An East Texas man was arrested Thursday after an allegation of an improper relationship with a Mineola high school student. Todd Karch, of Lindale, was arrested and charged with soliciting a minor online,  just after 7 a.m. this morning at the Wood County Sheriff's Office on a warrant out of the Mineola Police Department.  view article arw

This month, our Outstanding Educator award honored Temple ISD's Kathy Cook. Mrs. Cook is the principal at Western Hills Elementary School. When she retired after eight years as principal at Belton High School, Mrs. Cook felt a void without her students. "I wasn't complete without kids," Mrs. Cook said. "I did a year without kids, and it wasn't for me." So, when an interim principal position opened at Western Hills Elementary School, she took it. She expected the gig to last a semester. But, after falling in love with the job, she applied and became the permanent principal. view article arw

This grant program was offered exclusively to active TMA members who teach elementary music, to be used in elementary music programs. Music teachers could apply for grants to purchase music, music equipment, instruments, and other music education materials for use during this school year. view article arw

A former Highland Park ISD coach who was arrested last week in Potter County is also facing the same charges in Randall County. Brian Pantoja, 25, is facing one count of improper relationship between an educator and a student in Randall County. view article arw

Amarillo Independent School District is launching a program that will guarantee certain students job offers to teach at district schools after graduation from West Texas A&M University. Called Cultivating our Rising Educators, or CORE, the program is designed to identify future teachers and encourage them to return to teach at Amarillo ISD, which struggles to find minority teachers or attract teachers from outside of Amarillo. view article arw

The former budget director and executive director of finance and accounting services for North East Independent School District has taken a new job with Sibert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC that will focus on school bond financing. James C. Terry, who also was the CFO for the Dallas Independent School District, will specialize in K-12 financing for school construction, expansion and renovations.  view article arw

A Northside ISD teaching assistant resigned when she was accused of flicking the ears of special education students. The Express-News reports district police opened an investigation on the 25-year veteran after a teacher reported her. view article arw

They are the only husband-wife high school coaching tandem known in the state of Texas, and both being head coaches seems to only create synergy — not competition. Chris and Monica Allen are the boys and girls head wrestling coaches, respectively, at Azle, and the duo has worked out well for the program since their move from Amarillo ISD’s Caprock in 2007. Technically, Monica has been the official head girls coach since 2014, but she had been a volunteer for the wrestling program until that point. She was an assistant coach in volleyball and basketball prior to the ability of the school district to allocate funds for a separate head wrestling coach. view article arw

Tascosa High School Associate Principal Drew Daniel has been named Texas Assistant Principal of the Year by The Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP.) “Drew Daniel represents the best in leadership and certainly TASSP’s student-first motto,” said AISD Chief Leadership and Support Officer David Bishop, who was principal of Tascosa High School during the 2016-2017 school year when Daniel was nominated. view article arw

A teacher in Texas was arrested Tuesday following an alleged sexual relationship with a minor she reportedly met while volunteering at a church. According to KXAN, Nicole Marie-Faires Andrews, a former middle school teacher, was accused by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office of engaging in an illicit sexual relationship with a minor she met at the Church at Canyon Creek. view article arw

Longview ISD Board of Trustees awarded $1 million in incentive pay for high achieving teachers during Monday night’s regular meeting. The board unanimously approved Longview Incentive for Teachers (LIFT) pay for performance during the 2016-17 school year, a marked increase from the $820,000 it paid out last year—more than double the $350,000 paid out to staffers in 2014-15, the first year of the program. “Our students perform better, our teachers make more money,” said board president Dr. Mark Camp. “It’s as simple as that.” Dr. Jody Clements, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources/Community Relations, said the funds are scheduled to go out in December’s pay period. view article arw

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin wants more money for her state's teachers — in part to keep districts like Dallas ISD from poaching them for their own workforce. Last week, Fallin popped by a three-day DISD recruitment fair at a hotel in Oklahoma City and used it as a backdrop for her most recent call to arms. She posted a video on Facebook standing in front of DISD's promotional banner.  "The Dallas school system's saying that they pay their teachers over $50,000 a year," Fallin said in the video. "We pay, on the average, about $32,000 plus benefits. We have to invest in education. We have to invest in our state. We have to make sure that we have a teacher in every classroom. We cannot have school districts that have four-day school weeks ... for our families. That's just unacceptable. view article arw

