Maintenance & Operations
Child Nutrition Services
Carla Settle started calling Cedar Hill ISD her home away from home in 2020 and serves the district as Chief Financial Officer. A native of Kingsville, Texas and raised in a family of educators serving Texas public schools for four generations, Mrs. Settle defines her career in service to others.
Settle earned an Accounting Degree from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University and began her career in public accounting in Lubbock, Texas. Later after employing her skills in the non-profit and higher educational fields serving her alma mater and regional religious organizations in the South Plains of Texas and the southern counties of the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Mrs. Settle moved with her family to Fort Worth, Texas in 2014 serving in higher education at the University of North Texas System.
Eager to share her experiences of best practices with a focus on continuous improvement and innovation through digital solutions, Settle began serving K-12 business in Grand Prairie ISD prioritizing personal campus connections through professional development for administrative staff. Her servant leadership style continued in Cedar Hill ISD and received accolades including the Texas Association of School Business Officials 2023 RISE award, an A-Superior Rating in the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for the district, and Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the nation-wide Government Finance Officers Association.
Mrs. Settle enjoys traveling with her husband of 22 years, a senior leader with BNSF Railway, and their four children. She believes strongly in the power of the arts and can often be found in the audience of high school theater productions and often backstage for the Texas Ballet Theater.
Family & Community Engagement
Cedar Hill Education Foundation
Tierney Tinnin joined Cedar Hill ISD as Chief of Communications and Marketing in 2019. Tinnin received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Langston University and spent eight years in broadcasting as a reporter for KAVU-TV, the weekend anchor for KXXV-TV and morning anchor at KOCO-TV.
Tinnin left the broadcasting field after accepting the media relations manager position for Oklahoma City Public Schools. While with OKCPS, Tinnin was promoted to Strategic Communications Director and developed the district’s community relations department which managed district partnerships, tutors, mentors and volunteers.
After eight years with OKCPS, Tinnin joined the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, where she served as the policy advisor, communications director and lobbyist for the state agency. In 201,7 Tinnin returned to her home state of Texas to lead the communications department with Irving ISD, while there she implemented the district’s first marketing showcase, redesigned its website and developed its digital marketing strategy.
Tinnin has been named Top Under 35 in School Public Relations, School Communicators to Watch and the winner of a Gold Medallion, the National School Public Relations highest honor. She is married to Rob and mom to a 7-year old daughter. Tinnin is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Concord Church.
School Based Law Enforcement
James Hawthorne is Cedar Hill ISD’s chief of police. Hawthorne previously served as the assistant police chief with the Arlington Police Department, retiring after 28 years of service. He was chairman of the Joint Information Center during Super Bowl XLV, coordinated communication strategies for public safety during two World Series events and the NBA All-Star game in Arlington.
Chief Hawthorne teaches a police intelligence course at Southern Methodist University and a criminal justice research class for the Upward Bound Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has lectured on a state, regional, and national level on media relations and crisis communications.
Hawthorne received his bachelor's and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and the Senior Management Institute of Policing sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the proud husband to Ursula and father to four children and 1 grandchild.
Curriculum & Instruction
Teaching & Learning
Dr. Shemeka Millner-Williams has dedicated 22 years to public education and has held various significant roles in educational leadership. She served as the Interim Superintendent for Lancaster ISD immediately prior to coming to Cedar Hill ISD, and has contributed to the field of education at various levels during her career. Dr. Millner-Williams earned her Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies-Education from the University of Texas at Arlington, a Master of Education Degree from Texas A & M Commerce, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Her career highlights include positions such as Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent for Lancaster ISD, Campus Principal, and Director of Principal Leadership Development with the Texas Center for Educator Effectiveness (TXCEE) @ Region 18 Educational Service Center. She was also recognized as a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and produced a widely viewed Ted Talk on high expectations for students. Dr. Millner-Williams has a strong academic background and a wealth of experience in educational leadership, curriculum development, and principal leadership development and is happy to serve the Cedar Hill community.
