The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas
Texas School Business
MAY / JUNE
Classes in calm Texas school districts innovate to reduce student stress
Also in this issue: TABSE President David Harris
TEPSA President Cindy Tierny
TACS President Chris Wade
TASB President Ted Beard
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Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
12 Departments 7 Who’s News 30 Calendar 34 Ad Index
5 From the Editor by Dacia Rivers 9 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 22 Regional View by Angelica Haro and Rodolfo Nuñez
Classes in calm Texas school districts innovate to reduce student stress by Dacia Rivers
TACS President Profile TACS President Chris Wade advocates for Texas’ smallest school districts
TASB President Profile Ted Beard continues a life of service as TASB president by Dacia Rivers
by James Golsan
TABSE President Profile David Harris supports Black students and educators as TABSE president
TEPSA President Profile Cindy Tierny of Lufkin is all-in on TEPSA by James Golsan
by Dacia Rivers
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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Intervention and Instruction for Reading, Math and Spanish Literacy
From the editor
s the school year winds down, students and school staff alike are looking forward to a peaceful summer break. And they deserve it. Studies show us that students and teachers (not to mention administrators) are increasingly stressed. In this issue of Texas School Business, we look at some of the methods school districts in Texas are using to combat this stress, including lunch and learn programs in Region 14 and a high-tech olfactory virtual reality system in Mineral Wells ISD. You’ll find that feature starting on page 12. If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in the magazine, please don’t hesitate to send me a message at email@example.com. It’s our goal to use these pages to inform and inspire you, and who else knows better what administrators need to hear about right now? I hope that you all have a wonderful graduation season and a fantastic kick-off to a well-earned summer.
Texas School Business
Dacia Rivers Editorial Director
MAY / JUNE 2022 Volume LXIX, Issue 3 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
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Phaedra Strecher COLUMNISTS
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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 2022 Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
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Reading 2022 edition
Authentic Spanish Literature Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Themes Social and Emotion al Learning Topics
Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD
Cole McClendon will retire in
Abilene ISD After a 30-year career as a coach and athletics administrator, including serving as Abilene ISD’s executive director of athletics since 2015, Phil Blue has announced his upcoming retirement, effective at the end of May. Prior to joining Abilene ISD, he worked in Grapevine-Colleyville and Georgetown ISDs. Chad Drake, who most recently served as principal of Dyess Elementary School, now holds that position at Mann Middle School. He joined the district in 2017 as assistant principal at that campus.
Former Lubbock ISD assistant athletic director Jim Garfield is now Abilene ISD’s athletic director. The Eastern New Mexico University graduate has 35 years of coaching experience, including serving as head football coach in Elgin and Flour Bluff ISDs. Brandon Stover has been named head baseball coach at Cooper High School following 14 years as an assistant coach at Abilene Christian University and four years with Southern Arkansas University.
Veteran Abilene ISD employee Kevin Wellborn has been appointed principal of Bonham Elementary School. He joined the district in 2004 as a teacher at Bonham, going on to serve as an assistant principal at four AISD campuses. He is a graduate of Abilene Christian University, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Julie Wilson has accepted the
position of director of early childhood education. She was an instructional coordinator for the program since 2014, having joined the district a year earlier as a pre-K teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree in early childhood education from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Michael Barrera has announced his upcoming retirement after four years in the top position in the district.
June after two years leading the district. He has been an educator for 30 years, 11 of those as a superintendent.
Aldine ISD has announced the hiring of Adam Galván as its chief information officer. He comes to his new position with 24 years of experience, 12 of those in educational technology. He was most recently assistant superintendent of operations and technology for Lockhart ISD.
Birdville ISD has announced the appointment of Mark McCanlies as principal of the Birdville Center of Technology and Advanced Learning. He was principal of Richland High School since 2019 and previously was assistant principal of North Ridge Middle School and a teacher and coach at other district campuses. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Argyle ISD Paul Cairney has retired from his position as Argyle ISD’s police chief. He served in that role since 2014. Scott Collins has been named to fill the
position of police chief. He held the same job in Aubrey ISD since 2014 and has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services.
Bastrop ISD Bastrop ISD has selected Laura Faircloth as principal of Bluebonnet Elementary School. She was assistant principal of Cedar Creek Intermediate School since 2019 and was previously a counselor at Bluebonnet. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in school counseling from Lamar University. Jake Griedl, former Marshall
ISD athletic director and head football coach, now serves in that position at Bastrop ISD. He began his career at the collegiate level at Southern Arkansas University, where he also did post-graduate studies, then taught and coached in Boerne and Lake Travis ISDs. He is a graduate of Concordia University.
The new athletic coordinator and head football coach at Cedar Creek High School is Josh Thomas, who began his career as a coach at Cedar Creek Middle School in 2008, followed by a stint as Bastrop High’s assistant baseball coach. He then worked in Smithville ISD. The Bastrop High School graduate holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Kyle Pekurney is the new
principal of Richland High School, having served as principal of Smithfield Middle School since 2011. Before that, he was an administrator, teacher and coach at Richland and Birdville high schools and North Richland, Smithfield and Watauga middle schools. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a master’s degree from Dallas Baptist University. Jason Turner now leads
Smithfield Middle School as principal after serving as its assistant principal since 2011. Prior to that, he was a special education teacher and coach there. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and his master’s degree from Lamar University.
Blackwell CISD Brian Shipman has been promoted from
Blackwell High School principal to district superintendent. He is a graduate of Angelo State University with a master’s degree from Sul Ross State University and is at work on a doctorate at Texas Tech University.
Bloomington ISD Bloomington ISD has hired a new athletic director and head football coach, Brandon Craus. The Lamar University graduate previously spent eight years as athletic director and head football coach at Groveton ISD.
> See Who’s News, page 8
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Who’s News > Continued from page 7
Brenham ISD Kim Weatherby, director of
business and finance, has announced her upcoming retirement. She has been with the district for 20 years. Brenham ISD has named
Danny Youngs athletic
director and head football coach. The 24-year coach most recently held the same position in Brazoswood ISD.
chief of staff.
A new superintendent has been selected for Bryan ISD. Ginger Carrabine, who served as interim superintendent since September, has been with the district for four years as deputy superintendent and
Canutillo ISD (El Paso) Canutillo ISD has named Ana Elisa Lee as principal of Damian Elementary School. An educator since 2007, she began as a fourth grade teacher and was most recently assistant principal of Lea Elementary in El Paso ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at El Paso.
College Station ISD The district’s new director of business services is Chris Neely, who since 2011 has served the district as accounting and budget coordinator and assistant director of business services. He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in management information systems from Texas A&M University. Stoney Prior is the new head football coach and athletic coordinator at College Station High School. He has spent his career in the district, serving as offensive coordinator and head girls’ soccer coach at College Station High since it opened in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sam Houston State University.
Now serving as director of early education services in Shelly Rice. She has been serving in that position on an interim basis since January and previously worked as a teacher at Forest Ridge and Rock Prairie elementaries and as a mental health and disabilities specialist. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from Sam Houston State University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University.
Colorado ISD Larry Polk has accepted the position of
superintendent of Colorado ISD, coming to his new job from Terrell ISD, where he was assistant superintendent.
Conroe ISD A new chief of police is in place for Conroe ISD. Matthew Blakelock, who most recently was a captain in the district’s police department, has worked in the district since 1999.
Carroll ISD The Carroll ISD board of trustees announces the appointment of Stacie Bonner as executive director of special programs. She brings 18 years of experience to her new position, having begun her career in Wichita Falls ISD as a special education teacher and serving as special services coordinator in Lubbock ISD. Michael Wyrick has been named Carroll
ISD’s aquatics manager. Most recently principal of Durham Intermediate School, he has been with the district since 2009, initially serving as assistant principal of Dawson Middle School. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
The Conroe ISD board of trustees has announced the appointment of Christopher Povich as assistant superintendent for high schools. Most recently principal of Grand Oaks High, he has been with the district for 25 years, working as a math teacher, associate principal and assistant principal in addition to his most recent position.
Coppell ISD Newly appointed girls’ athletic coordinator Roxanne Long moves to her new position from serving as a math teacher at Coppell High School. She previously served as Texas Lutheran University’s senior women’s
athletic administrator and was head women’s basketball coach at Rogers State University and Texas Lutheran University and in Keller and Fort Worth ISDs. Robyn Ross has accepted the job as the district’s head volleyball coach, coming to Coppell from the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Virginia. A graduate of Coppell High School, she is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Antonio Wiley, former head coach at Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls, is the district’s new head football coach and boys’ athletic coordinator. A high school football coach for 14 years, he previously worked in Mesquite, Lake Travis and Lewisville ISDs.
