Retirements Drive Denton ISD Internal Leadership Changes
Denton ISD announced various internal leadership changes at a Board of School Trustees meeting on Tuesday night, based on the retirement of two top leaders. All of the changes, which affect existing positions, will be effective July 1.
Dr. Susannah O’Bara was named Denton ISD’s new Deputy Superintendent. Dr. O'Bara will assume the duties of Dr. Mike Mattingly, who is retiring at the end of the school year. As Deputy Superintendent, Dr. O’Bara will oversee district curriculum, instruction, staff development and academic programs. Most recently the Assistant Superintendent of Academic Programs, Dr. O’Bara has overseen the academic programs and operations at all 43 campuses for the past three years.
Dr. Lacey Rainey was named the district’s new Assistant Superintendent of Academic Programs, replacing Dr. O’Bara. For the past two years, Dr. Rainey has served as the Area Superintendent of the Denton High School Zone, supervising campuses in the heart of Denton. Prior to that, Dr. Rainey was the principal of Pecan Creek Elementary.
Robin Brownell will replace Dr. Rainey as Area Superintendent of the Denton High School Zone. Ms. Brownell has been the principal of Hawk Elementary for the last eight years. She is a graduate of Denton High School.
Following the retirement of Dr. Gwen Perkins – Area Superintendent of the Ryan High School Zone – at the end of the school year, Denton ISD named Luci Schulz as Dr. Perkins’ successor. Ms. Schulz currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education in Humble ISD outside of Houston. Ms. Schulz is a native of nearby Sanger.
The district also named three new elementary principals on Tuesday night.
Lauren Shapiro was selected as the new principal of Hawk Elementary, replacing Ms. Brownell. Ms. Shapiro has been the principal of Bell Elementary since 2016. She joined Denton ISD in 2005 as a fourth-grade teacher at Hawk – and she will now return to lead the campus where her teaching career in the district began.
Natonia LaFreniere was named the new principal at Bell Elementary, replacing Ms. Shapiro. Ms. LaFreniere has been the assistant principal at Hawk Elementary for the past three years and has been with Denton ISD since 2019.
Lastly, Ashley Wright was named the new principal of Pecan Creek Elementary. Ms. Wright replaces Amanda Bomar, who is leaving Denton ISD at the end of the school year. Ms. Wright joined Denton ISD in 2013, and for the past eight years, has been the assistant principal of Stephens Elementary.