Carla Amacher, area superintendent for Round Rock ISD, was named one of two recipients of the Texas Association of School Administrators' Johnny L. Veselka Scholarship, according to a Dec. 11 Round Rock ISD news release. The Johnny L. Veselka Scholarship recognizes "outstanding doctoral students pursuing careers in educational leadership, with particular emphasis on the superintendency," per the release. view article arw

El Paso ISD officials this week announced the appointment of Cynthia Luna as the permanent principal at Jefferson High School and Maxine Silva Health Magnet High School. Luna, who until recently served as assistant principal at Transmountain Early College High School, began her tenure at Jefferson/Silva this week. view article arw

A Kingwood High School alum and teacher was awarded for excellence in his teaching career by the Texas Council for the Social Studies. Bryan Henry, currently a Lone Star College-University Park assistant professor of political science and a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives for District 130, was a teacher for nine years in Humble ISD. The Texas Council for Social Studies awarded Henry the Teacher of the Year Award at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin on Nov. 22 as he was leaving his high school career to go on into higher education. view article arw

Manor Independent School District families will get to tell district leaders what qualities they’re looking for in a new police chief on Thursday. This comes after a unanimous vote from the school board to create the district’s very first police department. view article arw

The Fort Worth ISD school board voted Tuesday night to appeal the Texas Education Agency's ruling that would allow Georgia Clark to return to the district. Last month, the Texas Education Commissioner ruled that Georgia Clark could keep her job. The FWISD school board voted in June to fire Clark, an English teacher at Carter-Riverside High School, for tweeting to President Donald Trump that her school was full of students who were in the country illegally. view article arw

Dallas ISD Librarian Recognized As One Of The Top 10 In The Country Tracie Walker-Reed, library media specialist at H. Grady Spruce High School in Dallas, is a winner of this year's I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized for her leadership in her school and commitment to transforming lives, she is one of only 10 librarians in the country to receive this national honor. Walker-Reed's nominators highlighted her 1:1 tutoring and mentoring of at-risk and low-income students and her invaluable support of H. Grady Spruce High School's learning process through instruction, technology support and access to print and digital library books. view article arw

Amarillo ISD will partner with Amarillo College and Texas Tech University on a 2 + 1 teacher certification program that will put additional teachers in AISD classrooms as soon as the 2021-2022 school year. The 2 + 1 Teacher Certification Program fast tracks students from college to classroom in three years. After earning an associate degree from Amarillo College, students could then enroll in a one calendar year intensive teacher certification program from Texas Tech. Students who complete the program and pass the content exam would graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and full teacher certification. view article arw

On Monday, Sulphur Springs Independent School Board of Trustees gave approval for nine personnel decisions and appointed a school representative to the appraisal board. Mike Horne, who has been representing the school district on Hopkins County Appraisal District Board of Directors, was contacted and agreed to serve another term, school officials told trustees. SSISD trustees at their regular December meeting, held at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 9, unanimously approved the motion by John Prickette and seconded by Craig Johnson for Horne to serve from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2021. view article arw

West Brazos Junior High’s principal was placed on administrative leave and agreed to resign following complaints by multiple employees that he had made unprofessional comments toward them, according to documents provided by Columbia-Brazoria ISD. Alfred Black is on paid administrative leave until March 14, according to his resignation letter, but has not been on campus as principal since Nov. 4, the same day employees’ complaints were brought to administration, Superintendent Steven Galloway said. view article arw

Killeen Police has received information about a former teacher’s aide from Gateway High School allegedly engaged in an improper relationship with a student. Through this investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division’s Special Victims Unit discovered 37-year-old Louisa Theresa Hernandez had an improper relationship with a student during the 2018-2019 school year. This case was reviewed by the Bell County District Attorney’s Office, and a complaint was returned Monday charging Hernandez with an Improper Relationship between Educator and Student. view article arw

We’ve all had to take days off when feeling under the weather; however, what happens when teachers have exhausted their days and have a severe illness that needs to be taken care of? A local school district is working to change its policy so every staff and faculty member can receive the time they need to recover. view article arw

