, she sees it as a privilege that she’s been able to stay and work in her hometown district in so many different capacities. “I don’t ever see myself leaving,” Howell says. “I’m in a really good community, and our board is supportive of everything, from all of our changes to making sure our kids have everything they need in the future.” Howell’s work has no doubt affected the lives of many students in Corsicana ISD, and Superintendent Frost is quick to sing her praises. “Stephanie exemplifies leadership and motivation,” Frost says. “From the classroom to district leadership, she models innovation and a love of learning. She makes us better as a district.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
Duncanville ISD after beginning his career in Plainview ISD. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayland Baptist University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Navarro ISD The district has appointed a new superintendent. Wendi Russell comes to Navarro from PecosBarstow-Toyah ISD, where she was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and, most recently, interim superintendent.
New Braunfels ISD Clint McLain, former superintendent of Dilley ISD, is now New Braunfels ISD’s assistant superintendent of finance and operations. He has 24 years of experience as an educator, 19 of those as an administrator. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from > See Who’s News, page 20 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Marble Falls’ Chris Allen takes the helm at Texas ASCD by James Golsan
arble Falls ISD Superintendent and new Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Texas ASCD) President Chris Allen strongly believes there is a lot more than “book learning” involved in delivering a great education to the students in his charge. “If we do not nurture hearts and comfort souls, we’re never going to develop minds,” he says. It’s a philosophy that marries his passion for education with a strong desire to ensure his students have the emotional foundation and support they need to thrive in an academic setting. In a sense, it was this philosophy that led Allen down the path of pursuing a leadership role in education, though it was not the path he envisioned for himself at the start of his career.
position in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD as an assistant principal. But it wasn’t a simple desire to advance professionally that led Allen to pursue a position in leadership. The 1998 tragedy at Columbine High School changed the way he looked not just at his career, but at the level of involvement educators can have in the lives of their students. “I became horribly conflicted about the role we needed to play not just in educating the minds of our students but developing their hearts and souls as well.”
“I saw myself being a teacher and coach for 30 years,” the native of Pensacola Florida says, and credits his own great teachers with shaping much of his early life and inspiring him to pursue a career in education.
Stops along the road to statewide leadership took Allen all over Central Texas. He completed his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin and accepted his first principalship at Midway High School in Waco. He was promoted to assistant superintendent during his time there and then accepted a deputy superintendent position at Lake Travis ISD before taking his current position in Marble Falls ISD.
His first job was teaching and coaching in Birdville ISD, a position he held for eight years before accepting his first administrative
When it comes to his involvement with Texas ASCD, Allen credits opportunities to work with two of the organization’s former
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
presidents at different points in his career, David Young and Brad Lancaster. “I saw how much it benefitted their careers and thought it would be a great organization for me to become a part of,” he says, adding that while the membership benefits were a draw, a personal passion for curriculum was just as important. “Really, the part of the job (of superintendent) I enjoy the most is the curriculum, instruction and assessment piece.” Allen now enters his presidency during an exceptionally turbulent moment in American history between the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide racial justice protests. It means he not only has to take on the normal challenges that come with positions of statewide leadership but must also grapple with how his organization can be most relevant, as well as solvent, for its membership over the coming year. “One of the things we want to do to maintain financial viability over the next
wellbeing of students in an academic setting.”
year is to continue to offer high quality programming to our members while keeping an open ear for feedback from our constituency group.” Allen adds that while exploring new revenue streams is also on the table, he believes that quality service to organization members is the more important component, and emphasizes the organization’s established track record of bringing in national-level curriculum experts to work with Texas ASCD. “We shouldn’t be focused so hard on money that we forget our core mission. If you provide educators with high quality experiences around curriculum and instruction, the economic sustainability part will take care of itself.” With a uniquely challenging academic year and a legislative session both on deck over the next 12 months, Allen says Texas ASCD will do all it can to give educators the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, as well as to focus on supporting legislation that “supports the social-emotional
Though his belief in and passion for holistic approaches to education is long-standing, the work has become more personal in recent years. Allen is married to a teacher and has two high school-aged children, all in Marble Falls ISD, and his family informs every choice he makes as a leader in education. “Every decision I make, both at ASCD and at Marble Falls, has an effect on my wife or my children.” In Chris Allen, Texas ASCD has a compassionate, experienced president at the helm with a personal interest in the organization’s success. If anyone can steer the organization through these uncertain times — which Allen firmly believes are an opportunity for growth and development in the education sphere — he can. JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
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Who’s News > Continued from page 17
Stephen F. Austin State University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.