Corsicana ISD Athletic director and head football coach Hal Wasson has announced his upcoming retirement, effective the end of the current school year. He joined the district in 2019.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Katie Ford, former assistant
principal of Farney Elementary School, has been named principal of Kirk Elementary. The Abilene Christian University graduate has spent her 14-year career with the district. She received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. The new principal of Andre Elementary School is Carmen Lozano, former assistant principal of Cypress Park High School. She is a 15year educator who has spent her career in the district. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in special education from Sam Houston University and is at work on her doctorate from the University of Houston. Cypress Woods High School’s head swimming and diving coach, Michael Marucci, has been selected as Texas Boys’ Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Association’s Coaches Association.
> See Who’s News, page 10
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
Vist TSB online!
Let the censuring process flow ….
by Jim Walsh
t long last we have found something on which all of our U.S. Supreme Court justices agree. School board members can issue a formal resolution of censure, describing one member’s conduct as “inappropriate” and “reprehensible,” without violating the First Amendment. That’s the unanimous decision of the court in Houston Community College System v. Wilson, issued on March 24, 2022.
the House of Representatives. It’s happened in state and local bodies. The court noted that in August of 2020 alone there were “no fewer than 20 censures” issued by elected bodies in the United States.
Wilson had been a thorn in the side of other board members for many years.In fact, the board reprimanded him in 2016. This did not deter Wilson:
The First Amendment surely promises an elected representative like Mr. Wilson the right to speak freely on questions of government policy. But just as surely, it cannot be used as a weapon to silence other representatives seeking to do the same.
In the ensuing months, Mr. Wilson charged the Board in various media outlets with violating its bylaws and ethical rules. He arranged robocalls to the constituents of certain trustees to publicize his views. He hired a private investigator to surveil another trustee, apparently seeking to prove she did not reside in the district that had elected her. He also filed two new lawsuits in state court. And so in 2018 the board censured him for actions “not consistent with the best interests of the College.” In response, Wilson sued HCC, claiming that this censure resolution was an act of retaliation, punishing him for speaking his mind as the First Amendment allows. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals thought that Wilson’s claim was plausible. It denied HCC’s efforts to dismiss the case, holding that: … a reprimand against an elected official for speech addressing a matter of public concern is an actionable First Amendment claim under Section 1983. The Supreme Court reversed that ruling. The opinion notes the long and unchallenged history of elected bodies censuring their members. It’s happened in the U.S. Senate. Remember Joe McCarthy? It’s happened in
The court pointed out that elected representatives should expect criticism. Moreover, what Wilson characterized as an “adverse action” was itself “a form of speech.” Consider:
It’s a community college case, but the legal standards are equally applicable to public school trustees. HCC prevailed, but there are some cautionary statements in the decision. • It was significant that the censure was aimed at an elected member of the board. The court points out that a governmental censure of a private individual would be a different kettle of fish. • The court ruled only on the verbal censure. There were some punishments that went along with the censure, but for procedural reasons, those issues were not before the court. The court noted that a censure accompanied by some form of punishment might be treated differently. • This was not a defamation case. The court ruled only on the First Amendment issue. If Wilson had alleged that the censure constituted libel, that would have presented a different issue. In short, the court affirmed the authority of elected bodies to hold members to certain standards, and to publicly point out when a member falls short. But there are still some legal issues to be dealt with here. Don’t act hastily. Get some legal advice.
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
69 Years and Counting
JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Who’s News > Continued from page 8 LauraAnn Novacinski has been chosen to serve as principal of the district’s newest elementary school, tagged Elementary No. 57 and set to open in August. Currently principal of Andre Elementary, she has 28 years of experience as an educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree in administration from the University of St. Thomas and is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University.
Denison ISD Denison ISD assistant superintendent David Kirkbride has been promoted to superintendent. He brings 16 years of experience in the district to his new position, nine of those as principal of Terrell Elementary School and the past seven in his most recent position. Prior to joining DISD, he worked in schools in Memphis, Tenn.
Donna ISD The new superintendent of Donna ISD is Angela Dominguez, who comes to the district from Colorado Springs (Colo.) School District 11, where she was deputy superintendent.
El Paso ISD Rafael Guardado has been named the first
principal of the district’s new Murphree K-8 school, slated to open this fall. An educator with 20 years of experience, he has been serving as principal of Johnson Elementary. He began his career at EPISD’s Alta Vista Elementary, going on to serve as an assistant principal and then principal. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso. Milam Elementary School’s new principal is Devin Roush, a former teacher for the U.S. Department of Defense in Wiesbaden, Germany, and most recently assistant principal of Alderete Middle School in El Paso’s Canutillo ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from the University of Texas at El Paso.
as assistant superintendent of operations and outreach and chief communications officer in Barrington 220, a school district outside Chicago. He holds master’s degrees in education and corporate communications and a doctorate in educational leadership.
Elysian Fields ISD Superintendent
Maynard Chapman will retire at the end of June, concluding a 41-year career with the district, the last 11 in the top position. Prior to taking his current role, he led Elysian Fields Middle School for 17 years, during which time he was named ESC Region 7’s Principal of the Year.
assistant superintendent, will move into the role of acting superintendent. She came to Elysian Fields ISD in 2002 and taught for five years before transferring to Marshall ISD. She returned to Elysian Fields in 2009. She earned her associate degree at Panola College and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Fort Bend ISD Glenda Johnson has been tapped to serve as chief of human resources. She has been with the district since 2011 as director and then executive director of talent experience.
The district’s new chief academic officer, Kimberly Lawson, is a 30-year educator who most recently was executive director of elementary teaching and learning in Katy ISD, where she has served since 2003. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s and doctoral degrees in educational administration from Texas A&M University. Beth Martinez is now
Fort Bend ISD’s deputy superintendent. She joined the district 30 years ago and has worked as a teacher, campus administrator, chief of staff and chief administrative officer.
Fort Sam Houston ISD (San Antonio)
A new superintendent is in place for Eanes ISD. Jeff Arnett has served as the district’s deputy superintendent since 2016. Prior to joining Eanes ISD, he spent eight years
District elementary principal Joseph Cerna has accepted the role of principal of Cole Middle/High School.
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
A new superintendent has been announced for Forsan ISD. Dane Richardson has more than two decades of experience in education, most recently serving as director of field service for ESC Region 16.
Fredericksburg ISD Fredericksburg ISD has hired Wendy Dietrich to serve as the district’s athletic director. After working for Uvalde CISD, she joined Fredericksburg ISD as principal of Stonewall Elementary School. She then worked as assistant principal at Fredericksburg Elementary and, most recently, Fredericksburg Primary School.
Monica Simmons, the district’s
Eanes ISD (Austin)
After 39 years in education, the past three leading Gonzales ISD, superintendent John Schumacher has announced his upcoming retirement, effective in June. Kim Strozier has accepted the position of
interim superintendent. She previously served as district superintendent from 2010 to 2019.
Highland Park ISD (Dallas) After 38 years as a public school coach, the past nine as Highland Park ISD’s athletic director, Johnny Ringo will retire at the end of the school year.
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD New superintendent Joseph Harrington most recently served as the district’s deputy superintendent for educational operations and previously was assistant superintendent for secondary administration. Before joining HEB ISD, he worked in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.
Hutto ISD A new police chief is in place for the district. Former Round Rock ISD police chief Jeff Yarbrough has 27 years of experience in law enforcement, including stints as an investigator with the office of the Texas attorney general, the State Bar of Texas, and the Travis County District Attorney. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and earned his master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
David Manley, former
Itasca ISD A new superintendent is in place for Itasca ISD. Michael Stevens began his career in Mesquite ISD, going on to work in Palacios, Vernon and Electra ISDs. He was most recently superintendent of Channing ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce and a master’s degree in education from Lamar University.
assistant superintendent of learning services, is now assistant superintendent of human resources.
Karl Pointer brings 25 years of coaching experience to his new job as Judson ISD’s athletic director. He spent the past 13 years with Coppell ISD, most recently as associate head football coach and safeties coach. He was named 2018-19’s Texas Boys’ Track and Field Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High Schools.
Former Eastland ISD superintendent Jason Cochran is now superintendent of Krum ISD. The 23-year educator has spent 19 years as an administrator and the past eight as a superintendent, working in Hurst-EulessBedford and Decatur ISDs. He is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University.
La Porte ISD
A new principal has been selected for Sundown Elementary School. Kari Torres began her career 28 years ago in Alief ISD and joined Katy ISD in 2014 as Fielder Elementary’s assistant principal. She most recently filled that position at Adams Junior High.
Keller ISD Fossil Ridge High School principal Dave Hadley has announced his upcoming retirement, effective the end of the current school year, bringing to a close a 37-year career as an educator. He has spent the past 17 years with Keller ISD, leading Fossil Ridge since 2008.
