The School Zone: News

Spring Branch ISD is excited to have 12 newly named principals already hard at work helping their campuses, staff and students prepare for a great school year ahead!

Seven of these new principals have moved into their new roles from previous positions within the district, and five are new to the SBISD family. A wide depth of educational and leadership experience has each poised to steer their school community through uncharted waters to the shores of success.

Please join us in welcoming and congratulating these new leaders:

 

Karina Avila, Treasure Forest Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD? My family and I relocated to Houston in 2006. I was so impressed with the variety of options that SBISD presented to its community, from Pre-K centers, Bilingual Programs to an International Baccalaureate school. I feel so lucky to come to school every day to work on behalf of all the students, believing that all of them can be successful.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? Chicken Pasta Salad

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I lived in Colombia for two years. During that time, I was a stay-at-home mom and I loved it!

What was a pivotal moment in your career? The moment I became a Two-Way Dual Language Teacher at Pine Shadows Elementary. I learned so much while I was part of a growing program where biliteracy and bilingualism was put front and center for all the students in the classroom.

Academics: 

  • B.S., Computer Engineering, Rafel Urdaneta Univ., Maracaibo, VZ
  • M.Ed., Bilingual Education, University of Texas 

Previous position in SBISD: Assistant Director, Westchester Academy


Raymorris Barnes, Stratford High School

What inspired you to work in SBISD? I was drawn to SBISD by a former SBISD administrator, Dr. Virginia Leiker. 

Although I had already obtained my Masters in the Arts of Teaching from Rice, I needed to complete my principal certification and I chose to do so at the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Leiker was my professor and she highly suggested that I try Spring Branch because she felt I would fit in well with the SBISD culture.

As they say, the rest is history. The same reasons she suggested I come to Spring Branch are the same reasons I have chosen to stay. SBISD has always had a family atmosphere.

Although we are nestled in the “big city,” we believe in personal relationships. We give our word and we honor that word. Everyone has ups and downs, but we are about making people stronger and better. We make that commitment to our students, to our staff, and to our families.

Coming from a small town in Mississippi, those core values are the same I was reared upon, and this is why I still call Spring Branch home now going on 10 years.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? If it is during the holiday season then I will bring turkey. However, it won’t be baked. I had fried turkey for my staff at Spring Forest Middle for multiple Thanksgivings, and Randolph Adami and I did the same thing when we worked together at Northbrook High School. I have also injected and smoked several turkeys, too.

As a country, southern fellow, my potluck contribution will probably come by way of the grill or by way of the frying oil.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.  I received the Bob Quinn Award at Rice University that is given to the Most Outstanding Male Senior Scholar-Athlete.

Out of all of the awards I have received, including being a regional finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman, the George H.W. Bush award, and the American Football Coaches Association member of the Good Works team just to name a few, I hold this one in the highest regards because I was recognized on a campus for my contributions on and off the field. It wasn’t based off of anything I accomplished as a high school athlete. It was based off of my efforts over a four- to five-year span in a city completely new to me.

What was a pivotal moment in your career?  It goes without saying that a pivotal moment in my career was leaving Pearland ISD as a teacher and coach to become an administrator at Northbrook High School.

However, I believe an even more pivotal and life-changing moment was when I was asked to leave Northbrook High School to help in administration centrally. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and faith that was placed in an assistant principal, to come over and work with all campuses and all stakeholders on behalf of Spring Branch ISD. I learned so much from our Associate Superintendent of Administration and Operations at the time, and that knowledge has been invaluable to me as I became a building principal. I had the privilege to sit under the tutelage of Dr. Jennifer Blaine, and I can’t quantify the impact that opportunity has had on my life.

Academics: 

  • B.A., English, Rice University
  • M.A., Teaching, Rice University 

Previous position in SBISD: Principal, Spring Forest Middle School


Irma Garner, Woodview Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  I graduated from Northbrook High School. When I was a student, I had a teacher who made a difference in my life. It was then I knew I wanted to become a teacher; to make a difference and give back to my SBISD community.

I’m motivated everyday by my students, families and staff to give them the very best education and opportunities at Woodview, to conquer their dreams.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? I would bring a dessert, Chocolate Delight. It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe and a family favorite. Chocolate Delight has layers of chocolate pudding, cream cheese, and Cool Whip, all on a pecan crust.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I enjoy the great outdoors. I enjoy camping with my family.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? A pivotal moment in my career was when I became an administrator and had the opportunity to work with all students.