New Caney ISD Porter High School’s new principal is Cesar Condarco, former principal of Keefer Crossing Middle School. He has been an educator for 18 years. Stephanie Coronado is the new principal of Valley Ranch Elementary School, coming to that campus from Humble ISD, where she was director of professional learning.
Now serving as principal of Tavola Elementary School is Kimberly Felts, former assistant principal of Oak Elementary School in Humble ISD.
Northside ISD (San Antonio) Seven administrative appointments are announced for the district. They are: • Tanya Alanis, academic dean, Pease Middle School; • Casey Feldt, vice principal, Wernli Elementary School; • Stephanie Janik, vice principal, Oak Hills Terrace Elementary School; • Katherine Lyssy, director of pupil personnel; • Candace Maldonado, vice principal, Cable Elementary School; • Laura San Roman, assistant principal, Jones Middle School; • Jerry Woods, assistant superintendent for high school instruction.
Northwest ISD (Fort Worth) Eaton High School’s new principal, Stacy Miles, has served in several capacities at the school since its opening in 2015, including assistant and associate principal. She previously taught at Steele Accelerated High School and Medlin Middle School, and in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and the Chino Unified School District in California. Matrice Raven, now principal
of Adams Middle School, was assistant principal of Chisholm Trail Middle School from 2014 to 2017 and served as principal of the school from 2017 until accepting her
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Olney ISD Olney ISD announces the appointment of Kelli Cobb as its director of security. She previously worked for the district as a teaching assistant and is a reserve police officer for the city of Albany.
Perryton ISD The Perryton ISD board of trustees announces the appointment of James Mireles as superintendent. He served as principal of Perryton High School from 2015 to 2017 and most recently was superintendent of Texhoma ISD.
Pflugerville ISD Lacey Ajibola has agreed to serve as principal
of Dessau Middle School, returning to Pflugerville from Garland ISD, where she was principal of the Pathfinder Achievement Center. Prior to that, she was a behavior specialist in Pflugerville ISD, where she also taught and worked as an assistant principal. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and is at work on her doctorate at Abilene Christian University.
The new principal of Pflugerville Middle School is Philip Clayton, former principal of the Provan Opportunity Center. Prior to that assignment, he was assistant principal at Pflugerville High School and a special education teacher at Kelly Lane Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas State University. Jorge Franco will serve as principal of one of Pflugerville ISD’s new schools, called Middle School 7 for the time being. He has been with the district since 2018, when he became principal of Westview Middle School. Prior to that, he spent four years as principal of Hutto ISD’s Farley Middle School. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso.
The new athletic coordinator and head football coach for Weiss High School is Steve Van Meter, who came out of retirement to accept the position. He began his career 35 years ago in Friendswood ISD, ultimately serving as head coach in that district and in Hutto ISD. Reese Weirich has been selected to lead a
new Pflugerville ISD campus, currently tagged Elementary 22 and set to open in the fall of 2021. She was principal of Murchison Elementary since 2011 and was the school’s assistant principal prior to that. A Pflugerville ISD alumna, she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas State University.
Plano ISD Weatherford Elementary School’s new principal, Nidia Cedillo, comes to Plano ISD with 16 years of experience as an educator. Most recently assistant principal of Webb Elementary in McKinney ISD, she has also worked as an instructional coach and bilingual teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. She is at work on her doctorate from Southern Methodist University. Todd Ford, Plano Senior
High’s new athletic director and head football coach, comes to his new job from Lovejoy High in Lovejoy ISD. Prior to that, he was athletic coordinator and head football coach at Round Rock ISD’s Cedar Ridge High School and coached in Keller and Lewisville ISDs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas. Kelly Stallings, former Plano Senior High assistant girls’ basketball varsity coach, is now head girls’ basketball coach. She has taught and coached at the school since 2008.
Randolph Field ISD (San Antonio) Brian Holt has accepted the position of
superintendent of Randolph Field ISD. He holds a doctorate from Tarleton State University and was most recently superintendent of Booker ISD. He previously served in Borger, Robinson, Connally and Spearman ISDs.
