Kerri Ashlock named Principal of Lincoln ES

MISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison has selected Ms. Kerri Ashlock as the next principal of Lincoln Elementary School.

Ashlock holds eight years of experience as an elementary school assistant principal, most recently in the Katy Independent School District.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve the students and staff of Lincoln ES,” Ashlock said. “I look forward to joining the LES Bear family and working alongside our teachers and staff to ensure that every child who enters our school is thriving academically and socially.”

Ashlock succeeds Mrs. Courtney Dyer as principal of Lincoln Elementary School. Dyer recently accepted the role of Director of Community Services within Montgomery ISD.

Following Dyer’s appointment as Director of Community Services, a team consisting of district leadership, teachers and parents began the search for the principal of Lincoln Elementary school. This process included meetings with Lincoln Elementary School staff and parents to discuss the experience, qualities and characteristics desired in their next leader. 

During the interview process, Ashlock described herself as relationship-driven and systems based.  She incorporates a leadership style based on a coaching approach that focuses on data driven decision-making and instructional best practice and prides herself in assuring decisions are made in the best interest of students.  Ashlock has extensive training in Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports and the Professional Learning Community process and is eager to share this knowledge with others.

Ashlock begins her new role as principal of Lincoln ES on Wednesday, July 14. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M Commerce and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Sam Houston State University.

“We’re excited about the experience, vision and leadership Kerri will bring to Lincoln Elementary School,” Morrison said. “I am extremely confident that under her leadership, Lincoln families will continue to be served with excellence and academic outcomes will be raised to even greater heights.”

Montgomery ISD trustees adopt balanced budget for fiscal year 2021-22

Board also approves Superintendent’s appointment of district’s next Executive Director of Specialized Learning

Montgomery ISD trustees adopted the district’s 2021-22 Fiscal Year budget during a special board meeting on Tuesday, June 29.

The balanced budget includes $79.5 M in district general fund revenues and $79.3 M in spending for the district’s upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2021. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, Superintendent Heath Morrison and Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Kris Lynn held a series of town hall meetings and discussions with district staff and stakeholders to solicit feedback from the public and provide updates during the development of the budget.

“The process for developing this budget began as soon as I joined Montgomery ISD as superintendent last summer,” Morrison said. “The board and community made a clear charge to balance the district’s spending and identify the funds necessary to improve employee salaries. This budget accomplishes both.”

Trustees also approved $4.6 M in student nutrition fund spending ($4.7 M in revenues) and $23.6 M in debt service fund spending ($24.1 M in revenues) for FY 2021-22. A school district’s debt service fund pays principal and interest for district debt used for new facilities and facility upgrades.

“This budget reflects the priorities of our community,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “Additionally, the budget was developed throughout the past year in an open process with widespread stakeholder input. The work to balance our district budget has been a group effort that was successful thanks to the many people in our district committed to operating in a more efficient manner.”

The adoption of the FY 2021-22 budget finalizes the raises approved by trustees in a new district compensation plan, which featured $3.8 M in salary and stipend increases across all employee groups. In April, trustees approved an additional 5% raise for teachers and 3% raise for all other employees. This raise was on top an across-the-board 2% raise authorized by the board in October 2020. From the 2020-21 school year to the start of the 2021-22 school year, current Montgomery ISD teachers will have received an approximate 7% total pay increase, or a total of $4,055, with all other employee groups receiving a 5% total raise. A first-year teacher entering Montgomery ISD will now have a starting salary of $54,450. The previous salary for a first-year teacher in Montgomery ISD was $51,000. 

“Developing a school district budget should be a transparent and collaborative process, not one single event,” Board Vice-President Gary Hammons said. “I’m very pleased that we have adopted a balanced budget for the next fiscal year that prioritizes teacher salaries.”

During the meeting, trustees also approved Morrison’s selection of Ms. Cortney Clover as the district’s next Executive Director of Specialized Learning. Clover holds 23 years of experience in public education, with 10 in special education leadership. Before joining Montgomery ISD, Clover served in Little Elm ISD and Brazosport ISD. Clover has extensive knowledge and experience in special education and specialized instruction, having taught in specialized behavior programs, life skills classrooms, reading language arts inclusion, co-teach, & resource.

“Ensuring the educational needs of all students are met should always be a top priority for us as a district,” Trustee Linda Porten said. “I’m excited about the experience, vision and leadership Ms. Clover will bring to our district’s special education programs to ensure all of our learners in Montgomery ISD are thriving.”

