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Purpose and Passion: After Two Years Away, Shelly Spaulding Returns to MHS as New Principal

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Shelly Spaulding, McKinney High School Principal

McKinney, Texas – After two years away from McKinney High School, current McKinney ISD Human Resources Director of Recruitment and Retention and former MHS Assistant Principal Shelly Spaulding returns to MHS to serve as principal of the district’s longest-tenured high school.

The move was approved at Tuesday’s meeting of the MISD Board of Trustees and follows the announcement from current MHS Principal Alan Arbabi of his intent to pursue another opportunity in education at the conclusion of the school year.

Spaulding brings 18 years of experience in education and a broad range of expertise to her new position, including five years of administrative leadership at the campus level and two years as an administrator at the district level.

“When I opened Cockrill Middle School in 2008, I stole Shelly from Richardson ISD, and knew I hit the jackpot,” said Dr. Melinda DeFelice, MISD Deputy Superintendent of Secondary Student Support and Human Resources. “I’ve watched her grow from being a teacher to being an instructional coach, assistant principal, a director in human resources, and now principal of McKinney High School. She has proven herself at every level and position, and I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes at MHS. Shelly leads with a happy servant’s heart, and she deserves this position. I could not be more proud.”

Spaulding began her career in 2004 in Richardson ISD and over the course of four years served as a middle school athletics coach, ELAR teacher and reading specialist. She came to MISD in 2008 to join the staff at Cockrill Middle School where she served as a teacher and athletics coach in addition to serving as an instructional coach from 2014-2015.

In 2015, Spaulding moved into campus administration as an assistant principal at MHS, where she served students, parents and teachers as a house principal and oversaw the English, ESL, Journalism, ISM (Interdisciplinary Study and Mentorship) and AVID programs.

She made the transition to central office in 2020, and in her role as a human resources director over the past two years, Spaulding’s many responsibilities have focused largely on staff recruitment, retention and development, working with first-year teachers, mentors, student teachers and observers.

Now, she returns to campus.

“It is an incredible honor to be named the next principal of McKinney High School,” said Spaulding. “MHS has the best students and staff around and is fortunate to have parents and a community who love and support the school, take pride in the traditions and are invested in the success of the school.”

Spaulding acknowledged that she hasn’t made the journey alone and recognized several educators who have served as mentors and helped her grow professionally during her time in MISD.

“I’d like to thank Dr. McDaniel and Dr. DeFelice for their faith and trust in me to lead McKinney High School,” she said. “I’d also like to thank Dr. Logan Faris, Dr. Jimmy Bowser, Gordon Butler and Alan Arbabi—all former MHS leaders, who I had the honor to work with and learn from during my time as an assistant principal at McKinney High School. Thank you for your investment in me and in our beloved school.”

“At the end of the day, my purpose and passion has always been about students and teachers,” Spaulding added. “My goal has always been to provide a first class educational experience for all students and to create a culture of joy and excellence. I look forward to carrying on the traditions of excellence that have been established at McKinney High School, and I am thrilled to get started!”

Spaulding was the recipient of the 2021 Collin County Women of Influence Award and a Baylor University 40 under 40 Award. She is a trainer/facilitator for Jon Gordon’s Power of Positive Leadership, Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead In Education and is a Lead4Ward Trainer of Teachers. She has earned a Harvard University Leadership in Education Certificate, been a presenter at national, state, regional and local conferences and has served as an adjunct professor.

Spaulding earned her bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences from Baylor University. She holds a master’s degree in education administration from Lamar University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and superintendent certification from the University of Texas at Arlington. Currently, Spaulding is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas.

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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 .

Shelly Spaulding, McKinney High School Principal

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