The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas
Texas School Business
JULY / AUG
The Holdsworth Center’s new retreat offers school administrators space for unparalleled leadership education and support
Also in this issue:
TASPA President Martha Carrasco
Texas ASCD President Priscilla Canales
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Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
14 Cover Story
Administrator mecca The Holdsworth Center’s new retreat offers school administrators space for unparalleled leadership education and support
TASPA President Profile Martha Carrasco ushers TASPA through a tough year by Dacia Rivers
by Dacia Rivers
20 Texas ASCD President Profile Priscilla Canales leads Texas ASCD with passion, ambition and excellence by James Golsan
Departments 7 Who’s News 24 Calendar 32 Ad Index
5 From the Editor by Dacia Rivers 11 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 22 The Arts by Victoria Villareal 32 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
hope this issue of Texas School Business finds you all enjoying the summer. It’s already shaping up to be a better one than last year, as districts prepare for what will hopefully be a more normal school year.
Our feature story for this issue is one you won’t want to miss — an introduction to The Holdsworth Center’s brand-new, state-of-the art campus dedicated to supporting school administrators through a five-year leadership program unlike any you’ve seen before. All of this is provided free of charge, thanks to H-E-B, Charles Butt, and other benefactors. I recently had the pleasure of touring the campus, which lies on the shore of Lake Austin and I felt more like I was walking through an upscale resort than your traditional “training facility.” While The Holdsworth Center initiative began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past year, school administrators have certainly earned the opportunity to learn and grow in an idyllic setting. You can read about the experiences some administrators have had with Holdsworth starting on page 14 and learn more at holdsworthcenter.org. I hope you all find as much peace, relaxation and restoration as you can possibly squeeze into one summer. May this August bring us all the opportunity for a fresh start and a renewed focus.
Texas School Business
JULY / AUGUST 2021 Volume LXVIII, Issue 4 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
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 2021 Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
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John Landin, former head band director at
Big Spring High School in Big Spring ISD, is the new director of bands at Cooper High School. The McMurry University graduate also served as band director in JaytonGirard and Coahoma ISDs.
Abilene High School’s instructional specialist, Emme Siburt, has been chosen to lead the campus as principal. She began her career at the school in 2000 as a biology teacher before moving to Tyler and Lindale ISDs. She returned to Abilene ISD in 2011. Alison Sims, who has served
the district as a teacher, counselor, instructional coordinator, principal and, most recently, executive director of leadership, is now executive director for human
Former associate superintendent for human resources Joe Waldron now holds the position of chief financial officer. He began his career as a teacher in Wichita Falls ISD and served as superintendent of schools for Morris Community High School District in Illinois.
Bastrop ISD Dina Edgar, who was
Galena Park ISD’s assistant superintendent of business services, has accepted the position of chief financial officer of Bastrop ISD. With 16 years of experience in school financial management, she previously served in Fort Bend, Copperas Cove and Leander ISDs.
Belton ISD Kimberly Winters has been approved as principal of New Tech High School @ Waskow. She previously led Round Rock ISD’s Pearson Ranch and Grisham middle schools. The Texas State University graduate holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas and is working on a doctorate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Birdville ISD Former Lake Dallas ISD superintendent Gayle Stinson now holds the top position in Birdville ISD. She spent the past 13 years with Lake Dallas, where she was named ESC Region 11 Superintendent of the Year in 2011.
Allen ISD has announced the hiring of a new principal for Boyd Elementary School. Roxxy Griffin joins the district from Richardson ISD, where she was principal of Bukhair Elementary. A new assistant athletic director is in place for Allen ISD. Jeff McCullough has been with the district since 2012, most recently serving as an athletic coordinator.
Timothy Cuff, with 43 years of experience as a teacher, principal and superintendent, is now principal of Sharp Elementary School. Aimee Garza-Limon is the new principal of Lopez Early College High School. She most recently led Brownsville Early College High and prior to that was principal of Rivera Early College High. Jimmy Haynes has assumed the duties of principal of Garden Park Elementary School. The 39-year educator has worked as a coach, assistant principal, principal and superintendent.
Former Perkins Middle School principal Beatriz Hernandez now serves as the district’s director of assessment, research and evaluation. The 20-year educator was previously dean of instruction at Champion Elementary School. Formerly assistant principal of the DAEP (Disciplinary Alternative Education Placement) Center in Los Fresnos CISD, Marco Marquez now leads Pullam Elementary as principal. He brings 25 years of experience to his new position.
Bryan ISD Karla Calhoun is the new
approved as principal of the new Early Childhood Learning Center. She comes to Brenham from Katy ISD, where she was a teacher, department chair and team leader. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is at work on her doctorate in educational administration.
head coach of the Rudder High School girls’ basketball program. She spent the past three years as varsity assistant coach of College Station High School’s girls’ basketball in College Station ISD. She was a student athlete while completing her degree at Texas A&M University, going on to play in Spain and Israel.
Bridge City ISD
Jillian Wilke has been
Paredes Elementary School has welcomed Felipe Barrera as principal. He previously served as the school’s assistant principal and has spent the past three years as a human resource specialist for the district.
sperintendent, has retired after a 33-year career in education, the past two decades as a superintendent, seven of those leading Banquete ISD.
Abilene ISD Caroline Cleveland has been promoted from assistant volleyball coach at Abilene High School to head coach. The AHS graduate served as an assistant coach while a student at McMurry University.
Former Valley Mills ISD superintendent Mike Kelly is now superintendent of Bridge City ISD. He is a graduate of Howard Payne University.
The district’s new head volleyball coach is Kylie Burns, who comes to BISD from Hallsville ISD, where she was a teacher and volleyball and track coach. Prior to that, she worked > See Who’s News, page 9 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
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Who’s News > Continued from page 7
as an assistant coach at the University of Northwest Ohio and at Midwestern State University, where she earned her master’s degree in sports administration.
Carroll ISD Walnut Grove Elementary School has welcomed Jim Calvin as principal. The 32-year educator began his career in Carroll ISD, going on to serve as a principal in several districts in the DallasFort Worth area. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and his master’s degree in educational administration and doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University. Courtney Carpenter has
been hired as the district’s deputy superintendent. An educator for 23 years, she was most recently interim superintendent of Midlothian ISD, where she also served as a central office administrator, principal and teacher. Veteran educator Aaron Heil now serves as coordinator of special education. He has spent the past 16 years with the district after working as a teacher and coach in Leander and Fort Worth ISDs and at the Texas School for the Blind. He received his master’s degree in special education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. David Markley has been
named varsity boys’ head basketball coach for Carroll High School. He comes to his new position from Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, where he was head basketball coach at Chisholm Trail High. Prior to that, he was assistant basketball coach at Heritage High in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.
Cedar Hill ISD Superintendent Gerald Hudson was recently honored with the United Negro College FundTarrant County Education Endowment Humanitarian Award. The long-time educator took his first superintendent position, in Jasper ISD, in 2017, joining Cedar Hill in 2019.
The new director of health services is Shentrell Morris, a registered nurse who has worked as campus nurse at Cedar Hill High School since 2013. She earned an associate degree from Delgado Community College’s Charity School of Nursing, followed by bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Chico ISD Randy Brawner has been promoted from
principal of Chico High School to district superintendent.
Claude ISD Superintendent Greg Brown comes to his new position from Plainview ISD, where he spent the past 29 years as a choir director, assistant principal, principal, executive director of administrative services and assistant superintendent.
Clear Creek ISD Nicole Hicks, former
Westbrook Intermediate School assistant principal, has been promoted to principal of Seabrook Intermediate. The 11-year educator has spent the past seven years in CCISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Clear Brook High School’s newly appointed principal, Sharon Lopez, was the school’s assistant and associate principal for eight years before taking her most recent job as principal of Seabrook Intermediate School. Now in her 21st year as an educator, the past 11 of those with CCISD, she holds a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston Clear Lake and is nearing completion of her doctorate from Texas A&M University.
Clyde CISD New athletic director and head football coach Danny Dudgeon spent the past six years as offensive coordinator at Abilene ISD’s Cooper High School. Prior to that assignment, the Howard Payne University graduate was a coach at Cedar Creek High School in Bastrop ISD.
College Station ISD Mike McEver has been promoted from assistant principal of A&M Consolidated High School to principal of Creek View Elementary School. He served in his previous position since 2016 and prior to that taught in Lewisville and Putnam City ISDs. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.
Conroe ISD Four principals have been appointed for the district. They are: • Mikia Barnes, Birnham Woods Elementary School; • Melanie Bujnoch, York Junior High School; • John McClendon, Cryar Intermediate School; • Paula Nicolini, Houston Elementary School.