Trustees also approved the district’s recommendation to partner with K-12 Insight to conduct stakeholder engagement and satisfaction surveying for key performance indicator monitoring as part of the district’s “Pathway to Premier” strategic plan. K-12 Insight is a comprehensive research-based consulting company with more than 15 years of experience working with school district administrators across the nation. The national K-12 education partner specializes in collaborating with school districts to strengthen relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

Montgomery ISD announces district leadership changes

Montgomery ISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison has announced changes to district leadership. 

Lincoln Elementary School Principal Courtney Dyer has been selected as the district’s Director of Community Services. 

In this role, Dyer will cultivate and promote positive partnerships between families, educators, and the community to ensure the district is improving student achievement by addressing the various non-academic and social and emotional needs of our students and families. She will serve as the district’s homeless and foster care liaison and coordinator of pregnancy-related services. Dyer will also oversee and coordinate services with campus counselors and lead the district’s mentor program.   

“We’re excited about adding this important role to our district,” Morrison said. “Educating the whole child by addressing needs they may have outside of the classroom has become a critical function as it relates to ensuring students have the necessary supports to excel academically.” 

Dyer has served as the principal of Lincoln ES for the previous three years. Before this, Dyer spent seven years as an assistant principal, six years as a school counselor and six years as a classroom teacher. Dyer holds a Bachelor of Science in Academic Studies and a Master of Education in School Counseling from Sam Houston State University.  

Dyer will begin her new role in July. A broad search for the next principal of Lincoln Elementary School begins immediately with a goal to name the next campus leader in July. 

“Serving as the principal of Lincoln Elementary School was an honor and I will dearly miss my Bear family,” Dyer said. “However, I am thrilled for the opportunity to expand my role to one that will allow me to support even more students and families across our district.”  

Jaimie McCallister has been named the district’s Elementary Instructional Coordinator and Megan Evans has been named the district’s Secondary Instructional Coordinator.  

The elementary and secondary curriculum coordinators will work with department directors and campus principals to develop instructional programs and curriculum guides and oversee testing programs and staff development. 

McCallister brings over 20 years of experience to the position, having most recently served as Elementary Instructional Coach at Madeley Ranch ES. She also has experience as an elementary school principal. Evans is joining the district from Katy ISD where she spent the previous six years as a high school instructional coach.

Elissa Cross has been named the district’s Director of Transportation. Cross takes over as leader of the MISD Transportation Department from Mike Foster, who recently retired after 12 years of service to the district. Cross joins the district from Klein ISD where she most recently served as Operations Manager, directly supervising staff in the transportation department.  

Montgomery ISD trustees approve district strategic plan

Montgomery ISD trustees approved a new district strategic plan during their regular monthly board meeting for June. 

The strategic plan, named the “Pathway to Premier”, is the product of a six-month-long districtwide effort to collaborate with all district stakeholders and identify existing district strengths and areas for improvement. The strategic plan focuses on the Board of Trustees’ five district goals and contains measurable key performance indicators in targeted areas. The plan also lists initiatives and strategies the district will use to meet or exceed targets outlined in the key performance indicators. 

The board-approved district goals are: 1) Academic Achievement; 2) School Safety; 3) Finance and Operations; 4: Human Capital; and 5) Communication and Customer Service.

Dr. Heath Morrison, who is entering his second year as the superintendent of Montgomery ISD, emphasized the district’s intense focus on developing the strategic plan through collaboration with the community. 

“My time of entry as superintendent of Montgomery ISD was spent doing a significant amount listening and learning,” Morrison said. “Conversations with hundreds of district stakeholders identified many strengths we have as a district, but also opportunities to improve. It was a priority for us to ensure the development of the strategic plan authentically represented all voices in our community. Hundreds of voices were involved in this process.”

To develop the strategic plan, the district formed a large task force consisting of five committees, each focused on one of the goals. The task force committees were comprised of district leadership, principals, teachers, counselors, parents, students and community members. The task force committees spent several months examining district functions and developing key performance indicators and district initiatives and strategies to be included in the final strategic plan. The district also issued a communitywide survey and held three town hall meetings during the strategic plan development process to gather public input. 

“As a Board, our vision for the district is clear: We want Montgomery ISD to be the Premier School District in the state of Texas,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “We are excited about the direction of our district with this strategic plan as our guiding document. I would like to thank all staff, parents and community members who participated in this process.”

In total, the strategic plan consists of 66 key performance indicators addressing various areas within the five district goals. The task forces identified 121 initiatives and strategies during the development of the plan. Increasing and enhancing Career and Technical Education opportunities is a district initiative under district goal one.

