Spring ISD is bidding farewell to two members of its Board of Trustees – Jana Gonzales and Donald Davis – both of whom announced their retirement from the board during this week’s special session where trustees approved the district’s 2021-22 budget and received an update on the district’s post-COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
Gonzales has served on the board for the past 15 years, and Davis has six years on the board as well as 15 years as a classroom instructor and JROTC leader. They both will depart effective July 1.
“We are incredibly grateful for the service of both of these board members, who throughout their years on the board have continued to stay focused on always doing what’s best for students,” said Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson. “They have been champions of our students and of this district, and the impacts of their time in service to this community will not soon be forgotten.”
Board President Rhonda Newhouse said that, while saddened by the news of both Gonzales’ and Davis’ upcoming departures, she is thankful for their commitment to the district and community.
“Serving together on a school board can be a lot of work sometimes, but it makes that work so much better when you have dedicated, caring, compassionate people to serve alongside,” Newhouse said. “Trustee Gonzales and Trustee Davis have both brought their own passion and drive to the work of being a trustee, but they have also brought a heart to serve and collaborate for the good of the district and all our students here in Spring ISD.”
Jana Gonzales, Position 7
A 24-year resident of Spring ISD and parent of two Spring High School graduates, Gonzales has served on the district’s Board of Trustees since May 2006. Gonzales is a longtime Spring ISD volunteer and passionate booster of the Spring Tri-Club, where she also holds a leadership role.
Having served as the Spring 4-H leader for many years, as well as an active PTO member and member of several Spring ISD committees prior to being elected to the board, Gonzales has for many years been a familiar presence at the annual Spring Livestock Show and Sale. She has encouraged student participants and championed the event’s 70-year history of community-building and supporting student achievement.
“I’ve been blessed to serve the students, staff and community of Spring ISD,” Gonzales said during the special session as she became emotional. “Over the years, we’ve built new schools, facilities, introduced new programs, and hired an outstanding superintendent, Dr. Watson. We’ve had some challenges along the way – hurricanes, floods, pandemics and a freeze – but Spring ISD has never stopped serving the students.”
Gonzales, who has spent more than three decades with InvesTex Credit Union and most recently has been serving as a Vice President there, also shared her belief in making a long-term commitment to the community. With both of her children as products of the district and going forward with success in college and careers, Gonzales said it has been an honor to work alongside her fellow board members and administration to help further the district’s mission. She previously represented the trustees on the Spring ISD Education Foundation board.
“I will miss everyone in Spring ISD, and this will always be my home,” Gonzales said, sharing that she will be moving outside of the district. “I will never stop supporting Spring ISD. Thank you for allowing me to serve this wonderful district.”
Dr. Donald R. Davis, Position 6
Davis was elected in November 2015 and re-elected in 2018, serving as board secretary during the 2020-21 school year. Designated a Master Trustee by the Texas Association of School Boards in 2019, Davis is also a retired Spring ISD teacher with more than 15 years working with students.
He serves on the Spring ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors, has volunteered on several district committees, and oversees a scholarship fund for high school seniors created in memory of his great-grandmother, one of the first black female business owners in the small Northeast Louisiana town of Gilbert.
Also active in youth outreach and other church ministry work, Davis is the proud father of two daughters, Sharon and Dieatra, as well as the primary caretaker of his special needs brother, Tony.
In speaking about his six years serving on the board, Davis reflected on successful initiatives to expand school library services to better support literacy development. He also spoke about the Spring ISD Veterans Memorial, a project that he said had personally been very significant for him, and that he was proud to have seen completed through the support of the district’s 2016 bond measure.
As a former director of Westfield High School’s Army JROTC program and longtime champion of JROTC programs through the district, Davis – who is a retired U.S. Army Captain – said he was proud to have served during a period that saw the completion of new JROTC facilities at both Westfield High School and Spring High School.
“Of course we all are different – we have different political beliefs, we come from different walks of life, we have different values. But there is a common bond on this board – we always put our students first,” Davis said. “We may debate over different things, but when we get in our closed session, we always ask, ‘What’s best for the students of Spring? What’s best for our children?’”