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Henry MS assistant principal steeped in HISD culture since birth

2013 August 22
by HISD Communications

In this week’s I am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, Henry Middle School Assistant Principal Terese Pollard talks about how her history with the district began in utero, what’s next for her professionally, and the best piece of advice she ever received.

I understand you were almost literally born on an HISD campus. Can you explain?

Terese Pollard

It’s true. My mother was overdue with me while still teaching, and I grew up running around the halls of Hamilton Middle School, where my mother often worked late nights. We lived near Madison High School, and we all got up at 4 a.m. every morning to catch the bus. We caught two buses to Hamilton, then my brother and I would catch our school bus to Travis.

You said you’re a product of HISD schools, too, correct? So you’ve pretty much been here your entire life.

Yes. I attended Travis Elementary and Hamilton Middle schools, then graduated from the High School for the Engineering Professions located on the campus of Booker T. Washington in 2001. I even worked for the district in after-school programs at Field Elementary and Grady Middle schools while in college. Upon graduating from the University of Houston with an English degree, I went immediately into the classroom that fall.

So you taught for a while and then you became an administrator.  How did that transition come about?

I taught English Language Arts to seventh-graders at both Grady and Hamilton Middle schools, and then I was recruited to come out of the classroom. I’m now starting my sixth year as an administrator, and I’m proud to tell my students that I was an HISD student, too. I especially love telling them that I learned Spanish while in middle school.

Why is it so important for your kids to hear that you learned another language at that age?

I want my kids to have evidence that I actually use the knowledge I learned while in middle school. I want them to believe that what they are learning right now matters, and it will be useful to them in the future. Knowing Spanish has really opened doors for me, and I’m thankful to Señora Lago, my public education, and HISD for giving this gift to me.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

One of my former dean partners at Hamilton, Christy Coats, once told me that no matter the circumstance, I must be myself. I can be a pretty private, business-oriented person, so this can be tough as a leader, especially when you are always in the public eye. But she told me that people would get to know me through my work, my work ethic, and my actions, and I have come to rely upon this advice. I try to make sure that my actions always show I come to work for the kids, and that I do what is best for them.

So what’s next on your list of goals? Do you aspire to be a principal some day?

Yes! I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to be a principal in the district that bred me. I want to positively impact as many HISD kids as possible. I want them to know that despite life’s circumstances, they can still be successful. I also plan on pursuing my doctorate of education in the next three to five years. There is always more to learn.

If you know a graduate, student, employee, or another member of Team HISD who should be featured here, please email us at
5 Responses leave one →
  1. Jose Longoria permalink
    August 23, 2013

    She is an amazing AP and will one day in the near future be an OUTSTANDING leader principal. 🙂

  2. Anthony Castelline permalink
    August 23, 2013

    She is one of the best AP I have ever work with. She will not only be a great principal but a excellent leader of the entire district.

  3. E. Drew Mehlhaf permalink
    August 23, 2013

    So proud of my niece!! She has grown into someone special!! 🙂

  4. Tina Bernal permalink
    August 28, 2013

    She is a wonderful AP to work with and is always very supportive to her teachers. Working with her I see the passion she has for her job, in assisting our students to be all they can be in life.

  5. Debra Pollard-Nealey permalink
    April 4, 2014

    Terese was a born educator and I am very proud of her accomplishments. As she was growing up, kids and animals would follow her everywhere listening to her every word. They loved her and still do. I am also proud she decided to be a member of TEAM HISD! I have no doubt she will continue to make HISD a better place for each child she touches.

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