Fort Bend ISD welcomes individuals who were recently approved by the Board of Trustees to serve in leadership positions in the District. Among the new administrators are: Thomas Cooper, Director of Design and Construction; Mr. Dana DeRouen, Director of Staffing; Michele Forward, Director of Internal Audit; Susan Voradakis, Director of Curriculum; Lulu DeAnda, Principal at Quail Valley Elementary School; and Jennifer Nichols, Principal at Sartartia Middle School.
Thomas Cooper has 36 years of experience in land development, property research / land purchases, and in the design, programming, planning, and construction of major commercial markets. He recently worked for General Contractors, where he held positions as vice president and director over design and construction in the Houston area. He has completed many projects for Houston and other surrounding school districts both as an architect and a general contractor.
Cooper received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Rodger Williams University and has been a licensed Architect in nine states. He also holds a certification with the National Council of Architectural Boards. In addition, Cooper received a first place award in a National Design Competition sponsored by the National Chapter of the NIAE, ASC, AJA for an urban mid-rise housing project he designed in Washington, D.C.
Dana DeRouen is a 24-year veteran in education, most recently serving as Executive Director of Administrative Services in Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso. Prior to that, he worked as a Human Resources Director of Employee Relations and has worked as an elementary and middle school principal, an assistant principal, an instructional specialist and an English/Reading teacher.
DeRouen received his Bachelor’s degree and his Master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is currently working on his Doctoral dissertation at the same university.
Michele Forward has 12 years of auditing experience and began working in the District in 2012 as Senior Auditor. Prior to becoming Director of Internal Audit, she served as Interim Director for six months. She began her auditing career with the Texas Department of Banking and then worked as an Internal Auditor for Zions Bancorporation and Comerica (formerly Sterling Bank). Prior to that, she worked in the banking industry in the areas of Loan Operations, Treasury Management and Bookkeeping.
Forward earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in General Business from Stephen F. Austin State University, and her Associate of Arts degree in Banking and Finance from West Virginia State College. She is also a Certified Internal Controls Auditor.
Susan Voradakis is a native of Sugar Land and product of Fort Bend ISD, having attended Lakeview Elementary, Sugar Land Jr. High, and Dulles High School. She began her teaching career 25 years ago at Dulles High School and later worked at Sugar Land Middle School before being part of the staff to open Lake Olympia Middle School. She has been a member of the Curriculum Department for 13 years, first as a helping teacher and then as secondary social studies coordinator, a position she held for 11 years before being named Director of Curriculum.
Voradakis earned her Master of Education degree at Houston Baptist University, and her Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Texas in Austin.
Lulu DeAnda has been a school administrator since 2007, and has worked at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Prior to becoming a school administrator, she worked as an elementary school teacher for six years, and most recently as an assistant principal at Lee High School in Houston ISD. She also worked as an assistant principal at HISD’s Pershing Middle School and Sanchez Elementary School.
DeAnda received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Incarnate Word University, her Post-Baccalaureate degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her Master’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. She has two daughters, Paula and Isabella, and has been married to her husband for 18 years.
Jennifer Nichols is a product of Fort Bend ISD schools and a Dulles High School graduate. She began her educational career as a middle school teacher. She also worked as a high school teacher, Dean of Instruction, assistant principal and most recently as associate principal at Kempner High School. Nichols was recently nominated for the 2013 Outstanding Young Educator Award and was a recipient of the 2009 Award of Excellence Honoring Asian Pacific American Educators.
Nichols received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas, and her Master of Education degree from the University of Houston at Victoria. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston and will graduate in May 2013.