Killeen ISD Susan Buckley is Killeen ISD’s
new assistant superintendent of secondary learning services.
The district’s new assistant superintendent of elementary learning services is Jo-Lynette Crayton. Alan Haire has been named
athletic coordinator and head football coach for Killeen ISD’s new Chaparral High School, set to open in August. He comes to Killeen from Salado ISD, where he was head football coach since 2016.
Chris Trotter, former superintendent of Cleveland ISD, has come out of retirement to accept the position of principal of Foster Middle School. He began his career in 1991 and previously served in Comal, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Denison, Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Birdville ISDs.
Lubbock ISD Misty Rieber is the district’s new chief
academic officer. She has served since 2019 as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Juan Rodriguez has been tapped to serve as Lubbock High School’s head football coach and athletic coordinator. He comes to his new position after several seasons as a coach at Corpus Christi’s Carroll High.
The new athletic coordinator and head football coach at La Porte High School is Kevin Berneathy, who most recently held the same position at Dobie High in Pasadena ISD.
Lewisville ISD Paige Melon, the district’s new chief financial officer, joins Lewisville ISD from ESC Region 20 in San Antonio, where she was chief financial officer for client business services since 2019. Prior to that, she was executive director of finance at San Antonio’s Schertz-CiboloUniversal City ISD. She is a graduate of Austin College with master’s degrees from Tulane University and Trinity University.
A new superintendent has been named for Lewisville ISD. Lori Rapp, who had been serving as the district’s deputy superintendent, has spent her 26-year career in Lewisville ISD, working as a teacher, director of pre-K-12 curriculum, executive director of design and support and chief learning and teaching officer. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a master’s degree in mathematics from Texas Woman’s University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University.
Longview ISD Ryan Carroll, former principal of Foster Middle School, now leads Forest Park Magnet School. The Texas Christian University graduate began his career in Tyler ISD.
Former Dunbar Primary School assistant principal Denetra Slaughter now leads the campus as principal. Before joining Lufkin ISD in 2019, she taught in Tenaha ISD. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University.
McKinney ISD Daniel Foster has taken the job of McKinney Boyd High School’s head football coach. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University, he coached in Frisco, Coppell and Dripping Springs ISDs before joining McKinney ISD in 2019.
The McKinney ISD board of trustees has announced the appointment of Christi Jordan as assistant principal of McClure Elementary School. A former McNeil Elementary instructional coach, she began her career as a teacher in Arkansas, joining McKinney ISD in 2017. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of North Texas. After two years as McKinney ISD’s human resources director of recruitment and retention, Shelly Spaulding has returned to McKinney High School to serve as principal. She previously worked there as an assistant principal after > See Who’s News, page 25 Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Classes in calm
Texas school districts innovate to reduce student stress by Dacia Rivers
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
istorically, conventional wisdom told us that stress was an issue that only really affected adults. Most people believed kids were just kids, too young and unburdened to experience anxiety. Whether that was ever true or not, research shows that it’s certainly not the case today. For several years, mental health experts have spoken out about the increased levels of stress and anxiety children are experiencing. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, adding more fuel to an already roaring fire. According to a series of studies performed by the American Psychological Association, teenagers in the U.S. report that they experience just as much stress as adults, at least during the summer. During the school year, their rates of stress are even higher. The APA reports that 31% of teens say they feel overwhelmed, and 34% believe that their stress levels will only increase in the future. For the most part, these students aren’t equipped or prepared to handle their own stress. In the APA studies, 42% of teens reported that they knew they were not doing enough to try to reduce their own stress levels.
Across the country, school administrators, counselors and teachers are working to combat these growing stress levels in students. In Texas, some school districts are coming up with new methods to help students learn how to reduce and prevent stress and anxiety.
Scent technology With student mental health issues on the rise, administrators in Mineral Wells ISD were looking to incorporate psychotherapy into the school setting to establish therapeutic relationships with students and help prevent issues before they developed. While these therapy sessions were being designed and planned, Superintendent John Kuhn attended a conference where he met the developer of OVR Technology. OVR’s main product is a virtual reality headset that includes scent technology to aid in relaxation and stress relief.
For several years, mental health experts have spoken out about the increased levels of stress and anxiety children are experiencing. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, adding more fuel to an already roaring fire.
OVR had been tested and used in adult settings, such as at substance abuse centers and with veterans experiencing PTSD, but Mineral Wells ISD became one of the first school districts to try the technology in the K-12 setting. > See Innovate, page 14
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Source: Wallace, 2019 > Continued from page 13
Through a grant program, the district has five OVR headsets, used by elementary mental health counselor Katelyn Lara and secondary mental health counselor Aimee Schwartz-Jarrett. Lara uses the technology with students in grades four through six, while Schwartz-Jarrett sees students in seventh through 12th grades. Lara and Schwartz-Jarrett are testing out the headsets with students who are already in their caseloads. Students agreed to be in the program, and received permission slips from their parents. The counselors use the headsets in addition to other methods, such as cognitive behavior therapy, guided instruction and psychoeducation. Students who use the OVR system wear the headsets for a five- to eight-minute guided meditation. The headset shows one of three relaxing scenes: a summit, a waterfall or an ocean, while a speaker leads a meditation about how to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings while staying in the moment, yet learning to let go and relax. Throughout the meditation, the headset releases one of several gentle, water-based scents, such as pine forest, fresh grass, the beach or florals.
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
While many students might be familiar with VR as a gaming system, Lara stresses that there is no gamification component to the OVR headsets. The program combines nature, breath, meditation, mindfulness and scent for a calming and relaxing experience. Before and after each session, students rate their stress level on a one to 10 scale. While the program is still in the testing and data-collecting stage, Lara says she’s already seen a difference based on students’ stress ratings. “The kids come in with a higher number and leave with a lower number,” she says. “They could just be saying that because they want it to work, but if they’re perceiving it as, ‘Yeah, I don’t feel as stressed,’ then I think that’s a win.” Schwartz-Jarrett says many of the parents she’s spoken to say their students are excited to be using the OVR headsets. “It sounds like something that’s been motivating for several of them,” she says. “Several of these students are struggling. They’re having a difficult time finding motivation to get through a day of school, period. And now they’re excited about it.”
Thanks to the grant funding, Mineral Wells has the use of the headsets through December. As the school year winds down, the trials will be complete, and going into the fall, Lara and Schwartz-Jarrett hope they will be able to expand the use of the OVR system, possibly putting it to use with teachers and staff in the district as well.
Lunch and learn Following the passage of House Bill 19 in 2019, the Region 14 ESC collaborated with the Betty Hardwick Center to expand its mental health support for school districts in the region. As part of that support, Rhonda Cox, regional mental health consultant for the ESC and the Hardwick Center, recently held a lunch and learn program in Aspermont ISD. A tiny district, Aspermont has fewer than 200 students, making it especially impressive that 22 parents showed up for the first lunch and learn event. At the event, Cox addressed attendees and offered tips and tools for parents to recognize and respond to stress in their children.
Aspermont ISD school counselor Teddye Myers says she received overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents who attended the lunch and learn session. She says that sometimes it can be hard for adults to understand what kids are going through, and she hopes this and future lunch and learn sessions can change that. “I think it’s important that parents see that students do have stress, they do have anxiety, and we need to help them get through it and teach them to cope with it, rather than brushing it off and saying, ‘You’re a kid. Go enjoy life as a kid.’”
▲ Aspermont ISD invited parents to
attend a "Lunch and Learn" session focused on student stress.
“We want them to recognize that it’s OK,” Cox says. “They feel stressed, their kids feel stressed, and there are ways we can deal with that.”
Cox agrees, and in some districts hosts similar programs with teachers and administrators, who often struggle with teaching while recognizing and responding to students’ individual mental health needs. “If we can give the teachers some skills and tools to use in the classroom, then we know office referrals are going to go down, kids are going to stay in class, they’re going to get more instruction and their academic scoring is going to go up.”
In Aspermont, Cox focused on useful techniques parents could use to help their students learn how to self-regulate in times of stress. For instance, she touched on EFT tapping, a physical acupressure technique that can be used to relieve anxiety.
Some teachers and counselors can experience “compassion fatigue,” Cox says, and have to be reminded to look out for each other as well, especially when they’re experiencing burnout. Her goal is to erase the stigma that can come along with admitting a need for mental health care.
“My goal is that they walk away with something that they can use with their kids at home,” she says.
