System of Great Schools is about engaging district staff, the community, business partners, parents and students in the process of creating a shared vision toward "Midland on the Move". We wanted you to know the names and faces of those involved in the beginning stages of the work for the district.
Mr. Riddick previously served as the Superintendent of Schools in Cedar Hill ISD since April, 2014. Prior to to CHISD, Mr. Riddick spent two years in central office administration for Houston ISD, a district of over 210,000 students.
Prior to his time in Houston ISD, Mr. Riddick served as Director of High Schools in Austin ISD. His education background includes teaching at A. Maceo Smith High School and serving as the principal at W. T. White High School in Dallas ISD. He was an assistant principal at Rosemont Middle School, Meadowbrook Middle School, as well as Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth ISD; and served as the academic dean at Edison High School in San Antonio ISD. Mr. Riddick has also spent eight years in marketing/public relations, serving a variety of clients from major corporations to politicians.
Mr. Riddick graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1992, where he also received his commission into the Army. He completed a post-baccalaureate degree in English literature in 1997. In 2004, he earned his Master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University. Then, in 2007, he began the Cooperative Superintendency Doctoral Program at The University of Texas.
Mr. Riddick is married to Yvette Riddick and has 3 children: Alejandra, Diego, and Aaron.
Elise W. Kail has been serving students and teachers in a variety of assignments for over thirty years. Starting her teaching career in 7th grade ELA then moving to 10th grade ELA, provided the foundation for a principalship. She recently was named Chief Transformation Officer for Midland ISD after serving as Executive Director of Accountability & Data Systems for the district for ten years. As CTO, Dr. Kail will be responsible for overseeing “Midland on the Move” which encompasses innovation and transformational efforts across the district. In 2012 she completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. Elise and Shane, her husband of twenty-six years, are most proud of their children. Samantha is currently a graduate student at Baylor Truett Seminary seeking a Masters in Divinity. Their son, Sloan, just completed his second year at Angelo State University and participates on the ASU Clay Target Shooting Team
Mr. Jones is the Chief Academic Officer for Midland ISD. He has served the student of Midland for twenty-three years with the last five in his current position. Additionally Patrick has acted as Executive Director of Secondary Education, Principal of Robert E. Lee High School, Principal of Lee Freshman High School, Assistant Principal at Midland High and Lee Freshman, teacher and coach as well as an assistant track coach at Tarleton State University. Mr. Jones has a Masters of Education in Educational Administration from Tarleton State University as well as a Masters of Education in Kinesiology and a Bachelors of Science. Mr. Jones has a wife, Chris of 19 years and three children - Bryce, Addison, and Brock.
Mr. Bajaj is the founder and CEO of Kitamba, Inc. an education consulting firm focused on performance management, education technology, and system-wide reform in school districts and educational organizations. He began his career in education over a decade ago as an elementary school teacher at PS 161 in Harlem and transitioned to key leadership roles at the New York City Department of Education. At the NYC Department of Education, Rajeev served as a Managing Director in the Office of Accountability where he spearheaded efforts to develop and implement a first of its kind comprehensive school accountability system and lead the development of a data and knowledge management system. Rajeev is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering/Management Sciences. He also holds a Masters in Education from Hunter College in New York City and is a 2012 graduate of the Broad Foundation's Fellowship for Education Leaders.
Melissa Ware has been a part of MISD as a teacher, parent and volunteer for 23 years before joining the Office of Transformation in March of 2018. Melissa also serves the Midland community in volunteer roles including the MISD Values Project, Midland County Excellence in Education Awards, Midland City Council PTA, 1 TO 1 Tutoring Coordinator, Midland Symphony Guild, First Baptist Church and Midland Memorial Hospital. Melissa and her husband, Carl are the proud parents to Jackson, a sophomore at The University of Oklahoma, Hannah a junior at Midland High School and Grace, an eighth grader at San Jacinto Junior High.
Members of the Midland ISD Transformation Team:
Standing back row, L to R
Jill Rivera, Executive Director of Professional Development
Jeff Horner, Executive Director of Secondary Schools
Chris Hightower, Director of Social Studies
Diane Lopez, Executive Director of Elementary Schools
Kellie Ebenstein, Executive Director of Elementary Schools
Carla Martin, Director of Finance
Shannon Torres, Principal of Midland Freshman High School
Monica Hernandez, Director of Accountability
Woodrow Bailey, Executive Director of Human Resources
Rajeev Bajaj, Executive Advisor for Midland ISD SGS
Sitting front row, L to R
Dr. Elise Kail, Executive Director of Accountability & Data Systems
Leah Robertson, School Attorney
Lacy Sperry, Executive Director of Communications
Ashley Colquitt, Special Education Supervisor
Orlando Riddick, Superintendent (not pictured)