CSSS hires new talent to meet increased demand

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February 27, 2023 by HCDE Communications

Three new faces have joined the Center for Safe and Secure Schools (CSSS) team in recent weeks to meet increased demand from area schools and districts for resources offered by the Center.

First is Jeremy Foster, who serves as Officer of School Safety and Security, working closely with the division’s culture and climate specialists and safety and security teams.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be part of the Center for Safe and Secure Schools,” said Foster. “Dr. Andrews, Janice, Sasha and Gil have always been a resource and have helped me along the way when I was a safety and emergency manager in my previous district.”

With more than 30 years of safety and security experience, Foster has instructed police organizations, major corporations, CEOs, hospitals, and educational organizations in violence prevention, personal safety, and self-defense.

His previous experience includes operating as the chief instructor for a nationally recognized violence prevention and personal safety program called Counter Attactics.

In his most recent role, he was Alief ISD’s safety and security emergency manager and active shooter response trainer as well as a special education and physical education teacher for more than 20 years.

Foster holds a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice from the University of Missouri.

Alysia Chatman

Alysia Chatman, a 15-year veteran educator, has been tapped as the CSSS’ newest Culture and Climate Specialist.

Chatman will join Sasha Blake in supporting educators in trauma-informed practices.

“Alysia brings expertise from the elementary and special education levels,” said CSSS Director Julia Andrews. “She will be working with our elementary schools to support de-escalation, restorative practices, and youth mental health first aid. She will also coach new teachers looking to increase their classroom management skills.”

Chatman joins the CSSS following her role as assistant principal of Galena Park ISD’s Williamson Elementary School. Her previous roles in education also include campus instructional coach at Galena Park ISD, special education teacher at Goose Creek ISD, and deaf education itinerant teacher at Dallas ISD.

“My top priority is to empower educators to build their toolbox for working with students,” said Chatman. “As a career educator, I am excited to share what I have learned and experienced to help educators support their students and staff.”

Chatman holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Huston-Tillotson University and a master’s degree in multicultural special education from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators (HAABSE), the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisor Association (TEPSA), and is also a program director for Girl Scout Camp.

Sergio Lopez

Finally, Sergio Lopez, a 15-year veteran school administrator, educator, and athletic coach, rounds out the new additions to the CSSS and has been tapped as its newest School Safety and Security Specialist.

Lopez will join Janice Owolabi in supporting districts with safety audits and emergency management best practices.

Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. 

To learn more about the Center for Safe and Secure Schools, visit hcde-texas.org/CSSS.

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