Officials with the Nacogdoches Independent School District have revealed four new principals for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year.  In doing so, NISD has reminded me just how 'seasoned' I'm getting. My kids call it getting old, I prefer to call it seasoned.

For the past 30 years or so, I've been fortunate enough to be the public address announcer for the SFA basketball and football teams. It's wonderful to see so many of these student-athletes graduate to great accomplishments outside the world of sports. For instance, TOME Catering in East Texas is very successful and it was conceived and is now owned and operated by Brittany Vinson.  I remember announcing her name many times as a standout point guard for the SFA Ladyjacks.

Now, another former SFA roundballer is making a big advancement, this time in the world of education.  I remember this former SFA Lumberjack very well, not only because of his great skills as a guard and shooter, but also because his name was fun to say.

Gerald Fonzie, or as I used to say...Gerald FONNNNNZEEEEE!

He is one of the four new principals announced by NISD in a press release on their website. The announcements come as NISD prepares in the upcoming year for the opening of the new Emeline Carpenter Elementary, conversion of Mike Moses to an elementary school, and McMichael Middle School housing all students attending grades 6-8.

“There’s a lot of change taking place in the district this summer, as new facilities come on line and other buildings enter periods of renovation,” said NISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. “We have excellent leaders in place at all of our campuses, and while there will be change, I’m confident in what we will accomplish in the next academic year.

Contributed Photo/NISD
Contributed Photo/NISD

Gerald Fonzie - McMichael Middle School

Gerald Fonzie has been named principal at Nacogdoches ISD’s McMichael Middle School and will take the reins of the campus this summer. Fonzie has served the last two years as principal at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary in Nacogdoches, NISD’s largest elementary school.

Fonzie takes over at McMichael as the school prepares to host all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students in Nacogdoches. The campus was expanded as part of the 2018 bond package approved by Nacogdoches voters.

Prior to being named principal at BQJ in 2020, Fonzie served six years as an assistant principal at that campus. He began his career in public education in 2010 as a teacher at Nettie Marshall Academy of Dual Language, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2011.

Fonzie is a native of Helena, Ark., and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2008. As a senior, Fonzie captained the SFA men’s basketball team that won 26 games and advanced to the National Invitational Tournament at the end of the season.

Contributed Photo/NISD
Contributed Photo/NISD

Dr. Dana Solomon - Mike Moses Elementary

Dr. Dana Solomon has been named principal for the elementary school that will be located next year at the Mike Moses campus. Solomon most recently served as an assistant principal at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary.

Solomon, who has a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Texas, was principal for nine years at Phillips Elementary in Frisco ISD. Before that, Solomon was an assistant principal after starting as a classroom teacher in Frisco.

Mike Moses will convert to an elementary school for the start of the 2022-23 academic year, housing grades kindergarten through fifth. NISD is combining all middle school students at the newly renovated and expanded McMichael Middle School.

Contributed Photo/NISD
Contributed Photo/NISD

Amber Wilson - Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary

Amber Wilson is the new principal at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary School. For the last three years, Wilson has served as an assistant principal at BQJ. Before that, she was a teacher in second and third grades for eight years, also at BQJ.

Wilson received her Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood in 2010 at the University of North Texas. She has a Masters in Education Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Contributed Photo/NISD
Contributed Photo/NISD

Brian Tarvin - Margie Chumbley Academy for Success

Brian Tarvin has been named principal of Margie Chumbley Academy for Success. Tarvin is currently an assistant principal at Rusk High School where he’s also served as principal of the DAEP program.

Before coming to Rusk, Tarvin was a business teacher at Round Rock High School where he was head golf coach for boys and girls teams. Tarvin also served as head golf coach at New Caney High School and was also chair of the career and technical education department and a business teacher.

Tarvin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1991 from Texas Tech University. In 2009, he received a Master of Education degree from Prairie View A&M.

Congratulations to these educators and thanks to Mr. Fonzie for the added 'seasoning' in my life.

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