The Killeen Police Department is reporting that a former Killeen ISD teacher’s aide has been arrested over accusations that she had an improper relationship with a student. According to detectives, Louisa Theresa Hernandez, 37, faces an improper relationship between educator and student charge, after a complaint of a relationship during the 2018-19 school year. view article arw

Fort Worth school officials are appealing a ruling that reinstated an English teacher who was fired after she asked President Donald Trump on Twitter to crack down on immigration at Carter-Riverside High School.  At a Fort Worth Independent School District meeting Tuesday night, the school board voted unanimously to appeal the Texas Education Agency decision to district court.  In May, former teacher Georgia Clark’s tweets ignited a national backlash.  In June, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner recommended Clark be terminated for using racially insensitive language and abusing social media. The school board unanimously agreed and she was placed on leave. On Sept. 26, Clark’s contract was officially terminated.  However, Clark appealed her termination. view article arw

The arrest affidavit of James Lee Harper details the allegation against the former Harker Heights High School teacher. According to a Bell County Sheriff’s Deputy, a 17-year-old girl claimed Harper touched her inappropriately while they were at Belton Lake on August 2nd, 2019. She says he did it again when they were at a Copperas Cove home later that night. view article arw

At November's Taylor ISD school board meeting, former employee John Wuensche addressed the board in regard to a Level III grievance of harassment and wrongful termination that was filed. The grievance was filed in August. The district has released a statement that supports the decision to part ways with Wuensche.  view article arw

Nearly half – 49% – of public schools in the United States have at least one School Resource Officer on campus. The primary basic training course, taken in the first year on the job and provided by the National Association of School Resource Officers, is 40 hours and focuses on their role as law enforcement officers in a school, de-escalation tactics and some information on mentoring students. view article arw

New Braunfels ISD began making security upgrades across all campuses this year, and the new position of director of safety and security will work with administration officials to make safety procedures stronger, Superintendent Randy Moczygemba said.  The new director, Jay Huffty, graduated from the East Texas Police Academy in 1993 and served as a police officer for 10 years. In 2003, Huffty earned his master's degree in education with a focus in special education. He obtained his superintendent certification in 2015. view article arw

The Abilene Independent School District welcomed its latest class of retirees Thursday morning to the Abilene Convention Center for its annual luncheon. There, current administrators served lunch for those who came before them. Superintendent David Young carried plates out to those who stepped away from the profession both a few months ago and a few decades. view article arw

An East Texas teacher has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for sexually assaulting a six-year-old boy. According to District Attorney Courtney Shelton, 32-year-old Kennie Lewis Cook Jr. was sentenced Friday, a day after a Cass County jury found him guilty on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. view article arw

The Commerce Independent School District responded to concerns from parents over a past arrest of the new Assistant Principal at Commerce Middle School. Brad Swain was hired in August to be a teacher in the district's Discipline Alternative Education Program, but was moved to be the CMS Assistant Principal before Thanksgiving break. His first day in this new position was Monday. He previously had served as the Principal at Grand Saline Middle School for 16 years. view article arw

A freedom of information request from a third party seeking the names of Katy Independent School District employees accidentally provided birthdates and social security numbers according to a school district spokesperson. When the document was distributed there were hidden fields that contained the confidential information. Those fields were not discovered until after the document was distributed by the Katy school district to an outside organization.  view article arw

Charlotte Davis did not plan to become involved in helping students who receive special education services, but once she got to know students and staff in special education as a new teacher, she knew it was something she wanted to do. Unlike many of her peers, the Waco Independent School District’s new executive director of special education did not get into special education because she had a family member or friend with a disability. Instead, she felt a deep compassion for those working in that department and the students who receive those services. view article arw

New dean wades in on teacher shortage

December 0908:25 AM
 

The new dean of the University of Texas Permian Basin’s College of Education, Larry Daniel, has some ambitious goals carved out — mainly to recruit more students to go into teaching. “We definitely are going to have to supply more teachers to the Permian Basin region. We’ve been graduating, with all of our educator programs, about 150 teachers annually. That’s not nearly enough,” Daniel said. view article arw

