Principals Selected to Lead Hyer, Armstrong

Two experienced principals have been named to lead Hyer and Armstrong Elementary Schools.

Debbie Burt, the principal at Vaughan Elementary and GATE (Gifted and Talented) Academy in Allen ISD, has been named principal at Hyer. Betsy Cummins, principal at Abbett Elementary School in Garland ISD and a former Armstrong Teacher of the Year, has been selected as the principal at Armstrong.

“We are very pleased to name these two outstanding leaders as our newest principals in Highland Park ISD,” HPISD superintendent Tom Trigg said. “Ms. Burt is a well-respected principal in Allen ISD, while Ms. Cummins, who taught at Armstrong for 12 years, has become an excellent administrator at schools in both Garland ISD and Coppell ISD. We are fortunate to have them both join our leadership team.”

Burt will take over the principal duties from Jeremy Gilbert, who will be the new principal at Highland Park Middle School. Cummins will take the principal reins at Armstrong from Dr. Skip Moran, the new principal at McCulloch Intermediate School.

Burt has been the principal at Vaughan Elementary and GATE Academy for the past year after serving as the principal at Anderson Elementary for the preceding seven years. She started her career in education as a first-grade teacher in Plano ISD in 1990, then later became a third and a fifth grade teacher. From 2002-06, she was the talented and gifted specialist at Bolin Elementary in Allen, then was named assistant principal at Anderson. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and holds master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and Dallas Baptist University.

Cummins has been the principal at Abbett Elementary since 2015. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at two campuses, Wilson and Mockingbird Elementary Schools, in Coppell ISD. She started her teaching career in 2000 as a second-grade teacher at Armstrong, then taught third grade from 2001-06 and fourth grade from 2006-12. She was named Armstrong’s Teacher of the Year in 2010 and was the coordinator of HPISD’s Edge summer program from 2004-16. Cummins is a graduate of Baylor University and has a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

“Hyer Elementary is known well beyond Highland Park ISD as an outstanding elementary school,” Burt said. “I am really looking forward to getting to know the students, staff and parents who make this school so special.”

“To be named the principal of the school where I started my teaching career is quite an honor,” Cummins said. “Having worked in HPISD, I am very familiar with the district’s proud tradition of excellence. I plan to spend the next few weeks and months meeting Armstrong’s students and parents, and getting reacquainted with the staff.”

Burt and Cummins will begin their new roles in mid-July.

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