Category: Education

Meet the School Board Candidates


Voting has begun in Dallas ISD board of trustee elections. Three candidates are vying for the District 2 seat, which covers a wide swath of Preston Hollow. Dustin Marshall is seeking his first full term.  He won a special election last spring to fill the opening that was created when former trustee Mike Morath was was appointed Texas Education Agency Commissioner. Marshall faces challenges from physician assistant Lori Kirkpatrick and school teacher Richard Young.

Early voting will continue through May 2, and the general election will be held May 6. Below or a few excerpts from the candidate’s own words on where they stand on  key issues.


Dustin Marshall


Dustin Marshall

CEO Hazel’s Hot Shot




Early Education – Research shows that 85 percent of brain development occurs in a child before the age of 5 and yet only 5 percent of education dollars are spent on early education.

Principals – We need more effective professional development programs for district principals.

Racial Equity – All DISD students deserve respectful learning environments in which their racial and ethnic diversity is valued and contributes to their success.

Teacher Development – A high-quality teacher is the most important controllable factor in determining the future of the kids we serve. Our educators deserve an accurate assessment of the quality of instruction they are providing, and a system of professional support.




Lori Kirkpatrick

Physician Assistant




The most pressing issue is funding. We have less money per person right now than we did in 2011. Part of that is attendance and growing enrollment which will help our funding.

I will work to establish a community school concept for our struggling schools. I would like to see us revitalizing our neighborhood schools.

I am adamantly opposed to vouchers and equally opposed to the A-F rating system. I will fight against any program devised to take taxpayer dollars and divert them to private education entities.

I will work to expand early childhood education to ensure that all of our Dallas ISD children are Kindergarten ready.

I’m a pro public education. I feel like I want to jump in and help preserve public education. In my mind that is a big movement.




Richard Young

Classroom Teacher




I want to see different changes in our school board. I’m a former student of DISD and enjoyed being a student there. I want to see more good things for the schools.

I don’t think all of our student needs are being met academically. The needs of our low socioeconomic and homeless kids are definitely not being met.

I would reach out to constituents and see what it is that is draining students and use the feedback to change DISD.

I’m a strong supporter of students. I’ve been with schools for approximately eight years. Whether I’m voted in or not, I still want my community to know that I’m always behind my students 100 percent.

Williams Elementary School Sounds Better

Teachers' frequency modulation systems sync with students' hearing devices. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

Teachers’ frequency modulation systems sync with students’ hearing devices. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

The halls at Sudie L. Williams Elementary School echo with the familiar sounds of teachers explaining lessons and students answering queries.

However, it is only because of the school’s unique Oral Deaf Education program that dozens of students on campus are able to hear those questions at all.

Williams has long served students with auditory impairments in kindergarten through fifth grade. It is the only school in Dallas ISD that utilizes additional teachers and special technology to improve students’ access to grade-specific curriculum and instruction.

Ursuline Students Fall in Love with Brazil

Katie Murray meets her host sister. (Photo: Cecilia Nipp)

Ribeirao, Sao Paulo, Brazil – The tears started when second-graders performed the 1960s hit song “Girl From Ipanema” at a farewell assembly in an auditorium at Colegio Santa Ursula. They continued a day later as families gathered in the small Ribeirao airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

It had only been six days, but a lasting bond was made between two Ursuline schools 4,930 miles apart from each other.

“I wasn’t prepared to say the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to say,” senior Danielle Cruz said. “They went out of their way to make me feel welcome and help me experience Brazil in the best way possible.”

SMU Fashion Week enters sixth year

SMU arts and business students will present the sixth annual SMU Fashion Week, April 19-21. (

SMU arts and business students will present the sixth annual SMU Fashion Week, April 19-21.

The event will feature a panel discussion with fashion industry representatives, a launch party for the second issue of SMU’s fashion magazine and a spring fashion show. Begun in 2012 and produced primarily by students interested in careers within the trillion-dollar international fashion industry, SMU Fashion Week has grown along with the nearly six-year-old fashion media program, part of the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Love of the Bard Secures Big Apple Journey


Lakehill Preparatory School freshman Alanna Stern and her teacher Elizabeth Schmitt share a love of William Shakespeare that has them New York City-bound.

On May 1, Stern will compete against some 60 or so other devotees of the Bard at the Lincoln Center Mitzi Newhouse Theater.

The winner of the English-Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition will earn an all-expenses-paid scholarship to the American Shakespeare Center’s Theater Camp in Staunton, Virginia this summer.

Providence Christian Announces New Headmaster

Jeff Hendricks

Jeff Hendricks

Providence Christian School announced Jeff Hendricks as its new headmaster. He will replace Dr. Tony Jeffrey, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 12 years as headmaster. Hendricks is the current middle school head.

“Jeff been one of Providence’s most outstanding teachers since he joined the faculty,” board of trustees president Robin Pou said.

SMU Presents ‘Meadows at the Meyerson’


Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 2.47.11 PMSMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 24th annual benefit concert, “Meadows at the Meyerson 2017,” at 8 p.m. April 12 in the Meyerson Symphony Center. The event will feature works by Ravel, Fauré and Delibes, performed by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips.

Also performing will be women of the Meadows choral ensembles, led by director Pamela Elrod Huffman, and operatic soloist and alumna Katrina Galka. The event supports Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program and the newly established Diane and Hal Brierley Endowed Scholarship.

Learning Through Letters

Second-grade pen pals from Walnut Hill Elementary and Lamplighter School get to know each other in person after exchanging monthly hand-written letters. (Photo courtesy: Lamplight School)

Less than 3 miles separate Walnut Hill Elementary School and The Lamplighter School, but it’s far enough to keep students from knowing each other if not for an old-fashioned exercise in communication.

Since last fall, dozens of second-grade students from both schools have been communicating with one another via handwritten letters that they exchange monthly to learn more about their daily lives and interests.

The pen pal exercise is one facet of ongoing literacy-building efforts happening at the campuses, courtesy of United 2 Learn, an action network of the Commit! 2 Dallas Partnership, which works to create educational and leadership opportunities for local students.

George W. Bush Institute Releases Study on First Ladies

Laura Bush and Cherie Blair discuss the roles, challenges, and opportunities of serving as first ladies. The program at the George W. Bush Presidential Center was held March 28. (Photo by William Taylor)

The George W. Bush Institute has released a study on the role and influence of first ladies.

The report, titled A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies, was the topic of a livestreamed conversation March 28 between Laura Bush and Cherie Blair at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

“The Bush Institute’s First Ladies Initiative engages and supports first ladies so that they might use their unique platforms to improve the lives of the people in their countries,” Bush said. “We are happy to release this first-of-its-kind analysis so that everyone can learn about the important role first ladies have around the world.”