District Leadership

Superintendent's Cabinet

 

Click on any name to read an individual's bio.
 
* Denotes Senior Staff

Dr. Brian T. Woods Superintendent
Patty Denham Hill* Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Cecil Tatum Executive Director of Benefits & Risk Management
Leroy San Miguel* Assistant Superintendent for Facilities & Operations
Ceasar Ponce Executive Director of Construction & Engineering
Pascual Gonzalez* Executive Director of Communications
Lori Jones* Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services
Melissa Oshman Executive Director of Technology Services
Cassandra Miranda Director of School-Business-Community Partnerships

Ray Galindo* Deputy Superintendent for Administration
Betsy Wynn Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Administration
Stephen Daniel Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Administration
Levinia Lara Executive Director of Elementary Administration
Ray Moncus Executive Director of Secondary Administration
Stan Laing Executive Director of Athletics

Linda Mora, Ph.D.* Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
Don Schmidt Assistant Superintendent for Student, Family & Community Services
Lynda Reyes Executive Director of Elementary Instruction
Dennis Ann Strong Executive Director of Secondary Instruction
Linda Zarakas Executive Director of School Improvement

Oscar Cardenas* Deputy Superintendent for Business & Finance
David Rastellini Assistant Superintendent for Budget & Finance

Patty Denham Hill
Asst. Superintendent for Human Resources

With almost 15 years of teaching experience and 22 years administrative experience, Patricia (Patty) Hill leads the Human Resources division overseeing all policies and procedures within the HR function.

Hill began her career as a teacher at Holmes High School in February 1976 and has spent her entire teaching and administrative career with the District. She served as a math and business teacher & cheer and pep squad sponsor at Holmes High School; a math teacher at Ross Middle School; and a math and business teacher & cheer and pep squad sponsor at Marshall High School. She began her administrative experience as a summer school principal in 1984, served as assistant principal at Marshall HS from 1990-98 until she became vice principal at O’Connor High School when it opened in 1998. She was the first principal at Warren High School when that school opened in 2002.

Hill received her bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University, and her master’s degree from Trinity University.


Cecil Tatum
Executive Director of Benefits and Risk Management

Cecil Tatum, the Executive Director of Benefits and Risk Management, has spent more than 25 years handling insurance/employment issues in the state of Texas. He holds responsibility for health benefits, leaves of absences, retirement annuities, workers compensation, property and casualty insurance, unemployment and safety/loss control functions. Duties also include consulting on various employee relations and general Human Resource and district operational issues.

Prior to joining Northside in 2000, Tatum managed a National Independent Claims company branch, overseeing and managing the San Antonio and Austin office for all lines of insurance. Previous positions in risk management and the insurance field have gained Tatum claims, safety/loss control and risk management experience from carrier, employer, third party administrator and governmental regulator perspectives, and extensive experience in the public entity environment. While Risk Management Division Manager for the City of Houston, he earned a Risk Management Award with Distinction from the Public Risk and Insurance Management Association of Texas.

Tatum is a current board member and  Chairman Emeritus for the Texas Association of Public Schools Property and Liability Fund, currently the second largest writer of Property and Casualty insurance for Texas school districts. He formerly served as the sole representative of the K-12 segment on the United Educators Insurance Companies Board of Directors. He successfully completed  CSRM (Certified School Risk Manager) coursework and holds a bachelor of science degree in Occupational Safety and Health Management from Indiana State University.


Leroy San Miguel
Asst. Superintendent for Facilities and Operations

Leroy San Miguel has worked in school district facilities since 1990, and worked for Corpus Christi ISD and San Antonio ISD before joining NISD in 2009 as Executive Director of Construction & Engineering. He was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Facilities & Operations in summer 2011.

While in Corpus, San Miguel's positions included Construction Manager and Director of Facilities and Operations. In San Antonio ISD, he served as the Executive Director of Maintenance & Operations and the Executive Director of Facilities Planning, Construction, and Operations.

Currently, San Miguel is serving as secretary of the Board of the local chapter of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International. He has a bachelor's degree in environmental design and a master's degree in architecture from Texas A&M University at College Station.

He was born and raised in Corpus Christi, and he and his wife have one daughter.


Pascual Gonzalez
Executive Director of Communications

As the Executive Director of Communications and spokesman for Northside ISD, Pascual Gonzalez is responsible for keeping the public informed of the news and events of Texas' fourth largest school district.

