At its April 22 meeting, the Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Superintendent Bruce Gearing’s recommendation of Melinda Gardner as the next principal of Walnut Springs Elementary.
Gardner has spent her entire career in Bastrop ISD and currently is the principal of Lost Pines Elementary in Bastrop ISD, a position she has held since the summer 2015. She previously spent three years as the assistant principal at that school. Gardner started her career as a kindergarten teacher at Cedar Creek Elementary for one year, then taught third grade for four years. During that time, she assumed many leadership roles at her campus and was selected as the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2008-09. Gardner then became the K-6 Math/Science Curriculum Specialist at the district level, a position she held for two years before moving to Lost Pines Elementary.
“Ms. Gardner is a dynamic leader whose educational philosophy will fit perfectly with ours in Dripping Springs ISD,” Gearing said. “She has a student-centered approach and is focused on building relationships, both qualities that our stakeholder groups identified as critical for a new principal to possess.”
Gardner received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Texas State University in 2002. She earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University in 2010.
Gardner will start her duties when current principal Julie Pryor retires at the end of this school year.
The recommendation follows an extensive process for reviewing and interviewing candidates, which included participation from faculty and parent representatives.