Principal's Blog 01/20/23

Posted by Heike Cook on 1/20/2023

Greetings Panthers,


Happy Friday! This week flew by after having Monday off. Although there were a ton of things going on in the quick 4-day week, this week's blog post is pretty brief.


Upcoming Important Dates:

  • 1/25 ClubYearbook Pictures

  • 2/20 Planning & Prep Day/Student Holiday

  • 2/21 College/Military Enrollment Presentation

  • 3/01 School Day SAT or ASVAB

  • 3/06 Career Fair

  • 3/13-17 Spring Break

  • 3/20 Career Night

  • 4/07 Student/Staff Holiday/Bad Weather Day

  • 4/19 STAAR EOC - Eng I

  • 4/20 STAAR EOC - Eng II

  • 4/26 STAAR EOC - Bio

  • 4/27 STAAR EOC - US Hist

  • 4/27 College Night

  • 5/1 AP Testing - US Gov (am), Chemistry (pm), Span Lit (pm)

  • 5/2 AP Testing - Environmental Sci (am), Psychology (pm)

  • 5/3 AP Testing - Eng Lit (am) Comp Science A (pm)

  • 5/4 AP Testing - Human Geo (am), Macro Eco (am), Statistics (pm) AP Seminar (pm)

  • 5/5 AP Testing - Euro Hist (am), US Hist (am), Art History (pm) Micro Eco (pm)

  • 5/8 AP Testing - Cal AB (am), Cal BC (am), Comp Sic Prin (pm)

  • 5/9 AP Testing - Eng Lan (am), Physics C: Mech (pm), Physis C:Elec ( 2pm)

  • 5/10 AP Testing - Span Lang (am), Bio (pm)

  • 5/11 AP Testing - French Lang (am), World Hist Mod (am), Physics 1: Alg (pm)

  • 5/11 STAAR EOC - Alg I

  • 5/12 AP Testing - Music Theory (am), Physics 2: Alg (pm)

  • 5/20 Senior Prom - Miami Night

  • 5/24 (seniors) 1st Graduation Practice

  • 5/25 (seniors) 2nd Graduation Practice

  • 5/25 Last Day of School (Early Release)

  • 5/31 Graduation at the Pfield

Congratulations - PHS FFA:

Congratulations to the following PHS students who competed in Travis County Youth Livestock (TCYL) Competition last weekend:

Goat Results:

  • Tristan Schwausch 2nd place class 1

  • Holly Herber 3rd place class 2

  • Elisabeth Ziegler 5th place class 6

  • Anna Lanford 6th place class 4

  • Liam Caldwell 6th place class 5

  • Andrew Farmer 7th place class 8

  • D’Marion Speller 7th place class 10

Pig Results:

  • Angel Castillo 2nd place class 2 duroc

  • Mel Mckinney 4th place class 2 duroc

  • Joanna Cantu 4th place class 1 cross

Lamb Results:

  • Brooklyn Farris 4th place class 4 medium wool

Steer Results

  • Ej Caldwell 4th place class 1 exotics 

Youth Fair results:

  • Ej Caldwell Grand Champion Mystery Ingredient Baked Foods Division

High School Principal of the Year Award:

I wasn’t going to personally share much about the recent award that I received on the blog, because it feels a bit strange to write about myself, but I have had a number of people ask me about it and it represents the success of this entire community, so here is a bit about it:

Every summer, the largest principal organization in Texas, the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP), holds a conference in Austin. One of the agenda items at the conference is for principals and assistant principals from each region to select a high school principal, middle school principal, and an assistant principal of the year from their regions (20 total regions). Much to my surprise, I was selected as the Region 13 High School Principal of the Year.

From there, the individuals selected from each region complete some information that is reviewed by a “principals image committee” made up of principals and assistant principals from across the state. They select 3-4 finalists from each category. Once again, much to my surprise, I was selected as a finalist.

Next, the 3-4 finalists are invited to Austin for an in-person interview round. Shortly after, I was notified that the committee had unanimously selected me for the State of Texas High School Principal of the Year. What an honor!

One additional piece is that the committee is responsible for selecting one individual from the recipients of HS principal, MS principal, and assistant principal of the year to be named the Secondary Principal of the Year and to serve as the state of Texas representative for the final round, which is the selection of the National Principal of the year. Again, much to my surprise, the committee unanimously selected me for that honor. Thus, after all of the states have selected their nomination, I will get to travel to Washington DC, and later to the National Convention where the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) selects the National Principal of the Year.

Although it is still hard for me to believe that out of the 3,240 high schools in the state of Texas, a committee of principals would select me.  I know that it has a lot to do with the many great facets of our school, our teachers, our students, our parents, and our community.

We are fortunate to have so many award-winning student organizations, fine arts programs, athletics, and UIL at our school. We have been recognized academically as a National AVID Demonstration school and will soon re-validate that recognition this spring. We are one of the most diverse schools in the district and serve a Title 1 student population, yet compete at the top of the district for overall accountability ratings and earn by far the most distinctions of any of the high schools in our district and in the area. We have National Merit scholars and tons of AP Scholars at various distinction levels. We offer competitive AP and ACC dual credit courses to propel students into successful post-high school endeavors. We have dedicated teachers and students on campus in tutorials, practices, volunteering, and more, hours before school starts and hours after because we have created a place where kids can thrive. 

