Colleagues remember Link Elementary School Principal Justin Jones as a friend and empowering leader. Jones, 34, was pronounced dead May 1 following an automobile accident, a Spring ISD news release stated.  Jones had been the principal of Link Elementary School since July 2017 after having previously worked as an assistant principal and instruction coordinator in Houston ISD. view article arw

The Lockhart school district board of trustees at a specially called meeting on Monday approved the creation of 18 new staffing positions for the 2020-21 school year.  According to Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Brents, the new positions are being brought on to meet the needs of the district’s fast-growing student population, as well as to meet budget allocation requirements stipulated by House Bill 3, a sweeping school finance bill passed in 2019 that provides more money for Texas classrooms. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 Texas-based companies and brands have united to honor teachers and highlight the critical nature of the teaching profession through the #TeachersCan initiative. The open-source initiative is paying tribute to educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8) with a prize sweepstakes and exclusive content - including discussions, tutorials, and live performances by nationally-recognized authors, performers and musicians. view article arw

Hereford coach Catherine Foerster was hired as the new Decatur volleyball coach Wednesday morning. view article arw

Nidia Cedillo was named as the new principal for Plano ISD’s Weatherford Elementary School at a board meeting May 5. Cedillo comes to Plano ISD with sixteen years of education experience. Most recently, she served as an assistant principal for six years at Webb Elementary in McKinney ISD. She has also taught second, third and fifth grades as a bilingual teacher and an instructional coach. view article arw

Round Rock ISD is set to a host a virtual teacher job fair for its open positions for the 2020-21 academic year, according to a May 6 district newsletter. The virtual fair is scheduled for May 14 from 9 a.m.-noon. Nearly 200 open positions are listed on the RRISD's job postings board as of May 6. Open positions include elementary, middle and high school teachers; special education teachers; district bus drivers; and principals at C.D. Fulkes Middle School and Early College High School. view article arw

Ringing the bell

May 0608:41 AM
 

These 10 Houston-area teachers and staff go beyond the classroom amid the pandemic. - As if there was any doubt before, parents and relatives now know for certain: running a school isn’t easy.  It’s a challenging, exhausting labor of love for thousands of Houston-area educators and support staff — many of whom are working like never before amid the novel coronavirus pandemic to support the region’s million-plus children.  We asked readers and districts to tell us about educators and school support staffers who have gone above and beyond, prompting dozens of responses describing innovative and tireless advocates for children.  While no amount of work can replicate the indelible experience of a humming school building, these school employees are making the best of it, hoping their efforts will carry their kids through the shutdown and beyond: view article arw

The Bryan school board approved Rachel Layton as the newest principal at Rudder High School during its Monday workshop.  Layton, who currently serves as principal at Stephen F. Austin Middle School in the district, will take over for Mario Bye. view article arw

Angel Hale didn’t plan to work as a teacher back when she played basketball at North Texas.  Hale, whose maiden name is Angel Lewis, majored in business while helping the Mean Green take care of business on the court.  Hale was a key player for UNT in the early 2000s, when the Mean Green made back-to-back appearances in the Women’s NIT. She didn’t know it at the time, but the lessons Hale learned then helped pave the way to a successful career in teaching and coaching. view article arw

Teachers are doing all they can to stay connected to their students while they're apart, and NBC 5 and Southern Methodist University want to celebrate an Excellent Educator.  Mr. Rickey Phoummany, a dance teacher at Bowie Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie ISD not only uses his love of dance but his patience and understanding to capture the hearts of his students.  "Hey ya'll, it's Mr. Phoummany, or Mr. P for those that know me,” said Rickey Phoummany in a virtual dance video. view article arw

Teachers are doing all they can to stay connected to their students while they're apart, and NBC 5 and Southern Methodist University want to celebrate an Excellent Educator.  Mr. Rickey Phoummany, a dance teacher at Bowie Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie ISD not only uses his love of dance but his patience and understanding to capture the hearts of his students.  "Hey ya'll, it's Mr. Phoummany, or Mr. P for those that know me,” said Rickey Phoummany in a virtual dance video. view article arw

