blue spacer

FISD Hires New Principals (March, 2006)

New PrincipalsWith the opening of four new elementary schools this fall and the retirement of two long-time principals, the FISD has announced the hiring of six new principals.

Approximately 80 outstanding candidates applied for the position, said Dr. Linda Bass, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.

Merideth Jo Dotson has been named the principal at Isabel Pierce Sem Elementary School. Merideth is currently the assistant principal at Spears Elementary School, where she has served for the past three years. Previously, she was an elementary teacher (regular and bilingual) in districts in the Austin area for eight years. Her bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Elementary Education is from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree is from Southwest Texas State University.

Tanya Vargas-Hall will be the principal at Portia Taylor Elementary. Tanya has been in the FISD for four years, serving as the assistant principal at Borchardt Elementary for the past three years and as a bilingual teacher at Christie in her first year. Prior to coming to FISD, she taught for six years in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Socorro ISD, serving as a bilingual and a special education teacher. Her bachelor’s degree in linguistics is from the University of California and her master’s is from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Laurie Tinsley was hired as the principal at Dr. J.M. Ogle Elementary School. Laurie is currently the principal at Crandall Elementary School, where she has served since 1999. Prior to that, she served in Terrell ISD as a teacher for five years and as an assistant principal, principal and curriculum director for nine years. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree is from East Texas State University. She is also a graduate of McKinney High School.

David Wehmeyer will serve students at the new Weldon Corbell Elementary School. David is currently an elementary principal in Irving ISD, a position he has held for 12 years. Prior to that he was an assistant principal for two years and a special education teacher for seven years in Irving ISD. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Arkansas and his master’s is from the University of North Texas.

Teresa Wilkinson has been named to replace retiring principal LaDonna Polston at Anderson Elementary School. LaDonna is retiring after 41 years in education and 10 years in FISD. Teresa has served as the assistant principal at Anderson for the past two years. Previously, she was a third grade teacher at Smith Elementary for six years and was a teacher in Carroll ISD for the preceding 12 years. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from the University of North Texas. She is also a graduate of Carroll High.

Susie Graham has been named principal at Bright Elementary. J’Lynn Anderson will be moving to Curstinger Elementary to replace retiring principal Debbie Boyce. Susie began her teaching career in FISD in 1994 as a teacher at Acker and then at Rogers. She became assistant principal at Acker in 2000 and opened Bright as assistant principal in 2001. She served as principal at Parnell Elementary School in Jasper for three years and came back to FISD as an at-risk specialist this school year. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Stephen F. Austin.

Debbie Boyce has been in education for 31 years, 21 of those in FISD and 17 as a principal at Rogers and Curtsinger. J’Lynn Anderson has been the principal at Bright since it opened in 2001 and prior to that she was the assistant principal at Curtsinger Elementary. Ms. Anderson has 30 years of experience as an educator, having been a band director in the Garland and Mesquite school systems and a librarian in Mesquite and Frisco ISD, as well.

“We are extremely pleased with the quality of applicants who applied for these leadership positions and are proud that these new principals have chosen to join us or to move up in the district,” Dr. Rick Reedy, Superintendent of Schools, said. “We believe strongly in growing leaders and promoting from within, but we also think it benefits the district to bring in veteran leaders from other districts with different experiences and perspectives. That type of balance in hiring has added great value and depth to our organization and has served us well.”