UT Elementary School Announces New Executive Director and Principal

The management board for the University of Texas Elementary School (UTES) has selected Melissa Chavez and Mary Ledbetter to become the new executive director and principal, respectively, for the school.

The change comes following the departure of Dr. Ramona Treviño, UTES founding principal and CEO, to become chief academic officer at Austin Independent School District.

"The management board is pleased that Ms. Chavez has agreed to become executive director of UT Elementary School," Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin and board chair for UTES, said. "She has been with the school since its inception, she has a deep knowledge of the school's cutting-edge programs, and as the most recent principal, led the school to its exemplary rating."

He added, "Ms. Ledbetter brings more than six years of administrative experience to the principalship. She has worked in schools throughout Austin and has a real sense of the community that UTES serves."

Chavez has been the principal for the past two years and is also a doctoral candidate in The University of Texas at Austin College of Education's Department of Special Education.

"We will continue on in the spirit of excellence that we have been building together for the past seven years," Chavez said. "Our team is excited to preserve our outstanding reputation of serving our students well while scaling up our efforts to share best practices with the larger education community."

Ledbetter, who has been in the field of education for more than 20 years, has been in the role of assistant principal this year and has been a principal for Austin Independent School District in the past. She will continue to be a demonstration teacher for social studies in addition to her administrative position, by teaching and mentoring students in the College of Education.

"As part of the UT Elementary School community, I have collaborated with the university to put research into practice as a demonstration teacher," Ledbetter said. "In my new role as principal, we will maintain and strengthen that model as we carry on the mission of UT Elementary School."

UT Elementary School is an exemplary-rated charter school in East Austin at 2200 E. Sixth St. It is a unit of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.