Rio Hondo ISD Former Gold-Burg ISD superintendent Roger William Ellis now leads Rio Hondo ISD.
San Angelo ISD Molly Johnson has accepted the position of director of community relations. A graduate of San Angelo ISD’s Central High School, she received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Executive director of athletics
Brent McCallie has retired. He
spent the first 25 years of his 37-year career with Dumas ISD, working for two years in Canyon ISD before joining San Angelo ISD in 2015.
Central High School has welcomed Charles Villegas as its new head basketball coach. He has 13 years of experience as a teacher and coach, 12 of those as a head coach,
working in Frenship, Olson and Hereford ISDs. He earned his bachelor’s degree from McMurry University and his master’s degree in sports administration from Concordia University. Now serving as head volleyball coach at Central High School is Julie Williams. She has 17 years of experience as a teacher and coach and is a graduate of Lubbock Christian University. A new member has been added to the San Angelo communications department. Whitney Watson Wood is now executive director of communication. Previously a practicing attorney and marketing and public relations professional, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a juris doctor degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Sealy ISD Superintendent
Bryan Hallmark joins Sealy
ISD from Georgetown ISD, where he was assistant superintendent. Prior to that, he was GISD’s executive director of school leadership.
Seguin ISD Rhonda Jubela now leads
Vogel Elementary School as principal. A graduate of Seguin High School, she has been with the district for six years, most recently serving as principal of the Ball Early Childhood Center. Debra Reiley is the new
principal of the Ball Early Childhood Center, where she had been assistant principal. She is a 30-year employee of the district.
Sherman ISD After a 34-year career as an elementary educator, Fairview Elementary School principal Michelle Eackles has retired. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arkansas State University, joining Sherman ISD in 1992 after six years in Arkansas schools. She was assistant principal of Fairview before taking the job of principal at the Douglass Early Childhood Center, returning to Fairview a year later. Amy Pesina has been named principal of Dillingham Intermediate School. A product
of Sherman ISD schools, she has worked in the district for 17 years as a teacher, dyslexia therapist and assistant principal. Now serving as principal of Fairview Elementary is Pamela Voss, who most recently led Dillingham Intermediate School. Prior to that, she was assistant principal of Finch Elementary in McKinney ISD.
Slaton ISD Jim Andrus is the new superintendent of Slaton ISD after serving as principal of Slaton Junior High. In addition, he was principal of Cavazos Middle School and Smith Elementary and assistant principal of Hutchinson Junior High, all in Lubbock ISD, where he also served as director of the district’s secondary program for advancement. He has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University and a master’s degree from Wayland Baptist University.
Smyer ISD Chris Wade is the district’s new superintendent. He comes to Smyer from Ralls ISD, where he was a principal for eight years and served as superintendent since 2012.
Southside ISD (San Antonio) New superintendent Rolando Ramirez most recently led Valley View ISD. He earned his master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is at work on his doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University.
Texarkana ISD The Texarkana ISD board of trustees announces the appointment of Elodia Witterstaetter as principal of Westlawn Elementary School. She began her career in the district in 2003, taking her first assistant principal position in 2014 at Nash Elementary. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Texarkana.
Weatherford ISD Weatherford ISD has a new superintendent. Beau Rees has 25 years of experience as an educator, most recently serving as superintendent of Montgomery ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree from Abilene Christian College in educational administration, and a doctorate
in educational leadership from Texas Tech University.
Wells ISD Former Wells High School principal Jill Gaston has been promoted to district superintendent. The 16-year educator began as a teacher in Bryan ISD. She went on to serve as director of Center ISD’s Roughrider Academy before leading Wells ISD’s junior and senior high schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University, to which she returned to earn her teacher certification. She is at work on her master’s degree in educational leadership at Lamar University.
West Sabine ISD Cristal Joslin, new
superintendent of West Sabine ISD, comes to the district with 21 years of experience as a Texas educator. She has served as a teacher, associate principal and principal in Royse City, Mesquite, Dallas and Garland ISDs and most recently was director of state and federal programs and director of career and technical programs in Jasper ISD. In addition, she was director of the Deep East Texas College and Career Alliance.
Winona ISD New Winona High School principal Keith Sparkman served in an interim capacity since January. Initially a teacher at Fort Worth ISD’s Polytechnic High School, he also coached baseball and football and served as UIL academic coordinator. He was named assistant principal of Quitman High School in Quitman ISD in 2015 and joined Winona ISD in 2017 as academic advisor and technical education coordinator.
