Four new administrators were hired at the district level including a new assistant superintendent of communications, assistant superintendent of strategic processes and community engagement, assistant superintendent of elementary student support, and assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and accountability.
These appointments come on the cusp of Shawn Pratt taking the helm of the district as superintendent in March.
Assistant superintendent of communications
McKinney ISD announced that Shelly Spaulding will lead its communications department as the district’s new assistant superintendent of communications.
Spaulding brings 19 years of experience in education, including six years of leadership at the campus level and two years as an administrator at the district level, according to a district news release. For the past year, Spaulding has served as the principal of McKinney High School.
“Shelly has had success as a teacher, a principal and director of human resources. Those experiences have given her a great understanding of all of McKinney ISD,” Pratt said in a district news release. “Shelly has a degree in public relations, and she is extremely knowledgeable. She brings outstanding energy and high expectations that will allow her to lead our communications department to operate at a high level.”
The communications position became available this month when former Chief Communications Officer Cody Cunningham left to pursue an opportunity outside the district.
Assistant superintendent of strategic processes and community engagement
Gordon Butler, currently the Boys & Girls Clubs of Austin CEO, will assume the new role of MISD’s assistant superintendent of strategic processes and community engagement.
Butler formerly served in MISD as an assistant principal, central office administrator and McKinney High School principal.
"Mr. Butler brings to McKinney a wealth of experience in public education, including experience in community engagement, strategic planning, and safety and security," Pratt said in the release. "During his previous time with McKinney ISD, Mr. Butler established quality relationships and an excellent reputation, and we are thrilled to have him back with us."
In the new position, Butler will oversee the strategic planning process for MISD by facilitating community engagement opportunities that will help form and drive the broader goals of the district, according to the release.
Assistant superintendent of elementary student support
Melanie Raleeh, who has served as principal of Walker Elementary for the past four years, will now serve as the district’s assistant superintendent of elementary student support, following the retirement of Assistant Superintendent Suzy Woodard.
Raleeh brings leadership experience to her new role as assistant superintendent, with 18 years as an MISD campus principal and 30 years in education, according to a district news release.
In her new position, Raleeh will oversee the district’s elementary campuses and programs. The job became available when longtime Assistant Superintendent Suzy Woodard announced her upcoming retirement.
“Melanie has been a successful principal in MISD for 18 years,” Pratt said in the release. “Her campuses have always had outstanding culture accompanied by high academic achievement. Melanie’s experience and wisdom will benefit our entire district as she oversees our elementary leadership.”
Assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and accountability
Amber Epperson, who has served as principal of Cockrill Middle School since 2014, has been named assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and accountability.
Epperson served as a classroom teacher and campus administrator in the district for about 20 years, according to the release.
During Epperson’s time at Cockrill, the campus was named a Texas School to Watch three times by Texas Association of Secondary School Principals in 2015, 2018 and 2021, and in 2021 was one of only 50 middle schools in Texas to achieve that designation, according to the release.
“Amber has been an outstanding principal in MISD for many years and was recently named the 2023 Texas Middle School Principal of the Year,” Pratt said in the release. “She has many strengths, including expertise in effective instructional practices. Her ability to evaluate curriculum and lead MISD with data driven strategies will benefit all of our students.”