HISD announces 3 new school principals

The Houston Independent School district has named new principals at three elementary schools. They are:

Juan Dueñas (DeZavala ES)—Dueñas comes to HISD from Beasley Elementary in Lamar CISD, where he served as an assistant principal. He also worked as a school improvement specialist and a bilingual teacher in Spring Branch ISD. Dueñas completed his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at the University of Houston and his master’s degree at Grand Canyon University.

Stefanie Hall (Benavidez ES)—Hall has been serving as the curriculum assistant principal of Eisenhower Ninth Grade in Aldine ISD since 2010. She began her career in that district as a math teacher at Eckert Intermediate in 2004. She has also served as a skills specialist and a testing coordinator. Hall earned her bachelor’s degree in science and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.

Thomas Day (Travis ES)—A native Houstonian and former HISD ACP intern, Day spent six years teaching first and third grades at Lockhart Elementary, where he was named the campus Teacher of the Year in 2004–2005. Following an internship in the district’s Bridge Academy leadership cohort, Day worked as an assistant principal at Black Middle School, where turnaround efforts have netted an enrollment increase of 50 percent over the past two years. Day earned his bachelor of arts degree in journalism with a minor in marketing from Texas A&M University. He holds a master of education degree in administration from Sam Houston State University.

In addition to the naming the principals, HISD announced that Dr. Francisco Penning has been selected as a school support officer at the Elementary School Office 1.

Dr. Penning joined Team HISD during the 2011–2012 school year as a principal at Scarborough Elementary, an Apollo 20 school. He converted that campus into one of the highest performing Apollo schools. Penning also served as the principal of Houston Gateway Academy (HGA) Charter Schools for eight years, where he turned two academically acceptable campuses into exemplary campuses. Under his leadership, HGA received the Distinguished School Progress Award from the Texas Education Agency in 2011. In 2012, HGA’s Coral Campus was voted the fourth-best middle school in Houston, according to Children At Risk. He began his career in education as a bilingual/ESL teacher in the Cypress-Fairbanks School District. Penning served in the U.S. Army and completed a bachelor’s degree in social work at Bethel University. He received his master’s degree in education and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.