By Nancy Whitney
Melissa True has been selected to fill the principal position at Achieve Academy following the announcement of Lynne Tinsley’s retirement.
True is currently the assistant principal at Harrison Intermediate. She joined the Wylie ISD team in 2011. She has 20 years of experience, including seven as a campus administrator. She began her teaching career in 1995 in West Texas and later served as assistant principal and principal in Pampa ISD.
“I consider myself a teacher at heart, whether I am teaching students, teachers or parents,” she said. “I have experience with all different types of learners and feel my instructional knowledge can help us as a team in reaching any learner.”
True said her core values, people first, servant leader growth-minded, student-centered, team-oriented and creative problem-solver, will help her be the kind of leader that she needs to be for her staff, students and parents at Achieve.
“My strengths for individualization, ideation and input will help me lead this campus,” she said. “I love to look at the individual, see their learning needs, and create plans to address those needs as closely as possible.”
She believes each learner is an individual and has special talents and strengths, and those will be leveraged to help them be successful.
“One of my favorite things to do, and maybe the skill that I excel at the most, is generating ideas,” she said. “I love to see how things operate and brainstorm several different ways things can be done to meet a variety of needs. My strengths with input compel me to gain input from various people and resources and then take that input and research best paths to proceed.”
Achieve Academy is home to four very distinct programs, each designed to meet the educational needs of a specific group of students. Programs include Choice Academic High School, which serves students who work best in an alternative learning style utilizing computer aided instruction; the Transitions to Life program, serving special needs students who have completed their high school courses of study but need additional support to become employable and continue to develop independent living skills; students in the Behavioral Adjustment Unit, students who have had challenges on larger home campuses; and students in the Discipline Alternative Education Program, those students who continue education on Achieve’s campus when they are sent from their home campuses with disciplinary issues.
“My daughter, Gabby, graduated from Choice Academic High School this year at Achieve Academy,” True said. “Being at Choice was such a great option for her as she thrived in a smaller, very supportive learning environment. This enabled her to graduate early and she is now working full-time and going to college in the fall. Through this experience as a parent, I have realized the amazing work that Lynne Tinsley and the Achieve staff do on a daily basis to support the needs of our students.”
The new principal said her focus at this time is getting to know her staff and getting their input for next school year.
“I am looking at how programs are running and working closely with Lynne Tinsley to see where needs are for next school year,” she said. “I look forward to getting to know students in the very near future as well. She hopes to get to know the students, staff, and parents over the coming weeks and focus on communicating her core values to them so they can begin to gel as a team.
True said she is proud of the work public educators do in Texas. She believes in the system and is passionate about helping kids to feel success. She has a bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University and a Masters of Education from Texas Tech University.
“Achieve Academy is a place where kids from all walks of life and with all types of needs are welcomed with open arms,” True said. “I want to be a part of that! It is such important work.”
True is married to John True, an English teacher and the boys head soccer coach at Wylie East High School. They have three children, all attending Wylie Schools. 17-year-old Gabby is graduating from Achieve Academy this year and plans to attend Midwestern State University, Maizy, 14, will be a freshman at Wylie East High School this year, and 8-year-old son Pearson attends Cox Elementary School.