Emmett J. Conrad High School teacher Robert Marc Flores has been arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child, improper relationship between educator and student and online solicitation of a minor. Garland Police said officers executed a search and arrest on Tuesday, May 5 at Flores’ home. view article arw

One of Texas’ biggest award ceremonies for educators went virtual Tuesday night, complete with special appearances from actors Matthew McConaughey and Eva Longoria, and former San Antonio Spurs player Matt Bonner. Despite a few technical difficulties, eight educators were elated upon learning they won H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards. view article arw

Third grade teacher Skylar Slaughter and seventh grade teacher Zelma Nico are the elementary and secondary “Teachers of the Year” for 2020-21 in the Port Arthur Independent School District. Slaughter is an English and language arts, or ELAR, teacher at Staff Sgt. Lucian Adams Elementary and Nico is a math teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. view article arw

In most places in the U.S., students aren't able to gather right now.  While some might be glad to get out of calculus it's not just classes they're missing.  High school graduation is a rite of passage. view article arw

J.H. Hines Elementary School Principal Elijah Barefield kept meaning to go fishing with his friend and fellow Transformation Waco school principal Phillip Perry, a favorite pastime of the late G.W. Carver Middle School principal who died last month from COVID-19.  Perry, 49, died in a Waco hospital on March 31, the first McLennan County resident to die from complications resulting from the novel coronavirus. Three more residents have died since.  But Barefield will honor his friend’s legacy by taking on a new position at G.W. Carver Middle School as dean of students. His job will be to help the roughly 500 students who attend Carver to deal with their grief after losing their principal, as well as to assist the sixth graders with transitioning to a new school, Transformation Waco CEO Robin McDurham said. view article arw

Kilgore ISD has created a director of safety and emergency management position and hired a former high school principal to fill it.  Charles Presley will be stepping into the role this summer.  Superintendent Andy Baker said the purpose of the position is to coordinate the district's safety and security programs, including supervision of general building conditions, district and campus-level emergency response procedures and programs and coordination of student safety and security education programs. view article arw

Fairfield Elementary administrators will host a “drive thru” teacher appreciation party in the school’s bus loop on May 4th at 1:30 pm. The bus loop is located on the west side of the building off highway 75 between W Main and W College streets. Teachers and paraprofessionals are invited to drive through the bus loop and collect a special gift from campus administration. The driveway will be decorated with appreciation banners and festive party decor. view article arw

Houston-area resident Justin Jones was an educator, husband and father. He was only 34.  SPRING, Texas — Those who knew Link Elementary School Principal Justin Jones will forever remember him as a passionate educator, devoted leader and trusted companion.  Jones was involved in a fatal car crash Friday. He was only 34.  Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson and others shared memories of the Spring ISD educator during a special meeting Saturday.  view article arw

Garland ISD is hosting a virtual job fair for teachers Monday, May 4. This is the first-ever virtual job fair the district has hosted.  Applicants will have the opportunity to meet campus administrators in their Meet and Greet rooms using the Zoom video conferencing platform.  GISD Recruitment Coordinator Alex Rivera said that what makes GISD’s virtual job fair different from other districts’ is that GISD wanted to make sure their principals could conduct live interviews, see and talk with candidates. view article arw

Teacher Appreciation Week is nationwide May 4-8, and Taylor ISD wants to celebrate their own.   On April 30, the district asked for help to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Taylor ISD would like either short shout-out video messages or a photo with a child and/or family holding a sign with a shout-out message. The accumulation will be included in a Teacher Appreciation Video that the district will share next week. view article arw

An Abilene ISD third-grade teacher and a longtime high school teacher were honored Wednesday evening at the 8th annual Teacher in the Limelight Celebration, held this year via a Zoom presentation. view article arw

First of all, just let me say I’m an outsider, strictly an observer when it comes to sports in the Rio Grande Valley.  I don’t claim to be privy to any inside information. You see things happen, and as a reporter your job is to remain objective.  The big news in Valley sports last week came out of Santa Rosa as the contract of Warriors athletic director and boys basketball coach Johnny Cipriano was not renewed. view article arw

