Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Spring Branch Education Foundation hosts Sept. 30 Style Show

Co-chairs Michelle Majewski (left) and Suzanne Stiles (right)

Sixth annual event showcases Monkee’s of Houston and Elaine Turner

Houston trendsetters will gather on Friday, Sept. 30 for a sophisticated, fun-to-wear runway show featuring looks from Monkee’s of Houston and Elaine Turner. The popular luncheon is in its 6th year of raising money for the Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF), which has gifted more than $10 million in grants and scholarships to Spring Branch Independent School District since 1993.

Long-time SBEF volunteers and co-chairs Michelle Majewski and Suzanne Stiles expect a sold-out crowd. Held at the Royal Sonesta Houston, 2222 West Loop South, a reception begins at 11 a.m., followed by the show and luncheon at noon.

Deborah Duncan, star of KHOU’s Great Day Houston, will serve as emcee of the style show.

“We’ve had great fun working with Todd Ramos who is producing the show,” Stiles says. “We look forward to sharing fashions from Monkee’s of Houston and Elaine Turner, both Houston favorites. Our guests will see designs they can wear to any of the Foundation’s signature events, on a cruise or to Broadway – wherever their social calendars take them.”

“This show has a feature that keeps our patrons coming back year after year,” Majewski adds. “Our models are Spring Brand ISD volunteers and parents. We love seeing our friends and neighbors on the runway. They are great sports who enjoy supporting our students.”

Models for the day are Julie Bergen, Kris Breed, Heather Christmann, Nancy Cofran, Cathleen Ezanidis, Rachel Gower, Jeana Hur, Mandy Kelvin, Susan Marks, Lil Newman, Pam Pennington, Meredith Rall, Iliana Romero, Christi Smith and Dena Williams.

Patty Busmire of Full Blown and Rachel Gower of The Upper Hand are lending their services before the models step onto the runway. Before and after the show, guests are invited to shop the event’s pop-up stores, provided by Monkee’s of Houston, Elaine Turner and stella & dot.

Monkee’s of Houston, located at 5885 San Felipe, assures Houstonians the finest lines in shoes, clothing and accessories, without traveling to New York or Milan. Associates have an eye for style, deliver world class customer service and make the boutique shopping experience fun and personal. Visit monkeesofhouston.com.

Luxury accessories designer Elaine Turner® is known for her handbags and shoes, classic styles with a feminine edge. Her apparel line includes separates for every body type in fabrics chosen for ease, quality and comfort, making dressing fun, glamorous and effortless. The designer’s mission is to leave a legacy of giving and make women feel beautiful.
elaineturner.com >>

Fashion Show & Luncheon
Friday, Sept. 30, 2016

Royal Sonesta Houston
2222 West Loop South

11:00 a.m. – Reception
12:00 p.m. – Luncheon and Fashion Show
Register online >>

Tickets start at $1,000 for a table of 10 or $125 for individual tickets. Register online at https://sbef.ejoinme.org/styleshow. For more information, call 713.251.2381 or visit www.springbrancheducationfoundation.com. For regular updates, "like" SBEF on Facebook and/or follow it at SBEF93 on Twitter and Instagram.

About Spring Branch Education Foundation:
Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting SBISD students and educators. It partners with the district and community to fund programs that enhance education and prepare students for the future. In 2015, dewey & associates ranked SBEF 17th in the nation among K-12 education foundations and number one in its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Since 1993, the Foundation has donated more than $10 million to the district. SBEF is a 501(c)3 organization; all donations are tax deductible.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Spring Branch Education Foundation Announces New Board Members

Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF) has named new members to its Board of Directors for the 2016-2017 term. SBEF provides a vehicle for donors to make tax-deductible gifts to benefit Spring Branch Independent School District to enhance the education of its 35,000 students.

Lisa Schwartz, co-owner, Balfour Yearbooks, Houston/European office, is the Board’s chair, and Jennie Baker is secretary/treasurer. Both are completing two-year terms.

New members to the SBEF Board of Directors, serving three-year terms, include: Bill Drennen, president and CEO, WTD Resources, LLC; Susie Grace, a retired CPA and community patron; Scooter Hicks, chief operating officer, MetroNational; Traci Jensen, community patron; Laura Minyard, sales representative, Baggett Industrial Applications, LLC; Jay Sartain, director, RBC Capital Markets; and Brandon Winchester, attorney, Thompson and Horton, LLP.

