Alumni Announcements

Stephanie Brown named CEO of NEXT School

Stephanie N. Brown (’13) will serve as the chief executive officer of the NEXT School, a public charter high school with campuses in Greenville and Salem, South Carolina, its board of directors announced on July 8. Brown earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas and is an adjunct professor in the College of Education.

Juan Rodriguez named Director of Fine Arts for Medina Valley ISD

Juan Rodriguez (’21) will be the Director of Fine Arts for the Medina Valley Independent School District. Rodriguez, earned his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas College of Education in 2021. He has 16 years of experience in education. 

Lisa Castro named Assistant Principal for Greenfield Elementary

Lisa Castro (’20) has been named as the Assistant Principal of Greenfield Elementary School in Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD. Castro has been in the school district for 16 years. During her time there, she has been a classroom teacher, math interventionist and, most recently, an elementary math coach. Castro earned her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas. She also served in the U.S. Army Reserves for eight years. Castro has been married for 14 years and together they have three children, ages 20; 13 and 9.

Andrew Finley named next Middle School Principal at Hyde Park Schools

Moving from his former role as Speedway’s Instructional Coach over the past two years, Andrew Finley ('20) is well prepared to serve as the next Middle School Principal at Hyde Park Schools. Finley came to Hyde Park Schools in August of 2015 where Middle School students have had the good fortune to have him as their science teacher for the past six years. Finley holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Liberty University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas. Finley and his wife, Mackenzie, are the parents of 3-year-old son, Elliot. Finley says he is passionate about building a learning community where every student is known and cared for, while simultaneously holding students to high academic standards. He says he is excited to serve teachers, parents, and students in his new role, and looks forward to continuing Hyde Park’s legacy of excellence. He will serve as Hyde Park Middle School Principal beginning in the fall of 2021.

Joonyoung Lee receives AASP Doctoral Dissertation Award

Joonyoung Lee ('20) won the 2021 Association for Applied Sport Psychology Doctoral Dissertation Award. The Dissertation Award recognizes the completion of an outstanding dissertation by an AASP doctoral student member. AASP Awards recognize the contributions of student and professional members whose work advances the knowledge base and enhances the delivery of services to consumers.

Erin Fralicks Hart becomes youngest ever president of Texas Recreation and Park Society

Sworn in on Wednesday, March 10 at the Texas Recreation and Park Society’s State Conference in Frisco, Texas, Erin Fralicks Hart has set a new state record as the youngest president in the history of the organization at age 33. TRAPS is an 81-year-old non-profit educational and professional organization that serves as a clearinghouse of information and resources to help with a wide range of challenges facing park, recreation, and leisure service professionals. Erin, who is also a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, was recently promoted to Assistant Director of Operations at The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department – a two-time National Recreation & Park Association Gold-Medal-winning and nationally accredited agency. After graduating from UNT in 2010, Erin immediately began her career as a Recreation Coordinator at The City of Flower Mound. In 2013 she accepted the Special Events Coordinator position at The City of Grand Prairie. From there, she was promoted to Recreation Superintendent in 2019, and then to Assistant Director in 2021. “We look forward to Erin serving in this capacity and know that she will not only do exceptional work for our state, but also brings great honor to the City of Grand Prairie,” said Duane Strawn, Director of Parks, Arts & Recreation. Erin is the daughter of Kevin (B.S. 87’) and Lucie Fralicks and Jeanne (B.S. 83, M.S. 85) and Bryan Heard. Erin is the daughter-in-law of longtime Euless and Grand Prairie City Manager, Tom (B.S 77’) and Susan Hart. Erin is married to Austen Hart, and they have two children, Ellie (age 14) and Ryley (age 2). 

Kimberly Lowry receives Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean

Dr. Kimberly Lowry ('14), Vice President of Instruction and Student Services at Lone Star College System, received a 2020-21 NASPA Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean.

Shon Joseph named Outstanding Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

DeSoto High School Principal Shon Joseph will  represent the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals as a Region 10 Outstanding Principal of the Year.

Michael Goddard earns praise as leading CEO at a Top 100 Places to Work

Dr. Michael Goddard (04), superintendent of the Lovejoy Independent School District, earned top marks from his employees even during a pandemic earning him the title of a leading COE at one of the Top 100 Places to Work, according to The Dallas Morning News. 

Azucena "Suzie" Verdin earns the John L. and Harriet P. McAdoo Dissertation Award

Dr. Azucena "Suzie" Verdin, a 2019 Educational Psychology graduate in Human Development and Family Science, is the 2020 recipient of the John L. and Harriet P. McAdoo Dissertation Award through the Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Families section of the National Council on Family Relations. The McAdoo is one of NCFR’s most prestigious awards for doctoral students and is given to one dissertation biannually that use familial relationships as the primary focus, highlights the central role ethnicity and culture play in family processes, and relates to the scholarly work of Drs. John L. and Harriette P. McAdoo, founders of the REDF section. Dr. Verdin will be presented with her plaque and cash prize at the 2020 NCFR conference on Nov. 13 and at the 2021 conference she will give a conference address on her dissertation: “Mothering While Brown: Latina Borderland Mothers’ Experiences of Epistemic Injustice.”