Meet the Core 4 Champions: Dane Beasley

Dane Beasley is an operations manager in Performance Management in the Human Capital Management Department and has worked for Dallas ISD for 9 years.


What attracted you to education?

The joy of being able to help people attracted me to education. We have all come across someone that truly inspired us by the way they treated others. The professionalism, kindness, and enthusiasm from my high school English teacher, Paul Finnen, has had an impact on me to this day. The passion he had for teaching and his authentic connection with students set the standard for how I wanted to make a lasting impact in education. Whether we were discussing the character motivations in Things Fall Apart or developing sound logic to prepare for one of our many classroom debates, Finnen had a way of inspiring us to not only think outside of the box, but to also respond responsibly. While I only taught for a very short period, one thing I always carried with me was the satisfaction of helping people and treating others with kindness. Enjoying the work that you do will also carry you a long way.


What do you do for the district and how long have you been doing it?

As the operations manager of the Performance Management team in Human Capital Management, I ensure that team members are supported throughout all phases of their appraisal process. Starting with their goal setting and ending with their end of year review, I model how to leverage different tools like Cornerstone or even the TEI Dashboard so team members can have an optimal experience throughout the academic school year. My journey in Dallas ISD began nearly nine years ago when I joined the TEI team in August 2015.


Why do you think the district’s culture tenets are important?

I think the culture tenets are important because they provide us with a common standard of what success and community looks like. If we have a shared understanding of the mission and goals, then we’ll all be marching in the same direction making it nearly impossible for us to fail.


Is there a time when one of the Core 4 tenets made a difference for you or someone else?

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had since joining Human Capital Management started off quite negative. We have phone call support year-round, but our call volume is especially high in September-October during the annual TEI Scorecard release. We received a phone call from a very irritated middle school teacher. He didn’t understand why he received partial points on his SLO submission on his scorecard. Although he did very well on the other components of the scorecard, the SLO accounted for a significant portion of his Student Achievement component. I must have been talking to him for at least 30-40 minutes just trying to ease his anxiety about the mishap and encouraged him to check out some options he had to fix the oversight that he made the previous academic school year. When he learned that the revision might take a few days to process/complete, he became pretty upset and used some very, um.  colorful language before he hung up the phone. I learned early on to have a short memory about negative experiences, otherwise you might be inclined to take things personally. The next day, one of my teammates stopped by my desk and asked if she could transfer a call to me, and I said, “Of course I can assist.” To my surprise, it was the middle school teacher from the previous day. He was simply calling to apologize about the interaction the day before and admitted  his frustration and interesting choice of words were in response to something unrelated that happened on his campus. Before I was able to accept his apology, he reminded me that he admired my kindness the day before, despite his own impatience and frustration. Now, anytime I have an encounter that appears to turn even vaguely negative, I like to remind myself to just be patient and friendly because you just never know what someone else might be going through.


What is your go-to Core 4 tenet and why?

Friendly, without a doubt. It’s a constant reminder of my faith and like something my mom used to tell my siblings and I all the time: treat others the way you want to be treated. The truth is everyone has a battle they are fighting, so no matter the circumstance, being kind to everyone you meet can make all the difference. My time in this district has been filled with meeting so many amazing people, and part of what makes these experiences so memorable is how personable everyone is.


Is there something your coworker would be surprised to know about you? 

I wouldn’t say it’s a surprise, but my coworkers know how much I enjoy watching football. Disclaimer: I can’t promise anyone reading this that I won’t bore/annoy them with my hopeless Dallas Cowboys banter. My coworkers would be surprised to know just how much I enjoy the NFL combine and NFL draft. It’s really a Beasley family event to be honest. My wife and I have watched a ton of the combine interviews, live workouts and viral moments over the last 10 years. Draft night is my favorite part of the process because we get to see the lives of nearly 300 athletes change for the better in a matter of seconds. While the Cowboys haven’t sniffed any post season success in recent years, they are very keen on identifying, selecting, and developing players. All of that starts with the NFL combine.

Naida Vega’s journey with Dallas ISD

Naida Vega’s journey with Dallas ISD shows a commitment to education. Originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Vega moved to Dallas, driven by her admiration for teaching, inspired by her grandmother.

