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Prairie View principal picked for new post

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, March 23, 2013

After five years at Northwest ISD’s Prairie View Elementary School, Principal Sandy Conklin will take over the reins of Samuel Beck Elementary in Trophy Club.

Sandy Conklin

Sandy Conklin

Conklin’s transfer was approved by trustees at Monday night’s meeting.

Although regretful to leave the students and staff at the Rhome school at the end of this year, Conklin said he’s looking forward to the new opportunities at Beck.

“It’s bittersweet because I love the students at Prairie View,” Conklin said in a phone interview Wednesday, “and I really enjoy working with the parents and the staff. I’ve enjoyed the five years I’ve spent at Prairie View. But as a leader, you’re constantly looking for ways to challenge yourself and grow. That was the motivation behind the move. The opportunity became available, and I decided to pursue it.”

Conklin will replace Deborah McCune in the 2013-2014 school year, when McCune opens NISD’s newest elementary school, Wayne A. Cox Elementary in Roanoke.

“I’m excited to work with another talented staff at Beck Elementary,” Conklin said. “The Beck community is one that values high expectations, and my goal is to not only sustain their success but to continue to grow together and build on the tradition of excellence that’s already been established.”

It’s a foundation similar to the one he’ll leave behind at Prairie View, Conklin said.

During his tenure there, Conklin led the school to an exemplary rating from 2008 to 2010 and a recognized rating in 2011. He’s also overseen the implementation of programs such as Watch D.O.G.S. (a father involvement, educational initiative) and Boom! Guys Read (a reading program for boys in third through fifth grade). He’s watched students excel in the classroom, on the Destination Imagination team and in leadership capacities on the student council, which partners with area organizations and businesses for various service projects.

“But most importantly, I’m really proud of the personal success many of our students have experienced,” Conklin said. “It’s much more success than any test score can define. Students have become critical thinkers, problem solvers and leaders of character on campus. We’ve created a culture that is committed to excellence. I have no doubt that the new principal will come in and strengthen the traditions established and build on the culture of challenges and high expectations.”

The new principal of Prairie View Elementary will be named later this spring.

“I’ll be close by to do what I can to ensure that it’s a smooth transition,” Conklin said. “I’ll be working closely with them, and we’ll be working hard to make sure that it goes smoothly. But I’m still here for the rest of the year.”

Prior to joining NISD in 2008, Conklin worked as a principal and assistant principal in Crowley ISD. His teaching and coaching experience spans schools from Grand Prairie to Grapevine-Colleyville and Pearsall school districts.

Conklin earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, his master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, and he’s currently working toward his doctorate in educational leadership.

“Mr. Conklin brings 15 years of excellent experience, including nine years of administrative experience,” said NISD Superintendent Karen Rue. “He is passionate about creating and maintaining a strong campus culture, and … he’s a strong educator who will lead the school to continued success.”

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