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Dr. Stephen Garretson named next principal of Justin

Dr. Stephen Garretson named next principal of Justin
A headshot of Dr. Stephen Garretson
Dr. Stephen Garretson

Dr. Stephen Garretson will return to Northwest ISD to lead Justin Elementary School after the current school year, bringing a veteran education administrator to the campus when its current principal retires.

Following the retirement of Dr. Lisa Ransleben, current principal of Justin, at the end of the 2023-2024 school year, Dr. Garretson will return to the district where he spent nine years as a teacher and assistant principal. From 2017 to 2022, Dr. Garretson served as assistant principal of Cox Elementary School, and he served as a teacher at Nance Elementary School from 2013 to 2017.

For the past two years, Dr. Garretson has led Walnut Creek Elementary School in Azle ISD as its principal, creating campus procedures for accountability measures, behavioral expectations, efficient arrival and dismissal processes, and more. Throughout his career, Dr. Garretson has earned a reputation of focusing on student growth while developing and maintaining a school culture that supports both families and staff.

“I’m eager to partner with the students, families and staff of Justin Elementary School to continue the tradition of excellence expected at this historic school,” Dr. Garretson said. “Justin is known for its engaged families and the amazing work of its staff, and together we will continue to provide the excellent educational environment our students experience every year.”

While Dr. Garretson will continue his work in Azle ISD through the current school year, he and Principal Ransleben will coordinate to ensure a smooth transition. As he begins his first year as principal of Justin, Northwest ISD will begin construction of the school’s new campus in the Timberbrook master-planned community. The new campus will open at the start of the 2025-2026 school year.

Dr. Garretson earned his doctorate in child and family development from Texas Woman’s University. He earned a master’s degree in early childhood education and bachelor’s degree, both from Texas A&M University-Commerce.