Coppell ISD The Coppell ISD board of trustees has approved
Kimberly Shuttlesworth as
the district’s band director. She has served as director of bands at Leander ISD’s Glenn High School since it opened in 2016 and previously was director of bands at Bowie High School in Austin ISD. Now leading New Tech High @ Coppell is Joseph Smith, former assistant principal of Coppell Middle School West. He previously taught at Coppell High School and in Irving ISD. A graduate of Lubbock Christian University with a master’s degree in administration and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, he is working on his doctorate in educational leadership and administration at Arkansas State University.
Corpus Christi ISD Kimberley James has
accepted the position of deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She joined the district in 2014, opening Veterans Memorial High School as principal. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin > See Who’s News, page 10 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Who’s News > Continued from page 9
State University. She is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Veterans Memorial High School principal Scott Walker was recognized in May as one of Corpus Christi’s 40 Under 40, honoring the accomplishments of local men and women under 40 years of age who have made significant contributions to their professional fields and in service to the community. The district’s newly appointed executive director for school leadership — high schools, is Bruce Wilson, a 30-year educator who has been an employee of the district for 11 years. He was principal of Miller High School, Driscoll Middle School and Evans Elementary.
Four new principals have been named for the district. They and their schools are: • Tiffany Gonzalez, Houston Elementary School; • Shelley Maxwell, Cross Oaks Elementary School; • Shelly Panter, Rayzor Elementary School; and • Claire Springer, Sandbrock Ranch Elementary School.
Dime Box ISD Eddie Hesseltine has accepted
the position of district superintendent. He is the former director of operations for Sinton ISD and, prior to that, spent 11 years as the athletic coordinator and head football coach at King High School in Corpus Christi ISD.
Dripping Springs ISD
Cotulla ISD Ruben Cervantes is Cotulla
ISD’s new superintendent. He began his career in El Paso’s Clint ISD, going on to work as an assistant principal, principal and associate superintendent in Pecos-Barstow-Toyah, Big Spring, Kermit and San Elizario ISDs. He was most recently superintendent of Dell City ISD.
Crosby ISD Paula Patterson, a 20-year educator, has
been named superintendent of Crosby ISD. A graduate of Crosby ISD schools, she began her career in the district, working as a teacher and principal of Crosby Elementary. She went on to serve in administrative roles in LaPorte and Galena ISDs and was most recently deputy superintendent of academic services in Shelton ISD.
Crosbyton CISD David Rodriguez, former executive director
of human resources and operations for Castleberry ISD, is now Crosbyton CISD’s superintendent.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Charles Ament, former head boys’ basketball
coach at Langham Creek High School, is now the district’s associate director of athletics. He began his career in CFISD in 1998 after earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston State University.
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
The new principal of Sycamore Springs Elementary School is Kirsten Bloomfield, who comes to Dripping Springs from Douglas County, Colorado, where she was an assistant principal and principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University and master’s degrees from Grand Canyon University and Jones International University. Jamie Eubanks has been promoted from assistant principal of Dripping Springs Elementary School to principal. She began her career in Lake Travis ISD, then taught in New Braunfels and Austin ISDs. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas State University. Holly Morris-Kuentz has been named superintendent of Dripping Springs ISD. Most recently deputy superintendent of Lake Travis ISD, she earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Texas.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD The district’s newest campus, Lake Country Elementary School, will begin operation in Austin with Terrilin Holz as assistant principal. The 20year educator most recently held the same position at Greenfield Elementary. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Phoenix.
New Chisholm Trail High School principal Winston McCowan is an 18-year education veteran with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce and a doctorate in counseling from the Christian Bible Institute and Seminary. Beth Sanders has been
selected to serve as director of professional development and continuous improvement. Principal of High Country Elementary School since 2017, she previously worked in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Eanes ISD When the 2021-22 school year begins, students at Cedar Creek Elementary will welcome a new principal. Laura Coaxum comes to her new school from Barton Creek Elementary, where she was assistant principal. Prior to that, she worked in Austin and Round Rock ISDs and for the Texas Education Agency. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from the University of Texas and her master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Ector County ISD Veteran educator Sherry Palmer brought her 39-year career to a close when she retired at the end of the 2020-21 school year. In addition to teaching and administrative stints in the Lubbock area, Hurst-EulessBedford ISD and Wyoming, she has been with Ector County ISD for 24 years, the past 10 as principal of Carver Early Education Center.
Era ISD Era ISD has welcomed Shannon Luis as superintendent. She was previously Elgin ISD’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Floresville ISD New superintendent Jason Gilstrap joins the district from Ennis ISD, where he was deputy superintendent. He also led Rogers ISD and taught and held administrative positions in Temple, Bruceville-Eddy, Waco, Connally and Belton ISDs. A graduate of Midwestern State University, he holds a > See Who’s News, page 13
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
Vist TSB online!
A few words about Juneteenth by Jim Walsh
thought I knew quite a bit about American history. I majored in history at the University of Texas many years ago, and have enjoyed reading biographies and historical accounts ever since. But I was stunned when I read “Grant” by Ron Chernow, a comprehensive biography of Ulysses S. Grant. It wasn’t the part about the Civil War that stunned me. It was Grant’s presidency (1869-77) when Southern resistance to the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments turned to violence and ruthless power grabs. I was stunned again when I read “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. It tells the tale of The Great Migration, the mass exodus of African-Americans from the South in the decades after the first World War. The book focuses on the stories of three particular people, one of whom went from rural Mississippi to the South Side of Chicago, where I grew up. My grandmother was the last white person to move out of the neighborhood in 1968. I’ve listened to a good bit of the 1619 Project podcast produced by The New York Times. Our Legislature has dictated that this cannot be discussed in our classrooms, but I found it to be thought-provoking and original in its perspective. I know that there are reputable historians who have cast doubt on a few of its assertions, but I haven’t heard anyone question one of its main points: that the institution of slavery was a foundational pillar for the country’s economic success. Many Americans profited because so many other Americans were forced to work for nothing. And that was not limited to Southern slave owners. Northern businessmen and institutions also reaped the benefits of slave labor. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never thought about all those connections. I lived in Tulsa from 1962 to 1966 and never
heard a word about the 1921 massacre and destruction of Black Wall Street. Now we have a new law that seeks to micromanage how our teachers teach American history. This law is built on a fear of “whiteshaming.” We don’t want white kids to feel “anguish” or “distress” or “discomfort” when they learn about some of the darker chapters in the American story. I get that. Shame doesn’t do any good, and certainly there is no reason for me or you or our children to feel shame for something that happened long before we were born.
We must know about these things. We must think about them. We have to be able to talk about them. We should consider the connections between things that happened in the past and the way things are today. But we must know about these things. We must think about them. We have to be able to talk about them. We should consider the connections between things that happened in the past and the way things are today. There are connections. We can’t be fearful about learning about the past or hearing the perspectives of people whose life experiences are different from ours. If we refuse to study, to learn, to talk about such matters, then that’s on us — not our ancestors. On that note I will just add that I’m pleased to let you know that Juneteenth is now an official holiday at the law firm of Walsh Gallegos Treviño Kyle & Robinson, P.C. The three white guys who started the firm in 1983 never even thought about that. But times change. And so have we.
Check us out online at texasschoolbusiness.com for: ► recent issues ► how to submit articles ► Bragging Rights nomination info ► advertising information ► and more! Texas School Business THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS
68 Years and Counting
JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
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Who’s News > Continued from page 9
master’s degree in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University and is working on his doctorate at Tarleton State University.
Fort Stockton ISD The Fort Stockton ISD board of trustees has announced their decision to appoint Gabriel Zamora district superintendent. He comes to his new position from Olfen ISD, where he was superintendent. His bachelor’s degree, master’s degree in education administration and doctorate in educational leadership were awarded from Texas A&M University at Kingsville.
Granbury ISD Heather Boisjolie has been approved as principal of the STEAM Academy at Mambrino. She comes to her new position as assistant principal of Brawner Elementary, where she worked for the past two years. She previously was a teacher and testing coordinator. She is a graduate of Lamar University with a master’s degree from Tarleton State University.
The new director of curriculum and instruction is Stacie Brown. The 26-year educator began her career in Fort Worth ISD, coming to Granbury in 1999 as an instructional specialist and most recently serving as principal of the STEAM Academy at Mambrino. She is a graduate of Radford University and holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Tarleton State University.
Fredericksburg ISD Former Fort Bend ISD chief of schools Joe Rodriguez has accepted the position of superintendent of Fredericksburg ISD. An educator for 21 years, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Kingsville, where he also completed his doctorate.