About Spring Branch Education Foundation:
Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting SBISD students and educators. It partners with the district and community to fund programs that enhance education and prepare students for the future. In 2015, dewey & associates ranked SBEF 17th in the nation among K-12 education foundations and number one in its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Since 1993, the Foundation has donated more than $10 million to the district. SBEF is a 501(c)3 organization; all donations are tax deductible.

Community Makes Spring Branch Education Foundation School Supply Drive A Success

Mary Dodds and Salma Almasri, Stratford High School, both seniors
Each year, thousands of SBISD students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (more than half the district’s population) receive school supplies from Spring Branch Education Foundation. When SBEF board member Patty Busmire reported to the Foundation’s board that funding had dropped this year, members pledged personal and corporate donations. The community contributed more money through PledgeCents, a crowd-sourcing website.

Altogether, the board and community raised more than $22,000 for the program and provided supplies to students in 30 Spring Branch ISD schools. Busmire says, “We’re thrilled with the outpouring of support from the Board and community and for the continued logistical help from the district warehouse.”

More than 100 teen-age volunteers gathered on August 11 and 12 to sort the supplies before being delivered to the schools. Alexis Bennett, a Memorial High School student, coordinated the volunteers. The teens represent a number of organizations such as the National Charity League, National Honor Society, Memorial Outreach Bunch and more. The drive has become an annual tradition for Busmire and her daughter, Becky Busmire, a senior at St. Edwards University in Austin, TX.

Learning begins on the first school day when students have everything they need to get started. The community made this possible!

About Spring Branch Education Foundation:
Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting SBISD students and educators. It partners with the district and community to fund programs that enhance education and prepare students for the future. In 2015, dewey & associates ranked SBEF 17th in the nation among K-12 education foundations and number one in its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Since 1993, the Foundation has donated more than $10 million to the district. SBEF is a 501(c)3 organization; all donations are tax deductible.

Friday, August 19, 2016

SBISD Teacher of the Year Wins Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri (left) and Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award winner Amanda Tysor (second from left) with Teach for America officials
For the first time ever, a Spring Branch ISD educator has been named a winner of the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award, a prestigious local honor that includes a $20,000 cash award.

Amanda Tysor, who is SBISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, was notified of the award in a surprise announcement made by Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri and Teach for America official Tiffany Cuellar Needham during district Convocation held Aug. 12 in Don Coleman Coliseum.

Amanda Tysor (left) with her Northbrook High School colleagues at Convocation 2016
Since 2009, the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards have recognized 12 teachers across the greater Houston region, and awarded each $20,000. A Teach for America (TFA) alumna and Northbrook High algebra teacher, Tysor was one of two TFA alumni selected for the honor this year.

The Kinder Awards were established by philanthropists Nancy and Rich Kinder. Mr. Kinder is the co-founder and executive chairman of Kinder Morgan, a Houston-based energy corporation that operates a large network of natural gas and refined petroleum products pipelines.

The couple established the awards in honor of Mr. Kinder’s mother to recognize innovative and results-oriented teaching and to raise public awareness of the importance of effective and highly committed teachers.

TFA local Executive Director Needham announced the award at Convocation to a surprised Tysor, who was called to the coliseum stage by Dr. Muri who first talked to the crowd proudly about the young Spring Branch ISD grad’s life and career calling.

“Teach for America-Houston proudly nominates two of the 12 winners each year, and I couldn’t be more proud that they’ve selected one of our own to recognize as a 2016 recipient. As a valued partner, Spring Branch is home to many TFA alumni and a dozen new teachers for the 2016-2017 school year ahead,” Needham said in prepared remarks.

This is the first year that a SBISD teacher has earned a Kinder Award, which dates back to 2009. The local TFA team’s presentation at Convocation included issuance of a symbolic “big check,” trophy and superhero “cape” to a clearly surprised young educator.

Tysor says she was “surprised and embarrassed” at first to be called publicly to the Convocation stage, but those initial feelings changed over quickly to shock and greater surprise.

“I was totally shocked to be presented with the Kinder Award. I always enjoy Convocation, but this year was more exciting than I could have imagined,” she said. “I feel honored, humbled and excited to continue to work hard for my students at Northbrook High and strive for excellence in my classroom.”

