Texas Council for International Studies
Eye on the IB
Eye on the IB
Carol Vasquez, Ph.D
Harris Middle School
Carol G. Velazquez is Head of School at Joel C. Harris Middle School, an International Baccalaureate® World School in San Antonio, Texas. Under her leadership, the campus has transitioned from a traditional middle school to a fully authorized International Baccalaureate® World School. The school completed IB authorization in the spring of 2018. Dr. Velazquez has worked for 23 years as a public educator in the San Antonio ISD, She has been a teacher, Special Education Supervisor, and high school administrator prior to becoming a middle school principal at Harris in 2014. Dr. Velazquez has made it her mission to ensure all her decisions are student-centered and that minority students are given equal access to quality education.
Cassie McClung, D.Ed
Dr. Cassie McClung received her Bachelor and Master degrees from Wayland Baptist University and completed her Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University – Kingsville in 2015. She is originally from the small, southern town of Carrizo Springs, Texas, but has lived in San Antonio for the past seventeen years with my husband, Kelly, and two adult daughters, Jeanneh and Sunni.She has been an employee of SAISD for the several years and have served the students of our district in many roles: teacher at Woodlawn Elementary, Success for All Facilitator and Assistant Principal. She has had 5 years’ experience as a principal and now she the honor of being the Head of School for Fenwick Academy. She looks forward to working alongside the talented staff to guide our students in becoming strong, lifelong learners.
James P. Brewer
Longview High School
James Brewer was born Jan. 8, 1958, in Magnolia, Arkansas. He was the third of seven children -- six boys and a girl. His mother, Earnestine, raised them alone. Brewer graduated from Magnolia High School in 1976, then graduated four years later from Southern Arkansas State with a BSE degree. He also received ME Degree from Texas A&M in Commerce. James Brewer has served 40 years in Texas Education. He served 10 years as Superintendent of DeKalb Independent School District. In 2008, he moved to Longview, Texas, to become Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education and High School Principal. The 2014-2015 school year complete his 14th year as principal at Longview High School. He and his family have been members of Galilee Baptist Church in Longview for the past thirteen years, and he currently serves as a Deacon in the church. Some of his accomplishments are: · Coach of the Year · Principal of the Year · Superintendent of the Year Some of the professional organizations that he belongs to: · he is a member of the NAACP · SAU Alumni Board Member · UIL Legislation
Briscoe Elementary School
Jennifer Emerson is the Head of School at Andrew Briscoe Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate® World School in San Antonio, Texas. Her focus is teacher development and efficacy. She is committed to the improvement of student outcomes. She works to ensure students grow to be internationally minded contributors and advocates for their communities and the world. Mrs. Emerson believes in bringing community together to share leadership and in working with others to develop them as leaders. Mrs. Emerson has worked in the San Antonio Independent School District for 10 years, starting as a student teacher at Briscoe. In 2014, she received her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Trinity University.
Clarence Bailey Elementary
Andrea Pitts, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas. Andrea attended Tyler Junior College where she earned her Associate's Degree in University Studies and transferred to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she contributed photos to the campus newspaper and was a member of a social issues theater group and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Andrea has served SAISD in the capacity of a Pre-K Instructional Assistant, 2nd, and 3rd grade teacher and held leadership roles such as, Reading Cadre and Math Trainer of Trainers for her campus. In 2014, Andrea earned her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Lamar University, and served as a Counselor, Assistant Principal, and Associate Principal. Her philosophy is anchored in making learning an experience for all students and equipping students with the skills necessary to thrive as well-rounded individuals serving a greater purpose than self. Ms. Pitts truly believes a village of family, educators, and community members working together will empower all students.
Mary Huppertz Elementary
Linda Rios-Garcia is the Head of School at Mary Huppertz Elementary, an International Baccalaureate® candidate school in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Ms. Rios-Garcia serves her school community with high energy and is relentless in her quest to build relationships and empower others.
Woodlawn Hills Elementary
Martha Leticia Martinez-Silva is the Head of School at Woodlawn Hills Elementary, an International Baccalaureate® candidate school in San Antonio, Texas. She was reared by hard-working immigrants who instilled in her the belief that education is a way of life. Ms. Martinez-Silva holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Bilingual-Bicultural Studies, both from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her goal is to empower students by creating learning relationships, providing tailored instruction and instilling a universal need to help others.