Galveston ISD The new principal of Morgan Elementary Health, Medical Science and Engineering Magnet School is Sara Giambelluca, who was Parker Elementary’s assistant principal since 2013. She is a 20-year employee of the district. The 2021-22 academic year will begin with Stephanie Mendoza as principal of Austin Middle School when she transitions from her role as director of bio/med STEM communities at Ball High School. In addition to her time at Ball, she was dean of instruction for LaMarque High School in Texas City ISD. Matthew Neighbors has been
named executive director of secondary education. Most recently principal of Austin Middle School, he is a 25-year educator who has spent the past 17 years with Galveston ISD.
Longtime educator Donnie Cody, principal of Oak Woods School, has retired. An educator for 34 years, 19 of those with Granbury ISD, he previously worked in Cleburne, Joshua and Rio
Shelly Curtsinger is now the district’s
special education director. She has been an educator for 33 years, working as a teacher and educational diagnostician before joining Granbury ISD in 2006. Her bachelor’s degree was received from the University of Dallas and her master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Trisha Suitt has been promoted from interim director of curriculum to assistant director of curriculum. She previously served as principal of Baccus Elementary School.
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD The Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Education Foundation announces the appointment of an executive director, Jane Richards. A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, she has extensive experience in sales, marketing, network development and account management in the private sector.
Hallsville ISD Former Hallsville ISD assistant superintendent John Martin has been promoted to superintendent. The Hallsville High School alumnus previously worked in Jacksonville, Hillsboro, Waskom and Pine Tree ISDs. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M
University and his master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Hays CISD Sandra Dowdy has retired as
chief academic officer. An educator for 43 years, she joined Hays CISD in 2018.
Shea Howard has been
promoted from assistant principal to principal of Fuentes Elementary School. An educator for 19 years, she holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University.
The 2021-22 academic year will begin with Elizabeth Lara as principal of Pfluger Elementary School. The 10-year educator earned her master’s degree in public school administration from Texas A&M University. The district’s new chief academic officer is Marivel Sedillo, who had been serving as chief human resources officer since 2019. She began her career in Austin ISD, then worked in Hays CISD as a teacher, assistant principal and educational diagnostician, as Round Rock ISD’s director of secondary staffing, as an area executive director in Pflugerville ISD and in Manor ISD as an administrator overseeing human resources and federal programs. Michelle Velasquez has been appointed the district’s special education executive officer. Formerly HCISD’s special education curriculum and instruction coordinator, she has 26 years of public education experience. She joined the district in 2007 and holds a master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from the University of the Incarnate Word.
Hays CISD has hired its first full-time athletic director. Tom Westerberg, with 34 years of experience as a teacher, coach and athletic director, comes to his new position from Barbers Hill ISD, where he was head football coach and athletic director. Serving as principal of the district’s Impact Center is former McCormick Middle School principal Cynthia Zapata. An educator for two decades, > See Who’s News, page 17 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Administrator mecca The Holdsworth Center’s new retreat offers school administrators space for unparalleled leadership education and support by Dacia Rivers
erving as an administrator is a lot like being a corporate CEO in many ways. You have all of the responsibility. All of the stress. What’s missing are many of the perks, such as corporate retreats in serene settings, or on-site executive coaches. It’s not that school district administrators don’t deserve these perks — their budgets, and their schedules, can’t always afford
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
them. But now, with the opening of The Holdsworth Center in Austin, these opportunities and more are available to school districts, free of charge. Founded by Charles Butt, chairman of H-E-B, The Holdsworth Center is named for Butt’s mother, Mary Holdsworth, a school teacher and advocate who fought for better treatment of mentally ill individuals
in the state. Butt conceptualized The Holdsworth Center with a mission to impact the quality of K-12 public education for all Texas students by supporting and developing leaders. Districts who partner with The Holdsworth Center sign up for a five-year program. The first two years focus on a district leadership program, involving district-level
administrators, then the next three years offer a focus on campus-level leadership, where administrators from each campus go through leadership training. Throughout the five-year program, Holdsworth provides district support, including executive coaches and on-site leadership teams who hold physical offices in the district and help to monitor ongoing projects and answer any questions. Administrators make occasional trips to The Holdsworth Center’s physical campus, a gorgeous 40-acre property on Lake Austin that has all the amenities of an upscale resort. With considerations toward environmental landscaping and building design, the campus includes guest rooms, classrooms, outdoor walking areas, recreational spaces, a boat dock, a gym, a restaurant, social lounges, a library and more. The accommodations are comfortable, welcoming and wellappointed, with thoughtful touches including on-site art created by Texas art teachers. The work The Holdsworth Center does is funded by philanthropy and also by renting out the facility to other events when possible. Mesquite ISD, in the Dallas area, is in The Holdsworth Center’s second cohort and administrators recently graduated from the district leadership program. Superintendent David Vroonland says that before joining
▲ Administrators explore The Holdsworth Center's lake-front grounds. the program, administrators were proud of the work they’d done in the district, but felt something was missing — that there was more they could do. “As we studied Holdsworth and the organizations they studied, it became clear that this was a group that could give us some guidance as to what that missing piece was,” Vroonland says. “And that has proven to be true.” To kick off the partnership, Holdsworth sent Mesquite a self-assessment, listing numerous components so administrators could determine in which areas there might be a need. The team in Mesquite decided they needed to focus on vacancy planning for the district, and from there began to work on coming up with a leadership definition that describes what competencies are required to be a leader in the district. Teaming up with the folks from Holdsworth, the district involved stakeholders including principals, central office staff and teachers to come up with four core values for the district. They didn’t stop there, wanting to go beyond a list or a single document. They broke these values down further, determining what each one meant in terms of roles and specific behaviors at each level. The work resulted in the creation of a Leading Through Ownership framework (LTO) — a tool the district has already begun using to evaluate and hire principals. The framework includes activities and resources
◄ The Holdsworth Center was named for Mary Holdsworth, mother of H-E-B's Charles Butt.
that staff can use to help them grow in their careers. Vroonland says many of the district’s recent hires came on board through use of this tool. “As I interviewed for four or five prospective principal jobs this year, it was noticeable the candidate pool that had studied it and those that had not,” he says. “I’m really excited about their leadership because they are far more prepared than who I would have been recommending before the LTO tool.” Before creating the LTO framework, Mesquite had a system for leadership development, but now administrators are able to refine that system even more. As part of the Holdsworth partnership, administrators met with executives from H-E-B and education professionals from Singapore, a culture known for its strategic and successful approach to education. Vroonland says Mesquite is modeling its leadership development system after those used in Singapore and by H-E-B, where pathways are clear, well-articulated and can be monitored in terms of growth. He adds that without Holdsworth, these types of partnerships were improbable for the district. “Holdsworth’s support has drastically improved our work as it relates to developing leadership,” Vroonland says. “We didn’t have access to the learning they’ve provided. We’re not going to send a team to Singapore or to hang out in San Antonio for a week to learn about H-E-B.”
> See, Mecca page 16 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
> Continued from page 15
Angel Rivera, who serves as assistant superintendent for innovation and leadership in Mesquite, says that beyond the LTO framework, the partnership with Holdsworth helped administrators understand the difference between vacancy planning and succession planning. The district got the chance to test out the latter at the end of the school year when three top-level positions became vacant. “Because of the succession planning that we had done, two out of the three positions were filled internally,” Rivera says. “So we feel we’re not going to lose momentum and that was in part to some of the training we got with Holdsworth.” Just two years into the Holdsworth partnership, administrators in Mesquite are working to create career pathways that lead from paraprofessional to the assistant superintendency, with a goal of maintaining the district’s cultural tenets and avoiding the effects of teacher shortages. “What we’d like to see at the end of the five years is to have that self-sustaining level of development,” Rivera says. “Before, we just saw somebody who exhibited the same qualities we did, and we passed them on for leadership. Now we don’t have to do that, now there’s a tool where they can test themselves and develop themselves. And it’s for everybody.” While Mesquite has focused on these specific areas in their work with The Holdsworth Center, each district in their cohort is in a different place, and each
receives customized, personalized support to help them grow in the areas where they need it most. Jeanette Ball, superintendent of Judson ISD, says the most helpful lessons she’s learned from her time in Holdsworth’s district leadership program involve getting outside of her comfort zone and making deeper connections with her team. “Some of the work they had us do at first, I would think, ‘Oh that’s too touchy feely for me. I’m just going to sit here and not say anything,’” she says. “But it’s those activities that helped me create bonds with people, then I was able to go and do them with my team and it helped me become a better leader.” Ball, Rivera and Vroonland all stress that anyone who signs up for the partnership should realize that it’s not a magic wand — it’s a lot of work, and you get out of it only as much as you put into it.
▲ Judson Superintendent Jeanette Ball
“They don’t just provide you with learning,” Vroonland says. “They invest in you, and you and your organization need to be ready to invest in that work.”
then you know you’re growing.”
