The Hays CISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to hire principals for Lehman High School (LHS), Academy High School (AHS) and Dahlstrom Middle School (DMS) during a special meeting on Monday.
Don Ruisinger, currently the principal of Dwyer Middler School in Huntington Beach, CA, will be the new principal of LHS. Julie Ruisinger, currently the principal of Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA, will be the new principal of AHS. Sara Thurman, principal of Sartartia Middle School in Fort Bend ISD, has been named principal of DMS.
Don Ruisinger replaces Elsa Hinojosa, who has been promoted to Hays CISD executive director for high school performance. Hinojosa has served as the LHS principal since the school opened in 2004.
Ruisinger earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from Texas State. He served as an assistant principal of Hopewell Middle School in Round Rock ISD from 1999-2004, and taught social studies at Lamar Middle School in Austin ISD. He was an instructional specialist and academies coordinator in Riverside, CA, and served as principal of Dwyer Middle School since 2005.
Julie Ruisinger replaces Gail Rhodes, who has taken a counseling position with the district. Ruisinger also earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from Texas State University. She served as an assistant principal of Johnston High School in Austin ISD from 2000-04 and worked in Round Rock ISD as a math teacher, content mastery administrator and individualized education plan facilitator for 10 before going to Johnston. She was an assistant principal at Mira Costa High School before being named principal there in the spring of 2005.
In February, the Hays CISD trustees approved recommendations for improvement of Academy High School, as developed by a study team of district and community members. Primary areas addressed in the recommendations for improvement include: vision, branding and leadership; identification and recruitment of incoming students; curriculum and instruction initiatives; support services; and facility improvement.
Thurman replaces Hilda Gartze, who has announced her retirement. Gartzke served as principal of DMS since 2003.
Thurman earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Texas-Dallas, a master’s degree and a doctorate from University of Houston. She has served as principal of Sartartia Middle School since 2005. Sartartia Middle School earned an exemplary rating in 2008 and 2009. In late April, Sartartia Middle School was in the top five on the Children at Risk/Houston Chronicle’s list of the best middle schools in the Houston area.
Thurman served as assistant principal and principal of Walker Station Elementary School in Fort Bend ISD from 1997 to 2005. Before joining Fort Bend ISD, she taught English, language arts and social studies in Alief ISD.Email | Print