Winters ISD Former Sonora High School principal Sean Leamon is now superintendent of Winters ISD.
Ysleta ISD After 29 years of service, 22 of those in Ysleta ISD, Eastwood High School principal David Boatright has retired. He began his career in 1991 as a PE teacher at Irvin High School in El Paso ISD, joining Eastwood in 1993 as a coach and social studies teacher. He became an assistant principal at Socorro ISD’s Montwood High in 2007, returning to Ysleta ISD in 2017. ◄ Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
News in fine arts education
Creative engagement by Christine Grafe
hen I look back over my 30 years of experience in the art classroom, Iâ€™m often amazed at how far the journey has taken me. I can remember one of my art education professors telling us that it can take 30 years for a new idea or model to become fully seated in the daily pedagogy of education. While itâ€™s difficult to pinpoint one particular concept that began spreading roots when I first entered the profession, it goes without question that art education has come a long way in that time.
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Christine Grafe and some of her art students pose in sugar skill make-up to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. As a new teacher fresh out of college, the teaching methodologies were pretty straight forward: Teach the elements and principles of art using a variety of media to enhance and reinforce that learning. I was exposed to a wide variety of methods and materials, which I was eager to share with my students, and most of my lessons were at least marginally successful.
My first two years were in Brownfield ISD, a mostly rural farming community, and my students had limited exposure to a wide variety of art materials and techniques. When I later moved to College Station, a highly diverse community both culturally and economically, I found that some of those lessons fell short. You see, I had a good grasp on how to teach art materials and techniques, but what I really needed to learn was how to teach children. Thus began the long and sometimes bumpy road of discovery which slowly shaped me into the teacher I am today. Those early days with College Station ISD, I must admit, were a bit rough. I had an ample budget and a beautiful classroom with plenty of storage and natural light. The biggest challenge was with classroom management. I had students who, on one hand, came from socioeconomically disadvantaged families who struggled to make ends meet, next to students whose parents were executives or professors who vacationed in New York or Paris. This discrepancy often caused tensions I was unprepared to deal with, and I found myself more concerned with keeping students in line, rather than keeping them engaged. As a result, my program and my self confidence struggled to stay afloat. Fortunately, I hung in there, and in time things began to turn around. What changed for me was the realization that my program was not just about what happened between my students and me during a 45-minute block of time. In reality it was also about the image my program projected to the rest of the school so that my program would have a chance to grow. I had to learn to advocate through the lessons I taught and the ways
▲ Students pose with a giant papiermâché La Catrina figure.
▲ Students in College Station ISD hang 1,000 paper cranes to honor a fellow student who was diagnosed with leukemia.
they were presented and shared with the rest of the school and our community. I was learning a valuable lesson: While the foundation of a unit may begin with media and technique, it won’t reach its full potential if students aren’t engaged and excited about the learning. Within a couple of years we moved into a newly renovated school that contained a central “hub” from which hallways to classrooms extended. We began turning this space into a museum of sorts with enormous displays of large-scale papiermâché figures and student-created “artifacts.” My students became excited about what our next big exhibit would be, and I noticed an increased interest from the rest of the school as well. I began inviting the local newspaper into our school to photograph our displays, and when my students and I built a life-size papier-mâché horse, it was even featured in a national magazine. I also began to explore the many programs offered by the Texas Art Education Association, such as the Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit and TASA/TASB exhibit, the Texas Elementary Art Meet, and the Visual Arts Scholastic Event, offered at the junior high and high school levels. These programs celebrate the achievements of our student artists statewide and help build advocacy for our programs. Fast forward to the present day, and my program is still evolving. Stagnancy is the enemy of a successful art program, so I continue to search for new ideas for my students and I to explore. The annual conference of the Texas Art Education Association has been an invaluable resource over the years, affording me the opportunity to not only learn about new media and
