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Lake Dallas ISD announces new district administrative leaders

At their July 19 school board meeting, Lake Dallas ISD trustees approved several district administrative leaders to steer the district to new success under the new superintendent, Dr. Mike Rockwood.

With their approval, trustees confirmed the following new leaders: Christi Cottongame as assistant superintendent, John Modica as director of secondary curriculum and instruction, Shelly Wendt as the director of elementary curriculum and instruction, and Adam Bennett as director of communications.

In addition to these district leadership approvals, trustees also named Kerri Blevins as principal of Lake Dallas Elementary School.

Christi Cottongame named assistant superintendent

Christi Cottongame will join Lake Dallas ISD to become its new assistant superintendent. She comes to the Falcons from Community ISD in Collin County, bringing a breadth of academic and curriculum experience to the role.

At Community ISD, Mrs. Cottongame served as chief learning officer, overseeing all aspects of curriculum, instruction and staff development for the rapidly growing school district. She has served in that role since 2016, though she brings more than 20 years of education experience in various positions.

Mrs. Cottongame began her professional education career as an elementary classroom teacher in Lancaster ISD, later moving up to become an associate principal of teaching and learning at the secondary level. She next became an elementary school principal and later the district’s coordinator of student services. After her time at Lancaster ISD, she served as dean of instruction at Grand Prairie High School.

Mrs. Cottongame earned her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University-Commerce and her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M University.

John Modica named director of secondary curriculum and instruction

John Modica, formerly the assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at Lake Dallas High School, has become director of secondary curriculum and instruction, overseeing the educational programs at Lake Dallas Middle School and Lake Dallas High School.

In addition to his role as assistant principal, Mr. Modica has overseen curriculum and instruction at Lake Dallas High School since 2018. Mr. Modica joined Lake Dallas ISD in 2015 following his time as a secondary science teacher in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

During his time at Lake Dallas High School, Mr. Modica has worked with campus and department leaders across Lake Dallas ISD to develop and supervise instructional programs across all subject areas. He has also supported teachers through staff development as well as classroom observation and feedback.

Mr. Modica earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Texas and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas A&M University.

Shelly Wendt named director of elementary curriculum and instruction

Shelly Wendt, formerly an assistant principal at Lake Dallas Middle School, has become director of elementary curriculum and instruction, overseeing educational programs at Corinth, Lake Dallas and Shady Shores elementary schools.

Mrs. Wendt brings a career of more than 25 years in the education profession to her new role, all but one year in the Denton County area. She has served at all academic levels – elementary, middle and high school – though the majority of her career has taken place at the elementary level.

She began her career as a bilingual teacher in Denton ISD, before rising through the ranks to become an academic coordinator at the district level. She served as the elementary summer school coordinator and elementary instructional coach in Denton ISD before moving back to the campus level to become an elementary assistant principal.

Mrs. Wendt earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University and her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Hardin-Simmons University.

Adam Bennett named director of communications

Adam Bennet will join Lake Dallas ISD as its new director of communications, bringing a strong background boasting a wide variety of skills to the position.

Mr. Bennett has served in the communications department of Coppell ISD since 2016, where he has focused on establishing a consistent brand across all media and platforms. He has created multimedia content to engage audiences and maintained the district’s social media presence while assisting campuses with best-practices training in customer service.

Prior to joining Coppell ISD, Mr. Bennett served at Northwest ISD as a communications technician and communications associate coordinator. At Northwest ISD, he coordinated communications programs and developed materials for both internal and external audiences through video journalism, social media and publications.

Mr. Bennett earned his master’s degree in promotion and video content and bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, both from Liberty University. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in strategic communication, also from Liberty University.