A Happy Return: Career Decision Rewards Alumnus

2005 Grad Enjoys Running a Dallas School and Being a Role Model for Kids

Oct. 6, 2010

During the summer of 2005, Timothy Hise (BA ’05) had a life-altering decision to make.

While a UT Dallas Archer Fellow interning with the U.S. Department of Education, he was offered a full-time position working with non-profits and businesses to support education initiatives. Hise, who had long been fascinated by the public education system, would be able to start his career at the nexus of politics and pedagogy.

There was one problem.

“I just didn’t feel right,” recalls Hise. “I was in D.C. and I felt in my heart that I needed to be back in Dallas.”

He drove non-stop back to the Big D, and in a quick series of events, was called, interviewed and placed at Greiner Middle School in the Dallas Independent School District within 48 hours.

His first job with DISD was teaching seventh- and eighth-grade math. After three years, Hise moved to the position of academic coordinator, which involves creating and nourishing professional learning communities, supporting the implementation of school-wide curriculum and evaluating student achievement data. He then served as associate principal at Moises E. Molina High School.

At the beginning of the 2010-11 school year, Hise was named principal of William L. Cabell Elementary School in North Dallas.

“Much of my job is about relationships,” said Hise. “It is my responsibility to be an instructional leader. It is also my responsibility to love the children.

“My first few days on the job, I was given a piece of advice from a fellow principal. He told me, ‘You have two jobs now:  Keep kids safe, and help teachers teach. If it doesn’t fall into one of those two categories, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.’ ”

Hise’s initial experience in DISD as a student teacher at Benjamin Franklin Middle School has made him loyal to a district that many consider fraught with challenges.

“I love working in Dallas ISD. We are devoted to professional learning communities, disciplinary literacy and doing what is best for kids.

“The students of Dallas ISD are top-notch. I would put them up against any kid from the suburbs any day. With all the challenges and struggles many of our students face in Dallas, they are forced to grow up much earlier than many of their peers. The connections they make while learning are incredible, and their problem-solving skills are unmatched.”

Hise is now at a point in his career where he can see and hear the results of his work with students.

“This June, I had the opportunity to shake the hands of the first eighth-graders I ever taught as they walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas. To get a hug and to be told, ‘I’m here because of you’ is an unrivaled experience.”

The Austin native was a member of UT Dallas’ first McDermott Scholars cohort. Hise chose UT Dallas for his undergraduate education based on being accepted to the prestigious scholars’ program, recalling that it offered him “the opportunity to have a well-rounded educational experience that is unparalleled anywhere else in the country.”

Hise, who received a bachelor of arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and who prepared for certification through the School of Interdisciplinary Studies Teacher Development Center, calls himself “UT Dallas’ biggest advocate.” His office is decorated with memorabilia from his days as a Student Ambassador and Collegium V student. During the recent “Education: Go Get It Week,” Hise used Comet collectibles to generate interest and excitement in the college experience.

Always mindful that he is a role model for Cabell’s 644 students, Hise would like to return to the classroom – as a student. He would like to add another graduate degree to go with his master’s in educational administration from the University of North Texas.

“I would like to begin to work on a doctorate,” he said. “I love learning and want to model lifelong learning for the students.”


Media Contact: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, (972) 883-5890, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Tim Hise

Timothy Hise, a former McDermott Scholar and Archer Fellow, is principal of William L. Cabell Elementary School in North Dallas. He used Comet collectibles to generate interest and excitement in the college experience in a recent education week event.

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