Dear Lanier community,
I am beyond excited for 2018-2019 school year – last year all was new for me at Lanier! This year brings a different kind of excitement, born from the knowledge of what a dynamic and diverse learning community I lead, and the possibilities that come with that.
One of the changes students will notice is a healthier learning environment. Over the summer our generous PTO funded an important beautification project. Twenty-five (25) classrooms were professionally treated for mold and repainted. The impact is noticeable. I am optimistic that we will find a way to do the rest of the rooms next summer to benefit the entire student body.
My passion for open, clear, and concise communication, has led to this new website. It is my hope that this blog will be simple to navigate. Each cluster, club, and activity (including athletics) will have a simple website that you can easily access. This site will feature calendars with updates about all things happening at Lanier/ HISD – both during the regular school day as well as extracurricular activities and events. The calendars can be synced to your Google calendar.
Lanier, as a leader in education, embraces the role of developing talented leaders. As they build their leadership skills, our immediate community benefits from their strengths. This talent makes them ideal candidates to move into other leadership roles that serve the community at large. Our changes in leadership are a combination of our budget cuts that called for two less assistant principals, and the natural progression of our leaders’ careers. Mr. Gillpatrick has left the school district whilst Ms. Stacy Garcia, Ms. Nimmi Thomas, Ms. Amy Kolodziej, and Ms. Brandi Gosnay have moved onto new roles within HISD. I am happy to have these strong leaders serving our district!
As a result of budget cuts, we have fewer teachers and need to reduce parent conference and planning time to every other day. This will keep class sizes within the range that supports our students’ needs. On a campus of our size, some shift is always expected, as the individual careers and lives of our faculty and staff evolve. We are thrilled to welcome the 11 new teachers joining our campus as a result of these life shifts:
Caroline Barbosa 6th grade Science
Tamara Arlinghaus 6th grade Social Studies
Rodrigus Graham 6th grade Math
Allison Kelso 6th grade English Language Arts
Christal Jules 7th grade Math
Jonathan Pina 7th grade Math
Kirby White 8th grade Social Studies
Steven Duesterbeck 8th grade Social Studies
Alesha Williams 8th grade English Language Arts
Filiz Camus Design/Technology Applications
Valerie Mayfield French
HISD is committed to developing their home-grown talent. Please join me in enthusiastically welcoming new members to our leadership team, three of whom are moving from other roles in HISD:
- Mr. Marcus Williams is one of Lanier’s new assistant principals.
- Dr. Stacey Whitmore is moving into a teacher specialist role.
- Mr. Jose Cordova is the new testing coordinator and teacher specialist.
- Ms. Mindy Zapata is joining us to round out the administrative team as one of four assistant principals. Ms. Zapata began her career in HISD, moved to Austin ISD to complete her Master’s degree, and is excited to rejoin Team HISD.
This blog is to bridge the communication gap between parents, students and myself. I hope this new and open form of dialogue will facilitate new conversations around the “water cooler”. 😉 I welcome comments and suggestions.