Gonzalez has spent his entire career in Northside ISD and has served in various capacities since 1977. A former teacher at Jones and Hobby middle schools and Holmes High School, he served as the Executive Director of Media & Technology before heading the Communications Department.

Gonzalez is a highly respected school communicator who has held various leadership positions in state and national school public relations associations. He is a Past President of the Texas School Public Relations Association and was named a National School Public Relations Association "Front Runner" for 2005. Also, in 2005, Gonzalez was named the "Public Relations Professional of the Year" by the San Antonio Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Gonzalez is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University where he earned his bachelor's degree in English and journalism. He earned his master's degree in educational management and leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University.


Ceasar Ponce
Executive Director of Construction and Engineering

Ceasar Ponce joined NISD in 1998 and was promoted to Director of Facilities Construction in 2000. Ponce was promoted to Executive Director of Construction and Engineering in 2011 and is responsible for implementing the District's bond construction and engineering projects.

Prior to joining Northside, Ponce served as Director of Facilities Planning at Judson ISD for 10 years.

Ponce, a lifelong resident of San Antonio, graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio ISD. He is a 1978 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in environmental design.

Ponce is Registered Architect in the state of Texas and is a member of the American Institute of Architects and Council of Educational Facilities Planners.

Ponce and his wife Imelda have been married for 31 years. They have two daughters, Nadia, a student at Texas A&M University, and Yvonne Post, a 2006 Texas A&M graduate who now teaches kindergarten at Thornton Elementary School.


Lori Jones
Asst. Superintendent for Technology Services

Lori Jones, who has more than 18 years of technology leadership experience, joined the NISD Technology Services Department in 2002 as the Assistant Director of Technology Support. She became Director of Integrated Infrastructure Services in 2004, and was selected to serve as Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services in February 2012.

As Assistant Superintendent for Technology Serves, Jones oversees and directs more than 150 employees in the Technology Training and Development, Information and Infrastructure Services and Academic, Library and Textbook Services departments.

Prior to coming to NISD, Jones served with the U.S. Air Force as a Cyberspace Officer from 1993-2002, and continues to serve part-time in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Originally from Arlington, Texas, Jones received her bachelor’s in Psychology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1991, her master’s in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1993, and her master’s in Information Technology Management from the Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs in 2007.


Melissa Oshman
Executive Director of Technology Services

Melissa Oshman, the Executive Director of Technology Services, has more than 10 years of Information Technology operations and leadership experience. She joined NISD in March 2014.

Oshman's background includes network and desktop services, technology operations, instructional technology, and planning and leading technology projects.

She first served as a digital graphics teacher and technology specialist with Van Vleck ISD in Van Vleck, Tex. from 2002-2004, and then became Director of Technology at the same school district. She moved to Southside ISD in 2008 to be the Director of Technology, before moving to Richardson to be the Chief Information Officer for Education Service Center, Region 10.

She received her bachelor's degree in Information Systems Technology from the University of Houston, and her master's degree in Information Technology/Infrastructure Assurance from the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Cassandra Miranda
Director of School-Business-Community Partnerships

Cassandra Miranda joined NISD in January 2013 after serving for more than five years at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston as the Supervisor for Communications and Internet Services.

Prior to NASA, she served as Senior Director for Cause Marketing Initiatives with the American Heart Association, Texas Affiliate; and the Communications and Community Relations Supervisor for UPS—Central Texas District.

As the Director of School-Business-Community Partnerships, Miranda works to establish partnerships with parents, businesses, and community members that will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to make positive lifelong personal, social, academic, and career choices.

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and her MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University.


Ray Galindo
Deputy Superintendent for Administration

Ray Galindo, the Deputy Superintendent for Administration, started his teaching career in Austin ISD in 1991. He came to Northside one year later and taught at Valley Hi and Leon Valley elementary schools. He served as Vice Principal at Lackland City and Leon Springs elementary schools and then as Principal at Leon Valley and Hatchett elementary schools.

Galindo moved to central office in 2008, when he was appointed Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Administration. He was appointed Deputy Superintendent for Administration in 2012.

Galindo has a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He and his wife have a daughter and a son. A previous resident of Chicago, Galindo is a huge Cubs fan.


Betsy Wynn
Asst. Superintendent for Elementary Administration

 Betsy Wynn began her teaching career at Briscoe Elementary School in San Antonio ISD. She joined NISD in 1986 as a teacher at Locke Hill Elementary School, and later taught at Scobee and Elrod elementary schools before moving into administration.

