PISD names new ASCD; Young Principal

Saavedra promoted to ASCD; McClellen named Young Elementary Principal
Posted on 05/21/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Saavedra promoted to ASCD; McClellen named Young Elementary PrincipalBy: Jade Wise
Pasadena ISD Communications

At a recent meeting of the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees, Joe Saavedra was named associate superintendent of campus development, replacing Steve Fullen who recently announced his retirement. 

Having served the district since 1998 and as Pasadena High School’s principal since 2009, Saavedra brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role.

Saavedra began his educational career as a math teacher at Jackson Intermediate before being promoted to assistant principal at the campus. In 2004, he was named principal of Miller Intermediate, where he served until 2009.

Saavedra holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston Clear Lake and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Texas State University, where he graduated with honors.

“I’m very honored and beyond excited for the opportunity to serve the PISD community in this capacity,” said Saavedra. “I’ll miss Eagle Nation for sure, but I’m looking forward to being able to contribute and further continue the district’s successes.”

In 2018, Saavedra was named Pasadena ISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year for his continued success in boosting the Eagles to new heights. 

During Saavedra’s 10 years at PHS, some accomplishments that the campus has celebrated include:

- PHS’ graduation rate improved from 67 percent to nearly 90 percent
- The school’s Marine Corps JROTC program was recognized three times as being in the top 10 percent of such programs in the nation
- The number of Advanced Placement exams administered has increased from 200 to over 1,000
- PHS became the first campus to pilot an Early College High School program, and since it opened, over 200 students have earned an associate degree along with a diploma
- In 2017, PHS received five Texas Education Agency designation distinctions, including closing performance gaps, student progress and student performance in math and English.

Saavedra said that while he is proud of PHS’s accomplishments under his tenure, he is most proud of the culture that has been established.

“As a principal, there are always certain data points and scores you want your campus to achieve. However, what I am most proud of is seeing the kids being successful, being proud to be a Pasadena Eagle, being involved and taking ownership of their campus,” said Saavedra. 

Other Board Appointments

Also named during the board meeting was Amy McClellen, who will take the reigns as principal of Young Elementary following the retirement of former principal Shirlyn Ross, who served the district for 49 years.

McClellen joined Golden Acres Elementary as an assistant principal in 2015, following nine years as a teacher in Dickinson ISD.

She holds a Master’s Degree of Educational Technology Leadership Principals from Lamar University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston Clear Lake.

“I am super excited to be starting this adventure with the Young Elementary family,” said McClellen. “I look forward to continuing the legacy that has been built and to bring in some creative new ideas. What I am most passionate about is that I get to continue to work with kids on a personal level and inspire future generations in education.”

Fullen and Saavedra
Dr. Steve Fullen (left) congratulations Joe Saavedra (right) following Saavedra being named Fullen's successor as associate superintendent of campus development.

Photo of current ASCD's
Joe Saavedra poses for a photo with his fellow associate superintendents of campus development. (L to R): Dr. Angela Stallings, Alyta Harrell, Joe Saavedra, Rhonda Parmer

New Young Principal Photo
New Young Elementary Principal Amy McClellen (right) is presented a shirt with her new campus's logo by Young  Elementary Assistant Principal Patricia Chavez (left).