“This strategic plan is comprehensive, starting with ensuring strong academic programs are in place for our youngest learners all the way up to our students ready to take on college, career or military opportunities,” Trustee Shawn Denison said. “I’m especially excited about the increased focus on expanding CTE options and programs for our secondary students.”

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, the Board of Trustees will receive monthly updates from task force leaders and department directors regarding the district’s progress in various areas of the strategic plan.

“With the strategic plan, our board and community will have a clear understanding of where the district is excelling and where there are growth opportunities,” Trustee Linda Porten said. “This not only brings about greater transparency into district functions, but it also provides guidance on academic, operational and financial aspects of district decision-making.”

Morrison emphasized the district’s desire for the strategic plan to reflect the values, wishes, and desires of the entire Montgomery community. 

“Our Board of Trustees and community expect consistent greatness from Montgomery ISD, and our students deserve nothing less.” Morrison said. “We are a very good school district. However, we cannot let ‘good’ be the enemy of ‘great’. This strategic plan truly serves as our pathway to being the premier school district in Texas.”

The Pathway to Premier can be read here.

Robert “Bobby” Ingalls named new principal of Montgomery ES

Montgomery ISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison has named Mr. Robert “Bobby” Ingalls as principal of Montgomery Elementary School.

Ingalls holds nearly 27 years of experience in public education, having served the previous 19 years as an elementary school principal in the Great Falls Public School District in Montana. Ingalls is currently the principal of Chief Joseph Elementary School in Great Falls Montana, a position he has served in for the previous 12 years.

“My family and I are excited and humbled for the opportunity to join the Montgomery Elementary School Bearcat family as the next leader of their amazing campus,” Ingalls said. “I look forward to working with our students, staff and families to build upon the foundation and culture of excellence that has been established at MES.”

During the interview process, Ingalls expressed a strong desire to focus on supporting the professional growth and development of the staff at MES and build strong relationships with school families and community supporters. He brings to Montgomery ISD extensive experience leading a Title I elementary campus and serving students with unique educational needs.

“Bobby’s experience and accomplishments as a campus leader are remarkable,” Morrison said. “We have found an outstanding leader for Montgomery Elementary School, and I have full confidence that he will lead MES to even greater academic heights and empower our staff to continue to meet the needs of students and families.”   

Ingalls will start his new role in July. Ingalls takes over as principal from Mrs. Carrie Fitzpatrick, who was named Montgomery ISD Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education in April.

“Mr. Ingall’s success in meeting the needs of early learners, using data to drive instructional practice, and supporting the professional growth of educators makes him a fantastic fit for this role,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m excited to see the dynamic leadership he will bring to MES.”

Ingalls holds a Masters in Administration from the University of Great Falls, a Master of Elementary Education from Montana State University-Northern, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Doane College.

The MISD Minute – May 28, 2021

2020-2021 school year comes to a close

Congratulations! We made it through one of the most challenging school years in recent history. From a pandemic, to a variety of weather events, you were determined to tackle unprecedented adversity while remaining focused in our commitment to serving Montgomery ISD students and families with excellence and grace. I could not be more proud of our MISD family for your successes during this school year!

Speaking of year-end celebrations, this week we saluted the class of 2021 as 363 graduates from Montgomery HS and 321 graduates from Lake Creek HS walked across the stage at the MISD Athletic Stadium. It was an honor to hand each of them a diploma and cheer them on as they prepared to embark on the next exciting chapter of their lives. We were pleased to have been able to host outdoor ceremonies for our graduates without restricting attendance. Thank you to all who attended the graduation ceremonies to celebrate and bid farewell to our class of 2021.

If you were unable to attend the ceremony in person, or would simply like to relive the excitement, both ceremonies can be viewed on the MISD YouTube channel.

Congratulations, graduates! We’re very proud of you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

June Board of Trustees Meetings

The Board of Trustees will hold three meetings in June to cover a number of important topics. In these meetings, the Board plans to finalize the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and discuss and adopt the district’s strategic plan.

On Tuesday, June 1, trustees will hold a Board Workshop to discuss the district strategic plan. Leaders from each of the strategic plan task force committees will present to trustees draft key performance indicators and district initiatives and strategies for each of the five district goals. The board will consider final adoption of the strategic plan when it holds its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 15.

On Tuesday, June 29, the Board will consider adoption of the 2021-22 fiscal year budget.

A conversation with Dr. Heath Morrison – Part IV

Dr. Steven Meeker and I recorded the fourth and final episode of the inaugural season of Conversations with Dr. Heath Morrison. We had a great time chatting about the past school year while looking ahead at all the exciting things to come. I enjoyed filmed three episodes with Dr. Meeker throughout this year and look forward to continuing this series into the 2021-22 school year.