methods, but to also network with other like minded individuals. My approach to my lessons continues to evolve as well. As the movement toward student choice continues to gain steam, I’ve learned how to let go of the reins a bit and give my students more choice in their project development. Increased student involvement in project development leads to increased interest and engagement in the lesson, creating a win-win situation for all. Thinking outside the box and developing creative thinking skills has become an underlying current of my program. I love to share the story of a couple of sixth-grade boys I had a few years back who wanted to make a working cardboard recliner for their papier-mâché project. Honestly, I had no idea whether or not it could be done, but after a couple of weeks of collaboration, determination and hard work, they had engineered a stack of cardboard and some masking tape into an actual, working recliner. The creative engagement those boys exhibited and the pride they felt in their accomplishment was priceless. Who knows what the next 30 years in education will look like. Let’s face it, with the current pandemic, we can’t even be sure what the next school year will look like. The Texas Art Education Association continues to be a driving force in shaping and building the future of art education in our great state. As we continue to focus on ways to keep students creatively engaged in their learning, I feel confident that we can rise above whatever challenges arise in that pursuit. CHRISTINE GRAFE teaches art at Cypress Grove Intermediate School in College Station ISD. Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Education service center programs & practices
Pivoting in a pandemic by Rachel Frost
or many parents and educators across the state, Spring Break 2020 will be one they never forget. However, it likely won’t be remembered for the family vacations, or time spent playing outside with friends. Instead, our education communities left for Spring Break with schools looking and operating as they always have and returned to an education system that was flipped upside down. Instead of learning in brightly colored classrooms with desks in neat little rows or collaborative clusters, students took to their kitchen tables or living room couches to do the classwork that was delivered to them virtually or through take-home packets. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, parents were asked to juggle more than ever before. For Early Head Start parents Mayra Jimenez and April Loyd, the sudden change came as quite a shock. Mayra is a single,
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
working mom with four children under the age of 12, and April is in nursing school and has three children age 12 or younger. While working to maintain a sense of normalcy for their families, Mayra and April turned to the people they knew they could count on for support — their Region 10 Education Service Center Early Head Start teachers.
the child and their family academically, socially and emotionally. Working behind the scenes to support those educators were professionals and teams of experts at Education Service Centers across the state. In a time of uncertainty, a time of change, our education community came together in a big way to continue educating students.
“I don’t have family here, so the Early Head Start staff have become like family to me. They are my support system,” Mayra explained.
At Region 10, the focus shifted, and work began the moment we received word that schools were going to have to make the tough decision to close their doors and begin educating students from home.
“My child’s Early Head Start teacher is incredible, and she was with me every step of the way to support my son,” said April. “We would text and call each other throughout the week, and I would send her photos of my son’s progress.” Behind every parent struggling to get by in the midst of a global pandemic was an educator working tirelessly to help both
“As each hour passed, more and more districts were announcing their closures,” explained Region 10 Digital Learning and Resources Coordinator Kathryn Laster. “The Region 10 team responded quickly by building the framework for the At-Home Instructional Support website, which was developed as a resource for high-quality content for educators.”
“It was very frenzied. It felt like every day was an entire week. There was so much information being shared. It was a lot to sift through and figure out where and how we needed to pivot. We wanted to be a half-step ahead so we could be helpful for our teachers,” explained Region 10 Learning Innovations Consultant Laura Kile. Members of Region 10’s Digital Learning and Resources team partnered with the Teaching and Learning team to create webinars and curate content and resources for educators. Simultaneously, the Special Populations team was hard at work focusing on how to meet the unique needs of the students they serve. “Our whole focus was to get into the mindset of a fourth-grade Special Education teacher, for instance, or to get in the mindset of a diagnostician,” Region 10 Special Populations Services Director Dr. April Estrada remembers. “We had to figure out what those educators needed to get their job done. I supported the team with guidance from the state, and then charged them with filling in the blanks.” As days rolled into weeks, our Special Populations team continued to work together with school districts, sharing resources and developing strategies. Challenges included everything from how to provide basic level accommodations for students who were in general education settings, to finding ways to coordinate
▲ Region 10 parent Mayra Jimenez poses with her daughter, who is in the in Early Head Start program.
support and provide assistance in a virtual setting for students who were in selfcontained Special Education classrooms. “It was our goal to reach out to families to find out what parents really needed — to find out how we could help them as a family,” Dr. Estrada said. “In some ways, it has become an even more collaborative approach. In the sharing of resources, the coming together to develop plans to move forward, and the integration of educating parents and empowering them.” If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is that there is power in numbers, and our educators are as committed to learning as the students they serve. “This situation forced everyone to be a learner because no one had been through this before,” Kile said. “Everyone had to feel what it felt like to struggle, to not know what to do, and to learn hard and quickly from mistakes.”
