Our School Namesake: Dr. Jenny Preston
Allen’s newest elementary school bears the name of an individual who is more than familiar with education and school construction, Jenny Preston.
Dr. Jenny Preston served as Allen ISD's superintendent of schools from 2000 to 2006. Prior to coming to Allen, she was superintendent at Graham ISD for 2 years. She began her teaching career in 1973 and later worked as a principal in Pine Tree and Mineola ISD before assuming the role of assistant superintendent in Pine Tree ISD in 1994. She was named as superintendent of Graham ISD in 1998 before coming to Allen ISD in 2000. Last year she returned to Allen for five months as Allen’s interim superintendent of schools. Overall, Preston has served Texas public school for more than 30 years.
Since retiring in 2006, she has continued to serve public schools as an educational consultant working with districts throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
In announcing the new school’s namesake, Board President Louise Master commented that “Jenny Preston is a model for our students and teachers to follow. She has always demonstrated a deeper understanding of education and its importance to a community. Despite the challenges our school district may have faced, her decisions were always made with the best interest of children first.”
“Education was always a priority in our home,” says Preston. “My father served on the Union Grove school board for 22 years and my mother was a long-time PTA volunteer. They had high expectations for all three of their daughters and we all went into education.”
The education bloodline continues to run deep. Her two sons, Justin and John Paul and their wives, Julie and Amber are all Allen ISD teachers.
Preston knew that Allen was the right place for her on her first visit in 2000. “On my first visit I had a feeling that I wanted to be here. The city was growing fast and there was an excitement around the town. At the same time there was a family feeling that we have heard about many times through the years.”
Growth also presented Preston with her biggest challenge as Allen ISD superintendent. “I knew very little about school construction when I started in Allen but we managed to open three new elementary schools and one middle school. I can’t say enough about the help and guidance I received from Bob Curtis (facilities) and Steve West (finance) at that time.”
Preston admits she was almost speechless when the school naming announcement was made. “School is such a bigger thing than one person. It’s not about me, it’s about all of the students. That was so clear to me when I helped welcome the school’s kindergarten class in March.”
“I am so honored to be be recognized in this way,” she added. “I loved school as a child and as a teacher. I hope that in some way I can share that experience with the students and staff at the new school.”