McKinney ISD has hired Garry Gorman to serve as the district’s new Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Gorman comes to MISD from Red Oak ISD, where he has served for the past three years as Executive Director of Elementary Learning.  He brings nearly a quarter century of experience in education as a teacher, principal and curriculum director to his new position. view article arw

When Jeff Smith took the reins as Plano ISD athletic director in February, he could have hardly foreseen his first couple months on the job turning out like this.  Just over one month after his hiring — still learning the ins and outs of the post — Smith, like every athletic director across the state, was tasked with helping lead his school district through what coaches and administrators have called the most unprecedented circumstance of their careers. view article arw

Chisholm Trail Middle School principal Matrice Raven will be moving a few miles down U.S. 81/287 in the fall.  Monday, Northwest ISD trustees named Raven the principal at Leo Adams Middle School for the start of the 2020-21 school year.  Raven had been on the Chisholm Trail campus since 2014, serving as the assistant principal and then taking over as the principal in June 2017.  In her time at the school, she has overseen curriculum and instructional development and coordinated numerous committees, departments and tasks. view article arw

Principals Jessica Carrillo, Christopher Judge, and Jesica Arellano, are heading to Harvard the summer of 2021 thanks to Raise Your Hand Texas, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to strengthen and improve public education.  Carrillo from Reyes Elementary School, Judge from Canutillo Middle School, and Arellano from Northwest Early College High School, were selected to participate in the summer leadership program at The Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. view article arw

Justin Jones who served as a principal at Spring ISD Link Elementary school died in an auto accident on May 1. During a special meeting with Spring ISD staff on Saturday, Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson shared the news of Jones’ death. view article arw

Stephanie Garcia said she and many other residents from the Santa Rosa community are upset the Santa Rosa ISD Board of Trustees voted not to renew the contract of Warriors athletic director and boys basketball coach Johnny Cipriano at Wednesday night’s school board meeting.  The trustees met via teleconference, and no immediate reason was given for non-renewal of the coach’s contract.  According to sources, the vote was 4-3 with trustees Santos Castaneda, Sandra Rickford, Raul Garza and Rogelio Guerra Jr. opting for non-renewal of Cipriano’s contract. Trustees Cynthia Saldivar, Danny Theys and Juan Manuel Perez voted for renewal. view article arw

At its April 28 virtual meeting, the Montgomery ISD board of trustees approved granting a $500 one-time stipend for most MISD staff—including teachers, administrators, librarians, speech teachers and counselors—to help offset the costs of remote learning. A total of 675 employees would receive stipends, MISD officials said.  “We’ve looked at what some other districts have done as well in terms of providing some type of assistance to instructional staff to offset some of the cost of setting up home classrooms, remote learning, if they have to upgrade their internet service or provider ... or even things like purchasing print cartridges,” Superintendent Beau Rees said. view article arw

Applications for the Plano ISD Industries Academy beginning this fall at the Collin College Technical Campus are due May 4. The programs offered in the industries academy are meant to help incoming juniors and seniors receive career-specific training and industry certifications while still in high school, according to the district. view article arw

Teachers can be considered among the heroes of this pandemic. Going above and beyond to make sure their students are still learning despite the shutdown of schools. Abilene ISD recognized two teachers for their efforts this school year. “I would put these two teachers up against any school district in the world,” said Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young. view article arw

An Abilene ISD third-grade teacher and a longtime high school teacher were honored Wednesday evening at the 8th annual Teacher in the Limelight Celebration, held this year via a Zoom presentation. view article arw

Some Longview ISD employees are getting a pay boost for working during the COVID-19 pandemic after board members approved a policy change Wednesday.  The change applies to nonexempt, hourly employees including cafeteria workers, bus drivers, secretaries, paraprofessionals, maintenance and grounds workers. Teachers are not included. view article arw

HOUSTON – The Katy Independent School District is hiring hundreds of teachers and to that end, will host a virtual job fair for candidates interested in applying for the 2020-2021 school year.  Anyone interested can register for the district’s Virtual Teacher Job Fair on May 4 and 5 and virtual interviews will be held from May 6 through 8.  At this time, the Katy ISD Virtual Job Fair is only for teaching positions. view article arw