“I always liked children, but I was inspired by my grandmother,” Vega said. “She was a first-grade teacher. She would take me with her, and I saw how she enjoyed teaching and how proud she was of her students when they did well. Her face would light up when her students started reading or doing math. I wanted to help students learn and succeed.” 

Vega’s career in Dallas ISD began in 1991 as a bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher. Her journey includes a series of progressive roles: from an educational diagnostician in 2003 to an evaluation lead in 2013, and finally, in 2023, director of the Child Find Evaluation Program within the Special Services Department.

“My service to students and families, primarily Hispanic families of the district, is what I am proudest of,” she said. “Always thinking about how to better serve children has been my driving force.” 

Throughout her years in Dallas ISD, Vega has been influenced by many leaders who have guided and mentored her. She recalls her mentor when she started teaching at Sam Houston Elementary School, and Liza Devaux, her principal at William L. Cabell Elementary, who nominated her for the diagnostician AC program. Currently, her executive director continues to support and guide her in her new leadership role.

“Being influenced and motivated by so many leaders is one of my favorite memories at Dallas ISD,” Vega said.

At heart, Vega is a teacher. She loves sharing her expertise and experiences to help others grow. Her passion extends to promoting special education programs and engaging with parents to explain how programs can help their children.

Vega takes pride in the work of bilingual and ESL departments and the support special education departments have received. Having started as a bilingual teacher, she has witnessed significant growth in support for teachers and language programs for all students. She is also appreciative of the support from leaders who share her passion for helping all students succeed, regardless of disabilities.

Vega’s journey has not been without challenges. Moving to Dallas with no family support was difficult, and she often felt lonely. 

“When things got tough, faith, love, passion, and commitment kept me going,” Vega said. “My children are my motivation, showing them that hard work pays off and there is nothing they can’t do.”

Vega lives by the mantra, “There’s light at the end of every tunnel,” which has guided her through difficult times and motivated her to continue striving for excellence.

To teachers and team members aspiring to leadership positions, Vega advises: “Find that person who will inspire you, reach out to others, and do not stop learning.”


Help get the year started

The start of the 2024-2025 school year is just around the corner, and you can help students get enrolled. Volunteers are needed for the Back-to-School Registration event taking place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 27, at Ellis Davis Field House. If you are interested in helping register families, sign up to volunteer at For more information contact Partnerships and Volunteer Engagement at 972-925-5440 or

After-hours fees for interpretation requests

Translation Services is adjusting its operating practices and procedures for after-hours and weekend interpretation requests. These adjustments are a result of growing demand and budgetary considerations and will be effective for the 2024-2025 school year.


Tier I meeting coverage

After-hours interpretation services needed for less than two hours will be provided at Tier I meetings such as:

  •       Academic workshops (e.g., math night)
  •       Parent meetings and workshops (e.g., orientations, senior parent meetings) 
  •       Community meetings (e.g., F.R.O.G events)

Should services be needed for two or more hours, an activity code will be required.


Tier II meeting coverage:

Unless an activity code is provided, after-hours interpretation services will not be provided at the following Tier II meetings:

  •       PTA/PTO/SBDM meetings
  •       Band concerts
  •       Plays
  •       Award ceremonies
  •       Meetings lasting less than 30 minutes 


Meeting agenda requirement for all hours

In compliance with grant funding regulations, a meeting agenda will now be required when submitting interpreter requests for both regular and after-hours meetings, excluding Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings and 504 meetings.

These adjustments may require seeking alternative resources for interpretation support, and we are available to provide guidance. Interpretation equipment is available for check out, on a first-come, first-served basis, to facilitate meetings where team members from bilingual campuses or departments can interpret.

For concerns or if you need further clarification, contact Translation Services director Adriana Saucedo at 


AP motivates girls to pursue STEM careers

Monalisa Chadha, assistant principal at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School of Innovation, has a message for young women: “Girls, you’re engineers by nature. Don’t let anyone say otherwise.”

“My goal is to motivate girls to follow their passions and make a positive impact by providing them with the chances I didn’t have growing up,” Chadha said. “I think education changes lives and I want to be part of the change.”

Chadha said she grew up in a small town with limited opportunities, so she grabbed every chance she could to learn and discovered her love of teaching. As a woman in STEM fields, she wants to motivate more young women to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

One of the things that Chadha does to promote STEM fields among young women is a physics and coding camp for girls—something of which she is proud. The camp is offered through the Design Connect Create program, which immerses girls in science and engineering, teaching them at an early age some of the physics/engineering concepts they will face later, Chadha said. 

