Nominations Now Open for Dallas ISD Athletic Hall of Fame

If you know a former Dallas ISD student-athlete, coach, administrator, or another individual who has made significant contributions to Dallas ISD’s high school athletic programs, now is the time to get them some recognition. 

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 class of the Dallas ISD Athletic Hall of Fame, which acknowledges those who have raised the level of public awareness and support for high school athletics through their achievements and excellence, both on and off the field of competition. Nominees may be active or retired from their fields and must exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and moral character. 

More information about the Hall of Fame, including detailed information about criteria used by the distinguished selection committee, and the nomination form are available at

The deadline to nominate someone from this year’s class is Friday, April 15.

Free soccer tickets

Soccer fans in the district have the opportunity to experience one of the country’s largest international youth tournaments—the Dallas Cup—for free.

FC Dallas is offering Dallas ISD staff and students two free tickets to attend the opening day of the Dallas Cup at the Cotton Bowl Stadium on Sunday, April 10, using the code DISD. The Dallas Cup will take place through April 17 and involves more than 250 youth teams representing more than 35 countries.

Since 1980, Dallas Cup has hosted teams and officials from six continents—more than 100 countries. Some of the world’s greatest players have participated in the invitation-only Dallas Cup; in the past two World cups one of every 14 goal scorers have been Dallas Cup alumni. For more information about the offer, download the flyer or visit the ticketing site and enter the code DISD.


Central Hires: Career opportunities in central administration

If you think you have what it takes to recruit passionate people who want to transition to teaching from other careers or know someone who would like to be an integral part of making sure students get to school as a CDL bus driver, Dallas ISD has openings in central administration. 

Coordinator I (Recruitment Function), Alternative Certification

CDL Bus Driver, Transportation Services

Data Clerk (Testing Support Staff), Assessment

Multi-Skills Specialist II (Maintenance Repairs), Maint. & Facilities Services

Specialist II (Multi- HR Functions), Staffing

To explore other openings, visit www.dallasisd.ord/careers.

If you are a hiring manager and interested in highlighting your open vacancies and/or department, contact Central Recruitment at


Say something for safety

Everyone deserves to feel safe and supported while they are on our campuses every day. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority and requires a proactive approach to violence prevention. That is why Dallas ISD is introducing the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System. Students will be trained on when and how to use this system starting in April.

This research-based, age-appropriate violence prevention program will teach students and staff to identify the warning signs of potential violence or self-harm, including threatening or harmful behavior and harassment. 

Say Something will offer secure ways to report safety concerns 24/7 through a hotline, website and app. Students will be empowered to report school threats and personal crises like abuse, depression, sexual harrassment and self-harm. Every time a report is submitted, trained crisis counselors will gather essential information and share details and next steps with relevant school teams and law enforcement. The teams will then address the threat and provide solutions. 

Anyone in need can submit a tip through The free mobile app is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, and the hotline can be reached at 1-844-5-SAYNOW.

More than 5,000 schools have launched this program nationwide, leading students to report feeling safer in their classrooms—and leading to lives being saved! The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System has been proven to prevent school shootings, gun threats and suicide attempts. It has also been shown to reduce bullying, self-harm and drug use in schools. 

Sandy Hook Promise was founded by families whose loved ones were killed during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Their efforts and determination have prepared more than 14 millions teachers, students and parents to recognize and report signs of potential violence, and Dallas ISD is proud to take action alongside them. 

Be on the lookout for more Say Something Anonymous Reporting System announcements and training dates. It all comes down to this: If you see something, say something. Together, we can keep our communities safe.

Tomorrow starts at Dallas ISD

Prekindergarten registration for the 2022-2023 school year in Dallas ISD begins Friday, April 1. 

Children who are 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 1 can apply to one of Dallas ISD innovative prekindergarten programs, which will help them be better prepared for subsequent years—studies show that students who attend prekindergarten experience higher academic successes long-term.  

