Special Recognitions

Manor New Tech High Robotics Awards

Manor New Tech High in Manor, Texas, is to be congratulated for a series of recent awards: the Alamo Regional First Robotics Competition, one of two finalists for the competition in Dallas, and the championship award in Houston. The team now moves on to the World Championships in St. Louis.  Congratulations to Principal Steve Zipkes and Manor New Tech Titan's First Robotics Team 2789 TeXplosion!

Welcome New Next Network Members!

Emanuel County Board of Education, Ga.

South Portland School Department, Maine


Detroit Public Schools, Mich.

Hillsdale Community Schools, Mich.

Muskegon Heights Public Schools, Mich.

Van Dyke Public Schools, Mich.


Westwood Heights Schools, Mich.

Camden City Public Schools, N.J.

Oklahoma Department of Education, Okla.


Dorchester County School District 2, S.C.

Bedford County Department of Education,






May Educator of the Month

Ron Rix



School/Organization: South Middle School, Westfield, Massachusetts

Years of Experience: 22 (including 5 years as principal of South Middle School, 10 years as principal of North Middle School)





Ron Rix is the consummate educational leader! He gives selflessly of his time and expertise in all areas of his professional life. He is well-versed in the curriculum, methods of instruction, educational pedagogy, and the latest technology. More impactful is his commitment to share this knowledge with his colleagues and staff. There is a commercial saying that reminds me of Ron – “When Ron talks, people listen.” Most importantly, Ron truly loves kids, sees the uniqueness of each one, and strives to provide them with the most positive, rigorous, and relevant educational experience.

Eileen Jachym, Director of 21st Century Learning, Westfield Public Schools, Westfield, Massachusetts

Ron is a practical visionary. He constantly reminds people that in order to achieve a goal, it is necessary to take the long view, to know where they want to go, and to create a pathway to achieve the goal. Ron sees clearly what needs to occur, he looks into the future to make certain that the solution will not quickly become obsolete, and then he moves forward. He includes change and flexibility in all of his plans, realizing that as things change, plans need to be modified to be successful. Ron often says that we learn from trying, not necessarily from initially succeeding, and that we learn as much from our “re-do’s” as from our successes. This type of leadership and vision provides his staff with the willingness to be creative and to take risks, and it is this risk-taking climate that has moved his school onto a trajectory of academic excellence.

Arlene Spiegel, Principal, Juniper Park Elementary School, Westfield, Massachusetts

E-mail: r.rix@schoolsofwestfield.org

May Next Network Staff Member of the Month

Each month Next Network introduces a member of our staff so that you can get to know us better and learn who to turn to for help.