Ruth Cherry Intermediate School Principal Richard Pense will be leaving his role to be the head administrator of the new Bobby Summers Middle School in Fate.
The Royse City Independent School District Board of Trustees recognized Pense’s hiring at its board meeting Monday.
Pense earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University before finishing his master’s degree from Texas A&M University Commerce. He has worked in the district for 20 years and has been the principal for the intermediate school for the last four years. His family has lived in the area since 2004.
Superintendent Kevin Worthy described Pense as a true leader in education.
“He’s the perfect person to plan for and open Bobby Summers Middle School in 2020 and I look forward to seeing great things from his campus,” Worthy said in a Monday statement.
According to a district press release, Pense will start the transition to the new campus in the summer and the district will immediately begin its search for a new principal for the intermediate school.
Pense said he is honored to fill his new role at the district.
“It is my mission that the school reflects the many attributes of its namesake and follows the innovative tradition already established in RCISD,” Pense stated. “We will advocate for every kid and compete at every level for success.”
Trustees also approved Jillian Lowry’s hiring as the assistant principal for Anita Scott Elementary beginning next school year. Lowry is currently a fourth grade bilingual teacher in the district.
The Bobby Summers Middle School will be the second-ever middle school in the district, and is currently being constructed at the intersection of CD Boren Parkway and State Highway 66, across the road from Fate City Hall.
Royse City Middle School will be renovated and renamed the Ouida Baley Middle School. Mascots of both schools will be the Bulldogs.
Both projects were part of the $60 million bond package that voters in the school district approved in May 2018. Funds from the bond will also be used to make improvements to existing campuses – one of those improvements being a new high school band hall.
Construction of the new middle school in Fate is projected to cost $39.6 million.
Administrators are also planning to change the district’s grade configuration so that its elementary schools serves students who are in the fifth grade and younger. Middle schools in the district will house grades sixth through eighth.
The change will be effective with the opening of the new middle school in Fate, and the two intermediate schools in the campus will be repurposed into elementary schools.
Worthy, shortly after the district’s announcement of the new configuration, had said the decision was made due to accommodate student population growth.
“By eliminating that extra transition, now you’re only building to accommodate the current growth you have,” Worthy said in February 2018.
At a joint council meeting with Fate city officials last month, Worthy said administrators are expecting the district to grow to 10,000 students by 2028.