Longtime district leaders appointed to new roles

Sherry Christian has been named deputy chief of Staff. She will supervise many departments that were previously under School Leadership where she was assistant superintendent for seven years. As deputy chief of staff, she will oversee health services, psychological services, safety initiatives, student discipline, and demographics. She will also lead the development of the district calendar, high-needs facilities and bond projects, and partnerships with local entities. Most recently, Christian had been deputy chief of Operations, and prior to that, she served in Student Services, providing oversight to various departments, including Athletics, Child Abuse Services, Youth and Family Centers and student discipline.



Deno Harris has been appointed deputy chief of Operations. With more than 30 years of experience in customer service and project management, workflow automation and business planning, Harris will oversee various aspects of district operations. Most recently, Harris has served as executive director of Administrative and Board Services where he coordinated activities of the Administrative Services office through the development and implementation of policies, programs and practices in support of the initiatives of the district and the Board of Trustees. Prior to this, Harris managed and coordinated Business Services activities related to the planning, development and implementation of policies, programs and practices in support of Financial Services, Support Services, Project Management, Construction Services and Auxiliary Services. He also served as director of Community and Administrative Services and as manager of the district’s Customer Service department. Prior to Dallas ISD, Harris was assistant director of Communication and Information Services for the City of Dallas, where he was responsible for Desktop Support, Mainframe, Account Management, Customer Service, Maintenance Contracts, Hardware/Software standards and Call Center/Help Desk.

Shantell Grant has been appointed executive director of Board Services. Most recently, Grant has served as project manager in Human Capital Management, where she has coordinated and implemented leadership development programs for central staff employees in collaboration with university partners, administered the HireVue, OnDemand and Live interview systems, created and monitored the departmental contract tracking system, managed summer internships districtwide, and led the districtwide reentry plan preparations for HCM for the COVID 19 pandemic. Grant began working in Dallas ISD in 2007 in the superintendent’s office, became a board coordinator in 2013, and was named special assistant to the deputy superintendent of Academic Improvement and Accountability in 2016 where she coordinated leadership team projects, including the implementation of the district’s Strategic Improvement Plan, established a baseline framework for tracking progress with the Lone Star Governance Model, and Coordinated and managed the timeline and workflow for the District of Innovation Committee for the creation of a Local Innovation Plan among other duties. Grant worked as director of Board Services for Houston ISD for a year before returning to Dallas ISD in 2018.





Complete the training for reentry

Dallas ISD has implemented new safety measures in the work environment to help minimize the spread of communicable diseases. District employees are required to complete the Dallas ISD Reentry Employee Safety Training course that provides employees information on social distancing, the proper use of face masks and other safety protocols.

Employees can also access the training by going to Cornerstone at https://dallasisd.csod.com and use their EAD username and password to log in. For problems logging into Cornerstone, such as resetting your password, contact the IT Service Desk at (972) 925-5630.

The training assignment will be in the “Required Training” section of Cornerstone located on the “Welcome” page. If the assignment is not listed, employees can hover over the “Learning” tab, select “Learner Home” to access training offerings, and scroll down to the “Required” section to choose the Dallas ISD Reentry Employee Safety Training. The Spanish version is listed under the “Featured” section.

Employees are required to complete the training within two days of their reentry but may do it in advance of their return to work in district facilities.

Supervisors will receive reports so they can ensure all employees complete the required training.

For questions or concerns regarding the training, please contact Human Capital Management’s Policy and Compliance department at HCMcompliance@dallasisd.org or (972) 794-7858.


Time is running out

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to explore all the new benefits available to district employees and your families. There is just one more week to enroll. Enrollment is passive this year, so if you do nothing, your current benefits will continue.

However, it is important that you log into the Benefits portal to sign up if you want to participate in Flexible Spending Account, Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account or Sick Leave Bank, as these require active enrollment.

It is also important that you review your current beneficiary designation.

For personal assistance in enrolling, contact the Call Center at 972-925-4000 or the Benefits Department at 972-925-4300 or Benefits@dallasisd.org. Virtual enrollment appointments are also available for individual assistance by emailing Benefits@dallasisd.org. Visit www.dallasisd.org/benefits for detailed information on all available benefit plans.

District receives $28 million for strategic compensation

Dallas ISD teachers will see additional compensation thanks to $28 million the district will receive as part of HB3 Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) for strategic compensation this fall.

This week, Dallas ISD was named one of only 26 districts statewide to receive approval for participation in the HB3 Teacher Incentive Allotment, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in June 2019. The TIA seeks to provide a six-figure salary for teachers who prioritize teaching in high needs areas and rural district campuses. Under the TIA, approved districts submit highly effective teachers for a state designation of Recognized, Exemplary, or Master, based upon their performance and impact on student growth.

Because the district’s Teacher Excellence Initiative system meets the criteria outlined in HB3 for teacher effectiveness, the district has submitted nearly 2800 TEI-eligible Distinguished and near-Distinguished teachers for state designation.