Tysor, who begins a fifth year teaching at Northbrook High on Aug. 22, is a proud product of the district. She attended Wilchester Elementary for one year and then moved to the Memorial Drive Elementary neighborhood. A graduate of Spring Branch Middle and Memorial High, she was the Class of 2008 Memorial homecoming queen and a co-valedictorian.

At the University of Texas at Austin, she pursued pre-med studies with the prestigious Plan II Honors program, but decided in her junior year that working with children was her real passion.

She returned to SBISD through Teach for America at Northbrook High, where she is an algebra team leader and a mentor to new teachers. Tysor has been a part of the curriculum writing team, piloted MAP testing, and is currently a member of the Campus Improvement Team at the high school.

After school, Tysor is a volunteer leader with Young Life, a Christian ministry for high school students. Her last week of summer was spent backpacking with a group of Northbrook High students at a Young Life camp in Colorado.

Days after the award, she remains shocked by the check presentation and dollar amount, but does “hope to give much back to the community and maybe enjoy a vacation, too.” 

Think Different: Learner’s Journey Launches at Convocation

If you’ve never seen palpable, tangible excitement and energy, then you probably weren’t at Don Coleman Coliseum the morning of Friday, Aug. 12.

After the short trip from their campus or facility, school bus after school bus deposited Spring Branch ISD teachers and staff to a dizzying phalanx of high school cheerleaders, Houston Texan cheerleaders, mascots, music, a DJ from 96.5 – all designed to pump up the jam.

The district’s 4,700 employees gathered to kick off the new school year, which begins in earnest on Aug. 22 with the return of students.

Convocation served as a launch pad for the “Learner’s Journey,” the district’s five-year strategic plan with its four fundamental components: Learning Ecosystem, Extraordinary People and Customized Supports, all undergirded by a Resilient Foundation and with an overarching commitment to personalized learning.

Once the drumline entered the arena and the program began, employees were told through different mediums and formats that the destination matters less than the journey. That as individuals we see the world differently, and that those differences are valid and worth celebrating. That it’s okay to think different and even to fail, because district leaders “have their back.”

The Learner’s Journey supports the district’s T-2-4 goal – doubling the number of Spring Branch students who successfully complete military training, technical certification or a two- or four-year degree.

But convocation was much more than a simple delivery of a message – it was a celebration of Spring Branch ISD.

It was twin sisters Lelia Madanizadeh and Nilou Madanizadeh, Cornerstone Academy students who will attend Westchester Academy for International Studies this year, entertaining and inspiring the audience with their slam poetry and their message of the journey being more important than the destination. “You won’t remember the checkered flag,” they said, but you will remember the experience.

It was Ivan Alvarado, a Buffalo Creek fifth-grader whose rendition of “La de la Mochila Azul” (The Blue Backpack) brought the crowd alive. Dressed in the tradition of Mexican charros, Ivan’s proud performance in Spanish put a powerful spotlight on the district’s diversity. Ivan explained that his song is a song about love but more importantly, “a symbol of one boy’s inspiration to go to school.” He said that he loves Buffalo Creek and asked the audience to think about what they love. “What will inspire you and your students this year?” he asked.

It was teacher Patricia Kassir, who nearly 30 years ago took her oath of citizenship in Coleman Coliseum, recounting her path to adulthood and the adults – her parents, her teachers – who propelled her along the way. She recalled the pleasure of watching each of her four children walk across the stage during graduation ceremonies at Coleman, their studies at Westchester Academy for International Studies complete.

It was Alicein Killingsworth, a senior at Northbrook High School, whose unadorned version of The Star-Spangled Banner was simple, moving, powerful and traditional, all at the same time.

View more photos - Convocation 2016 >>

It was Trustee Pam Goodson, a former teacher who read a letter from a student during her time in the classroom. The student (now a graduate of Spring Branch schools) told Goodson how much he loved her and how he hoped they could spend some time together, because she was the greatest teacher ever. The writer wasn’t afraid (he was a fourth-grader at the time), Goodson said, and she urged Spring Branch staff to “dare to be different,” to not be afraid to fail, because she, her fellow Trustees, and Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri are ready to support them. “Think different,” she said.

