UNT Dallas Aspiring STEM Principal Program

UNT Dallas Aspiring STEM Principal Program
Posted on 08/03/2023
UNT Dallas Aspiring STEM Principal Program

DeSoto Independent School District is proud to announce the selection of five educators to be offered admittance into the University of North Texas at Dallas Aspiring STEM Principal Program.

The program provides a tuition-free education that allows educators with a minimum of two-year experience to work towards a Master’s of Educational Leadership for STEM Schools. 

Dr. Sheila Brown, UNT-Dallas Program Coordinator of Educational Leadership, said leaders in the program will leave the program better equipped for students facing today's workforce.

“We need administrators who show competence and a desire to support students in learning,” Dr. Brown said. “STEM leaders are crucial to the success of innovative and transformational schools; more importantly, their work will directly impact students by creating pathways to meet future career challenges.”

If started this fall, the program curriculum will take 30 hours to complete, with the expected completion in May 2025. 

Dr. Rodgers, DeISD Superintendent, said through the intern requirement, attendees will have an opportunity to enhance the district's work.

“It creates a space to help partners in terms of their leadership, lessons and learning,” Rodgers said. “They will work alongside district leaders to help us really think through creative ways to solve challenges for problems of practice that the district might face through the lens of their training.”

DeSoto ISD Staffers admitted to this year's program include:

Sonya Batiste, Math Instructional Administrator

Talanja Goss, High School Science Teacher

Lauren Stewart, Elementary Special Education Teacher

Brithany Torres, Middle School Counselor 

Wykennia Heiskell, Middle School Teacher/Coach

To qualify, candidates had to be current educators in the STEM field and go through an interview process with other applicants from surrounding South Dallas school districts.

Sonya Batiste, a program admittee, said now that she has this opportunity, she can see herself excelling in the educational experience for herself and her students. 

 “I just want to make sure that I am able to enhance the instruction that I provide here at DeSoto and make sure I can just take it to the next level to meet the needs of all of our students,” Batiste said.

The program aims to create adaptable educators to lead educational institutions in a future STEM-dominated world.