“With our mental health team, if we can do anything to encourage, empower and strengthen teachers, then I have to believe
“I think it’s important that parents see that students do have stress, they do have anxiety, and we need to help them get through it and teach them to cope with it.” —Teddye Myers, Aspermont ISD that’s going to strengthen those kiddos,” she says. After 20 years in private practice as a counselor, Cox now has a wider-reaching goal in Region 14 — to change the way people think about and respond to mental health needs, especially in students. “Change the mindset of ‘What’s wrong with you? And Why are you acting out like this?’ to ‘What happened to you last year?’ or ‘What happened to you this morning?’ Instead of ‘Do what I say,’ it’s, ‘What do you need to be successful right now in my classroom?’ We’re trying to change a mindset that we’re all struggling with. All of us.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
▲ Texas school districts are finding new ways to help students relieve stress.
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Better experiences. Better engagement. Better education. Let’s Talk! — the only all-in-one, enterprise-wide customer experience and intelligence platform designed for K-12 — helps school districts across the nation deliver superior customer service. k12insight.com
How Chatbots are Revolutionizing K-12 Communications By Rebecca Kabir, product manager at K12 Insight
Chatbots are a game-changer for the digital transformation in school districts. AI-powered chatbots help district leaders provide always-on customer service, create internal efficiencies, and improve the customer experience — giving stakeholders an avenue to get answers to frequently asked questions 24-7. Here are six facts about chatbots to help you understand how a chatbot can help your school district deliver superior customer experiences: 1. Chatbot technology has made vast strides in a very short span of time. With the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots have become proficient in correctly answering FAQs asked in a variety of ways and using customer input to continue learning and improving. 2. Not all chatbots are the same. Choose a chatbot built for K-12. A chatbot worth your time leverages the most advanced Machine Learning and Natural Language platforms developed by the finest data scientists over the past two decades. As a district leader, you can take this technology a step further by taking a look at Let’s Talk! Assistant — the first chatbot built specifically for K-12 school districts using data analysis from over 300 school district partners across the nation. It uses one of the world’s most powerful machine learning engines built by Google. 3. You’d be mistaken in thinking no one will use a chatbot. Sometimes our own biases shadow reality. The average parent and staff member is in their early to mid 30s. These digital natives are comfortable adopting new digital tools and are often more comfortable typing a question than picking up the phone to ask one.
4. Chatbots save staff time and reduce PR risks. Email is labor-intensive and cumbersome, and 70 percent of questions coming into school districts are repetitive. A chatbot — which can accurately and reliably answer 80% of questions — can free up staff, giving your staff more time for complex inquiries that require personalized attention. In addition, chatbots help your district deliver effective and engaging service, easier, and quicker. Timely responses translate to fewer tweets and runaway PR issues, and stronger connections and trust in your community. 5. “Parents like to talk to a real, live human” is no longer a good argument. Some parents do need and prefer the personalized communication delivered by interacting with a staff member. Providing the option for digital self-service lets the stakeholder communicate in the manner they most prefer — giving staff more time to serve the stakeholders who have nuanced requests or prefer the in-person experience. 6. A standalone chatbot won’t do you much good. The economic stakes are high. The number one reason parents cite for exercising “school choice” and pulling out their child is bad customer experience. What districts need is a comprehensive customer experience and intelligence platform that includes chatbot capabilities.
Deliver effective and engaging service, easier and quicker K12 Insight partners with school districts to provide better experiences, engagement, and education using a powerful customer experience platform and chatbot, research, and professional development. As a leading innovator of customer intelligence solutions for schools, K12 Insight has helped over 400 districts across the nation adapt to the digital transformation. Learn more at k12insight.com.
Texas Alliance of Black School Educators
David Harris supports Black students and educators as TABSE president by Dacia Rivers
hen David Harris was growing up in Bryan, there weren’t many activities for a young kid. He wound up spending much of his time at the local boys’ club, where he was surrounded by supportive coaches. They played basketball and football with the kids, they taught wrestling, and, in Harris’ case, they served as role models.
Outside of his work in Galena Park, David Harris serves as president of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators. He joined the alliance in the mid 90s, after attending a TABSE conference in Beaumont. At the time, there were very few Black superintendents in Texas, and Harris says meeting them and hearing them speak was inspiring.
“My goal was always to be like those gentlemen and those coaches,” Dr. Harris says. “I wanted to be able to give back to kids what was given to me.”
“It’s an amazing group that focuses on kids like I was growing up,” Harris says. “What a difference an organization like that would have made for me, if I had been able to see principals and other central office administrators who looked like me. What an impact that would have had on my life.”
Harris is closing in on his 30th year in education. He entered the profession as a coach and PE teacher, and has since served as a high school associate principal, an elementary and middle school principal, an assistant superintendent and superintendent. Today he works as the assistant superintendent for school administration in Galena Park ISD. “I’ve had quite an array of experiences, so I’ve pretty much seen it all,” he says. When Harris began as a coach, working in Waco, his goal was to become a head coach. But once he realized moving into the administration meant that he could use his skills to reach students beyond the field, he set his sights on the central office. “I realized that if my goal was to impact kids, I could reach a lot more if I was in administration,” he says. “It wasn’t about being a head coach, it was about what comes along with being a head coach, and that’s having a lot of impact on students.”
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The TABSE conference was eye-opening for Harris. He says discovering a community with a strong focus on educating and supporting Black students changed his life, and he knew he wanted to be a part of it. He’s been a TABSE member ever since, and served as the group’s chaplain for two years before running for president. “There’s still a need for advocacy for the African-American child,” Harris says. “It’s organizations like us that tell young men and women that they should be here and that they can be anything they want to be.” Harris, who is also a member of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, says seeing Black administrators can be powerful for Black students, adding that TABSE isn’t an organization that exists solely for Black educators. “We are an organization that supports and uplifts students of color, and we also support and uplift people who support children of
color,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re white, Black, Hispanic, Asian, if you have an interaction with an African-American child, we’re an organization that you should take a look at.” The bulk of Harris’ two-year term as TABSE president took place during COVID-19, but he has managed to achieve his personal goal for the group, growing the membership from around 650 members to more than 1,500. He’s also focused on bringing in new, younger members, to prevent the group from growing stagnant as members age or retire. “I try to bring in young administrators who are willing to keep the fire burning in the organization, so it’s able to grow for years to come.” Harris says that TABSE offers its members numerous benefits, including a wide array of professional development opportunities, many of which come from the unique perspective of Black students and Black educators. He is also proud of the group’s networking opportunities. TABSE has several affiliate groups located across Texas, offering local support to its members. Harris says that serving as a TABSE officer also
provides excellent leadership training and can prepare members for professional administrative roles. Advocacy is another chief component of TABSE’s mission. Through TABSE’s Texas Education Policy Institute, the group trains members on how to advocate for students and educators. “Advocacy is a huge part of what we do,” Harris says. “We’re at the point now where legislators call us and say, ‘What do you think about this?’ or ‘We’d love to have you come give testimony on this.’” Harris says he is nearing retirement himself, and as he winds up his time as TABSE president, he hopes that the alliance continues to grow and thrive. It’s important to him that others understand the need for groups like TABSE and the positive effect they can have on public education. “Sometimes when you’re in the fight you feel like you’re in it by yourself,” he says. “When you become part of an organization, you realize there are other people that are in the fight just like you. And that experience is truly amazing.”
Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE) Mission: The Texas Alliance of Black School Educators affirms the inherent worth, dignity, and educability of African-American people. The Alliance challenges forces, which obstruct the achievement, development, and educational opportunities of youth and adults. African-American children throughout the United States encounter problems that are directly related to their minority group status. It is the mission of this Alliance to enhance and facilitate their education. Year founded: 1987 Members: More than 1,500 Website: tabse.net
DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
65+ years of
ARCHITECTURE ▪ INTERIOR DESIGN
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Texas Association of Community Schools
TACS President Chris Wade advocates for Texas’ smallest school districts by James Golsan
hitharral is a small, south plains community located 40 miles northwest of Lubbock. Some 175 Texans call it home. It’s a small prairie outpost, but not so small that it cannot support its own independent school district. It’s exactly the sort of district for which the Texas Association of Community Schools (TACS) – which represents districts with 12,000 or fewer students in average daily attendance – advocates. It is also the hometown of TACS’ new president, Chris Wade. The Panhandle native has spent most of his life and career in the kinds of towns and school districts TACS represents, and is eager to go to work on behalf of his constituents as his term in leadership begins. Like so many in the profession, Wade is the child of educators; his mother was a teacher and his father was briefly as well before turning toward a career in farming. An alumnus of South Plains College, Texas Tech University and Lubbock Christian University, Wade is a career educator with a long list of ISDs and jobs in the field to his name. “I’ve been a teacher at Olton ISD, I was a teacher and coach at Smyer ISD in the early 2000s, and then I became an administrator at
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Rawles ISD,” Wade says, adding that it was Rawles ISD where he became a superintendent for the first time. He spent 15 years in leadership there before recently returning to Smyer ISD, where he’s finishing up his second year as the district’s superintendent. It’s a position he is comfortable in, and one he has had his sights on since the beginning of his career. “I guess I always thought I would get into leadership,” Wade says, when asked about the goals he had when he entered the education profession. “I was a classroom teacher for five years [to start my career] but moved up to an assistant principal position after that.” It was during his time as Rawles ISD’s superintendent that Wade first became aware of TACS. The district was a member at the time of his hiring, and it didn’t take him long to see the sorts of benefits membership could bring for Rawles as a district and to him as an education leader. “When I became superintendent, it was very clear what a great resource TACS was for us, and all schools,” Wade says. When asked what he considers the biggest benefits of organizational membership, Wade immediately points to the advocacy work his government
relations team performs at the Capitol every legislative session.
job keeping us informed of everything we need to know.”