Ball agrees, and adds that the true benefits of the partnership come when administrators are ready to make changes when they return home, no matter how challenging that might be. “You have to be willing to do that work, and don’t be afraid to implement the work. If you do the work and keep it to yourself, that’s not gonna help,” she says. “It’s change and there’s gonna be people who are resistant to it. But if you’re feeling uneasy,
speaks about her experiences at The Holdsworth Center.
Each district that partners with The Holdsworth Center selects a district champion — Rivera served in this role for Mesquite ISD and notes that while it added to his workload, the experience was worth the effort. “You have to be ready to invest time, to commit and do a lot of thinking because some of the assignments are not easy, but they all lead to a better place and the perspective you need to reflect on your organization and what it needs.” The Holdsworth Center aims to begin its next cohort in 2023. You can get more information on the center and its programs at holdsworthcenter.org, where you can also sign up for their email newsletter or express interest in participating. DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
▲ The Holdsworth Center's campus sits on 40 acres along the shores of Lake Austin.
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position of superintendent of Jacksonville ISD. He began his career there in 1997, taking his first administrative post in 2003 as assistant principal of Wright Elementary School. He then served as campus principal before moving into central office administration. He was associate superintendent of personnel and operations since 2016.
she holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. The new principal of Buda Elementary School is Megan Zembik, former academic dean of Hays High School. An educator since 2007, she joined the district in 2016. Her master’s degree in educational leadership was awarded from the University of Texas.
Highland ISD Highland ISD announces the appointment of Robbie Phillips as superintendent. He was previously Levelland ISD’s high school principal.
Humble ISD Humble High School’s newly appointed athletic coordinator and head football coach is Marcus Schulz. He has been a coach for 17 years, working in Gainesville, Sanger, Hillsboro and Andrews ISDs and most recently serving as athletic director for Splendora ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Austin College and a master’s degree from Lamar University.
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Former Granbury ISD assistant superintendent for finance and operations Dobie Williams has been hired by Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD as deputy superintendent of business operations. Prior to joining Granbury ISD, he served in a similar capacity in Clyde CISD and worked in Colorado City ISD as business manager and chief financial officer. He received his bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and his master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Industrial ISD The district’s new superintendent is Ross Aschenbeck, former superintendent of Sonora ISD.
Brad Stewart has accepted the
Jayton-Girard ISD A new superintendent is in place for JaytonGirard ISD. He is Layne Sheets, former Dawson ISD superintendent.
Judson ISD Girls’ basketball coach Triva Corrales has stepped away from coaching to become the district’s executive athletic director. She was assistant girls’ basketball coach at Wagner High School before joining Judson in 2010.
Katy ISD Nathan Fuchs has accepted the position of executive director of maintenance and operations. He has been with the district since 2003 and was most recently director of maintenance and special projects. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial supervision from the University of Houston. Shae Harwell, newly appointed principal of Wilson Elementary School, joined the district in 2010 after working as a teacher and counselor in Dallas and Spring Branch ISDs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Carrie Lowery, who is the
new principal of Katy Junior High, began her career in Lubbock ISD, going on to work in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and joining Katy ISD in 2001. She most recently led the district’s newest elementary campus, Bethke Elementary School. Her bachelor’s degree was earned at Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston Clear Lake.
Leah Lowry now leads Beck
Junior High as principal. She has spent her career in Katy ISD, serving as principal of Winborn Elementary School since 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Houston with a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Richard Merriman is the new principal of the Raines Academy. An employee of KISD since 2007, he has been a teacher, coach and administrator at Mayde Creek and Cardiff junior highs and Katy High School. He earned two bachelor’s degrees from Saginaw State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Kaufman ISD The new principal of Kaufman High School is Jeff Roberts, former high school assistant principal of Lovejoy ISD. Previously a coach and teacher in Wichita Falls, Van and Georgetown ISDs, he is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he also earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. He is nearing completion of his doctorate.
Keller ISD The district’s newly appointed director of guidance and counseling is Sandra Benavidez, who most recently was a counseling consultant and coach for ESC regions 10 and 11. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree in counseling and doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Richard Chance, former KISD assistant director of technology services, is now director of human resources. A graduate of Fossil Ridge High School, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Governors University and his master’s degree in organizational leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.
> See Who’s News, page 26 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators
Martha Carrasco ushers TASPA through a tough year by Dacia Rivers
uman resources staff can be the glue that holds a public school system together. From hiring to staff retention, HR teams often serve as schools’ unsung heroes. The Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) has been working with school human resources and administrators and support staff since 1966. Currently, Martha Carrasco, chief human resources officer in Canutillo ISD, serves as the association’s president.
get more involved where you could make an impact,” Carrasco says. “As far as reaching out to kids, you never know how you impact a child. And I’ve found that each school district has its own personality.”
Carrasco brings a 34-year education background with her to the president’s role, having worked in El Paso-area school districts in numerous clerical and administrative positions, including internal auditor and staff accountant. She began her public school career in a unique way — serving as a bus driver while her own children began attending school.
“Retention, recruitment, compensation, worker’s comp, employee benefits, making sure you have the right people in the right place as far as certifications and licensing — if you work in HR, you impact all of those areas.”
“It was the perfect job for me at the time because I got to drive my own kids and my neighborhood kids to school every morning,” she says. Each year, the district would call and offer Carrasco more work hours, in various positions, and she became increasingly involved. She went back to school to finish her bachelor’s at the University of Texas at El Paso, then went on to complete her MBA as well. “Working in school districts felt like home to me in that you could
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
In her work in school HR, Carrasco has enjoyed meeting and working with school district staff. She says that every school has an HR component, even if the staff that does the work doesn’t have a specific HR-related title.
During the past year, Carrasco says that COVID-19 has been the prominent issue affecting HR in schools. Right now in Canutillo, she’s at work getting school employees vaccinated in preparation for a new school year and following the ever-changing guidelines coming from the state and federal government. “We’ve gone through a tumultuous year, and it’s just been change, change, change, all the way,” Carrasco says. “Staff was looking to HR for direction, and every now and then we’d get direction that was a bit in the gray area. We had to turn on a dime and do the best we could to interpret the guidance that was being given by all
these agencies and how it would affect our employees.” With all the tumult of the past year, Carrasco says there have been a couple of positive changes that have come out of the pandemic. “It made us better technology-wise,” she says, “and the relationship between teachers and parents has become a little closer. We’ve had to rely on parents a whole lot to try and get our kids through this past school year.” COVID-19 has been a significant presence in Carrasco’s time as TASPA president as well. Despite the challenges the pandemic added, she’s managed to help the association make some significant steps over the past year, including the purchase of a building, where association employees are spending the summer moving into a new office space. The association also had to become more technologically savvy over the past year, moving conferences online and working to keep members engaged. “The questions that were coming out were new to everybody,” Carrasco says. “All about exposure and implementing CDC guidelines — those were ongoing conversations we were having with HR staff throughout the state.”
When Carrasco was new to the school HR field, she turned to TASPA members to help her understand her role and the unique challenges it presented. For her, professional development in school HR has been the most important benefit for a TASPA membership. “There are a lot of conferences that are geared toward education, and at some of them there might be a topic or two that deals with HR, but with TASPA, the professional development is strictly in the area of HR,” Carrasco says. Carrasco also cites networking opportunities as another important benefit of TASPA membership. When she first jumped into the field, Carrasco says she found herself feeling a bit lost, digging into details and legalities. She had no budget for travel or training — but joining TASPA helped her get on track. “TASPA is a great support for anybody who joins HR as a newbie,” she says. “It’s a great support to assist with anything having to do with HR.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
The Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) Membership: TASPA membership is open to Texas public school human resources administrators and support staff. Mission: The mission of TASPA is to engage and develop human resource professionals thereby enhancing HR services to school districts. Year founded: 1966 Number of members: About 1,000 Website: taspa.org
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Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Texas Association for Curriculum and Development
Priscilla Canales leads Texas ASCD with passion, ambition and excellence by James Golsan
ew Texas Association for Curriculum and Development (Texas ASCD) president Dr. Priscilla Canales has always believed in the power of education, and for that, she credits her parents. It was something her parents impressed upon her early and often during her childhood in Benavidez. “My father was a non-native English speaker, and spoke to the power of the opportunity we had as children growing up to be educated,” she says. “Knowledge was power, and education was how you received knowledge, and he made sure we understood that through those things you could achieve the American dream. That was a message from Day One.” In Canales’ family, education was more than a priority; it was a profession, and one in which she showed an early interest. “My mother was a schoolteacher, and I always wanted to be one,” Canales says, adding with a laugh that while she did briefly think she might want to be a doctor as well, that goal dropped off the list in elementary school when a classmate skinned her knee and Canales realized what was under a person’s skin. “From then on, I decided I better be a teacher,” she says. Given the
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
success she has had in the education profession, it would be hard to argue that Canales was anything but born for the job. Her career began as an elementary school teacher “deep in the west side” of San Antonio ISD, and between that stop and her current position as superintendent of Weslaco ISD, she’s occupied a wide variety of roles in the Texas education community, including a post at Region 20 ESC, a principal and teacher at the Bexar County Juvenile Justice Academy, and a variety of assistant principalships and principalships in the greater San Antonio and Austin areas. Canales’ passion for education is apparent in every aspect of her work. In addition to the leadership positions she occupies with Weslaco ISD and Texas ASCD, she works hard to be a champion for literacy among her students. “Nothing makes me happier than when one of my students runs up to me and tells me they’ve hit their 1.8 million words for the year,” Canales says, referring to one of the major goals of Weslaco ISD’s “Weslaco Succeeds” campaign for its students. While classroom teaching was Canales’ original professional goal, she says that leadership in the education field is a natural fit for her as well.
