Former Student Takes Over Struggling DISD Campus

Principal Joseph Pouncy
Principal Joseph Pouncy | Image by Dallas ISD

A former Dallas ISD student has come back to his old high school to serve as its principal as the campus continues to struggle with academic outcomes.

Principal Joseph Pouncy is now heading up Skyline High School, roughly 28 years after he graduated from the school.

“This is home. I affectionately say every time I get to meet people, ‘It feels like I’m coming back home,’” Pouncy told WFAA. “It’s funny. Sometimes the halls feel a little smaller. Either I’ve grown, either up or out, I don’t know… probably both.”

According to Skyline High School’s latest state accountability report, only 40% of students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams during the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, only 77.3% of the graduating Class of 2022 earned a diploma in four years despite the hard work of the dedicated teachers and staff at the campus.

Districtwide, only 41% of Dallas ISD students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams that school year and the district clocked an on-time graduation rate of 81.1%.

Pouncy told NBC 5 that he is encouraging students to get their “BAG” — an acronym for improving behavior, attendance, and grades.

“We want to make sure that they’re heard. We make sure that they’re loved,” said Pouncy. “My goal is for everyone to have a purpose for being here. All 4,000 of our kids match that energy and match that success.”

Some students sang Pouncy’s praises, crediting his leadership with giving them an opportunity to better themselves at the school.

“With his encouragement to all of the students and the chances that he gives us to do better, I have straight A’s. I have not one absence, not one tardy,” said Skyline senior Ja’Kezia Boyd, who told NBC 5 she previously struggled with keeping up with her attendance and staying out of trouble. “He gave me the opportunity to fix myself and give everybody a better image of me, not just for them but for myself.”

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