The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas for 60 Years
Y E A R S O F P U B L I C AT I O N
Personalities in public education Three individuals who are fighting the good fight
TASA President Alton Frailey Katy ISD
In the Spotlight Mary Williams Alief ISD
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TSB contents news and features
Meet three individuals who are fighting the good fight for Texas public education by Bobby Hawthorne
UT, TASA host summer conference in Austin
THSCA members huddle up in San Antonio
In the Spotlight Alief ISD Principal Mary Williams evokes entrepreneurial spirit in her students
by Autumn Rhea Carpenter
From the Editor
The Law Dawg — Unleashed
columns by Katie Ford by Jim Walsh
by Terry Morawski
TASA President Profile Katy ISD’s Alton Frailey is changing the conversation about public education
The Back Page
by Bobby Hawthorne by Riney Jordan
by Elizabeth Millard
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. October 2014 • Texas School Business
Austin Convention Center January 25–28, 2015
Registration and Housing for TASA’s Midwinter Conference will open on September 15
Welcome to TASA's 2015 Midwinter Conference! We are excited to offer you and your colleagues the opportunity to come together in one place to discuss and share innovative practices in the education of the schoolchildren of this state.
Concurrent, Thought Leader, and General Sessions n
Highlight innovative practices in school districts throughout the state
Address administrative issues that school leaders face every day
Present topics of broad interest including finance, human resource management, instructional leadership, facility planning, and operations
Update attendees on the work of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium
Texas School Business • October 2014
Gathers the largest group of school-related vendors in the state
Features special events such as the TASA Innovation Zone and Exhibit of School Architecture
From the Editor We hear it often: Business boils down to relationships. Nowhere is that more true than in school business. It’s about relationships between the district and the community, between the administrators and the teachers, and — most importantly — between the teachers and the students. Our cover story this month highlights three people who are building relationships that promise to strengthen K-12 education in Texas public schools: Superintendent Dawson Orr, Texas Parent PAC chairwoman Carolyn Boyle and lobbyist Mike Meroney. These individuals are reaching out to peers and strangers alike, spreading knowledge and effecting positive change for Texas schoolchildren. Katy ISD Superintendent Alton Frailey, who serves as president of the Texas Association of School Administrators, also is a big believer in relationships. He regularly hosts roundtable discussions with staff, parents and students to foster a sense of unity as his rapidly growing district faces both opportunities and challenges. Alief ISD’s Mary Williams, the principal we chose to “spotlight” in this issue, reached out to a local community college and a chamber of commerce to bring a lauded national program to her campus, and the benefits have measured far beyond the unique education her students received as a result. What relationships are you building this year in the name of excellence in education? Can you identify partnerships worth forging, bridges worth building, roads worth paving? The answer is likely yes, yes and yes. Let the 2014-2015 school year be the year you make it happen. Place that call. Send that email. Make that introduction. Your students are counting on you.
Katie Ford Editorial Director
(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) October 2014 Volume LX, Issue 12 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com Editorial Director Katie Ford Design Phaedra Strecher Columnists Bobby Hawthorne, Riney Jordan, Terry Morawski, Jim Walsh Advertising Sales Manager Lance Lawhon Castleberry Elementary School Castleberry ISD
Texas Association of School Administrators Executive Director Johnny L. Veselka Assistant Executive Director, Services and Systems Administration Ann M. Halstead Director of Communications and Media Relations Suzanne Marchman ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620 Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and the Bragging Rights issue published in December by Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701.
© Copyright 2014 Texas Association of School Administrators October 2014 • Texas School Business
UT, TASA host summer conference in Austin The 66th annual UT/TASA Summer Conference on Education, held in Austin in July, focused on creating opportunities and flexibility for all students through the successful implementation of House Bill 5.
Suzy Lofton of Lago Vista ISD, Andria Schur of The University of Texas and Susanna Russell of Ysleta ISD.
Carla Voelkel and Vicki Mims of Dickinson ISD and Ella Morwaux of Galena Park ISD.
James Wilcox of Longview ISD and Willis Mackey of Judson ISD.
Robert McLain of Channing ISD and Ray Cogburn of ESC Region 16. W. Teddy McDaniel III of the Austin Area Urban League and Mark Gooden of The University of Texas.
Education consultant Herman Smith and attorney Carla Pope-Osborne.
Kelly Legg, Phil Guerra and Sally Heaton of Dumas ISD.
Texas School Business â€˘ October 2014
LauraAnn Novacinski and James Ferguson of Texas A&M University, Anastasia Anderson of Houston ISD, Brandon Core of TASA, Veronica Bennett Williams of Lamar CISD, Annetra Piper of Houston ISD and Laurelyn Arterbury of Round Rock ISD.
THE LAW DAWG – Unleashed by Jim Walsh
Common sense about homeschooling Editor’s note: All quotes in this column are taken directly from the court’s opinion.
recent decision by the El Paso Court of Appeals provides some common sense in an area of the law badly in need of it. According to El Paso ISD v. McIntyre, parents “do not have an ‘absolute constitutional right to homeschool.’” Instead, “they have a right to home school [sic] their children, but a home school will only meet the private or parochial exemption from the compulsory school attendance laws if it meets the criteria set out in Leeper.” Texas Education Agency v. Leeper remains the touchstone for the rights of home school parents in Texas. Decided in 1994 by the Texas Supreme Court, the Leeper case clearly affirmed that parents may educate their children at home. But some advocates of homeschooling are not content with that and have claimed that the Leeper decision says things it does not say. The El Paso case involved the McIntyres, who began homeschooling in about January 2005. One year later, El Paso ISD received an anonymous complaint that the kids were not being educated. In November 2006, the grandparents met with the school attendance officer “and expressed concern that their grandchildren were not attending school or otherwise receiving a proper education.” After that meeting, the attendance officer confirmed that the oldest of the nine children had run away from home at age 17 “so she could attend school.” She enrolled at Coronado High School in El Paso ISD and “was unable to provide any information regarding the level of her education or the curriculum provided as part of her home school education.” So the attendance officer investigated further. The parents refused to answer questions from the school about the curriculum or to sign the district’s homeschool verification form. Instead, they lawyered up. A lawyer with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) claimed that the parents were “in full compliance” but would not provide any further information.
The district issued more warnings and requested meetings with the parents. According to the court, “The McIntyres did not cooperate with any of the requests for information or meetings.” So the district filed truancy complaints. This evoked a second letter from HSLDA, which basically repeated the first letter but also threatened a lawsuit. The parents followed through on that threat in July 2007. Meanwhile, an assistant district attorney was responsible for deciding what to do with the pending truancy complaints. He tried to resolve the matter by offering to dismiss the case if the parents would simply “provide a signed statement that they were meeting state requirements.” Nope. He later testified that the oldest daughter and the grandparents “would have testified that the children were not being educated or ‘learning anything,’ but they did not want to testify.” Caught between parents who would not budge and family members who did not want to get involved, the district attorney dropped the truancy charges. But that did not end the civil suit in which the parents charged the district and its employees with malicious prosecution and a violation of their constitutional, religious and civil rights. They sought $800,000 in actual damages plus exemplary damages. The El Paso Court of Appeals tossed the whole thing out on Aug. 6. In doing so, the court reminded all of us what the Leeper case says — and what it does not say. Yes, it says that a bona fide home school qualifies as a “private or parochial” school. But it also says that not every “alleged ‘home school’ automatically fits within the exemption.” That’s where school officials come into play. The court: “But nothing in Leeper suggests that an attendance officer does not have the right to investigate truancy claims, or that home school parents need not prove they are teaching their children in a bona fide manner from an appropriate curriculum.” Common sense. JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Anderson Gallegos Green and Treviño P.C. He can be reached at jwalsh@wabsa. com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg.
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October 2014 • Texas School Business
THSCA members huddle up in San Antonio In July, the Texas High School Coaches Association hosted its 82nd annual Coaching School in San Antonio. The convention offered three days of professional development training and networking.
Michael Jay and Karl Lawson of Northside ISD with Sam Carlin of North East ISD.
Greg Priest of Tyler ISD with Tommy Day, Jeff Priest and Carlon Branson of Canton ISD.
Jeff Lee, Eric Guajardo, Chance Johnson, James Cantrell and Cary McSwain of Mabank ISD. Jaime Arredondo, Damian Shipley and Garry Beveridge of Corpus Christi ISD.
Kevin Webb and Nicholas Burns of Cameron ISD.
Jesus Baez, Adolfo Dominguez and Joseph Alvarado of Alice ISD
Todd Rankin and Mike Fredrickson of Conroe ISD.
Arturo Barrios and Rene Silva of Alice ISD. 8
Texas School Business â€˘ October 2014
Colton Brewer of Abernathy ISD and Logan Turner of Bells ISD.
TECH TOOLBOX by Terry Morawski
How devices can address different learning styles
arents and community members have been known to argue that personal
devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are a distraction in the classroom. However, if the naysayers only understood how these devices can support differentiated instruction, perhaps the protesting would subside. Education expert Carol Ann Tomlinson describes differentiated instruction as “ensuring that what a student learns, how he or she learns it and how the student demonstrates what he or she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests and preferred mode of learning.” It is easiest to understand how technology can support differentiated instruction when we view it through the lens of Professor Neil Flemings’ four modalities of learning: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile. A personal device offers visual learners a multitude of ways to see a concept through videos, pictures and motion graphics. These students also have access to apps and programs that enable them to communicate and share visually what they have learned with their teachers and other students. Auditory learners are at their best when they are listening. With a personal device, these learners can access audio books and record lectures and classroom instruction for repeat listening later. With the aid of a handheld device, students also have access to music, which can be incorporated into their activities to keep them focused and engaged. Kinesthetic learners learn through doing, acting and moving. A mobile device essentially makes the classroom mobile as well. Not only are there educational apps that incorporate movement into lesson plans, but traditional classroom assignments can become more engaging to kinesthetic learners when they are required
to make videos or take pictures for their projects. A device in the hand of a tactile learner provides new opportunities as well. Many apps require students to tap the screen to answer questions or move through a lesson, which is a real advantage
‘It is easiest to understand how technology can support differentiated instruction when we view it through the lens of Professor Neil Flemings’ four modalities of learning: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile.’ to tactile learners. Students also can type notes in an app that suits their personal style and easily share those notes online with others. Educational apps that offer complex games and puzzles to reinforce concepts are also ideal for both tactile and visual learners. Studies have shown that many students — and adults — are multi-modal in their learning styles, which only strengthens the argument for personal devices, which facilitate differentiated instruction to suit individual strengths and weaknesses. If you would like to share how technology is changing the learning environment in your classroom, please send me a note — via your personal electronic device, of course. TERRY MORAWSKI is the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing in Mansfield ISD. He is also a doctoral student at Dallas Baptist University. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter, @terrymorawski.
