LA MARQUE — When students return to high school next month, they will be welcomed by a new principal and a new concept in how the campus is managed.
La Marque High School Principal Andre Credit, whose hiring was approved by school trustees Thursday, is doing away with assistant principals and replacing them with deans. Credit worked in the Houston school district before joining La Marque.
“We changed the title of certain positions to more effectively utilize positions and because this model lends itself to better fit House Bill 5 requirements,” La Marque Superintendent Terri Watkins said.
Approved by the Texas Legislature in 2013, House Bill 5 reduced testing requirements for public high school students and changed graduation requirements. It also offers students lanes of education geared toward their chosen career or advanced education path.
Under Credit’s plan, principal positions will be revamped into dean positions, with a structure allowing for a dean of academic services, dean of instruction and dean of student services.
Trustees approved the switch.
Superintendent Terri Watkins said the adjustment allowed for the district to attract individuals for these roles with proper experience. This includes backgrounds in counseling and scheduling students.
Credit said that by changing positions from counselors or assistant principals, duties will move from strictly managerial and disciplinary to having an academic focus for students.
The new approach comes in an effort for La Marque to rebuild and restore its academic standing.
The school district risks having its accreditation revoked after three straight years where academic or financial performance did not meet minimum state standards.
Some of the academic issues have been at the high school.
Dana Jones will be the associate dean of academic services; La’Rohanda Washington is the dean of instruction, and Carnell White Jr. will be dean of student services and assistant principal.
Credit said the system will provide better services to students. He worked as dean of instruction at La Porte High School and was the dean of instruction for Frank Black Middle School in Houston.
“When you’re dealing with a small district with smaller resources than a big one, you have to be creative in how you give students those resources,” Credit said.
“I believe that with the deans, services will be given to the students in a way that when they leave, they will have a plan and an ability to start a career.”
With a new principal and set of deans, Credit thinks La Marque High School will make big strides this school year.
“My number one goal is to rebuild and restore the pride in the high school from the community and rebuild the trust that Galveston County has lost in La Marque High School,” he said. “I want the community to know that our doors are open, that there is learning going on and that our students are just as intelligent and capable. ”
Watkins noted that the change requires no extra spending.