“Being an administrator is like being the head coach of a football team. You have a say in all the teaching that goes on in a learning environment, and I love professional development and teaching adults as much as I love teaching children.” It was in just such a leadership role at Del Valle ISD that Canales first became involved with Texas ASCD. “Texas ASCD was hosting their state conference that year in Austin. I’d read about them and really respected what they brought to the education field, so I decided to attend,” she says, adding that the impact the organization has on students’ day-today lives is hugely important. “Curriculum and development is truly my favorite part of working in the education profession.” Now that she has assumed the presidency of Texas ASCD, Canales says her goal, first and foremost, is to help both her organization’s membership and the education community not only bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, but to take advantage of some of the changes educators had to make to their students’ learning experiences through a year of distance education.
“Our teacher and learning environments are never going to be the same after last year,” she says. “So it’s our job at Texas ASCD to take the tools and techniques we have learned over the last 12 months and develop a path to the future in curriculum and development.” A huge early step on that path, per Canales, will take place at Texas ASCD’s annual conference in October, titled “Forging the Future: Heroic Lessons from the Field.” The conference will take place at two locations: in Houston Oct. 23 – 25, and in Round Rock, Oct. 24 – 26. Canales says that in addition to the vital curriculum and development-related work that will take place at the conference, she is very much looking forward to seeing her constituents in person again. Passion, ambition, and excellence are all things Canales brings to the Texas education community. As Texas ASCD takes steps toward a brighter future, the leadership of the organization is in good hands. JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
Texas Association for Curriculum and Development (Texas ASCD) Membership: Texas ASCD membership includes superintendents, principals, teachers, curriculum directors, staff developers, students and professors. Mission: Texas ASCD advances leadership and innovative capabilities of diverse educators and influences policy to ensure each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Year founded: 1947 Number of members: more than 3,000 Website: txascd.org
65+ years of
ARCHITECTURE ▪ INTERIOR DESIGN
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
News in fine arts education
Connecting to students through the arts by Victoria Villareal
“They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel.” — Carl J. Buechner ▲ Bronce Arana, an R.L. Turner High School student, works on a collage.
s the new art teacher on the block at R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton, many changes kept life interesting. For the past three years, every year has seemed like a fresh start or new beginning. Before this year, my duties included Art I, Advanced Placement Art History, art club, and even assistant crosscountry and track coach. But adaptation came on the wings of my move to Carrollton, where change included moving cities, teaching during a pandemic and learning a new curriculum. Always, the goal remained the same — to make meaningful connections to students. I can remember what it was like to be in the shoes of a high school student. People knew me as “that girl who can draw.” Once my peers realized my mother was one of the art teachers, they understood where I got my talent. Throughout my high school years, art class was my sanctuary, my second home. Now that I am an educator in the visual arts, I understand this isn’t the case for all my students.
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
For some, art is just one required course standing in the way of graduation. Connecting with these students and building a relationship with them is crucial to both their success as students but also my success as an educator. Connect on a personal level One way to connect with students is to make yourself more relatable by sharing life accomplishments and goals. Take, for example, my love for running. I like to share with my students my target mileage for the week or some funny experience I had while out on the trail. One time, I asked, “Did you know birds have alarm calls to alert other animals in the forest to look out for a predator?” My students were curious about how I knew such a peculiar fact about birds. I told them I experienced a bird’s alarming song firsthand while running right into a bobcat on my trail the previous day. You can
only imagine the silly stories my students wanted to share with the class after hearing my bobcat story. Teachers have lives outside the classroom and should feel free to share some of those experiences with students every now and then. Check-ins provide a safe environment Students should feel welcomed and accepted, and this is especially true for an art class where what they create is on display for others to critique from the moment a project is begun. Students unfamiliar with the creation process are not always comfortable with this aspect of art. To provide a safe and nurturing environment, I use the first five to 10 minutes of my class time each day to check in with the students. I ask them questions such as, how are they doing, what did they do over the weekend, or what is going on in their other classes for the week? By doing this, I can gauge a student’s mood that day and adjust my responses accordingly. I also make it a point to congratulate students on their performance in extracurricular activities. Checking in for just a few minutes can help students feel supported, both inside and outside of the classroom. Check-ins with students help to establish an ideal classroom environment. However, there are the occasional off days when students want to keep to themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When my students are not in their best spirits, I play calming music, such as jazz or classical music, which helps to produce the right energy for working in a creative space.
▲ "Bird of Paradise" is a papier-mache sculpture by R.L. Turner student Joanna Rodriguez.
▲ Victoria Villareal attends graduation with her new Carrollton ISD coworkers, Anna Alfaro and Amanda Potter.
Allow time for each to be the center of attention The best way to connect with young artists when you are teaching a new skill is to lead by example. The best way to do this is to work on your piece of art along with your class. By starting my artwork with the students, I have learned that I am putting myself on the same playing field as my students and we are equals in the project. Students then learn by observing you work and asking questions about why you do certain things. Sometimes as educators we get so carried away with lecturing to students that we forget to take a moment to listen to what they have to say. When students are in the middle of an artwork, I like to ask them to share their thoughts about their art. I’ve adopted the philosophy that what the student learns through the creative process is more important than the end product. It should come as no surprise that students like to talk. Circle time is a great way to strengthen the student-teacher relationship, and it includes the participation of all members in the classroom. Before your first circle, you need a “talking talisman,” an object of significance to you. Explain the importance of the object to the class to remind them what it is used for the next time you bring it out. Initiate circle time by reminding students of the rules: whoever holds the talisman is the only one talking, those who do not wish to participate can pass their turn, and anyone who agrees with the speaker can clap their hands or snap their fingers. Remember to tell the students which direction you are passing the talisman, clockwise or counterclockwise. Once the talisman makes its way back to you, ask the next question and repeat.
It’s helpful to start circle time with two rounds of warm up questions such as, “What toppings do you like on your pizza?” or “What was your favorite cartoon growing up?” Then, you can get into deeper topics including, “What career choice are you interested in pursuing,” “Do you think you are an artist, and why or why not?” This practice encourages classroom discussions while allowing each student the chance to be the center of attention. Relationships are crucial Once a relationship is established, students are more apt to give as well as receive respect, and behavior will no longer be an issue. Having this connection also makes it easier to hold students accountable for their actions and turning in their work because they do not want to disappoint. The best outcome of having a good relationship with students is having them enjoy the class and spread good reviews to their peers, thus growing your program. Every student needs a person in their corner who cares for them. I like to believe that I am in education to help nurture and build young artists and prepare them for an art career. While that may be true, I am also in education to foster the development of good human beings. I strive to be that positive influence that will hopefully drive my students to be good-hearted people. None of that would be possible without first creating a healthy relationship with my students. VICTORIA VILLAREAL graduated from PharrSan Juan-Alamo North High School in 2012. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's of science in animal science and a minor in art in 2017. Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Calendar Professional development & events AU GUST August 2 Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented New Coordinator Boot Camp Online event For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org Cost: Members, $120; nonmembers, $220. August 3 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Cultivating Leadership Virtual event For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org August 4 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Cultivating Leadership Virtual event For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org TASB Workshop: Supervisor’s Guide to Managing Employees Webinar For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (512) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $75. August 4-5 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 1 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: For all four sessions: Members, $845; nonmembers, $945. Any one session: $295. August 5 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Cultivating Leadership Virtual event For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org August 10 TASB Workshop: Preparing to Serve Webinar For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (512) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
August 11 TASPA Workshop: Documentation Basics Gainesville ISD, Gainesville For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org
S E PTE M B E R September 8 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. September 8-9 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 2 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: For all four sessions: Members, $845; nonmembers, $945. Any one session: $295. September 12-14 TACS State Conference Kalahari Resort, Round Rock For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org Cost: Until August 15: Members and corporate partners, $425; nonmembers, $525. After August 15: Members and corporate partners, $450; nonmembers, $550. September 14 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Austin/SA Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) Northside ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 1 of 6) McKinney ISD, McKinney For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions.
TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Lubbock/Abilene 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 2021 Texas Executive Leadership Group I Meeting Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Registration closed for this cohort. September 14-15 Texas ASCD Literacy Academy: Developing a School-Wide Literacy Plan Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 15 ED311 Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh ESC Region 7, Kilgore or online, at attendee’s option For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.ed311.com Cost: With digital handouts only, $175; with printed workbook, $200. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Virtual Cohort (session 1 of 6) Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $800 for all six sessions. TASPA Workshop: Documentation Basics Lubbock ISD, Lubbock For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org September 16 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Victoria/CC 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 16-17 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy XXXIII Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 19-20 TASSP Fundamental 5 National Summit Palacio del Rio Hotel, San Antonio For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org September 21 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, RGV Cohort (session 1 of 6) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA 2021 Texas Executive Leadership Group II Meeting Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Registration closed for this cohort. September 22-23 TASA/N2 Learning Executive Leadership Institute (session 1 of 4) Hilton Garden Inn, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $4,000 for all four sessions. TASA/N2 Learning Principals’ Institute (session 1 of 6) Hilton Garden Inn, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $6,000 for all six sessions. Texas ASCD Institute: Teaching for Deeper Learning Online event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 24-26 TASA/TASB Convention: TxEDCON Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasa.tasb.org
ED311 Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Expo Center, Arlington or online, at attendee’s option For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.ed311.com Cost: With digital handouts only, $175; with printed workbook, $200.
TASA/CMSi CMAT Level 1 Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $750; nonmembers, $850.
TASA/CMSi CMAT Level 2 TASA Headquarters, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $750; nonmembers, $850.
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.
TASA Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (session 1 of 4) Location TBA For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $695 for all four sessions; up to three additional participants, $595 each.
O C TO BE R October 4-5 TASPA Fall Support Staff Conference Kalahari Resort, Round Rock For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org October 5 ED311 Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Civic/Convention Center, New Braunfels or online, at attendee’s option For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.ed311.com Cost: With digital handouts only, $175; with printed workbook, $200. October 5-7 TASA/CMSi CMAT Level 1 TASA Headquarters, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $750; nonmembers, $850. October 11-12 TEPSA Assistant Principals Conference Omni Southpark, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org October 12 ED311 Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh ESC Region 17, Lubbock or online, at attendee’s option For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.ed311.com Cost: With digital handouts only, $175; with printed workbook, $200. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Lubbock/Abilene 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, Austin/SA Cohort (session 2 of 6) Northside ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Virtual Cohort (session 2 of 6) Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $800 for all six sessions. October 13-14 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
October 20 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. October 20-22 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 2 of 6) McKinney ISD, McKinney For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions.
TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Victoria/CC 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.
TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, RGV Cohort (session 2 of 6) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA 2021 Texas Executive Leadership Group I Meeting Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Registration closed for this cohort.
TASA/CMSi CMAT Level 2 Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $750; nonmembers, $850.
NOVEMBER November 1-2 TASB HR Academy Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $385. November 1-3 Texas Assessment Conference Kalahari Resort, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. txassessmentcon.org Registration opens August 27. November 3-4 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 3 of 4) Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $845; nonmembers, $945; any single session, $295. November 3-5
Texas ASCD Annual Conference Kalahari Resort, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
TCA Annual Professional Growth Conference Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston or virtual event, at attendee’s option For more info, (512) 472-3403. www.txca.org
TASA 2021 Texas Executive Leadership Group II Meeting Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Registration closed for this cohort.
TASB Fall Legal Seminar TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
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November 7-8 TEPSA Grow Leadership Conference Hilton Hotel, Rockwall For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org Cost: $379. November 8-9 TASA/CMSi CMSi Curriculum Management Planning Workshop TASA Headquarters, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $450; nonmembers, $500. TASB Advanced HR Seminar Virtual event For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 9 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, RGV Cohort (session 3 of 6) Weslaco ISD, Weslaco For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions.
TASB Fall Legal Seminar Location TBA, Midland For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org November 9-10 TASBO SYNERGY Conference Courtyard by Marriott, Pflugerville or access remotely, at attendee’s option For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: $305. November 10-12 TASA/CMSi Curriculum Writing Workshop TASA Headquarters For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Members, $450; nonmembers, $500. November 12 TASB Fall Legal Seminar Virtual event For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
November 30-December 1
TASB Fall Legal Seminar Location TBA, Kilgore For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
TASA/N2 Learning Executive Leadership Institute (session 2 of 4) Hilton Post Oak, Houston For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $4,000 for all four sessions.
November 17-18 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy (session 2 of 3) Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org TASPA HR Series: Legal Issues Related to Remote Instruction Webinar For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: TASPA members, no charge. All others, $25. November 20 TASB Fall Legal Seminar Location TBA, South Padre Island For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
• Paige Gawryszewski, Carney Elementary School;
> Continued from page 17
• Jessica Napolez, Cedar Valley Elementary School;
• Yanitzie Oquendo, Cavazos Elementary School;
Tivy High School’s new head boys’ basketball coach is Joseph Davis, who has spent the past 11 years with the district as an assistant coach and teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Schreiner University.
Kilgore ISD Former head football coach and athletic director Mike Wood has accepted the role of Kilgore ISD director of athletics and athletic facilities. He has coached at Kilgore High School for 25 years, the past 11 in his most recent position.
Killeen ISD Nine new principal assignments have been made for the district. They are: • Jessica Brading, Clear Creek Elementary School;
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TASA/N2 Learning Principals’ Institute (session 3 of 6) Hilton Post Oak, Houston For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $6,000 for all six sessions.◄
• LaBecca Thompson, Mountain View Elementary School; • Kara Trevino, Killeen High School; • Micah Wells, Shoemaker High School; • Becky Whitelow, Brookhaven Elementary School; • Latisha Williams, Shoemaker High School.
La Porte ISD Now serving as principal of Bayshore Elementary School is Lisa Basile, receiving a promotion from assistant principal of Reid Elementary. An employee of the district for 24 years, she is a graduate of Lock Haven University and holds a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Previously assistant principal of Rizzuto Elementary School, Jose Lozano is now campus principal. He has spent his 14-year
career in the district and was, in addition to his most recent assignment, a teacher and grade level chairperson. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Downtown and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington. Jackson Tarr, former defensive coordinator
for Crosby ISD, is now La Porte ISD’s head football coach. An educator and coach for 20 years, he previously worked in Fort Bend ISD and at Parkville High School in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a graduate of Towson State University with a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership from Shippensburg University.
Los Fresnos CISD Los Fresnos CISD school board trustee Jesus Amaya has been selected to represent ESC Region 1 on the board of directors of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). He has chaired the Los Fresnos board on three occasions. Superintendent Gonzalo Salazar is now president-elect of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). He has led Los Fresnos CISD since 2006 and has been active in TASA for 15 years, representing ESC Region 1 on the
Executive and Legislative committees. He was also a member of its first Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network cohort.
Lake Travis ISD Former safety and security coordinator Andy Michael is now director of security and chief of the district’s newly created police department. He spent 22 years with the Austin Police Department and holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Mountain State University.
Lamar CISD The district’s newly created director of leadership development position has been filled by Henva Medlow, who joined Lamar CISD in 2013 and has served as principal of Williams and Carter elementary schools. She is a graduate of the University of Houston and received her master’s degree from the University of Houston at Victoria. The district’s new superintendent is Roosevelt Nivens. Most recently superintendent of Community ISD, he began his career in Dallas ISD, going on to serve as assistant superintendent of Lancaster ISD. The 24year educator received his bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Lancaster ISD Lancaster ISD’s new superintendent, Katrise Perera, comes to Lancaster from Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow School District, where she was superintendent of schools. She previously was a teacher and administrator in Virginia and an area superintendent in Houston ISD.
Leander ISD Leander ISD’s newest area superintendent, Heather Sánchez, comes to her new position from the Bellevue School District near Seattle, where she was an executive director. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Western New Mexico University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado.
Liberty Hill ISD Liberty Hill High School has welcomed a new band director. Shawn Murphy, who held the same position at Burleson ISD’s Centennial High since 2015, previously worked in Azle ISD. He is a graduate of North Texas University.
Lone Oak ISD Former Lone Oak ISD high school principal Janeé Carter now serves as superintendent. A graduate of that school, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. She previously coached and taught in Garland ISD and was a curriculum and instruction specialist and assistant principal for the district.
