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MISD Celebrates Board of Trustees During Board Recognition Month

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
McKinney ISD Board of Trustees Secretary Stephanie O'Dell talks with students during a visit to McGowen Elementary.

McKinney ISD Board of Trustees Secretary Stephanie O'Dell talks with students during a visit to McGowen Elementary.

McKinney, Texas – Each year, the Texas Association of School Boards designates January as School Board Recognition Month, and in its annual fashion, McKinney ISD is joining TASB and districts across the state in recognizing the dedicated men and women who serve as school board members.

“The measure of a truly effective board is their willingness to support teachers and other school personnel for the betterment of all children,” said MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel. “We are blessed in MISD by the fact that our school board truly strives to support public education as a whole. I could not be more proud than to have had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with this group of individuals. Their commitment to excellence has transformed this district, and we are stronger than ever due in large part to the courage and commitment of our current board of trustees.”

Schools across the district have hosted members of the MISD Board of Trustees to show their appreciation and to give students an opportunity to meet board members and learn more about them.

For McNeil Principal Tracy Meador, this year’s School Board Recognition Month presents a poignant opportunity to honor a board member who played a pivotal role in her teaching career 26 years ago. “Harvey Oaxaca holds a special place in my heart because he gave me my very first teaching job at Faubion Middle School in 1997,” she said. Meador and McNeil Elementary will host Oaxaca on Jan. 18 for breakfast with students and an interview during morning announcements. Then, they’ll have him back out on Jan. 27 to take part in their monthly Mustang Roundup celebration.

“We appreciate that our Board is always student-centered when making decisions and that they value staff, students, parents and the entire McKinney community,” added Meador.

Other MISD schools have joined McNeil in inviting board members to their campuses. Read on to learn more about each of our board members and to hear from principals who have had the chance to honor them this month.

Larry Jagours: Place 1

Larry Jagours head shot“Larry Jagours is a familiar and friendly face to our students at Webb Elementary,” said Principal Maria Hafner. “The students love when he comes to read to their class or speaks to them at our Friday morning assemblies. He is a constant advocate, encourager and supporter of our students and our staff. We are so appreciative of all that Mr. Jagours does for Webb and MISD.”

Jagours also visited Malvern Elementary last week. “Mr. Jagours joined me on morning announcements, where we discussed the role of a school board, and he shared his goals for our students,” said Principal Rhonda Gilliam. “He met with the Malvern choir and drum circle, and they performed a lovely song entitled ‘Give Light.’ A highlight was that he shared that both Mr. and Mrs. Malvern were his teachers. He told the students about the work he did in their classrooms and described the high expectations they had for students. It was a wonderful visit!”

Born and raised here, Larry Jagours considers himself a true McKinneyite. He is certainly no stranger to MISD. He attended the former E.S. Doty School and earned his diploma from McKinney High School when it was still located at what is now Faubion Middle School.

During a career in education that spanned 29 years, Jagours served special needs populations for 13 years in Lewisville ISD before returning to his hometown, where he served at Dowell Middle School, McKinney Boyd High School and as a substitute teacher across the district for 16 years.

Jagours sitting in chair with book gesturing and talking

Larry Jagours reads to students at Eddins Elementary.

A retired minister in the Methodist Church, Jagours has found another way to serve the McKinney ISD community. “It is an extreme honor and privilege to be elected to the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees,” said Jagours, “to further the vision of academic excellence with all members in making McKinney ISD the premier school district in Collin County, if not within the State of Texas.”

Jagours completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Texas College in Tyler, graduate studies in Special Education at Texas A&M–Commerce and graduate studies in theology at Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife Linda have been married for 54 years and have three children and one grandchild.

Philip Hassler, Vice President: Place 2

head shot of HasslerGlen Oaks Elementary hosted Board Vice President Philip Hassler last week. “We enjoyed greeting Philip Hassler in Glen Oaks style!” said Principal Molly Hovan. “He was quick to jump in and dance to the music and even put a tiger stamp on his cheek to show his school spirit. He was incredibly engaging to our students and staff, and we appreciated the opportunity to learn more about his important role in our school district.”

Philip Hassler and his family have called McKinney home since 2016, and he has been the owner–operator of Chick-fil-A CityLine in Richardson since 2017. Prior to that, he was owner-operator of a Chick-fil-A location in Arlington for four years and served as an underwriting manager at Regions Bank in Birmingham, Alabama from 2008–2013. He spent his early career in the home building industry, serving as a construction project manager and then later as president of his own company, Hassler Homes L.L.C.