You can watch the full episode of Part IV here.

The MISD Minute is going on Summer Break

As we move into the Summer, The MISD Minute will also go on break. We will continue to share the latest district news through the MISD Premier blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. Please continue to visit those outlets for updates. We will resume The MISD Minute weekly message just ahead of the 2021-2022 school year kickoff. In the meantime, we sincerely hope you have a wonderful break filled with great memories.

Have a safe and restful summer. We’ll see you in August!

The MISD Minute – May 21, 2021

MISD Trustees meet for Monthly Meeting

On Tuesday May 18, the MISD Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting.

At the meeting, trustees Trey Kirby and Linda Porten were sworn into office by Montgomery County Justice of the Peace, Judge Wayne Mack. Kirby and Porten were both re-elected earlier this month. Kirby and Porten will both serve three-year terms.

After the oaths of office, trustees voted to elect board leadership for the 2021-22 school year. Trustees selected Matt Fuller to continue serving as Board President. Gary Hammons will continue serving as Board Vice-President and Linda Porten will remain Board Secretary. 

Trustees also received updates on the development of the district strategic plan and 2021-22 budget. The three-year strategic plan is guided the Board of Trustees’ five adopted district goals. The district goals are Academic Achievement; School Safety; Finance & Operations; Human Capital; and Communications & Customer Service. 

The development of both the strategic plan and the 2021-22 district have included a significant amount of community and stakeholder input. For both, we have held numerous public meetings and town halls in an effort to gather as much stakeholder input as possible.

The final strategic plan will be adopted by the board on June 15, while the budget will be adopted on June 30.

The board also had the opportunity to recognize our outstanding school nurses for their service and dedication to students. Even during a “normal” school year, school nurses have the challenging task of ensuring our students are physically and emotionally ready to learn. This year they were required to take on additional duties due to health protocols and other unique circumstances associated with the pandemic. I cannot thank our school nurses enough for their hard work throughout this school year.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heath Morrison

Recording of May 18 Board of Trustees Meeting

You can watch the full May Board meeting here:

MISD Welcomes New Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction

I’m excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark Weatherly as our district Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction.

In this role, Mark will support the continued development of curriculum and oversee the implementation of enhanced professional development throughout the district.

Mark is an exceptional leader with 28 years of experience in public education. He joins us from New Caney ISD where he served as the Director of Secondary Instruction. Mark has also served as a principal at the high school, junior high school and elementary levels. He was named Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Region 6 High School Principal of the Year in 2017.

Mark holds a BS in Kinesiology and English from Sul Ross State University, a MS in Educational Management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Welcome to Team Montgomery, Mark!

Masks optional beginning Monday, May 24

After much consideration and after reviewing changes to state and federal regulations, the use of masks and face coverings will be optional for all students and staff in Montgomery ISD schools and facilities beginning on Monday, May 24.

In March, the MISD Board of Trustees voted to make masks optional beginning May 31. By moving this date up one week to Monday, May 24, campuses can use the final two days of the 2020-21 school year to adjust for the 2021-22 school year, when masks will be optional.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility as it relates to the district’s health protocols this year.

Employee salary letters

I want to thank staff for their positive reaction and feedback regarding the salary letters we developed for the 2021-22 school year. Your input allows us to seek continuous improve in the future. Some of the feedback we received included detailing in the salary letters how an advanced degree increases an employee’s salary. This was an area that we communicated previously, and it will be reflected in future salary letters.

Important Information on Website

Over the summer, the district website will be updated. As part of the updated and associated migration, any employees with staff or teacher pages will need to backup information on their current pages. Information was shared in an email from the Technology Department earlier this week. You can find instructions on how to backup information from staff and teacher webpages here.

Our timeline is to have the new website in place for the start of the school year with trainings and hands-on labs to support our district with this transition.

Bears and Lions continue to shine on the diamond

It has been a historic season for our Lake Creek varsity softball season, who defeated Crosby High School 2-1 last night in the UIL regional semi finals! The Lions are now 38-0 headed into the regional finals next week!

On the baseball diamond, Lake Creek HS (24-11-1) and Montgomery HS (19-13-1) have both put together amazing seasons and advanced in the UIL quarterfinals. They’re currently matched up against each other in a best-of-3 series to advance to the regional semi-finals.

The Lions took Game 1 on Thursday by a score of 6-3. Game two will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at Sam Houston State University.

Congratulations on phenomenal seasons, Bears and Lions!

