Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Feliz Navidad!

As we approach a well-deserved rest this holiday season, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the EPISD family for all of your efforts as we work together to transform and build a great district!! Many tell me they can feel the momentum and I am energized by the great progress we’ve made in a short time!! As a team, we will make EPISD one of the best districts in the state in the next five years.

During my first 3 months, I’ve met many El Pasoans who want to see EPISD succeed. Meetings with education leaders, civic leaders and elected officials have led to partnerships and support for EPISD. Our visits to almost 50 campuses have also resulted in constructive conversations with parents and employees about how we can make our schools better. With each visit, the leadership team learns more about EPISD and the challenges and opportunities we face.

We already have a lot to celebrate. We are well on our way to building a strong Leadership Team that will play a major role in moving us forward– a mix of proven educators new to our district and talent from within. Through our new leadership and the restructuring at Central Office, I know our campuses will feel more support and work as a team to facilitate great teaching and learning in our classrooms.

With each passing day, I hope we are all more excited about the future of our district. The process of rebuilding takes time, but I assure all of you—our members of “Team-EPISD” that we are looking closely at those areas critical to student success to create opportunities to become a leading school district.

While our work at EPISD is important, so is our family and holiday time. During this season may you spend quality time with those most important to you, while reflecting on all that is good in our lives. I hope your break is restful and peaceful, and that you have the opportunity to share your holiday traditions with family and friends. As the New Year draws near let’s celebrate our accomplishments and renew our commitment to our students, our staffs, and the communities we serve. Additionally, I wish you renewal, transformation, and growth and I hope the New Year surpasses all of your expectations!

From my family to yours, I wish you and your loved ones a very Blessed, Restful and Peaceful Holiday and I know 2014 will be a great year for all of us at EPISD!


Juan E. Cabrera

Taryn Bailey, Chief School Officer, Area 3


Taryn Bailey was promoted to Chief School Officer for Area 3 on Dec. 16 after serving as Director of Elementary Personnel and Recruiting.

Prior to her role as a director in Human Resources, Bailey has been a principal in EPISD for six years and an assistant principal for five years. She also was an assistant principal at Travis Elementary. She began her career with EPISD as a fourth grade teacher at Crosby Elementary after teaching at high schools in both the Socorro and Ysleta school districts.

Bailey earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Texas at El Paso and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Sul Ross State University.

Under Bailey’s leadership, Guerrero and Cielo Vista elementary schools both earned an Exemplary rating from the Texas Education Agency.

Area 3

Franklin, Burges and Irvin feeder patterns.

Alternative and Specialized Schools:
Raymond Telles Academy, Delta Academy and LaFarelle Middle School.

Dr. Royce Douglas Avery, Chief School Officer, Area 2

Dr. Royce Douglas Avery, who was recently named area superintendent, has served as Superintendent of the Aransas Pass Independent School District since February 2011.

Prior to his role as superintendent, Dr. Avery was Executive Director of Secondary Education and Student Services for the Waco Independent School District.

A life-long educator with classroom, building and district level experience as well as experience working for the Texas Education Agency. He received his undergraduate degree from Rice University, and holds a Master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Texas A&M — Corpus Christi. Dr. Avery earned his Ed.D. in educational administration and supervision from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Avery also has taught Educational Administration as an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University in Lubbock. In 2006, he was named the 2006 Region 17 Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.

Area 2

Austin, Chapin and Andress feeder patterns.
Alternative and Specialized Schools:
Transmountain Early College High School, CCTE.

Ivonne Durant, Chief Academic Officer / Deputy Superintendent


Ivonne Durant returned to El Paso to become Chief Academic Officer/Deputy Superintendent after serving more than 20 years in the Dallas Independent School District. During her tenure at the Dallas ISD, Durant was the chief academic officer, an area superintendent, executive director of a Multi-Language Enrichment Program, executive director of a Comprehensive School Improvement Program and as an elementary school principal.

Prior to her time in Dallas, Durant worked at EPISD and Region 19 Service Center from 1975-1990. At Region 19 she worked as a bilingual education consultant, director, and division administrator for Special Populations and at EPISD she implemented bilingual education design program adopted by the various areas in the district. She also worked on the design and implementation of a middle school program for English language learners. She joined Dallas ISD in 1990.

Durant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western New Mexico University and a Master of Education from UTEP. She is currently working on her doctorate studies at Texas A&M University Commerce and expects to graduate December 2015.

Divisions under Durant’s leadership include: Chief of Schools led by Dr. Danna Diaz (Area 1) and Dr. Royce Avery (Area 2); Special Education led by Assistant Superintendent Pam Howard; Curriculum & Instruction/Research, Evaluation & Assessment led by Dr. James Steinhauser; and Academic Support Programs led by Dr. Joseph Lopez.