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25 April . 2019

Meet the principals of Sweetwater’s Lake Travis ISD schools

What does a principal do? They are responsible for ensuring their school runs smoothly, remains safe, and provides an excellent learning environment for students. The best principals provide leadership that inspires every student and teacher.

That’s definitely the case with the principals who lead the highly regarded Lake Travis ISD schools serving Sweetwater. If you haven’t yet met any the principals of Lake Travis High School, Lake Travis Middle School, and West Cypress Hills Elementary School, here are some brief introductions.

Gordon Butler, Principal
Lake Travis High School

Mr. Butler possesses 15 years of experience in public education, beginning his career as a fifth- and sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher in the Dallas Independent School District.

After serving a year in East Boston, Massachusetts, as a sixth- and eighth-grade social studies teacher, Mr. Butler returned to Texas, where he served as a language arts and world geography teacher at Walnut Grove Middle School in the Midlothian school district. He would later serve as the school’s assistant principal. 

In 2012, Mr. Butler joined the McKinney Independent School District, serving as assistant principal at McKinney High School, then as Director of Program Evaluation.  Most recently, he was principal of McKinney High School. With a population of 2,700 students and a staff of 235, it is similar in size to Lake Travis High School.

A native of Fort Dix, New Jersey, Mr. Butler earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M Commerce.  He and his wife Kati have two children, Hannah and David.

Lester Wolff, Principal
Lake Travis Middle School

Mr. Wolff is one of the newest principals in Lake Travis ISD, beginning his permanent duties in early 2019 after serving briefly as the interim principal of Lake Travis Middle School.

Mr. Wolff is an accomplished professional who possesses more than 33 years experience in public education in the Arlington and Eanes school districts, where he served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, administrator and assistant superintendent.

Mr. Wolff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. He also earned a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas in Denton, and he holds mid-management and superintendent certification.

Melanie Beninga, Principal
West Cypress Hills Elementary School

Melanie Beninga was promoted to principal of West Cypress Hills Elementary School after serving as its assistant principal for the past three years.

Ms. Beninga possesses more than 20 years experience in public education, most of which have been spent at Lake Travis ISD. She served as a third and fifth grade teacher at Lake Pointe Elementary School, and as a math teacher at Lake Travis Middle School, before joining the LTISD administration, assisting students with special needs as a behavior specialist and counselor.

She later served as counselor at Serene Hills Elementary School before assuming her current role at West Cypress Hills. She earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Texas State University. She also holds a principal’s certification.

Learn more about the highly regarded Lake Travis ISD schools serving Sweetwater.

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