Wynn served as Vice Principal of Mary Hull, Valley Hi, and Elrod elementary schools and as Principal of Locke Hill and Blattman elementary schools before moving to central office as the Executive Director of Elementary Administration. In 2012, she was named Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Administration.

Wynn has a bachelor's degree in education from Trinity University and a master's degree in educational supervision from Corpus Christi State University.


Stephen Daniel
Asst. Superintendent for Secondary Administration

Stephen Daniel, the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Administration, began his career in education with Northside in 1991 as a teacher and coach at Jones Middle School. He also has served as Assistant Principal at Stevenson Middle School and O'Connor High School, Vice Principal at Warren High School, and Principal at Marshall High School.

Daniel holds a bachelor's degree from Southwest Texas State University and a master's degree from Texas A&M University - Kingsville.


Levinia Lara
Executive Director of Elementary Administration

Levinia Lara began her educational career as a music and reading teacher at St. Luke’s Catholic School before joining NISD in 1986 as the music teacher at Linton Elementary School. She moved into campus administration in 1996 serving as vice principal at Linton Elementary and then vice principal at Passmore Elementary. She became principal at Elrod Elementary in 2001, and then moved to Westwood Terrace Elementary in 2005 to serve as principal at that school. She opened the brand-new Hoffmann Elementary School in 2009 as its first principal.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Music from Corpus Christi State University, and her master’s in Education from Our Lady of the Lake University.


Ray Moncus
Executive Director of Secondary Administration

Ray Moncus has been a school administrator since 1985, when he became an Assistant Principal at Kennedy High School in Edgewood ISD.  He later served as Principal at Kennedy and then moved to NISD in 1995 to become an Assistant Principal at Taft High School.

While at Northside, Moncus also served as Vice Principal and Principal at Hobby Middle School before moving to central office to be the Executive Director of Secondary Administration.

Before becoming an administrator, Moncus was a social studies teacher and coach in Bishop Consolidated ISD and Premont ISD.

A recipient of the Lamar Award of Excellence for Personal Achievement, Moncus has a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and a Master's degree in School Administration from Texas A&I University - Kingsville.  Originally from Harlingen, Moncus and his wife Melida have been married for 30 years. They have two sons, both graduates of O'Connor High School: Travis, a graduate from UTSA, and Justin, a senior at Texas A&M, College Station.  Moncus enjoys hunting and playing golf in his free time.


Stan Laing
Executive Director of Athletics

Stan Laing began his educational career as a teacher and coach in West Texas in 1985, and joined Northside ISD in 1994 at Jay High School. He moved from Jay to help open O’Connor High School in 1998 as a teacher and coach, becoming an assistant principal at that school in 2002. He moved to Clark High School in 2004 as a vice principal, and moving to principal in 2006.

In 2010, he was named Executive Director of Athletics.

Laing received his bachelor’s degree in 1985 from McMurry University in Abilene, Tex. and his master’s degree in 1998 from Texas A&M in Kingsville.


Linda Mora
Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

Linda Mora, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, is responsible for the NISD's educational curriculum meets the state-mandated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills at both the elementary and secondary level. Since beginning her career in education in 1968, Mora has been a teacher, Curriculum Director, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at United ISD in Laredo. Prior to joining Northside in 2002, Mora served as Associate Commissioner of Accountability and Accreditation at the Texas Education Agency and Director of Statewide Initiatives at Region XIII Education Service Center in Austin.

Mora, received the Brownlee Award for Leadership from Texas ASCD, has served as President of the Alamo Area Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (AAASCD), is on the State Advisory Committee of Communities in Schools, and is a member of the Accountability Policy Advisory Committee.

Mora received a bachelor's and master's degree from Texas A&I University in Kingsville, now under the Texas A&M system, and a doctorate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mora has twin daughters, Patricia and Diana, a son, Sal, and seven grandchildren.


Don Schmidt
Asst. Superintendent for Student, Family and Community Services

Don Schmidt joined Northside in 1979 and taught at Carlos Coon Elementary School, Rudder Middle School, and Taft High School before becoming an administrator. He served as Assistant Principal for Taft, Principal at Holmgreen, and Principal at Clark High School and then was named the Assistant Superintendent for Student, Family & Community Services in 2004.

