Author Archives: HISD Communications

Thomas Cotter named new principal of Wesley Elementary School

Thomas Cotter has been selected as the new principal of Wesley Elementary School. Cotter began as a teacher at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center and has since served as an instructional specialist, dean of students, and assistant principal at Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy, where he assisted with the school moving from Improvement Required (IR) to meeting state accountability standards. Cotter earned a bachelor’s in business administration in marketing from Texas Southern University and a Master’s in Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Houston. He is currently working to earn a Doctorate’s in professional leadership and policy studies at the University of Houston.

Margarita Tovar named new principal of Dogan Elementary School

Margarita Tovar has been selected as the new principal of Dogan Elementary School. Tovar began as a teacher aide at Farias Early Childhood Center and has also served as a teacher, teacher specialist and most recently assistant principal at Dogan. She was instrumental in leading Dogan out of Improvement Required (IR) status to meet state standard in May 2018. Tovar has a bachelor’s degree from University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s degree from Houston Baptist University. Tovar is also currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Houston. 

Jorge Rodriguez named new principal of Lewis Elementary School

Jorge Rodriguez has been selected as the new principal of Lewis Elementary School. He has served as a teacher, interventionist, specialist, and most recently assistant principal at Longfellow Elementary School, where he supported the successful implementation of restorative discipline practices and “The Leader in Me” framework. His recognitions include being named a finalist for the Harris County Education Foundation Teacher of the Year and Bilingual Teacher of the Year while serving at Burbank Elementary School. Rodriguez holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. 

Scott C. Disch named new principal of West University Elementary School

Scott C. Disch has been selected as the new principal of West University Elementary School. Disch has served as a teacher and athletic coach at Grady Middle School. In his most recent role as Dean of Students at Westside High School, he supported the Westside Engineering and Geoscience Academy (WEGA), a prestigious magnet program that offers a unique chance for students to gain perspective and insight into the engineering field through a rigorous, hands-on, project-based math and technology curriculum. His recognitions include 2012 Grady Teacher of the Year and 2019 West Area Assistant Principal of the Year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Rice University and a Master’s in teaching. He currently attends the University of Houston to pursue a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy.  

Chavis Mitchell named new principal of Parker Elementary School

Chavis Mitchell has been selected as the new principal of Parker Elementary School. Mitchell has served as a teacher, teacher development specialists and assistant principal at Anderson Elementary School. As a highly effective teacher, he was selected to serve on HISD’s Teacher Advisory Council for Career Pathways and Compensation and under HISD’s Transformational School Initiative, he provided coaching, mentoring, and teacher development support for more than 40 campuses. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University A&M, and a master’s in public administration from Texas Southern University. 

Dave Wheat named new principal of Lanier Middle School

Dave Wheat has been selected as the new principal of Lanier Middle School. Wheat has more than 30 years of experience, including 20 of those years at HISD. He has served students as a teacher, dean of students, principal, and assistant superintendent. While a principal at St. George Place, he focused on building a strong academic program and led the campus to earn three TEA distinctions in the 2017-2018 school year. St. George Place also earned an “A” rating by Children and Risk for 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 school years.  He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The University of Houston. 

Nicole Ayen-Metoyer named new principal of Fleming Middle School

Nicole Ayen-Metoyer has been selected as the new principal of Fleming Middle School. She joins Fleming after recently serving as dean of instruction at Fonville Middle School and has served as a teacher, educational diagnostician, a curriculum specialist, teacher development specialist, assistant principal at Hogg Middle School, and principal at Gregory Lincoln Education Center. Ayen-Metoyer was named interim principal at Fleming in December 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from West Indies, Trinidad and a Master’s in Library Studies from the University of West Indies, Jamaica.  

Racquel Torres-Rosenbalm named new principal of Sherman Elementary School

Racquel Torres-Rosenbalm has been selected as the new principal of Sherman Elementary School. She is currently completing the 2017-2018 school year as the assistant principal of Yolanda Navarro Middle School and has served as a bilingual teacher and teacher specialist. Her previous work experience includes being an administrator at DeChaumes Elementary School, where she assisted in leading the campus to meet all TEA campus distinctions for the 2016- 2017 school year. This year, Torres-Rosenbalm was named the district’s East Area Assistant Principal of the Year. The campus was also recognized as a Gold Ribbon Winner and rated an A+ on the School Report Card. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. 

Myra Castle-Bell named new principal of Peck Elementary School

Myra Castle-Bell has been selected as the new principal of Peck Elementary School. An educator for 20 years with HISD, Castle-Bell began her career as a third-grade teacher at Rusk Elementary, and has served as a literacy coach and Title I coordinator at Gregory Lincoln Education Center, instructional specialist at Lewis Elementary School, and an assistant principal at Edison Middle School. She joins Peck Elementary after her recent role and first principalship at Kelso Elementary School. She is a HISD alumni of Yates High School and holds two master’s degrees in School Counseling and Education Leadership from Prairie View A&M University.  

HISD Board of Education to consider reinstatement of Lathan as interim superintendent

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education announced it has mutually agreed to consider the reinstatement of Dr. Grenita Lathan as interim superintendent of HISD, the largest school district in Texas.

During a press conference at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, trustees announced the consideration of the rescinding of Thursday night’s vote to appoint Dr. Abelardo Saavedra to the position. The Board will meet on Thursday, Oct. 18, to consider the reinstatement of Dr. Lathan. The full meeting agenda can be found here.

“We are committed to working together as a board for the benefit of our students, and we are unified in our efforts to build a better governance structure for our children,” HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said. “We are confident that Dr. Lathan is the right person to lead the seventh-largest school district in the nation as our interim, and we thank the public for their encouragement and support.” Continue reading