News, notes and anecdotes for LTISD employees

April 2022

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Tag us @LTISDschools when you share your good news and photos on social media and use this year's theme, #LTCelebrateCommunity.

Featured Business Partner of the Month:

Athleta is offering all LTISD employees 10% off their purchase with the code "THANKU." Shop at the Athleta store located in the Hill Country Galleria at 12800 Hill Country Blvd #G120, Austin, TX 78738, or shop online at

Want more staff discounts? The LTISD Development & Corporate Relations Department partners with local businesses to offer additional staff discounts. You may be asked to show LTISD identification to be able to utilize discounts. Enjoy!

LTISD 2021-2022 Campus Teachers of the Year announced

Lake Travis ISD announced the 2021-2022 Campus Teachers with surprise visits April 19 and 21. LTISD Superintendent Paul Norton, along with district senior staff and campus principals, delivered the good news to each Teacher of the Year in front of their peers during the school day. Lake Travis ISD is proud to honor these outstanding educators:

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Lake Travis High School - Lindsay Brooks

Bee Cave Middle School - Loren Smith

Hudson Bend Middle School - Danielle McCloskey

Lake Travis Middle School - David Taylor

Bee Cave Elementary - Robin Hogan

Lake Pointe Elementary School - Dominic Morace

Lake Travis Elementary School - Debbie Dolmanet

Lakeway Elementary School - Catherine Ruff

Rough Hollow Elementary - Judy Williams

Serene Hills Elementary School - Laura Browning

West Cypress Hills Elementary - Christy Mirizzi

The LTISD administration extends a special thank you to the Lake Travis Education Foundation and sponsors the Hill Country Galleria and Sing Orthodontics for coordinating special tokens of appreciation for our 2021-2022 campus Teachers of the Year. Each honoree received a custom Yeti tumbler and gift cards to shops at the Hill Country Galleria.

Early voting in progress; what employees need to know about local elections

With early voting underway, it is important to remember the rules and restrictions applicable to all district employees. State law prohibits school district employees or officials from using public funds or resources, either directly or indirectly, for political advertising to advocate for or against a candidate, measure, or proposition that will appear on a ballot. The use of any district employee time, equipment, property, or facility for political advertising, even if considered to be minimal, is strictly forbidden and can constitute a criminal offense. These prohibitions are applicable to all elections, including national, state, and local elections.

What Employees CAN Do:

  • Encourage a culture of participation in the election process or inform staff and students of purely factual information related to elections such as dates and times for voting and polling sites. Communications with factual information, however, can still violate the prohibitions against political advertising if they also include persuasive slogans or any message of advocacy.
  • Advertise or electioneer for or against a candidate, measure, or proposition on a ballot outside of the employee’s workday (on his or her own time), using his/her own equipment or technology and clearly acting in his/her personal, not professional, capacity.
  • Vote! Polling locations within Lake Travis ISD are listed below:

Early Voting: Monday, April 25 - May 3
Monday - Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 6:00 p.m.
Election Day, Saturday, May 7

All locations are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

What Employees CANNOT Do:

  • Advertise or electioneer for or against a candidate, measure, or proposition on a ballot during the workday or while being paid by the district. Employee time constitutes a public resource.
  • Utilize any district resources to create, reproduce, or distribute materials or information supporting or opposing a candidate, measure, or proposition on a ballot. This includes resources such as computer, phone, fax, photocopier, bulletin board, district email systems, district social media platforms, other district electronic communication tools, or employee mailboxes.
  • Hang fliers or display other materials supporting or opposing a candidate, measure, or proposition on a ballot in employee lounges or other areas that are for the use of district employees and are closed to the public.
  • Wear political clothing or regalia during the workday or post political signs in the classroom or other work environment that advocate for or against a candidate, measure, or proposition on a ballot.

For more information about elections in Travis County, please visit the Travis County Clerk’s Office website.

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New principals for 2022-2023 school year announced

Lake Travis Elementary School

Lizeth Thompson will serve as principal of Lake Travis Elementary School, effective July 1, 2022.

Lizeth has served as LTE’s assistant principal since joining LTISD in 2017. Overall, she possesses nearly 20 years of experience as an elementary-level teacher and administrator with an emphasis on bilingual/dual language education.

Hudson Bend Middle School

Laura Keogh will serve as principal of Hudson Bend Middle School, effective July 1, 2022.

Laura brings 10 years of experience to her new role which includes serving as a teacher and coach on the Buccaneer faculty from 2014-2019. For the past three years, she has served as an assistant principal at Bee Cave Middle School.

