LISD welcomes dynamic new leaders for 2017-2018

LISD welcomes dynamic new leaders for 2017-2018
Posted on 09/05/2017
Leadership Announcements


Contact: Christina Courson, Public Information Officer

(512) 398-0033 office

(512) 738-1413 cell


Date: September 5, 2017

LISD welcomes dynamic new leaders for 2017-2018

Lockhart Independent School District welcomes new leaders to district and campus administration teams for the 2017-2018 school year. Each of the four additions brings experience and talent to bolster the district’s commitment to effective leadership that affects student academic performance gains.

In the LISD School Board meeting August 28, the district recommended and the Board approved the hiring of Claudia Peterson as the new director of human resources. Peterson, a Lockhart native, brings nearly two decades of experience in human resources. She began her career in employment and benefits and  ascended into leadership roles as a human resource specialist and human resources manager.

“Next to our students, the most important resource the school district has is its staff. To provide the children of Lockhart the best educational experience, we must hire and maintain a solid pool of talent to meet the needs of our growing student population,” said Superintendent Susan Bohn. “Peterson will provide the expertise and focus needed to ensure we are successful in that mission.”

Peterson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from Concordia University, is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and is a Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). She serves on the board of the Hill Country Human Resource Management Association.

Lockhart High School Associate Principal Jesse Perez joined LISD after Board approval at the regular Board meeting July 24. Perez has worked nearly 15 years in public education, beginning in Victoria ISD as a teacher and coach.  He later served in district administrator positions at Del Valle ISD including roles in student support services, at the freshman center, and most recently as assistant principal of Manor High School. Under his leadership, student scores in STAAR-EOC in mathematics, English language arts, and biology increased. Attendance increased with the implementation of an attendance campaign, and  student discipline referrals decreased by 65 percent.

“The high school is fortunate with the addition of Perez to the campus leadership team. He has a record of success with student engagement and will play an important role in helping the district achieve its student academic performance expectations at the high school,” said Bohn.

Perez holds an Associate of Science in Education from Ranger College, a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sports Science from Texas State University, and a Masters in Educational Administration from Concordia University.

Lockhart Junior High School Assistant Principal Cody Mize was also approved by the Board at the July 24 meeting. Mize joins the school district after serving at Hays CISD for nearly a decade. He taught science and mathematics at both Simon and Dahlstrom Middle Schools (DMS), implementing strategies to boost student performance. During this time, he earned several honors including “Simon Teacher of the Year” as well as semi-finalist and finalist for the H-E-B “Rising Star Award.”

Mize later ascended into a leadership role as he became an instructional coach, providing teachers professional development to share his expertise in boosting student success. During this time as coach, 100 percent of DMS students campus-wide made progress on the STAAR 6-8 mathematics tests.

“Cody Mize brings energy and enthusiasm to LJHS and has successfully made connections to our students and staff as he began the school year,” said Bohn. “His expertise in student performance and achievement as well as in coaching staff will be a great asset for our students.”

Mize earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Central Arkansas and a Master of Science in Education from Concordia University.

Plum Creek Assistant Principal Machel Higgins was approved by the Board at the August 10 special meeting. She has nearly fifteen years of educational experience in addition to her earlier years of public service. Higgins began her teaching career in as an elementary teacher in Del Valle ISD. There, she earned  “Teacher of the Year” at Creedmoor Elementary and ultimately “District Elementary Teacher of the Year” for Del Valle ISD.   

She continued to ascend in leadership, later serving in roles including gifted and talented coordinator, mathematics coach, and instructional coach for her campus. She developed improvement plans aligned with the needs of her campus to improve student achievement and implemented professional development to boost instructional capacity of staff, advancing individual student progress, and engaging parents in participating in student academic experiences and learning. Most recently, Higgins served  as an assistant principal at IDEA Allan College Preparatory in Austin.

“The district is excited to welcome Higgins to the LISD family,” said Bohn. “She brings a wealth of experience in elementary education, instructional leadership, and parent engagement that will surely make a big impact at Plum Creek Elementary.”

Prior to her education career, Higgins served as an assistant to the press secretary of the Speaker’s Office at the Texas House of Representatives. She also worked as a field representative for the Association of Texas Professional Educators. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin. She earned a Master of Education in Elementary Mathematics from Texas State University.

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