▲ The son of April Loyd, a Region 10 parent, enjoys an at-home lesson.
While there is still a level of uncertainty as to what the 2020-21 school year will look like for educators and students, there are pieces of what we have learned during
this time that will make us stronger as an education community. At Region 10, we will continue to provide professional development opportunities that are flexible so that educators have the opportunity to learn and grow in a setting that aligns with their own learning preferences. We will continue to answer questions and compile resources. We will continue to equip educators with the tools and knowledge they need to successfully implement various technologies in their classrooms regardless of whether students are learning at school, virtually, or in a hybrid model. We will continue to work collaboratively with educators across the region, state, and nation to make sure that our practices enable educators to reach all students. And most importantly, we will continue to love and support our parents, like Mayra and April, who need us more than ever before — parents who are counting on us to prepare their youngest of learners for the unique educational journey that lies ahead. RACHEL FROST is director of communications services for the Region 10 Education Service Center. Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Calendar Professional development & events Note: Many events are being canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. Please verify any event listed below by calling the included phone number for the most up-to-date information.
AU GUST August 5 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 1 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $795; nonmembers, $895.
SEPTE M BE R September 1 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) Berry Center, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. September 3 TASPA Documentation Basics Workshop Lubbock ISD, Lubbock For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.tassp.org September 8 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) McKinney ISD Event Center, McKinney For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TRTA District 12 Fall Conference ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org September 9 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Rio Grande Valley Cohort (session 1 of 6) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco
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For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. September 9-10 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 2 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $795; nonmembers, $895. September 10 TRTA District 13 Fall Conference First Christian Church, San Marcos For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org September 13-15 Texas Association of Community Schools Conference Hilton Palacio del Rio, San Antonio For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org September 14 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, San Antonio/Austin Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) Northside Activity Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. September 15 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Abilene/Lubbock Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) Abilene ISD, Abilene For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi/Victoria Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) Corpus Christi ISD, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions.
September 15-17 Texas ASCD Instructional Rounds Godley ISD, Godley For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 16 TASBO Workshop: PEIMS Fundamentals Marriott Northwest, San Antonio For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. September 17 TASBO PEIMS Academy Marriott Northwest, San Antonio For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $305; nonmembers, $355. September 22 TRTA District 14 Fall Conference ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org September 22-23 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy (session 1 of 3) Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Texas ASCD Academy: Formative Assessment Strategies for the Mathematics Classroom Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Texas ASCD Transformative Principal Leadership Academy (session 1 and 2 of 6) Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Texas ASCD Whole Child Approach Academy Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD,
Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (717) 2723. www.txascd.org September 22-24 Texas ASCD Instructional Rounds Spring ISD, Spring For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 23 TASBO Workshop: Orange Frog – The Happiness Advantage Spring ISD, Spring For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $335; nonmembers, $385. September 23-26 TETATX TheatreFest 2020 Moody Gardens, Galveston No phone number provided. www.tetatx.org September 25 TASBO Workshop: Orange Frog – The Happiness Advantage Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $335; nonmembers, $385. September 29 TRTA District 4 Fall Conference Memorial Church of Christ, Houston For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org September 29-30 Texas ASCD Academy: Beyond House Bill 3: Developing A School-Wide Literacy Plan Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
September 30-October 1 TASA/N2 Learning Executive Leadership Institute (session 1 of 4) Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $4,000 for all four sessions. TRTA District 11 Fall Conference ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org TASA/N2 Learning Principals Institute (session 1 of 6) Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $6,000 for all six sessions.
O C TO BE R October 2-4 TASA/TASB Convention: txED Con Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasb.org Cost: Pre-registration: TASA/ TASB members, $425; nonmembers, $525. On-site registration: TASA/TASB members, $525; nonmembers, $625. October 3 TRTA District 5 Fall Conference St. Markâ€™s Episcopal Church, Beaumont For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 4-5 TASSP Leadership Academy Hilton Palacio del Rio, San Antonio For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org October 4-6 TEPSA Assistant Principals Conference Omni Southpark, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 5 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, San Antonio/Austin
Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) Northside Activity Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. October 5-6 TASPA Fall Support Staff Conference Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org October 6 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) McKinney ISD Event Center, McKinney For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Rio Grande Valley Cohort (session 2 of 6) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASBO Workshop: Certified School Risk Managers TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org TRTA District 7 Fall Conference Location TBA For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 7 TASB Training: Managing State and Federal Leave TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: TASB members, $200; nonmembers, $250. TRTA District 9 Fall Conference ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 8 TASB Training: Get a Grip on the Family and Medical Leave Act TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: TASB members, $200; nonmembers, $250.