Schmidt currently serves as the Vice President for Finance with the Texas Council of Administrators for Special Education and is co-chair of the legislative committee.  He has held a variety of leadership positions though the years with the Alamo Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.

The lifelong San Antonio resident holds a bachelor's degree in elementary and special education and business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a master's degree from Texas A&I University, which now is part of the Texas A & M System.


Lynda Reyes
Executive Director of Elementary Instruction

Lynda Reyes is the Executive Director for Elementary Instruction and is responsible for the development of elementary curriculum, implementing instructional goals, providing campus support, providing staff development for campus leaders and campus administrators, and managing the Student Success Initiative.

Her entire 36-year career in education has been at Northside ISD and includes 22 years as an elementary classroom teacher and eight years as a campus administrator. Before moving to central office in 2004, Reyes served as a teacher at Cable and Esparza elementary schools, Vice Principal at Scobee Elementary, and Principal at Michael Elementary.

Reyes is a Past President of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Beta Chapter, and was inducted in the San Antonio Area Association for Bilingual Education (SAABE) Hall of Fame in 1988.

Reyes holds a bachelor's and master's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University, as well as a master's degree in school administration from Trinity University.

A lifelong San Antonio resident, Reyes has been married to her husband Ruben for 33 years and has two daughters. She is an active member of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church and loves to read and travel.


Dennis Ann Strong
Executive Director of Secondary Instruction

Dennis Ann Strong was named the Executive Director for Secondary Instruction in December 2011. She is responsible for the development of secondary curriculum, implementing instructional goals, providing campus support, providing staff development for campus leaders and campus administrators.

Her entire 20-year career in education has been at Northside and includes nine years as a teacher and/or coordinator, and nine years as a campus administrator. She started her career as a social studies teacher at Holmes High School and then became the Social Studies Coordinator at O’Connor High School. She then moved into administration, becoming the Academic Dean and eventually Vice Principal at O’Connor High School. She returned to Holmes High School in 2007 when she was appointed Principal.

In addition, Strong has served as an adjunct professor at both The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Palo Alto and Northwest Vista colleges. She holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from UTSA.

Strong and her husband, Jim, have two grown children (a son and a daughter) and one (extremely adorable) grandson. Even though her son and daughter-in-law have only been married six years, Strong has known her daughter-in-law for 20 years, since she taught her as a high school freshman during her first year of teaching.


Linda Zarakas
Executive Director of School Improvement

Linda Zarakas began her teaching career at the State School for the Blind in Austin in 1975. After 11 years in the classroom, she became the vice principal and principal of Shenandoah (now Howsman) Elementary School.

As principal, she opened both McDermott and Beard Elementary Schools, before moving to Central Office in 2005. Her experience includes 26 years in administration.

Zarakas holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

She is a product of Northside schools, having graduated from Holmes High School and attended Neff Middle School.


Oscar Cardenas
Deputy Superintendent for Business and Finance

Oscar Cardenas was named Deputy Superintendent for Business & Finance in 2011.  Cardenas, a Certified Public Accountant, is responsible for the business and finance functions of the District including budget, payroll, accounting, accounts payable, purchasing, investments, and debt management.

Cardenas came to Northside in 1993 and has served as Director of Finance, Executive Director of Budget & Finance, and Assistant Superintendent of Budget & Finance.  Prior to joining NISD, he was partner in a local public account firm, where he served as independent auditor and consultant for both public and private entities, including school districts, municipalities, and non-profits.

He is a lifelong resident of San Antonio, a 1977 graduate of Lanier High School, and a 1981 graduate of University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.


David Rastellini
Asst. Superintendent for Budget and Finance

David Rastellini has more than 30 years of experience in the management of school business and operational support.

Rastellini has a wide array of school district experience beginning in 1983 as director of Finance and Accounting with San Angelo ISD. After 13 years, he moved to Austin ISD as Budget Director for two years, moving down the I-35 corridor to New Braunfels ISD as Business Manager in 1998. He became Associate Superintendent for Business and Support Services for Waco ISD in 2002, and then Associate Superintendent for Financial Services for Dallas ISD in 2005. 
 
He joined NISD in 2008 as Director of Accounting before becoming Assistant Superintendent for Budget and Finance in November 2013. 
 
A certified public accountant, Rastellini has held leadership positions in several professional organizations including the Texas Association of School Business Officials, and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Rastellini holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech University, and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University in Commerce.