LUBBOCK, TX (PRESS RELEASE) - At the meeting of the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees on May 27, the board named Joel Castro as the new associate superintendent for quadrants 3 and 4 and also tapped Julie Sims as the new principal for Wester Elementary.
Castro will oversee all campuses in the attendance zones of Estacado and Lubbock High Schools. He follows Dr. Sam Ayers who was named principal of Estacado High School earlier this year.
"I am delighted to have this very talented and innovative instructional leader join our team," said Dr. Karen Garza, LISD superintendent. "In Houston ISD, he was the founding principal of the exemplary East Early College High School and people literally came from all over the country to see his work there. Joel is articulate, and brings a broad range of experience to Lubbock ISD."
Castro has served Houston ISD as a principal, coordinator of instructional technology, and as a classroom teacher in elementary and middle schools. Among his honors, he was named the Teacher of the Year and the Administrator of the Year during his time of service in Houston ISD. Castro has been a presenter on model partnerships between public schools and community colleges to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, as well as a board member of the Association of Hispanic School Administrators and the Houston Association of School Administrators.
Castro is returning to Lubbock having lived in the city while doing graduate work at Texas Tech University. He is married to Maribel Castro, a librarian in Houston, and president of the Texas Library Association.
Julie A. Sims was named the principal of Wester Elementary. Sims currently serves as assistant principal at McWhorter and Ramirez Elementary Schools. She will succeed Principal Julee Becker who departed the district to become the assistant superintendent for Slaton ISD.
Sims graduated from Hardin-Simmons University and began her teaching career in Midland ISD where she served in several capacities, including a reading teacher, crisis counselor and assistant principal. She has a master's degree from the University of Texas Permian Basin and additional certification work at UTPB.
In naming Sims, Superintendent Karen Garza said, "Julie Sims is very impressive. She is instructionally focused, understands teaching and learning, and can speak with authority on these matters. Her supervising principals rave about the initiative and leadership she has exhibited in their schools."
The last personnel item on the agenda was the naming of a chief of police for the district. No action was taken on the item and the superintendent announced it would be included on a future agenda.
Players on the Estacado High School Boys Basketball team were recognized for their state championship. State championship medals were presented to trustees by Athletic Director Mark Ball.
Students selected for the national OAKE choir (Organization of American Kodály Educators) were recognized at the board meeting for their inclusion in the prestigious choir. The students are:
Elementary participants included the following students:
Middle school participants included the following students:
Irons Middle School
Evans Middle School
High school participants included the following students:
Monterey High School
Mary Ruth Matthews
Coronado High School
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