Chief Innovation Officer

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Nicole K. Dray

As the Chief Innovation Officer of San Marcos CISD, Nicole Dray is a talent-multiplier. She identifies the unique skills and traits of others and creates space and opportunities for those talents to grow. Her drive for educational transformation is underpinned by the belief that every individual has the right to engaging and personally relevant educational experiences that inspire and equip them to successfully pursue any endeavor without barriers. Nicole and her team focus on strategic program and systems design and implementation to cultivate future readiness. Nicole seeks and procures various resources, such as local, statewide, and national organizational partnerships, funder relationships, and other networks to support program planning, prototyping, iteration, and sustainability processes. 

Nicole previously served the Moriarty-Edgewood School District as principal of Edgewood Elementary in New Mexico where she and her talented teachers and students earned the distinction of being ranked 9th in the state. Prior to her principalship, she taught 6th grade ELAR, Math, and Science, and 4th grade general education, where she approached teaching and learning as an opportunity to cultivate the gifts and talents within each child.

Prior to teaching in public education, Nicole earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University, and taught painting, drawing, and piano in the private sector, which contributed to her abilities as a creative thinker and problem solver. Nicole earned her K-8 Teaching Certification and Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instructional Leadership through the College of Santa Fe in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She earned her Education Administration Certification from the College of Santa Fe, Superintendent Certification from the University of New Mexico, and is a doctoral candidate in Global Education Leadership at Lamar University.

Executive Director of Innovtaion & Digital Learning

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James D. Nevarez

As Executive Director of Innovation and Digital Learning at San Marcos CISD (SMCISD), James Nevarez develops, leads, and implements strategies that enable SMCISD to stay at the forefront of digital innovation while maintaining a student-centered focus. With his global perspective, the creative-minded Nevarez is a recognized change agent in transformation, from organizational development to information technology. He is proudest of how his focus on continual service improvement complements SMCISD's work to redesign school.

His career has primarily focused on the management of information systems and business process development with a highlight on developing systems that intelligently improve the district's efficiency. As Director of Educational Technology, James cultivated a presence to help drive technology-infused learning for all SMCISD students. He launched his career as a systems administrator and marketing assistant with the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County.  Since then James has seen continual progression in the information technology field.

James is a graduate of the University of the Southwest in Computer Information Systems and holds an MBA in Information Systems from Texas State University.

Over the next two years, James hopes to make “traditional teaching” an exception—and blended & personalized learning the standard.

Coordinator of School Redesign

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Dr. Blaine Carpentar

Blaine Carpenter currently serves as the Coordinator of School Redesign, organizing for change at Travis and Mendez Elementary. He is committed to listening to parents, students, and staff in order to redesign learning at Travis and Mendez for educational excellence and equity.

Blaine has led change efforts and worked to develop educational leadership at the state, district, and campus levels.  Notably, he supported campus leadership development through the Texas Title 1 Priority Schools (TTIPS) grant at the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS) and has facilitated 13 districts across Texas in adopting long-range strategic plans through a stakeholder-driven approach.

He is a veteran of the US Army Reserve and received recognition for honorable service.

Blaine holds a pre-law BA from Michigan State University, a MS in Teaching from Pace University, a MPAff from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin, and a PhD in School Improvement from Texas State University 

Innovative Learning Specialist

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Jeff LeRoy

Jeff LeRoy is an innovative school leader with a specialization in school technology integration. Jeff has spent his career at San Marcos CISD where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2010. From there Jeff transitioned out of the classroom to campus technologist and to district technology coach, where he could use his skills to assist educators with technology integration.

Jeff is a graduate of Texas State University where he earned his degree in Business Administration as well as his teaching certification. Jeff strives to be at the forefront of learning in the new age of education.

Last Modified on January 15, 2021