Gould: Veteran MISD educators reflect on careers

By Phil Major
Posted 5/18/23

Kendall Gould said she will miss her staff and students at Mineola Middle School after she retires this month.

But she will like being free of a schedule and having a choice of what she wants to …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Gould: Veteran MISD educators reflect on careers


Kendall Gould said she will miss her staff and students at Mineola Middle School after she retires this month.

But she will like being free of a schedule and having a choice of what she wants to do.

Gould has served as principal at MMS for six years and was the assistant principal before that for four.

She came to the district almost 25 years ago when husband Michael was transferred to Tyler with the Sherwin Williams paint company.

She served as a long-term substitute in the spring of 1999 and joined the staff full-time that fall.

During her 10 years teaching in MISD, she first looked into an administrative position at the primary campus in 2005, but her third child was on the way and she decided to wait.

One of the things she is looking forward to is participating in his senior-year activities next year.

After that, she could return to education if she chooses.

“The job pool is so big right now,” she noted, offering numerous choices.

Her daughters live here and in Lindale, so there are grandchildren in the mix as well.

She and Michael also want to do some traveling.

He retired a year and a half ago and is enjoying that, she said.

Gould grew up in Amarillo and attended Texas A&M University as an English major, where she and Michael met.

He took a job with Sherwin Williams in Houston, and that’s where Gould entered public education.

She substitute taught and then received an alternative teaching certification.

They lived in Pasadena, and she taught at a small neighborhood elementary school in nearby Galena Park as an English as a Second Language teacher in a self-contained fifth grade classroom, where she has fond memories.

When her youngest entered kindergarten, Galena Park had no full-day kindergarten, so she went to work teaching in the Pasadena district.

Then came the move to Mineola, where her daughters are graduates and son soon will be.

Along the way she earned a masters at Texas A&M Commerce and administrative certification.

The challenges in public education have ballooned during her career.

The expectations are so much higher, she said.

“There is so much more to teach – it’s a lot more,” she said.

The state recently shifted its annual performance testing to an online version with unlimited time.

Students took the test recently, and the last ones finished at 3:45 p.m. after starting at 8 a.m. The test that once lasted four hours now has no time limit.

An accountability system has not even been developed for the new testing, she explained.

Gould said she is not worried about the results, because she knows how hard the teachers are working.

“They have taught with integrity,” she said. “They have used every ounce of time. There has been no down time.”

She added, “We’re not the only ones in this boat.”

While technology has added many challenges to the classroom – including the coming of artificial intelligence – one benefit Gould sees is that it allows educators to differentiate for every child more than ever before.

Among the areas where Gould has worked to help improve Mineola ISD is implementing student-led conferences.

The idea is to bring in the parents to see what their students are actually doing, to help them understand their students’ needs better.

It is a lot to educate the parents, she said.

She loves her students, except when it involves discipline, she said.

One of the ways that is being addressed is through a character-building program, known as AVID, that helps students develop good study and organizational skills and tutoring where needed.

It has resulted in better grades.

She also does a lot of teaching and mentoring with teachers.

“I love working with teachers,” she said, especially coaching new teachers.

 As has been well-documented, finding those new teachers and bringing them to Mineola has become a challenge.

Gould says Mineola has developed a reputation as a good district, which helps with recruiting.

Getting the best teachers to come here is basically a sales job, she said. 

Prospects are shown the facilities, programs, technology.

They also learn that Mineola has amazing kids and high expectations.

Mineola is fortunate to have a hometown feel, she said, with high morals and values, which appeals to educators coming from larger districts.

And the addition this year of the Teacher Incentive Allotment is another perk that allows teachers to access grants that supplement their salaries.

It’s the kind of place a teacher could come, spend the rest of a career and retire.