Montgomery ISD board members sworn into office

Trustees also select board officer positions for 2021-22 school year and receive update on district strategic plan

Two Montgomery ISD trustees were sworn into office during the board’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 18. Montgomery County Justice of the Peace, Judge Wayne Mack administered the oath of office to Trustees Trey Kirby (Position 4) and Linda Porten (Position 5), who were both re-elected on May 1, 2021. 

Kirby and Porten will both serve three-year terms. Kirby, a resident of Montgomery since 1987 and graduate of Montgomery High School, begins his third term on the MISD Board of Trustees.

“It’s an honor to have been elected to a third term as a member of the Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees,” Kirby said. I am excited to continue serving with the board and administration as we build upon the momentum we have achieved as a team. We remain committed to improving fiscal responsibility while taking care of our outstanding students and teachers. This community is very dear to me, and I look forward to serving for the next three years as Montgomery continues to grow and thrive.”

Porten, a lifelong educator who spent several years as an employee in Montgomery ISD, enters her second term on the Board.

“It’s a privilege to serve as a member of the Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees,” Porten said. “As a trustee, I’m committed to continuing to build upon the significant progress the board and superintendent have made to support our amazing teachers and staff through increased compensation. There is no doubt in my mind that our commitment to hiring, growing and retaining the best educators will empower all MISD students to achieve even greater academic results.”  

After the oaths of office, trustees voted to elect its board leadership for the 2021-22 school year. Trustees selected Matt Fuller to continue serving as Board President. Gary Hammons will continue serving as Board Vice-President and Linda Porten will remain Board Secretary. 

“I want to thank our staff, students, and families for their determination, resilience, and flexibility during what has been a difficult, but highly successful school year,” Fuller said. “Through extreme adversity, our students reached new heights in academics, athletics and many extracurricular activities. I’m excited to continue serving Montgomery ISD as President of the Board of Trustees and look forward to an outstanding – and more normal – school year in 2021-22.”

Trustees gave special recognition to the district’s school nurses during the meeting. School nurses were instrumental in supporting students’ physical and emotional wellbeing during a school year with added stresses and health protocols.

“It undoubtedly took a full team effort to safely re-open schools for in-person instruction this year, and the work of our school nurses was especially critical,” Trustee Mike Hopkins said. “They were a primary reason that nearly 94% of our students chose to physically return to school, and we are incredibly grateful for their dedication and work this year.”

During the meeting, trustees also received an update on the development of the district’s strategic plan. The three-year strategic plan is guided the Board of Trustees’ five adopted district goals. The district goals are Academic Achievement; School Safety; Finance & Operations; Human Capital; and Communications & Customer Service. 

The development of the strategic plan has included a significant amount of community and stakeholder input. To gather feedback, the district formed five task force work groups in November 2020, each focused on a district goal. The five task forces were led by a senior district administrator and campus principals and included district teachers, staff, parents, students and community members. The district also held three town hall meetings throughout the school year to gather community input.

“We’re thrilled by the high level of community involvement that has been a driving force in the development of the district’s strategic plan,” Trustee Laurie Turner said. “We have made it clear that we truly want this to be the Montgomery ISD community’s strategic plan. Based on the district’s efforts to involve a diverse set of voices during this process, I’m confident that, once adopted by the board, this objective will have been achieved.”  

Once approved by the board, the final strategic plan will take effect starting in the 2021-22 school year and contain measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) in the areas addressed by the district goals. The strategic plan will also outline district strategies and initiatives intended to meet or exceed growth targets and measures outlined in the KPIs.

The strategic plan is scheduled to be approved by trustees during the board’s regular monthly meeting on June 15, 2021. 

“Since day one of this process, our goal for the strategic plan was to authentically reflect the community’s desires and vision for our school district,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “Our community’s vision is for Montgomery ISD to be ‘The Premier School District in Texas. The strategic plan is our ‘pathway to premier’.” 

Montgomery ISD Weather Alert – Wednesday, May 19

All Montgomery ISD schools and offices will be OPEN on Wednesday, May 19.

Roads in the district have been evaluated. Buses, schools and district offices will operate under normal hours. The decision to remain open today was made in consultation with Montgomery County officials and neighboring school districts.

Please exercise caution while traveling. We will continue to monitor weather and road conditions throughout the day.

Montgomery ISD Weather Alert

Tuesday, May 18

WEATHER ALERT: Montgomery ISD is closely monitoring the heavy rains predicted to impact our region. In the event weather dictates any changes to regular school operations, we will make an announcement on Wednesday, May 19 no later than 5 a.m. after receiving an update from local officials.