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MSI Personnel

  • Aaron Williams. Advanced Academic Coordinator. Mr. Williams grew up in Rio Vista, Texas and graduated from Rio Vista High School in 2005. He attended Northwestern State University and graduated with a degree in Music Education, Magna Cum Laude in 2009. He began work as a band director in Mabank in 2009, and upon completing his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University, launched the Mabank Scholars’ Institute in 2013. He is currently working towards a doctoral degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education through Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Mr. Williams is passionate about his profession, dedicated to his students, and obsessed with learning. 

  • Rachel Griffin. Advanced Algebra II. Mrs. Griffin grew up in Mabank, graduating in 1997.  She attended Texas A&M University (WHOOP!), graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics.  She started my teaching career in the Fort Worth area, where she taught for 8 years. The 2016-17 school year will be her 5th year teaching, and 7th year at Mabank High School. She has been married to her husband Rob for 15 years, and they have two beautiful children. Their daughter, Emma, will be in the 5th grade at Mabank Intermediate, and their  son, Wyatt, will be in the 2nd grade at Central Elementary. 

  • Jennifer Haught. Advanced AP Biology. Ms. Haught grew up with a roaming, gypsy sort of life style. Having such diverse settings for her science exploration as a gallery forest in small town Ohio, the white sandy beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast, the mixed and tall grass prairies of Oklahoma and Texas, and the soft heather moorland and limestone cliffs of England. Amidst these wanderings, she attained a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2002 from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Philosophy in Plant Science in 2007 from the University of Leicester in Leicester, England. Ms. Haught's passion has always been exploration of the natural world in all its forms, and if she can pass this love of nature to her students, she will consider it a job well done.
  • Amanda LaNier. AP World History. Ms. LaNier grew up in Deer Park, TX (suburb of Houston) and attended Deer Park High School. SheI graduated in 2006 from the University of Houston with a degree in Political Science. She has been teaching at Mabank High School for 10 years and has enjoyed teaching World History the most, especially the French Revolution! Ms. LaNier loves cars, biking, video games and Netflix.

  • Kristi McKee-Cookston. Advanced Chemistry. Mrs. Cookston has been teaching for 9 years at Mabank High School. She teaches all levels of Chemistry and Forensics. Prior to teaching, she was a laboratory technician studying the effects of mutations on the Factor H protein and how it impacted other known diseases. She enjoy teaching and showing our future how cool science is and especially chemistry.

  • Nicci Romero: Advanced Geometry. Mrs. Romero have been teaching for 14 years and all years of service have been with Mabank ISD.  Mrs. Romero currently teaches students in various levels of high school mathematics.  Most of her courses are Geometry.  She believes Geometry is all around us in both nature and man-made environment. Mrs. Romero also sponsors the Mabank Chapter of the National Beta Club in which students learn to lead by serving others.  She and her husband Emmanuel, and have two sons, Eli and Noah.  She also have a stepdaughter, Desiray.  Her family is my joy.   

  • Colby Sales. Advanced AP Human Geography. Mr. Sales is starting his 4th year at Mabank High School as a teacher and coach.  He is  honored to be a part of the MSI program where this is my second year teaching AP Human Geography.  In addition to this course, he also teach Spanish 1 and coaches JV boys basketball and boys track. Mr. Sales has been married to his wife Sheila, for 14 years.  They have two children, Bradley and Baylee.  Bradley will be going into the 3rd grade this year, and Baylee will be going into the 7th grade.  They both are involved in league sports that Mr. Sales helps coach when he is not working at the high school. 

  • Legend has it that Mr. Szatmary was smuggled into Texas as a baby by his Yankee parents, literally concealed within their carpet bag. Raised in Richardson, TX, he graduated J.J. Pearce High School in 1990 before matriculating further at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

    Mr. Szatmary spent seven years as a journalist, winning several Associated Press awards for his writing before deciding to go into teaching English Language Arts professionally. He passionately practices what he preaches, dabbling with almost all forms of rhetoric and written expression but spending most of his time recently working on his elusive first novel.

    When not ruining his eyes sitting in front of a computer screen or staring at a book, Mr. Szatmary enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on local sports teams, playing fantasy football, yelling at newscasters on TV, and obsessively chasing the band Phish around the country. Word on the street is that he also thinks he's very funny.

Mabank Scholars' Institute

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2017-2018 MSI Summer Assignments

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