It was Decory Brown, whose practiced yet spirited version of “Man in the Mirror” was something of an encore from last year’s convocation. The Spring Branch Middle School eighth-grader again brought employees to their feet with his passionate performance, punctuated by dance moves and ending with arms outstretched, his head reared backwards, closed eyes towards the Coliseum ceiling.

It was Imani Davenport, a graduate of KIPP Courage and a rising ninth-grader at Spring Woods High School, whose uplifting voice urged the crowd to “Rise Up” to the challenge of being bold, of thinking differently. An injured foot confined Imani to a stool in the center of the stage, but the power, the emotion of her singing was free, inspiring and uplifting.

It was the Fly Dance Company, whose second performance of the day was an example of thinking differently as they danced to music more akin to classical than the hip-hop or rap associated with break dancing.

And it was Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri bringing it all together, weaving the performances and speakers into his message of being brave, of being proud, of being a learner.

“We’re all learners,” Muri said, “and we’re all different.”

He said Spring Branch should celebrate its diversity, noting differences in race, in religion, in orientation, in ethnicity. He said that along with looking or thinking differently, people learn in different ways. Saying that Fly Dance Company might think differently by performing to classical music, he left the stage as Fly took it, performing to modern classical composition.

He said that as a system, Spring Branch was brave in examining itself and acknowledging that while many are served well, others aren’t served so well and that leaves plenty of room for improvement. He said that Trustees decision in April to become a District of Innovation was a brave move on their part.

The District of Innovation designation gives Spring Branch ISD the flexibility to remove itself from certain state requirements, or as Pam Goodson put it in her talk, it “unties your hands.” The designation also coincided with the approval of a new five-year strategic plan, developed by a 90-member committee of community members and staff.

Delineating the four main “buckets” of work in the strategic plan – The Learner’s Journey – Muri first mentioned Resilient Foundation, the strong organization that undergirds everything the district does.

He talked about Learning Ecosystem, about how the current model of education was created in the late 1800s for an industrial society and about how that model is no longer valid for the learners of today.

He talked about Customized Supports and how the “phenomenal” Spring Branch community can be marshalled more efficiently by aligning resources.

And he talked about Extraordinary People and the development of great teachers and staff.

“The silver bullet of public education is sitting in this room today,” said Muri, “and it’s people,” adding later that “if change is going to happen for children, it’s going to start with us.”

Through the whole strategic planning process, he said, the bravest thing the Spring Branch school system did was look in the mirror and decide it was time for change, segueing into Decory Brown’s performance of “Man in the Mirror.”

Muri talked about pride in Spring Branch ISD and the Spring Branch Education Foundation, whose sole purpose is to “support SBISD” and encouraged giving to the Foundation’s employee campaign, which provides scholarships for children of district employees.

He illustrated pride another way, recognizing, along with Teach for America representatives, the district’s secondary teacher of the year Amanda Tysor of Northbrook High School. Tysor, a Memorial High School graduate and a Teach for America alumna, received a $20,000 Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award from the Rich and Nancy Kinder Foundation.

Kinder Excellence in Teaching award winner Amanda Tysor -

He said he recently read an article that said that learning gaps between different populations, especially Hispanic, were closing and the gaps would be filled – in 137 years.

“That’s completely unacceptable,” he said. “I promise you that in Spring Branch ISD it won’t be 137 years,” assisting Imani Davenport on stage for her performance of “Rise Up.” (Imani’s performance was followed by a surprise video message from Andra Day, the Grammy-nominated song’s artist.)

“When we have high expectations for children, they rise up,” said Muri. “When we celebrate diversity, we rise up,” before declaring Spring Branch “the greatest district in all the land” and calling on the drumline to lead the district’s exit into the new school year.

Teacher of the Year named Region 4 Finalist

Teresa Dolan of Edgewood Elementary School was honored as one of seven finalists for Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year during a recently held awards event and dinner. In May, Dolan was named as Spring Branch ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.

A teacher librarian, Dolan is the first SBISD educator who is also a librarian to reach such a high recognition level in the annual Region 4 Teacher of the Year competition. She was recognized as a finalist during an Aug. 3 regional dinner.

Region 4 officials named seven finalists in the elementary competition and five secondary-level finalists. Ties in point award rankings led to additional finalists being named this year.