Ned E. Williams
Ms. Melanie Hamilton is the Head of School at Ned E. Williams Magnet STEAM Academy in Longview, Texas, an International Baccalaureate PYP school. Ms. Hamilton has a BS from Grambling State University and a Master’s from the University of Texas—Permian Basin. She is passionate about ensuring that all children can read fluently, as that is the gatekeeper skill for success in school and life. Ms. Hamilton works with her teachers to ensure that students have the tools needed for their success. She has been an educator in Longview ISD for twelve years, consistently showing her leadership capabilities both in the classroom and while leading teachers.
Judson STEAM Academy
Melanie Pondant has over 29 years of experience in education as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Associate Principal, Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction, and Middle School Principal at Judson STEAM Academy. She has also worked closely with district level instructional specialists and campus level administration, playing an instrumental role in turning around campuses to meet state accountability requirements within the district as well as in other districts in the state. As Head of School at Judson STEAM Academy, Melanie Pondant has focused on fostering a climate and culture of high expectations for all students and staff where she has implemented innovative student courses and programs to create a strong middle-to-high-school transition. Under her leadership Judson STEAM Academy has earned the designation as “A Texas School to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform along with the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). She earned her bachelor’s degree from Henderson State University and Master of Education from Texas A&M University.
Thomas Jefferson High School
Ralf Halderman is the Head of School at Thomas Jefferson High School, an International Baccalaureate® World School in San Antonio, Texas. He holds a Bachelor’s from Southwest Texas State University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. His experience in education includes teaching, coaching, and administrative positions in Texas school districts. Under his leadership, Thomas Jefferson High School became the first International Baccalaureate® World School in Bexar County to offer both the IB Middle Years and Diploma Programs
Foster Middle School
I am a proud graduate of Winnsboro High School, just north of Longview. I graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. degree and received my Masters degree from the University of North Texas. This is my 31st year in education. I have been a math teacher/coach for 5 years and a school administrator for 25 years. I am a fourth-generation educator. My wife, Rachel, and I have two children, Kaylee (25) and Ian (22), and Rachel and I both had parents who were teachers/administrators. Rachel, Kaylee and I are all three educators. As you can tell, we have a passion to serve students each day. Please feel free to stop by Foster Middle School to meet me in person. It is a pleasure to serve the students, staff and families of FMS. Let's go Dragons!
Hudson PEP Elementary
Sue Wilson is the Head of School at Hudson PEP Elementary, an International Baccalaureate candidate school in Longview, Texas. She holds degrees from East Texas State University and the University of Texas at Tyler with degrees in Speech and Hearing Pathology and a Master’s in Education. She firmly believes that all children have special gifts to excel and the responsibility of the educator is to find their areas of strength, interests, and aptitude to bolster any academic, relational and emotional challenges.
Ida Nuñez served in SAISD and NEISD, before joining the Edgewood family. She served as a teacher and served as an elementary school Assistant Principal for 7 years. During her experience in administration, she has led, supported, and launched a strong Dual Language Program, improved the academic performance of the campus, and led several campus clubs and initiatives. She is truly passionate about partnering with students, staff, parents, and community partners to provide a high-quality and engaging educational experience. As a first-generation graduate, she believes that all students have potential and that it is our job as educators to tap into their strengths. Her goal is to empower her students to become principled, global- minded leaders!
Monica Muñoz currently serves as the principal of Las Palmas Leadership School for Girls K-3 and Las Palmas Elementary 4-5. She is entering her 25th year as as a public school educator, where she has served as an elementary and middle school teacher, academic coordinator, and elementary principal. She holds a B.A. from St. Mary's University, her M.E. from Our Lady of the Lake University, and is currently in her 4th year as a doctoral student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a true servant leader that establishes and maintains positive and productive relationships with parents, students, administrators, and the community. She is an advocate for all students and works to build systems that foster equity in our schools. It is her purpose and mission to create a learning space for young girls to thrive and be empowered to change the world.
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