“They’re down there [in Austin] all the time, being a voice for schools like us,” Wade says, referencing TACS’ two primary representatives to the legislature, Crystal Dockery and Barry Haimish. The work they do — attending legislative hearings, sorting through the meaning of what certain laws and policies could potentially mean for districts represented by TACS — is invaluable to organization members. Education leadership is a demanding job for anyone, but in smaller school districts, where leadership often has to wear multiple hats — teaching, coaching, even bus driving in some cases — to keep the district running, it can be all the harder to take time out for politics.
If there is a defining characteristic in conversation with Wade, it’s his humility. He deflects credit from himself and goes out of his way to praise others. Asked about his own plans and goals for his time in leadership, Wade states that he simply wishes to build on the good work of his predecessors and to see to it that TACS continues to be a strong representative for smaller Texas school districts. His long track record of success as a leader in Texas education across multiple school districts suggests he will do exactly that, as does his personal history. Wade is a native son of the kinds of communities TACS represents. In that sense, you might say he is always fighting on behalf of his hometown.
“We can be down there [at the Capitol] some of the time, but not all the time,” Wade says. “Barry and Crystal do a great
JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
Texas Association of Community Schools (TACS) Membership: TACS membership is open to staff at school districts with fewer than 12,000 students in average daily attendance or that have only one high school. Mission: TACS aims to work for the improvement of instruction in the community schools of the state, provide professional growth programs, support legislation that enhances the opportunities and abilities of community schools to provide quality education programs, and cooperate with other organizations dedicated to such purposes. Year founded: 1951 Website: tacsnet.org
Ideas, Insights, and Inspiration
September 23–25 San Antonio Henry B. González Convention Center
APRIL 1–MAY 1
Session Selector is open for session proposals to be submitted.
Session Selector is open for attendee voting.
Want to write session titles and descriptions that pack rooms? Ready to submit your session proposal? Visit tasa.tasb.org for details. Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Education service center programs & practices
GEAR UP program promotes college and career readiness in Region 19
Seventh-grade students from San Elizario ISD visit Freeport-McMoran, one of the world’s largest publicly traded copper companies.
by Angelica Haro and Rodolfo Nuñez
rant initiatives such Gaining Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) support school districts to successfully prepare their students for a postsecondary career. College and Career Readiness has become a focal point for school districts over the past years, making these types of grants a great resource for school districts. The Region 19 ESC has partnered with San Elizario ISD over the past four years to help raise awareness and prepare students to be college and career ready with the support
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
of GEAR UP. This grant follows a primary cohort of students over a span of a sevenyear period starting when students are in seventh grade and all the way through the first year of their postsecondary education. GEAR UP also supports a priority cohort of students that consists of students who are attending the district high school (ninth through 12th grades) for the span of the grant. The role of ESC Region 19 is to coordinate and collaborate with all GEAR UP stakeholders to successfully meet school
year objectives in several areas such as increasing academic rigor, preparing middle school students for high school, and expanding college and career advising and resources for high school students. SEISD was chosen to be part of GEAR UP because of the support and involvement of their superintendent and her leadership team to strengthen college awareness and encourage college enrollment for their students. San Elizario High School is located approximately 30 miles from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the
closest four-year university, often making distance and location a challenge for SEISD students to be able to participate in college readiness experiences and visits. Working alongside SEISD, the numbers for College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) have increased over the past few years. In 2018, SEISD, through TEA, earned a CCMR score of 65 for San Elizario High School on their Accountability Ratings Overall Summary. On the same TEA report for the following year, the CCMR score was up by eight points with a score of 73. The 2018-19 school year was the first year of GEAR UP initiatives at SEISD, making the 2019 TEA Accountability rating a clear indication that with GEAR UP support, along with the collaboration of all stakeholders, CCMR outcomes can improve for a district. GEAR UP not only promotes college and career awareness for students, but also provides support to teachers and counselors by partnering with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) and CFES Brilliant Pathways. TNTP provides SEISD teachers and instructional coaches with professional development opportunities, while vertical
alignment meetings are scheduled to meet GEAR UP rigor objectives. Brilliant Pathways assists counselors by providing a college and career advisor who works directly with students on campus at the GO CENTER to assist them with any FAFSA, SAT/ACT, Apply Texas or college questions they might have. The CCR advisor works collaboratively with school counselors to improve college and career readiness amongst parents by providing FAFSA nights and other career exploration events. Other student/teacher support provided by GEAR UP includes purchasing of software such as Nepris and Xello to help students filter their college/career paths by engaging them with interactive lessons that support college and career exploration. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts across the country moved to a remote learning environment to protect their students from the highly contagious virus. This became an issue in rural communities such as San Elizario, as some families did not have access to internet providers. GEAR UP along with ESC Region 19 supported SEISD by providing students with hotspots and technology
support to help them attend school virtually; GEAR UP tutors also provided tutoring sessions for those students who needed additional support for various core content courses. ANGELICA HARO, MEd., is director of information and instructional technology services at Education Service Center Region 19 since 2016 and was formerly the ESC19 college, career and instructional technology administrator from 201416. Her background in business, management and education gives her unique expertise in procuring education and technology grants for regional school districts. RODOLFO (RUDY) NUNEZ has been working in the education field for approximately six years. After working nine and a half years at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, he made a career change, and began his teaching career in August 2016 at Clint ISD as a law enforcement teacher. He taught students the basics of what it takes to be a police officer and the importance of having a plan for their postsecondary future. Rudy joined ESC 19 as GEAR UP Coordinator in October 2021. He now helps educate and prepare students for a postsecondary career with the collaboration of all the San Elizario ISD staff.
▲ San Elizario ISD students take a tour of a rod mill to see how copper is processed in a refinery. Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association
Cindy Tierny of Lufkin is all-in on TEPSA by James Golsan
ew Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) President Cindy Tierney of Lufkin only ever wanted to be a teacher. The daughter of an educator herself, Tierney drew inspiration from her mother’s career, but never pressure. “I just always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” Tierney says “My mother was one, but she never pushed me at all. I just never thought about being anything else.”
Tierney says that moment was the first time she considered that leadership might be for her, and she was right. She has held multiple leadership roles in Texas school districts before taking on her current position with Lufkin ISD, and says that while she’s taught or administered at every level from kindergarten through 12th grade, she feels — naturally as TEPSA’s newly elected president — that the elementary school level is her “niche.”
It was not until her time at Stephen F. Austin State University that Tierney considered that perhaps the classroom itself would not ultimately be her goal.
When it comes to the organization she now leads, Tierney credits her initial involvement with TEPSA to a longtime mentor, who advised her to join the organization immediately upon becoming a principal.
“I never even thought of pursuing a leadership role in education growing up because every principal I had ever seen was male,” Tierney says. “So I never really saw those jobs as an option. But then I was sitting in class one day at SFA, and a guy in my class said that after his first few years of teaching he was going to go for his principalship, and I thought, you know, if he can do it, then so can I!”