TRTA District 15 Fall Conference First Baptist Church, Comanche For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 13 TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi/Victoria Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) Corpus Christi ISD, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. October 13-14 TASBO School Operations Conference Omni at Westside, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $285; nonmembers, $410; associate nonmembers, $560. TASBO Synergy Academy Courtyard by Marriott, Pflugerville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: $305. TRTA District 19 Fall Conference Wyndham Airport, El Paso For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 13-15 TASA Curriculum Management Audit Training, Level 1 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850. October 14 TRTA District 3 Fall Conference Location TBA For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org TRTA District 6 Fall Conference ESC Region 6, Huntsville For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 15 TRTA District 8 Fall Conference ESC Region 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org
October 16 TRTA District 1 Fall Conference Location TBA For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 18-19 Texas ASCD Transformative Principal Leadership Academy (sessions 3 and 4 of 6) Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org October 18-20 Texas ASCD Annual Conference Hyatt Regency, Houston For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org October 19 TASBO Academy: Personnel Fundamentals Omni Galleria, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. TASBO Academy: Payroll Fundamentals Omni Galleria, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. October 20 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Abilene/Lubbock Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) Abilene ISD, Abilene For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) Berry Center, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASBO Payroll and Personnel Academy Omni Galleria, Houston For more info, (512) 4620-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $305; nonmembers, $355.
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TRTA District 18 Fall Conference ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 21 TASBO Workshop: Orange Frog – The Happiness Advantage Mansfield ISD, Mansfield For more info, (512) 4620-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $335; nonmembers, $385. TRTA District 17 Fall Conference ESC Region 17, Lubbock For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta October 21-23 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals TASB offices, Austin (512) 467-0222 or (800) 5808272. www.tasb.org October 22 TRTA District 16 Fall Conference ESC Region 16, Amarillo For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org TRTA District 20 Fall Conference St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, Boerne For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 26 TRTA District 10 Fall Conference Location TBA For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org October 26-27 TASBO Accounting and Finance Academy Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $305; nonmembers, $355. October 27-28 TASA/N2 Learning Principals Institute (session 2 of 6) Hilton Park Cities, Dallas For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $6,000 for all six sessions.
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TASA Curriculum Management Audit Training, Level 2 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $750; nonmembers, $850.
TASBO Purchasing Academy Courtyard by Marriott, Pflugerville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $305; nonmembers, $355.
TASB Fall Legal Seminar ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
TASPA Workshop: Personnel Skills for Supervisors of NonExempt Staff Goose Creek ISD, Baytown For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.tassp.org TRTA District 2 Fall Conference Location TBA For more info, (512) 467-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org Texas ASCD Academy: Formative Assessment Strategies for the Mathematics Classroom Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd October 28 TASPA Certification Fundamentals Workshop Goose Creek ISD, Baytown For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.tassp.org
N OV E M B E R November 2 TASBO Workshop: Purchasing Fundamentals Courtyard by Marriott, Pflugerville For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. November 2-3 TASB/TASPA School HR Administrators Academy Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 3 TASBO Workshop: Orange Frog – The Happiness Advantage Robinson ISD, Waco For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $335; nonmembers, $385.
November 4-5 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 3 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $795; nonmembers, $895. November 4-6 TASA Curriculum Writing Workshop TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $450; nonmembers, $500. November 5 TASBO Workshop: Certified School Risk Managers TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org November 6 Fall Legal Seminar TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 8-9 TEPSA Grow Leadership Conference Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront, Dallas For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org November 9-10 TASB XG Summit TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org TASBO Accounting and Finance Academy Embassy Suites DFW, Irving For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $305; nonmembers, $355.
