Staff and Student Engagement

DeSoto ISD is dedicated to the development of meaningful staff and student engagement opportunities throughout the year. This department, established in 2017, centralizes staff professional development and student leadership and engagement programs under one division.

Staff professional development continues to grow our employees to be the best by providing meaningful courses for every position. While teachers and certified employees are often the focus, we are constantly seeking opportunities for our paraprofessionals and non-certified staff to learn new skills and grow within the district including exposure to degree plans, certification options, and transfers to new positions – all in conjunction with human resources staff. We plan for August professional development at all levels, plus assist campuses with school needs during the campus-based professional development opportunities during the school year.

Student engagement includes four core programs during the year to develop student leaders and prepare our students for the next level.

  • Female Leadership Forum (Saturday, October 6, 2018) - This leadership event is for young ladies in grades 5-12 is designed to empower and encourage success in school and beyond. We include workshop presenters, keynote and guest speakers, performances, panels, and much more. 
  • Male Leadership Symposium (Saturday, April 21, 2018) - This leadership event is for young men in grades 6-12 is designed to empower and encourage success in school and beyond. We include workshop presenters, keynote and guest speakers, performances, panels, and much more.
  • Eagles’ NEST – 6th Gr. Orientation (December) DeSoto ISD welcomes all 5th graders and their parents to Eagles NEST at each middle school - a special 6th-grade orientation event to allow families to experience middle school, learn about academic programs, and extra-curricular activities. The morning program includes fun, games, food (lunch), and prizes! Families are encouraged to register and attend their neighborhood school, or a magnet program they are interested in attending. This event is for current DeSoto ISD 5th graders and their families only.


    East Middle School – 601 Belt Line Rd., DeSoto (Medical Magnet)
    McCowan Middle School – 1500 Majestic Meadows, Glenn Heights (Fine Arts Magnet)
    West Middle School – 800 N. Westmoreland Rd., DeSoto (Male Leadership Magnet)

  • 8th Grade EXPO (January) - Current 8th graders from all three middle schools are invited to a special day to explore academics and extracurriculars at DeSoto High School, learn about clubs, enjoy fellowship and team building exercises plus enjoy food, games, and prizes. 

In addition, this department facilitates the district’s Strategic Plan 2020, District of Innovation, Best Southwest Education Luncheon, and Superintendent’s DeSoto Community Advisory Council.

Natalie Valdez 
Administrative Assistant 

Phone: 972-223-6666 ext. 8484 
natalie.valdez@desotoisd.org