ABILENE – Carmen Crane, who has spent the last four years as the principal at the Texas Leadership Charter Academy, has been hired to be the new principal at Ortiz Elementary School, taking over for Deb Stewart, who last month was named the new principal at Craig Middle School.

Crane’s hiring was made official Monday night by the Abilene Independent School District Board of Trustees during their monthly meeting.

“We underwent a thorough process to find the next principal at Ortiz, and Carmen did a terrific job each step of the way,” AISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said. “I’m confident that the students, staff and parents of Ortiz Elementary School will welcome Carmen as the new leader of their campus, and I look forward to seeing the great work of that staff continuing under her leadership.”

Crane is a graduate of Abilene High School where both of her parents served as teachers. She graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in education, and then earned her master’s in guidance and counseling from Angelo State University in 2015.

She taught at Sam Rosen Elementary School in the Fort Worth ISD from 2004-08, serving as grade-level chair, lead math teacher and lead technology teacher. She then moved on to Chisholm Trail Middle School in the Northwest ISD where she taught from 2008-12. Prior to the 2015-16 school year she was hired as dean of students at TLCA, was elevated to assistant principal in the spring of the 2015-16 school year and was then named principal prior to the 2016-17 school year.

“It’s an absolute honor to have the opportunity to lead the students and staff of Ortiz Elementary School,” Crane said. “Nothing feels better than returning ‘home.’ The Abilene ISD gave me the confidence and skills to achieve my goal of becoming an educator. I can’t wait to pay that investment forward to the students of Ortiz Elementary.”