ABILENE – Two members of the Abilene ISD leadership team – Dr. Joe Waldron and Alison Sims – will assume new roles in the organization and will begin the transition to those new jobs immediately.
Waldron, who joined the AISD in January 2019 as the Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, will assume the role as the district’s Chief Financial Officer. Associate Superintendent for Operations Scott McLean has also been performing the duties of the CFO on an interim basis after Melissa Irby left the district in July to take a job in the Metroplex.
Sims — a veteran in the Abilene ISD with stints as a teacher, counselor, instructional coordinator, principal and district-level administrator — will now serve the district as the Executive Director for Human Resources. She has been serving as the Executive Director of Leadership and supervised elementary principals.
In addition, Dr. Gustavo Villanueva — who serves the district as the Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Student Services — will now supervise all principals in the district in addition to his other duties in the Leadership and Student Services Department.
“These adjustments to our district leadership structure will enable AISD to continue to provide the best possible service to our students, staff and community,” Dr. Young said. “I am confident that both Mrs. Sims and Dr. Waldron will provide excellent leadership in their new departments and that the expansion of Dr. Villanueva’s responsibility in the leadership and student services department will provide consistent support for all AISD stakeholders.”
Waldron has served in education for more than 15 years beginning as a Biology teacher in Wichita Falls ISD and most recently serving as Superintendent of Schools for Morris Community High School District #101 in Morris, Ill. Although Waldron was in Illinois before joining the AISD, he has served a majority of his educational career in the Texas public school system in various roles, including assistant principal, principal, federal programs director, curriculum director and assistant superintendent.
Waldron received his bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University, his master’s in kinesiology from Midwestern State University, his master’s in educational administration from Governors State University and his doctorate from Lamar University in 2018.
“I am extremely excited to serve the AISD in this new role,” Waldron said. “The Finance department has an incredible staff and we have built an incredible relationship during my time as Associate Superintendent for Human Resources. I have been truly honored to lead the HR department for the district for the last two years and will cherish my time working along the HR team.”
Sims has been with the Abilene ISD since 1998, serving for five years as a teacher at Alta Vista Elementary School. She then served eight years as the counselor at Bowie Elementary before becoming the school’s Instructional Coordinator for four years. In 2015 she became the principal at Ward Elementary and led that campus through the 2018-19 school year.
Sims graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in behavioral science. She earned her MEd in counseling and human development from HSU in 1999.
“The Abilene ISD is where I’ve had so many opportunities to learn and grow as a student, teacher and administrator,” Sims said. “It’s an honor to work alongside our talented principals, teachers and support staff. I am excited about joining the human resources team and serving the AISD family in a new capacity.”
The Superintendent’s Cabinet includes Young, Villanueva, Waldron, McLean, Sims, Dr. Ketta Garduno (Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction), and Lance Fleming (Chief Communications Officer).