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Texas School Business • October 2014
GAME ON! by Bobby Hawthorne
A lesson in writing a wrong
missed the deadline for submitting my July/August column, and I’m sure I missed the September deadline too, but I vowed not to miss the deadline for this month’s column. I started early on a piece I thought might shake things up a bit. It dealt with the UIL’s decision to pilot competitive cheerleading. It’s a topic I know next to nothing about, which in no way discouraged me from taking a snarky position and defending that position fiercely. Katie Ford, my editor, thought the column was too snarky for the magazine and, in hindsight, I agreed. I have a talent for sarcasm and a proclivity for thinking it satire. It lands me in hot water regularly. For instance, my wife and I have a rule: If it’s funny, it’s fair. Of course, we often disagree as to what constitutes “funny.” I lean toward Monty Python by way of George Carlin. She leans toward Billy Crystal by way of Hugh Grant. You can see the potential for trouble. And so it was with my column on the UIL’s pom pilot, but here’s the deal: All of this has left me wondering. What am I trying to do with this column? Who reads it and why? Who’s not reading it and why? Where do I take it from here? If you have an opinion about any of this, please share. Now and then, Katie will forward to me something she received about something I had written, and so far, it’s been complimentary, which is surprising, given that this is my 27th column for Texas School Business — more than enough time to flick a few ears, something I made a habit of during my years with the UIL. I’ve kept a stack of letters from parents and principals, appalled or aghast at something I had written or said. Of course, back then, I worked for a man who once told me: “If you’re not making someone mad, you’re not doing your job.”
I took his suggestion to heart and at times used my column to excoriate or canonize, and I generally got away with it. The fact is, the most trouble I got into during my almost 30 years with the league involved something I had written on a form I was required to fill out after having driven a University of Texas vehicle. The form wanted to know “the purpose for which vehicle was used,” and I wrote, “transportation.” Funny = fair, right?
‘I have a talent for sarcasm and a proclivity for thinking it satire. It lands me in hot water regularly.’ Well, no. Some killjoy in the main building called my boss, who then cornered me and snarled, “Your job is not to make me mad, so don’t do it again,” and I didn’t — or at least I tried not to. Sometimes you can’t help yourself, especially if your idea of humor is Monty Python by way of George Carlin. At any rate, Katie and I are having coffee soon to talk about all of this and more, and I will be on board because I enjoy this gig, plus the publishers of this magazine give me reason each month in the form of a little piece of paper to play nice. Better yet, no one gets too worked up when I miss a deadline or two. BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” both published by The University of Texas Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.
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texasschoolbusiness.com October 2014 • Texas School Business
Meet three individuals who are fighting the good fight for Texas public education by Bobby Hawthorne
he political candidates, the billboards along the interstate highways, the writers of letters to the editor, the mad-as-hell moms, the polls and surveys, the university studies, the old guy living next door and the young mother across the street all agree: Texas public schools are bad, getting better, or good, getting worse — or perhaps good, getting better, and bad, getting worse. Or maybe a little of each on Mondays,
Dawson Orr admits there are ample reasons to appreciate leading Highland Park ISD in Dallas. Involved parents. Motivated kids. Test scores are high, dropout rates are low and students graduate college-ready. Better yet, it’s a small district, geographically, and his office is barely a twominute stroll from the high school hallways. All this, Orr concedes, makes his job a pleasure. Another thing Orr concedes is that his reality isn’t necessarily the reality for all Texas public schools, so he’s working hard to improve education for all children. He co-chairs the steering committee for TASA’s High Performance Schools Consortium and serves on TASA’s Legislative Committee and School Transformation Network Design Team. “The challenge facing us as Texas educators,” he says, “is helping to redesign the public education system so that it meets the needs of students who are going to be working in a world that demands entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.” Few could be more prepared to tackle such a task. Born in Colombia and the middle son of two educators, Orr’s formative experiences were largely connected to education — especially his first 11 years living in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico and attending American schools where his father 12
Texas School Business • October 2014
served as headmaster and his mother taught English. He then moved to Tuscaloosa when his dad joined the University of Alabama College of Education faculty. Though he majored in political science at Alabama and had planned to go into law, Orr took a teaching job in Columbus, Ga., figuring he would do it for a year or so.
Wednesdays and Fridays and “who knows?” on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But we do know this: Texas is full of good people trying to do right by the state’s 5.2 million schoolchildren. The following are three such individuals — a school superintendent, a former PTA president turned Ms. PAC-man and a lobbyist — whose efforts in the face of daunting challenges are nothing short of heroic. That was almost 40 years ago. Since then, he has worked in all kinds of educational environments. He taught in Veracruz, Mexico, earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas and served as superintendent in Pampa and Wichita Falls before coming to Highland Park ISD in 2009. Another thing about Orr: He doesn’t
do negativity. If the headline reads: “Research indicates high job dissatisfaction among teachers,” Orr says that’s oversimplified and overstated. If a survey suggests confidence in public schools is shaky, Orr will show you polls that indicate otherwise; people may be suspicious of education overall, but when they’re asked about
‘The challenge facing us as Texas educators is helping to redesign the public education system so that it meets the needs of students who are going to be working in a world that demands entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.’ — Dawson Orr the schools their kids attend, they’re mostly satisfied. To those who say the Tea Party will dominate the 2015 Legislature and state leadership, Orr says: So what? “We have worked under Republican administration and Republican-controlled Legislature for the better part of two decades,” he points out. Besides, he adds, the fascination with standardized tests and accountability is bipartisan. The task now is to guide the state away from the idea that it needs to micromanage education at the community level and concentrate more on larger problems, like poverty and health care. “Should the state be concerned about the number of children living in poverty? Yes,” he says. “Should it be concerned with the number of children without health insurance, the number of children who — if they are not fed at school — are not going to have a meal that day? Yes. So, I would urge the state to think more about its mega responsibilities and less about its micro responsibilities.” It’s a matter of balance. “Children are individuals, and parents think of their children individualistically,” he says. “The state, however, tends to think of them collectively. But who is best equipped to assess the learning progress of a child? It’s the teacher who is working with that child.” The path forward, he insists, is giving districts the capacity and responsibility to engage their communities thoroughly and to be accountable to those communities — not to a state bureaucracy. “That,” he says, “is the game changer.” For all children.
Carolyn Boyle The Parent
It started with a prayer. “God, I know I’m supposed to be doing something, but I don’t know what it is.” And God answered: “Read the classified ads in Sunday’s newspaper.” “But I’m not looking for a job,” Carolyn Boyle thought, impishly. And God answered, “Just do it,” so Boyle did, and she found a tiny want-ad from an outfit called the Coalition for Public Schools for a part-time public relations person. Well, Boyle was definitely a PR person. She had worked for the Texas State Teachers Association, the Texas Education Agency and a national vocational education group. She applied and landed the job, setting into motion a series of events over 17 years that has brought her to her current calling as a public school advocate extraordinaire. Boyle chairs the Texas Parent PAC, a bipartisan political action committee that works to battle special interests that, among many other things, have a fetish for all things privatized — particularly school vouchers. She and her allies — mad-as-hell parents, teachers, administrators, board trustees — have fought them since 2005 and have won their share of scuffles, but whether their side can win the war is anyone’s guess.
Fortunately, Texas Parent PAC has helped elect 39 current members to the Texas House and Senate — “good, mainstream Republicans, people who care for public schools,” she says. In the 2014 election, the PAC helped elect seven more. It also has helped to replace 19 incumbents. “The public education community has worked together, along with Parent PAC, to
‘The public education community has worked together, along with Parent PAC, to help elect more leaders who care about public education, and we’re slowly working to try to replace those who do not. That’s part of the power.’ — Carolyn Boyle help elect more leaders who care about public education, and we’re slowly working to try to replace those who do not. That’s part of the power.” Boyle is comfortable these days discussing power. She wasn’t always. “Early on, someone told me, ‘Carolyn, you need to talk more about power,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, I’m a woman, and we don’t talk about power.’ But I’ve realized over time that, yes, that’s the beauty of a PAC,” she says. “When the pro-public school PAC See GOOD FIGHT on page 14 October 2014 • Texas School Business
GOOD FIGHT continued from page 13
comes in with the power to beat an incumbent, then people pay attention.” But money is the mother’s milk of electoral power, and Boyle is quick to admit that Texas Parent PAC — though it has no office or paid staff — needs more of it to support legislative candidates. “Money talks,” she admits. “The typical person has never made a contribution to a candidate or to a political organization, but people who care about public education — who care about children — need to step up. If every superintendent in Texas were to write us a $1,000 check, it would make a big difference, and more election victories would make their jobs easier.” In every speech she gives, Boyle hammers one point: Parent PAC’s guiding principle is: “I speak for children.” “There are plenty of people to stand up for racetrack owners and banks and used car dealers,” she says, “but legislators should wake up every morning and think, ‘Today, I’m going down to the Capitol to speak for the children.’” Those who won’t or don’t, she says, should be voted out of office. “It is such a waste of time for a superintendent to come all the way to Austin to lobby a legislator who couldn’t care less about the public schools or who is actually trying to harm them,” Boyle says. It’s easier, she admits, to kick out the rascals than it is to try to convince those who don’t care. “In a state the size of Texas, if we can’t find 181 stellar people to make the laws of our state,” she says, “then shame on us.”
The Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend is a $3 million complex consisting of 34,000 square feet of state-of-theart classrooms and labs. It’s located on a 30-acre campus in Corpus Christi and was founded in 1987 by business and industry leaders to help fill chronic job vacancies. Students enrolled there learn skills geared especially for employment in the refining, oil and gas, and commercial construction industries. For years, the center succeeded in spite of — and not in any way because of — the state’s rigid high school graduation requirements, which assumed that all high school students were college-bound and forced them to take four years of this and four years of that, leaving them little or no room for a career-tech elective or two. 14
Texas School Business • October 2014
Mike Meroney As a result, well-paying jobs went begging, and teens who had neither the money nor the desire to attend college dropped out or took out huge loans or maybe joined the military. Then, in 2013, House Bill 5 was enacted into law. Today, the Craft Training Center cooperates with 17 area school districts to train
‘Our diverse workforce demands that we help students, parents, counselors, teachers and administrators see that there is not just one pathway to success. There are multiple pathways.’ — Mike Meroney the next generation of welders, pipefitters, electricians and industrial contractors. It’s why Mike Meroney says he and his clients plan a full-throated defense of the bill during the next legislative session. His clients include 22 trade associations that represent 300,000 businesses and 6 million jobs. They lobby collectively as the Jobs for Texas Coalition. Their mantra is and has been: “In education and in our workforce, one size does not fit all.” They are true believers in House Bill 5. “We have a lot of very engaged and creative administrators who are taking great advantage of what HB 5 offers,” says Meroney, a native of Pine Bluff, Ark. “Our
goal in industry is to assist the districts that may be behind the curve, to fully implement the bill, to get endorsements in place and to match skills and needs with curriculum.” The challenge, he says, includes examining alternative teacher certification requirements and encouraging collaboration between industry, higher ed and secondary education. It also includes debunking myths such as, “The Legislature has ‘dumbed down’ education and ‘lowered expectations’ for students.” “We’re not looking at high school as the end,” Meroney explains. “We’re looking at it as the bridge to the next reality. Our diverse workforce demands that we help students, parents, counselors, teachers and administrators see that there is not just one pathway to success. There are multiple pathways.” The journey can start as early as junior high, he adds. “You don’t need to make choices about your life when you’re 14 years old, but you can take classes that interest you and see where they take you. I’m not here to bad mouth four-year college degrees. I have one,” he says. “But a four-year degree is expensive compared to a one-year certificate where a student can come out and earn $50,000 as an electrician or a welder.” In short, society needs to do a better job of making decisions based upon return on investment, Meroney says. “We need to inspire students to find their pathway and to think about the cost of going down that path,” he says. “We can’t just say to every student, ‘OK, you’re going to go to college, and even if you can’t afford it, you can borrow a lot of money and go deep into debt.’ That is perverse.” What’s needed, he says, is nuanced, realistic creative thinking. “Take, for example, Texas State Technical College,” he says. “They’re changing the way they’re funded by the state from a ‘We’re teaching this number of students’ to ‘We’ll get paid based on the income of our graduates.’ They plan to track their graduates’ income over a five-year period and seek reimbursement from the state based on how well they did training their students for actual jobs. How cool is that?” BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” both published by The University of Texas Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.
Who’s News Allen ISD Kenneth Gregorski is the new assistant superintendent for human resources. Most recently assistant superintendent for student support services and human resources in Stafford MSD, he has also been a teacher in El Paso ISD, assistant and associate principal in Katy ISD, and a high school and middle school principal in Fort Bend ISD. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and his master’s degree in administration from Sul Ross State University. Eric Pacheco has been named principal of the Dillard Special Achievement Center. He joins the district from Richardson ISD, where he was assistant principal of West Junior High Arts and Technology Magnet School. An educator for nine years, he began as a Spanish teacher at Lake Highlands Junior High in Richardson ISD. Pacheco is a graduate of Saginaw Valley State University with a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington. Now serving as the district’s director of finance is Brent Ringo, who most recently was principal of Royce City High School in Royse City ISD. He began his career in 2003 as an algebra teacher at Wylie High School in Wylie ISD, going on to become that school’s associate principal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas and a master’s degree in education from Texas State University. His doctorate is from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Phyllis Spain, formerly the director of student services, is now executive director of school leadership. She began her career in the district as assistant principal of Curtis Middle School and then was principal of Rountree Elementary and Ereckson Middle School. Bastrop ISD Alexia Dyer is now head girls’ soccer coach at Bastrop High School, where she previously was assistant coach for both girls’ varsity and junior varsity soccer. A graduate of Arkansas State University, she also worked in Marshall ISD as head girls’ soccer coach at Marshall High. Eric Fisher has been promoted to head varsity soccer coach at Cedar Creek High School after serving as head junior varsity soccer and varsity assistant coach there. He is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University. A new principal has been appointed for Bastrop High School. Jason Hewitt,
former assistant superintendent of Luling ISD, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Angelo State University and his doctorate in K-12 education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He previously served as a principal in Smithville ISD and as an assistant principal in Lamesa ISD. The new Cedar Creek High School head volleyball coach is Jayson Langman, who spent the past seven years coaching that sport at Stony Point High School in Round Rock ISD. A graduate of McMaster University, he also coached in Rockdale and Fredericksburg ISDs. Stephen Morales, former assistant cross country and track coach at Cedar Creek High, is now head cross country coach. He is a graduate of The University of Texas. Now working as Bastrop High School head boys’ soccer coach is Johnny Robbins Jr. He began his coaching career in Killeen ISD, where he headed varsity and junior varsity soccer before joining Stony Point High in Round Rock ISD in 2007 as girls’ varsity soccer coach. Since 2009, the Texas A&M graduate has coached the boys’ varsity soccer team at Horn High School in Mesquite ISD. Cody Walker, the new Bastrop High School head baseball coach, has eight years of coaching experience. He has been assistant coach for Harker Heights High School in Killeen ISD and head baseball coach for Navasota High in Navasota ISD. He graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where he was a starting pitcher. Lance Wright is now Bastrop High School’s head basketball coach. With more than 18 years of experience, he claims seven district championships, 10 playoff appearances and five Top 10 state rankings. He comes to Bastrop from Carroll ISD’s Smith High School, where, in 2009, his team achieved the school’s first undefeated record. Wright is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. Belton ISD The new principal of Lake Belton Middle School is Kristopher Hobson, who was an assistant principal of the school for the past three years. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University. Deanna Lovesmith has been appointed Belton ISD’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Previously a teacher, counselor, and director of special projects and curriculum in districts in
the Waco area, she was principal of Belton New Tech High @ Waskow since it opened three years ago. Lovesmith, who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University, was awarded a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University. The new principal of Belton New Tech High @ Waskow is Jill Ross, former director of special education. Ten of her 17 years as an educator have been spent with the district. She has a bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Tech University. Keonna White is now principal of South Belton Middle School, where she worked for the past two years as assistant principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in education administration from Tarleton State University. Two assistant principals have been announced: Sandra Garrett of Belton High School and Sheila Surovik of Belton Early Childhood School. Birdville ISD Jill Balzer is principal of Haltom Middle School. She comes from Killeen ISD, where she was principal of Patterson Middle School since 2008. She began her career in Howard, Kan., in 1993. She came to Texas in 2000 as a preJill Balzer AP placement world geography teacher and coach for Round Rock ISD, before joining Killeen ISD in 2004 in the same capacity. She then was assistant principal and a curriculum instructional specialist at Harker Heights High. Balzer received her bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and her master’s degree from Wichita State University, both in Kansas. Laura Holt is the director of special education. She has been Forney ISD’s director of special populations since 2012. Prior to that, she held administrative positions in Lewisville and Lake Dallas ISDs. In addition to her work Laura Holt as an educator, Holt practiced school law See WHO’S NEWS on page 16 October 2014 • Texas School Business
WHO’S NEWS continued from page 15
in San Antonio from 2008 to 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree from HardinSimmons University, her master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and her juris doctor from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. Bullard ISD Jan Hill is a deputy superintendent. An educator for 32 years, she was with Jacksonville ISD for 26 years before spending the past six with Bullard ISD as curriculum director. She is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and The University of Texas. Joe Dan Lee has been named interim superintendent. An educator for more than 30 years, he spent 27 of those as superintendent of Redwater, Pine Tree and Georgetown ISDs. He was ESC Region 13’s Superintendent of the Year in 1988 and a finalist for the 2002 award in ESC Region 12. He worked for the Texas Association of School Boards from 2007 to 2010. Lee received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Burleson ISD The new principal of Centennial High School is Jimmy Neal, most recently principal of Summit High in Mansfield ISD, a position he held since 2010. Prior to that, he was principal of Howard Middle School, associJimmy Neal ate principal of Summit High and assistant principal of Worley Middle School. Bynum ISD Larry Mynarcik, an educator for 18 years, is superintendent. He began his career as a special education teacher for the Rio Brazos Educational Cooperative and his alma mater, West High School in West ISD. He spent two years as an agriculture teacher in Alvarado ISD before returning to West ISD to teach agriculture and vocational technology. He then taught in Itasca ISD, where he later moved into administration. In 2009, he became principal of Meridian High School in Meridian ISD, where he remained until accepting this job in Bynum. Mynarcik earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from Sam Houston State University. His master’s degree in educational administration is from Tarleton State University. 16
Texas School Business • October 2014
Who’s News Carroll ISD Now serving as K-6 curriculum coordinator for English/language arts and social studies is Meredith Davis. She has been an educator for nine years, beginning in the district as a fourth grade writing tutor at Old Union Elementary School and going on to serve as a third grade teacher at Carroll Elementary. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Christian University. Amy Ellis has been named Carroll High School’s assistant principal. She joined the district in 2012 as coordinator of accountability, assessment and PEIMS. She began her career as a Spanish teacher and was assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie ISD. Rene Moses has joined Johnson Elementary School as assistant principal. An educator for 21 years, she most recently spent 10 years as the secondary curriculum coordinator. She has been with Carroll ISD since 1994. The district’s new executive director of curriculum and instruction is Gina Peddy. An educator for 28 years, she spent four years as the coordinator for gifted and talented and advanced academics, as well as seventh through 12th grade English language arts and social studies. She also has worked in Irving and Coppell ISDs. She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary instruction from The University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University. The new principal of Durham Intermediate School is Mike Wyrick, who was assistant principal of Dawson Middle School for the past five years. He has been an educator for 15 years, the first nine as a high school history and economics teacher and coach for districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He then spent a year as an assistant principal in White Settlement ISD before joining Carroll ISD. He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Arlington. Cedar Hill ISD Newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Leon Fisher comes to Cedar Hill ISD from Missouri, where he was CFO and treasurer of St. Louis Public Schools since 2013. Prior to that, he was in the Normandy School District, also in St. Louis. He spent the first 15 years of his career with Dallas ISD, working as a facilities specialist and then as director of the Transforma-
tion Management Office. Fisher earned his bachelor’s degree in humanities from the University of Missouri at Columbia and his master’s degree in business management from Amberton University. Now serving as principal of Waterford Oaks Elementary School is Nicole Holland. She began her career as an English teacher in Dallas ISD, where she also served as a department chairperson, team leader, after-school program site coordinator and grant writer. She was an assistant principal in Dallas and Mansfield ISDs and spent a year as principal of the ComptonDrew Investigative Learning Center in St. Louis Public Schools. A graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in English, Holland holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Kimberly Sherfield is the new principal of High Pointe Elementary School. She comes from the Wichita (Kan.) Public School District, where she served for 15 years. She has worked as a first grade teacher, instructional reading coach and principal. Sherfield earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Langstone University and her master’s degree in building leadership from Newman University. The new principal of Plummer Elementary School is Sherese Walker, who began her career in 2004, teaching at Arlington ISD’s Carter Junior High. She joined Cedar Hill ISD as assistant principal of the Cedar Hill Ninth Grade Center. Walker has a master’s degree in education administration from the University of North Texas. Cleburne ISD Kyle Heath, who was an associate superintendent in Mansfield ISD, is the new superintendent. An educator for 26 years, he began his career as a social studies teacher and coach in Perry, Okla. He took his first adminisKyle Heath trative position in 2000 as assistant principal at Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Okla. Three years later, he became that school’s principal. Heath holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Oklahoma State University, a master’s degree in secondary administration from the University of Central Oklahoma and a doctorate in education from Walden University.
