When it was announced earlier this month that McGowen Elementary Principal Jennifer Little would transition to Central Office at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the change left some large shoes to fill at McGowen for 2018-2019 and beyond.

But, McKinney ISD has found the right fit in Little’s successor, Kimberly Luyster.

Luyster—who has served as assistant principal at Glen Oaks Elementary for the past two years and as assistant principal at Malvern Elementary for three years before that—is a proven leader with experience in a variety of settings over the course of her 28 years in education.

Of particular note, Luyster served as interim principal at Malvern from October 2014–December 2014 and as interim principal at Glen Oaks from January 2017–April 2017.

Now, she steps into the principal job full-time at McGowen.

“Kimberly is ready for this,” said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Student Support Suzy Woodard. “She is passionate about education, a terrific problem-solver and she is a natural leader. She has a vision for positive school culture, and she will be a partner alongside her teachers. She’s the kind of person who is not afraid of hard work; she’s going to be joined at the hip with them,” she said.

“Jennifer Little has done a great job, and McGowen is in great shape; Kimberly’s going to help McGowen move to the next level,” said Woodard.

Luyster began her career as a first-grade teacher in 1990 in Richardson ISD, and throughout the remainder of the decade would serve as a reading recovery teacher, an elementary reading specialist, a reading tutor and a private school kindergarten teacher.

In 2002 Luyster joined the staff at Wolford Elementary where she taught in a second-grade self-contained classroom setting; six years later she transferred to Bennett Elementary to teach in a third-grade self-contained classroom. The following three years brought new experiences: she worked for the Region 10 Teacher Service Center as a consultant and tutor and then joined the staff at Caldwell Elementary to serve as an instructional specialist.

In 2013, she moved into administration when she was hired as the assistant principal at Malvern Elementary. Three years later she landed her current position as assistant principal of Glen Oaks.

Luyster’s passion for education comes through clearly when she talks about the new opportunity at McGowen.

“Rita Pierson said, ‘Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be,’” said Luyster.

“I believe it’s the principal’s responsibility to create a culture where all children can thrive and be their best. Pierson points to the ‘power of connection.’ As the principal of McGowen Elementary, I will work hard to build strong relationships with the students, staff and parents in order to ensure that McGowen Elementary continues to be a school of excellence in our community,” said Luyster.

“I’m ready to be the champion for each child at McGowen, and I can’t wait to serve as their principal,” she said.

Luyster earned her Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Reading Specialization from Baylor University and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas.

For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or smauldin@mckinneyisd.net.