A week ago today, the Metro section of The Dallas Morning News included a brief that said Pete Chapasko — a one-time Principal of the Year for DISD — left Preston Hollow Elementary “recently” to take over a new charter school in Keller.
This was news to me, so I got Chapasko on the phone to ask why he couldn’t finish out the school year, considering that the International Leadership of Texas campus he’ll be heading isn’t even open yet. Chapasko said he has plenty to do before the doors open in August.
“I have to hire the entire administration, all the teachers, and all the employees,” he said. He also has the rare opportunity to have a hand in the school’s design; construction hasn’t even begun.
DISD spokeswoman Libby Daniels said Preston Hollow Elementary is being led this semester on an interim basis by Yolanda Rodriguez, a retired principal with 37 years’ experience. She’s been a substitute teacher since she stepped down three years ago at Dan D. Rogers Elementary, which she led to an “exemplary” rating from the TEA.
Daniels said the district will soon post ads seeking a permanent principal for Preston Hollow Elementary, which in 2010 earned its first “exemplary” rating under Chapasko.
Chapasko said reactions were mixed at Preston Hollow Elementary when he announced his departure.
“They were happy that I had this opportunity,” Chapasko said. “But they were sad because we had built close relationships.”
International Leadership of Texas is headed by former Thomas Jefferson High School principal Eddie Conger. He left DISD in 2012, just six months after Superintendent Mike Miles promoted him to one of the newly created “executive director” jobs.