WOODSBORO – The Woodsboro Independent School District took a big step forward in getting ready for the 2020-2021 school year as the Board of Trustees approved hiring a principal, secondary school counselor and a Spanish teacher/coach.
The hires were made official at the May 18 school board meeting.
Dr. Ronald David Segers Jr., who previously served as principal at Ganado High School, will fill that same position for the Woodsboro Junior/Senior High School.
Manda Lesak, wife of Jonathan Lesak, the new Woodsboro ISD athletic director and head football coach, will serve as the secondary school’s counselor. Manda most recently was assistant principal of accountability for Edna High School.
Antonio Gonzales, who has coached in the Woodsboro School District in the past, will be returning to WHS to serve as an assistant coach and will also teach Spanish.
WISD Superintendent Janice Sykora said the three have the experience and ability to do a great job as leaders for Woodsboro ISD.
“They are outstanding educators and I think they will do very well here for the school district,” she said.
“Dr. Segers has quite a bit of experience with improving student instruction and student outcomes. We are looking to focus on college, career and military readiness and he is well versed in helping get students focused on careers.”
With 15 years administrative experience, “his strengths are curriculum, instruction and leadership,” Sykora said.
Lesak’s experience will also be a valuable asset to the district, Sykora said.
“Mrs. Lesak has a great deal of experience and knowledge working with students,” Sykora said. “She is hard-working and has great leadership skills. She knows a great deal about course offerings, staffing and building master schedules.
“Together with her husband, Mrs. Lesak will be working on building this district and enhancing it academically and athletically. She has quite a bit of experience getting students involved and getting them to fulfill their scholastic potential.
“She has a tremendous knowledge of special programming, master schedule development, assisting students academically and in staff development. She will also be focusing on character education and will be the district testing coordinator for STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) and End of Course tests. With her partnering with other staff, I think we will have a lot of success.”
New coach/AD excited
Coach Lesak gave an overview of his first impressions of joining WISD during the board meeting.
“I could not be more excited to be here,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some very successful athletic programs over the years and I’m excited about the great potential we have here in Woodsboro.”
Lesak said Woodsboro is similar in size to the community where he grew up and previously served as an assistant coach — Ganado.
“If you don’t turn off Highway 59 by the Dairy Queen, you can drive right past Ganado, and if you don’t turn off Highway 77 by the Daily Queen you can drive right past Woodsboro,” he joked.
Other than that, he sees community dedication, a group of talented athletes hungry for success, and a core of strong enthusiasm.
Lesak said his wife Manda is “the glue and the brains and the most wonderful part of this journey” and said he was confident WISD would appreciate her abilities and knowledge as well.
He is in his 14th year in coaching, including 11 after graduating from Texas A&M and three as a student coach for A&M Consolidated High School while he attended college.
“I came on board May 1, but I’ve known about Woodsboro for a long time,” Lesak said. “I was already excited, but once I got here, that just kept growing.
“I’ve met with a few of the kids. This coronavirus (and the distancing and school building closures) has been a challenge for everybody but it wasn’t hard for me to jump right in. I got a good idea of what we need to do to move the program forward. You have good tradition here and that’s one of the things coaches really like.”
Lesak said he will encourage student participation in athletics and other extracurricular activities, and noted that with enthusiasm and by coaches showing the students they are working to help them achieve the best experiences and reach their potential, he believes WISD programs will increase in participation and success.
“More than anything, athletics taught me leadership skills so that when students leave here they can apply that to life,” he said.
Lesak said he was interested in applying for the Woodsboro athletic director and football coaching vacancy when the position became open in 2019, but the timing wasn’t right.
“I know this is now the right time and I’m thrilled and proud to be here. We have the opportunity to bring in some quality people. It’s been a long winding road to get here, but God has a plan. I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’m very excited about that.”
Jeff Osborne is the editor of the Refugio County Press.