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Trustees Name Smith, Finch to Principal Posts in Bryan ISD

The Bryan ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to approve the hire of current Bryan High Assistant Principal Justin Smith for the principal’s position at Sam Rayburn. The board also unanimously approved the hire of Susan Finch as Houston Elementary’s principal next year.

“We have been blessed with strong applicant pools for the principal positions in Bryan ISD,” said Superintendent Tommy Wallis. “Justin Smith is a proven leader who is known for engaging hearts and minds on his campuses. He has an in-depth focus on academics and data, which leads to an efficient, engaging and disciplined environment. We are extremely proud to give him the opportunity to lead Sam Rayburn­.”

“We are also fortunate to have a high quality principal like Susan Finch accept the principal’s post at Houston Elementary. She has held assistant principal and principal roles in Lindale ISD, and I’m pleased that her thoughtful, experienced and strong leadership skills will serve the children of Houston Elementary in the years ahead.”

Justin Smith, Sam Rayburn Middle School
Justin Smith brings more than a dozen years of experience as an administrator, teacher and coach to his new role at Sam Rayburn. Smith will assume his new duties over the summer, in preparation for the 2016-2017 school year. He will oversee the school in its current grade 6-8 configuration and will partner with other administrators to lead the transition of Sam Rayburn to an intermediate campus (grades 5-6) in the Fall of 2017.

Smith has served as assistant principal at Bryan High school since 2007. Prior to that he was a teacher/coach at Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall ISD from 2005 to 2007. He began his teaching career at Travis Middle School in Temple ISD.

Smith holds a bachelor of science degree, minoring in special education, from Tarleton State University and a master’s degree in education from Lamar University.

Susan Finch, Houston Elementary
Susan Finch comes to Bryan from Lindale ISD, where she served as principal (2014-2016) and assistant principal (2007-2014). She was awarded the Region 7 Assistant Principal of the Year award in 2014. Prior to serving in administrative roles, Finch was a high school English teacher.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from East Texas Baptist University and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Texas at Tyler. 

She will assume the principal’s position at Sam Houston upon the retirement of Holly Havemann at the end of the school year.
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Photo: Susan Finch, Houston Elementary School Principal (2016-2017)

Photo: Justin Smith, Sam Rayburn Middle School Principal (2016-2017)