To learn more about how prekindergarten can help students succeed and eligibility requirements, join one of the district’s virtual Discover Pre-K webinars on Saturday, April 2, or Saturday, April 30, starting at 10 a.m. Register for the virtual events at

“When students come through our pre-K program, they are set up for better success in the future,” said Elena Hill, assistant superintendent for early learning. “It is encouraging to see the benefits our pre-k program are having on our youngest learners.”

Dallas ISD is offers options to ensure that every child is able to take advantage of its early learning programs.  

To qualify for FREE prekindergarten children must meet at least ONE of the following requirements:

  •   Economically disadvantaged
  •   English Language Learner
  •   Homeless
  •   Foster care (currently or formerly)
  •   Child of an active member of the armed forces or a member of the armed forces killed/injured during active duty.
  •   Child of a Star of Texas Award recipient

Students who do not qualify based on these criteria may qualify for a prekindergarten scholarship for other reasons: 

  •   Dallas ISD’s historical academic needs, as identified in district data (currently identified as African American students)
  •   Expanded income bracket
  •   English language proficiency (any parent can request their child be tested)

Children who do not meet the eligibility requirements for free prekindergarten or a scholarship can still enroll by paying tuition, an option available in several schools across the district.

For more information or to receive assistance with enrollment, visit or call 214-932-7735.





Special calendar offers unique enrichment opportunities 

Special education teacher Pamela Appiah-Opoku has a passion for gardening, one that is not limited to her free time. Some of her favorite memories from her eight years at Boude Storey Middle School come from her involvement in their community garden, which she helps to maintain along with other teachers, teaching assistants and interested students. Thanks to Boude Storey’s school day redesign calendar, she now has extra time to work on the crops for harvest. Extra time for special projects is one of the benefits teachers around the district could enjoy by taking advantage of the open transfer period through April 15.  

As one of only five Dallas ISD schools following the School Day Redesign calendar, Boude Storey’s year starts at the beginning of August and ends in late June with several days set aside for planning, leading to more enrichment and acceleration opportunities. 

“Normally, the students would have to stay after school during the week to participate in their various extracurricular activities, but with the School Day Redesign, there is time already built in where students can attend all their various clubs,” Appiah-Opoku said. “Our administration was adamant about making sure that the clubs were not just meeting to meet but were being intentional about our time and making sure that we have hands-on activities for the students.” 

Appiah-Opoku has seen exciting results in the gardening club. Not only have they successfully harvested their own produce, but their students have also learned to make recipes like lettuce wraps and homemade salsa. Best of all, Appiah-Opoku said there is “something for everyone.” 

Boude Storey has plenty of options for curious students, from a financial literacy club, which teaches budgeting and other real-life money concepts, to a good vibes club, which emphasizes positivity. The school also provides mentoring opportunities and encourages students to explore their heritage and history

“It’s very family-oriented,” Appiah-Opoku said. “We’re always doing something for our kids to get them excited, like there have been different types of carnivals and concerts, so there’s always something fun going on for both the staff and students to look forward to.”

Teachers who are interested in experiencing the close-knit, engaged community a special calendar can provide have the opportunity to explore during the district’s open transfer period. The open transfer process allows current Dallas ISD teachers, instructional coaches, counselors and media specialists to accept a position at another campus for the following school year. 

Eligible employees must apply online by using their EAD login at and following the internal openings link. Employees who do not apply will not be eligible to participate.

As far as Appiah-Opoku is concerned, any school in Dallas ISD is worth considering. Of course, she is partial to her own community and its enriching special calendar. 

“I would just say for Boude Storey, we have great administration and great staff, who are really eager to help our students learn, and we’re just seeking excellence here,” she said. “So if excellence is what you’re after, then Boude Storey is your place.” 

Interested employees must apply online by April 15, 2022. To be eligible for an open transfer, employees must:

  • Hold a valid Texas Teacher Certificate in the requested subject-area vacancy and meet TEA/SBEC Certification Standards for the position
  • Not be entering their fourth year of an Alternative Certification Program
  • Not be identified for non-renewal at the end of the current school year due to performance
  • For instructional coaches only: must receive approval from recommending campus executive director 


Mental Health Matters: Managing burnout  

Burnout is something everyone deals with at some time or another—especially with all the added pressures of living through a pandemic. While burnout is usually associated with work, it can carry over into all parts of life, caused by personal or relational problems. 

