To welcome our new GT educators and help them get settled in their new classrooms, SAGE is awarding a $100 grant to each new elementary GT teacher and a $50 grant to each new secondary teacher.

Please join SAGE in extending a warm welcome to the new gifted educators in GCISD:

New ASPIRE Teachers:

Kay Walder (5th Grade Math) – Mrs. Walder has taught middle school for 9 years. She enjoys being outside, interacting with animals and spending time with her family.

Kris Freund (7th and 8th Grade English) – Mrs. Freund taught 7th and 8th grade GT in Irving for the last 4 years, and served as the GT coordinator for the last 2. She received her BA in Social Sciences from California State University San Marcos.

Michelle Marinangel (7th Accelerated Science, 8th Grade Pre AP Biology) – Ms. Marinangel studied Marine Biology at Texas A&M in Galveston and obtained experience in science education while working at zoos, aquariums and nature centers.

Emily Ramser (9th/10th Pre-AP English) – Ms. Ramser has two undergraduate degrees, a BA in English and a BA in creative writing from Salem College in North Carolina. She recently earned two master’s degrees simultaneously at Texas Woman’s University – one in teaching with a concentration in English, and the other in English with a concentration in literature. Emily has experience working with gifted students through Duke TIP, was a summer course instructor for several universities and is a published author and poet. Most recently she taught AP Language & Composition in Denton ISD.

New GT Specialists:

Will Boykin (Colleyville Elementary) – This is Mr. Boykin’s first year at Colleyville Elementary, but he taught in the ASPIRE Academy for 6 years and taught at Cross Timbers for 9 years. Mr. Boykin received a B.A. from Auburn, and earned an M.A.T. from the University of Memphis. Mr. Boykin’s parents, sister, and wife were all educators, and he enjoys being “Uncle Will” to his three nieces.

Louisa Hilton (Dove Elementary) – Mrs. Hilton grew up in West Texas. She received her Bachelor’s from Purdue and and earned her Master’s from New York University. Mrs. Hilton has served Dove for the last 12 years as a volunteer, substitute, and classroom teacher. This is her first year as Dove’s GT Specialist.

Danielle Velez (Silverlake Elementary) – Ms. Velez grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Tarleton State University Magna Cum Laude in 2011. She taught first grade for 2 years at Harmony Science Academy and spent 6 years teaching first and second grade at Davis Elementary. She has had a true passion for teaching since she was in the third grade!

Nicole Bauer (Bransford Elementary) – Mrs. Bauer graduated from Creighton University, and most recently served as the K-12 Math Specialist/Head of the Math Department at Westlake Academy. She is passionate about inspiring highly able learners. Mrs. Bauer and her husband have a daughter who is a senior at Grapevine High, and a son who is a freshman at Westlake Academy.

New Administrators at ASPIRE campuses:

Lauren Vise (new Assistant Principal at Glenhope Elementary) – Ms. Vise taught 2nd grade, 4th grade, and GT LEAD in GCISD. She is looking forward to building relationships with students and families as well as supporting the growth and success of each individual Gator.

Jamie Halliburton (new Principal of Cross Timbers Middle) – Dr. Halliburton was previously the Principal of Bransford Elementary. Before leading Bransford, she served as an assistant principal at Silver Lake Elementary School (2014-2015) and Heritage Elementary School (2013-2014). Her first role in GCISD was at Timberline Elementary School in 2012 where she was a third-grade teacher. Dr. Halliburton said, “I’m looking forward to joining the Wolf Pack and continuing the tradition of excellence at Cross Timbers Middle School.”

Alex Fingers (new Principal of Grapevine High) – Mr. Fingers served as the Principal of Cross Timbers Middle School since 2016. Prior to being the Principal, Mr. Fingers worked as an Assistant Principal at CTMS for 3 years. He taught English/language arts and social studies at Longfellow Career Exploration Academy Middle School from 2007-2013 after beginning his career at Horace Mann Arts & Science Magnet Middle School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2004. Mr. Fingers said, “I am thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside the dedicated staff of Grapevine High School. Together, we will continue lasting traditions, seek pertinent innovations, and enhance the overall high school experience for our students, parents, and the communities we serve. Excited to join Mustang Nation!”