Tays Titan Team Update!

May 5, 2016

A word from Kris...

When I was a young child, my favorite book for anyone in my house to read to me was the old Golden book – The Monster at the End of the Book starring loveable, furry old Grover. I passed this tradition on to all my nephews & nieces & granddaughter… I love this book. At one point, Grover creates a solid, thick brick wall and challenges the reader to try to turn the page – only to find that the next page has Grover underneath the bricks with the following line, “Did you know that you are very strong?”

Last week – I know that I was not alone in feeling like I was hitting the brick wall (summatives due (yes - I still have to do DWE ones!), hiring, logo reworks, technology placements) anything else that could be your BRICKS on your wall. But as you enter the next couple weeks, I want you to remember that you are very strong!

Know that I am aware that many of you are feeling overwhelmed & have lots of questions about Tays…(me too…) but I want to share with you what gets me refocused…I stop and I appreciate. I take time to cherish things I appreciate. I also made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish this week… One goal was to be at 80% hired. (We are almost there...)

I am also looking to see what ways I can help each one of you & if there is anything I can delegate. On your own, I urge you to stop and slow down to appreciate and know that you are very strong. I even give you permission to spend a few minutes doing a community building activity within your current classroom – and reaffirming your learning community or bond with your new team. Relationships matter!

I am PROUD to serve as the Principal of Tays Junior High – (and in case you didn’t know – there is no monster at the end of the book – it is loveable, furry old Grover) May your next week (with STAAR testing for most of you) be one that makes you show your loveable side – but I know that you are stronger than you know!

Know that I am thrilled about the amazing team that we are creating!!!

Tays Meet & Greet

Wednesday, May 11th, 3:30-5pm

4400 Falcon Landing Boulevard

Katy, TX

Join us to meet some of your colleagues! We will have chips/ salsa /drinks & great conversations.

There will be no agenda for formal program - just a come & go event!

9th grade center cafeteria!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

The Heart of Teaching: What It Means to be a Great Teacher Rusul Alrubail , Professor of English composition and literature

The Heart of Teaching: What It Means to be a Great Teacher

Rusul Alrubail , Professor of English composition and literature


What does it mean to be a great teacher? Of course credentials, knowledge, critical thinking, and all other faculties of intelligence are important. However, a great teacher should be much more than credentials, experience and intelligence.

What lies in the heart of a great teacher?

You are kind: a great teacher shows kindness to students, colleagues, parents and those around her/him. My favourite saying is “kindness makes the world go around”. It truly changes the environment in the classroom and school. Being a kind teacher helps students feel welcomed, cared for and loved.

You are compassionate: Teaching is a very humanistic profession, and compassion is the utmost feeling of understanding, and showing others you are concerned about them. A compassionate teacher models that characteris-tic to the students with her/his actions, and as a result students will be more open to understanding the world around them.

You are empathetic: Empathy is such an important trait to have and to try to develop in ourselves and our stu-dents. Being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes and see things from their perspective can have such a powerful impact on our decisions and actions.

You are positive: Being a positive person, is not an easy task. Being a positive teacher is even harder when we’re always met with problems with very limited solutions. However, staying positive when it’s tough can have such a tremendous positive impact on the students and everyone around us. Looking on the bright side always seems to help make things better.

You are a builder: A great teacher bridges gaps and builds relationships, friendships, and a community. Teachers always look to make things better and improve things in and outside of the classroom. Building a community is something a great teacher seeks to do in the classroom and extends that to the entire school and its community.

You inspire: Everyone looks at a great teacher and they want to be a better teacher, they want to be a better student, even better, they want to be a better person. A great teacher uncovers hidden treasures, possibilities and magic right before everyone’s eyes.

Tays Titan Team

Tays Titan Team (How about that for alliteration?)

Principal - Kris Mitzner, former Principal DWE

6th grade Assistant Principal - Todd Knobbe, SLHS

6th grade Counselor - Susie Loyd, DWE

7th grade Assistant Principal - Tiffany Young, MDJH

7th grade Counselor - Amanda Robinson, WCJH

8th grade Assistant Principal - David Calfee, CRHS

8th grade Counselor - Charlotte Thompson, WCJH

Testing Facilitator - Kerrie Steger, CRHS

Front Office

Administrative Assistant to Kris - Kathryn Fix, ESC (Bonnie Holland)

Financial Clerk (aka TCFO - Tays Chief Financial Officer) - Cindy Rudder, OTHS


Counselor’s Administrative Assistant/Registrar -

Assistant Principal Administrative Assistant -

Textbook Clerk -

Office Clerk/Receptionist -


Librarian - Lori Kelley, WCJH

Library Aide -


Instructional Coach - Lindsey Chase, ITF

Department Chair - Amanda Pickard (track), MCJH

Eighth Grade Math - Meredith DaSilva, WCJH

Eighth Grade Math - Katrina Sloan, WCJH

Eighth Grade Math - Linda Liang, first year teaching!

