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MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt Inducted into the THSADA Hall of Honor, Assistant Superintendent Shelly Spaulding Receives TMEA and Schools Transforming Learning Awards

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Monday, June 19, 2023

McKinney, Texas – On Sunday, June 11, 2023, the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association (THSADA) inducted McKinney ISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt into its Hall of Honor, the highest recognition the organization bestows upon a member. THSADA is one of the largest organizations of athletic directors in the country and serves as the voice of high school athletic programs across the state.

Two days later, on June 13, Shelly Spaulding, MISD’s new Assistant Superintendent of Communications and previously, McKinney High School principal, accepted a 2023 Schools Transforming Learning award from the Principals’ Institute at the N2 Learning Conference in Houston on behalf of McKinney High School. It’s not the only award that Spaulding has received of late. In May, she was named a Distinguished Educator by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).

Shawn Pratt—THSADA Hall of Honor Inductee

Shawn Pratt has long been a leader in Texas high school athletics. From his early days as an assistant high school football coach at McKinney High School, through his 8-year tenure as the first head football coach of McKinney North High School to his 11 years of service as MISD’s director of athletics, Pratt’s impact has steadily expanded as he has found new opportunities to lead and positively influence those around him—in MISD and beyond.

Pratt at podium speaking at THSADA conference

McKinney ISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt speaks at the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association conference on June 11, 2023, where he was inducted into the THSADA Hall of Honor.

As athletic director, Pratt brought a heightened focus to character development and academic excellence among MISD’s athletes, and that emphasis has endured. Last year, MISD student athletes earned 782 academic all-district awards and 179 academic all-state awards.

At the same time that he was leading the MISD Athletics Department, Pratt also served as the THSADA director of Region 3 in 2014 and 2015, and in 2016 was named vice president of THSADA, which initiated four years of service as first vice president, then president-elect, president and finally past-president.

Appropriately, Pratt was responsible for instituting an Athletics Hall of Honor Award in MISD and would play a central role in bringing the NCAA Division II National Football Championship to MISD Stadium through the 2025 season.

In 2020, Pratt became MISD’s assistant superintendent of student activities, health and safety, and a year later, MISD Stadium earned the NCS4 Facility of Merit for Safety and Security Award.

On a career path that has led him ultimately to the position of superintendent, Pratt has earned recognition from colleagues and professional organizations throughout the journey:

•           THSADA Region 3 Athletic Director of the Year (2015, 2019)
•           Texas High School Coaches Association Athletic Director Committee Chair (2018–2022)
•           THSADA State Athletic Director of the Year (2017)
•           National Interscholastic Athlete Administrators Association Distinguished Service Award (2016)
•           UIL District Executive Chair (2009–2020)
•           Proclamation by the City of McKinney for “Athletic Director Shawn Pratt Day”
•           Kelly Reeves State Award of Merit
•           McKinney Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee (1999)
•           Assistant Coach of the Year (1997)
•           MHS Teacher of the Year (1995)

Now, with his induction into the THSADA Hall of Honor, Pratt receives a richly deserved thank you for his leadership and commitment to high school athletics and student athletes.

A Culture of Joy and Excellence: Shelly Spaulding—2023 Schools Transforming Learning Award & TMEA Distinguished Administrator Award

On Tuesday, June 13, former McKinney High School Principal Shelly Spaulding (who was recently named McKinney ISD’s new Assistant Superintendent of Communications) accepted a 2023 Schools Transforming Learning (STL) Award from the Principals’ Institute on the stage of the N2 Learning Conference in Houston on behalf of McKinney High School.

It was one of two recent high-profile awards for Spaulding. In May, she was honored by TMEA as a 2023 Distinguished Administrator for her work to support music education at MHS. Each year, TMEA recognizes upper-level school administrators across the state who have been instrumental in preserving quality music education programs on their campuses and in their districts.

Spaulding onstage accepting award

McKinney ISD Assistant Superintendent of Communications Shelly Spaulding (center) accepts a 2023 Schools Transforming Learning Award from the Principals’ Institute on behalf of McKinney High School on June 13, 2023, during the N2 Learning Conference in Houston. (l-r) Dr. Eddie Coulson, Spaulding and McKinney High School Assistant Principal Kelly Armbruster

“The attention and support Mrs. Spaulding has given the Royal Pride Band will have a lasting impact on our potential success in the future,” said MHS Band Director Brandon Fisher in a social media post. “She has been a strong advocate for our program in every way possible from facilities to funding, to staffing, to scheduling and so much more. We will always be grateful for the instrumental role she played during a pivotal time in our program.”

Among their successes during the past school year, the MHS Royal Pride Band recently saw its percussion ensemble named one of only three winners in the high school division of the 2023 International Percussion Ensemble Competition (IPEC), marking the first time that MHS has earned the national award.

The STL Award that Spaulding accepted in Houston was one of only 11 given for 2023 and the only award presented to a high school campus. The Principals’ Institute (PI) launched the Schools Transforming Learning designation program seven years ago to honor and showcase the work of campuses making exceptional strides in providing innovative learning opportunities for all students.

“Our goal this year was to be a school filled with excellence and joy,” said Spaulding in the school’s video submission. “We went into this year knowing that we wanted to make a difference with all kids, and so every kid should have the opportunity to succeed while they’re here. We want every student to feel connected to the MHS community.”

Toward that end, MHS offered a vast array of more than 40 student clubs, over 20 Career and Technical Education programs and a nationally award-winning broadcast journalism program. Their commitment to excellence was recognized across several areas, including the counseling staff who was honored with the TSCA CREST award for the third year in a row, the boys basketball team who won the state championship last year and two QuestBridge winners who received full ride scholarships to Brown University and Stanford University.

MHS’s approach to engaging students orbited around student data that was used to determine and meet individual student’s needs. Students who required additional support were connected with teacher mentors who helped them set goals and worked with them throughout the process of achieving those goals.

There were campus-wide efforts to address the areas of language learner support, mastery grading, PLC processes and curriculum and assessment design.

All of these labors resulted in MHS earning an A rating from TEA for the first time since 2018, and MHS was awarded distinctions for Math, English/Reading and Postsecondary Readiness.

All accomplished under the leadership of Spaulding and the unrelenting dedication and hard work of the McKinney High School staff to transform learning at McKinney High School.

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