The Alice school board extended athletic director and head football coach Kyle Atwood’s contract by three years at a meeting Monday night. At the time he was hired here in April, Atwood was signed to a two-year contract for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The school board’s decision added three seasons beyond the 2018 season. Board members said Atwood’s salary will remain the same until at least 2019. view article arw

The Highland Park Independent School District has issued a statement regarding a teacher who may have been involved in an improper relationship with a district student. On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Amarillo Police Department detectives received information on a possible improper relationship between an educator and a student. On Thursday, Dec. 7, 25-year-old Brian Pantoja was arrested and booked into the Potter County Detention Center. view article arw

Dozens of Texas teachers were investigated and arrested this year for allegedly being involved in inappropriate relationships with students. At least 6 teachers in the San Antonio-area were accused or found guilty of misconduct with a student in 2017. During the 2017 fiscal year, the Texas Education Agency opened 302 investigations into improper relationships. view article arw

A longtime Northside ISD employee is out of work, facing accusations of abuse. The special education assistant at Boone Elementary resigned after a teacher reported they witnessed the woman hurting a child. Oscar Mohedano and his wife have two children with autism who attend Boone Elementary in the Northside ISD. Mohedano says that he'll never forget the phone call he got a few days ago from the school's principal. view article arw

Highland Park Independent School District’s superintendent said a teacher arrested for an inappropriate relationship with a student has resigned. The teacher resigned Thursday effective immediately, one day after the district was contacted by local law enforcement about an alleged inappropriate relationship with a female student at Highland Park ISD, Superintendent Jimmy Hannon said in a statement. view article arw

Magnolia ISD and the Board of Trustees honored long-time community member Mr. Glenn Addison with the Magnolia ISD Visionary Award during the December 11 school board meeting. The award was founded in 2013 to recognize and honor individuals for their work in the community as active citizens with a passion for supporting education and supporting the district’s goal to becoming the best district in Texas. Glenn Addison is the second recipient of this award following Tony Gullo. view article arw

Lewisville ISD (LISD) announced Monday the appointment of Amanda Drinkwater as the district’s new Director of Fine Arts. Drinkwater will oversee art, band, choir, drill team, music, orchestra and theater at all LISD schools. “It has been a privilege to serve as a Texas music educator for the past 23 years, the last 17 of which have been in Lewisville ISD,” Drinkwater said. “I am honored and truly humbled to have an opportunity to serve our district on a broader scale in support of the many exceptional fine arts programs, students and teachers within our outstanding collection of public schools.” view article arw

A former Leander ISD teacher at Cedar Park Middle School was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly having an improper relationship with a minor. Nicole Marie Faires Andrews was arrested without incident and booked into the Williamson County Jail. The sheriff’s office opened an investigation into reports of sexual assault and improper relationship between a student and an educator in late October.  view article arw

Newly released text messages are raising questions about why the Texas Education Agency fired its special education director after less than four months on the job. Laurie Kash was fired in late November, one week after a lawsuit accused her of trying to cover up the sexual abuse of a 6-year-old girl while working at a small school district in Oregon. The TEA said that Kash told them nothing about those allegations and that, if she had, they never would have hired her. But text messages released by Kash suggest that she did tell the agency at least something about the situation before she was hired. view article arw

Texas Education Agency staff members were aware of misconduct allegations when they hired Laurie Kash, an Oregon educator, to lead the state's special education department, text messages provided to the Houston Chronicle show. TEA says it fired Kash after allegations surfaced in an Oregon civil lawsuit that she covered up the sexual abuse of a 6-year-old special education student. view article arw

Sue Schnars retired from the Pflugerville school district as a special education administrator in December with the understanding that she and her 41-year-old daughter with disabilities could live on her state retirement and health benefits. Six months later, Texas lawmakers cut health benefits in a way that will hit retirees such as the 59-year-old Schnars the hardest. Come January, her deductible will be $3,000 — 10 times higher than it is now — and her insurance won’t cover nonpreventive visits to the doctor until she hits that ceiling. “We serve your children, and we do it with love, and we show up every freaking day,” Schnars said. “With all this happening in the Legislature, it’s like, how can you break your promise?” The state established the retired teacher health care plan in 1986 with enough funding to last through 2000. Since then, the system, which covers 270,000 retirees, has been at risk of going unfunded, requiring legislators almost every biennium to tinker with the system to keep it funded for the short term. view article arw

