Debbie Engle takes the reins at Valentine ISD as Superintendent. Valentine has 44 students K-12 enrolled.
By Lisa Morton
Editor’s note: Mrs. Engle was gracious enough to provide the following statements to The Advocate and we appreciate her candor. She is the second female Superintendent at Valentine ISD following another former CCAISD administrator, Lola Waggoner more than 20 years ago.
Briefly describe your personal and educational background.
I was reared by a family of educators. My father started out as an Agriculture teacher and went on to be a vocational administrator for the Ysleta school district where he retired in 1997. My mother was a paraprofessional and retired as the head of the payroll department for Clint ISD. My brother also began as an Agriculture teacher and recently retired as a superintendent from the Chester ISD.
I began my career in education as a substitute teacher. I substituted in the Ysleta, Socorro and Culberson County Allamoore school districts for 12 years. Once I completed my certification and degree requirements from Sul Ross State University, I began teaching at CCAISD in the fall of 1993. Since then, I have taught in the Clint school district, served on the CCAISD school board and gone from the classroom to administration.
Recently you applied for the Superintendent’s position at CCAISD while holding the position as Interim Superintendent. At meetings prior to the interview process The Advocate reported a former board member asking that a new superintendent for CCAISD consider the consolidation of schools like Valentine and Sierra Blanca, actually stating that she didn’t know how the small school was able to stay open. How will your views change on this subject now that you are superintendent at Valentine?
While I do not recall this being a discussion during the interview process, I believe the process of school consolidation is initiated by the school in need of assistance. The Valentine school board has been very proactive by making sound decisions that help ensure the stability of the district. Valentine has a very healthy fund balance and an excellent academic program that will continue to alleviate the need for consolidation.
How will transfer students be processed?
The transfer process will not change. We will continue to utilize the criteria set by the district in previous years.
You left a campus that is in the planning stages of building a state of the art facility, for this position at Valentine Schools. Now your office is next to “Ole Bessy”, (the boiler in the boiler room). What is your impression about this and why did you choose to come to Valentine?
The old school building is a beautiful structure and a huge source of pride in Valentine. Since its opening in 1910, the building is the oldest continuously used school building in the State of Texas. I am very humbled to now be a part of this rich history.
The school system in Valentine has always been a huge part of the survival of the small town. How will you participate in local government with ideas to make certain the school survives?
As with many small towns the school is the hub of the community. The school and the local government work very well together for the benefit of the students and the community. I will do my best to continue that practice in the best interest of our students.
What are your expectations for the school year for both students and faculty?
I expect to have a great year! Both students and faculty alike have hit the ground running and are working hard to meet our end of year goals.
What is the newest, freshest approach you are bringing to this job?
Education is constantly evolving. Anything new that is brought to the district will include new innovative ideas for delivering instruction to our students. Valentine has a great staff of teachers that all understand the huge responsibility they have to prepare our students for the part they will soon hold in this competitive world. Activities that will help them become better prepared are always being discussed as are additional opportunities for enrichment.