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AISD Board of Trustees Approves New Principal Appointments

Bedichek, Cook, Graham, O. Henry, Perez, Pleasant Hil and Winnl get new leaders

Austin ISD's Board of Trustees on Monday approved new principal appointments for Cook, Perez, Pleasant Hill and Winn elementary schools and Bedichek and O.Henry middle schools.

Bedichek Middle School                                                                    

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Michael Herbin to lead Bedichek Middle School.

Herbin most recently served as Bedichek’s interim principal. In this role, he advanced academic programming through an entrepreneurship program that incorporates project-based learning with a connection to the field of business. At Bedichek, Herbin has increased parental engagement by creating a 25-member PTA and worked to develop an enrollment innovation committee for supporting school improvement to include enrollment and attendance.

Herbin previously served as administrative supervisor in the AISD office of middle schools. At Martin Middle School, he served in the roles of an assistant principal and science teacher

Herbin has a master's degree in educational leadership from Texas State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Cook Elementary School

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Framy Diaz to lead Cook Elementary School.

Diaz most recently served as interim principal at Cook. In this role, he worked with community partners and local organizations to provide services and resources to students and the school community. He also helped develop and monitor execution of campus improvement goals and worked with staff to enhance professional learning opportunities.

He previously served as an administrative supervisor for elementary schools, an assistant principal at Barrington Elementary School, a bilingual instructional coach at Wooten Elementary School and a bilingual teacher at Wooten.

Diaz has a master's degree in quality systems management from National Graduate School in Falmouth, Mass., and a bachelor’s degree in airway science management from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. He is working on his doctorate in education at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn.

Graham Elementary School

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Ercilia Paredes to lead Graham Elementary School.

Paredes most recently served as an administrative supervisor for elementary schools at AISD. In this role, she worked to provide support for academic programs and other systems to 12 elementary campuses. She served as the district administration contact for campus-level parent concerns. She also led a team to improve computational fluency on campuses.

She previously served as an assistant principal at McBee and Blackshear elementary schools, and as a teacher at Becker, Pickle and McBee elementary schools.

Paredes has a master's degree in business administration from St. Edward’s University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. 

O. Henry Middle School

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Marlo Malott to lead O. Henry Middle School.

Malott most recently served as academic dean for the Green Tech Academy at Small Middle School. In this role, she recruited students, managed the academy’s budget and wrote grants. To facilitate opportunities for collaboration and team building among teachers, Marlo redesigned the school’s master schedule.  

Previously, Marlo served in the roles of academic dean at Lehman High School, instructional specialist at Barton Middle School and teacher at Hays High School in Hayes Consolidated ISD. Also, in Grapevine ISD, she was a teacher at Cross Timbers Middle School

Malott obtained a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Austin.

Perez Elementary School

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Kara Mitchell-Santibanez to lead Perez Elementary School.

Santibanez recently served as interim principal at Perez. In this role, she established an attendance committee to monitor and address attendance issues and reduce chronic absenteeism. She collaborated with the parent support specialist and other staff to provide opportunities for parental and community involvement. She also helped develop and improve systems to oversee instruction, professional learning communities, professional development and student achievement.

She previously served as an assistant principal at Perez, program director for Teach for America Rio Grande Valley, a Spanish lead teacher at KIPP Communidad in Austin and a bilingual teacher at Quest Academy in Edinburg, Texas, and LeNoir Elementary in Donna, Texas. 

Santibanez has a master's degree in education administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and political science from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Pleasant Hill Elementary School

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Kristi Cisneros to lead Pleasant Hill Elementary School.

Cisneros recently served as interim principal at Pleasant Hill. In this role, she collaborated with the campus community to implement Breakfast in the Classroom. She also worked directly with students to address the needs of the whole child in discipline strategies and academic supports. She worked with the leadership team to maintain a positive and welcoming culture at Pleasant Hill for students, teachers, support staff, families and community members.

She previously served as an assistant principal at Pleasant Hill, a bilingual teacher at Graham Elementary School, a research professor at Universidad Tecnologica de la Mixteca and an account manager for Thermo Electron in Louisville, Colo. 

Cisneros has a master's degree in linguistics from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and Spanish from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Penn.

Winn Elementary School

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Anayansi Blessum to lead Winn Elementary School.

Blessum recently served as interim principal at Winn. In this role, she collaborated with the counselor to implement an enrichment program to target gifted and talented and high-achieving students. She also planned systematic interventions for at-risk students and applied strategies to close performance gaps for special education students. She worked with the leadership team to promote positive relationships among students, teachers, support staff, families and community members.

She previously served as an assistant principal at T.A. Brown Elementary School, a bilingual curriculum instructional specialist at Wooldridge Elementary School and a bilingual teacher at Wooldridge. 

Blessum has a master's degree in educational administration from Concordia University in Austin and a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University in Kileen.