Academics: 

  • B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Houston
  • M.Ed., Bilingual Education, University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley 

Previous position in SBISD: Assistant Principal, Woodview Elementary


Curtis George, Spring Forest Middle School

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  I remember some former colleagues encouraging me to come to Spring Branch, and when I read the district’s 5-year plan I was hooked. T-2-4 is such a powerful and specific goal for student achievement, and I couldn’t find anything even close in other districts. Spring Branch felt like home from the beginning. I’ve benefited from having some of the best leaders and colleagues imaginable.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? Folks on campus would tease that it’d be something like tofu or kombucha, but I tend to go with chips and dip. There are so many options. I think tortilla chips and guacamole are best.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I grew up skateboarding, and was pretty serious about it for a long time, which is surprising to most. For the last eight years I’ve been on a competitive road cycling team, racing in Texas and Louisiana.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? I’ve had so many. Early on, I worked in a tutoring center in Los Angeles and was able to see how students were prepared from a wide variety of schools, income levels, etc., and it really cemented for me that everyone deserves an excellent education.

More recently, joining Spring Branch was huge. I’ve had the privilege of working with such talented and dedicated professionals, and learning from awesome leaders at every level.

Academics: 

  • B.A., English Literature, California State University Northridge
  • M.Ed., Educational Leadership, University of North Texas 

Previous position in SBISD: Assistant Principal, Spring Forest Middle School


Becky Hagan, Nottingham Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  I have lived in SBISD for most of my life. When I moved here from Buffalo, New York I attended Shadow Oaks, Spring Oaks, and graduated from Spring Woods High School.

My fifth grade teacher at Shadow Oaks was the person who inspired me to become an educator.

Fast forward several years, that same teacher ended up being the principal at Ridgecrest Elementary where I started my student teaching and my career as an educator. In that moment I knew it was “meant to be.” I was meant to give back to the district that gave me so much.

I’m extremely excited to start my journey at Nottingham Elementary and to continue my journey in SBISD.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? My world-famous, double chocolate chunk brownies. Baking is one of my favorite things to do with my son. We love to try new recipes and share them with people we love.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I love to do cardio boxing. My son creates our workouts and we have a great time exercising together as a family.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? A pivotal moment in my career was when I was chosen by Raise Your Hand Texas to attend the Art of Leadership Institute at Harvard. I’ve been in the district for 22 years and this was one of the best leadership trainings I’ve ever attended.

What made it so powerful was making connections with other principals around the world. What we realized was we all want the same thing – success for Every Child.

Academics: 

  • B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Houston
  • M.Ed., Educational Leadership, University of Houston

Previous position in SBISD: Principal, Woodview Elementary


Thayer Hutcheson, Memorial Drive Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  Friends and colleagues who work in SBISD glow when they talk about their jobs, the students, and the district. I was also attracted to the Core Values.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? Veggies and hummus or chocolate. It depends on the day.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. The summer after my first year teaching, I volunteered at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? Last fall, I was able to witness a kindergarten student as he read his first word aloud! The combination of surprise and elation on his face filled my heart with both love of the children and gratitude for our teachers. I wish I could witness every student’s light bulb moments.

Academics: 

  • B.A., Biology & Psychology, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
  • MBA, Rice University

Previous position: Principal, Briargrove Elementary, Houston ISD


HP Hyder III, Northbrook Middle School

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  My conversation with a former SBISD employee inspired me to join the team. She painted a picture of collaboration, team spirit, and organization (structure) which made my heart smile. The visual was validated when I read the district’s core values. After only a few days in the district, I have to say - she was right!

What will you bring to a staff potluck? You can count of me to bring a store-bought dessert or paper goods to the staff potluck. Cooking is not my forte.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I was a bus driver for 4 years in Aldine ISD.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? After being a principal for six years, I thought it was time for me to move to central administration. I’d witnessed several colleagues make the transition, so I assumed I should, too.

At the end of my sixth year, I was offered a director position that I immediately accepted. Unfortunately, it was not what I expected and took a campus leadership position the next year. From this experience, I learned that everything you want is not always what you need – be patient, your time will come.

Academics: 

  • B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Houston
  • M.Ed., Educational Leadership, Prairie View A&M
  • Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies, Prairie View A&M

Previous position: Principal, Bammel Middle School, Spring ISD


Roy Moore, Landrum Middle School

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  When I began searching for a principal position, I saw T-2-4. My wife worked in the district and had a lot of positives and enjoyed her role. The more I researched and read about what T-2-4 meant, I knew my philosophy and this district's beliefs aligned.