“The girls come back with confidence in the material and a strong foundation that allows them to survive and succeed at these often demanding subjects,” Chadha said. “In addition, the program builds on a support system that would enable them to tread confidently as women and pursue different fields in STEM.” 

Chadha, who has been with the district since 2008, started her career as a substitute teacher transitioning to a full-time teaching position at Emmett J. Conrad High School in 2010. In 2022, she became a Career and Technical Education coordinator at the high school, and in 2023, she took on the role of assistant principal at Roosevelt High School.

One of the messages that she’d like to share with her students and colleagues is that you can learn at any age. She knows this to be true because she recently received her second masters degree in urban education. 

With every new opportunity, there are new challenges. When things get tough, Chadha said she uses the FAR approach to keep going. It stands for “focus, adapt, and reflect.” For focus, she keeps her eyes on the prize, and it keeps her motivated and driven, no matter what gets in the way. For adapt, she adapts to challenges and turns obstacles into opportunities for success by keeping an adaptable mindset. For reflect, she pauses to consider her progress and gives herself credit for achievements, whether major or minor. 

Throughout her years with the district, Chadha has experienced many memorable moments. One of her favorite memories includes Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, then chief of schools, visiting her school, where she presented her with a shawl during a multicultural program in 2010. Another moment includes the feeling of joy when the Conrad robotics team made it to the world competition. 

“Seeing how excited and proud they were filled me with satisfaction,” she said. 

Bringing technology into classrooms is one of the things that has impacted her the most during her tenure with the district. She described it as causing  a revolution in teaching approaches, which boosted student participation and made it easier for everyone to access educational materials. 

She has also appreciated the district’s efforts to provide equal access to a top notch education for students from all backgrounds and for creating a welcoming learning environment. 

“These improvements have done more than just boost grades,” Chadha said. “They’ve fostered a sense of belonging and community among students and staff alike.” 

As for young women who want to pursue STEM careers, she wants to encourage them to remember what it’s all about: “be you, be nice to yourself, and take on challenges.”

“You can do it! You can overcome any obstacle and reach your goals with hard work, creativity, and a few chuckles,” Chadha said.“Trust in yourself and chase your dreams without fear.” 

Benefits enrollment is here

This year, annual enrollment for benefits for the 2024-2025 school has begun and runs through Aug. 16. Make sure you log into the enrollment portal during this time to review current benefits and make any desired changes. Annual Enrollment elections will be effective Sept. 1.

The deadline for negotiations between Baylor Scott & White and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has been extended to Oct. 1. In the meantime, Dallas ISD team members can continue to access BSW doctors and facilities through Sept. 30, as negotiations continue. 

The two groups are currently in negotiations to come to an agreement in which Baylor Scott & White physicians and providers remain in-network for TRS-ActiveCare Plans. If no agreement is reached, Baylor Scott & White intends to leave the BCBSTX networks. This negotiation affects many BCBSTX health plans—not just TRS-ActiveCare. 

For assistance with enrollment, call the Benefits Department at 972-925-4300 to set up an appointment.  Team members will be available Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of July and then Monday through Friday for the month of August. We can meet with you over the phone, in-person, or virtually to assist employees with their questions or concerns.

As always, check with your care provider to make sure they are in-network with your TRS-ActiveCare medical plan or you may use the provider search tool at for a complete listing of providers.

Students shine in summer musical

Hundreds of parents, students, educators and community members recently gathered at the Naomi Bruton Theater for the Arts to show their support for students participating in “Hip Hop Broadway: The Musical,” based on some of Broadway’s most popular show tunes.

The performance was the culmination of the 40th Annual Summer Youth Arts Institute, a collaboration between The Black Academy of Arts and Letters and Dallas ISD’s Summer Enrichment Extended Learning. 

For three weeks, 400 students ages 10-18 took courses in music, dance, theater, costume design, make-up, lighting, stage management, photography and film/video. Team members from Dallas ISD’s Extended Learning Opportunities Department partnered with TBAAL and provided the funding for students to participate in the institute. Students who were not from Dallas ISD, either had to pay tuition or received scholarships from private funding to be part of the program.

