Irving, Texas. August 5, 2014 –
Tamy Smalskas, Ph.D., the current director of college and career readiness in McKinney ISD, has been named principal of Jack E. Singley Academy. Smalskas brings more than 20 years of experience as an educator, including positions as an associate principal at McKinney High School and an assistant principal in Houston.
With an extensive background in career and technical education (CTE), Smalskas is an ideal fit for Singley Academy, home to a number of award-winning CTE programs. While in McKinney ISD, she is said to have transformed the district's CTE offerings, including developing new programs in aviation, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and health sciences.
"Dr. Smalskas has proven herself to be a strong leader both in campus and district administrative roles," says Superintendent of Schools Jose L. Parra, Ed.D. "Her expertise leading district-level CTE and college and career readiness gives her a unique perspective to lead Singley Academy. She has a reputation within the McKinney ISD as a leader who can accomplish things due to her work ethic and understanding how to set up students and staff for success."
Dr. Parra says he believes Dr. Smalskas is the ideal leader for Singley Academy. "She is known for instilling a culture of achievement, drive and success. I look forward to seeing her skills and expertise in action at Singley Academy," he says.
Singley Academy is unlike a traditional high school in that its framework incorporates six career specialization areas, or programs of study. Open since 2001, Singley Academy is home to approximately 1,700 students in grades 9-12 who select courses based on a Signature Program that is unique to Singley Academy. Viewed as a leader in CTE offerings and facilities, hundreds of educational leaders from other school districts have toured Singley Academy in the school's 13-year history. As principal, Smalskas will have the opportunity to further expand upon the tradition of excellence for which Singley Academy is known.
A native of Canada, Smalskas's experience includes elementary and middle school teaching positions in Alberta. She also served as a high school math teacher in Fort Bend ISD before becoming an assistant principal in Houston ISD. That position was followed by her roles in McKinney as a high school associate principal and director of college and career readiness where she has created and designed college and career pathways including multiple 4-year graduation plans.
"I firmly believe every child has the right to the best education possible. It's our responsibility to make sure we have our students ready for college or career when they graduate," says Dr. Smalskas. "My ultimate vision is to put Singley Academy in the national spotlight as a school that offers nationally-recognized programs for college or career pathways. With six academies at the school, we will build upon that and make sure our students have something tangible when they graduate high school." Dr. Smalskas believes students have great opportunities to succeed at Singley Academy and she says she's committed to making that a reality for every child.
Smalskas earned two bachelor's degrees from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada and a Master of Education from the University of Houston. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and a number of certifications including human resource management and superintendent. She is tentatively scheduled to begin her new role in Irving ISD on August 11.
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