DeSoto ISD Board Approves Three Leadership Appointments

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L to R - Dr. Jaime Kovar, Cathye Smith, Dr. Silvia Martinez
L to R - Dr. Jaime Kovar, Cathye Smith, Dr. Silvia Martinez Photo courtesy DeSoto ISD

(DESOTO, TX) — During the July 25, 2022 regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees, the district approved the appointment of three leadership positions:

Executive Director of Administrative Services, Dr. Silvia Martinez

Deputy Chief of College, Career and Military Readiness, Dr. Jaime Kovar

Principal, Cockrell Hill Elementary, Cathye D. Smith

Deputy Chief of College Career and Military Readiness, Dr. Jaime Kovar

Dr. Jaime Kovar is an educational leader with over 18 years of experience serving public schools and universities. Dr. Kovar recently completed her third year in DeSoto ISD, where she served as the Director of Advanced Academics, Fine Arts, and JROTC. Throughout her time at DeSoto ISD, her programs have earned various state and national recognitions, including consistent championships and UIL sweepstakes awards, Texas All-State placements, National Honor Choirs, National Honor Bands, JROTC National Program of Distinction recognition, College Board National Scholar Awards, Advanced Placement writing, and arts recognitions, and annual recognition as a NAMM Foundation Best Community for Music Education.

As a long-term adjunct professor and advisor to university programs, Dr. Kovar has a passion for CCMR, ensuring all students are equipped to be successful in their post-graduation endeavors. Dr. Kovar earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a Master of Music from the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University. She completed her Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Management as a President’s scholar, as well as her Certification in General Business from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Her certifications include PK-12 teaching, Principal, and Superintendent.

Prior to her recent appointment as the district’s Deputy Chief of CCMR, Kovar served as the district’s Director of Advanced Academics and Fine Arts where she oversaw the district’s full scope of k12 arts programming and advanced academics pathways. As the Deputy Chief CCMR, Kovar will retain oversight of district arts programming as well as the district’s college, career, and military readiness programming in alignment with the district’s Board goals.

Kovar served as a program director and instructional coach in Burleson ISD prior to joining the DeSoto ISD.

Executive Director of Administrative Services, Dr. Silvia Martinez

Dr. Silvia E. Martinez is an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of serving others. From her earliest experience in the classroom, her passion and love for children were ignited. Her career spans over 20 years of practice in Texas public schools. Throughout this time, she has had the opportunity to impact the lives of thousands of children across the state. Her ability to lead and empower learning communities is an attribute of great strength and pride.. Her educational philosophy centers around building relationships while cultivating a culture of collaboration and success.

Dr. Martinez began her career as a high school Spanish teacher in 1997. She has a variety of experience serving staff across all grade levels, PK-12. She has served as an assistant principal, principal, dean of instruction, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, director of curriculum and instruction, as well as family engagement coordinator.

Dr. Martinez has administrative experience in both urban and suburban school districts. She has previously worked in Duncanville ISD (2002-2004 & 2018-2022), West Orange-Cove CISD (2011-2017), Dallas ISD (2004-2011), and Mesquite ISD (1998-2002), and Cuero ISD (1998-1999).

She holds a doctorate and master’s degree in Educational Administration. She also has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Spanish.

Principal, Cockrell Hill Elementary, Cathye Smith

Smith brings more than 20 years of experience to her role as a campus leader in DeSoto ISD. As the next leader of Cockrell Hill Elementary School, Smith previously served as an assistant principal in Arlington ISD after serving as an elementary teacher, instructional coach, and instructional specialist in Dallas ISD.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler and a master’s degree from Concordia University in Educational Leadership. Smith is currently in pursuit of a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University.

Principal, The Meadows Elementary, Dina Jammer

2021-2022 CHE Principal Dina Jammer will lead The Meadows Elementary for the upcoming academic year. Jammer brings more than 18 years of public-school educational experience to her role in DeSoto ISD. Beginning her public-school educational career at Wilmer Elementary, she later served in several capacities in Lancaster ISD starting as a teacher before serving the district’s STEM department as an instructional coach and then transitioning to serve as an assistant principal at Rosa Parks/Millbrook Academy. Jammer served as a PreK-5th school principal in Grand Prairie ISD. She led the campus from an improvement needed rating to a letter B rating before joining Desoto ISD as the principal of Cockrell Hill Elementary during the 21-22 school year.

Dina Jammer headshot
Photo courtesy DeSoto ISD

As an educational leader, she is committed to working with all stakeholders to advance student learning outcomes. Jammer believes that all stakeholders in a learning community play a vital role in both elevating students’ academic achievement and shaping future innovative educational programs.

She received several accolades in her career as an educator. During the 2019-2020 school year, her campus received the “Leading by Example” and “Best Student and Staff Attendance” District Awards in GPISD. She received the 2018-2019 Principal of the Year award from the Southwest Alliance of Black School Educators and Teacher of the Year Awards in 2005 and 2009.

Jammer has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston and a Master of Education degree from Lamar University.

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