Social Emotional Learning
Student Information Systems
Tellauance Graham currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Student Services at Cedar Hill Independent School District since 2018. In this role, he oversees a diverse array of critical areas, including Special Education, Counseling and Guidance, State and Federal Grants, Family and Community Engagement, Student Services, Transportation, PEIMS, and Health Services.
He has a wealth of experience in various leadership roles, including a stint as the High School Principal at Huntington High School from 2016 to 2018, where he successfully managed a large 4A Urban Title I combination High School with 1250 students and 84% economically disadvantaged. He directed the instructional program, addressing the needs of the largest population of Special Education students in the Parish, consisting of 180 students. During this time, Tellauance also supervised staff and faculty of over 145 employees and managed a complex budget encompassing local, state compensatory, federal, and grant funds.
Prior to his role as a High School Principal, Tellauance served as the Middle School Principal at Caddo Middle Career & Technology School from 2010 to 2016, demonstrating exceptional leadership in a high-poverty and high-minority student population setting. He successfully led a staff of 90 teachers, paraprofessionals, and other campus staff, managing a campus budget that included local, state compensatory, federal, and grant funds. During his time as principal, CMCTS was classified as a top-gains school.
Tellauance has also served as an Assistant Principal of Administration at M.J. Moore Math/Science Magnet and as a Teacher/Administrative Assistant/Coach at Fair Park High College Preparatory Academy. He has consistently contributed to enhancing educational environments, implementing programs such as Peer Observation and Positive Behavior Instructional Support (PBIS).
Recognized for his exemplary contributions, Tellauance has received numerous awards, including Principal of the Year (2015), Make a Difference Award (2015), Teacher of the Year, Lead Administrator Award (2017), and Outstanding Educator Award (2009). He is affiliated with prestigious organizations such as the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE), and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
Tellauance has also been actively engaged in professional development, graduating from Leadership Southwest in 2020 and Southern Methodist University (SMU) District Leadership Fellowship in 2022. His commitment to growth and learning is further exemplified by his participation in Lone Star Governance and the Holdsworth Leadership program (DLP Cohort 3). He is the proud husband to Angela and father of two.
Staff Recruitment & Retention
Grow Your Own
Hallema Jackson previously served as a Principal in Arlington ISD and Irving ISD, respectively, and as an Assistant Principal in Duncanville ISD. Jackson is completing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University-Commerce and has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to becoming Assistant Superintendent of HR, she served as Cedar Hill ISD's Executive Director of Human Resources.
High Pointe Elementary
Waterford Oaks Elementary
W.S. Permenter Middle School
Bessie Coleman Middle School
Heath Koenig is a graduate of Texas A&M and the University of Houston-Victoria. He has twenty-four years of experience in public education and currently holds a superintendent certification.
Mr. Koenig joined Cedar Hill ISD in 2015 and has served as a campus principal, data fellow and now supervises principals at six schools. Koenig has been a principal for an elementary campus, a fourth through sixth grade campus, a comprehensive high school campus, and a district alternative education placement which provided placement for sixth through twelfth grades. He entered education as a special education teacher.
Collegiate Prep Elementary School
Lake Ridge Elementary School
Collegiate Academy & High School
Cedar Hill High School
Career & Technical Education
Tyesha Smith-Lowe was born and raised in the small town of Marlin, Texas. Since a young girl, she wanted to be a “teacher of all".
Tyesha Lowe-Smith is a 26-year veteran educator in which she has been a Pregnancy Education Teacher for teenage parents, Special Education Teacher, Special Education Instructional Coordinator, a high school Assistant Principal and Dean of Instruction, Director of College and Career Readiness, Career and Technical Education Executive Director and currently serves as an Executive Director of School Leadership/Innovation for Cedar Hill ISD.
Tyesha Lowe-Smith earned both her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Education in Educational Administration degrees from the University of North Texas and her teaching certificate from Mary-Hardin Baylor.
As the Executive Director of School Leadership/Innovation Tyesha Lowe-Smith, secured a multi-million dollar STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) grant through the Texas Instruments Foundation. In addition, Lowe-Smith manages the district's career and technical education department, advanced placement, Montessori, JROTC, AVID, GEAR Up and school choice programs.
Smith-Lowe is the proud mom to an adult son.