Summer 2021

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Welcome to Lovejoy, Katie Kordel!

Lovejoy ISD HR is beyond excited to welcome our new Superintendent of Schools, Katie Kordel!

Katie has worked in education since beginning her career in Allen ISD as a high school biology teacher. She then spent 16 years leading in various roles for Frisco ISD including Middle School Principal, Director of Secondary Instruction, Chief Academic Officer, and Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. During her time in Frisco ISD, Katie expanded student opportunities by creating unique partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys, Baylor Scott & White, University of North Texas, and FC Dallas.

Most recently, Katie served as the Chief Innovation and Strategic Initiatives Officer for Allen ISD the past two years. In Allen, Kordel designed and facilitated the SOAR 2030 strategic vision initiative. She oversaw Technology, Assessment and Accountability, Information Services, Education Foundation, Partnerships, Community Engagement, and Coordinated School Health. In addition, she currently serves on the executive board of the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

We are excited to begin partnering with Katie to build and maintain our Human Resources initiatives and look forward to the fresh vision, extensive experience, and servant leadership she will contribute in her new role!

Connect with Katie

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Our goal in Human Resources is always to create an environment where employees are safe, supported, and empowered. We believe this culture is built and sustained through mutual trust, compassion, equitable policies, and community connections. As such, we hope you will take the opportunity to "Connect with Katie" at one of the upcoming Lovejoy ISD Team Connection events. As Plato said, "The beginning is the most important part of the work."

Furthermore, our HR Department will be featuring a unique "Connect with Katie" in our quarterly newsletters. We thought we'd start with some FUN get-to-know you questions! We would love your feedback and ideas for future "Connect with Katie" article topics.

Q&A with Katie:

  1. Where did you grow up? Joliet, Illinois...but I have Texas roots. My paternal grandmother was born and raised in Gainesville, Texas.
  2. What is your dream vacation destination and have you been there? Steamboat, Colorado to snow ski. Yes!
  3. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why? I would freeze time! Everything around me would freeze, and I would use the extra time to get things done. Of course, I would not age while time was frozen or everyone would notice.
  4. What movie could you watch on repeat? Overboard - the original with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
  5. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Night Owl
  6. What was your first job in education? Biology Teacher
  7. Do you have any pets or a favorite animal? Yes, we have 1. Barnaby, a standard poodle 2. Pinkie, the cockatiel 3. Shark, the hermit crab. I love horses and definately LEOPARDS!

Lovejoy Team Email from Katie Kordel

New Lovejoy Leopards - Summer Hires!

Help us welcome our newest Lovejoy Leopard Teammates! If you see them on campus or around the district, please give them a warm welcome. They selected Lovejoy ISD as their "work family" because of the amazing culture you (our employees) have created! Please help us make sure they feel supported and welcomed!
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Recruit and Retain

We hope you are enjoying your summer break with plenty of rest and relaxation. The LISD HR team is committed to finding the best and brightest teachers and staff as we continue to work with campus principals to recruit talent. If you know of family or friends that might be interested in working in LISD, we would value your recommendation. For a complete listing of employment opportunities, please visit our HR website by clicking the link below.

Kent Messer Ed.D.

Summer Schedule

Please find our 2021 summer schedule below including our Learning in Lovejoy Professional Development days. Please note: This is a general calendar not all events will apply to all employees. If you have any questions regarding training dates please contact your administrator directly. Thank you!

Compliance Corner

We have exciting news to share with you this month regarding one of HR's team members, Gerri Elsing! Gerri started working with us in spring of 2020. Early on she expressed interest in completing the requirements to earn her designation of Certified Texas School Business Specialist (CTSBS) through the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TABSO). As a district that encourages professional development and growth, we were thrilled to see her interest and her ability to accomplish this certification in such a short period of time.

CONGRATULATIONS, GERRI!!! We are thankful to have you on our team. Thank you for all that you do!

Marcy Hambrick, Ph.D.

Certification Connection

Did you know !!!

We get many questions from employees on how to become a classroom teacher in Texas. If you have never been a certified teacher, TEA outlines all the steps to obtain your standard certificate here on their website.

For those who have been a certified teacher in another state, TEA also outlines the steps to obtain your standard certificate here on their website.