The motivation is to achieve T-2-4 and continue trying to make a difference in kids’ lives every day.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? I can make a mean crock pot of beef nachos and taco soup.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. Pre-COVID, each year my brother, cousin, and I would pick a city and stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play and take a guys trip to the game.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? I would say leading through Harvey. The Nottingham Elementary community was one of the hardest hit with 120-plus homes flooded during that time. With all the damage, panic, and uncertainty happening within the community, it was critical that we remained strong and worked together as one.

With all that happened I witnessed how a community can pull together and overcome. That same vision and mindset transitioned to inside the school. Some of our best work came during and after Harvey.

Academics: 

  • B.Ed., Physical Education, Sam Houston State University
  • M.Ed., Educational Leadership, Prairie View A&M

Previous position in SBISD: Principal, Nottingham Elementary


David Rodriguez, Spring Branch Elementary 

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  I clearly remember being at the corner of Wirt Rd. and Long Point 25 years ago, a year before I became a teacher. As I saw people walking on the streets, I felt very much at home. It reminded me of the city I grew up in, Laredo. I knew then that Spring Branch was where I would teach.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? Something from H-E-B. I don’t cook.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.  I would love to spend some of my retirement years in Europe.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? In the first semester of my first year of teaching, I was working with one of my struggling readers. As I worked with him on putting together the sounds of the letters to form a word, a look of discovery suddenly came over his eyes, and he said, “I understand now!”

It was the best feeling in the world to know I could impact a child in that manner. He finished the year reading on level!

Academics: 

  • B.A., Drama, Angelo State University
  • M.A., Instruction & Curriculum, University of Houston
     

Previous position in SBISD: Principal, Buffalo Creek Elementary


Laura Sloan, Rummel Creek Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  When we decided to make the move to the Houston area I immediately applied for positions within Spring Branch ISD because of the incredible reputation the district holds. Many of my colleagues have spoken highly of the district in the past, and I have had the joy of working with many SBISD alumni. They spoke of what a wonderful district this is, and I couldn’t be happier!

What will you bring to a staff potluck? Oooh, that’s tough. Probably my famous herb dip with veggies and sliced bread!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.  I was a dancer from the time I was 4 years old until I went off to college, and then I became a coach!

What was a pivotal moment in your career? I was a high school principal sitting at a “Signing Night” for our seniors to celebrate their college selections with our superintendent. Over dinner we had a very rich conversation about my hopes and dreams for our schools and areas where I felt like we needed to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The following week he called me to the district office and offered me a job running our educational programs! It was a challenging role that inspired me to know better and do better every day, and it forever changed the way I learn and lead.

Academics: 

  • B.A., Geography, Southern Oregon University
  • M.Ed., Teaching, Southern Oregon University
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, California State University, Northridge

Previous position: Principal, Village Elementary, Georgetown ISD


Raymond Stubblefield, Spring Shadows Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD?  I respect and value the district’s commitment to literacy for Every Child, and I look forward to supporting the Collaborative Spirit that is unique to SBISD.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? Food brings people together, and dips are always a hit. I also like to share tamales around the holidays.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.  My first teaching assignment was in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

What was a pivotal moment in your career? My first service as a principal was at the elementary campus (Aldine ISD) I attended as a child. That unique opportunity solidified my strongly-held beliefs and commitment to ensuring that the schools I lead are a reflection of the highest values and ideals of the community.

Academics: 

  • B.A., History, Angelo State University
  • M.Ed. Leadership, University of Houston

Previous position: Principal, Whitcomb Elementary, Clear Creek ISD


Carrmilla Young, Buffalo Creek Elementary

What inspired you to work in SBISD? I’d heard many wonderful things about SBISD. After learning more, I was immediately drawn to SBISD’s Core Values and knew this was the place for me.

What will you bring to a staff potluck? It’s always a surprise! I usually choose a popular dish from a local restaurant.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I’ve visited 35 states, three countries, and counting!

What was a pivotal moment in your career? I began my career as an early childhood (EC) teacher in Austin, but I always knew that I wanted to have a greater impact on children and communities.

After teaching and leading EC programs, I was accepted into New Leaders for New Schools in Chicago. It changed the entire trajectory of my career and positioned me to lead in schools and systems across the country.

Academics: 

  • B.S., Applied Learning & Development, University of Texas
  • M.S., Elementary Reading & Literacy, Walden University

Previous position: Family Leave Consultant