Emerging Leader Cohort 1 Announced

LISD Emerging Leaders First Cohort Announced
Posted on 05/19/2020
District News Release

DATE: May 19, 2020

LISD Emerging Leaders First Cohort Announced

Emerging Leaders Cohort 1

Lockhart ISD announced the selection of LISD teachers Jana Tafoya, Kati Harber, and Isabel Aguilar as the first cohort of the new LISD Emerging Leaders Program--a partnership with Texas State University, Seguin ISD, and San Marcos CISD. 

Texas State invited Lockhart ISD to nominate three teachers to apply for this program who demonstrate a desire to become equity-oriented school and community leaders to transform education at the campus level and beyond. These teachers will pursue a Master’s in Educational Leadership with Principal Certification, a unique program tailoring curriculum and coursework aligned to the district’s diverse needs. 

This 36-hour M.Ed. course sequence includes topics on leadership, instructional leadership, cultural competency, community engagement, and an emphasis on action research.  

Jana Tafoya is a 6th grade English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) teacher at Lockhart Junior High School. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies at Texas State University in 2018, graduating Magna Cum Lauda. She is in her second year of education, although she served as a substitute during college. 

Kati Harber most recently served as an elementary instructional coach for the district the past two years and taught 6th grade mathematics at Lockhart Junior High School for 18 years prior to that. She graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in December 2000. 

Isabel Aguilar is a 5th grade bilingual teacher at Navarro Elementary School. She completed her Bachelor of International Business at Angelo State University in 2011 and earned an alternative teaching certificate so she could become a teacher. She has worked for LISD since 2017.

These cohort participants will take two classes per semester beginning this month. Semesters will be Summer 1, Summer 2, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021. Fall 2021, and Spring 2022. 

Lockhart ISD will provide half of tuition costs and up to $75 for books per semester. Upon completion of the program, participants will commit to remaining in Lockhart ISD for three years after completion of their Master’s degrees. 

“The interview committee for this program was incredibly impressed by the applicant pool for the Emerging Leaders Program,” said Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Brents. “Applicants went through a rigorous interview process, including having to do a presentation. The caliber of our candidates made it difficult selecting only three for this program, but we look forward to growing additional leadership opportunities in the future because we know the talent is right here in Lockhart ISD.” 

Superintendent Mark Estrada added, “We are proud of the history of partnership we have with Texas State University, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help shape the curriculum and programming for our next generation Lockhart leaders in a way that uniquely meets the needs of our Lions. I am incredibly proud of our first cohort and know they will flourish. I am also proud of all the teachers who thoughtfully applied for the program, boldly seeking opportunities to unlock their full potential--one of the major tenets of Lockhart Leadership.”

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