“SBISD is so proud of Teresa Dolan,” Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri said. “Teresa has distinguished herself as an exemplary teacher and librarian. This is reflected in her selection as a Region IV Elementary Teacher of the Year Finalist from a highly competitive field of 100 of our area’s best teachers, and it affirms how fortunate we are that Teresa chooses SBISD as her home.”

“We do congratulate and celebrate Teresa for earning accolades at both the district and Region 4 level. More importantly, we celebrate Teresa for her commitment to service in support of her colleagues and Every Child,” Dr. Muri also said. “Way to go, Teresa!”

JoAnn Conlon, who oversees libraries as the district director of innovative resource media systems, said Dolan’s recognition as Elementary Teacher of the Year was an important event, demonstrating that “we truly are a district of innovation.” 

“When Teresa became one of the Region 4 Teacher of the Year finalists, she forever changed the perception of a school librarian, opened up new doors, and increased awareness about school libraries and what we all do,” Conlon said.

“Teresa Dolan exemplifies the new role school librarians have – managing an effective library program, providing personalized learning environments for students, and offering equitable access to resources to ensure a well-rounded education for every student,” she also said.

Dolan earned her master’s degree in library science last year from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. A 2005 University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) graduate, she also received a masters of arts and teaching degree from UHD.

“I feel honored to be sharing a stage with such amazing educators,” Dolan said at SBISD’s Service Awards in May. “I feel very fortunate to work for a district that supports educators of all kinds. It’s a special place that encourages teachers to do all they can to help students, and I can’t wait to see how becoming a District of Innovation will continue this.”

Named as Region 4’s Teachers of the Year during the recent dinner and ceremony were Laura Hamilton of Aldine ISD and Dale Jensen of Clear Creek ISD. Since 1973, SBISD has had five teachers who were named both Region 4 Teacher of the Year and Texas Teacher of the Year.

To learn more about the Texas Teacher of the Year program, please visit Texas Association of School Administrators.

SBISD’s History of Region 4 Teachers of the Year:

2001 – Lorraine Maneen*, Secondary
1995 – Patty Oliver, Elementary
1992 – Debra Sue Sonner, Elementary
1989 – Joyce Roberta Miller-Alper*, Secondary
1987 – James Eugene Stones Jr.*, Secondary
1985 – Melanie Wells Christie*, Secondary
1983 – Patricia C. Taylor*, Secondary

*Also selected at Texas Teacher of the Year

Watch Out for School Children, Stop for School Buses

Up to 21,000 Spring Branch ISD children and teenagers will depend on bright, yellow school buses beginning on Monday, Aug. 22, to get them safely to and from schools each day. They also depend on many of you – motorists – to know and follow state law and drive safely near SBISD buses and schools.

Texas School Bus Law
  • Always stop for flashing red lights on a school bus regardless of which direction you are headed.
  • Proceed only after a stopped bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing, or the bus driver is signaling that it’s OK to pass the bus.
  • Drivers don’t have to stop for an oncoming school bus if located on a road or highway divided by an intervening space or physical barrier – a divided road or highway.
  • Violations of school zone rules will result in significant and costly fines – up to $1,000.
  • A driver convicted of not stopping in a school zone more than once may have a license suspended for up to six months.

Safety Tips for Motorists
  • Obey the posted speed limit in SBISD school zones, which is 20 mph.
  • Slow down and pay attention to pedestrian and bus traffic in school zones.
  • Don’t text or use cell phones in posted school zones.
  • Fines double in school zones for traffic violations.
  • Keep a watchful eye on children gathered at bus stops or near the street. Monitor your surroundings.
  • Be alert for children who may suddenly enter the roadway due to an approaching, a stopped or a departing bus.

Student Tips
Respect the school bus driver and follow these rules:
  • Stand back away from the street or curb when you are waiting for the bus.
  • Remain seated and still so that the bus driver can pay attention to the road and traffic.
  • Remember to look both ways if you have to cross the street after getting off the bus, or wait for your driver to signal you that it’s safe to cross the street.

Low-Cost Sports Physicals for All SBISD Athletes

Low-Cost Sports Physicals for All SBISD Athletes

Take an active role in preventing serious injuries that could mess up your game by getting your annual sports physical.  In collaboration with SBISD Athletics, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center is offering comprehensive, low-cost physicals to middle and high school athletes in SBISD.

