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Spencer, Powell Named ROCK Mentees in THSCA Mentoring Program

Two Dallas ISD coaches – Samuell High School’s Stacey Spencer and South Oak Cliff High School’s Devin Powell – have been selected to participate in the Texas High School Coaches Association’s ROCK Coaches Mentoring Program in 2023.

Created to meet the needs of and retain high school coaches and administrators in the state of Texas, the program is a partnership between the Texas High School Coaches Education Foundation and the Texas A&M University Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy. ROCK is an acronym for Rare, Outstanding, Compelled, and Knowledgeable.

Spencer, who is a special education algebra and geometry inclusion teacher at Samuell, has been the school’s head boys’ and girls’ tennis coach since 2019. In addition to an undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University, Spencer also holds a second undergraduate degree, a master’s of science degree, and a post-master’s diploma in developmental education from Grambling State University. She previously taught math in Dallas ISD at Benjamin Franklin Middle School from 2012-2013.

Powell, who coaches defensive backs at South Oak Cliff, is in his first year as a life sciences teacher at the John Lewis Social Justice Academy at Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School. While he primarily works with the freshman football team at South Oak Cliff, he has helped train defensive players in the program the last three seasons. Powell graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2020 and began his time in Dallas ISD at Boude Storey Middle School, where he taught for two years.

This year’s 66 mentees will join mentors at the THSCA Leadership Summit on Monday, Feb. 27 at Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and then March 26-27 at the 2023 ROCK Coaches Mentoring Program Symposium at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for a two-day workshop with speakers, discussions, and networking opportunities. Mentees also will attend THSCA Coaching School July 15-18 in Houston.

After the Symposium, ROCK mentees and mentors will work through a year-long curriculum developed by the TMCA Coaching Academy. This curriculum provides bi-monthly access to virtual learning modules with discussion prompts, activities, situational challenges, and more for each pair to discuss. The ROCK mentees will also volunteer as convention staff for the annual THSCA Coaching School in July.

Data shows many first through fifth year coaches and teachers are leaving the profession. There is a critical need to cultivate and assist these professionals to find their passion and be prepared as coaches, teachers, and leaders in an ever-evolving environment.

THSCA coaches and athletic directors can nominate a coach that meets the following requirements: first- through fifth-year coach, active coach employed by a UIL sanctioned school, willing to commit to the two-year program.

The ROCK mentees are chosen by a committee made up of athletic directors around the state. The ROCK Coaches Mentoring Program will match a new coach with a veteran coach (the ROCK mentor) to gain advice, encouragement, and insights into the profession to help them grow in the mentee’s desired coaching fields.

Previous ROCK mentees from Dallas ISD include Courtney Macon from Spruce High School and Jose “Rocky” Reyes from Hillcrest High School.