FORT WORTH, Texas (June 10, 2020) – An innovative partnership between Texas Wesleyan University and Fort Worth ISD is expanding its efforts, as a sixth-grade campus comes into the fold of the Leadership Academy Network. At the start of the upcoming school year, Glencrest 6th will become the Leadership Academy Network at Forest Oak 6th Grade Center, making it part of the network’s Forest Oak Middle School. The expansion is part of an effort to combine all sixth-grade centers into their respective middle schools throughout the district.
The Leadership Academy Network, established in 2019 with five schools, was designed to sustain Fort Worth ISD’s Leadership Academy model while leveraging the institutional resources of the Texas Wesleyan School of Education. The network is focused on customized, campus-level initiatives to help students excel and thrive.
“This expansion demonstrates the strong partnership between Texas Wesleyan and the district as well as our commitment to find innovative solutions for learning,” said Priscila Dilley, senior officer of the Leadership Academy Network. “Adding a sixth grade to this campus is a great opportunity for our school community and our scholars.”
As students of a Leadership Academy Network school, sixth-graders attending the Forest Oak Middle School campus will receive extended hours for instruction, tutoring and enrichment activities, in addition to a comprehensive leadership development program. Equally important, educators will also work to support the social and emotional needs of every student.
Leadership Academy Network schools are open-enrollment campuses that do not charge tuition or give entrance exams. Enrollment priority for incoming Forest Oaks sixth-graders will go to students who live in the campus’s current attendance zone; other students can apply to transfer. Schools impacted by the change are: Harlean Beal, Clifford Davis, W. M. Green, Glen Park, Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard, Oaklawn and David K. Sellars elementary schools. Students will attend the campus at 4801 Eastline Drive at the start of the 2020-21 school year.
In conjunction with Leadership Academy at Forest Oaks Middle School expansion, the following Leadership Academy Network appointments were announced:
Danny Fracassi was named Principal of the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard Elementary School. Fracassi previously served as an assistant principal for the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Middle School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, N.Y. He later earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Niagara University, N.Y. Fracassi began his career teaching in Western New York. He then accepted a middle school teaching position at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, Nev. In 2005, he joined Fort Worth ISD and worked as a teacher and an instructional coach at J.P. Elder Middle School before being promoted to assistant principal at Morningside Middle School.
Michael Conner was named Lead Assistant Principal of the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Sixth Grade Campus. Conner has worked in administrative roles at the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak since 2017. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas. He has worked in Dallas-Fort Worth educational settings for 12 years in various teaching and administrative positions and is enrolled in the Texas Education Center’s GoLead11 program for superintendent certification
Fanny Sancen was named Assistant Principal of the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Sixth Grade Campus. Sancen previously served as the instructional literacy coach at the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard Elementary School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and diplomacy from the University of North Texas, and a master’s degree in teaching from Louisiana College in Pineville, La. She began her teaching career at Meacham Middle School. She later taught at Middle Level Learning Center and Rosemont Middle School.
Lea Roach was named Assistant Principal of the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Middle School. Roach has taught a variety of subjects in Fort Worth area schools and most recently served as a social studies instructional specialist. She began her educational career as a coach and teacher in San Angelo, Texas. She then earned a master’s degree from Texas Women's University and relocated to Fort Worth to teach.
Joseph Cato was named Assistant Principal of the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Middle School. Cato previously served as a school counselor at the Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Middle School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas Wesleyan University, and a master’s degree in school counseling from Amberton University in Garland. He began his career as a teacher and instructional coach at A.M. Pate Elementary School.
Fort Worth ISD designed its Leadership Academies to feature highly effective educators, a heightened focus on daily academic mastery and an extended school day, among other benefits. The Leadership Academy Network, established in 2019, maintains Fort Worth ISD’s Leadership Academy model while leveraging the institutional resources of the Texas Wesleyan School of Education. Academy administrators work closely with Leadership Academy Network officers to develop customized, campus-level initiatives to help students excel and thrive. Network schools are the Leadership Academies at Como Elementary, John T. White Elementary, Maude I. Logan Elementary, Mitchell Boulevard Elementary and Forest Oak Middle School.
Dedicated to education and the community, Texas Wesleyan is a long-time partner to Fort Worth ISD. The University’s School of Education offers innovative and exceptional experience in classroom instruction, curriculum and administration. The partnership is made possible by 2017 Texas Senate Bill 1882, which enables districts to expand the diversity of school options, bring in targeted expertise and empower school leaders and partners with greater autonomy. Texas Wesleyan was selected by Fort Worth ISD to sustain and support the district’s Leadership Academy model by managing the schools in accordance with a performance contract mutually negotiated by the partners.