“When I first became a principal, I attended a new principal’s
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
“When I became a principal, the outgoing principal, who had been my mentor for 20-plus years, retired. She told me I had to join TEPSA, and I said ‘Yes m’am!’” Tierney says with a laugh. Once she was involved, it didn’t take TEPSA’s leadership long to recognize that Tierney wasn’t just a talented campus administrator, but that she might be a fit for leadership within their organization as well.
academy hosted by TEPSA, and got paired with a mentor principal in my district named Denise Ray. Ms. Ray was on the TEPSA Region VII Board, and once she got to know me and realized I was from a part of her region with limited representation on their board, she asked me to become a board member myself. And that’s how I became a TEPSA board member in my first year as a principal.” Tierney has now been a principal and TEPSA officer for 14 years, and says the organization has been her lifeline on more than one occasion. “I drank the Kool-Aid when it comes to TEPSA,” Tierney says, and hopes that now that she is taking over as the organization’s president, she can encourage members and new recruits to “drink the Kool-Aid” too. When asked why new principals should do exactly that, Tierney points to the networking opportunities first and foremost. “When you’re a principal, you’re going to go through a lot in your working life. As a TEPSA member, anything you’re going through, someone’s been through already and can help you get through it.” Additionally, Tierney says that TEPSA provides excellent professional development opportunities for its members, and believes
strongly in all the work products of her organization. “We have a saying termed ‘TEPSA Quality,’ and we mean it when we say it,” she says. Now that she is in leadership, Tierney says her primary goals are to increase membership, and to ensure that each one of TEPSA’s regions — there are 20 across the state — is active and engaged with its mission and its constituents. “If we have strong, vibrant regions across the state, then we are going to have a vibrant organization as a whole,” Tierney says. “And that has to start at the regional level.” If that sounds like a true leader talking, it should. Tierney, while doubtless an excellent classroom leader, was born to lead in education, not just at the campus level, or even district, but with a statewide organization. She has become the kind of role model she never saw herself growing up; a woman leading one of the most prominent education organizations in Texas. TEPSA is in good hands with Tierney at the wheel. Perhaps she has already inspired the next woman to lead the organization when her time as president concludes. JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Membership: TEPSA membership includes school leaders of Texas PK-8 schools. Mission: TEPSA provides leadership training, networking opportunities, information and support for school leaders as they strive to improve the education of Texas school children and members’ working conditions. The group maintains its positive impact on legislators, policy makers, communities and other stakeholders to improve the quality of childhood, public education and the principalship, and continues to raise the level of respect for and prestige of the principalship and makes the principalship a highly desired leadership position. Year founded: 1917 Number of members: more than 5,900 Website: tepsa.org
Who’s News > Continued from page 11
beginning her career in the district as a teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lamar University. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas.
Marshall ISD Jack Alvarez has been named Marshall ISD’s
athletic director and head football coach. He has 26 years of experience as a head coach, the past two in Cuero ISD.
Mathis ISD The Mathis ISD board of trustees announces the appointment of Tim Norman as district superintendent. He has been a teacher, coach and administrator for 25 years, previously leading Chireno ISD and, most recently, Hubbard ISD.
Northside ISD (San Antonio)
New superintendent Angel Rivera joined Mesquite ISD in 2018 as chief of strategic initiatives and partnerships. He began his career in Pasadena ISD, going on to serve as an area director for Garland ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake, a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, and a doctorate in education from Stephen F. Austin State University.
The Northside ISD board of trustees has confirmed the following administrative appointments:
New Caney ISD Christie Gates has been approved as the
• Rachel DeLeon, assistant principal, Harlan High School; • Jessica Lane, assistant principal, Marshall High School; • Stacy McWilliams, assistant principal, Sotomayor High School; • Amanda Mayfield, assistant principal, Sotomayor High School; • Michele Reynolds, academic dean, Taft High School.
district’s executive director of human resources. The 20-year educator most recently served as deputy superintendent of administrative services in Sheldon ISD. > See Who’s News, page 27 Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Texas Association of School Boards
Ted Beard continues a life of service as TASB president by Dacia Rivers
n 1998, Ted Beard made the jump from PTA member to trustee in Longview ISD, when community members urged him to run for the position. Beard agreed, hoping to expand his volunteer service to a higher level. “I didn’t have an agenda, which I think is good for members who are running,” he says. “I just wanted to be a part of a governance team that was striving for the betterment of education for the students in our community.”
On the physical side, he’s guided Longview through construction on nearly all of the district’s campuses following a bond election. But above all, Beard is most proud of the opportunities Longview ISD provides for its students, and the dedicated teaching and support staff throughout the district. During his time on the board, the district has also partnered with some local businesses for course offerings, so students are prepared for the careers most in demand in their area.
In his 24 years on the board, Beard has seen many changes and advancements in the district. When he was elected, Longview was under a federal desegregation order, and Beard was able to see the district achieve unitary status.
Outside of his work on the board, Beard has been a longtime member of TASB and currently serves as president. He previously served on TASB’s Risk Management Fund board, and is intimately familiar with the many benefits the association offers its members.
Beard is also proud to note that Longview is the only Texas school district with a free pre-K and kindergarten Montessori campus.
“I’m proud of the high quality services TASB provides, from legal and policy services to investment of school fulds with affiliated entities, like the Risk Management Fund, that provide not only coverage to the districts, but also provides training to help mitigate certain exposures.”
“To watch the academic growth from those students has been very rewarding, because we invested as early as possible in the educational pathways for students,” he says.
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
“I didn’t have an agenda, which I think is good for members who are running. I just wanted to be a part of a governance team that was striving for the betterment of education for the students in our community.”
Beard says he is honored and humbled to serve TASB as president. In the past, he served nearly 30 years in the military, serving in operations Desert Shield and Storm as well as operation Iraqi Freedom. To Beard, serving, whether in the military or on a school board, is key to a successful society. And it is that attitude that has guided him in his more than two decades of service in Longview. DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Membership: TASB members include board members of Texas school districts and regional education service centers, along with associate and affiliate members. Mission: TASB promotes educational excellence for Texas schoolchildren through advocacy, visionary leadership and high-quality services to school districts. Year founded: 1949 Number of members: more than 7,000 Website: tasb.org
Who’s News > Continued from page 25
Pasadena ISD The new principal of Dobie High School is Jorly Thomas, who served as interim principal since December. An educator with more than 20 years of experience, he began his career in Galena Park ISD, going on to serve in Spring and Fort Bend ISDs before joining Pasadena ISD in 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and his master’s degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M University.
Pflugerville ISD Jennifer MacAllister has accepted the position of principal of Windermere Elementary School, bringing her back to the district where she began her career in 2006. She most recently led Forest North Elementary in Round Rock ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree in education administration from Lamar University.
Plainview ISD Sarah Wallace has been named principal
of North Elementary School, one of the district’s two new elementaries. She
most recently was assistant principal of Thunderbird Elementary. The district’s second new campus, Central Elementary School, will be led by Sarah Williams. The Wayland Baptist University graduate began her career in 2008 and was previously assistant principal of Estacado Middle School.
Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser has announced her plan to retire at the end of this school year, bringing to a close a 33year career that has included 25 years with Plano ISD. She was named the district’s interim superintendent in 2017 and was appointed superintendent in 2018. Catherine Gaschen has been
promoted from assistant principal of Academy High School to principal. She formerly taught in the district at Rice Middle School and Williams High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and two master’s degrees in education, from the University of Michigan
and the University of North Texas, where she also earned her doctorate in educational leadership. Scott Schweikhard has been named principal of Forman Elementary School.
Deputy superintendent Theresa Williams has been promoted to district superintendent. The 27-year educator began her career in Garland ISD, eventually serving as executive director of educational operations. Prior to joining Plano ISD, she spent four years as Lubbock ISD’s deputy superintendent.
Prosper ISD Kyle Penn has accepted the
position of Prosper ISD’s chief financial officer. He previously served as assistant superintendent of finance in operations for Sunnyvale and Westwood ISDs. In addition, he is on the faculty of Dallas Baptist University’s K-12 educational leadership doctoral program. > See Who’s News, page 29 Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
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Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
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Snook ISD After 33 years in Texas public education, the past eight leading Snook ISD, superintendent Brenda Krchnak has announced her upcoming retirement, effective the end of July.
> Continued from page 27
Rivercrest ISD Tiffany Mabe is the new
superintendent of Rivercrest ISD. She was the district’s director of operations and state and federal programs. She earned her master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Roma ISD Superintendent Carlos Guzman has announced his upcoming retirement, effective June 30. He has led the district for eight years.
Roscoe Collegiate ISD The district’s new superintendent is Guillermo Mancha Jr., who previously led Brackett and Natalia ISDs. He is a graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Texas.
Round Rock ISD Canyon Vista and Grisham Middle Schools orchestra director Emily Hornbake is the recipient of the 2022 Young Educator Award from the Texas Orchestra Directors Association (TODA). Before joining RRISD, she taught for four years in Katy ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a master’s degree in music education from Indiana University.
Saint Jo ISD Curtis Eldridge has retired after a 29-year
career in education, the past five as Saint Jo ISD’s superintendent. He previously taught, coached and worked as an administrator in Flower Mound, Muenster and Montague ISDs as well as serving as a school board and principal trainer for ESC Region 11.
New superintendent Katie Morman is a 20year educator, with 15 of those spent in the district. She was principal of Saint Jo High School for the past nine years. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and her master’s degree in school administration from Lamar University.