Former Austin ISD officer Adam Marsh took a plea deal Friday afternoon for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run that was caught on camera back in February 2018.  He took a no contest plea, meaning he neither disputes or admits to the charge. Court records show the original charge in the case was "accident involving serious bodily injury." view article arw

Brownwood ISD’s December 2019 Spotlight teacher is Ms. Deidra Neel. Ms. Neel is a Pre-K teacher at Woodland Heights Elementary. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University in 2001, and is certified in Early Childhood Education. This is Ms. Neel’s sixth year with Brownwood ISD. Ms. Neel is known to be calm, patient, and professional. She looks for the best in kids and works with parents as partners in their child’s learning. She has a heart full of love for her students and she does a fantastic job providing them with a strong academic foundation while also nurturing the social/emotional development of each child. Ms. Neel is loved and respected by her colleagues. view article arw

Katy ISD said the birth dates and Social Security numbers of its employees were "inadvertently" released. However, the school district added it had no evidence that the data of its staff employed at the end of 2017-2018 school year were accessed. The school district disclosed on Thursday the accidental release of its employees' personal info. view article arw

In hopes of having an easier time filling substitute teacher requests, the Spring ISD board of trustees approved a temporary pay increase for substitute teachers who take assignments at six middle school campuses during its Oct. 8 meeting. While certified substitute teachers and noncertified substitute teachers at all other SISD campuses receive $105 per day and $90 per day, respectively, those who take substitute teaching assignments at any of the Lift 6 middle school campuses will receive $115 per day and $100 per day, respectively.   view article arw

Mansfield’s top school official is appealing a recent federal ruling that a teacher’s lawsuit against the district for putting her on paid leave and transferring her to another school because of her sexual orientation may move forward. Retiring Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas on Wednesday filed a notice of appeal in the ruling regarding a lawsuit by Mansfield art teacher Stacy Bailey. Documents detailing the appeal are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. view article arw

The Center ISD Board of Trustees has scheduled a special noon Friday board meeting to consider personnel action, including the resignation of Supt. Dr. James Hockenberry. On Monday, Dec. 2, he was approved by the Longview ISD school board to fill the role of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Community Relations, according to a statement released by the Longview district. Center ISD Board President Matthew Mettauer on Thursday morning said Hockenberry visited with him on Monday regarding the job and resignation. view article arw

Mann Middle School parents are upset with Abilene ISD for not notifying them about the suspension of a teacher. Jim Counts, an 8th grade math teacher, was put on administrative leave Tuesday after he was identified as one of 20 men Abilene police said paid money to have sex with a human trafficking victim. view article arw

An Abilene ISD teacher and 19 other men are suspects in a human trafficking investigation. Police Chief Stan Standridge said they believe Jim Counts, an 8th grade math teacher at Mann Middle School, and 19 other men paid to have sex with a Chinese woman in her 30's at an Abilene hotel. view article arw

Plano ISD launched its search today for a new district athletic director following last month’s retirement announcement of longtime director Gerald Brence. After 12 years as athletic director and 39 years in the district, Brence’s retirement is effective Dec. 31. view article arw

Dallas ISD is investigating after a video showing a school bus driver refusing to stop for a student standing in the middle of the street. The video taken near Spring Valley and Preston Roads was posted to Facebook. The student is seen standing in front of the bus saying, “Open the door,” as the bus continues to move forward. view article arw

Alexander Elementary’s Amy Davies credits teachers she had for becoming a teacher herself. The reading intervention teacher works with students in grades kindergarten through fifth and is one of 67 Katy Independent School District 2018-19 Campus Teachers of the Year honored Dec. 3 at Katy Heritage Park. Each of the honorees has his/her name inscribed on a commemorative brick. The teachers and district officials were joined at the ceremony by representatives of Venus Construction, Modern Pest Control and the Katy Heritage Society, ceremony co-sponsors. view article arw

One of Austin's own is getting national recognition. Lonnell Shackles has been nominated by his peers as "America's Favorite Crossing Guard" for his hard work. He's a crossing guard at Harris Elementary School in northeast Austin and is one of more than 200 crossing guards employed by Austin Public Works' Safe Routes to School Program. view article arw