Photo by Can Turkylimaz

Photo by Can Turkylimaz

Longtime readers of our print edition may recall our cover story on Pete Chapasko, the man responsible for many academic strides at Preston Hollow Elementary over the years. He has now left the helm to lead the International Leadership of Texas campus in Keller.

Chapasko came on as principal in 2007, just a year after the segregation lawsuit that made national headlines, and was tasked with repairing the school’s reputation.

“When I got here, there was some tension,” he told the Advocate back in 2009. “A lot of healing needed to happen. There was distrust within the Hispanic community here that needed to be earned back.”

Chapasko also brought the school to exemplary status — when he arrived, it was two failing student grades away from being “unacceptable” in the eyes of the Texas Education Agency (although the TEA has since changed its accountability standards).

Dallas ISD took notice and named him DISD’s Principal of the Year in 2011.

“We’re moving forward, big time,” he told us. That rings true today as Preston Hollow Elementary prepares to submit the application that would put the school on the road to becoming an International Baccalaureate school (followed by Franklin Middle School and Hillcrest High School). Read more on that in our upcoming February issue.

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