Who’s News Cleveland ISD Janie Snyder began the new academic year as principal of Southside Primary School. She comes from Livingston ISD, where she was a teacher and an assistant principal. An educator for 25 years, she is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Chris Oldham is principal of Lincoln Junior High School. He was most recently a high school assistant principal in Conroe ISD. He previously worked for Klein, Hempstead and Magnolia ISDs as a math and Chris Oldham science teacher and a coach. Prior to becoming an educator, he was a combat medic in the U.S. Army. Como-Pickton ISD Cassie Bland, former testing and student services coordinator, is principal of Como-Pickton Junior High School. Chris Bradshaw is the new principal of Como-Pickton High School. He comes from North Zulch ISD, where he was a principal. Coppell ISD Mike Waldrip, former Frisco ISD deputy superintendent of administrative operations, is the new superintendent. He joined Frisco ISD in 2002 when he became principal of Clark Middle School. He then opened Liberty Mike Waldrip High School as principal in 2006 and worked as assistant superintendent of instructional support services. Prior to joining Frisco ISD, he was a teacher and coach in Victoria, Goliad and Seminole ISDs. Waldrip earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, his master’s degree from Sul Ross State University and his doctorate from the University of North Texas. Copperas Cove ISD Glenn Graham has been named the district’s executive director of business services. Most recently director of financial services for Round Rock ISD, he previously was assistant superintendent of business and finance in Marble Falls ISD. Graham also has worked for Lago Vista
ISD, Georgetown Transportation and the Williamson County Auditor’s Office. Sherri Welch, former principal of Halstead Elementary School, has been named director of assessment and accountability. She began in the district as a biology, chemistry and integrated physics teacher and a volleyball and track coach at Copperas Cove High. She next was a fourth and fifth grade teacher, an instructional coach and assistant principal at Ledger Elementary. She was assistant principal of Clements-Parsons Elementary until taking her most recent position at Halstead in 2013. Corpus Christi ISD Roland Hernandez, former chief administrative officer, is the new superintendent. He has been an educator since 1992, when he joined Angleton ISD as a teacher and coach and eventually an assistant principal. Roland He also has worked for Hernandez the Texas Education Agency, The University of Texas and Spring Branch, Belton, Tyler and Waco ISDs. Hernandez is a graduate of Texas State University with a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a doctorate in educational administration from The University of Texas. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Dillon Brady has been named assistant superintendent for facilities and construction. With a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Nebraska, he has 14 years of experience in construction and facility services for K-12 educaDillon Brady tion. He formerly was general manager of construction services for Houston ISD; he has managed more than $2 billion of K-12 bond programs and construction projects in Nebraska, Colorado, Ohio and Texas. Jersey Village High School Principal Ralph Funk has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Ralph Funk
Secondary School Principals (NASSP). NASSP is composed of 22,000 secondary school administrators from across the United States. Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Brent Barker is now the district’s athletics director. He comes from Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., where he was head football coach and athletic director and also coached the school’s baseball and golf proBrent Barker grams. The Fort Worth native began his coaching career after attending Texas Christian University, working in Fort Worth, Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Carroll ISDs, as well as Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth. Chaney Curran is principal of Remington Point Elementary School. She was the school’s assistant principal since 2013. She has been an educator for 10 years and an administrator for five. Curran received her bachelor’s Chaney Curran degree from Austin College and her master’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She is pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Texas. The new principal of Willkie Middle School is Elisha McDonald, who was most recently assistant principal of Highland Middle School. Prior to that, she was the school’s counselor. She has been an educator for 12 years, Elisha McDonald beginning in Mansfield ISD. A graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, McDonald has a master’s degree in school counseling from Amberton University. Tricia Leavitt is the assistant principal of Prairie Vista Middle School. She has been an educator since 2003, working in Fort Worth ISD before joining the district. She taught business and was the girls’ athletic coordinator and head girls’ basketball coach at Saginaw High School. In addition, she has been assistant women’s basketball coach at Texas Christian University, where she earned a bachelor’s See WHO’S NEWS on page 20 October 2014 • Texas School Business
Alief ISD Principal Mary Williams evokes entrepreneurial spirit in her students by Autumn Rhea Carpenter
or 17-year-old Teju Adeniji, a Taylor High School student in Alief ISD, cupcakes are only the beginning of a sweet entrepreneurial career. The teenager launched her baking venture, Your Sweet Escapes, last year when she participated in her school’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), a nationwide program that teaches high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Taylor High Principal Mary Williams knows that bridging the education and business worlds can boost student confidence, provide practical work experience and instill a valuable work ethic. So, in 2013, she spearheaded an agreement among Alief ISD, Houston Community College and the West Houston Chamber of Commerce to bring YEA to her school. In doing so, she gave her students an opportunity to brainstorm business ideas, learn how to write business plans, pitch to potential investors, obtain funding, reg-
ister their businesses, participate in trade shows and launch their businesses. During the nine-month program, students also received mentoring from local business community members, attended field trips and heard from various guest speakers. Bringing this kind of transformational programming to her campus is a no-brainer for Williams, who recently completed Rice University’s Executive Entrepreneurs Program. Known as REEP, the university program promises to shape the next generation of transformational school leaders by exposing them to world-class business training, executive coaching and possibilities for education reform. “In my school, I have great students who score really well on standardized tests, yet none of them are National Merit Scholars,” Williams says. “Can they be? I say yes. So why aren’t they? The test.” Williams explains that in her district, where 86 percent of the students are eco-
Taylor High Principal Mary Williams brought the nationally lauded YEA Academy program to her school. 18
Texas School Business • October 2014
nomically disadvantaged and 36 percent have limited English proficiency, most students see the PSAT, or the NMSQT (the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships), for the first time during their sophomore year on test day and then again during their junior year.
‘One day when I was jogging by a high school in Germany, the idea of volunteering struck me. That started my journey to becoming a professional educator.’ “Many students don’t even know about NMSQT. What happens in between the two test administrations?” says Williams. “There is no preparation for the next time. Why? The students cannot afford the review sessions.” Through REEP, Williams learned that branding her school with innovative programs like YEA would help students gain better access to the test preparation materials and tutors. “I learned that I could adjust how I choose to spend money,” she says. “If I take 10 percent of my funding, I can help poor students who are not struggling academically.” This year, under Williams’ leadership, Taylor High School is focusing on increasing the students’ PSAT scores with the Princeton Review test preparation. Freshmen through seniors will participate in the after-school and Saturday prescribed private tutoring program, aiming toward a 100 percent graduation rate for the school’s 700 seniors. Williams’ own “leadership training” began while serving in the Army at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Wa. The Wendell, N.C., native continued her military service
FUN FACTS ABOUT
If you could start a small business, what would it be? I would start a writing tutorial company, not so that students can pass tests, but so they can improve their critical thinking and creative writing abilities. What is your favorite way to relax? I like reading and feeling the paper pages, but I enjoy reading on a tablet too. What is the last book you read and really enjoyed? “I, Michael Bennett” by James Patterson.
at Katterbach Army Airfield in Ansbach, Germany, with a short tour in Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Storm. It was in Germany when she first had an inkling that working in public education was in her future. “I’ve always been an avid reader, love learning and enjoy working with teens,” says Williams. “One day when I was jogging by a high school in Germany, the idea of volunteering struck me. That started my journey to becoming a professional educator.” Williams eventually returned to the States and graduated from the University of Houston, where she majored in English. She started her education career in 1996 as a teacher of freshman language arts at Spring Wood High School in Spring Branch ISD. Four years into it, she stepped up to become a school administrator. She credits the military for the decision. “Once Army, always Army,” she admits. “The Army taught me organization and leadership and helped lead me to this path.” In 1999, she received her master’s degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. She then
became a grade-level assistant principal in Spring Branch ISD, before moving on to spend the next four years as an assistant principal and principal at Guilford County Schools in North Carolina. In 2007, she joined Alief ISD as the associate principal of instruction at Elsik High School. In 2013, she became principal of Taylor High School. A process-driven professional, Williams admits that she struggles sometimes with expecting to reach all her goals immediately. “Sometimes I get ahead of myself, wanting everything to happen according
to my plan,” she says. Even so, Williams suggests that success, ultimately, isn’t defined in high school or even on graduation day. “It’s when those students return, sharing how they used the lessons we taught them to make it in the real world,” she explains. “That’s when we know we did our job in preparing them for the complex global economy.” AUTUMN RHEA CARPENTER, when not navigating the carpool lane and translating toddler conversations, works as a freelance journalist in Austin, Texas.
