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October’s National Principal Appreciation Month recognizes the essential role of principals in making a school great. Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving student success. Principal bios on page 10. (Robin’s Nest Photography & Courtesy photos)
Lockney High School Principal Michelle Southard joined LISD this year.
She grew up in Clovis, NM and earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from West Texas A&M University. Southard is currently pursuing her doctorate in higher education.
Southard is the mother of four: Sailbree Boyd, a teacher at Canyon ISD; Caitlin Hill, a pediatric nurse in Amarillo; Logan Beltran, a sophomore at West Texas A&M University; and Tucker Southard, who is an eighth grader at Lockney Jr. High.
Craig Setliff is principal at Lockney Junior High School.
He grew up in Turkey, Texas and attended West Texas A&M University where he received his bachelor’s degree as well as his master’s degree.
Setliff married the love of his life, Sammie Setliff. The couple have two children, Stephen and Lyndee Setliff.
Setliff began his teaching career in Lockney as a science teacher in high school. “It was a great experience that allowed me to learn from some great teachers,” said Setliff. “Lockney reminds me so much of my hometown.
“I wanted to raise my children in a similar small town, and the fine people of Lockney gave me that opportunity, and I have enjoyed it so very much.
“I am blessed to work with a great team of faculty and staff every day. The students of Lockney make me immensely proud, and I love them,” added Setliff.
Lockney Elementary Principal Michael Michaleson grew up in Hobbs, N.M.
He and his wife, Wendi, have five grown daughters, Audri, Jade, Taylor, Brittany and Kinsey. They also are the proud grandparents of two Clinton and Hazel. They are expecting a third grandbaby soon.
Michaleson received his bachelor of science degree in secondary education/history from New Mexico State University and his master’s in public administration from Texas Tech University in 2000.
“The people, the students, the families, the staff and the faculty are why I love my job. I applied for the job because of the opportunity to work with people that I had worked with before, and once I had a chance to meet the staff, I knew was in the right place,” said Michaleson.
“I love being an elementary principal, this is my first attempt at working with kids this age as I have spent my career teaching, coaching and being an assistant principal and principal at the secondary levels. It is just a different kind of stress, with different issues and solutions, but extremely rewarding and a whole lot of fun. Every day is different,” he said.
Floydada Collegiate High School Principal Wayne Morren grew up in Floydada, Texas.
He and his wife, Angel, have two children, Landry and Kaylie.
Morren graduated from Floydada High School, and he received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and received his master’s degree from West Texas A&M University.
Morren started teaching and coaching in Bastrop ISD in 1988.
He has been in education for 32 years, teaching social studies, PE, health and has coached football, basketball and track.
Morren taught and coached in Bastrop, Tulia and Mabank.
“I’ve served as principal or assistant principal in Tulia, Motley County, Hale Center and Floydada, “said Morren.
Morren received the Mrs. Baird’s Teacher on the Rise award in October 2019.
“My favorite thing about being a Whirlwind is working with our amazing students and our incredibly dedicated faculty, commented Morren.
“I love our green and white colors, and being the only Whirlwinds in Texas,” said Morren.
“It’s a great day to be a Whirlwind.”
Monica Smith is principal at AB Duncan Collegiate Elementary School.
Smith and her husband, Tanner, a crop insurance agent for Assiter Insurance, have two sons, Cutter and Jaxson.
Cutter is a sophomore at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Jaxson is a freshman at Floydada Collegiate High School.
Smith is from Matador and graduated from Motley County High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Texas Tech University and earned her master’s in educational leadership from Lubbock Christian University.
This is her first year as campus principal at AB Duncan. Last year she was the assistant principal.
“I began my career as a teacher and have been in education for 17 years,” said Smith.
Smith has been with Floydada Collegiate ISD for 14 years. She began as a classroom teacher at AB Duncan Collegiate Elementary, then served as the reading specialist for Region 17 Education Service Center for three years and returned to Floydada CISD as an administrator in 2018.
“The thing I like most about being a Whirlwind is the amazing staff members and students I am able to interact with daily,” said Smith. “I love building lasting connections with them. I love learning from them.
“I especially love when they see the connection between what they are learning and the impact it has on their lives as a whole,” she said.
Robin Nixon is an assistant principal at Floydada Collegiate High and Junior High schools.
She and her husband, Gary, have two sons, Kirby and Keenan.
Kirby, a graduate of Texas Tech University, is engaged in farming in Floyd County. Keenan is a senior at Texas Tech University in Lubbock majoring in animal science with a focus on ruminant nutrition
Nixon graduated from Hart High School in 1983 and received her bachelor’s degree in education at Angelo State University and her master’s degree in education from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.
“I have been a principal for about 12 years. This is my 34th year in education, and I’ve been with FCISD for 29 years,” added Nixon.
She started her career as a coach and has taught in Midland ISD, Lockney ISD and Floydada CISD.
“My favorite thing about being a Whirlwind is the success of our students in the classroom, on the playing field and in the show ring,” said Nixon.
Dara Ware is the assistant principal at Floydada Collegiate High and Junior High schools.
Ware and her husband, Clinton, have two sons, Cody and his wife, Jesse, and Clay and his wife, Cara. They also have four grandchildren, Cullen, Jackson, Bryndle and River.
A graduate of Silverton High School, Ware graduated from West Texas A&M University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree. She received her master’s in education in 2012 from WTAMU.
She has been a principal for 10 years and started her career in Floydada CISD as a seventh grade language arts and speech teacher and also taught One Act Play. In addition to teaching, she coached Floydada Junior High basketball and track.
While being assistant principal she has also taught eighth grade reading.
Ware started her teaching career at Floydada CISD and this is her 29th year in education.
“Things I love about Floydada are the kids and the work ethic of our staff,” said Ware.
Carlos Munoz is an assistant principal at the Floydada Collegiate High and Junior High schools.
Munoz and his wife, Reese, have one son, Eli.
Eli is in the second grade at Duncan Collegiate Elementary School.
Carlos graduated from Crosbyton High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and his master’s degree from Lamar University.
Munoz has been an administrator for seven years at Floydada Collegiate ISD. He’s been in education for 20 years.
He started out in Smyer as a junior high and high school math teacher. He also taught math and coached at Sundown.
“Floydada Collegiate ISD tries to be innovative in many of the things we do,” said Munoz. “We are always looking for ways to help our teachers get better and for new opportunities for our students.”
“Being a Collegiate School District will allow us to offer even more to our students now,” added Munoz.
Armando Morales is the assistant principal at AB Duncan Collegiate Elementary.
Morales and his wife, Rhoda, a first grade teacher at Duncan Elementary, have three children, Bethany. Hannah and Luke.
Bethany is a biology teacher and coach at Floydada Collegiate ISD. Hannah is in her second year at Howard Payne University where she is majoring in education and is a pitcher for the HPU Yellow Jackets softball team, and Luke is a fifth grader at Duncan Elementary.
Armando graduated from Floydada High School.
He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayland Baptist University.
Morales began his sixth year as assistant principal. Four years were spent at the Floydada High School campus and two years at Duncan Elementary.
This year marks his 14th year in education.
Morales did not start out in the teaching field but always had the desire to teach and coach. He also feels the call into ministry. Armando was in juvenile probation prior to teaching.
“Floydada is the only place I’ve taught. My teaching field is in Spanish and am the Head Coach for the Lady Winds softball team,” Morales said.