June 13, 2017
Northwest Board Notes: June 12 Meeting
The Northwest Independent School District Board of Trustees met yesterday - Monday, June 12 - during a regularly scheduled meeting. This is a recap of the major actions and reports from the meeting. To see every item that was discussed or voted on, click here.
Paige Cantrell named new principal of Medlin Middle School
Paige Cantrell Trustees approved the district's recommendation to name Paige Cantrell as the new principal of Medlin Middle School, replacing Dr. Eric Drewery, who transitioned to a district administration position.

Ms. Cantrell previously served as an assistant principal at the school since 2015, and she has also previously served as an assistant principal at Byron Nelson High School and was the ELA department chair at Tidwell Middle School.

She has 19 years of teaching experience and 17 years of athletic coaching experience. Prior to joining Northwest ISD, Ms. Cantrell worked in Eagle-Mountain Saginaw ISD and Florence ISD, where she played an important role in developing and enhancing the AVID program (at Eagle-Mountain Saginaw ISD) and athletic department as the girls' athletic director (at Florence ISD).

Ms. Cantrell received her master's degree in education administration from Lamar University and a bachelor's degree in history and education from West Texas State University. She is a member of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, where she serves as the Region XI assistant coordinator. She has been recognized as a Teacher of the Year nominee and Coach of the Year, as nominated by her peers for her positive influence among students and staff.

District of Innovation discussed
The district's curriculum department presented trustees with an overview of the state's District of Innovation program, which allows school districts under the purview of the Texas Education Agency to be exempt from certain state requirements if they have a documented plan.

This state program requires districts that wish to exempt themselves from certain state requirements to research, hold public hearings on and create documentation regarding innovative education administration aspects. Some of these aspects could include being exempt from some of the state's school calendar requirements (such as required starting and ending dates), the use of professionals with relevant work experience as teachers in their field (such as a trained chefs serving as a culinary teacher), and some testing requirements.

The TEA commissioner - currently Mike Morath - must approve a District of Innovation and has the right to renew or rescind the status.

If Northwest ISD applies for District of Innovation status, it must undergo the aforementioned steps. In the event that happens, the general public would be appraised of the district's intention and would be allowed to provide input at some point during the process.

School Health Advisory Council presents annual report
The School Health Advisory Council presented its annual report to trustees, discussing the work the program - overseen by the Health, Physical Education and Athletic Department - has overseen this year.

Composed of 13 community members and 7 Northwest ISD employees, the council is led by Heather Harrison (chair), who has experience as a cardiac clinical exercise physiologist; Mandy Forbus (vice-chair), who is community integration director at Texas Health Harris Methodist; and Janeen Walls (secretary), who is a community relations coordinator at Cook Children's Health Care System. These members volunteer their time to district events, activities and oversight to ensure the district provides a healthy path for its students.

Some of the accomplishments of the program during 2016-17 include raising $17,260 as part of the annual Reindeer Romp running event; providing guest speakers on first aid, safety and nutrition; supporting elementary and sixth-grade running clubs, overseeing elementary nutrition and bad weather guidelines; supporting the 21-Day Challenge and more.

Memorandum of understanding with Northwest Education Foundation addressed
A memorandum of understanding was presented to the board regarding the Northwest Education Foundation as a discussion item, with no action taken.

Northwest ISD partners with the Northwest Education Foundation to gain funding for areas such as staff grants and student scholarships. The district is in the process of providing more guidance to the foundation, while the foundation's board will still provide the ultimate oversight.

Trustees will vote on the memorandum at their next board meeting, scheduled for June 26. The memorandum simply reaffirms each side's commitment to the partnership and its structure.

In other action, the board
  • Recognized Dave Edstrom for his work on the Northwest Education Foundation board.
  • Recognized Northwest High School counselor Sheneka Davis and the University of North Texas' G-Force program as 2017 Sponsor of the Year. The program works with local students to help with college preparations, including scholarships, financial aid and transitioning from high school.
Recent graduates of Byron Nelson High School and Academy of Biomedical Sciences led the Pledge of Allegiance with a Biomed teacher.
Trustees recognized Dave Edstrom for his years of service to the Northwest Education Foundation board.
Trustees recognized Northwest's Sheneka Davis for her work with UNT's G-Force college preparedness program.