(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) When Dr. Amanda McCarther was growing up in Fort Worth, she had a fourth grade teacher who inspired her to become an educator.
“Mrs. Richardson made me feel like I could do anything or be anything,” McCarther said. “I want to be able to provide the same sense of motivation to scholars, to let them know they can do or be whatever they want to be.”
McCarther enters her first full year as the principal of Bray Elementary School. Bray is the district’s original campus named in honor of Floy Bray, who taught in the district for more than 50 years.
“It is very humbling because I know that Bray is such a special place for the Cedar Hill Community,” McCarther said. “I am humbled to be in a position to take care of the scholars at Bray Elementary.”
McCarther became principal for the last couple of weeks of the 2020-2021 school year and was grateful for that experience.
“I was able to get to know some of the scholars, community members and staff,” McCarther said. “We did some fun things, including “Treat Week” with the teachers. The culture of CHISD drew me here. Everybody I knew in Cedar Hill loves it here and loves the district.”
McCarther said there’s been virtually no down time between the final day of the 2020-2021 school year and the first day of classes on August 12.
“Hiring new teachers has been the top priority,” McCarther said. “I’ve been working on becoming acclimated to the culture and climate at Bray.”
She’s been working on setting goals for the campus
“I want scholars to excel – we will put effective instructional practices to close any gaps our scholars may have,” McCarther said. “I believe all of our scholars should have quality meaningful learning experiences that allow them to be successful in school and life.”
Bray has the district’s Fine Arts Signature Program, and McCarther wants to elevate Fine Arts on campus.
“We want to set ourselves apart as a distinguished Fine Arts campus,” she said.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) will also be a priority for McCarther, as part of CHISD’s #STEMSpired integration.
“STEM provides equity, and it includes all of our scholars,” McCarther said. “Through STEM, scholars engage and receive access, and they have various learning experiences.”
McCarther is a first time campus principal, having worked for approximately a decade as both an Academic Associate Principal and Assistant Principal in Mansfield ISD.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8 Education) from the University of Houston in 2002, she moved home to Fort Worth. She began working in Fort Worth ISD to teach fifth grade, and later, third grade.
McCarther earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009. Last year, she earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University Commerce.
McCarther is one of three CHISD Elementary Principals with a doctorate, along with Collegiate Prep’s Dr. Xavier Lewis and Plummer’s Dr. Shanta Mackey.