Category Archives: Staff updates

Cesar Martinez named Northwest Area Superintendent

Cesar Martinez has been selected as Northwest Area Superintendent within HISD’s School Offices department. Martinez brings 22 years of experience as a leader at the local, regional, and state levels of education. He started his career in the Broad Prize-winning Brownsville ISD as a middle school teacher, elementary school assistant principal, and principal. Martinez then continued as an education specialist with the Statewide Initiatives Division of the Education Service Center – Region XIII in Austin, Texas. There he managed the Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) Program and developed, identified, and supported effective instructional practices for the Title I School Improvement Plan (SIP) campuses of Regions IV and V of the state of Texas. He returned to a state school district as a middle school principal in Austin ISD and as a school leadership coordinator in Dallas ISD. Most recently, Martinez has coached and developed 34 principals from early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school campuses over the last five years as a School Support Officer (SSO) in HISD. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s from the University of Texas at Brownsville and currently working to complete a doctorate in Education at the University of Texas at Austin.

Lauren K. Price named new principal of Marshall Elementary School

Lauren K. Price has been selected as the new principal of Marshall Elementary School. She most recently served as the dean of students at Meyerland Middle School for the Visual and Performing Arts and assistant principal at Crespo Elementary. Price relocated to Houston from California where she spent eight years as a building principal in the Long Beach Unified School District. She holds a bachelor’s in English from Spelman College and a master’s in Education Management from the University of La Verne.

Beatrice Akala named new principal of Sutton Elementary School

Beatrice Akala has been selected as the new principal of Sutton Elementary School. She began her career in Education as an English teacher in Kenya before moving to the United States. In the U.S., she started her career as a prekindergarten through fourth-grade teacher in private school. For the last fourteen years, she has served at HISD in various capacities, including as an ESL teacher at Sam Houston High School, teacher development specialist, assistant principal, and dean of instruction at Wisdom High School. As a member of the instructional leadership team at Wisdom, the school earned four distinctions in ELA, math, science and social studies. She holds a bachelor’s in Education from Moi University Kenya, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Houston, a master’s in Human Resource Management from Walden University. She is also currently working on a doctorate’s in Education at North Central University.

Mayte Garcia-Olivo named new principal of Seguin Elementary School

Mayte Garcia-Olivo has been selected as the new principal of Seguin Elementary School. She began her career at St. Charles Parish Public Schools and later moved back to the Houston area. She has served as a regular and bilingual teacher, peer facilitator, teacher specialist, and assistant principal. Her years in education has consistently increased academic performance at the schools she serviced. During her most recent tenure at Brookline Elementary School, the campus received an “A” rating and numerous distinctions. Olivo earned two bachelors’ in Operations Management and Marketing from the University of Houston and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans.

Michelle Wagner named new principal of Wisdom High School

Michelle Wagner has been selected as the new principal of Wisdom High School. After 17 years in education including 12 years at Spring Branch ISD, Wagner began her service with HISD at Wisdom in 2014 as an ELA teacher specialist and has most recently served as dean of instruction and associate principal. As a member of the instructional leadership team at Wisdom, Wagner helped develop and implement an effective double-blocked master schedule that includes in-school interventions and a specialized ESL program to meet the academic needs of the campus’ diverse multicultural ESL student population. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a master’s in Educational Administration from University of St. Thomas.

Luis Landa named new principal of Chavez High School

Luis Landa has been selected as the new principal at Chavez High School. Landa has spent his educational career at HISD, where he has served as a science teacher at McReynolds Middle School, a teacher specialist at Henry Middle School, assistant principal at Austin High School, and most recently principal at Sutton Elementary School. While serving at Sutton Elementary, Landa was responsible in the campus being consistently ranked in the top quarter of all schools in the district and state. Sutton was also recognized numerous times as a Gold Ribbon School by Children at Risk during his tenure. He holds a bachelor’s in Biology from University of Texas at San Antonio, a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from University of St. Thomas, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from University of Houston.

Ericka Austin named new principal of High School Ahead Academy

Ericka Austin has been selected as the new principal of High School Ahead Academy. Austin began her career supporting school improvement in Haiti designing outreach programs for students living in group homes, followed by a teaching career in Arlington, Texas. At HISD, she has served as a teacher specialist and a data-driven instructional specialist. Austin was a part of the leadership team at Marshall Elementary that successfully moved to a met standard rating. She has also held leadership roles at High School Ahead and Booker T. Washington High School. Austin earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Central Arkansas and a Master of Business Administration from University of Arkansas.

Alejandro Lopez named new principal of Clemente Martinez Elementary School

Alejandro Lopez has been named principal of Clemente Martinez Elementary School, where he assisted the campus in making double digit gains in mathematics across all grade levels and increased mastery and met performance on STAAR. His previous experience includes administrator at Reagan K8, where he also assisted in making double digit gains in mathematics for third- through eighth-grade. He has also served as an Apollo coordinator for Lawson Middle School, where he oversaw the biggest Apollo campus in the district with over 27 tutors. Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s in Educational Administration from Lamar University.

Maria Guerra named new principal of J.P. Henderson Elementary School

Maria Guerra has been selected as the new principal of J.P. Henderson Elementary School. Guerra began her career with HISD as a teacher assistant at J.P. Henderson and has also served as a teacher at Davila Elementary School before moving into a leadership role as a teacher specialist at Helms Elementary School. During her tenure at Helms, Guerra was instrumental in helping lead the campus out of Improvement Required (IR) to meet state accountability standards. Most recently, she returned to Davila as a teacher specialist and assistant principal. She holds a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s in Educational Administration from Lamar University.

Jose Santos named new principal at Middle College High School at HCC-Fraga

Jose Santos has been selected as the new principal of Middle College High School at Houston Community College-Fraga. For 18 years, he has served at HISD in various capacities, including as an assistant principal Sterling Aviation Early College High School. Prior to that, he served as dean of students at the Advanced Virtual Academy. He has also taught at East Early College High School and in 2008 received the Teacher of the Year Award. Santos holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Houston-Downtown and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University.