These Teacher Incentive Allotment funds will serve to strengthen and sustain the district’s existing TEI compensation system by ensuring a market-competitive base salary at all experience and effectiveness levels, including a $100,000 salary for teachers earning a Master effectiveness level under TEI.

In addition, the district will leverage these TIA funds to expand equitable access to highly effective teachers at High-Priority and ACE campuses, where Distinguished teachers may earn up to an additional $18,000 in stipends annually.

Dallas ISD remains committed to improving the quality of instruction and placing an effective teacher in front of every child. As a result of TEI compensation and additional stipends by campus assignment, effective teachers in Dallas now have a defined path to a six-figure salary by serving Dallas ISD students.

More information about the Teacher Incentive Allotment and the Teacher Excellence Initiative can be found online here.

Staff can ask questions during Reentry Q&A sessions

The start of the 2020 school year is right around the corner. With the decision made to open schools Tuesday, Sept. 8, Dallas ISD is preparing to welcome staff to the new normal of an unprecedented school year. Current plans are to open schools with both in-person and remote learning options.

The district is holding three virtual information sessions to answer questions and to reassure staff that safety is the district’s top priority. The goal is to share information about the variety of protective measures the district is taking to keep everyone healthy.

Separate sessions are scheduled for the staffs of the Operations Division, campuses and central offices. The meetings will feature information about:

  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • reentry safety measures
  • cleaning and sanitizing protocols
  • remote work and employee leaves
  • instructional models, and
  • testing and contact tracing in the event of positive COVID cases

Staff will also be able to ask questions, and sessions will be recorded for later viewing.

All sessions will be held via Zoom webinar. Registration links for the campus and central staff meetings are listed below.

You are invited to register for a Zoom webinar: Reentry Q&A for Campus Staff

Monday, August 17, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Register in advance for this webinar at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You are invited to register for a Zoom webinar: Reentry Q&A for Central Staff 

Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 1:30 PM
Register in advance for this webinar at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You are invited to register for a Zoom webinar: Reentry Q&A for Operations Staff

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 10 AM
Register in advance for this webinar at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


El comienzo del año escolar está a la vuelta de la esquina. Se tomó la decisión de reabrir las escuelas el martes, 8 de septiembre, y Dallas ISD se prepara para recibir al personal en la nueva normalidad de un año escolar sin precedentes. Actualmente, los planes son reabrir las escuelas ofreciendo tanto la opción educativa presencial como la virtual.

El distrito realizará tres sesiones informativas virtuales para responder a preguntas y recalcar que la seguridad es la prioridad de Dallas ISD. El objetivo es compartir información sobre todas las medidas de protección que está implementando el distrito para mantenernos sanos a todos.

Se tienen programadas sesiones separadas para el personal de la división de operaciones, personal escolar y personal de las oficinas centrales. En las reuniones se presentará información sobre:

  • el equipo de protección personal (PPE)
  • medidas de seguridad de reingreso
  • protocolos de limpieza y desinfección
  • trabajo a distancia y licencias para empleados
  • modelos de instrucción y
  • pruebas y rastreo de contactos en casos positivos de COVID-19

El personal podrá hacer preguntas y las sesiones serán grabadas para que las puedan ver en otro momento.

Todas las sesiones se llevarán a cabo a través de Zoom y se requiere que se registre para participar. Los enlaces para registrarse son únicos para su respectiva sesión y se pueden encontrar abajo. Solamente la reunión para el personal de Operaciones se llevará a cabo en inglés con interpretación en español.

Está invitado a registrarse para la reunión: Reentry Q&A for Campus Staff

Lunes, 17 de agosto del 2020 a las 10:30 AM

Regístrese con anticipación en:
Después de registrarse, recibirá un email confirmándolo que contendrá información para participar en la reunión.

Está invitado a registrarse para la reunión. Reentry Q&A for Central Staff 

Lunes, 17 de agosto del 2020 a la 1:30 PM
Regístrese con anticipación en:
Después de registrarse, recibirá un email confirmándolo que contendrá información para participar en la reunión.

Está invitado a registrarse para la reunión: Reentry Q&A for Operations Staff

Martes, 18 de agosto del 2020 a las 10 AM
Regístrese con anticipación en:

Después de registrarse, recibirá un email confirmándolo que contendrá información para participar en la reunión.


Stay safe: Wear a mask while in district facilities

The safety of staff and visitors is the top priority for Dallas ISD as staff continues to transition to work in district facilities. We want to remind all staff that face masks should be worn at all times while on district property in accordance with district and Dallas County guidelines.

Staff returning to the central administration and campus buildings should expect to follow established practices and protocols designed to ensure that all employees and visitors in district facilities feel safe and secure as we effectively navigate the complexities of a “new normal.”

If you have any questions or concerns about face masks or other safety measures, please email HumanCapitalManagement@dallasisd.org.