Seventh Grade Math - Gracie Benson, WCJH

Seventh Grade Math - Amanda Pickard, MCJH

Seventh Grade Math - Emily Levert, LCISD

Sixth Grade Math - Elizabeth Strange (Basketball), DWE

Sixth Grade Math - offer pending

Sixth Grade Math -

Math Lab -


Instructional Coach - Kelly Oliver, MRHS

Eighth Grade ELA -Cindy Hannam, SLJH

Eighth Grade ELA - Patti Flowers, SLJH

Eighth Grade ELA -

Seventh Grade ELA - Rebecca Barrett, WCJH

Seventh Grade ELA - Amy Maddox, WCJH

Seventh Grade ELA - Juliette Howard, MRJH

Seventh Grade ELA - Michelle Taylor, first year teaching!

Seventh Grade ELA -

Seventh Grade ELA -

Sixth Grade ELA - Samantha Colquitt (Yearbook), CRJH

Sixth Grade ELA - Jackie Curtis, WCJH

Sixth Grade ELA - Catherine Perkins, WCJH

Sixth Grade ELA - Rebecca Pruitt, WCJH

Sixth Grade ELA - Katy Kellen (Cheer Sponsor), DWE

Sixth Grade ELA - Brett Davis, CyFair ISD

ESL - Grace Villafone, Waller ISD

Strategic Reading -

Social Studies

Instructional Coach w/ WCJH- Lauren Vereen, WCJH

Department Chair - Phil LoSasso

Eighth Grade SS - Melody Wilson (Cheer sponsor), WCJH

Eighth Grade SS - .5 Traci Land, WCJH

Eighth Grade SS -

Seventh Grade SS -Denise Parisher, DWE

Seventh Grade SS -Christine Hewitt, SLJH

Seventh Grade SS -

Sixth Grade SS - JJ Haynie (Volleyball/Basketball - Girls), CRJH

Sixth Grade SS - Phil LoSasso, WCJH/ Department Chair

Sixth Grade SS - Anna Worley (Geography Bee), WCJH


Instructional Coach - Melissa Gonzales, SLJH/MMJH

Department Chair - Amy Suhrer, SLJH

Eighth Grade Science - Molly Niedens (Science Olympiad), WCJH

Eighth Grade Science - Chandra Zepeda, DWE

Eighth Grade Science - Anna Farias (Head Basketball, Volleyball)

Seventh Grade Science - Amy Suhrer, SLJH

Seventh Grade Science - Danielle Braun, WCJH

Seventh Grade Science -

Sixth Grade Science - Jennifer West, WCJH

Sixth Grade Science - Allyson Koci, WCJH

Sixth Grade Science - offer pending

Head Band - Donnie Artley, MCHS

Assistant Band - Tammy Disharoon, WCJH

Head Orchestra - Bryanna Porter, WCJH

Assistant Orchestra - offer pending

Head Choir - David Lee, SLJH

Spanish - Natalia Montalvo, WCJH

Spanish (.5 BDJH) - Adriana Miles, BJH,BDJH

Art - Katrina Cerk, DWE

Art - Kendra Vreeland, WCJH

Theater - Tina Holt, CJH

Assistant Theater -

Teen Leadership/PACK - Traci Land, WCJH

Family Consumer Science (8th) - Holly Datwyler

Concepts of Engineering - Stephen Bennett

Tech Apps -


PASS - Andrea Smith, DWE

LifeSkills - Angela Sanders (Volleyball), KDE

CoTeacher/ICS - Erika Strickland, WCJH

CoTeacher/ICS - Laura Guerrero, SLJH

CoTeacher/ICS - Gail Smith, RRE

CoTeacher/ICS - Joanne Lowe, RRE

ICS/Resource Para - Carrie Mullen, JEE


Athletic Coordinator - Jennie Miller

Assistant Athletic Coordinator - Bryan Blake, MDJH

Girls PE - Jennie Miller

Girls PE - Kelsey Hutchison

Boys PE - Bryan Blake

Boys PE - Brook Williams

Boys PE - offer pending

Girls/Boys PE -