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HISD Finds Leaders in Education at UST

Hafedh Azaiez, '08 alumnus and an HISD lead principal.The Houston Independent School District has hired more of its leaders recently from the University of St. Thomas. Last year the district hired more certified administrators from UST than any other Houston-based university, according to Rocio Saldana of the Leadership Recruitment Department at HISD.

“The Houston ISD Leadership Recruitment Team has been a consistent partner with the University of St. Thomas for the past few years,” Saldana said. “Last school year, 2012-2013, we hired more than 15 school leaders that received their master’s and or principal certification through the UST Educational Leadership Program. We look forward to our continued partnership with UST as we have seen a high quality of campus leaders with proven success.”

Dr. Robert LeBlanc, dean of the School of Education, is glad to see the success of the program and its graduates are being recognized.

“The social justice tenets that are used to inform the University of St. Thomas Educational Leadership Program prepare school leaders to serve the students in their care and the faculty and staff with who they work,” LeBlanc said. “The courses they take contain a balance of theory and research-based best practices and are taught by faculty with doctoral degrees and experience in the field. All contribute to the success of our graduates.”

The Master of Education Program at the University of St. Thomas is designed to develop master classroom teachers, instructional specialists and school leaders who demonstrate the ability to translate and apply educational research in instructional settings.

The Education Leadership resource area prepares students to serve in the positions of assistant principal, principal, curriculum leader at the campus and district level and assistant superintendent.

Hafedh Azaiez ’08, an HISD lead principal and 2007 HISD secondary teacher of the year, has taken what he learned at UST and is using that knowledge to teach other principals strategies and leadership skills that helped him achieve success.

“I am hoping that I can help impact other schools and campuses,” Azaiez said. “It makes me very happy to see kids enjoy coming to school. I want them to have options, exposure and a well-rounded education. I think we are on the right track and still have a lot more that we can do.”

For more information on the Master of Education program visit

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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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