Published June 14, 2016
Every month the Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees convenes a regular meeting to publicly address the business of the school district. Community members and business partners are encouraged to attend and participate. There is a public speaking section during every meeting that provides an opportunity for anyone to share positive feedback or concerns. However, the board is unable to take action on any item that is not already included on the meeting’s agenda.
Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at the Duncanville ISD Education Plaza (710 S. Cedar Ridge Drive). View the complete board meeting here. A highlight of board decisions at this month’s meeting on Monday, June 13, 2016, included:
Board Approves New Administrative Appointments
Director of Special Education – Mackenzie Casall
Ms. Casall joins Duncanville Independent School District from Irving ISD. During the past year, she has been the principal at Wheeler Transitional Center, an Admissions, Review and Dismissal (ARD) placement option for special education students who show an inability to function to their home campus. The program’s goal was to improve student social skill level to a point where the student is able to return to the home campus. Ms. Casall has also been a Special Education Coordinator in Irving ISD, Lead Diagnostician in DeSoto ISD and Special Education Teacher in Garland ISD. She has a bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Texas Tech University and earned two master’s degrees - Special Education and Educational Administration - from the University of North Texas.
Director of Safety and Security – Chad Wilhelm
Mr. Wilhelm comes to Duncanville ISD from Marshall ISD, where he was the Chief of Police overseeing the Marshall ISD Police Department. This move is actually a return home, because his parents lived in Duncanville when he was born and his first home purchase was in Duncanville. Mr. Wilhem is a former United States Marine with established experience in school policing leadership. He has served as Police Chief for Kerens ISD and was once a K-9 Officer and School Resource Officer in the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Wilhelm has also earned his Master Peace Officer License. He is a recent graduate of the Leadership Command College at Sam Houston State University.
Duncanville High School Executive Principal – Tia Simmons
Ms. Locke-Simmons will soon take the helm at Duncanville High School. She was most recently the Principal at Spring High School, which is located about 20 miles north of Houston. She previously served as a Director of Accountability in Spring ISD and an Associate Principal in Klein ISD. Ms. Simmons has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin University. She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University.
Special Assistant to the Superintendent – Melissa Kates
Ms. Kates has an extensive history as an attorney representing school districts as general counsel and board counsel. Prior to joining Duncanville ISD, she helped Underwood Law Firm establish its Dallas-Fort Worth presence in 2013. Ms. Kates is well-versed in school law matters, district policies and open records. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Texas A&M University and her Juris Doctor from Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. Ms. Kates is presently working toward her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at University of Texas at Arlington.
Chief of Schools – Ed Hernandez
Dr. Hernandez joins Duncanville Independent School District from Crowley ISD, where he was most recently a Chief Academic Officer and oversaw the district’s oversight for college and career readiness, federal programs, state assessment and school improvement. Prior to Crowley, he was a principal in Terrell ISD and spent 13 years in Dallas ISD, where he was a teacher, principal and executive director. Dr. Hernandez received his undergraduate degree in Finance and Political Science from Texas Christian University and earned his master’s degree and doctorate in Education from Texas A&M – Commerce.
Chief of Schools – Thurston B. Lamb
Dr. Lamb arrives in the district from DeSoto ISD, where he was the Executive Principal at DeSoto High School. Prior to that, he was an administrator in Crowley ISD and Plano ISD. Dr. Lamb is no stranger to Duncanville. He was an assistant principal at the high school more than a decade ago. In addition to being a former United States Marine, Dr. Lamb earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Arkansas, a master’s degree in Education from Texas A&M – Commerce and a PhD in Educational Leadership from Capella University.
Assistant Superintendent of Operations – Andrea Hill Fields
Ms. Fields brings 37 years of experience in public education to Duncanville Independent School District. Previously, she was the Deputy Superintendent for District Services in Longview ISD. Her journey included service as a teacher, assistant principal, supervisor and director. Ms. Fields earned her bachelor’s degree in Education at Louisiana Tech University and a master’s degree in Secondary Educational Administration from Stephen F. Austin University.
Joe Veracruz was administered the Oath of Office at last night’s Board Meeting. He was unopposed in the May election, and will serve as a Trustee in Place 3. Mr. Veracruz was elected to a three year term, ending in 2019.
The Board was also reorganized with a new election of officers. Elijah Granger will serve as Board President, Renee McNeely as Vice President and Carla Fahey as Secretary for the 2016-2017 school year.
“Made with Pride in Duncanville”
Lorrie Goodnight, a help desk technician at the Idea Hub, is a very patient and conscientious member of the Technology team. She goes out of her way to make sure assigned issues are resolved in a prompt, professional manner, and always maintains a cheerful and positive outlook with the many staff members she assists. Lorrie makes technology problems "go away," and is a great asset to Duncanville ISD.
Duncanville High School teachers Medgar Roberts and David Womack were recognized for their work in implementing the first ever Senior Walk for graduating seniors. More than 450 DHS seniors visited all nine district elementary schools and shared high fives and encouraging words with the younger students. It was a special time for the seniors, elementary students and staff.
Closing Down Ceremony at Hastings
More than 650 people attended Hastings Elementary School’s Closing Down Ceremony on Tuesday, May 24. Assistant Principal Rachel Hix and music teacher Robin O’Bier coordinated the event. Current and former students and staff, along with parents and community members came out for the celebration. Former students reminisced about their time at Hastings and looked through old yearbooks. During the week of “closing down” events, students also wrote on classroom walls, released balloons and prepared a time capsule to be buried at the new Hastings Elementary.
Trustees received an update on Duncanville ISD’s 2014 Bond Program. View the update for more information.
Chief Technology Officer Kyle Berger updated the Board on the status of the Skyward student conversion.
Trustees heard a presentation about Child Nutrition from Nutrition Services Director Donna Woodard-Thomas.
Athletic Director Cathy Self-Morgan presented the annual Athletics Report.
Approved May 9 minutes
Approved budget amendments
Accepted financial reports
Authorized the filing of FCC Form 471
Approved RFP 14-15.015 for printing services
Approved of RPF 15-16.001 for custodial chemicals, supplies and paper products
Approved easement for new Acton Elementary School
Changed order of $181,249 for Kennemer Middle School addition and renovation project
Established a guaranteed maximum price for the second safety and security package
Established a guaranteed maximum price for aging facilities at Daniel Intermediate School
Submitted a nominee for the TASB Board of Directors, Region 10, Position B seat
First reading of Board Operating Procedures for 2016-2017
First reading of revisions to the 2016-2017 Code of Conduct
First reading of revised DNA (Local) policy
First reading of revised DNB (Local) policy