We have numerous student leadership groups, such as the National Honor Society, Student Council, PALS, and much more. We have been recognized as a No Place for Hate school for countless years and lead annual events organized by our NoPlace4Hate student group. We have increased our test scores and attendance post-covid while also reducing discipline infractions thanks to focusing on what is best for students by creating an at-risk facilitator and restorative practice facilitator position. We started a community mentor program called Jamii which partners students with volunteer mentors to check in on them and help them be successful. We have established a common vision post-covid of what we value through the creation of the PHS Crest and PHS Academic Playbook. We recognize students and staff for more than just academics and attendance and also for the character traits we value in the PHS Crest. We have created a working environment where our staff climate surveys improve year after year in every category and are always well above the district average…. 

I could go on.

The reason I share all of these things that make PHS great, amongst so many other reasons, is because this award is as much mine, as it is for everyone involved with PHS. 

I thank you parents for sending us such great kids every day and for continuing to support our high expectations for them in all that they do. I also thank the 200+ staff at Pflugerville High School who show up, every day, to support students.

Awesome 8th-Grade Invasion:

This past Thursday morning, we welcomed hundreds of 8th graders from Pflugerville Middle School and Park Crest Middle School for our annual 8th-grade invasion. 

Unfortunately, if you can remember back to last year at this time, the event had to be held virtually due to rising covid cases. 

Having the 8th graders on campus, in person, was very refreshing! 

I want to thank our teachers for showcasing their programs as they managed their class with the addition of a revolving door of 20 student guests per group.

Below are a few of the pictures captured of the event.


PHS Showcase (Course Fair) Night:

PHS hosted a showcase event yesterday (Thursday, 1/19) where families came and learned about our various programs, organizations, AP offerings, and much more! Thank you to everyone who was able to join us!


Check us out on Facebook for even more pictures and videos of the event:

Pflugerville High School is proud to announce The Spongebob Musical:

Friday, January 27, 2023

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sunday, January 29, 2023 

7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

2:00 pm - 3:45 

Click HERE for Tickets                                                 Click HERE for information

A Word from our Parent Liaison:

JAMII Mentoring Program at PHS

Mentoring is a sustained relationship between a young person and a caring individual who is screened and trained to provide the young person with support, guidance, and assistance.

Mentoring programs include school, community, and site-based programs, as well as, programs where mentors are community volunteers, peers, or paid staff. Regardless of the program model, mentoring programs are responsible for ensuring mentors, of any age, are safe and healthy to interact directly with youth.

Why Mentoring?

Mentoring provides children with the caring, consistent presence of an adult friend, which research has shown to be a major protective factor in building resilience among at-risk youth. Mentoring also has benefits for the mentor, including opportunities for personal growth, a deeper connection to your community, and a deep, caring relationship with a young person.

Young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors. High expectations and higher educational attainment are key factors in life success.

The Mentoring Effect: Young People's Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring

One in three young people overall report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (naturally occurring or structured) while they were growing up. Nationwide, that means today approximately 16 million youth, including nine million at-risk youth, will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor.

Mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them. A study showed that the strongest benefit from mentoring, and most consistent across risk groups, was a reduction in depressive symptoms—particularly noteworthy given that almost one in four youth reported worrisome levels of these symptoms (The Role of Risk, 2013).

Research and practice suggest key attributes that have been associated with successful mentors and should be considered during the matching of mentors and mentees (MENTOR, 2009). These are the ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance, and encouragement to a young person (National Mentoring Month Campaign, n.d.); a genuine desire to be involved and help youth; respect for youth and their cultures and backgrounds (Hirsch, 2005); empathy and authenticity (Spencer, 2006); compatible personalities, interests, and expectations (Bernier & Larose, 2005; Madia & Lutz, 2004); prior experience in helping roles or occupations (DuBois, Holloway, Valentine, & Cooper, 2002); flexibility and openness; and the ability to see solutions and opportunities and help youth to see them as well (MENTOR, n.d.).

If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor, please email 

Did You Know? - Calendar of Firsts
















One of the greatest women’s golf champions of all time, Nancy Lopez, was born to Mexican American parents in Torrence, California


Jose Ferrer, the first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award, was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico


Texas General Antonio Canales and followers proclaimed the independence of the Republic of the Rio Grande, to comprise a part of Texas and the Mexican State of Tamaulipas


Hector Garcia Perez, the Mexican American civil rights leader and founder of the American G. I. Forum was born in Llera, Tamaulipas, Mexico


The first Chicano political party, the Raza Unida Party (United Hispanic People’s Party) was founded by some three hundred Chicanos in Crystal  City, Texas


Rolando Hinojosa, the most prolific and bilingual of the Hispanic novelist of the United States was born in Mercedes, Texas


Poet, writer and lawyer Jose` Marti` was born in Havana Cuba. Marti` became the leading figure in the Cuban revolutionary movement for independence from Spain and the most important precursor of the modernist literary movement

Most sincerely,


Zack Kleypas
Pflugerville High School

“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”