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PAISD’s newest principals share goals for Adams & Washington elementaries

The Port Arthur Independent School District is rearranging administrators at two campuses.

With the loss of Staff Sgt. Lucian Adams Elementary principal Cheryl Tripplett, Dr. Erica Seastrunk is stepping into the role.

As the previous principal at Booker T. Washington Elementary, Seastrunk brings a wealth of knowledge and familiarity.

Seastrunk is a graduate of West Brook High School and has three degrees from Lamar University, including a bachelor of business administration, master of education administration and a doctorate of global education leadership.

Seastrunk has taught elementary and middle school English, reading and dyslexia classes at Beaumont ISD before becoming an assistant principal and principal in Port Arthur.

“I’m a versatile individual and I believe my skillset will be an asset to the school,” she said. “I’m ready to bring some new ideas and creativity to the students and staff at Lucian Adams.”

Seastrunk is excited to include the third and fourth graders under her belt.

“I just want to bring a sense of peace to the campus, especially with COVID-19,” she said. “I want parents to know that we will continue to take care of the whole child, physically, emotionally and academically, and strive to have a healthy relationship.”

Seastrunk said she is excited to take on the Adams responsibility and become part of the school family and community.

Lucrecia Harris is replacing Seastrunk at Booker T. Washington Elementary.

Harris is the former assistant principal at Adams Elementary. With 28 years in various educational roles, she is ready to serve a new campus as its leader.

“My journey to this position has been a long one,” Harris said. “I started out as a paraprofessional, then I became a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, an assistant principal and now principal.

“I’ve learned a lot throughout this experience. Now I am able to share the experiences I have with others who may be going through the same journey. I’ve learned a lot from numerous amounts of great professionals and great educators. It’s been good, but I’m ready for this new role.”

Harris’ educational background includes three degrees: an associate’s degree of mid-management from Lamar Institute of Technology, a bachelor’s of applied arts from Lamar University and a master’s of education from Prairie View A&M.

Prior to her time in Port Arthur, she taught as a paraprofessional and elementary teacher at Beaumont ISD and Fort Bend ISD.

Spending the last eight years in the district, Harris has practice as an instructional coach, elementary teacher and assistant principal.

“With all the different levels I’ve been at, I’ve confidently learned new ways to teach and engage with kids and keep up with the trends in education,” Harris said. “I come with a wealth of knowledge. I’m still willing to learn. I’m an active listener and any suggestions or concerns are always welcome.”

Harris is hoping to bring innovative and creativity to the prekindergarten-through-second grade campus.

“I’m excited to meet the staff, students and community, and I’m hoping to serve them in a way that continues striving for excellence with the students at Washington.”

Preparing for the challenges of the new school year, Harris is no stranger to obstacles.

The former Adams assistant principal went through the struggles and damages Hurricane Harvey brought to the campus in 2017.

“I’m used to tragedy and challenges,” she said. “So with COVID-19, having a sense of calmness on the campus, letting the students, parents and staff know what the changes will be, is important to me,” she said. “No plan is perfect, but we will do our best to make sure everyone entering the building is safe.”

Port Arthur ISD’s first day of classes is Aug. 18.

“I’m excited to get back to work, get back to the kids again,” Harris said. “I love children. I know that they are going to have a lot of questions and concerns, but I’m ready to begin the work. I’m excited to start, eager and ready to get things going.”