Fortunately, when someone is moving toward burnout, warning signs begin to appear. By learning to recognize them, you can learn to manage it before it affects your work and life. These are some signs Lifeworks, which manages Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program, suggests you look for:

At work

  • You find yourself with more tasks than you can reasonably accomplish. 
  • You have to stay late regularly and cannot finish your assignments on time. 
  • You struggle to stop thinking about work outside of your set hours. 
  • You check your email frequently when you are off the clock, or you cannot respond to all the messages in your inbox on time. 
  • You feel annoyed, frustrated or resentful when you interact with colleagues.

With loved ones

  • You do not have time or energy to give to your family and friends.
  • You are irritable and impatient at home.
  • You snap at or are short with your children. 
  • You get into more fights with your partner. 
  • You do not have energy to socialize and start canceling or rejecting plans. 

With yourself

  • You stop prioritizing or practicing self-care. 
  • You struggle to maintain your regular sleeping patterns. 
  • You stop exercising or decrease the time you are moving. 
  • You reach for unhealthy foods to help you cope. 
  • Your alcohol consumption increases. 

If you recognize yourself in these warning signs, take a deep breath. You have already completed the first step toward recovery by building awareness of what you are experiencing. Now, it is time to create your “burnout plan.” This can be as simple as assessing your to-do list and asking for help, or it can involve several of the practices below suggested by Lifeworks. 

Set boundaries.

While it may sound obvious, setting boundaries can be challenging. The most important elements are identifying what you need—or what you cannot manage alone—and taking action. That means setting boundaries with those around you and with yourself. For example, if your job permits, you could decide to check your email only during working hours.

Schedule time to rest. 

You are not an endless working machine, so you need time to rest and recharge. Get outside, eat healthy meals and prioritize your sleep. You can also build in reflective breaks to check on yourself and see how you are doing. 

Do something you enjoy. 

Give yourself a mental vacation during your free time. Whether you love going out to eat, taking long walks, talking to friends, finally finishing a project or watching a movie with the whole family, you deserve those moments of happiness. As an added bonus, you will naturally find your stress decreasing the more you enjoy your activities, which will lessen your feelings of burnout. 

Get the help you need. 

Recovery is always easier with support. Whether it is talking with your manager or a trusted colleague, following recommendations from a doctor or a mental health professional or getting comfort from a friend or loved one, help is out there. All you have to do is reach out and ask for it. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can also take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program. Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks is a confidential service that offers help with countless personal and work-related concerns, including but certainly not limited to burnout. Their counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need support, no contribution required. 

All you have to do is reach out to LifeWorks at (972) 925-4000 or visit and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information.

*Source: LifeWorks

The perfect fit could be an HPC 

Fourth-grade math teacher Anya Cooray has been working at Mount Auburn STEAM Academy, one of Dallas ISD’s 80 high priority campuses, for the past two years, and nothing quite compares to the experience.  

“Definitely it’s the most rewarding, you know, to see the growth and to see the changes in the kids,” she said. “I would have to rate that as the best perk ever, to know that … it’s such a good feeling to know that you’re here.” 

Dallas ISD’s open transfer period for the 2021-2022 school year allows passionate teachers, instructional coaches, counselors and media specialists who are interested in sharing this kind experience to apply to HPCs like Mount Auburn Academy. The open transfer period for HPCs and all other schools ends April 15.  

When asked why teachers should consider transferring to HPCs, Mount Auburn music teacher Elise Martinez did not hesitate to answer. 

“They’re needed,” she said. “We need people who want to have a big impact on a community that needs it.”  

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cooray said many students have struggled to keep up amidst all the changes, especially those whose parents are essential workers. Fortunately, Dallas ISD’s special calendars are helping teachers fill the gaps. Cooray and Martinez have seen positive results working on Mount Auburn, which is operating under the Intersession Calendar. With extra time to plan lessons, additional compensation, and opportunities to focus on struggling students in a smaller classroom setting, teachers can thrive while their students succeed.  