The students’ repertoire included Broadway hits from musicals such as Chicago, Purlie, Dream Girls, MJ The Musical, The Wiz, and others. Click on the links to view a clip of students performing with a live orchestra to the famed Michael Jackson song “Thriller” as well as the closing number

In years past, many Dallas ISD graduates have participated in the Summer Youth Arts Institute and have gone on to find fame in their musical careers. They include: Erykah Badu; Roy Hargrove; Regina Taylor; Skye Turner, who played young Tina Turner on Broadway and young Aretha Franklin in the Aretha Franklin movie; and Broadway star Rachel Webb. 

This partnership between TBAAL and Dallas ISD has existed for over 30 years, starting with the Christmas/Kwanzaa concert. 

For more information on The Summer Youth Institute and other opportunities available through the Extended Learning Opportunities Department, click here. For more information about the Summer Youth Arts Institute, visit



Camp teachers promote a future in medicine

The Future Doctors Summer Camp program, a collaboration between Dallas ISD and Texas A&M University, offers high school students an opportunity to get their feet wet in the healthcare field. Two educators, Ania Henderson and Lawanna Evans shared their insights on the program’s impact on students and the community.

Ania Henderson, a biology teacher at Moisés E.Molina High School, has been with Dallas ISD for three years. Henderson’s journey into education was inspired by her father, a longtime  biology teacher in the district. After earning her bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from the University of Oklahoma, she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps.

“The accomplishment I am most proud of is being awarded the Teacher of Promise for Molina High School during the 2022-2023 school year,” Henderson said. “This award showed me that my teaching styles, relationship building, and hard work are making a real impact on my students and our school.” 

Henderson’s experience with Future Doctors summer camp program has been transformative. She believes the program plays a crucial role in inspiring the next generation of medical professionals by providing students with real-world experience and guidance from current Texas A&M medical students.

“Texas A&M collaboration provides personalization to the Future Doctors program. Current medical students can share recent experiences with high school students who seek a similar educational path. Texas A&M has a rich history of educating students, and Dallas ISD is appreciative of this partnership,” Henderson said.

Henderson highlights the importance of skills developed during the camp, including a deeper understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology. Students gain hands-on experience and insight into various healthcare careers, which Henderson believes is vital in encouraging higher-level learning and future success in the medical field.

Lawanna Evans, a former dance educator and current health teacher at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School of Innovation, is transitioning to Dr. Fredrick Douglass Todd Sr. Middle School next year. A graduate of Skyline Career Development Center, her love for teaching began early, helping her mother pay for dance tuition by teaching classes at the age of 12. After graduating from Texas Woman’s University with a degree in Arts and a minor in English, Evans realized that she was more comfortable and happier when teaching children.

“One of my greatest accomplishments is being able to teach in the neighborhood where I grew up. Seeing my students create, think outside the box, and succeed is the highlight of my career,” Evans said.

Evans’s involvement in the Future Doctors Summer Camp program stems from her curiosity and desire to get a deeper understanding of health education and health science. Her favorite memory in Dallas ISD revolves around this summer camp, where she developed a newfound respect for doctors and witnessed the students’ eagerness to learn.

“The goal of the Future Doctors Summer Camp is to provide high school students with information about how to join the field of medicine and obtain hands-on experience in healthcare-related activities,” Evans said. 

Both Henderson and Evans agree that the summer camp is a pivotal step in inspiring future medical professionals. 

“Expose our children to every opportunity available to spark a desire to learn more. Who knows what flames we can ignite,” Evans said. 


Meet the Core 4 Champions: Melita Carlton

Melita Carlton has worked for Dallas ISD for 19 years and is a supervisor in the Dyslexia Services Department.  

What attracted you to education?

During my graduate studies in 2004, a trusted classmate gave me a heartfelt compliment, suggesting that I had a natural aptitude for teaching and should consider pursuing a career in education. This encouragement planted the seed for my journey as a Special Education teacher. Over the years, although my professional role has changed within our organization, my love for working with students and families has remained constant. I am continually inspired by the opportunity to make a positive impact on students’ lives, helping them overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. Furthermore, the collaborative environment with colleagues and the chance to contribute to a supportive community fuels my dedication to the profession to this very day!

What do you do for the district and how long have you been doing it?