One of Waco Independent School District’s top administrators will be leaving at the end of this month, Waco ISD spokesperson Kyle DeBeer said Monday. Dana Pate, the district’s special education director, will officially retire at the end of the calendar year, but her last day will be Dec. 19, as the district heads into its two-week winter break between semesters, he said. She has been with the district for about five years, she said. Pate’s departure has nothing to do with the recent scrutiny her department has faced across the local, state and federal levels, she said. Pate has actually been considering retirement for the past four years, but a recent meeting at Region 12’s Education Service Center about the state’s teacher retirement system and a desire to spend more time with family made the decision final, she said. view article arw

Funerals arrangements are pending for two Denison children killed in a crash in Plano on Friday. Their classmates and teachers returned to school for the first time since the fatal wreck. "They were beautiful, intelligent and they were loved by a lot of people and they will be missed," said the victims' grandmother Lori Hardin. Family members are mourning the sudden loss of Nikyria Moore, 6, and Jonathon Johnson, 11. view article arw

A Smithson Valley High School teacher and coach is under investigation, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student. The Comal Independent School District released a statement saying - Comal ISD is currently investigating Smithson Valley High School teacher Russell Hamilton for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Hamilton was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 28 as part of the investigatory process. Law enforcement officials with the Comal County Sheriff's Office are also conducting their own investigation. view article arw

The Alto Yellowjackets are in need of a new head coach and athletic director. Alto ISD Superintendent Kerry Birdwell confirmed the district is looking for someone to fill the positions held by Paul Gould. view article arw

KCBD Sports has confirmed that Steve Smith has stepped down from being the head football coach/athletic director at Sundown ISD. view article arw

Principals at public schools average nearly 20 years of experience in Texas and have been on the job in their current districts for about 12 years.  Urban schools, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, tended to have the most experienced leaders, while charter schools had the most inexperienced.  That’s according to a new annual report from the Texas Education Agency, which for the first time is requiring administrators to report that data to state officials to give parents — and the public — better insight into who’s running their public schools. view article arw

The Denver City Independent School District has placed their high school girls basketball coach, Kody Brown, on leave pending an investigation. Brown, who was placed on leave on Wednesday, is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student. view article arw

The Association for Career and Technical Education announced Donna McKethan, director of career and technical education of Waco Independent School District, as the 2018 National ACTE Administrator of the Year. The award recognizes administrative CTE professionals at the school, district, county, state or federal level who have demonstrated leadership in ensuring teacher and student success and have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective career and technical education programs. view article arw

A teacher at Highland Park Independent School District was arrested Thursday on the district’s Potter County campus on a charge of having an inappropriate student relationship, according to jail records. Pantoja, 25, was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the Highland Park Independent School District campus at 15300 E. Amarillo Blvd. on a charge of an improper relationship between an educator and a student and booked into Potter County jail at 4:38 p.m., according to Potter County jail records. view article arw

Junior high or middle school can be a challenging time - for students and the people who teach them. But a man in the Schertz - Cibolo - University City School District choose to be a Jr. High teacher to make a difference. Science teacher Matt Wagner is facing a bigger challenge than any of his students and he’s using his experience to teach a life lesson. view article arw

EDINBURG - A former priest accused of killing a Rio Grande Valley beauty queen in 1960 was found guilty of murder with malice aforethought Thursday after a jury deliberated for about six hours.  John Feit, now 85, sat stone-faced and showed no emotion as he was convicted of killing Irene Garza, a 25-year school teacher, when he was 27 and serving as a fill-in priest in the Valley. Family members of the victim hugged each other after the verdict was read. view article arw

Texas A&M gave Jimbo Fisher a maroon blazer at his introductory press conference, just as they did the previous head football coaches, but more importantly they gave him a pair of cowboy boots. For Fisher to be successful he's going to have to recruit Texas well, so he best look the part. "Like I told Mack Brown, you go buy ya' a pair of boots," former A&M head football coach Jackie Sherrill said. view article arw