Rough Hollow Elementary School

Vanessa Randels will serve as principal of Rough Hollow Elementary School, effective July 1, 2022.

Vanessa has served as RHE’s assistant principal since joining LTISD in 2020. Overall, she possesses nearly 18 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in Arizona and Texas.

Lake Travis Middle School

Rebecca Hudson has been selected as principal of Lake Travis Middle School, effective July 1, 2022.

Rebecca brings more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, coach, and administrator in K-12 and higher education, and she is no stranger to LTISD. Between 2004-2010, Rebecca taught Geography and World History and also served as an assistant coach in tennis at Lake Travis High School. Presently, she serves as Academic Dean at Johnson High School in Hays CISD.

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District recognizes April 27 as Administrative Professionals Day

As we enter the final and perhaps busiest month of the school year, there is probably no better time to highlight the hard work and dedication of our administrative assistants, both in our schools and in our administrative offices throughout the district.

On a regular school day, these individuals do so much to help our campuses and our district offices operate efficiently and effectively. We applaud their positive approach and attention to providing excellent customer service, now more than ever.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are licensed professionals who help improve the quality of life for individuals of all ages and stages. With the theme “Empowering Everyday Living,” Lake Travis ISD joins the American Occupational Therapy Association - AOTA to celebrate April 2022 as National Occupational Therapy Month in recognition of the critical role OTs play in both school and clinical settings.

School-based OTs support academic achievement and social participation by promoting occupation within school routines including recess, classroom, and cafeteria time. They utilize strategies for the health and wellbeing of students and prepare them for college, career, and community integration.

The following Occupational Therapists serve students across our district:

  • Quina Brown
  • Jessica Leung
  • Tracy McCracken
  • Ashley Mong
  • Jenna Olney
  • Johann Salas
National Occupational Therapy Month 2022

A look back at National Assistant Principals Week

From car duty and traffic control, administrator on call for evening and weekend athletic events, to academic support and student discipline issues, assistant principals make significant contributions throughout the school environment. In honor and recognition of these hard-working professionals and the critical duties they perform, Lake Travis ISD joins the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to celebrate April 4-8, 2022 as National Assistant Principals Week.

"Our recognition takes on even greater significance as we highlight and celebrate all that assistant principals have conquered amid the pandemic and consider what their ever-expanding and evolving role might look like moving forward," said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. "Through it all, our APs have demonstrated unwavering leadership and resolve."

The following men and women serve students across our district as assistant principals:

  • Bee Cave Elementary School - Ashley Nauta
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - Karen Reich (interim)
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - Lizeth Thompson
  • Lakeway Elementary School - Amy Sharp, Ed.D.
  • Rough Hollow Elementary School - Vanessa Randels
  • Serene Hills Elementary School - ShaCrista Rideaux-Glasper
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary School - Leanna Pesta, Ed.D.
  • Bee Cave Middle School - Mak El Hassan, Tres Ellis, and Laura Keogh
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - Matt Holley and Julianne Jenkerson
  • Lake Travis Middle School - Cristina Rizzoli and Keitha St. Clair
  • Lake Travis High School - Roy Hudson (associate principal), Sheri Remore (associate principal), Sebastian Espinoza, Darnell Horton, Ed.D., Angela Hrapchak, Tanda Paske, Brianne Walker, and Mason Whitfield
National Assistant Principals Week

A look back at National Library Week

With the theme “Connect With Your Library,” Lake Travis ISD joins the American Library Association to celebrate April 3-9, 2022 as National Library Week in recognition of our school librarians and their unique contributions to public education.

"During the pandemic, our school library media specialists continue to excel, and perhaps more importantly, to adapt resources and services to best meet our students’ needs during these challenging times," said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. "Our libraries offer endless opportunities to transform student lives through education and lifelong learning."

A total of 11 elementary and secondary school library media specialists, and one librarian aide, provide services to more than 11,300 students across our district:

  • Bee Cave Elementary School - Ouita Bingham
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - Deborah Foster
  • Lakeway Elementary School - Brekka Larrew
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - Nicholle Halprin
  • Rough Hollow Elementary School - Michelle McMillin
  • Serene Hills Elementary School - Krish Stella
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary School - Cathy Seidenberger
  • Bee Cave Middle School - Andrea Heckler
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - Caitlin Hooker
  • Lake Travis Middle School - Lori Kelley
  • Lake Travis High School - Elizabeth Stearns
  • Lake Travis High School - Rosalie Galliver

"Our librarians actively and creatively engage students in developing the most fundamental of skills, collaboratively plan with teachers and other school staff to deliver quality instruction through cutting-edge technology, and work with parents to plan, design, and coordinate book fairs and other special campus events," continued Mr. Norton. "Whether it’s by creating an interest in reading or by helping students connect to the Internet, our LTISD library media specialists have a direct impact on student learning and achievement."