Socorro ISD Nate Carman is the new superintendent of Socorro ISD. He previously led San Benito and Teague ISDs and served as a campus and district administrator in Wilmer-Hutchins, Pine Tree, Grand Prairie and Lewisville ISDs.
Splendora ISD Deana Eubanks has been
promoted from assistant director to director of athletics for Splendora ISD. She was girls’ athletic coordinator and physical education department chair for three years and has coached girls’ softball for the past seven. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Spring ISD Laura Hunter has been named principal
of Westfield High School, where she was interim principal for the past year. She has been an educator for 30 years, working as an assistant and associate principal, principal, and teacher.
Hilarion Martinez is now assistant
superintendent for the district’s feeder pattern 1. He is a 20-year educator who comes to Spring from Houston ISD.
A new chief of innovation and equity is in place for Spring ISD. Matthew Pariseau was most recently assistant superintendent of curriculum and workforce development after joining SISD in 2013 as an instructional coach and going on to serve as special education coordinator and director.
Sweet Home ISD Renee Fairchild, a former administrator in Gonzales ISD, now leads Sweet Home ISD as superintendent. She received her doctorate in education from the University of Houston.
Tarkington ISD Elna Davis is now
superintendent of Tarkington ISD. She has spent 17 of her 26-year education career as a campus and central office administrator, most recently serving as an area superintendent in Grand Prairie ISD. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees
from Texas A&M University at Kingsville and her doctorate in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University.
Texarkana ISD The district’s new director of communications, marketing and development is Todd Marshall, who was director of CTE and STEM education. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in administration from Southern Arkansas University. Lakesha Taylor has been
named director of CTE (career and technology education) and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). She has held the position of principal of the Dunbar Pre-K Center since 2015. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Texarkana, where she also received her master’s degree.
Victoria ISD Larry Cantu has joined Victoria ISD as
principal of Stroman Middle School. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Kingsville, where he also earned his master’s degree in educational administration and supervision.
The district’s new director of secondary professional and paraprofessional talent is Steven Carroll, who has spent his 30-year career in VISD. Most recently principal of Dudley Elementary School, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Houston at Victoria.
Westbrook ISD New superintendent Raemi Thompson was most recently assistant superintendent of Big Spring ISD, where she previously served as director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University. She holds a second master’s degree, in educational leadership and administration, from Lamar University, from which she was awarded a doctorate in the same field.
Ysleta ISD (El Paso) A new principal has been named for the new Riverside Elementary School, scheduled to open for the 2022-23 school year. Claudia Ureño-Olivas has served as principal of Ascarate Elementary for the last nine years. She began her career in El Paso’s Clint ISD, joining Ysleta ISD in 2006 as the district’s bilingual coordinator. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso. ◄ Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
Calendar Professional development & events JUNE June 1-2 TASB WORKSHOP: MANAGING STATE AND FEDERAL LEAVE Virtual event For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $225. June 1-3 TETA HERC (Higher Education Research Conference) Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi No phone provided www.tetatx.com June 2 TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi Cohort (session 6 of 6) Corpus Christi ISD, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.n2learning.org Registration is closed. TASA Aspiring Superintendents Virtual Summer Series (session 1 of 3) For more info. (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Registration open through June 16: TASA members, $150; nonmembers, $175. June 5-7 TAGT Gifted + Equity Conference Convention Center, Denton For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org Cost: TAGT members, $275; nonmembers, $375.
For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $219. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Virtual Cohort (session 6 of 6) Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.n2learning.org Registration is closed. TSPRA Regional Meeting, San Antonio Area Virtual event For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org June 8-9 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy 35, Waco Area (session 3 of 3) Robinson ISD, Robinson For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org TASB Workshop: Get a Grip on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Virtual event For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $225. June 8-10 TEPSA Summer Conference Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org Cost: TEPSA members, $385; nonmembers, $628.
June 6 TASA /N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) McKinney ISD, McKinney For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.n2learning.org Registration is closed.
June 9 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Tips and Tools for Professional Learning 2 Grand Prairie ISD, Grand Prairie For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $219.
June 7 TSPRA Regional Meeting, Gulf Coast Area Location and city TBD For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org
TASA Aspiring Superintendents Virtual Summer Series (session 2 of 3) For more info. (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Registration open through June 16: TASA members, $150; nonmembers, $175.
June 8 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Tips and Tools for Professional Learning 1 Grand Prairie ISD, Grand Prairie
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
TASBO Webinar: Auditing and Closeouts Virtual event
For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $75; nonmembers, $125. TSPRA Regional Meeting, East Texas Area ESC Region 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org June 9-10 TASA/N2 Learning Principals’ Institute (session 6 of 6) Hilton Post Oak, Houston For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.n2learning.org Registration is closed. June 10 TSPRA Regional Meeting, Central Area Austin ISD, Austin For more info, (512) 474-9107. www.tspra.org June 12-15 THSADA State Conference Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock No phone provided. www.thsada.com June 13 Learning Forward Texas Workshops: Tips and Tools for Professional Learning 1 Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $219. Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Tips and Tools for Professional Learning 1 Northside ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $219. TASBO CSRM Workshop: Measuring School Risks Location TBA, Irving For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members and nonmembers, $250. June 13-15 Texas ASCD Transformative Principal Leadership Academy Peterson Middle School, Kerrville For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
June 14 ED311 Conference on Education Law for Principals Convention Center, Austin or online For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.ed311.com Cost: $220 per registrant, including access to digital workbook; $245 per registrant, including printed workbook. Groups of 5 or more: $195 per registrant, including access to digital workbook; $220 per registrant, including printed workbook. Groups of 10 or more: $185 per registrant, including access to digital workbook; $210 per registrant, including printed workbook. TCASE & TEA Talk Webinar For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org Cost: No charge for TCASE members. June 15 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Cultivating Leadership Northside ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $229. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Austin/San Antonio Cohort (session 6 of 6) Northside ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.n2learning.org Registration is closed. TASA/N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.n2learning.org Registration is closed. TASA/TASB/TASBO Budget Cohort for Texas District Leaders (session 6 of 6) Convention Center, Irving For more info, (512) 462.1711. www.tasanet.org Registration is closed.
June 15-17 TASSP Summer Workshop Convention Center, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: Through May 22: TASSP members, $285; nonmembers, $485; students, $139. After May 22: TASSP members, $335; nonmembers, $535; students, $139. TETA SummerFest Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi No phone provided www.tetatx.com TTAC Theatre Administrators Summer Conference Omni Hotel, Corpus Christi No phone provided www.tetatx.com June 15-18 TASB Summer Leadership Institute Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org June 16 Fast Growth School Coalition Lunch and Learn Location and city TBD For more info, (512) 536-1206. www.fastgrowthtexas.org TASA Aspiring Superintendents Virtual Summer Series (session 3 of 3) For more info. (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: Registration open through June 16: TASA members, $150; nonmembers, $175. June 18 TASA Aspiring Superintendents Virtual Summer Series (session 1 of 3) Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $150 for all three sessions; nonmembers, $175. June 20-22 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference Convention Center, Irving For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: By June 12: $479; after June 12, $499. June 21 TASA Breakaway Leadership Program (session 8 of 8) Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Registration is closed.
TASA Superintendent Mentoring Training Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org June 21-23 TASA txedFest Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.txedfest.org Cost: Pre-registration (through June 17): TASA members, $325; student members, $150; educational entity nonmembers, $425; other nonmembers, $625. On-site registration: student members, $195; educational entity, $500; noneducational entity, $700. June 22-23 TASPA Training Program: Human Capital Leaders in Education ESC Region 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org TETL Summer Clinic Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (855) 458-9286. www.tetl.org June 23 TASBO Workshop: Investment Training TASBO offices, Austin For more info, $512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $225; nonmembers, $275. June 29-July 2 TASB Summer Leadership Institute Omni Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
J U LY July 7-10 TASSP New Principal Academy Location TBA, Georgetown For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org July 9 TASA Aspiring Superintendents Virtual Summer Series (session 2 of 3) Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $150 for all three sessions; nonmembers, $175. July 10-12 TAHPERD Summer Conference Embassy Suites, Frisco
For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org Cost: Early Bird registration (by May 15): Professional/ associate members, $130; student members, $35; retired members, $45. Pre-registration (on or before June 15): Professional/ associate members, $140; student members, $35; retired members, $45. Late/on-site registration (after June 15): Professional/ associate members, $150; student members, $45; retired members, $55. July 11-14 TGCA Summer Clinic Esports Stadium, Arlington For more info, (512) 708-1333. www.austintgca.com July 12 TASB Course: Asbestos Designated Person TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.tasb.org July 12-13 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Tips and Tools for Professional Learning 1 Virtual event For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $219. July 13 TASB Course: Integrated Pest Management TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 457-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org July 13-15 TASPA Summer Conference Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org July 14 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Amp it Up! Virtual event For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $119. July 17-19 THSCA Coaching School Location TBA, San Antonio For more info, (512) 392-3741. www.thsca.com Cost: By June 1, $60; June 2-July 1, $75. July 18-20 TCASE Interactive Convention Marriott Downtown, Austin For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org
July 19 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Cultivating Leadership Grand Prairie ISD, Grand Prairie For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org Cost: $229. July 20 TASPA Workshop: Service Dogs in the Workplace Webinar For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: TASPA members, no charge; nonmembers, $25. July 26-27 TASB Workshop: HR for Campus Leaders Virtual event For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: $225. July 27-28 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 1 of 4) Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $845 for all four sessions; nonmembers, $945. Members and nonmembers, $295 for any one session. July 30 TASA Aspiring Superintendents Virtual Summer Series (session 3 of 3) Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $150 for all three sessions; nonmembers, $175.