Lubbock ISD Four new principal assignments have been announced for Lubbock ISD. They are: • Amanda Boland, Parsons Elementary School; • Koty Gonzalez, Rush Elementary School; • Leticia Gutierrez, Bean Elementary School; • Yvonne Valdez, Brown Elementary School.
McKinney ISD One of the new assistant principals of Boyd High School is Colin Bado, an eightyear educator who began his career in the district in 2013. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from Missouri Southern State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Jennifer Dixon, a newly
named assistant principal of Boyd High School, is a longtime educator who has been a science instructional coach at the school for the past two years. She began her career in South Dakota before joining MISD in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Centenary College and her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. Cockrill Middle School’s new assistant principal is Heather Wainscott, who comes to McKinney ISD from Prosper ISD, where she spent the past four years as an English language arts and reading teacher. Prior to that, she was
an assistant principal in Frenship ISD. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Marshall ISD Marshall High School alumna Richele Langley has returned to her hometown to serve as district superintendent, only the second woman to do so. She has spent the past six years as deputy executive director of ESC Region 8. She has been an educator for 31 years, 22 of those with Marshall ISD.
Mesquite ISD Leslie Feinglas, who has spent the past 19 years with Mesquite ISD, is now the district’s assistant superintendent of leadership and strategic initiatives. She served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal before assuming her most recent role as executive director of leadership development.
New assistant superintendent of teaching and learning Jennifer Hammett has spent all of her 20-year career in the district. After teaching and working as an assistant principal and principal, she was named executive director of leadership development. Now serving as the district’s chief technology officer is Cara Jackson, who has been executive director of instructional technology since 2014. She previously worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Mike Jasso has accepted the position of assistant superintendent of administrative services. He comes to Mesquite from Richardson ISD, where he was executive director of the Berkner Learning Community. In addition, he has been an assistant principal and principal in Haltom, Watauga and Coppell ISDs. Laura Jobe, newly appointed
chief information officer, has been with the district since 1997, beginning as communications coordinator. She served as executive director of communications since 2005. > See Who’s News, page 28 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Who’s News > Continued from page 27
The district’s new at-risk coordinator is Keich Willis, a 20-year educator who worked in Dallas ISD as a teacher, testing coordinator and counselor before joining Mesquite ISD in 2019 as a counselor at Hanby Elementary. Mesquite ISD has five new executive directors of leadership development. They are: • Charlene Goss; • Kristi Gregory; • Jennifer LaPlante; • Bruce Perkins; • Gerald Sarpy. Additionally, six new principal assignments have been announced. They and their schools are: • Stacy Bennett, Smith Elementary School; • Deeadra Brown, Horn High School; • Robin Cathcart, Achziger Elementary School; • LeeAnn Englert, Porter Elementary School; • Abram Joseph, Mesquite High School; • Keshia LaVergne, Gray Elementary School.
Mexia ISD Ryder Appleton, who previously led Veribest
ISD, is now Mexia ISD’s superintendent.
Midlothian ISD JoAnn Fey, a 25-year educator and former assistant superintendent of Southwest ISD, is now superintendent of Midlothian ISD. She holds two master’s degrees, in administration from Central Michigan University and in instructional technology, curriculum and instruction from Houston Baptist. Her doctorate was awarded from Lamar University.
Millsap ISD Millsap ISD’s new superintendent is Edie Martin, who was the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University and holds a master’s degree in educational administration. She has been a math teacher and coach, and most recently
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
worked at ESC Region 11 as coordinator of leadership development.
coordinator. Now a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at Stephen F. Austin State University, she holds a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Monte Alto ISD The district’s new superintendent, Isaac Rodriguez, comes to Monte Alto from La Feria ISD, where he was executive director of curriculum and instruction. In addition, he has served in Harlingen and San Benito ISDs as a teacher and campus and central office administrator. He holds master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Pan-American and a doctorate from Texas A&M University.
Montgomery ISD Amanda Davis-Summerville, director of technology and digital learning, brings 12 years of experience to her new assignment after serving as an educational technologist and systems administrator for Houston ISD. The Tarleton State University graduate holds a master’s degree in educational technology from Texas A&M University.
The newly appointed assistant superintendent of elementary education, Carrie Fitzpatrick, is a 23-year educator who was previously principal of Montgomery Elementary School. Before joining MISD, she was a principal in Conroe ISD. Her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education administration were awarded from Sam Houston State University. Denise Miner has accepted the position of executive director of human capital, coming to her new role from CypressFairbanks ISD, where she was assistant director of human resources. She has a bachelor’s degree from Prescott College and a master’s degree in elementary education from Grand Canyon University.
The district’s new 504 and dyslexia services coordinator is Alayna Siemonsma. Previously an educator in Wyoming, Arizona and South Dakota, she comes to MISD from Conroe ISD. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University. Now serving as MISD’s director of career and technical education (CTE) is Amy Vance, who comes to the district from Waxahachie ISD, where she spent the past four years as CTE program access
Moran ISD John Denson has accepted the position of
New Braunfels ISD Now serving as superintendent is Cade Smith, who comes to New Braunfels from Brock ISD, which he led since 2018. Prior to that, he worked in Georgetown ISD as executive director of campus operations and leadership and as a teacher, coach and administrator in Frisco, Lockhart, Allen and Kaufman ISDs. He is a graduate of Texas State University with a master’s degree in education administration from Lamar University and a doctorate in school improvement from Texas State.
New Caney ISD Porter High School’s head football coach, Jim Holley, has been promoted to district athletic director. Prior to his five seasons at Porter, he was campus coordinator and football coach at Kingwood Park High in Humble ISD.
North Hopkins ISD Brian Lowe has accepted the position of district superintendent. An educator for over two decades, he was most recently principal of North Hopkins Secondary School and previously worked in Sonora, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Waskom and Marshall ISDs. He is a graduate of Angelo State University with a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler.
North Lamar ISD The North Lamar ISD board of trustees announces Jay Cline as athletic director. He comes to his new position from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, where he was athletic coordinator at Creekview High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. Brenton Whitaker, newly appointed head
football coach, has arrived from Pittsburg ISD’s Pittsburg High School, where he was
offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Now entering his 10th coaching season, he holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Concordia University.
Pflugerville ISD Former Dessau Elementary teacher Teyan Allen has returned to that campus to serve as principal. Since leaving Dessau, she has worked as assistant principal and then principal of Spicewood Elementary in Round Rock ISD. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Now leading Windermere Elementary School is Trenae Hill. She previously worked in Fort Bend ISD and was most recently principal of Pecan Grove Elementary in Richmond ISD. Zack Kleypas has been approved as principal of Pflugerville High School. He most recently held the top position at Park Crest Middle School and prior to that was an assistant principal at Hendrickson High.
The district has announced Daniel Walch as its new director of transportation. He previously was director of transportation with the advisory firm TransPar, assisting Pflugerville ISD in developing its transportation training and operations manual.
Plano ISD Two new principal assignments have been announced. They are: • Jeffrey Banner, Plano Senior High School; • Todd Williams, McMillen High School.
Pleasant Grove ISD Carla Dupree has been
approved as assistant superintendent, coming to her new job from Texarkana ISD, where she was principal of Texas High School since 2018. Prior to that, the 26year educator served in Queen City ISD. Now serving as Pleasant Grove ISD director of operations is Matt Fry, who was for the past nine years director of communications for Liberty-Eylau ISD. Before that assignment, he was a middle school and high school teacher and district UIL coordinator.
Ricardo ISD Gina Garza, former director of curriculum
and instruction for Jim Hogg County ISD, is now superintendent of Ricardo ISD.
Richardson ISD Trey Bryant has been named
head football coach and area coordinator at his alma mater, Berkner High School. A graduate of Baylor University, where he was a four-year letterman, he went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons before returning to the Dallas area to coach in Richardson, Plano and McKinney ISDs.
Round Rock ISD The newly created position of director of equity and planning has been filled by Brenda Agnew, former principal of Walsh Middle School. With more than 30 years of experience as an educator, she was a principal in Hays CISD and an administrator at Round Rock ISD’s McNeil High School and Canyon Vista Middle School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University and a master’s degree and doctorate in school improvement from Texas State University.
San Angelo ISD Steven Pinchback has accepted the role of head girls’ basketball coach and assistant athletic coordinator at Lake View High School, his alma mater. He returns to San Angelo from San Marcos CISD, where he was head boys’ basketball coach. He previously coached in Hays CISD and DeSoto ISDs.
The new head girls’ basketball coach at Central High School is Jordan Sarten, who previously held the same position in Bridgeport ISD. In addition, she worked in Frisco and Lubbock ISDs.