All qualified middle and high school athletes in SBISD

Saturday, August 27, 2016, from 8 to 11 a.m.

Students may walk in or SBISD buses will transport students from their school to
Landrum Middle School
2200 Ridgecrest Drive
Houston, TX  77055

Download flyer >>

For more information, please call SBISD Athletics at 713-251-1200.

Plan Ahead For Road Construction Delays

As back-to-school approaches on Monday, Aug. 22, Spring Branch ISD parents and students should be aware of potential delays due to road construction in some areas of the district.

  • Bridge over ditch W151 on Memorial, just east of Frostwood Elementary will NOT be ready for the start of school on Monday, Aug. 22. Weather and other delays have pushed the reopening of the bridge until mid to late September. The project kicked off on April 11 of this year, a week before the Tax Day storm of April 18. The area is open ONLY to local traffic. Detours remain in effect.
  • Ridgecrest neighborhood, near Landrum Middle School, has lots of construction activity. Ridgecrest has been temporarily reduced to a single lane between Hammerly and Vogue Lane. Vogue Lane is under construction near the entrance to Lion Lane and around Landrum. Expect construction to move within the neighborhood as work progresses. Traffic is encouraged to use Vogue Lane off of Bingle, north of Hammerly. Turn east onto Vogue and follow signs and instructions. Work will continue in the neighborhood until at least early 2017.
  • Memorial Drive between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford is currently being reconstructed, with traffic reduced to one lane each way. Most affected are Meadow Wood Elementary, Spring Forest Middle School, Thornwood Elementary, Stratford High School and the Technology Training Center. The Memorial Drive reconstruction project got underway last spring and is expected to take a couple of years to complete. Be particularly careful as lanes open to traffic may change, and open lanes may shift. There is currently no west turn onto Memorial from Kirkwood heading north.
  • Wirt Road between Long Point and Kempwood is also being reconstructed, with traffic reduced to one lane each way. A major north-south artery, work on Wirt Road started earlier this year, with completion estimated in October 2017.
  • Blalock at Memorial is closed due to a drainage project underway by the city of Piney Point Village. Intersection of Blalock, Memorial and South Piney Point has been temporarily reconfigured. No campuses or facilities are directly affected, but there is NO access to Blalock from Memorial, nor access to Memorial from Blalock. The project is expected to be complete by late September.
  • Silber between I-10 and Westview has been reduced to two lanes. Please use caution when driving through the area.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Principal Jennifer Collier Returns to Tiger Country

Spring Woods High School Building Principal Jennifer Collier
It’s back to Tiger Country for Jennifer Collier.

The once and current Tiger is already at Spring Woods High School as building principal, the school she once served as assistant then associate principal. And while Collier looks back fondly on her three years as school director at Westchester Academy for International Studies (WAIS), she’s ready to use what she’s learned at Spring Woods.

“Westchester is incredible,” she said. “It’s an amazing community and an amazing staff. And the demographics are similar to (Spring Woods). It was a great growth experience for me.”

“Parents have a lot of choices (in SBISD) and I’m proud parents send their kids to WAIS,” said Collier. “I want parents to feel the same way about Spring Woods High School.”

So if Spring Woods High is a homecoming of sorts for Collier, it’s also a natural progression in her career. Her career began in 2003 as assistant band director at Memorial Middle School, then holding the same position several years later at Spring Forest Middle School before moving into campus administration in 2008. She served as assistant principal at Spring Woods for several years before becoming associate principal in 2011, then school director at Westchester in 2013.

She sees being principal much like being a music director – she gets the different parts to perform as a unified whole. And that’s fitting, since her music directors – and her parents – are huge influences in her life.

Her mom was an educator and her dad was a volunteer sports coach. “They made a difference,” she said. “They care about kids.”

And, she said, each of her music directors – from middle and high schools, and college –took a special interest in her.

“That’s why I went into music education,” she said. “They were all such great role models.”

Collier said that a leader is still part of a team, and the Spring Woods High team is one she’s ready to rejoin.

“I’m coming back to Tiger Country to sit on the team again,” said Collier. “My job is to support the team so that they can support kids.”

BA – Music Education, Lamar University
MS – Education Administration, University of Houston
Ed.D – Educational Leadership, Lamar University (anticipated 2016)