Local school district announces new director and 5 principals - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local school district announces new director and 5 principals

Debbie Kelly Debbie Kelly
Dr. Carol Saxenian, Dr. Keri Hampton, Sherrill Echols, Walter Perez, Kami Hale (clockwise starting upper left) Dr. Carol Saxenian, Dr. Keri Hampton, Sherrill Echols, Walter Perez, Kami Hale (clockwise starting upper left)

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Released by Angela Jenkins with TISD's Office of Communications:

TYLER, TX - At the special board meeting held Friday morning, the Tyler Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the hiring of six individuals for the following administrator positions in the District.

Director of Secondary Education

The Board of Trustees has approved and named Debbie Kelly as the new Director of Secondary Education.  In this position, Kelly will be responsible for working successfully with secondary school principals to ensure that each student is provided with the richest educational experience the district can provide.  She will report to the Superintendent of Schools. Kelly holds more than 30 years of experience in education and is currently Director of Assessment, Curriculum and Instructional Programs in the Celina Independent School District in Celina, Texas.

"I look forward to working with Ms. Kelly again," said Dr. Randy Reid, Tyler ISD Superintendent.  "Having worked with her previously in two other districts, I have witnessed her achieving tremendous success in her leadership roles. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to the table that will be beneficial to our secondary principals. "

Kelly began her teaching career in Richardson ISD, in Richardson, Texas, in 1978 where she stayed for more than 20 years as a speech therapist, special education department chair, assistant junior high school principal, and assistant high school principal. 

Kelly holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas.  She received her Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.  She officially begins her duties May 18, 2009.  Kelly replaces Dr. Karen Raney as Director of Secondary Education who will take on the new position as Director of Assessment and Research.

John Tyler Principal

The Board of Trustees named Dr. Carol Saxenian, a Texas educator with 23 years of experience, as the new Principal of John Tyler High School.  Saxenian is currently the Principal at Copperas Cove High School, home to more than 2,000 students, in the Copperas Cove Independent School District in Copperas Cove, Texas.

Saxenian began her education career in 1986 in Waco ISD in Waco, Texas, as a math teacher and golf coach, where she stayed for more than 15 years advancing to Assistant Principal at Waco High School and then to a principal position at a middle school.  Saxenian then continued her leadership career in Eanes ISD, near Austin, in the role Director of Secondary Education.  Saxenian then returned to building leadership in Copperas Cove stating that she missed working with students on a daily basis.

"Our goal was to bring a candidate to John Tyler who has had successful, sustained experience at a large, diverse high school," said Karen Raney, Director of Secondary Education.  "We are so pleased to have Dr. Saxenian join us here in Tyler.  Her success in improving the instruction, climate, discipline, and communication at previous urban middle schools and a high school should prove to be a great asset for the John Tyler community."

According to the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report for 2008, Dr. Saxenian has increased student achievement in all TAKS areas at Copperas Cove High School.  Reading/English Language Arts (ELA), science and social studies scores increased three to four percent and math scores saw a 12 percent increase.   Also under her leadership, the school attendance rate remained strong at more than 94 percent each year, and the graduation rate increased from 84 percent to 86.8 percent.

Saxenian holds a Bachelor's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas; a Master's Degree in Education Administration from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas; and a Doctorate Degree in Education Administration from Texas A&M University.  She officially begins her duties July 1, 2009, but hopes to be able to spend time in Tyler prior to that date. Saxenian replaces Vanessa Choice, who will become the principal at Plyler Alternative School.

Bell Principal

The Board of Trustees named Dr. Keri Hampton as the new Principal of Bell Elementary School.  Hampton currently serves as the Assistant Principal at the campus.  She has more than eight years of education experience, five being with Tyler ISD.

"I am very excited that Dr. Hampton will elevate and continue her leadership role at Bell Elementary as she takes the school to a new level of success," said Darlene Marshall, Director of Elementary Education. "She has a way of keeping children and their achievement the focus of each school day." 

Hampton earned her Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Stephen Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas; a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington, Texas; and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Stephen Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.   She officially begins her duties July 1, 2009. Hampton replaces Jane Bidlack, who resigned effective June 30, 2009.

Caldwell Principal

The Board of Trustees named Sherrill Echols, an East Texas educator with more than 20 years of experience, as the new Principal of Caldwell Elementary School.  Echols is currently an Assistant Principal in the Chapel Hill Independent School District, and has eight years of previous experience in Tyler ISD.

"I feel Tyler ISD is fortunate to have a former employee with such strong leadership qualities return to the District," said Marshall.  "She is going to be an asset to Caldwell Elementary because of her diverse leadership roles and her love for the arts."

Echols earned her Bachelor's degree in Education from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and a Master's degree in Education also from Baylor University.  She officially begins her duties July 1, 2009. Echols replaces Rebecca Clapp, who retires effective June 30, 2009.

Orr Principal

The Board of Trustees named Walter Perez, an educator with 12 years of experience in Tyler ISD, as the new Principal of Orr Elementary School.    He currently serves as Assistant Principal at Austin Elementary School. 

"Mr. Perez will utilize his wide-range of professional experiences to promote student success as the new Principal of Orr," said Marshall.  "I am impressed with his past leadership roles and his future goals to establish high expectations for all stakeholders."

Perez earned his Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Ambassador University in Big Sandy, Texas, and a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in Texarkana, Texas.  He officially begins his duties July 1, 2009. Perez replaces Vernora Jones who will return to her leadership role with the Title I Program.

Woods Principal

The Board of Trustees named Kami Hale, an East Texas educator with 10 years of experience, as the new Principal of Andy Woods Elementary School.  Hale is currently the Assistant Principal at Marshall Junior High School in the Marshall Independent School District in Marshall, Texas.

"Mrs. Hale has a professional history of providing excellent leadership in creating effective staff development and a positive, effective learning environment.  I believe she will bring these strengths with her to the Andy Woods community," said Marshall.

Hale earned her Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Tyler in Tyler, Texas, and a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Stephen Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.  She officially begins her duties July 1, 2009. Hale replaces Connie Moore, who retires effective June 30, 2009.

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