Getting To Know Us

Dr. Smith“Getting to Know Our Superintendent”
Dr. Smith is completing year four as Superintendent of Elkhart ISD and has more than 2 ½ decades educating and supporting student achievement. During his time in Elkhart, he has challenged the staff and community to “act like a family, but work like a team!” Dr. Smith believes it is important to empower staff and students to be their best. This is done by working collaboratively, providing ongoing feedback and celebrating successes.
Dr. Smith’s broad experiences help him to know what our staff and students experience, which makes him relatable. His upbringing from Cayuga, a neighboring community, equals the values Elkhart upholds. He was an all-around teenager, participating in football, basketball, track and field, baseball, band, FFA and UIL Academics. This diverse background materializes when building budgets and providing necessary resources. While in undergraduate school at Trinity Valley Community College, he worked at a tire and radiator shop. After graduating, he transferred to Texas A&M University Commerce to complete a bachelor’s degree, majoring in English and government, with a minor in French. While there, Dr. Smith worked as a custodian at a department store and served as a mentor with Project Keep Hope Alive. These experiences enable him to have a deep sense of respect and gratitude for our support staff and ensures that he pushes for career and technical education opportunities for students.
After graduating from Texas A&M Commerce, Dr. Smith re-enrolled in his alma mater and obtained a Master of Science degree. Later, he returned to further his education with sights on becoming an administrator. Additional courses were completed in Commerce, allowing him to obtain the principal and superintendent certifications.
Because Dr. Smith is a man of faith as well as an educator, he went on to pursue a Doctorate in Christian Education from School of the Scripture. This degree has served him well as he worked with ministries and community leaders, yet Dr. Smith wanted to have a terminal degree focused on secular education. Therefore, he furthered his education by obtaining a Doctorate of Education from Southwestern College.
We are proud of Dr. Smith and his leadership. He has a heart for people and a willingness to serve. With him, we are poised to continue the journey of “Excellence.” 
Leadership Roles and Activities
Partner with United Churches of Elkhart
Region VII Executive Director Advisory Board
Region VII Superintendent Advisory Board
Anderson County Special Education Co-op Board Member
Superintendent Network Facilitator
Founding member of “Elkhart Our Town”
Founder of Elkhart's Excellence in Education Foundation 
Serves on TASA Professional Development Committee
Participated and facilitated residency at Harvard, “Leadership an Evolving Vision”
Participated and led leadership sessions for Southern Methodist University, “Leadership Impact”
Baylor University Guest Lecturer for College of Education
Trinity Valley Community College Professional Developer
Trinity Valley Community College Commencement Keynote Speaker

Tana Herring“Getting to know the Director of Special Programs” 


Tana Herring is a graduate of Elkhart ISD and has over 30 years of experience in education.  Thirty of those years are with Elkhart and four from a neighboring school district.


While teaching in Elkhart ISD and serving as Elementary Principal, Mrs. Herring built relationships with our families, staff, and students. Her present job in Administration allows for connections to be made with families through special programs, grant opportunities for the district, helping others benefit from services offered by outside entities, and loving students and staff through assistance with various resources.  Mrs. Herring also supports the district by designing and implementing human resource activities to ensure that each campus has the resources and personnel needed to create a bright future for our children.








Launa Bacon“Getting To Know the Director of Finance” 


Launa Bacon is Director of Finance for Elkhart ISD. She graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler with a Masters in Business Administration. She began her career in healthcare finance, working in the industry for over 20 years. After switching to business development for a period of time, she shifted focus to education. She worked as a Budget Analyst at the University of Texas at Tyler before accepting the position as Director of Finance in Elkhart. Launa lives in Palestine with Michael, her husband of over 22 years, and daughters Avery, who attends Elkhart Middle School, and Austyn, who is a Kindergarten student at Elkhart Elementary School. As a cheer mom, pageant mom, and dance mom, she stays busy with the girls' activities. When not cheering on her daughters, she enjoys spending time with family, rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, reading, and vacations at the beach.
Yancy Bell"Getting To Know the Director of Technolgy"


Yancy Bell is the Director of Technology for Elkhart ISD. He is a graduate of Elkhart ISD, class of 2011. He began his career at Elkhart in January of 2013 as the Technology Coordinator at the High School. He graduated in August of 2016 with his Bachelors of Business Administration. After graduation, he started teaching Business Information Management I & II and remained the campus Technology Coordinator. He then graduated in May of 2020 with his is Masters of Education in Instructional Design and Technology. In June of 2020, he became the Directory of Technology. He is currently in his second full year as the director and his tenth overall year with the district. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling the world. Every spring break, he has traveled to Europe and has been to Ireland, England, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He is excited about being able to travel again soon.