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degree in business administration and master’s degrees in liberal arts and educational administration. Saginaw High School has a new principal. Patrick Torres comes to the district from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, where he was assistant principal of Grapevine High. He spent 12 years with Dallas and Wylie ISDs as a Patrick Torres high school teacher and coach and has nine years of administrative experience. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Dallas Baptist University, where he is pursuing a doctorate in the same field. Now serving as principal of Elkins Elementary School is Kori Werth, who has spent her 13 years in education with Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, six of those as an administrator. Werth earned her bachelor’s degree in Kori Werth education from Texas Christian University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas. Ector County ISD Eddie Campa has been hired as chief of police. He comes to his new job after retiring from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, where he served for 20 years. He holds a master’s degree in justice and security administration. Eddie Campa Autumn Sloan started the new academic year as principal of Pease Elementary School. She began her career in 2001 as a math and science teacher for at-risk students in Arizona. In Texas, she taught Autumn Sloan in Amarillo ISD and was most recently principal of Friona Elementary School in Friona ISD. Sloan has a master’s degree in secondary education and a doctorate in education leadership. ESC Region 8 David Fitts has been named executive director. He comes to his new posi20
Texas School Business • October 2014
Who’s News tion from Lake Worth ISD, where he was superintendent. Prior to that, he held the top job in Pewitt CISD for nine years and was named Region 8’s Superintendent of the Year in David Fitts 2008. He also was Ore City ISD’s high school principal. Fitts, who received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, has a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at Tyler. His doctorate in educational administration is from Texas A&M University at Commerce. ESC Region 10 Gordon Taylor, former associate director, is now executive director. Prior to joining ESC 10, Taylor was a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal and worked as superintendent of Valley View ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in education administration from Texas Woman’s University, and a doctorate in the same field from the University of North Texas. Fairfield ISD Rick Edwards is the district’s new superintendent. He comes from Kennedale ISD, where he was associate superintendent of technology. A graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in math education, his nearly three-decade career in education began as a teacher in rural North Carolina. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., and was an assistant principal in Hendersonville, Tenn. Upon moving to Texas in 1998, he was an assistant principal at Bowie High School in Arlington ISD. Forney ISD The new director of technology is Roger Geiger, who had been serving in that position in an interim capacity. Now holding the new position of executive director of support services is Rick Greer, who was the district’s director of transportation. Theresa Hale is now principal of Criswell Elementary School. She was the school’s assistant principal. Former Criswell Elementary Principal Jeff Hutcheson is now principal of Smith Elementary. Mario Luna has been named fine
arts director. He had been serving in that position in an interim capacity. The new assistant principal of Smith Elementary is Scott Rowe. Judith Webber is executive director of innovative learning. She was formerly with Wylie ISD. Fort Bend ISD Millie Alvarez is principal of Armstrong Elementary School. She comes from Spring Branch ISD, where she was an assistant principal. Prior to that, she was with Houston ISD. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in curriculum and technology from the University of Phoenix. Lakisha Anthony was most recently assistant principal of Oakland Elementary School. She is now principal of Jordan Elementary. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has two bachelor’s degrees, one in teaching, curriculum and instruction and one in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Theresa Bathe is now assistant principal of Highlands Elementary School. She has been an educator for more than 30 years. She also has worked for Scott Foresman Publishing. Bathe holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University. Elizabeth Brewer is dean of instruction at Marshall High School. An employee of the district for 16 years, she began as a geography teacher at Hightower High School, going on to serve as a social studies helping teacher, campus improvement specialist and Social Studies Department chair. Brewer received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Clarion University in Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in leadership from Lamar University. Tim Clark is principal of Jones Elementary School. He comes from Alief ISD, where he was principal of Mahanay Elementary School. Clark earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and his master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Katrina de los Reyes now leads Mission West Elementary School as principal. She comes from Houston ISD, where she was an assistant principal of the Reagan K-8 Educational Center. She also worked as a principal, assistant principal
Who’s News and school counselor in Dallas ISD. Jennifer Kapral has been named associate principal of Lake Olympia Middle School. She joins the district from Raise Your Hand Texas, a nonprofit education advocacy organization. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal and coordinator/teacher in Houston ISD. Kapral has a bachelor’s degree in politics and philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in education leadership from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dakita Lyons-Irving, a former eighth grade math teacher at First Colony Middle School, has been named assistant principal of Oakland Elementary School. Prior to coming to the district, she was a teacher in Houston and Hitchcock ISDs. LyonsIrving earned both her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Southern University. She is pursuing a doctorate in education administration. Yvette Huerta Mendoza, the new assistant principal of Holley Elementary School, was most recently a fifth grade dual language teacher at Ray Elementary in Lamar CISD. Before that time, she was a bilingual teacher and completed her student teaching in Fort Bend ISD. Mendoza received her bachelor’s degree in bilingual education and her master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Julie O’Hara is the new assistant principal of Ridgemont Elementary School. She previously worked in CypressFairbanks ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in integrated science from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in education management from the University of Houston. Mariolga Parra, new assistant principal of Seguin Elementary, comes from Houston, where she was a special education specialist, the director of a charter school, and a bilingual and special education teacher. Before her time in Houston, she was an early childhood and ESL teacher in Venezuela. Parra earned her bachelor’s degree in speech language therapy and audiology and her master’s degree in special education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Jerrold Smith, new associate principal of McAuliffe Middle School, has been with the district for 10 years. He also has worked in Stafford MSD. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tulsa in Okla-
homa and his master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Friendswood ISD Diane Myers is the new assistant superintendent of secondary curriculum. A graduate of Friendswood ISD schools, she was previously assistant principal and associate principal of Friendswood High and, most Diane Myers recently, the district’s senior executive director of secondary curriculum. Frisco ISD Danny Barrentine is principal of Hunt Middle School. An educator for 19 years, he came to Frisco ISD in 2000 as a middle and high school teacher and coach. He was most recently assistant principal of Griffin Middle Danny Barrentine School. Barrentine, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, earned his master’s degree from Lamar University. Stacy Cameron has been tapped to serve as coordinator of library and media services. She has 13 years of experience in education and has been a campus librarian at both the primary and secondary levels. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. Lauren Cypert, former assistant principal of Ashley Elementary School, is now principal of Carroll Elementary. She came to Frisco ISD in 2006 from Lubbock ISD and has worked at Fisher and Purefoy elementary Lauren Cypert schools. Cypert received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree from Lubbock Christian University. Christie Elementary School has a new principal. She is Angie Flores Doak, who comes from CarrolltonAngie Flores Farmers Branch ISD, Doak
where she was principal of Thompson Elementary for the past six years. She also has worked for ESC Region 10. Doak began her career in education in 1991. Her bachelor’s degree is from The University of Texas and her master’s degree is from Texas A&M International University. Donna Edge is associate principal of Wakeland High School. An educator for 18 years, she earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree from Texas Woman’s UniDonna Edge versity. Her doctorate was awarded from the University of North Texas. Former Hunt Middle School English teacher and coach Sonya Neal Elliott is now assistant principal of Fowler Middle School. With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and master’s degrees Sonya Neal Elliott from the University of Phoenix and Sam Houston State University, she has 10 years of experience in education. Mitzi Garner is assistant principal of Wester Middle School. She has been an educator for 14 years. She comes from McKinney ISD, where she was a high school assistant principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Mitzi Garner San Diego State University and master’s degrees from California State University and Concordia University. The new principal of Taylor Elementary School is Christy Garza, who was the school’s assistant principal. She came to Frisco ISD in 2013 with eight years of administrative experience at the elementary and Christy Garza middle school levels in Lewisville and Irving ISDs. Garza, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas, holds master’s degrees from that institution and Lamar University. See WHO’S NEWS on page 24 October 2014 • Texas School Business
TASA PRESIDENT PROFILE Katy ISD’s Alton Frailey is changing the conversation about public education By Elizabeth Millard
lthough Alton Frailey switched his college major from business and communications to education, all of those fields of expertise are in full force as he leads Katy ISD as superintendent and now the Texas Association of School Administrators as president. At the root of his strategies for performance and accountability is a strong push for honest dialogue among all stakeholders. “You can build a neighborhood faster than a school, and that’s what’s been happening here,” says Frailey, whose district
serves almost 70,000 students and employs almost 9,000 people. “Every parent is entitled to have the same level of quality of education for their child, and that’s what we work toward here: maintaining high quality for everyone.” As part of that effort, Frailey conducts monthly roundtable events — one for parents and another for employees. Student roundtables are held quarterly. All of these gatherings are focused on promoting open dialogue in the district. During the employee roundtables, everyone from teachers to security, nutri-
Superintendent Alton Frailey promotes open dialogue with staff and teachers by regularly visiting schools and hosting roundtable discussions with all stakeholders in Katy ISD. 22
Texas School Business • October 2014
‘Every parent is entitled to have the same level of quality of education for their child, and that’s what we work toward here: maintaining high quality for everyone.’ tion and facilities staff come together to talk about what’s on their minds. According to Frailey, the open dialogue helps employees feel more like a team in being responsive to district needs. “Everyone loves it,” he says. “This is not a question-and-answer session where they send me questions in advance and I come up with a canned response. Instead, we really brainstorm together about how to create positive changes together. “We try to create a space where educators can focus on teaching and where everyone can put emphasis on doing what’s best for the students,” he continues. “Every child needs someone who’s in their corner, who can be respectful and honorable, to help mold and guide them. That’s what we offer.” Frailey has a long history of mentoring and guiding children. It was his early experiences as a camp counselor and working with children while still in high school that inspired him to switch his major to education while at Stephen F. Austin State University. After graduating, he became a teacher in Goose Creek ISD for students with special needs. After almost five years, he moved into an administrative role as assistant principal. “It was a natural transition for me because it fit my aspiration, which was to
make an impact on the lives of kids,” he says. With those aspirations in mind, he admits that he initially resisted becoming a superintendent, turning down several offers when they came up. He says, at the time, he presumed the superintendent role would focus too much on politics and he wanted to help children directly. His presumptions changed in 2002 when he was asked to interview for the superintendent position at Cincinnati Public Schools in Ohio. Before he could turn down yet another potential superin-
FUN FACTS ABOUT
Something most people don’t know about me: I love jazz and Western movies. Proudest moment in my life so far: When I became a dad. My wife and I have three amazing children, and watching them grow up has led to many proud moments.
