TAKING THE LEAD: Familiar face now campus chief at Alamo

A familiar face has taken the reins as principal of Alamo STEAM Academy.

Assistant Principal Elisha Sessions officially became campus chief July 1. She replaces Regina Lee who is now principal at Burnet Elementary School.

Sessions had been assistant principal at Alamo for three years. She has been with Ector County ISD for 10 years.

A native of Hereford, Sessions earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a master’s in counseling, both from West Texas A&M University in Canyon.

Sessions didn’t always want to go into education.

“I found it way later in life. I ended up in a situation where I’ve always been in some element of public service, but I had been laid off and really wanted to explore the school counseling aspect. I reached out to ECISD about that and was told that I had to teach for two years prior to that, and so I did an alternative certification through Region 18 and became a special education teacher and then from there, it’s just kind of evolved into where I am now,” Sessions said.

She added that serving as assistant principal will help her in her new role.

“I know every kid here by name. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I’m pretty perceptive of them as far as personality, so I recognize bad days quickly. … Knowing them as individuals … helps me to have a solid relationship with them,” Sessions said.

Before joining ECISD, she worked for Child Protective Services and CASA in Odessa.

That experience comes in handy as an administrator. For example, she knows students can’t learn until they have their basic needs met.

“… It just kind of makes you a lot more aware,” Sessions said.

On average, Alamo has 350 students in grades prekindergarten through five.

Asked if she always wanted to be a principal, Sessions said it was a progression. She added that she is always looking for ways to challenge herself and wants to make an impact on as many students as possible.

Deciding she wanted to move into administration, Sessions got her certification to become a principal at Region 18 Education Service Center.

“… I knew that once I made that commitment that this would happen eventually and I had kind of been told that it would probably be around the three-year mark and I was excited for the opportunity to do continue to be here at Alamo,” she added.

“… We’re bringing in probably about 70 kiddos through the lottery process because we are a magnet campus and so I’ll know the majority of the kiddos here, but then I’ll have to learn those new kiddos as well,” Sessions said.

For the campus, Sessions would like to grow its membership.

“… I think that the way to achieve that is to just ensure that the community knows how strong Alamo is academically. We’re consistently ranked top three in the district as far as elementary schools with Reagan and Hays. So I would like to promote that better to increase membership and then to just … sustain the legacy that Ms. Lee has built here. It’s a very sustainable culture …,” Sessions said.

Lee said Sessions’ experience at Alamo was during one of the most difficult in education.

“Through the pandemic, she was consistent for students and always held high expectations. The qualities that will make her her an exceptional principal at Alamo are her love for the students and making the best decisions for them. I have not lost one minute of sleep knowing Alamo is in her hands,” Lee said.