“Getting to Know the Administration Receptionist”
Kenda Schattel is the Administration Office Receptionist for E.I.S.D. Her past employment history of retail management, banking,  and warehouse facilitating, has fostered her desire for excellent customer service and detail-driven hard work. She is always eager to learn new things and embraces challenges positively. She and Bryan, her husband of 19 years, along with their three children have only recently relocated back to Elkhart, a former hometown that she's always loved.  If she is not experimenting in the kitchen,  then she can be found enjoying nature, quilting, crocheting, and crafting. She looks forward to serving each student, staff member, and family here in the Elkhart community. 
Kaysie Woody"Getting to Know the Director of Professional Development"
Kaysie Woody is the Director of Professional Development for Elkhart ISD.  She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and is currently working towards her Masters in Education Administration at Lamar University.  She began her education career in 2011 as a teacher, and has taught a variety of subjects at the secondary level including: Health, PE, AVID, Reading and Math.  Kaysie’s current role in administration enables her to work with both students and staff, providing professional development opportunities, encouraging implementation of teaching strategies that benefit teachers and students, and act as a support for teachers.  Kaysie believes the most rewarding part of her job is watching teachers get excited about new things they are trying and seeing that excitement carry over to their students.

Candy Facklam"Getting to Know the Accounts Payable/Bookkeeper Clerk"


Candy Facklam is the district Accounts Payable/Bookkeeper for Elkhart ISD. She moved to Elkhart in 1995 and became known as the "newspaper lady." After delivering newspapers for many years, she became Circulation Manager in the newspaper industry for 8 years, before joining Elkhart ISD. She has currently been with the district for 4 years. She and her husband Wade, have two children, Joshua and Brooklyn, who both graduated from Elkhart, and have two grandchildren, Aubree and Braxton. In her spare time, she loves to go camping, spend time with family, and remodel her house.
Rachell Glenn“Getting to know the Superintendent’s Secretary”
Rachell Glenn is the Superintendent’s secretary and has been serving the Elkhart ISD community for almost 10 years. After graduating from Shepherd High School in 2000, she attended Kingwood Community College for 2 years before moving to Waco to pursue a Graphic Design Certificate from Texas State Technical College. This allowed her to become a graphic designer for the Palestine Herald Press in 2006. In a short time, she became the Pre-Press Manager and oversaw the installation of the CTP machine, ushering the Herald Press into the digital age. After dedicating her career for almost 10 years to the newspaper industry, Mrs. Glenn accepted the position of EISD Administration Receptionist in order to be more available for her daughters and husband of 13 years.
Rickey Parker“Getting to know our Maintenance & Custodian Supervisor”
Rickey Parker has been serving the EISD community for 20 years and is currently supervising the Maintenance and Custodian departments. Throughout these years, he has cultivated good working relationships with the staff and administration as well as many outside entities that perform services for our school district. Mr. Parker sets the standard of Excellence with his team which allows our school to receive dependable resources and services.
Ella Thacker"Getting to Know the PEIMS Coordinator"
Ella Thacker is a graduate of Elkhart ISD and works as Elkhart ISD’s PEIMS Coordinator, as well as serving as a bus driver for the district.  Her experience in working within school districts spans 25 years, including working for Elkhart ISD since 2013.  Mrs. Thacker has three grown children and four grandchildren who bring her great joy, and with whom she chooses to spend her free time.
“Getting to know the Payroll/Insurance Coordinator”
Beverly Holliday has dedicated the past 4 years as Elkhart ISD’s Payroll and Insurance Coordinator. She is well known by many from her previous job experiences which include 10 years at First National Bank, and 17 years of running the family-owned business at Anderson County Monuments. She also found joy serving her Lord as the church secretary for First United Methodist Church in Palestine for many years. She and her husband, Mitch have enjoyed the past 37 years of marriage raising their 5 children and loving 12 grandchildren. Mrs. Holliday is delighted that over half of her children and grandchildren have already graduated, or are still attending EISD. Her favorite motto is “Enjoy Life!” She models this by going on cruises, traveling, and being actively involved in her grandchildren’s sports activities.