Trustees name new elementary school

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 1/26/22

Katy school trustees Monday named the district’s newest elementary school, which is set to open this fall.

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Trustees name new elementary school

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Katy school trustees Monday named the district’s newest elementary school, which is set to open this fall.

Steve & Elaine Robertson Elementary will be at 7400 Innovation Drive in the Cane Island subdivision. It is the 44th elementary school in the district. It is named for Steve and Elaine Robertson, who retired in 2020 following a combined 64 years of service in education.

Steve Robertson began his career in 1985 as an elementary teacher in the Spring Branch Independent School District. He later took leadership roles in the Conroe Independent School District, and later the Katy Independent School District.

In Katy, Steve Robertson served as an elementary, junior high and high school principal. Later he served as an assistant superintendent for secondary school leadership and support. He was cited for leading school improvement efforts, increased student performance, and support and mentorship to staff and campus leadership.

Elaine Robertson began her career in 1987 as a deaf education elementary teacher with West 10 Cooperative. She took some time away to focus on family and returned to education in 1997, when she became a parent-infant advisor for the Katy Independent School District.

In 2002, Elaine Robertson took the leadership role of instructional officer for deaf education, vision and assistive technology. She wrote grants to fund innovative instruction, provided engaging and inspiring staff development sessions, and served on inclusion teams and site-based management teams.

Elaine Robertson also organized extra-curricular programs to bridge academic and social gaps between the deaf and hard of hearing and other students. She has been a leader in establishing the district’s audiological center.

After the vote, Board President Greg Schulte asked the Robertsons to stand and be recognized.

“Congratulations,” Schulte said. “They’ve got a lot of people with them, a lot of support.”

Sundown principal named

Trustees appointed Kari Nelson Torres as the new principal of Sundown Elementary School. She begins her new role this week.

Torres began her career in 1993 as a junior high teacher in the Alief Independent School District. During her time with Alief, she also served as a language arts, social studies, GT and dyslexia specialist.

Torres in 2006 took a leadership role as a district ESL/bilingual instructional specialist. She later became the program supervisor of the district elementary program.

Torres joined the Katy Independent School District in 2014 as an assistant principal at Fielder Elementary. She held that role for two years before joining WoodCreek Junior High as student support administrator.

Most recently, Torres served as assistant principal at Adams Junior High. She said she was excited to continue the tradition of the Sundown Armadillo family while creating new adventures along the way.

“Along with the Sundown team of educators and parents, we will work together to provide each student a safe, supportive and positive environment,” Torres said.

Torres holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sam Houston State University, a Master of Science in Educational Management, as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

District of Innovation plan finalized

Trustees finalized a District of Innovation plan.

The concept, as passed by the Texas Legislature, enables districts such as Katy to obtain exemptions from certain provisions in the Texas Education Code that are now available to open enrollment charter schools.

Trustees approved Katy’s first plan in 2017. That plan reflected exemptions for the school start date, teacher certification and designated campus behavior coordinators.

The plan adopted Monday includes exemptions for student suspensions, attendance for class credits or final grades, and excused absences for college, vocation school, or military visits.

Election set for May 7

Trustees set the school board election for May 7.

The position 1 and position 2 seats are on the ballot. Incumbent Position 1 Trustee Duke Keller, an attorney, and incumbent Position 2 Trustee Lance Redmon have both filed for reelection.

Filing deadline is Feb. 18.

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