National Library Week 2022

Other articles in this Currents newsletter:

Community races towards a night of philanthropy

The Lake Travis Education Foundation (LTEF) Board of Directors hosted a wonderful night of philanthropy to benefit Lake Travis schools on Saturday, April 23. Themed "An Evening at the Races," the annual LTEF Gala was held at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. The funds raised from the gala will assist LTEF in awarding educator grants to every LTISD campus and scholarships to graduating seniors at Lake Travis High School. In 2021, LTEF provided 85 innovative educator grants and 19 scholarships.

“LTEF was founded in 1985, and since then, we have been fortunate to have motivated volunteers work hard to raise over $5 million for these important educator grants and scholarships," shared Vince Abio, LTEF president. "We have a community dedicated to the success of our schools, and I’m proud of the work LTEF is doing to support our students and teachers. Our Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders, parents, volunteers, and advocates, and we created a gala that captured the spirit of LT."

The gala is the foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year which will support critical programs and technology for more than 11,300 Lake Travis students.

Jenny Goff, LTEF Gala Chair, added, “The LTEF Board was excited to host a very special gala this year. This southern garden party at the Omni transported attendees to a Kentucky Derby-style event. It was successfully designed to bring together the greater Lake Travis and Austin community to support our schools.”

Rough Hollow Lakeway was the gala’s presenting sponsor.

“We are fortunate to partner with local businesses and families who support the vision of bringing the community together to drive educational excellence in our Lake Travis schools," said Katie Kauffman, LTEF Executive Director. "Because of our committed sponsors, we are able to make a big impact in classrooms across the district. A phrase that continues to drive our board was shared by Lake Travis ISD team member Kallie Nichols who observed “When you invest in the Lake Travis Education Foundation, you are telling our students, ‘We believe in you; go change the world!’ "

LTEF developed a series of videos that initially aired during the gala including "Lake Travis Programs", "What Are You Going to Do?," and "Every Student." Each video was produced by Jon DaSilva of Roadrunner Pictures and is hosted on LTEF digital and social media platforms.

For more information, visit the LTEF website.

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Photo Credit: Safina's Photography

Now accepting nominations for the LT Leading With Heart awards

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized with a Leading with Heart award? We want to hear all about it!

Your nomination should include:

  • Name and campus/department of employee submitting the nomination
  • Detailed description of why the nominee deserves the award

In addition to being recognized in the presence of their colleagues, award recipients will receive a custom pin and Yeti tumbler, as well as a gift card from program sponsor All Star Burger. Award recipients will also be featured on District/campus websites, District/campus publications, and social media platforms. This award is open to all employees.

Email your nomination to Evalene Murphy, Assistant Superintendent for Employee and Community Relations, at

Save on LTISD 2022 Summer Camp & Summer Squires registrations

LTISD Community Programs is offering all LTISD staff a 25% off discount on its 2022 Summer Squires program and a 10% off discount on 2022 Summer Camps (costs vary by camp). The discount comes in the form of a refund to your method of payment for the class fee. (Please note, discounts are not applied to supply fees; allow 5-7 business days for the refund to process.)

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH internship program now accepting applications

Project SEARCH prepares young people with disabilities for success in competitive integrated employment. The program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people with disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life. Interns learn workplace soft skills that can transfer across vocational opportunities, as well as self-advocacy and self-determination skills that support and encourage independence.

The video above demonstrates how participation in Project SEARCH helps our students enter the workforce and work toward independence. Visit for detailed program information, eligibility criteria and next steps. All documents must be submitted by March 1, 2022 for consideration.

Keeping Connected

Download the LTISD Keeping Connected PDF to learn about the various ways to receive District and campus-level news, emergency notification, and other information.

Stay in the know on the go with our District mobile app for iOS and Android. Follow LTISD on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn about Peachjar, the innovative flyer management system that sends District- and school-approved digital flyers directly to parents via email.

Stay Current

Want to learn more about our amazing Lake Travis ISD staff? Miss an article from a previous month? Stay current by visiting