McKinney ISD

 

Longtime Bennett Principal Amy Holderman Chosen as Principal of New Frazier Elementary

Article|
Shane Mauldin|
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Amy Holderman, Principal of Frazier Elementary

McKinney, TX – Amy Holderman slapped a hard-hat on her head, maneuvered her way lightly through the mud and then turned back toward the camera, “You think this is a good spot?”

“Yes, I think that works.”

In a Frazier t-shirt that she made herself, Holderman smiled as the camera clicked noisily, and cold, drizzly raindrops plinked off of her hard-hat. Behind her rose the newly formed walls of what will become her new home as a campus principal: Ruth & Harold Frazier Elementary School.

After 14 years as the principal of Bennett Elementary, Amy Holderman is beginning a new chapter in her career, opening a new school and moving forward as she says farewell to the school community that she has poured everything into for more than a decade.

Holderman in front of Frazier construction wearing a hard hat

Amy Holderman at the construction site of Frazier Elementary. Located in the Trinity Falls community, the school is set to open in the fall of 2023. Holderman now holds the distinction of being named the school’s first principal.

Set to open in the fall of 2023, Frazier Elementary will primarily serve students from the Trinity Falls community on the north side of McKinney.

“I am so excited that Amy has been selected as the first principal of Frazier Elementary,” said Suzy Woodard, McKinney ISD Asst. Superintendent of Elementary Student Support. “She has a proven record of success, and I know that she’ll be able to take many of the structures and systems that have served her well at Bennett Elementary and adapt them to meet the needs of Frazier Elementary.”

In addition to the high level of academic success Bennett has achieved under Holderman’s leadership, the school has also reaped the benefits of her unique gift for cultivating positive school culture, for helping students believe they can be great and that their school is the best school anywhere.

In 2013, to motivate her students during a fundraising campaign, Holderman pledged to eat a cricket in front of the entire school if they achieved their goal. (It was the kids’ idea.) They kept their end of the bargain, and she kept hers—and won their hearts forever. Over the years, she’s kissed a snake (in spite of her fear of them) and spent an entire day in a lift, 20 feet off the ground. She’s been dumped with slime and doused with ketchup and mustard to help motivate students—whatever it takes.

Holderman and Mildred Bennett smiling at camera

Amy Holderman with Bennett Elementary Namesake Mildred Bennett in 2015

Over the years, she made sure that her students knew the namesake of their school by inviting Mildred Bennett to every event that she was able to attend. When Mrs. Bennett turned 100, Holderman and the Bennett community threw a school-wide celebration for her. When Mrs. Bennett passed a few years ago, the loss reverberated throughout the entire school community.

“Bennett Elementary has been more than my school family for the past 14 years,” said Holderman. “My time at Bennett has been filled with nothing but love, laughter and my unwavering support, as we are a true family away from family. The students, staff and parents in the Bennett community will forever hold a very special place near and dear to my heart. Thank you for the opportunity to lead, learn, love and grow alongside each of you. I will forever be ‘Proud to be a BEAR.’”

Long before she arrived at Bennett, Holderman’s journey in education began 27 years ago as a green elementary school teacher at Noel Magnet School in Ector County ISD. After 3 years in the harsh landscape of West Texas, she headed eastward to McKinney. Here, she would go on to serve as an elementary classroom teacher for 8 years at Valley Creek and then Walker Elementary. In 2001, she was chosen as Valley Creek’s Teacher of the Year and was also the runner-up for the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Holderman in hot dog costume with hands raised triumphantly

Amy Holderman in 2013 at a Bennett Elementary fundraiser celebration.

In 2006, she was on the move again—this time from the classroom to the front office at Walker to serve as the school’s assistant principal. In that position, she honed the leadership skills that would come into play when she arrived at Bennett Elementary in 2009 to serve as its principal.

During her tenure at Bennett, the school has excelled in state testing results and has achieved Level 1 & 2 in the Marzano’s High Reliability Schools framework. In 2018, Bennett earned recognition in the N2Learning Principals’ Institute Schools Transforming Learning Program.

In addition to her impact on students, Holderman has served as a mentor to four assistant principals who have gone on to become campus principals.

“I’m really proud of the work that Amy has done at Bennett,” said Woodard. “Every step in her career has prepared her to take on this new challenge. Opening a new school is completely consuming, when you have to hire every member of the staff. But, I believe that she has the skillset it takes to build a great team, to make this a very smooth opening and a great foundation for the future of Frazier. She has shared her vision for the campus and the beautiful culture that she wants to establish for Frazier students, staff and parents. I know that she is going to work tirelessly to create that and bring that dream to fruition.”

Frazier Elementary, meet your principal: Amy Holderman.

“Thank you, McKinney ISD, for the opportunity to serve as the first principal at Ruth & Harold Frazier Elementary School!” said Holderman. “Opening Frazier Elementary in the Trinity Falls community is an honor and dream come true for me! Our journey awaits, as we come together as a new school family to build a strong legacy within the Trinity Falls community, while carrying on the Frazier Family traditions of investing in the young people of McKinney.

“I’m ready to hit the ground running by getting to know every student, staff, and parent by name, as we provide a safe learning environment for all, create our positive school culture, promote strong parent involvement, provide excellent two-way communication, and partner with every stakeholder to make Frazier Elementary the ‘BEST New School in McKinney.’ Let’s do this, Frazier Elementary!”

Holderman earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas of Permian Basin and her master’s degree in school administration from Dallas Baptist University.

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Amy Holderman, Principal of Frazier Elementary

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