Just three weeks left to enroll

Annual enrollment ends at 5 p.m. on Aug. 21, so don’t dally in logging into the Benefits Portal to review your benefits and make changes. For example, you might want to review the new vision plan option that allows you to get glasses and contacts in the same year.

This year, you have a choice of three plan options: basic, moderate, or premium (new). If you are currently enrolled in the premium plan and you take no action, you will be automatically enrolled in the moderate plan for 2020–2021. The new premium plan benefit allows you to purchase contacts AND glasses, or two pairs of glasses, or two orders of contacts. There is also a higher allowance for frames and lower copays for this plan than the other two vision options. Warby Parker and GlassesUSA are part of the many in-network providers available.

Individual virtual enrollment sessions are being scheduled daily through the end of annual enrollment to answer any questions or to help you enroll. Appointments will be held virtually through the district’s computerized systems. However, if you do not have access to a computer, phone appointments are available. If you need assistance, email benefits@dallasisd.org or call (972) 925-4300 to schedule an appointment.

District announces leadership changes

Several changes in the district’s leadership structure became effective Aug. 1 to fill positions left vacant by promotions and retirements. The new reporting structure establishes continuity and enhances Dallas ISD’s efforts to educate all students.

Jolee Healey has been named Chief of School Leadership. Healey has served in Dallas ISD as a teacher, assistant principal, principal of a Blue Ribbon school, executive director, ACE executive director, and, most recently, deputy chief of School Leadership. Healy also has led the district’s Leader Excellence, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) program, which focuses on coherence across steppingstone leadership roles to provide a robust pipeline for Dallas ISD. These varied experiences have helped her establish significant partnerships with outstanding Dallas ISD educators and stakeholders. Healey graduated from Texas A&M–College Station, then earned a master’s degree in education from Texas Woman’s University. She is currently seeking a doctorate in educational leadership from Texas A&M–Commerce.


Shannon Trejo was named Chief Academic Officer. She had previously been acting in the position following Ivonne Durant’s retirement. Trejo has 28 years of educational experience in various capacities, including as assistant superintendent for Language, Literacy and Social Studies. In that role, she led six departments—Dyslexia/504, Reading Language Arts, Social Studies, Dual Language and English Learner Services, World Languages, and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support—and focused on the creation and implementation of a districtwide curriculum. Trejo earned a bachelor ’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently seeking a doctorate at Texas A&M University.


Roshonda Clayton-Brown has been named deputy chief of School Leadership and will oversee School Leadership A. After several years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Dallas ISD, Clayton-Brown became executive director over the Hillcrest/W.T. White elementary cluster. Before being named deputy chief, she served as executive director over the ACE campuses and worked with principals and other staff on the overall effectiveness of instructional practices to ensure all students achieved academically.


Mark Ramirez has been named deputy chief of School Leadership and will oversee School Leadership B. Ramirez has served as executive director in School Leadership. Prior to that, Ramirez was principal at Moisés E. Molina High School after a year as science coordinator at Harlingen CISD. Ramirez has served in a variety of roles in Dallas ISD since 1999, including as a bilingual teacher, science coach and associate principal. He is also an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University. Ramirez has published two science books—Force and Motion and Energy All Around. He earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate in education from Dallas Baptist University.


Sharon Quinn has been named deputy chief of Racial Equity. Quinn is experienced in increasing student achievement at all levels. She began her educational leadership career in 2000 as a principal in Houston ISD, where she also served as regional executive principal. In 2010, Quinn became deputy superintendent of Schools and Administration at Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 in South Carolina, where she worked to improve student achievement and graduation rates. She joined Dallas ISD as deputy chief of School Leadership. Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in business technology and a master’s in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. She earned a doctorate in educational administration and human resource development from Texas A&M University–College Station.


Deputy chief Leslie Williams, a long-time educator and Dallas ISD leader, will now oversee the district’s minority and women-owned business enterprises program as it relates to Bond 2015 and potential Bond 2020 work. He will also serve as a liaison to the community on construction projects. Williams has 43 years of experience in education, which includes development and execution of strategic planning initiatives that effectively lead campus administrators and teachers to sustain student academic excellence and campus operational efficiency. In addition to serving in different leadership roles in the district—including teacher, principal, executive director, and assistant superintendent—Williams is also a graduate of Dallas ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and a master’s in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University.


Elena Hill has been named assistant superintendent for Early Childhood. Hill is a focused and dedicated educator with 25 years of experience, who started her career in early childhood education. She has continually advocated for children having a strong start to school. Her career with Dallas ISD started in 1997 when she became a kindergarten teacher at Edna Rowe Elementary School. She has been an assistant principal and principal at C.A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School and most recently served as executive director in School Leadership. She has a bachelor’s degree in child development/psychology from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in elementary education from Texas A&M University–Commerce, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dwayne Thompson will serve as chief business officer responsible for the Finance, Operations and Construction divisions. The deputy chiefs of Operations, Finance and Construction will report directly to him.

For other leadership changes announced this summer, click here and here.