You can submit questions through the TEA helpdesk or call them at (512) 936-8400.

Lovejoy ISD will be here to partner and support you in your journey. Please do not hesitate to email me anytime at

Gerri Elsing, CTSBS

Staffing Staples

Happy Summer! After a long year, we hope you are enjoying some time to focus on those things most important to you!

As a result of our restructure and internal transfers, we know that many of you have been moving classrooms, schools, and content areas. Our goal is to help make those transitions as smooth as possible. With that in mind, we have been working cross-functionally to coordinate badge access, email groups, powerschool set-up, etc. for transfers.

We appreciate your support throughout this transition, as well as your patience while we work to finalize these internal "system" updates. Of course, if you have any concerns or questions feel free to reach out to your administrator, supervisor, or our HR department.

Kimberly Steiner, MPA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

2021 Retirements

We celebrate these bittersweet retirements, with a debt of gratitude, humble appreciation, and excitement for them and their families. Each individual has made a unique contribution to our students, staff, mission and core values. Lovejoy is forever impacted by their service.

We are so grateful for each of them and wish them all the best in their future adventures!

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Teacher of the Year

As we celebrate our annual "Teacher of the Year" awards, we think it is important to recognize the extraordinary contributions of every teacher and staff member during the 2020-2021 school year. Your innovation, grit, and steadfast dedication to our students created an exceptional learning environment and experiences throughout the school year. Thank you for all of your hard work, sacrifices, and flexibility!

Our 2020-2021 "Teacher of the Year" recipients consistently reflect the Lovejoy ISD Educator Profile. These individuals are passionate servant leaders. They have a growth mindset, exceptional perseverance, and unparalleled dedication to the students of Lovejoy ISD. They inspire and encourage both students and peers daily.

Campus Teachers of the Year

Nicole Mills - Hart Elementary

Sheryl Nicholson - Lovejoy Elementary

Melany Porter - Puster Elementary

Vicki Turner - Sloan Creek Intermediate School

Emma Vizcaino - Willow Springs Middle School

Tania Vaughn - Lovejoy High School

District Teachers of the Year

Melany Porter - Puster Elementary

Tania Vaughn - Lovejoy High School

We are grateful for all of our staff and teachers and their amazing work, and we're excited to continue recognizing your talents next school year.

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For your Benefit!!!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Alert! If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This includes working in public education. The specific job that you perform doesn’t matter, as long as you’re employed by a qualifying employer. For example, if you’re a full-time employee of a public school system, your employment qualifies regardless of your position (teacher, administrator, support staff, etc.).

The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Helpful Links

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool

Cheryl Perez, CTSBO

Wellness Wheel

Telehealth Usage on the Rise

Recent data shows that telehealth utilization rose by 4,347% from March 2019 to March 2020.

Although it’s a newer type of health care service, the modern telehealth platforms are generally user-friendly and operate similar to other video call platforms. There are many benefits of a telehealth service, such as minimizing your exposure to doctor's offices, increased convenience by receiving care in your home and increased cost savings.

Now is the perfect time to enroll in the district's telehealth services - Teladoc!

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Employee Celebrations

Lovejoy ISD is proud of the many achievements of our staff, students, and district. This is a special place where we can highlight YOU, our teammates, and celebrate together!

Submit Your Celebrations Here!!!

We want to celebrate YOU! Do you have an upcoming marriage, birth, adoption, or achievement? Complete the form below and we will celebrate you by adding it to our next newsletter!

Lovejoy ISD Employee Favorite Things

As a district and community we want to recognize your hard work with the occasional special treat. Please complete the optional form below so that we know your "Favorite Things" for future employee recognition awards, activities, and celebrations. We welcome you to submit your favorite things here below!

Quote of the Month

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Lovejoy Human Resources Mission Statement

The Lovejoy ISD Human Resources Department is committed to ensuring our district is an exemplary place to learn and work by recruiting, developing, and retaining exceptional personnel. As such, we will create and implement fair policies and practices that support the best interests of our students, staff, district, and community stakeholders. The Lovejoy ISD HR Department is dedicated to providing knowledgeable customer service. We will strive to lead with a servant’s heart and a growth mindset.