tendency, Frailey received a phone call from one of his former superintendents. “He said I had to take the job because those kids needed someone to fight for them,” Frailey recalls. “That resonated with me, and so I ended up saying yes.” After three years in Ohio, Frailey returned to Texas and eventually settled in Katy ISD, where he has been since 2007. Soon after joining the district, Frailey helped Katy ISD grow from a TEA Academically Acceptable district to its current Recognized status the following year. In addition to influencing growth through honest dialogue in Katy ISD, Frailey is leveraging his term as TASA president to change the conversation around education statewide. “In terms of what I want to accomplish, I want to impact the temperature of the conversation,” he says. “Tempers are very hot right now around education, and it’s not helpful.” So many good things are happening in public education, he notes, and yet most of the discussion is centered on what’s going awry. He says progress is sure to come more easily if we shift the focus to innovation and insight. Frailey says a school district is a reflection of the community it serves, as long as the right level of support is in place. “Any district can perform better if everyone works together,” he says. “That’s
rarely talked about in school reform.” “Everyone” includes legislators, says Frailey. And that’s why he also aims to
‘This is not a questionand-answer session where they send me questions in advance and I come up with a canned response. Instead, we really brainstorm together about how to create positive changes together.’ strengthening communications between educators and elected officials. “We have to accept the fact that we only create change by becoming a village with the same goals,” he says. ELIZABETH MILLARD writes for a variety of business and technology publications. When not stringing words together, she fights potato beetles and grows food at Bossy Acres, an USDA-certified, organic vegetable farm.
If my life had a soundtrack, the song would be: For the bulk of my life, it would be “I’m in a Hurry (and Don’t Know Why)” by Alabama. But now that I’m older, a gospel song by Douglas Miller describes me best: “My Soul Has Been Anchored.” If I could trade places with someone for one day, it would be: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He ascribes so much of his thinking to personal responsibility, and that really appeals to me.
At O’Connell Robertson, we believe every project has a mission. We use a mission-driven approach to design educational environments that empower teachers to be more effective and students to be more engaged. We design solutions.
Challenge us to discover the mission of your next project.
Austin | San Antonio
October 2014 • Texas School Business
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Manuel Gonzales is principal of Sem Elementary School, moving to his new job from Christie Elementary, where he was principal for six years. Initially a teacher at Riddle Elementary School, he was assisManuel Gonzales tant principal of Fisher Elementary before taking the top position at Christie. Gonzales earned his bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University and his master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. The new assistant principal of Independence High School is Kathryn Gray. She comes to Frisco ISD from Missouri, where she was an educator for 10 years. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded from Drake University Kathryn Gray and her master’s degree from William Wood University. She received her doctorate from Maryville University. Troy Hart, a former teacher at Griffin Middle School, has been named assistant principal of Pioneer Heritage Middle School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and his master’s degree from Troy Hart Texas Woman’s University. Preston Hazzard is the assistant director of fine arts. Most recently director of bands at Liberty High School, he has been a music educator for 18 years, three of those in Frisco ISD. His bachelor’s degree is from Preston Hazzard Howard Payne University, and his master’s degree is from the University of North Texas. Thomas Hill is assistant principal of Griffin Middle School, after serving as a teacher and girls’ athletic coordinator at Fowler Middle School. He has Thomas Hill been an educator for 17
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years. Hill received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and his master’s degree from Lamar University. Former foreign languages teacher Dan Kanzler is now assistant principal of Wester Middle School. He has been an educator for eight years and holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham University and a master’s degree from Dan Kanzler Lamar University. Former teacher Sherry Klingenberg is now assistant principal at Ashley Elementary School. An educator for 13 years, she earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler and her master’s Sherry degree from Lamar UniKlingenberg versity. When the new Reedy High School opens in 2015 it will have Karen LeCoq as principal. She came to Frisco ISD in 2000, teaching science at Frisco High for 10 years and serving as the Science Department’s instrucKaren LeCoq tional coach. LeCoq also has taught in Ennis and Plano ISDs and at Cedar Valley Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from William Penn University and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce and Lamar University. Melissa Longfellow is principal of the Early Childhood School. She was a teacher and assistant principal in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD and came to Frisco ISD in 2005 as an assistant principal of Pink Elementary before opening Carroll Elementary in 2007. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas. Katherine Mass has been tapped to serve as principal of Smith Elementary School. A school administrator for 12 years, she comes to Frisco ISD from Denver, Colo., where she was an elementary principal for six years. She also has worked for Katy and Spring Branch ISDs. Maas earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Houston. Richard Manuel, who was assistant principal of Wester Middle School since 2009, is now principal. A 21-year educa-
tor, he joined the district in 1999 as a teacher and coach and was Clark Middle School’s athletic coordinator from 2000 to 2009. Manuel holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University Richard Manuel and a master’s degree from Concordia University in Austin. Jaime McCracken is coordinator of web services. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he has been an educator for 11 years. Now serving as principal of Wakeland High School is Christopher Morgan, who had Jaime McCracken been the school’s associate principal. Before coming to Frisco ISD in 2013, he worked in Oklahoma schools and in Plano and Little Elm ISDs. Morgan received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist Christopher University and his masMorgan ter’s degree from the University of North Texas. The new principal of Maus Middle School is Chakosha Powell. She comes to her new position from Richardson ISD, where she spent the past seven years as assistant principal of Pearce High School. She also has Chakosha Powell worked for schools in South Carolina. Powell, who earned her bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University, has a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. She is at work on her doctorate. Now serving as associate principal of Liberty High School is Ashley Rainwater, formerly the school’s assistant principal. Rainwater, whose bachelor’s degree was awarded from The University of Texas, has been an educator for 17 years. Her master’s degrees are from The University of Texas at Dallas and Lamar University. The new assistant principal of Gunstream Elementary School is Danielle Record, who most recently held an assistant principalship in McKinney ISD. She has also been an educator in Georgia and Arizona. Her bachelor’s degree was award-
ed from Texas Woman’s University and her master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. The new assistant principal of Taylor Elementary School is Jena Salomon, who comes from Gunstream Elementary, where she was an instructional coach. She has been an educator for 13 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree from Lamar University. Kristen Sommers, most recently a teacher at Liberty High School, is now that school’s assistant principal. She has been an educator for seven years, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree from Lamar University. Lorrie Squalls, who was an assistant principal in Coppell ISD, is now Frisco ISD’s coordinator of professional development. An educator for 14 years, she has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. Kathy Tolbert is now coordinator of nursing services.
education administration from Concordia University. Kelley Phillips has taught third grade at Brawner Intermediate School since 2010. She is now the school’s principal. While pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M University, she worked as a student Kelley Phillips teacher, substitute teacher and tutor. She went on to earn her master’s degree in teacher leadership from Lamar University and taught third grade in Conroe ISD. Hallsville ISD The district’s new director of assessment is Carie Barthelemess. Working in Sulphur Springs, Longview and Kilgore ISDs, she has been an English teacher and high school testing coordinator. In Hallsville ISD, she was a teacher and assistant principal. She was educated at Kilgore College, Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Louisiana and The University of Texas at Arlington. She holds a master’s degree in education.