His two children attend Faubion Middle School and McKinney High School, respectively. When his youngest was a student at Walker, Hassler was an active Walker volunteer. He taught a four-week Junior Achievement curriculum at Walker, served as a chaperone for the school’s three day camp at Allaso Ranch, and his Chick-fil-A CityLine location was honored as the Walker Elementary Business Partner in 2017–2018 for its ongoing support of the school.

Hassler in front of green screen talking at desk with students

Philip Hassler takes part in an interview with Glen Oaks Elementary students during morning announcements.

“I am honored and excited to serve on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees,” said Hassler. “When looking for a place to raise our family, my wife and I specifically chose the city of McKinney for its excellent schools. I look forward to working with other Board members in serving the students, teachers, staff and administrators of McKinney ISD.”

Hassler holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Chad Green: Place 3

Chad Green Head shot“Serving on a school board is an investment of time, energy and emotion,” said Malvern Principal Rhonda Gilliam. “We are so fortunate in McKinney ISD to have a board committed to serving our children, staff and community. Malvern students have been learning about the important role the board plays in creating a happy, successful learning environment, and we appreciate Mr. Green’s service on the MISD Board of Trustees.”

Chad Green is a proud native Texan who graduated from Texas A&M University, class of 2000, and has resided in McKinney for more than eight years.

His stepson Noah is a proud graduate of McKinney High School, and his daughter attends Imagine Academy in McKinney where her mother Amy teaches.

Chad has been involved in education for over twenty years in business development for CTB: McGraw-Hill, NWEA and The Princeton Review. He has led and created several education services used in more than fifteen states.

Green with group smiling for camera

Chad Green (right) helps McKinney Education Foundation representatives surprise teachers with classroom grant awards.

Green has served on several STEM Advisory Boards for districts across the state including Cedar Hill ISD, DeSoto ISD and Richardson ISD. His latest venture is Five Star Innovation, which he co-founded. The organization partners with area school districts and the military to bring powerful STEM competitions across the state. Five Star Innovation has impacted more than 40,000 students, and positions students for scholarships at every event.

“I am looking forward to serving McKinney and all of our kids,” said Green. “The next few years will go by fast, and we have a lot of work to do to become the highest rated district in Collin County.”

Amy Dankel, President: Place 4

Amy Dankel Head shot“We are honored to recognize our MISD School Board President Amy Dankel at Wolford Elementary!” said Wolford Principal Ashley Williams. “Amy is committed to education and specifically the MISD community. I have always admired her servant leadership style. She is one of us representing all of us on such a big platform. We are so thankful that she has chosen to serve in McKinney.”

Amy Dankel moved to McKinney in 1997 and served as a public school educator for 22 years—the last 10 in MISD at Finch Elementary School and Eddins Elementary School.

She and her husband Roger have been married for 36 years and are active members of Stonebridge United Methodist Church. Roger works for Simpson Strong-Tie, and their two children were educated in MISD. Nick graduated from McKinney North High School in 2008 and later from the University of Colorado, majoring in Astrophysics. Stephanie graduated from McKinney Boyd in 2010 and then from Clemson University, majoring in International Health and Spanish.

Dankel earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Millsaps College.

siting in chair with microphone talking with student

Amy Dankel talks about the responsibilities of serving as president of the board of trustees during morning announcements at Wolford Elementary.

She cites a deep sense of responsibility to give back to a school system and community that has given so much to her and to her family as her major motivation for serving on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees.

Lynn Sperry: Place 5

Lynn Sperry Head Shot“King George VI is quoted as saying, ‘The highest of distinctions is service to others,’” said Reuben Johnson Elementary Principal Michelle Baumann. “For nearly four decades, Mrs. Lynn Sperry has served tirelessly to support the continuous improvement of McKinney ISD. It is my honor and sincere pleasure to shower her with our praise and deep appreciation.

“Mrs. Sperry has attended numerous events at RJE through the years; most recently she joined us for our Veterans Day Ceremony. While on campus, she invested time in sharing accolades with the art and music teachers for their role in designing a memorable and meaningful event for our school community. This high level of connectivity to campuses and staff is so valuable. Mrs. Sperry is admired for her authentic and genuine spirit. She is a true role model for women in leadership – if we all dedicated just a fraction of the time she devotes to service to others, the positive impact would be immeasurable.”

Sperry has served on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees for 39 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University and taught public school vocal and instrumental music for grades 1 – 8.

Sperry served 12 years as a Director of the Texas Association of School Boards. She is a graduate of the Texas Association of School Boards Leadership TASB program, “Class of 2000” with the designation of “Master Trustee.”

Sperry during graduation holding diploma as student approaches

Lynn Sperry presents a diploma during a McKinney ISD graduation ceremony.

