Meet Our New Staff Members
We welcome several new staff members to MISD this fall including Danika Smith, Joseph McPherson, Sara Ruiz, John Schumacher, Whitney Pilgrim, Billy Todd, Lauren Walch, Ashley Osbourn and Trey Underwood. At Mason High School, Danika Smith is our new art teacher and Mr. McPherson is our new assistant band director. Mason Junior High welcomes Lauren Walch as the new principal, Whitney Pilgrim for 5/6 grade math, Trey Underwood will be coaching and Billy Todd for speech and softball coach. The elementary campus will have Ashley Osbourn helping with the reading program. While at the administration office we are happy to have John Schumacher as our new superintendent and Sara Ruiz returning to us after a few years in Lago Vista. Welcome, we are happy to have you!
Danika Smith is from Houston. She graduated with a degree in Art Education from the University of Houston. She recently moved to Camp San Saba, a community about fifteen miles north of Mason, and has adjusted quite well to the beautiful Hill Country. Mrs. Smith feels that education is her calling, and art is her passion. She is very excited to be able to share both of these with the students at Mason High School and community of Mason, Texas.
Welcome, Whitney Pilgrim to Mason Junior High! This year will be her 6th year to teach. She previously taught in Brady for 5 years. Mrs. Pilgrim has taught 8th grade math and also 4th grade. She is excited to be in Mason with her husband Chase Pilgrim, who has been coaching in Mason for several years.
After graduating from Glen Rose High School, Joseph McPherson packed his bags and moved to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University, where he majored in music education. Mr. Mac started playing music when he was four years old and never looked back. During his time at Texas Tech, he was the principal trombonist for TTU Symphonic Wind Ensemble as well as the Symphony Orchestra. He played lead trombone in the jazz big band, which took him to New Orleans, where he was awarded “Outstanding Soloist” at the Crescent City Jazz Festival. He was a section leader in the renowned Goin’ Band from Raiderland and was involved in a variety of small ensembles as well. In addition to his performance opportunities, he worked with the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock and was a member of the inaugural staff for the Lubbock Youth Wind Ensemble. He has a passion for music and loves sharing that with his students and all those around him. Go Punchers!
Rachel Buck and her family recently moved to Mason. They are all very happy to be in such a wonderful community. Rachel and her husband have four children who will all be attending MISD this year. She received an early childhood education degree from Angelo State University in 2004, but stayed home with her children for several years. Rachel enjoys watching children reach their full potential and achieve their goals. She is proud to be a part of the Mason Punchers and Cowgirls.
Billy Todd is beginning his 16th year as a teacher/coach. He received his degree from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. He and his family are excited to be in Mason and a part of a great community.
Coach Underwood is originally from Irving, Texas. He attended Irving Nimitz his freshman year before moving to Albany and graduating from Albany High School. After high school, he attended Texas Tech University where he graduated in December of 2013. After first graduating, he began oil field job from a company out of Albany and worked in the San Angelo area. This is Coach Underwood's first coaching/teaching job, and he is really looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the Mason family! He loves to hunt and fish, but he really loves anything to do with football. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends whenever he can.
Lauren Walch is our new Mason Junior High Principal. She comes to Mason from Kerrville ISD. Ms. Walch has a connection from a few years ago when she was a baby, her father John Walch, was our MISD Superintendent.
My teaching career began in 1975 in a third grade classroom. I have taught in many grades and in many states. However, during the last 15 years I have taught ESL classes with Austin Independent School District at Sanchez Elementary School. I have had students from Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal, Guinea, Mexico, Taiwan and the U.S. We moved to Mason from Austin when my husband accepted a call as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Two adult children are also a part of my life. My daughter and son are married to lovely spouses. In my spare time I enjoy books, swimming, and walking in State Parks. I am delighted to be joining the Mason ISD staff as a second grade ESL teacher and starting a new chapter in my life. I look forward to getting to know the Mason community and wearing purple!
Ashley L. Osbourn has a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Communications from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Agricultural Education from Tarleton State University. She and her husband, Collin, have one daughter, Della. Ashley grew up in the community and is excited to have the opportunity to work with the children and youth of Mason and return to Puncher Country where it’s always “A Great Day to be a Puncher.” Collin is the Chief Financial Officer for Beefmaster Breeders United and serves the association in the cattle industry internationally. Della is currently attending Steady Steps.