DeSoto ISD Approves Two Leadership Appointments

DeSoto ISD Board Approves Two Leadership Appointments
Posted on 04/25/2023
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The DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees recently approved the appointments for two district leadership positions:

Deputy Chief of College Career & Military Readiness: Dr. Anita Perry
Director of School Improvement: Rockell Williams Stewart

Dr. Anita Perry comes to DeSoto ISD from the Fort Worth Independent School District, where she served as the Executive Director of Student Engagement & Counseling Services and was accountable for the organization of policy and procedures to effectively deliver a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes academic success, personal/social growth, and college, career and military readiness for all students.

Dr. Perry holds a Texas principal, school counseling, and teacher certifications. She graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station with a Bachelor’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology; and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Human Resource Development. Her professional experiences have included teaching and counseling positions at the district and campus levels – elementary, middle school, and high school throughout the state of Texas. Dr. Perry has had administrative experiences as an assistant administrator and a regional director for alternative educational programs in both Texas and Georgia.

Dr. Perry is a leader in the college & career readiness field and has presented in state and national conferences, which include the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). She is a resident of Desoto, Texas, where she is actively involved in her church, Community Missionary Baptist Church, and many professional organizations. Her focus is to provide educational opportunities for all children.

As the Deputy Chief of CCMR, Perry will retain oversight of district arts programming as well as the district’s college, career, and military readiness programming in alignment with the district’s Board goals.

Director of School Improvement: Rockell Williams Stewart
Rockell Williams Stewart is an educator with over 20 years of experience. She has obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Prairie View A&M University. In her educational career, she served as a teacher, academic facilitator, assistant principal, and principal.

As an instructional leader, Stewart led two Tier I turn-around schools in improving from the bottom of the list to number one. During the 2018-2019 school year, her first campus moved from a D (61) to an A (90) Rating with six STAAR Distinctions and the highest academic growth in the State of Texas. The school received the Texas PaceSetter Award for improving the academic performance of children in poverty.

In 2021, her second campus was deemed “The Most Important School in Texas” by D Magazine improving from a D (65) to a B (83) Rating with three STAAR Distinctions in the zip code with the highest crime and poverty rate in the City of Dallas. Because of her transformational work, Stewart was selected as a fellow in Paul Bambrick's Leverage Leadership Institute for leaders across the country.

Stewart has a proven track record of transforming student and staff culture into models of excellence. Her schools had the number one positive climate and culture during her tenure with 100% (Teacher-Principal Trust). She believes in leading with love and accountability while setting high expectations and building inspiring relationships. She is a Desoto resident and is honored to serve the students, staff, and community of Desoto ISD.

The Director of School Improvement is responsible for providing coaching and feedback to campus administrators to foster accelerated student achievement and increase instructional capacity for principals, assistant principals, instructional support staff, and teachers within the assigned campuses. The Director of School Improvement is also responsible for assisting principals in developing climates of excellence and effective engagement with parents and the community.