Hitting the ground running

New principal priority for superintendent
Reporter Editor

New Supt. Denise Monzingo introduced to public by board president Lee Jenkins. New Supt. Denise Monzingo introduced to public by board president Lee Jenkins. Denise Monzingo didn’t wait long to start earning her paycheck as the new Rockdale ISD superintendent.

Thursday she was formally hired in a unanimous vote of the Rockdale ISD board of trustees.

By Friday afternoon she was officially posting a major administrative vacancy as the district begins its search for a new high school principal.

That’s because board members accepted the resignation of RHS Principal Joey Geletka at that same Thursday session where Monzingo was hired.

DEJA VU—Even though Monzingo’s threeyear contract doesn’t actually begin until July 1, she was at RISD campuses Friday and also spent some time in what will be her new office at the Central Administration Building.

“I wanted to get around and meet as many people as I can,” Monzingo said. “I was very impressed with the amount of pride that exists in the school system.”

She also had a bit of “deja vu.”

“When I walked into the old RHS gym, I realized that I’d been in it before,” she said. “I played basketball at Pflugerville many years ago and we played in that gym. If you remember, Rockdale and Pflugerville were big rivals in girls basketball back then.”

Monzingo “stayed at home” in Pflugerville and comes to Rockdale after serving in numerous positions in the Pflugerville ISD where she’s currently executive director of accountability and special programs for the 23,000-student district.

‘GREAT EDUCATION’—Monzingo will be sharing time between Rockdale and Pflugerville for the next six weeks. She is finalizing a home purchase in Rockdale.

“I have a daughter who is graduating Pfluger- ville High School,” she said. “I’m going to stay in Pflugerville until she graduates.”

Monzingo has two other daughters, one a registered ICU nurse and one finishing her freshman year at SMU.

She also has a son who will be an eighth grader at Rockdale Junior-High School in the fall.

“That was a major factor in my decision to come to Rockdale and take this job,” Monzingo said. “I would not have come to any school district unless I knew my son would get a quality education there.”

Monzingo is completing her doctorate degree at Texas A&M.

Thursday marked the end of the 21-day waiting period after trustees named Monzingo the lone finalist April 10.

She becomes the district’s first female superintendent.

Her salary will be $120,000 per year.

VACANCY—Geletka had been RHS principal since 2010. Board members accepted his resignation effective June 30.

Geletka told The Reporter he has accepted an offer to serve as deputy superintendent in another school district.

Board members also accepted the resignation of teacher-softball coach Kelsey Thurman (end of 2013-14 school term), then hired Thurman as an intermediate teacher for 2014- 15.

Trustees were advised of the retirement of paraprofessional Denise McQuary effective May 30.

PROCESS—Technically, Monzingo replaces Dr. Howell Wright who resigned last spring after the board did not renew his contract.

Dr. Wright was superin- tendent for four years.

The school board went through a lengthy selection and interview process and named V icki Bridges of the Grand Prairie ISD as superintendent.

She declined the position on the final day of the mandatory 21-day waiting period to stay in Grand Prairie.

Trustees selected Donald Denbow of Corsicana as interim superintendent.

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