Sperry feels that her experience in education along with her years of involvement as a parent and current involvement as a grandparent are assets to the MISD School Board.

She is proud to set goals for the district that raise the bar academically and is also extremely proud of how the board and district administration have handled bonded indebtedness over the years. The result is a very stable financial future for MISD.

Sperry is very excited to see students representing many different disciplines excel in district, state and national competitions. MISD has truly become an outstanding organization, and she is proud to work with a board of trustees that makes students its priority.

Sperry received the Carey Cox Award – The Outstanding McKinney Citizen 2006. She was awarded the Kim Hoffman Volunteer of the Year for McKinney 1997 (co-recipients Lynn and Neil Sperry).

Sperry’s community involvement includes: Founding and current Board Member Emeritus of McKinney Education Foundation; Board Member, McKinney Baylor Scott and White Hospital; Past President, Avenues Counseling Center Board; Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney, Board Member; Founding Member and MISD liaison to Serenity High Advisory Board.

Currently, Sperry serves on the Executive Committee of the North Texas Area Association of School Boards.

Her three children attended MISD schools and she is proud that the education they received prepared them for success in college and in their careers. Lynn has seven grandchildren. The oldest is a 2016 graduate of McKinney North High School and the other six are enrolled in four MISD campuses (MNHS, Dowell, Eddins and Webb Elementary). Lynn and her husband Neil own Neil Sperry’s GARDENS. She and her family are members of the first United Methodist Church of McKinney.

Stephanie O’Dell, Secretary: Place 6 (At-Large)

O'Dell head shot “Mrs. O’Dell is a part of our McGowen community, and we are so appreciative of her dedication to our students and staff,” said McGowen Principal Kim Luyster. “She is a mentor to one of our students, regularly attends our monthly MAV Fan Jams and has even been a judge for our campus spelling bee. What I love most about Mrs. O’Dell is that she loves to spend time with our McGowen students. She leaves a legacy of ‘heart prints’ with each life she touches, and she is a true example of what it means to ‘live kind!’”

O’Dell has been actively involved in McKinney schools for some 15 years. Serving with PTO and PTA in various roles has given her the opportunity to develop relationships with teachers and principals.

She currently serves on the McKinney Education Foundation Board (MEF) and the Baylor Hospital Board. She is also a mentor in the REACH program and active in her church.

O’Dell graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and she worked in sales for eight years. She and her husband have two daughters. The oldest is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the youngest is a graduate of McKinney High School.

Odell at table laughing with student

Stephanie O’Dell laughs with a student during a visit to McGowen Elementary.

Serving as a trustee, O’Dell has the opportunity to visit campuses and see the students in action. As McKinney grows, she seeks to pursue excellence for MISD.

Harvey Oaxaca: Place 7 (At-Large)

Oaxaca head shot“Mr. Oaxaca is an honorary McNeil Mustang because he has spent time serving our community as a substitute administrator and has participated in several events over the years, including Read Across America, our Back to School Community Block Party and our Veterans Day assembly,” said McNeil Principal Tracy Meador. “He exemplifies community and relationship building. He is a strong advocate for education, volunteering his time and experience to bring value to MISD. McNeil is honored to welcome and celebrate Mr. Oaxaca.”

Francisco Javier “Harvey” Oaxaca is a familiar face in McKinney ISD. He spent 23 years of a 40 year career in education serving as a campus and Central Office administrator for the district.

Throughout his career, Oaxaca has been—and remains—passionate about serving the community. Over the years, he has served on several boards and commissions and is a 2013 graduate of Leadership McKinney. He is a member of the McKinney Police Department Chief’s Citizens Advisory Committee and a board member of both the Medical City of McKinney Hospital Board and Baptist Immigration Services. He is also the Chairman of the North Texas Job Corp Citizens Liaison Committee.

Oaxaca feels strongly that education is the key to better opportunities for all, especially in a diverse community such as McKinney. He brings his experience and heart to serve others to the MISD Board of Trustees.

at table talking with a student during mock interviews

Harvey Oaxaca conducts a mock interview with an MISD student during the MISD Interdisciplinary Study and Mentorship Business Symposium.

“It is an honor and a special privilege to represent the students, staff and community on the MISD Board,” said Oaxaca. “Their faith, trust and support gave me this historic opportunity, and that support motivates me to work hard every day for the stakeholders of the district. I will not betray this trust. I feel strongly that my educational administration experience will help me bring a unique insight and input to the board that will help all seven of us work collaboratively to focus on what is best for our students—today, tomorrow and in the future!”

Oaxaca and his wife Rebecca have been married for 32 years. They have two adult children: Harvey Jr., who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Richard, who lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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