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Recognizing school board members’ efforts
Posted 01 - 16 - 2013

NISD joins schools across state in recognizing

school board members’ efforts


January 15, 2013                                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

District Contact: Rayanne Schmid, communications coordinator

936-569-5000, ext. 8845 (office) or 936-585-1518 (Cell)


NACOGDOCHES —Serving children and representing their communities, school board members never receive the recognition and honor they deserve. Their responsibilities hold implications that reach beyond the common perception and help shape the foundation of the future of our school systems.

In recognition of their service, January is designated School Board Recognition Month. School districts across the state will take this opportunity to say thanks to our trustees for giving so much to their communities.

In Nacogdoches ISD, students and teachers will send works of art, unique projects and more to be placed on display during the Thursday, Jan. 17 board meeting. Their creations serve as a reminder of what the district’s board works so diligently to support — the education and future of Nacogdoches children.

School board members come from all facets of life.  From farmers to doctors, truck drivers to CEOs, school board officials come together to meet a common goal – helping our children succeed.

Their job is to establish a vision for educating our students, design a structure to achieve that vision, assure that schools are accountable to the community, and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning.

Board members give hundreds upon hundreds of hours each year governing their districting — attending meetings, school events, hearing reports, proposals, crafting policies, hiring administrators, listening to staff and student concerns — all while keeping their eyes on the goal of student achievement.

Nacogdoches Independent School District is very proud of our school board officials and their dedication to the students in our school system.

Nacogdoches Independent School District Board of Trustees:

President, Mrs. Almarie Henderson Shumate — Born and raised in Nacogdoches, Henderson Shumate graduated in 1976 from Nacogdoches High School and currently serves as the president of the Board of Trustees.  She holds a bachelor of applied arts and sciences and a master of social work degree, both from Stephen F. Austin State University.

“My desire is to be an example for our young people and to let them know that Nacogdoches does have opportunities,” she said.  “But there can never be change if all of our up-and-coming stars flee the community.”

Henderson Shumate also has served on the boards of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Salvation Army, Children Trust Fund Family Pride Council and Indigent Health Care Commission Advisory Board for the State of Texas.

Vice-President, Mr. Matt Rocco – A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Matt graduated with a BA in Economics and Accounting from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.

Rocco is a 26-year veteran of the call center/BPO industry.  Since 2003, he has been the Chief Operating Officer of Etech, Inc., a multi-national outsourcing company with over 2,200 employees that provide world-class services to Fortune 500 companies from their locations in the U.S., India, and Jamaica.

Rocco said the biggest reason he ran for school board was because he cares about the community and the youth of Nacogdoches.

Secretary, Dr. Lisa Mize – Dr. Lisa Mize graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1980 and went on to receive her bachelor’s in elementary education from Stephen F. Austin in 1985 – the same year she married her high school sweetheart, Jimmy Mize.

“I have been an educator for over 20 years in Nacogdoches,” she said.  “As a member of the board…I want to serve my community, support teachers, improve the educational experience and increase opportunities for all students in NISD.”

Mize currently serves as the associate dean for the Perkins College of Education at SFA.

Mr. T.D. Howarth – T.D. Howarth grew up in Port Neches, Texas.  He studied Business Management and Computer Science at Stephen F. Austin and has been a Licensed Private Investigator for 14 years.

“I hope one day that we have a 100-percent graduation rate, as well as each student being involved in at least one extracurricular activity,” he said.  “The well-rounded student, who has also been taught character in his/her education, is an attainable goal at NISD.”

T.D. says the single biggest investment that one can make is that of investing in a child.

Dr. Alan B. Sowards – Dr. Alan B. Sowards’ education includes stops at SFA, University of Texas at Dallas and Texas A&M University at Commerce, where he studied Biology/History/Education, received his Master at Teaching Environmental Science and his Doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision.

Sowards also has served in Community groups such as Friends of Millard’s Crossing Historic Village Advisory Board, Dixie League baseball, Nacogdoches Recreational Football, and Glory Gang.  He currently works as a professor in the College of Education at Stephen F. Austin.

Mr. Ron Watson – Ron Watson graduated from John Foster Dulles High School in Sugarland, TX.  He went on to receive his BAAS in Human Resource Management from Stephen F. Austin State University.

“The future of our community (and entire world) rests in the hands of the children in our schools … As parents and/or as members of the community, we must actively participate in the educational process,” Watson said.  “We must support our teachers and principals, we must support our schools.  If we do not invest time, effort, and resources into our schools, we are failing to invest in the future.”

Along with his duties as a husband and father, Watson also serves as a Deacon at Austin Heights Baptist Church of Nacogdoches, TX. 

Mr. Steve Green – As a former bus driver, teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Nacogdoches ISD for 36 years, Steve Green has served on, worked with, and observed many different boards.

As a retired principal, Green currently owns and operates a chicken farm in Nacogdoches County.  He also owns and manages rental property in the city of Nacogdoches.

As a member of the board, Green aims to support the educators of Nacogdoches Independent School District and push for a brighter future for our students.


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