November 10-11 TASA Curriculum Management Planning Workshop TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $450; nonmembers, $500. November 11-13 Texas Counseling Association Professional Growth Conference Sheraton Hotel, Dallas For more info, (512) www.txca.org November 14 TASB Fall Legal Seminar Location TBA, South Padre Island For more info, (512) 4677-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 14-17 Texas Assessment Conference Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org November 16 TASB Fall Legal Seminar ESC Region 5, Beaumont For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 17 TASB Fall Legal Seminar ESC Region 7, Kilgore For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 18 TASB Fall Legal Seminar Texas A&M University, Commerce For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org ◄
Help Texas School Business brag on your schools! Does your school or district have a program that's wildly successful? Tell us about it! Submit your nomination today for possible inclusion in the 14th Annual Bragging Rights special issue, which honors 12 deserving school districts and their innovative programs. To apply, visit texasschoolbusiness.com and fill out the Bragging Rights online nomination form. The nomination deadline is 5 p.m., Sept. 4, 2020. Winners will be announced with the debut of the special issue, out in December 2020. Nominated programs must have been in operation for at least one semester. There is no limit on nominations submitted per school or district. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
texasschoolbusiness.com Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
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Texas School Business Advertiser Index
… and then they loved the Teachers again by Riney Jordan
nce upon a time there lived a group of the most respected people in every town and village in the land.
Everyone loved these individuals, and they sent their children to them every day to instill knowledge, manners, ethical qualities and good habits. They bestowed the title of “Teacher” upon each one. The adults and children in the village respected the Teachers, trusted and believed each one, and held the Teachers in the highest regard. When the Teachers reported to the parents that their child had misbehaved and would need to be reprimanded, the parents simply said, “Yes, by all means, please do what you know is best. We trust you and respect your judgement.”
As years passed, however, the attitudes and perceptions of the world began to change for many parents. The media would spotlight a story of one Teacher who made a bad choice. Some parents began to believe that every Teacher was suspect, and the love for the Teachers began to wane.
students and the effort was so important. Then, something happened that no one expected. A strange virus appeared, and almost overnight, schools were closed and the children had to stay in their homes. People were encouraged to keep their distance from each other. The Teachers were told to stay home and plan lessons for the parents to oversee. Dining tables became classrooms. Computers and cellphones became the lifeline between Teachers, students and parents. At first, this seemed like an easy task for the parents, but as the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, the attitude of the parents changed once again. “I cannot do this,” many of the parents complained.
“I hear the discipline is terrible. How hard can it be to keep 22 kindergarteners in their seats?”
“Teachers have a special gift. How do they do it?”
But the Teachers felt the change in attitude from many of their parents, yet they kept working harder than ever to make a difference in the lives of their students. Of course, there were those parents who continued to love and respect the Teachers for all they did for their children, but the numbers seemed to be getting fewer each year.
“My child’s Teacher sent notes the entire time saying how much she missed seeing her.”
The Teachers’ week nights were filled with grading papers, planning lessons and writing notes of encouragement to their students. The workload at times seemed insurmountable, but they continued, because they loved their
“My little boy was a monster when I taught him, but his Teacher said he could hardly wait to see him again.” And all across the land, mothers and fathers gathered in small groups and spoke of their love and appreciation for the Teachers. And once again, the job of teaching was an honorable and noble profession in the eyes of the world. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” — Cynthia Ozick
RINEY JORDAN is the author of two books and a frequent public speaker. To invite him to speak at your convocation, graduation or awards banquet, visit www.rineyjordan.com.
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2020
Harris County Department of Education...............................6
choicepartners.org RTI International.................................................2
rti.org TASA....................................................................... 32
taspa.org Texas School Business............................11, 29
“I cannot wait for the schools to reopen. My 7-year-old said that I was the worst Teacher she’d ever had!”
“Yes, and the Teachers get three months off in the summer and lots of off time during the year. How much are we paying them?”
“My child’s Teacher is pushing him too hard. I am not happy with the Teacher.”
“My child acts terrible when he doesn’t want to complete an assignment. How did the Teacher handle this disrespectful child of mine?”
Slowly the Teachers began to receive notes of love and concern from parents and students. Parents sang the praises of Teachers who dealt with their children every day and seemed to enjoy it. They shared their own stories of chaos and horror to one another. They talked amongst themselves and all agreed that the Teachers had a job that none of them wanted.
“How dare the Teacher correct my child! Who does she think she is?
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The July/August 2020 issue of Texas School Business, published by TASA, includes a cover article about two school districts working to meet...
Published on Jul 1, 2020
The July/August 2020 issue of Texas School Business, published by TASA, includes a cover article about two school districts working to meet...