“Working at a high priority campus is kind of like climbing a very hard mountain,” Martinez said. “You’re weathering a bunch of storms and when that sun finally comes out, with that child or with that class, it’s so rewarding. You know you’ve been working at one concept, it could be a behavior, it could be a music concept, and once it finally clicks, it’s like a breath of fresh air.” 

Eligible employees who are interested in changing students’ lives at a high priority campus must complete an application at  

To be eligible for an open transfer, employees must: 

  • Hold a valid Texas Teacher Certificate in the requested subject-area vacancy and meet TEA/SBEC Certification Standards for the position 
  • Not be identified for non-renewal at the end of the current school year due to performance and/or misconduct 
  • Not be entering their fourth year of an Alternative Certification Program 
  • For Instructional Coaches only: must receive approval from recommending campus executive director 

“If the classroom is where you want to be and you want to make an impact, and you want to be challenged and pushed, being at these campuses, high priority campuses, it’s just the most rewarding for sure,” Cooray said.  

Hone your business skills

The Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Community Outreach Center, a cooperation with Dallas ISD, is offering free training to small and startup businesses to help them grow. The top participant who completes the program will be awarded $1,000.

Participants will also receive $750 for business legal advice and $300 for entity incorporation, if needed. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their business proposal to potential investors. This initiative is funded in part by the Muse Family Foundation, which has provided funding for the technical assistance training.

This free training will present best practices in business planning, accounting, cash flow management, business taxes, marketing, social media and more over a 12-week period (one three-hour session per week). The program also provides ongoing mentorship.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Own a business in or plan to relocate to 75210 or 75215
  • No physical store or space required
  • Product-based companies can have pop-up stores
  • Service-based companies must hire within zip codes

The application period is March 14-April 1. Orientation is April 25 with sessions beginning via Zoom on April 27.  For more information and to apply, visit, click on Events > Classes. You can send inquiries to



Class Acts: Dallas Cowboys and Reliant surprise Dallas ISD teachers 

The Dallas Cowboys and Reliant recently teamed up to support the importance of reading education, cultivating  a love for literacy and highlighting educators in the DFW area who are transforming their schools and communities through the Class Acts Program Powered by Reliant. 

They surprised two Dallas ISD teachers—Christine Rodriguez and Patricia Cortez—each with $4,000 grants to use toward enriching the lives of their school and community. The presentation featured Cowboys Legend George Teague, Andrea Russell, Vice President of Reliant, Mascot Rowdy, Reliant Mascot Hugo and more. Cowboys Class Acts honors teachers that constantly encourage, lead and strive for excellence in the classroom. Once a month from October to February, the Cowboys and Reliant recognized a total of six teachers in the DFW area for their phenomenal work empowering youth.

Christine Rodriguez | F.P. Caillet Elementary 

Christine Rodriguez has served in the Dallas ISD for 22 years, with the majority of her tenure teaching students with the most severe and profound disabilities. After completing her teaching certification, she took the position of Activities of daily living teacher at Caillet Elementary where she has remained for the past 16 years. She supports her students with exceptional compassion and dedication and brings her experience and passion to her classroom, ensuring her students and optimal educational programs and their families the knowledge and security of their children are safe, secure, and well cared for in Rodriguez’ capable hands.

Patricia Cortez | Casa View Elementary 

Patricia Cortez is not just a wonderful teacher; she is also highly respected in the Dallas community. She was a scholar at Casa View Elementary from 1995 to 2003 and few years later and many years of study, she returned to Casa View as a teacher. Because of this, parents and students see her as an important role model and a great inspiration to their neighborhood. Students love her because she is kind, loving, fun, and cares about them. She is especially gifted at working with emergent bilingual students on math concepts and she constantly and patiently develops number fluency, vocabulary and problem solving skills in her class. Additionally, she is always available to support other teachers with technology, math, class coverage, classroom management, etc. She constantly demonstrates leadership, teamwork and comradery with all teachers on the campus.