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CISD Director of Advanced Academics update

June 29, 2012

CISD is diligently searching for the best candidate for our next Director of Advanced Academics.   This position oversees K-12 gifted education (over 20% of all CISD students have been identified GT), Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, and Career/Technology Education courses.  Tabitha Branum, the new Executive Director of Leading and Learning, will oversee IB and the other Academies in addition to her other duties.  The Director of Assessment will oversee all standardized testing, and the Director of Advanced Academics will evaluate test results and manage Level 2 testing and appeals for admissions to the GT program.

We support them in this process and recognize that replacing Todd Kettler is no easy feat.  He has made amazing strides in improving advanced academics throughout the district, including establishing GT core classes throughout middle school, expanding GT and AP offerings at the high school, and broadening the dual credit options.  These improvements in advanced academics will continue to flourish and grow.  According to Dr. Marilyn Denison, CISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, “We are committed to meeting the needs of all learners, including gifted learners.  We will continue to strive for improvement in all areas, especially elementary GT and Dual-Credit,” and will maintain the current advanced academics/GT curriculum.
Dr. Denison is committed to finding the right person with skills beyond the posted job description, namely:

  • focus on advanced academics/GT
  • recognizes and is able to articulate what the advanced academics/GT program entails and have a vision for the future
  • aware of the State Plan for the Education of GT Students
  • demonstrates foundational knowledge of GT, AP, Dual-Credit
  • appreciates the need for differentiation and the purpose of meeting the needs of the gifted learner
  • embraces 21st century learning and CISD’s progressive vision of education
  • utilizes strong leadership skills to collaborate with administration, educators, parents, the community, and the Coppell Gifted Association
Finding someone with these qualifications takes time.  “We will find the right person for this position,” confirms Dr. Denison, “but it might take some time, so we ask you to be patient.”

We will certainly miss Mr. Kettler as he joins the faculty at the University of North Texas.  Be assured that the new Director of Advanced Academics will maintain CISD’s commitment to meeting the unique needs of academically gifted and advanced learners.  Please support the district in their search with your patience, and trust that they will find the best candidate for our students and CISD.
This information was based on an interview with Dr. Denison in early June 2012.  We will keep you posted when the position is officially filled.
July UPDATE:  We have a new Director of Advanced Academics.  Click here for more information.
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