AUG UST August 1 TAGT New Coordinator Boot Camp Virtual event For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org Cost: TAGT members, $120; nonmembers, $220. August 9 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
> See Calendar, page 33 Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
A DV E RT I S E M E N T
Will the “Great Resignation” sabotage your building program?
fter the stresses of a two-year pandemic, it’s no surprise that teachers are expected to leave the profession in record numbers this summer. But less attention has been paid to the departures of senior district leaders . . . and the potential impact that those transitions may have on facility planning and construction. As of this writing, close to a dozen superintendents in North Texas alone have submitted their resignations. And that’s not a trend limited to one region or state, according to Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association (AASA). “The numbers that are just walking out the door, the numbers that are retiring early, and the numbers that are being fired because of the controversies that exist around the country,” says Domenech. “The turnaround is significant.” Many outgoing superintendents have cited not just the exhaustion of COVID-era leadership, but also increasing politicization and polarization around issues of curriculum and equity. For many, enough is enough, especially as most districts face even more budgetary belt-tightening.
You’re not just building a school. You’re creating A
by Steve Harper gate the risk of losing key team members: Centralize information. Statistics show that around 35% of the data created during a construction project is lost by closeout. That likelihood only increases if data is dispersed across multiple laptops or USB drives, especially if their owners unexpectedly resign mid-project. Ensuring that you have a dedicated and secure cloud-based repository for all your project data ensures data continuity regardless of team turnover. Ditch the spreadsheets. Trying to manage a construction project with Excel is asking for trouble. One errant keystroke can completely compromise even the most purposeful data-driven decision making process. And if you lose the person who created the web of formulas for a particular sheet, good luck untangling the numbers. Maintain visibility. Without visibility, there can be no accountability. As the ultimate owner of the construction project, the district needs total transparency into the actions of architects, engineers, contractors, and consultants. If you don’t have that, you could pay a steep price . . . literally.
Establish clear lines of communication. Stakeholders operating in isolation is poThe exodus at the top means an unexpected tentially deadly for a project. You need sysgame of staffing musical chairs across mul- tems for ensuring that everyone is apprised tiple districts as vacancies create new job of key changes and working from the most opportunities. If those departures include current set of plans and schedules. key personnel in your finance, operations, One way to “departure-proof ” your projor facilities departments, you may find ects is by using construction management yourself facing unexpected challenges in software designed specifically to protect planning new construction or completing owners’ investments. The right platform current projects on time and on budget. can potentially save you months of lost Here are a few strategies for helping mititime and big money in budget overruns. STEVE HARPER is the CEO of Owner Insite and author of The Ripple Effect: Maximizing the Power of Relationships for Your Life and Business. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @Rippleon.
Owner Insite is the only construction management software designed to give school leaders total visibility into your building projects. That minimizes your risk and maximizes your ROI . . . and ensures that you leave a legacy you can be proud of.
download our free webinar on TEA’s new Facility Rules.
> Continued from page 31 August 16 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org August 23 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org August 30 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
SEPTE M BE R September 6 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
September 7-8 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy (session 2 of 4) Austin Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: TASA members, $845 for all four sessions; nonmembers, $945. Members and non-members, $295 for any one session. September 11-13 TACS State Conference Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Round Rock For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org September 13 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 20 TASBO Webinar: At-Risk Student Identification, Review and Funding Impact Online For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members, $75; nonmembers, $125.
Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 20-24 TTAC Theatre Administrators Fall Conference Moody Gardens, Galveston No phone provided www.tetatx.com September 21-22 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy 36, ESC 6 (session 3 of 3) ESC Region 6, Kilgore For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 22-23 Texas ASCD Transformative Principal Leadership Academy (session 1 of 3) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 23-25 txEDCON22: The 2022 TASA/TASB Convention Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasa.tasb.org
September 26 TASBO CSRM Workshop: Fundamentals of Risk Management TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: TASBO members and nonmembers, $250. September 27 Texas ASCD Instructional Aides Academy, Cohort 5 – A 12-Week Program Virtual event For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org September 29 TCASE Ignite Academy for New and Aspiring Directors (session 1 of 10) Virtual event For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org Cost: Administrator and associate members, $995 for full academy; nonmembers, $1,195. Administrator and associate members, $295 for finance sessions only; $345 nonmembers. ◄
Goal Setting: From the Board to the Classroom MAY 12TH @ 10AM, CT
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Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
THE BACK PAGE
They’re just repeating what they’ve heard by Riney Jordan
Our daughter was watching our 2-year-old great-grandson, and when he would begin to reach for something that he shouldn’t, she would say, “No sirree, Bobtail!” Well, guess what he says now when his mom corrects him on something. Yep. You got it! On the other hand, what do you suppose he would be saying if she had used some profane statement? I’ve talked to a number of secondary teachers in large middle and high schools who tell me that the profanity that you hear coming out of the students’ mouths as they change classes is “unbelievable!” My initial reaction was, “Don’t allow that! Take that kid to the office and let him or her know in no uncertain terms that profanity will not be tolerated!” Their response to me is pretty much the same every time: “You gonna take several hundred kids to your office every time that there is a change of classes?” I certainly don’t have the answer to this growing problem, but it’s another one of the items that is causing many parents to question whether public schools are the best fit for their children. Living in a small community of only 3,500 residents, I keep noticing new homes being built and new families moving here. Oh, I know that virtually every town in Texas seems to be growing right now, but many families are choosing rural areas with smaller school districts. As I’ve met some of these new families with children, I always ask, “What prompted you to choose a rural area like this?” Their answers are almost always the same: “We wanted a school district where old-fashioned values are emphasized.”
I know some of you may scoff at this response, but quite honestly, I, too, think our world would be better off right now with some “old-fashioned” values. As I approach 80 years of age, I can see where some of the things we’ve allowed as a nation have not helped, but damaged our schools, our children, our families, our nation. Now don’t get me wrong. I realize that profane language in our schools is only one, perhaps even a small one, of the problems with which schools are dealing. I don’t like the fact that drugs are so prevalent in our society and in our schools. I’m amazed at the number of teachers and administrators who are leaving the profession. I’m saddened that COVID-19 has caused major delays in learning, not to mention loss of life for so many. I grieve over racial issues still surfacing after all these years. I long for all families to come together and provide loving, nurturing homes for their children. But as I approach the autumn of my life, I realize that, as a society in the most advanced nation in the world, we have made tremendous progress in some areas, but in others, we have regressed. So, what is the purpose of this article? It is simply to remind all of you to follow your heart. Remember that kids are the reason schools exist. Realize that they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Be the best role model you can be. And make a positive difference in their lives. Quite frankly, do what you know is right for kids. Is it a hard job? Yes! It is the most difficult job in the world. But, if anyone can do it, you can! God bless you and follow the suggestion this day from Mother Theresa. When asked what each of us could do to make a difference in this world, she simply said, “Go home ... and love your family.” Great advice!
RINEY JORDAN is the author of two books and a frequent public speaker. To invite him to speak at your convocation, graduation or awards banquet, visit www.rineyjordan.com.
Texas School Business MAY / JUNE 2022
atch what you say around children, because you’ll hear it coming out of their mouths!”
Texas School Business
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June 21-23 Kalahari Resort & Convention Center Round Rock, TX
Redeﬁning the Politics of Leadership | The Resiliency to Lead | Telling Our Story
Bring your team for three days of: • relaxed, retreat-style learning • engaging sessions with time for team planning • opportunities for same-size district collaborations • time for personal wellness and/or team building • family-friendly events
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Join Us! TASA is the professional association for Texas school leaders. In addition to advocacy and professional learning, we provide networks and services that offer mentorship and inspiration to our members. TASA is working hard to provide the support that Texas school leaders need. We invite you to be part of TASA!