The Sherman Independent School District announced the educators that will lead its two middle schools going into the 2020-2021 school year. Piner Middle School Principal Amy Porter will be moving to the new Sherman Middle School while Washington Elementary Principal Amy Pesina will fill the opening at Piner.

The new positions come as a part of the district’s preparations for the upcoming school year and the significant changes that will come with it. With the opening of the new Sherman High School next year, the existing high school will be converted into the district’s second middle school. There will also be changes in the future in the elementary and intermediate schools.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to be able to build a brand new school and set those new traditions in place,” Porter, who has been with Sherman ISD for 26 years, said.

Prior to serving as the principal of Piner for the past three years, Porter was a teacher, technology coordinator and elementary principal, along with other positions.

“As principal of Piner Middle School, she has been intentional in establishing programs that not only enhance instruction but also promote social and emotional wellness for middle school students,” Sherman ISD Communications Director Kimberly Simpson said. “She uses effective best practices to create an environment that fosters accountability and responsibility for student achievement, and she’s done a great job instilling a student-centered culture on her campus.”

With the transition to two middle school campuses, the district will be phasing out the intermediate school level and moving the sixth grade up to be at the two campuses. With this change, Porter said there will be greater chance for administrators and teachers to form a lasting bond with students.

“Right now, currently you have your seventh and eighth graders, and they leave you, but with three years, I am excited about the ability to build a foundation,” Porter said.

For her part, Pesina said she was excited to fill the vacancy that Porter will leave at Piner.

“It is exciting — I have a passion for kids and I have a love for education, learning,” she said. “So, to be able to impact more students in Sherman ISD is a great thing.”

Sherman ISD Superintendent David Hicks lauded Pesina for her work at what he described as one of the district’s highest performing elementary schools.

“She has established an incredible culture at Washington and I am excited she is going to take that work to Piner to work with our teachers there,” he said.

With the transition to two middle schools, Simpson said there will be opportunities for teachers to relocate to the new campus. However, she said these conversations are still early and the district is currently surveying teachers to gauge their preference and certifications to determine what would be the best fit.

“Our goal is always to place teachers where they want to be,” she said. “Obviously, we will need to make those decision based on needed certifications and availability.”

Simpson added that district officials have not determined who will fill in the principal position at Washington for the 2020 school year.