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VISD names new fine arts director, three new principals

By Carolina Astrain
May 16, 2013 at 12:16 a.m.


Three new principals and a fine arts director were named Thursday night at the Victoria school board meeting.

Sheila O'Briant, an assistant principal at Liberty Academy, was named the campus's new principal.

"She has a tremendous amount of experience," Superintendent Robert Jaklich said. "She has a bachelor's degree and two masters - one in interdisciplinary studies and the another in counseling - so that really helps with that position."

Michelle Graves was promoted to principal of Smith Elementary after serving the campus as an assistant principal since 2009.

"Michelle has spent 19 years at Smith Elementary," Jaklich said. "She has a lot of experience, knowledge and connections to the Smith community and the school."

Mitchell Guidance Center assistant principal Tedrick Valentine, who has at least nine years of experience as an assistant principal, was named the center's new principal Thursday night.

"So we're very fortunate and pleased that our new principals have experience in their roles on their campuses," Jaklich said.

These positions came open when two principals were promoted to curriculum positions in administration and the third became an executive administrator with the district.

For the role of the district's new fine arts director, the board appointed Ken Peach, who has served the Cedar Hill school district, located in the metroplex area of Dallas, as its fine arts director since 2008.

"He brings with him a multitude of experiences," Jaklich said. "We're looking forward to taking our Fine Arts Center to a higher level of commitment and concentration on the arts."

The fine arts director job was openmore than a year after Jay Lester moved to North Texas.

The hiring of new assistant principals to fill the three vacant spots, including two additional assistant principal positions at Stroman Middle School, will occur in early June, said the superintendent.

In other business, pastor Kevin VanHook was elected board secretary. He replaced Estella De Los Santos.

Board president Tami Keeling and vice president Bernard Klimist were reappointed to their current positions.

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