McKinney ISD

For the latest information about MISD's COVID response for the 2021-22 school year please visit our COVID-19 page in the Health Services & Wellness section of this website.

 

Five Questions with SJMS Principal Holly Rogers, TASSP Region 10 Middle School Principal of the Year

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Scott Johnson Middle School Principal Holly Rogers has been named the 2021–2022 Region 10 Middle School Principal of the Year.

Scott Johnson Middle School Principal Holly Rogers has been named the 2021–2022 Region 10 Middle School Principal of the Year.

McKinney, Texas – When Scott Johnson Middle School Principal Holly Rogers walked into Jill Nicklas’ math class, she was immediately invited to join the class activity. As the students stood at their desks, the action got underway, and there were goofy dances, questions from Nicklas and answers from the students, and Rogers was in the middle of it, laughing with the kids and throwing down some dance moves of her own.

It was a moment that captured who Rogers is, a devoted campus leader with a big heart for kids. Someone who can light up a room with a laugh, but who never takes her eye off the mission to help every student at SJMS succeed.

To those who work alongside her, it was celebrated—but not surprising—when Rogers was named the 2021–2022 Region 10 Middle School Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).

“Holly is an amazing principal and truly deserves this honor!” said Dr. Melinda DeFelice, McKinney ISD Deputy Superintendent of Secondary Learner Support and Human Resources.

Rogers doing a dance move and laughing with students

SJMS Principal Holly Rogers shares a laugh with students during an activity in Lisa Nicklas’ sixth grade math class.

Over the course of 29 years in education, Rogers has served at the elementary and middle school levels and helped open Vega Elementary as a classroom teacher when she came to McKinney ISD in 2002 from Paris ISD. She moved into campus administration as an assistant principal at McGowen Elementary when that campus opened in 2008. Since then, she’s gone on to serve as an assistant principal at Dowell Middle School and then principal at Dowell, and last year, she became the principal at Scott Johnson Middle School.

Rogers’ journey across nearly three decades of education has been the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

We sat down with Rogers to talk about the TASSP award, why connections matter and what she loves about her job.

What does it mean to you to receive this recognition as Region 10 Middle School Principal of the Year from TASSP?
It is a huge honor. I’m very humbled by that because I knew all along I wanted to be a teacher and then an administrator. So, to have the privilege of leading Dowell for five years and then to have the opportunity to come to SJMS and make an impact on kids and on teachers and help them grow is just huge for me. I really feel like I’m just doing my job everyday, and to be recognized for the work that I have been able to accomplish is a really big deal to me. It means a lot.

When did you know that you wanted to be an educator?
I’ve wanted to be an educator since I was a young child. I played school with my dolls. My sister was two years younger, and I made her play school until she was old enough to say, “I don’t have to play school with you anymore.” I don’t have any educators in my family, but I just knew when I was little that I wanted to be a teacher.

When I first started in education, I thought I would be a kindergarten teacher forever. That’s what I wanted to be, but as I moved into different grade levels and had different experiences, I found that I liked the leadership part. When I came to McKinney and helped open Vega, that’s when I really knew that I wanted to make that jump into administration. So, I started looking into things, and I got into a program and was able to work toward that.

Rogers in a classroom laughing with students

SJMS Principal Holly Rogers talks with students during science class.

Being a campus principal is a demanding job, but what do you love about it?
I think I love the growth…watching people grow, watching kids grow, especially. I did 20 years in elementary and then moved into the middle school world, and I absolutely love it. What we’re able to see kids do from 6th – 8th grade and then following them on to high school…We really do help develop a lot of the things they grow to love and get them involved in things that sometimes they don’t think that they will be interested in. And, so I think that that’s a huge challenge. We want kids to be invested and in school, but I also love the relationship piece.

I love getting to hire new people; I love helping people grow and having the opportunity to watch them grow. I have three people who all just started grad school that I mentor on our campus. So, relationships are big for me and just having the opportunity to be an example to our kids as they grow.

MISD’s theme this year is “Connections Matter.” Why are connections so important, particularly at the middle school level?
When I came to Scott Johnson last year, one of our students started emailing me right before we came back in January. He was a virtual student, and he wanted to know if he could get help with a class that he was struggling with. And, we worked with him on his schedule and found a way to get him more involved at SJMS. And, the relationship and the connection with that young man that we developed was huge. He still emails me. I’ll go see his football games. I met his parents. Because of his connection to school, he turned all his grades around. That is the true picture of why we do what we do and why connections matter. He had people in his corner, and it was amazing to watch him grow and be ready to go to high school. If he had not come back to school and had not made that connection—he could have gotten lost in the shuffle.

What are you most proud of at SJMS?
We have a great staff. A lot of teachers have been here for a long time, and they’re invested in our kiddos, and you can see that. Kids are happy to be at school. It’s different…you can feel that in the hallways, and so I’m super proud to work with the people I get to work with every day. I want to support them in what they want to do by also pushing them to the next level because we all need to continue to grow if we’re going to be in this profession. And, I think that they understand the support that they have and that it’s ok to color outside the box and see what’s best for kids.

It’s exciting to see the growth that is taking place in this area of McKinney and the opportunities that will bring with it. I’m excited about our future at SJMS. They are a great staff and great kids. I couldn’t ask for better kids.

Need Help?

If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

Press Contact