Santa Fe ISD The Santa Fe ISD board of trustees has named Kevin Bott superintendent. He comes to SFISD from Lampasas ISD, where he was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. An educator for 20 years, he worked as a middle school English teacher and coach before transitioning to administration. His bachelor’s degree was received from Baylor University, where he also completed his doctorate in education. He holds a master’s degree from Tarleton State University.
Sherman ISD Sherman ISD has announced the appointment of Cory Cain as head football
coach at Sherman High School. A coach for 20 years, he most recently was assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and athleticacademic advisor at Allen ISD’s Allen High School. In addition, he coached in Red Oak, Kaufman and Wichita Falls ISDs.
Silsbee ISD Silsbee ISD has created its first police department and hired Kenny Davenport, a former Silsbee police officer and Hardin County sheriff ’s deputy, to serve as chief. He also previously served as Silsbee ISD’s security and truancy officer and spent the past five years as a criminal justice teacher.
Sonora ISD Michael Kissire has been promoted from principal of Sonora Elementary School to district superintendent.
Spring Hill ISD After serving on an interim basis, Penny Fleet has officially been named district superintendent. She previously was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and also worked as a teacher, coach and administrator in Hallsville and Pine Tree ISDs. She is a graduate of Centenary College with a master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Taft ISD Irene Garza, former professor in Stephen F. Austin State University’s principal and superintendent certification program, has been named superintendent of Taft ISD.
Terrell ISD A new athletic director is in place for Terrell ISD. Marvin Sedberry, who will also continue to serve as head football coach for Terrell High School, began his coaching career 21 years ago and has spent 12 years as a head football coach. Prior to joining Terrell ISD, he worked in Garland ISD.
Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Art Cavazos, who recently
retired as superintendent of Harlingen CISD, is now an executive superintendent with TASA. He has served a five-year term on the State Board for Education Certification and was also appointed to > See Who’s News, page 30 Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
Who’s News > Continued from page 29
the legislative council of the University Interscholastic League. Thomas Randle, former
superintendent of Lamar CISD, has joined TASA as an executive superintendent. He served as TASA president in 2007-08 and was ESC Region 4 Superintendent of the Year in both 2001 and 2017. Jill Siler, Gunter ISD
superintendent, will be TASA's deputy executive director of professional learning starting September 1. She is currently chair of TASA’s Future-Ready Superintendent Leadership Network design team and lead facilitator for TASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy.
Tyler ISD The Tyler ISD board of trustees has approved LaRena Brooks as principal of Peete Elementary School, promoting her from assistant principal. She began her career in 2007 as a kindergarten teacher at Griffin Elementary, going on to serve as a media technology specialist and assistant principal of Orr Elementary. The district has added a new position, hiring Cassandra Chapa as its first innovation officer. She joined TISD in 2016 as an instructional specialist, going on to lead Ramey and, most recently, Peete elementary schools. The new boys’ basketball coach at Tyler High School is Justin Johnson, who returns to his alma mater after completing his education at Tyler Junior College and the University of Iowa. He played basketball internationally for the NBA Development League. John Smiley is now principal
of Rice Elementary School. He joined the district in 2009 as a chemistry teacher at Tyler High, going on to serve as the school’s academic dean and, most recently, dean of instruction. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Texas School Business JULY / AUGUST 2021
United ISD (Laredo) David Gonzalez has been promoted from associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction to superintendent. He has spent 21 of his 30 years as an educator with United ISD, working as an assistant principal, principal and executive director for middle school instruction. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Texas A&M International University.
Victoria ISD A new director of transportation has been named for the district. Shanquil Fennell, with more than a decade of experience in transportation operations, most recently was manager of the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission. Tammy Garza, now serving
as executive director of elementary student learning, is a 15-year education veteran who was most recently principal of Rowland Elementary School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. Rowland Elementary School will welcome Kimberly Martinez as principal this fall. She has been the school’s assistant principal for the past three years. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria. A new chief financial officer is in place for the district. Randall Meyer joins VISD with nearly three decades of experience, most recently as Bloomington ISD’s assistant superintendent and chief financial officer. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is nearing completion of a doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University. Newly appointed executive director of secondary student learning and talent development Jake Salcines has joined the district from Sharyland ISD, where he was executive director of curriculum and instruction. His bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in educational administration were awarded from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.
Sharla Williams has been promoted from assistant principal of Smith Elementary School to principal and director of the district’s Head Start program. The 24-year educator holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston at Victoria.
Walnut Bend ISD The position of Walnut Bend ISD superintendent has been filled by Ken Kemp. Formerly director of technology, operations and transportation for Collinsville ISD, he also served in Callisburg ISD and as a professor at North Central Texas College.
White Oak ISD Stephanie Bradley is the new principal of White Oak Primary School. A former teacher, she served as principal on an interim basis since December. The 16year educator previously was an education specialist at ESC Region 7.
Ysleta ISD (El Paso) Louisa Aguirre-Baeza has
been confirmed as associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction after serving in that position on an interim basis. She began her career in El Paso’s Socorro ISD in 1996 as an elementary teacher, going on to work as a grant coordinator, curriculum and development consultant, assistant principal, and college professor. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at El Paso. Former interim associate superintendent of public relations Daniel Martinez now serves in that capacity on a permanent basis. He began his career in 2013 as a journalist and weathercaster and has also served as a graphic artist, producer and communications specialist. He holds an associate’s degree from El Paso Community College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New Mexico State University. In addition, the following principal assignments have been announced: • Rita Lopez-Rodriguez, Ysleta Pre-K Center; • Cecilia Perez, Ysleta Elementary School; • Sandra Perez, Parkland Pre-K Center; • Darlene Solis, Ramona Elementary School. ◄
Registration and housing open July 22 Join us in Dallas for the largest convening of public education policymakers in Texas!
September 24–26, 2021 Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
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The way we were by Riney Jordan
remember several years ago that someone was quoted as saying that if our forefathers came back to America, the only thing they would recognize that hadn’t changed would be the school classroom. Well, let me assure you, that is no longer true. So, get ready for a history lesson on the way the classroom used to look and the items we used every day to facilitate our jobs. This is all based on my recollection as a student, and later as an elementary teacher. Desks were in straight rows, screwed to the wooden floor beneath. And if you’re wondering about the round hole in the upper right corner, well, it was perfectly cut out to hold your ink bottle. We used fountain pens starting in seventh grade. Prior to that, it was a No. 2 pencil. You could sharpen it when needed using the hand crank sharpener screwed to the wall. There was a textbook for every subject, and you kept it neatly covered with a manila-colored book cover provided by local merchants. Covering your books correctly was your first homework assignment after the first day of school. If the teacher wanted to show you an enlarged picture of something, he or she would roll the opaque projector into the room. This monstrosity sat atop a rolling cart, and the teacher’s book was placed on a shelf that dropped down and was then lifted back up to flatten the book and project the image. And who could forget the wonderful, heavenly fragrance that emitted from a freshly run copy of a worksheet printed on the school’s spirit duplicator? We’d sniff those purple pages instantly when they were distributed. You always hoped for one that had been duplicated only minutes before. Teachers stashed and hoarded purple ditto masters, because, on most campuses, you were only given a limited number. These were supposed to last you the entire year. Since most teachers at the time didn’t own typewriters, they were most often written out in “longhand,”
using a good ballpoint pen or hard lead pencil. Lesson plans were also handwritten in a spiral-bound book with enough pages to last the entire school year. Teachers normally left these in their office mailboxes for the principal to peruse prior to retrieval on Monday morning. Grades were written in the school-provided grade book. Again, this was all done by hand. Report cards, distributed every six weeks, were done in ink and handwritten by the teacher. I also recall using an E-Z Grader. This useful device would determine a student’s numerical grade based on the number of questions and the number answered incorrectly. Simply slide the card to the number of problems, go down the list to the number of problems that the student missed, and voilà — there’s the grade. Chalk boards, erasers, handmade bulletin boards and letters cut from construction paper were all a part of the classroom. If you were fortunate enough to get a film to show your students, it was threaded into a 16mm projector with the hope that the bulb wouldn’t burn out or the film wouldn’t break. Most teachers had a Bible on their desk. Students recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. When I first started teaching, we were required to eat lunch with our students. We were also expected to teach PE, art and music. Most self-contained classroom teachers also planned a daily lesson for reading, math, social studies, health, language arts and handwriting. I had 34 students in my classroom. The school nurse was on our campus one day a week. There were no teacher aides when I began teaching. Other than teachers, the only staff was a principal, a secretary and a custodian. Words that were not yet in our vocabulary included computer, internet, laptop, cellphone, texting, email, streaming, video and so many more. Have classrooms changed? Oh, have they ever!
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.
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