The new director of special education and the Harrison County Exceptional Learners Coop is Staci Green. She has worked in special education inclusion and as a first grade lead teacher. She also served on the Hallsville ISD curriculum vertical alignment team and taught ESL and gifted and talented students. Green received her business administration degree in management and her master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University. Former interim business manager and chief accountant Trish Hall is now the business manager. She attended Stephen F. Austin State University and Texas A&M University. Danieli Parker is principal of North Elementary School. She has served as a second grade teacher, assistant principal and principal in the district. She holds a degree in elementary education from New Mexico State University. The new elementary curriculum director is Christi Parsons. A graduate of Hallsville High School, she has degrees from The University of Texas at Tyler and Stephen F. Austin State University. She See WHO’S NEWS on page 26
Granbury ISD New Granbury High School Principal Amanda Burruel began her career as a teacher in San Antonio’s North East ISD and was most recently an assistant principal at Cleburne High School in Cleburne ISD. She Amanda Burruel holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Oklahoma Panhandle State University and a master’s degree in October 2014 • Texas School Business
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led Hallsville Intermediate School before opening North Elementary in 2012. Now serving as dean of instruction and assessment at Hallsville Junior High School is Tana Scholl. She attended Le Tourneau University’s TEACH program and received her bachelor’s degree from that institution. Her master’s degree in education administration is from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. Harris County Department of Education John Sawyer, county superintendent of schools, has retired after 12 years in that position. Hays CISD Tim Robinson is principal of Buda Elementary School. He has been assistant principal of Dahlstrom Middle School since 2011. An educator for 15 years, he has been with Hays CISD since 2002. Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of New Mexico. A veteran of the U.S. Navy in Operation Desert Storm, he earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. Soor-el Puga, former assistant principal of Buda Elementary School in Buda ISD, is now principal of Science Hall Elementary School. The district’s 2014 Assistant Principal of the Year, he has spent most of his 14 years as Soor-el Puga an educator in Hays CISD. He also was the recipient of a Rauschenberg Educational Foundation Award based on his work at Hemphill Elementary with students with special needs. Puga holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and a master’s degree in education from Texas Tech University. Now serving as principal of Camino Real Elementary School is Yvette Soliz. She comes from Austin ISD, where she was Assistant Principal of the Year for 2012-2013. She has been an educator for more than 20 years, Yvette Soliz beginning as a kindergarten teacher in Hebbronville ISD. Soliz, who has a bachelor’s 26
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degree in early childhood education from Laredo State University, received a master’s degree in education from Texas A&M International University and a second master’s degree, in educational administration, from The University of Texas. Houston ISD The new chief high school officer is Harrison Peters. He brings more than 15 years of experience to his job, having worked as a classroom teacher, principal and administrator. Formerly, Peters managed 37 K-12 campuses as chief of schools for Chicago Public Schools. He began his career as an elementary teacher in Florida’s Orange County Public Schools. Peters earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of West Florida and his master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Nova Southeastern University. Hutto ISD Jorge Franco, who was assistant principal of Farley Middle School, is now the campus principal. He previously worked as a Spanish teacher at Hutto High School. Irving ISD Deeadra Brown is now principal of Cardwell Career Preparatory Center. She was most recently associate principal of MacArthur High School. Prior to that, she was with DeSoto and Amarillo ISDs. Brown, who Deeadra Brown holds an associate’s degree from South Plains Junior College, earned her bachelor’s degree from Cameron University and her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Tamy Smalskas is principal of Singley Academy. Her most recent position was with McKinney ISD, where she was director of college and career readiness. She has been an educator for more than 20 years. A native Tamy Smalskas of Canada, Smalskas earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta and a master’s degree in education from the University of Houston. Her doctorate is from the University of North Texas.
Keller ISD Athletic Director Bob DeJonge is president of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association (THSADA) for 20142015. In addition, DeJonge recently received the National Interscholastic Athletic AdminBob DeJonge istration Association’s Distinguished Service Award. He was the district’s secondary curriculum facilitator and director of secondary curriculum before being named athletic director in 2001. Bear Creek Intermediate School Principal Stacie Meadows is Region 11 president-elect for the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. She spent five years as principal of Paradise Elementary School in Paradise ISD, going on to serve as that district’s executive director of instructional design. She took her position at Bear Creek Intermediate in June. Lindale ISD Now serving as associate director of curriculum and instruction is Lori Anderson, who was principal of Moss Intermediate School for four years. A graduate of Lindale ISD schools, Anderson has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration, both from The University of Texas at Tyler. The new principal of Moss Intermediate School is Susan Finch. She comes to her new job from the school’s east campus, where she was assistant principal. She has been an educator in Oklahoma and Texas for 20 years. Finch received her bachelor’s degree in education from East Texas Baptist University and her master’s degree in administration from The University of Texas at Tyler. Jane Silvey is director of curriculum and instruction. She has spent the past 18 years with ESC Region 7, most recently as assistant director of the center for curriculum services. Silvey earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Candace Widemon is assistant principal of Moss Intermediate School’s east campus. She has been with Lindale ISD since 2006, working as a first, second and third grade teacher at Penny Elementary School and as the district’s response to intervention coordinator for elementary campuses. Widemon received her bachelor’s
Who’s News degree in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Texas at Tyler and her master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. Livingston ISD Brent Hawkins, the district’s new superintendent, was previously the deputy director of administrative services for ESC region 6. Marshall ISD Dede Fisher is principal of the new Washington Early Childhood School. Chad Wilhelm is the new police chief. He most recently held the same position in Kearns ISD. New Braunfels ISD Shana Behling, former Lamar Elementary School principal, is now principal of Oak Run Middle School. She has been with the district for 24 years as a teacher and administrator. Behling earned her bachelor’s Shana Behling degree from Sam Houston State University and her master’s degree in education from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). David MacRoberts is principal of Lamar Elementary School. He was most recently assistant principal of Woodridge Elementary in Alamo Heights ISD. MacRoberts is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University David (now Texas State UniMacRoberts versity), where he is completing his doctorate. His master’s degree in education is from The University of Texas. Northside ISD Pascual Gonzalez, executive director of communications, is the recipient of the 2014 Key Communicator Award from the Texas School Public Relations Association. Gonzalez began his career with Northside ISD in 1976. He has been an English teacher, assistant director of public information, and executive director of media and technology services. He took on his current position in 1998. The following administrative appointments were made:
• Sandra Bonnett, director of elementary administration; • Jeffrey Davenport, principal, Fisher Elementary School; • Griselda Espinoza, vice principal, Leon Springs Elementary School; • Michelle Fine, vice principal, Westwood Terrace Elementary School; • Daisy Garcia, vice principal, Kuentz Elementary School; • Richard Halle, assistant principal, Stevens High School; • Thomas Johnson, assistant principal, Zachry Middle School; • Thomas Knapp, principal, Westwood Terrace Elementary School; • Kelly Mantle, principal, Forester Elementary School; • Regina Prewitt-Campbell, assistant principal, Brennan High School; • Vaughan Rehfeld, vice principal, Braun Station Elementary School; • Patti Sanchez, director of elementary instruction; • Mark Sandoval, vice principal, Scarborough Elementary School; • Veronica Segovia-Cadena, vice principal, Myers Elementary School; • Priscilla Siano, vice principal, Behlau Elementary School; • Patrick Sizemore, vice principal, Jordan Middle School; • Andi Sosa, principal, Carnahan Elementary School; and • Tanya Stivers, assistant principal, Stevens High School. • Northwest ISD Adam Feind is the new chief technology officer. He was most recently executive director of technology in Midway ISD. Feind received his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Baylor University. He is Adam Feind one of only 15 individuals in Texas to hold the designation certified education technology leader. Pampa ISD Jon Kraemer is director of bands at Pampa High School. He hails from Roosevelt ISD, where he was co-director of bands with his wife, Michelle Kraemer. A graduate of East Texas Baptist University, he earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech University. Michelle Kraemer is the new director of bands at Pampa Junior High School. She was formerly co-director of
bands of Roosevelt ISD with her husband, Jon Kraemer. She is a graduate of Howard Payne University and is at work on her master’s degree from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Ill. Pearland ISD The PACE Center welcomed John Palombo as principal. An administrator for six years, he previously was an assistant principal at Clear Lake High School and Brookside Intermediate School, both in Clear Creek ISD. John Palombo Palombo received his master’s degree from Concordia University. The following appointments have been made: Mike LaTouche, assistant transportation director; Leslie Skweres, accounting director; and Marian Turettner, PEIMS director. Pettus ISD New Superintendent Theresa Keel was most recently superintendent of the Cordova City School District in Cordova, Alaska, where she served since 2012. Her first administrative assignment was in Denton ISD, where she was assistant principal of Denton High School from 2002 to 2005. She also has worked in Anderson-Shiro CISD and Sealy, Bandera and Ingram ISDs. Keel, who has a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern New Mexico University, holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas Woman’s University. Plano ISD Daniel Armstrong is assistant superintendent for technology services. He has been with Plano ISD since 1990, most recently serving as director of technical support services. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Dallas. Now serving as assistant superintendent for district services is Kary Cooper, who has been with Plano ISD since 1988. Cooper earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University and her doctorate in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Renee Godi has been hired as executive director for campus services. A graduate of Texas A&M University with See WHO’S NEWS on page 28 October 2014 • Texas School Business
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a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas, she has served in Plano ISD since 1999. She was most recently principal of Academy High. The district’s new assistant superintendent for campus services is Susan Modisette, who began her career as a teacher in Michigan’s Allegan County Intermediate School District in 1980. She most recently was Plano ISD’s executive director of secondary campus services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Central Michigan University. The new executive director of elementary campus services is Lorraine Shimizu. She began her career as a teacher in Dallas ISD. She received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and two master’s degrees, in elementary education and in educational leadership, from the University of North Texas. Lisa Thibodeaux is executive director of secondary academic services. She began her career as a junior high teacher in Hillsborough County (Florida) Schools, coming to Plano in 1997. A graduate of the University of South Florida, she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. Jim Wussow is assistant superintendent for academic services. He also has worked for Optical Data Corp. and Richardson and Garland ISDs. He most recently was Plano ISD’s executive director of secondary academic services. Wussow is a graduate of The University of Texas. He has a master’s degree from Louisiana State University, where he also received his doctorate. Four principal appointments have been made. They are: • Matthew Endsley, Jasper High School; • Gloria Martinez, Williams High School; • Lynn Ojeda, Academy High School; and • Kristopher Vernon, Bowman Middle School. New assistant principals are: • Brooks Baca, Haggard Middle School; • William Daniel, Clark High School; • Albert Gallo, Plano East Senior High School; • Catherine Gaschen, Academy High School; • Ellie Murphy, Shepton High School; and • Nataushe Sibbaluca, Shepton High School. 28
