Brenham ISD announces administrative hires for 2017-2018

During the BISD Board of Trustees regular meeting on April 17, trustees unanimously approved the hiring of district recommendations to fill several administrative vacancies.

Toni Schwartz will fill the position of principal of the Brenham Early Childhood Learning Center. Schwartz has 26 years of experience in teaching, learning, and leading in Brenham ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and master’s degree from Lamar University. Schwartz was a teacher at Brenham Intermediate School and Alton Elementary, and she is also the founding teacher of Challenging Scientific Investigations (CSI) Gifted & Talented program. Most recently, Schwartz has held the position of assistant principal at Krause Elementary and currently Alton Elementary.

The position of principal of Brenham Elementary School will be filled by Jennifer Vest. Vest will be replacing Robert Fleming who is retiring. Vest comes from the Cypress Fairbanks ISD with over 20 years of experience in education. Vest has been an assistant principal for 10 years at various campuses in the Cypress Fairbanks district, a diverse district of more than 115,000 students. Most recently, she has served at Keith Elementary, a high performing elementary school. Vest earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Houston, and master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin University.

Matthew Wamble will fill the position of assistant principal of Brenham Junior High. Wamble will be replacing Richard Fletcher who is retiring. Wamble comes from the Fort Bend ISD, a district of over 70,000 students, where he is currently the assistant principal at Dulles High School. Prior to his time at Dulles, Wamble served as the assistant principal at Willowridge High School and has taught and coached in Fort Bend. Wamble has over 15 years of experience in education with 10 of those years as an administrator. Wamble earned his bachelor's from Texas State University, and his master’s from the University of St.Thomas in Houston.

The position of Director of Special Programs and Advanced Academics will be filled by Lori Ruiz-Wamble. Wamble will be replacing Janet George who is resigning. Wamble comes from Fort Bend ISD, a district of over 70,000 students, where she currently serves as a district English Language Learner Facilitator, supervising more than 18 campuses. Wamble has extensive experience and a background with leading and supporting campuses with Bilingual and ESL programmatic continuous improvement, and providing quality professional development. Wamble received her bachelor's from Texas State University, and her master’s from the University of Houston with a specialization in Education Administration and Public Policy (Magna cum Laude). She holds certificate endorsements in ESL and Language Arts.

Philip Derkowski will fill the position of Director of Maintenance Operations & Energy Management. Derkowski will be replacing Tom Gore who is retiring. Derkowski is a graduate of Brenham High School and a native of Chappell Hill, Washington County, Texas. Derkowski has extensive managerial and supervisory experience in the energy management and maintenance field. His current position is General Manager with SSC Services for Education on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. Derkowski earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M.


Mark Strauss will fill the position of Director of Accountability, Assessment & Professional Development. Strauss will be replacing Bonnie Brinkmeyer who is retiring. Strauss has 27 years of experience in public education. He has served as teacher, coach, elementary and secondary counselor, and testing coordinator in several districts, including Brenham ISD and currently Montgomery ISD. Strauss received his Bachelor of Science from Southwest Texas State University, and his master’s from Prairie View A&M University. Strauss is highly respected in his field and has a keen understanding of K-12 accountability and assessment systems.