Education briefs for May 18

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Posted 5/18/23

Education briefs for May 28, 2023.

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Education briefs for May 18


Katy ISD announces new Tays Junior High principal

Tays Junior High will have a new principal for the 2023-24 school year. Tara Haworth will assume her new role as leader of the campus on July 1 and will replace principal Kris Mitzner, who will be retiring soon. Haworth is already a familiar face among the Tays staff and school community, serving as the campus’s assistant principal and student support assistant principal.

“Ms. Haworth has a deep understanding of the Tays Junior High community and family,” Superintendent Ken Gregorski said. “Throughout her tenure as assistant principal she has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and a passion for ensuring student success.”

Haworth has 13 years of educational experience, all in Katy ISD. Her dream of working at an A+ school district became a reality in 2010 when she joined Mayde Creek Junior High as a math teacher. Her commitment to inspiring students and her fellow co-workers earned her the “Rookie Teacher of the Year” award as well as the T.E.A.C.H. award. Three years later, Haworth joined Taylor High School as an algebra teacher.

Throughout her time at Katy ISD, she has held various instructional and leadership roles which include Algebra I curriculum writer, mathematics department chair, and instructional coach for junior and high schools, among other duties. Haworth joined Tays Junior High in August 2017 as their assistant principal and three years later she was promoted to student support assistant principal. During this time, she contributed to creating a culture of academic excellence and character development for both students and staff members.

“I am thrilled to continue building upon our staff and family partnerships, and the excellence in teaching and learning that our students benefit from across our classrooms every day,” Haworth said. “As the school’s principal my door will always be open, and I welcome continued conversation and collaboration.”

Haworth holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Houston and a master’s degree from Lamar University.

Royal ISD names Duana Brashear as assistant superintendent of leadership and learning

Royal ISD has named Duana Brashear as assistant superintendent of leadership and learning. Brashear has 18 years of education leadership experience at both the elementary and secondary level.

Brashear currently leads Splendora Junior High and has presented at conferences across the state including Texas Association for School Administrators Summer and Midwinter Conferences, the Future Ready Superintendents Leadership Network, Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching, and the Region 13 Instructional Coaching Conference.

During her tenure as a principal, she improved campus culture both academically and culturally, being honored as a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase campus five consecutive years. She has also established innovative instructional coaching practices with a focus on student engagement and data-driven instruction. Brashear continues to inspire by leading with a focus on community-based accountability, bringing the mission and vision of a district to life.

“Becoming a Royal Falcon is an honor,” Brashear said. “It’s clear that we are a district who puts students first, something I am passionate about. I’m looking forward to learning more, building relationships with all stakeholders, and continuing the great things Mr. (Rick) Kershner (superintendent) is working on at RISD.”

Royal ISD names Shalonda Dumas as Royal High School principal

Royal ISD has named Shalonda Dumas as principal of Royal High School.

Before she went into education, Dumas worked for 10 years in the financial industry, including a stint as vice president of a bank. From there, she went to a school business manager role in Houston ISD. She served as a math teacher in both Alief ISD and Katy ISD. In 2012, she took a promotional position in Katy ISD as head of the math department. In 2015, she became an assistant principal at a high school in the district. She helped open Paetow High School in 2017 as an associate principal.

Dumas holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Royal High School is an amazing school with outstanding students, dedicated teachers and community support,” Dumas said. “I look forward to working together to build a positive culture and environment that promotes excellence for all.”

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HCC Coleman College student from Katy receives national NSLS scholarship

Maren Jensen, dental assisting student at Houston Community College – Coleman College for Health Sciences, is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Foundation.

A member of the NSLS chapter at HCC Coleman College, Jensen applied for the Financial Aid and Materials Grant scholarship in February and received notice of her award on May 8.

Jensen serves as community service chair of her NSLS chapter. Earlier in the second term, she coordinated not just one but two community service projects benefiting Meals on Wheels and Houston Humane Society, respectively.

In addition to NSLS, Jensen further serves on the College Advisory Board for HCC Coleman College and the Student Fee Advisory Committee for Houston Community College System.  She has also been selected as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society All-State Academic Team.

Kay Jukes, program director of dental assisting, gladly recommended Jensen for the scholarship.

“She’s an outstanding student in the classroom and clinic, and she’s an outstanding community member,” Jukes said. “She belongs to honor and leadership societies, and she’s organized two volunteer events this semester. She also serves on two college committees.”

“She does all of this while working a part-time job and being a mom,” Jukes said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this scholarship.”

The award will help Jensen further her education goals. In the fall, she hopes to begin the Dental Hygiene program or complete the biology degree plan at HCC Coleman College.

“I’m so honored to receive this national scholarship. It means so much to me,” Jensen said. “I’m graduating from the Dental Assisting program this summer, and my wonderful experience has given me the confidence to continue down the dental career path.”

The Katy resident said she hopes to set an example for her three children.

“I really want my kids to see that whatever happens in life, you can always start over,” Jensen said. “You can still go back to school and turn things around. It’s about never giving up.”

UT Tyler recognizes local students on Spring 2023 President's Honor Roll, Dean’s List

The University of Texas at Tyler announced four students from Katy who were named to the spring 2023 President's Honor Roll and two for the Dean’s List.

To qualify for the President’s Honor Roll, a student must have completed, in one semester, 12 or more semester hours of undergraduate college-level credit with an “A” in all courses. To be considered for this recognition, a student must qualify as a matriculated student pursuing a first bachelor's degree. This recognition is made in fall and spring semesters.

President’s Honor Roll students from Katy are Rebecca Gonzalez Barboza, College of Arts & Sciences; Eugene Hodge, School of Nursing; Maiya Pena, School of Health Professions, and Bradley Smith, School of Nursing.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must have completed 12 or more semester hours of undergraduate college-level credit in the awarding semester with a grade point average of at least 3.75. To be considered for this recognition, a student must qualify as a matriculated student pursuing a first bachelor's degree. This recognition is made in fall and spring semesters.

Dean’s List students from Katy are Hailey Matthews, School of Health Professions, and Connor Morgan, College of Engineering.

Student from Katy earns degree at Centenary College of Louisiana

Jacob Benjamin Lievre of Katy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Sports Management at the May 6 Centenary College of Louisiana commencement exercises at the Gold Dome in Shreveport, La.

Centenary College of Louisiana is a selective, residential, national liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South.

Katy ISD, Tays Junior High, Royal ISD, Royal High School, HCC, UT Tyler, Centenary College of Louisiana