DISD hires two

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Preston, Auchter set to begin as elementary school principals in July

Two new principals at Denton’s Cross Oaks and Ginnings elementary schools were officially hired Tuesday and will begin their new roles in July, said Jamie Wilson, superintendent of the Denton school district.

Earlier this week, the school board approved the hiring of Matt Preston, assistant principal at Stephens Elementary, as the new Cross Oaks Elementary principal and Marcy Auchter, an assistant principal with the Lovejoy school district, as principal at Ginnings Elementary.

Preston replaces Patty Jensen, who earlier this month was named the new principal at Hodge Elementary. Preston has worked for the Denton school district for 11 years, according to district officials. He assisted in implementing an autism program and served as the project leader for the Outdoor Learning Center, both at Stephens.

“I am honored and humbled to have an opportunity to serve the students and community of Cross Oaks,” he said Tuesday. “I am excited to work collaboratively with the staff, parents and other stakeholders to enhance student learning and build upon the work of Ms. Jensen.

“I’m excited to learn more about what makes the school great so that we can build upon that. I’m just really thrilled.”

Wilson said he believes naming Preston principal at Cross Oaks will provide stability to a campus that’s named three principals since the school opened in 2010.

“Mr. Preston’s commitment to Denton ISD will provide Cross Oaks Elementary with stability, consistency and leadership,” Wilson said. “It’s our hope he’ll be there for a long time.”

Auchter replaces Missey Chavez, who Wilson said is being transferred to a different position with the school district. Throughout her career as an educator, Auchter has served as an administrator with the Lovejoy, Irving and Austin school districts and an environmental education promoter for the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, according to Denton school district officials. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

“I feel like I’ve come back home,” Auchter said Tuesday. “When I moved to Texas in 1994, I came to Denton ... a sophomore in college. And so to be back in Denton feels like I’m back at home.”

She said “strong instruction and growing teachers to their maximum potential” and having students reach their potential are things she learned in roles as an assistant principal and that she intends to take into her role as principal at Ginnings. Auchter said she has “homework to do” in determining exactly how that will look.

Wilson said Auchter’s “extensive knowledge of effective instruction and bilingual education make her the perfect fit for Ginnings Elementary.”

Since January, the Denton school district has named six new elementary school principals.

The district does not currently have any elementary principal vacancies, according to Gwen Perkins, the district’s director of professional personnel, although a posting for the position is still visible on the district’s human resources Web page.

“We do still have a posting active for future elementary principal pools,” Perkins said in an email. “Our selection process involves identifying candidates for a ‘pool’ of finalists, so we have the posting open until June 1st, unless otherwise directed by the superintendent.”

According to Perkins, the district received 38 applicants for the “elementary principal pool posting,” the district’s selection committee conducted formal interviews with six candidates, and the committee “recommended [five] candidates be added to the superintendent’s finalist pool for consideration.”

In other action Tuesday:

Jim Alexander and Dorothy Martinez were each sworn in for three-year terms on the Denton school board.

Trustees elected Glenna Harris as the new school board president, Barbara Burns as vice president and Jeanetta Smith as board secretary.

The school board set the 2014-15 budget and tax rate public hearing for 6 p.m. June 10 at the Stephens Central Administration Building, 1307 N. Locust St. in Denton.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.


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