Briones to lead Simon Middle School

By Megan Wehring

HAYS CISD — Simon Middle School welcomes a familiar face as principal.

The Hays CISD Board of Trustees approved Laura Briones, the current assistant principal, to lead Simon Middle School. Briones is heading into her 16th year in education.

“As a school leader, I am passionate about ensuring educational success for all students through high levels of engagement, building positive relationships, setting high expectations and celebrating success,” Briones said. “Promoting a school culture founded on a shared mission and vision that results in high teacher retention is crucial to moving the campus forward for our students. Through strategic and intentional planning, a focus on data-driven quality instruction and increasing community partnerships.”

At a young age, Briones knew she wanted to be an educator. She started her career in 2004 as a social studies teachers in Round Rock ISD, before joining Hays CISD in 2016 as an instructional coach and assistant principal at Simon Middle School.

“Laura is a valued member of the Hays CISD family and a respected champion for her students,” said Hays CISD Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright. “We are excited to promote her from within the campus and district teams to this leadership position.”

Briones replaces Dr. Michael Watson who was promoted to a district deputy chief academic officer position.

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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