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Richardson ISD The new assistant superintendent of secondary instruction and operations is Tabitha Branum, who comes from Coppell ISD, where she was executive director of leading and learning. She holds a bachelor’s degree Tabitha Branum in history and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from the University of North Texas. Kristin Byno is executive director of junior high instruction. She previously was principal of Ennis Junior High in Ennis ISD. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and microbiology and received her master’s degree in eduKristin Byno cational administration from the University of North Texas. Her doctorate in educational leadership is from Lamar University. Peggy Dillon is executive director of high school instruction, operations and leadership. Previously, she was principal of Lake Highlands High School since 2009. She has spent her 17-year career in Richardson ISD and holds a Peggy Dillon bachelor’s degree in literary studies and a master’s degree in educational administration. Former Richardson High School Assistant Principal Josh Eason is now principal of Richardson North Junior High. A product of Richardson ISD schools, Eason was with the district for 18 years as a coach and science teachJosh Eason er before becoming assistant principal of West Junior High and then Richardson High. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Helena Lopez is now leading MST Magnet School as principal, having served as the Helena Lopez school’s assistant princi-
pal since 2012. She has been with Richardson ISD since she began her career 11 years ago. Lopez earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Texas at Dallas and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Roma ISD Carlos Guzman, who had been serving as interim superintendent, is now superintendent. The Roma High School graduate earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of TexasPan American. Guzman Carlos Guzman began working in Roma ISD in 1986. Prior to the interim post, he was director of student improvement. Round Rock ISD Valerie Tidwell, assistant principal of Bluebonnet Elementary School for the past three years, is now principal of Brushy Creek Elementary. A teacher for 16 years, she also has been academic dean of Wells Branch ElemenValerie Tidwell tary. Fine Arts Director Jim Van Zandt has been recognized by the Texas Bandmasters Association with its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. A past president of the Texas Music Educators Association, he also serves as one of six expert content reviewers for the revision of the fine arts TEKS. He has been a public school band director for almost four decades, including 20 years with Birdville ISD and six as band director of Round Rock ISD’s Westwood High School. San Angelo ISD Several administrative appointments have been made. They are: • Bertha Carrasco, Bradford Elementary School, assistant principal; • Karen Clark, Glenn Middle School, principal; • Christy Diego, Reagan Elementary School, principal; • Rebecca Flores, Central High School, assistant principal; • Lauri Herndon, Glenn Middle School, assistant principal; • Clayton Hubbard, Lee Middle School, assistant principal; • Sharon Lane, Goliad Elementary
Who’s News School, assistant principal; • Ginger Luther, Lincoln Middle School principal; • Tonya McDonald, Fannin Elementary School, principal; • Dennis Padilla, Lincoln Middle School, assistant principal; • Libby Probandt, director of counseling and assessment; • Richard Rigdon, director of purchasing; • Johnny Rumph, Lincoln Middle School, assistant principal; • Raelye Self, Goliad Elementary School, principal; • Brandy Tyner, Reagan Elementary School, assistant principal; • Sharon Wermuth, data services coordinator; and • Jennifer Yarbrough, Central High School, assistant principal. Shepherd ISD Steve Pierce is the new superintendent. He has 13 years of experience as a teacher and coach and seven years as a principal. In a previous stint with Shepherd ISD, he served as business manager. In addition, Pierce worked as a school improvement coordinator with ESC Region 6. Stephenville ISD Matthew Underwood is the new superintendent. He had served as superintendent of Lago Vista ISD since 2009. Underwood received his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State UniMatthew versity) and his master’s Underwood degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University. He is at work on his doctorate from The University of Texas. Tyler ISD Leigh Ann Barber is director of guidance and counseling. She comes from Whitehouse ISD, where she was an elementary counselor since 2009. Prior to that, she was an elementary counselor and an intermediate and Leigh Ann Barber middle school teacher in Jacksonville ISD. Tamara Colston has been promoted from assistant principal to principal of the Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy. She
had served in her previous position since 2011 after beginning her career as a fourth grade teacher in Hurst-EulessBedford ISD. The new superintendent is Marty CrawTamara Colston ford, who comes from West ISD, where he was superintendent for the past six years. He has worked in Hurst-EulessBedford, Dallas and Highland Park ISDs, as well as in the Oklahoma City Public Schools. Marty Crawford Crawford’s bachelor’s degree in education was awarded from Baylor University, his master’s degree in education from the University of Oklahoma and his doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Eddie Dunn, former interim principal of Hogg Middle School, is now principal. An educator for 39 years, he has been a teacher, head football coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal and superintendent in Ennis, Eddie Dunn Troup, Seminole, Cameron, Bonham, Waco, Clifton, Comal and Killeen ISDs. Del Senna Frazier is director of the Early College High School. She comes to her new job from La Marque ISD, where she was director of college and career readiness since 2011. She has been an educator for 31 years, Del Senna Frazier also working for Houston, Cedar Hill and La Marque ISDs. The new principal of Bonner Elementary School is Debra Lonsberry, who has been with Tyler ISD since 2000, working as a bilingual teacher, literacy Debra Lonsberry facilitator and assistant principal. United ISD Dolores Barrera, former principal of Alexander High School, is now executive director of high school education.
David Canales, former executive director for high school education, is now executive director of middle school education. Christina Casanova, formerly a testing coordinator, now serves as director of student assessment programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M International University. The new director of elementary education is Elouisa Diaz. Most recently principal of Fasken Elementary School, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M International University. Judith Garcia is now director of instructional technology. She had been a technology coordinator with the district. A graduate of Laredo State University, she earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M International University. David Gonzalez is associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Willis ISD Kim Sprayberry is principal of Cannan Middle School. She has been with the district for nine years and holds a master’s degree in education administration. Ivan Velasco is the new principal of Lucas Middle School. A graduKim Sprayberry ate of the University of Houston with a degree in Spanish, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Sam Houston State University. Velasco spent eight years as an elementary school principal and three as an asIvan Velasco sistant principal in Conroe ISD. Wortham ISD David Allen is the new superintendent. He comes from Big Sandy ISD, where he was elementary assistant principal and director of instructional technology. An educator for 25 years, he has been a classroom teacher, David Allen principal and superintendent. TSB October 2014 • Texas School Business
THE BACK PAGE by Riney Jordan
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What our schools need now
any of you will remember a song by Jackie DeShannon entitled, “What the World Needs Now Is
Love.” Well, perhaps more than ever, we need that love for our students to be evident in the public schools. When you consider that the home is practically nonexistent for many of our students, the role of nurturing, caring and loving is so often left up to the schools. Oh, I know our jobs are filled to the brim and running over. But this caring we are talking about is not something that can be ignored. In my opinion, it’s the main ingredient for everything that follows. I’ll never forget addressing a group of educators and telling stories about how important it is for teachers to deeply and passionately care about the students they serve. For as I have quoted so many times, “Kids don’t really care how much we know until they know how much we care.” As one source said: “Everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to John Maxell has been attributed with coining the phrase.” Regardless, I feel it should be at or near the top of an educator’s belief system. A few days after that session, I received an email from a teacher who said that it was not her job to like her students. She went into great detail about the huge number of students she had, about how much time it took, and that obviously I didn’t understand this or I wouldn’t make such a foolish statement. She concluded her tirade with, “I don’t have time to like them, much less, love them!” Oh, my heart broke for her and her students. What a sad and miserable existence to work in the teaching profession and not even like kids! I immediately began praying that she would realize that this was not her gift, and that she would get out and find a career that was exciting and rewarding for her. It was obvious that this wasn’t it! I’m reminded of a story I read several years ago about a diamond merchant. One day a gentleman came into his store and told the clerk that he wanted to buy a large diamond, but he wanted it to be as perfect as
Texas School Business • October 2014
it could be. The owner listened from a short distance away as the clerk brought out a large stone and began explaining the intricacies of it. He explained the points, the clarity and the depth. Oh, this clerk knew his diamonds. As he finished his technical assessment of this particular stone, the customer thought for a moment, then calmly said that he was going to look elsewhere. Immediately, the diamond merchant stepped in and asked the clerk to give him the diamond. He then began pointing out the beauty of the stone. He discussed its incredible brilliance. He told of the joy that it brought him every time he looked at this magnificent gem. When he finished, the customer took the stone and turned it gently in the light. The brilliance was spectacular. “I believe that I will purchase this diamond after all,” he said. When the sale was completed and the gentleman had left the store, another customer walked up to the owner. “I just witnessed what happened,” he said. “I’m curious. Why did the customer purchase the diamond from you and not from the clerk?” “I’ll tell you why,” the merchant responded. “He is an excellent clerk and he knows diamonds. But the young man is missing one key ingredient I wish I could give him. You see, he may know diamonds, but he doesn’t love them. And I do.” Similarly, there are lots of specialists, doctors, researchers and well-educated individuals who know about kids, but they don’t necessarily love them. And that’s a key ingredient for successful teaching and learning. So today, take time to look deep into the hearts of the kids you serve. These “diamonds in the rough” may need to know that you are someone who truly, genuinely cares about them. RINEY JORDAN, whose best-selling book “All the Difference” is now in its sixth printing, is an international speaker and humorist. He can be reached at email@example.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.
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The sense of brotherhood and culture of ambassadorship in our “district has never been stronger. Ambassador training has helped unite our team around our schools and our profession.”
-- Scott Niven, Superintendent, Red Oak ISD
hen my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.”
-- Thomas P a i n e
Thomas Paine’s political declaration in Common Sense helped direct the energies of the rebels and point the way to American independence from England. The Ambassador Training Academy staff development program is inspired by Thomas Paine’s work. There are many parallels between educators today, condemned by blinded reformists, and early Americans, condemned by a blinded Crown. Just as Paine “enunciates... the specific right of the people to challenge unjust laws and an unjust government”, we are mobilizing an army of educators to challenge unjust criticism and false accusations of widespread failure.
Class of 2011 Red Oak ISD Ambassadors Academy
Friends of Texas Public Schools is educating Texans about Texas public schools and their many strengths and achievements through Ambassador Training and other initiatives in order to: 4 4 4 4 4 4
Underscore the significance of them; Unite Texans around them; Restore pride in them; Strengthen confidence in them; Lift spirits among them; and Inject resources into them…
…all of which will lead to even greater performance.
Stir your team into champions for your students, district, and profession by enrolling your school district in our Ambassador Training Academy.
It’s time for every educator to stir Visit www.fotps.org to learn more, or email us at email@example.com.
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