Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres has selected Daniel Spikes, Ph.D. as the hire for the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. Dr. Spikes will be returning home to Lufkin from the University of South Carolina (UofSC) where he currently is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership and Policies Department in the College of Education. He will join the Lufkin ISD team after he completes his contract at the university in May. Mr. Johnny Giles, former Assistant Superintendent at Lufkin ISD, will serve as interim during the transition.
Dr. Spikes was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas, where his parents Pastor Willie Spikes, Sr. and Charlotte Spikes reside. After graduating from Lufkin High School in 1996, he attended The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) and earned a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English. He returned to Lufkin, Texas and taught 7th grade English/Language Arts at Lufkin Middle School and served as an assistant principal at Lufkin High School after earning his Masters of Educational Leadership at Stephen F. Austin State University.
After seven years at LISD, he decided to return to UT-Austin to pursue his doctorate. While pursuing his degree, he served as a Graduate Assistant in various departments throughout the university and later worked full time as the Assistant Director for Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs, and as the District Site Coordinator for the federally funded Principalship Program at UT-Austin. He graduated from UT-Austin in August of 2014, with a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, focusing on Educational Policy and Planning.
After graduation, he served as a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership, Organizations and Policy at Iowa State University (ISU) for four years. In this role, he helped prepare future P-12 principals, superintendents, university education faculty and P-12 educational policy makers. His research interests focused on racial disparities in educational outcomes and the policies and practices of school districts, schools, and school leaders that serve to perpetuate and/or ameliorate these disparities. He also focused on the professional development of adult learners on critical consciousness and how this development contributes to the improvement of educational experiences and outcomes for all students. He has delivered professional development sessions and talks throughout the country to various groups and organizations, including educational, religious, professional, and civic and service organizations. After his four years at ISU, he was extended an opportunity to serve in the same capacity at the University of South Carolina (UofSC).
Dr. Spikes is the proud husband of Garisa Spikes and the proud father of three beautiful daughters: Madeline, a junior at Iowa State University; Hannah, a high school freshman; and Gabriella, a 2nd grader.
Mrs. Spikes, will take a position at Lufkin High School as the Success Coach for Dual Credit. She grew up in Houston, TX, before attending The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While earning a teaching certificate at Stephen F. Austin State University, she launched her career in education at Lufkin Middle School, teaching Physical Education for two years and English/Language Arts (ELA) for four. When she and her family relocated to Austin, TX, she taught ELA for two more years at Webb Middle School.
Feeling a desire to support students in a different way, Mrs. Spikes returned to school in order to pursue a career in school counseling and returned to UT-Austin to pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, with a concentration in School Counseling. After graduating, she served as a middle school counselor in Austin, TX, and Nevada, IA, for the next 6 years. As one of her responsibilities, she also taught the 8th grade Careers class, where she enjoyed helping students think about their future, create 4-year high school plans, research high school and post-secondary options, and explore the world of work. The time spent researching post-secondary education also served to her own benefit as another move led her to a new position in higher education.
She is currently the Academics Programs Coordinator for the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). In this role, she works closely with faculty to help graduate students successfully navigate their respective programs. In addition, she assists in program development, student advising, and progress monitoring.
Superintendent Lynn Torres said, “We are thrilled to have Daniel and his family back home in East Texas. He comes to us with a wealth of knowledge, and he will be an excellent leader for our staff and students. We’re indebted to Mr. Giles for stepping in to help us during the transition. He is masterful at working with parents, and it’s great to hear his gregarious laugh back in the building.”