I currently serve as one of the four Dyslexia Services supervisors, collaborating to support 191 dyslexia interventionists across the district. Together, we ensure that students receive the necessary Dyslexia Services and resources to thrive academically. My journey with Dyslexia Services began in March 2010 as a lead dyslexia evaluator. I advanced to the role of dyslexia coordinator in December 2016 and was promoted to dyslexia supervisor in November 2018. Throughout these roles, I have dedicated myself to enhancing the support system for students with dyslexia, fostering both their educational success and the success of our staff. 

Why do you think the district’s culture tenets are important? 

The district’s culture tenets are essential as they define the standards for our organization. Intentionally leading daily with a Fast, Friendly, Flexible, and Focused approach helps to ensure positive behaviors, attitudes, and interactions within our organization occur authentically. These tenets are crucial for creating an overall positive work environment, influencing every aspect of our day-to-day responsibilities, regardless of one’s role in the district.  

Is there a time when one of the Core 4 tenets made a difference for you or someone else?

Yes, there was a time when Flexible made a significant difference for a campus and students in need of Dyslexia services. In my current role, I ensure students receive their dyslexia programming services. When campuses have a vacancy, to prevent disruption to student services, we temporarily assign another dyslexia interventionist to assist until the position is filled. This flexibility greatly supports student success with no delay to their academic interventions.

What is your go-to Core 4 tenet and why?

Honestly, it’s hard for me to choose a single tenet because, depending on the situation, being Fast, Friendly, Flexible, or Focused could each be the most relevant. However, for the sake of the question, I will choose Friendly as my go-to tenet. Being friendly is an authentic quality that aligns with my personality. A friendly atmosphere promotes mutual respect and collaboration among students, staff, and parents. In my opinion, we can accomplish much more if we maintain a friendly and welcoming tone and demeanor throughout our day-to-day interactions.

Is there something your coworkers would be surprised to know about you?

My coworkers might be surprised to know that I am the unofficial photographer at family and friend events. I enjoy using my mobile phone to capture both candid and group photos, even if the host hasn’t asked me to. Often, my friends and family are busy managing the event and interacting with guests, so while it’s not expected, they know they can rely on me to capture memorable moments and share the images with them.

Know the signs of heat distress

As temperatures rise, it’s important to be aware of the body’s responses to the increasing heat. Suffering from heat-related health problems could be dangerous because if left untreated, they can lead to death. When the body overheats or your internal temperature rises, it puts strain on the heart, affects blood pressure, and can cause symptoms such as dizziness and disorientation. 

Learn to recognize the initial signs and what to do to mitigate them. 

Heat cramps. When someone is exerting themselves in the heat, muscle pains and spasms are more likely. While not dangerous in themselves, cramps can be the first signs that someone is having trouble with the heat. To treat heat cramps, get the person into a relaxed position in a cooler place, gently massage the affected muscle, and give the person cool water, juice, or a sports drink.

Heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is usually caused by exercising heavily or working in high heat and humidity. It occurs when the body loses too much fluid through sweating, which causes decreased blood flow. Mild shock is the result. Without treatment, heat stroke may follow. Signs of heat exhaustion include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and skin that’s cool, moist, pale, ashen, or flushed. Get the person into a cooler environment if possible. Remove or loosen clothing and apply cool wet towels to the skin, or spray the skin with cool water. Put ice packs under the armpits and on the wrist or back of the neck. You can also use bags of frozen vegetables as ice packs. Elevate the legs if possible. If the person is conscious, give 4 ounces of water, juice, or a sports drink every 15 minutes. If signs of heat stroke (described below) occur, call 911 right away. If the person is not cooling down and improving rapidly after stopping exercise or seeking shelter from exposure, seek urgent medical care at once.

Heat stroke. In extreme conditions, the body loses its ability to control its temperature. The result is heat stroke, the most serious kind of heat distress. The body must be cooled quickly, as excessively high body temperature can cause brain damage and even death. Besides very high body temperature, signs of heat stroke can include red skin (dry or moist); confusion or coming in and out of consciousness; a fast, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; vomiting; and seizures. Call 911 and try to lower the person’s temperature by removing excess clothes, giving them a cool bath or shower, and giving them crushed ice to eat and placing ice packs under their armpits. Ice baths are not recommended as they can cause further complications.