SISD plans to shift principals during 2021-2022 transition

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat

The Sherman Independent School District plans to shuffle some of its principals to new campuses going into the 2021-2022 school year.

The  move to new campuses for some administrators comes as the district plans to open or convert campuses as a part of its transition plan that comes with the opening of the new high school. 

The district will see significant changes triggered by the opening of the new campus, including the opening of a second middle school in the existing high school and a second early childhood center. With two middle schools, the district will be table to transition away from using an intermediate school, and Dillingham Intermediate will be converted into an elementary school.

"That is now going to be our largest elementary campus, and to lead that campus will be Steven Traw who is currently the Principal of Sory Elementary," Sherman ISD communications director Kimberly Simpson said.

Steven Traw

"Steven has been a great principal at Sory Elementary," Simpson continued. He actually opened Sory Elementary when it was a brand new campus. He has seen great success with that campus, and it will be a great opportunity for him to move up and lead the district's largest elementary campus."

Traw originally came to Sory in 2008 when the school opened. During that time he won the Best of Texoma award for best principal in 2018, and was a finalist for the award in 2019 and 2020. During his tenure, Sory has received 20 awards of distinction by the Texas Education Agency in its accountability reports.

“I hope to use the experience and skills I gained when I opened Sory Elementary to guide my path in creating a welcoming and supportive environment as we transition Dillingham into an elementary campus,” Traw said in a statement on the district's website.. “I'm looking forward to working collaboratively with my SISD colleagues to build a strong instructional staff at Dillingham. I'm excited about the opportunities we will have to construct special academic programs that will serve our Sherman community moving forward into the 21st Century.”

Simpson said Traw is currently exploring options to expand the school's art program and bring it into Science Technology Engineering and Math curriculum.

"He will be looking at that and ways to expand those types of courses," Simpson said.

Traw's move to Dillingham will leave a vacancy at Sory. Simpson said the district will likely make an announcement of the appoint of a new principal later this spring.

Amy Pesina

With Dillingham converting to an elementary school, Principal Amy Pesina will become the principal of Piner Middle school for the 2021-2022 school year. This will allow the current principal to move to the new Sherman Middle School.

Amy Porter

"Both are really great principals and obviously Amy Porter has been the principal of Piner Middle School the longest, so it is just natural that she will go to the new school and manage the transition," Simpson said.

Simpson said Pesina's move to Piner will also allow her to transition with current and upcoming classes from Dillingham.

Nancy Jung

The 2021-2022 school year will also see the transition of  Nancy Jung from Jefferson Elementary, which will be closing with the current school year, to the new Perrin Early Childhood Center.

"One of the good things about Transition 2020 is that it has allowed us to look at the programs that we can offer and what we can expand," Simpson said. "One of those is going to be our early childhood programs."

Currently, the district uses the Fred Douglas campus for its early childhood programs. The single campus is able to operate a.m.- and p.m.-based classes, but the opening of a second campus will allow the district to offer full-day programs.

Jung will bring with her 30 years of experience in Kindergarten, elementary and special education with tenures as a principal, vice principal and teacher.

"With her transitioning from elementary to early childhood, she will be able to really utilize her experience with knowing what level students need to be on when they enter elementary," Simpson said.