Dr. Theresa Williams | Superintendent of Plano Independent School District
As Superintendent of Plano Independent School District, Dr. Theresa Williams serves as the chief executive officer of a district with more than 6,500 employees serving 49,000 students across 74 schools and programs. With nearly thirty years in the profession, Dr. Williams considers education her calling and has made significant contributions, both as a teacher and administrator. She believes that every student deserves to have an exceptional learning experience and that a strong educational system is essential to the development of tomorrow’s workforce and the next generation of leaders.
Dr. Williams was unanimously appointed by the Plano ISD Board of Trustees as superintendent of schools in March 2022, beginning her tenure on June 1, 2022. She previously served as Plano ISD’s Deputy Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer from 2018 through May 2022. During her tenure as deputy superintendent, she led all aspects of the organization’s daily operations, including operationalizing the district’s strategic plan.
Prior to her appointment to the Plano ISD leadership team, Dr. Williams served as a teacher, school leader, district executive and deputy superintendent. She began her educational leadership journey at Garland ISD where she taught high school Spanish, then rose through the ranks, holding various campus and district leadership positions, including director of student services and director of special programs. She went on to serve in a cabinet level position as executive director of educational operations. Additionally, Dr. Williams served four years as Lubbock ISD’s deputy superintendent, where among her accomplishments were leading the design of that district’s strategic plan; expansion of CTE, Advanced Placement and Dual Credit; implementation of the district’s early college model; and districtwide digital learning.
Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in education and a master’s in educational administration and supervision from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She is a proud Red Raider from Texas Tech University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.
Dirdra Medina | Alumna of the Class of 2019 of Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy and Plano East Senior High School
Dirdra Medina is an alumnus of the Class of 2019 of Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy and Plano East Senior High School. She immigrated from the Philippines in 2011, in which she opted to finish her 5th grade at Rasor Elementary. Dirdra attended her feeder school, Hendrick Middle School, for the next three years. When chosen to join the Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy, she went to Williams High School and then to Plano East Senior High School where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Upon high school graduation, Dirdra earned her Texas Nurse Assistant certification and became a Nationally Registered EMT. She is also a peer-reviewed author; authoring an essay for the Journal of Youth Development’s Special Issue on Immigrant, Refugee, and Border Youth, in which she shared the struggles she faced as an immigrant to “fit in” and how overcoming those obstacles have helped her become who she is now. She is currently studying nursing at Collin College in McKinney and has been awarded scholarships twice by the Collin-Fannin Medical Society. Dirdra is also a medical assistant at a podiatry office in Frisco and a patient safety attendant at Medical City of Plano. With one year left of nursing school, she strives to become a better healthcare provider and give back to her community one person at a time.
Catherine Gaschen | Principal for Plano ISD Academy High School
Catherine Gaschen grew up just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan, where she received a Masters of Arts in education. Catherine chose education as a profession because of her passion for students and to share a love of learning. She chose Plano ISD because the district stood out from other districts nationally as a strong, dedicated, innovative learning community fully committed to growing students and staff.
Currently serving as Principal for Plano ISD Academy High School, Catherine is honored to shepherd forward its ambitious, innovative vision. Prior to joining Academy High School, Catherine served as an administrator at Vines High School, and she taught Social Studies at Williams High School and Rice Middle School. Her unique professional journey shapes her creative and entrepreneurial thinking. Catherine fundamentally believes in the power of the human spirit and the ability for all kids to learn and grow. She is inspired by community partnerships that enhance learning, and she hopes that the work done in Plano ISD and at Academy High School will serve as a beacon of hope for what’s possible in K-12 public education.
Dr. Kristyn Edney | Executive Director for Counseling, College, Career & Military Readiness Plano Independent School District
Dr. Kristyn Edney currently serves as the Executive Director for Counseling, College, Career & Military Readiness. She started her career 30 years ago as a high school English and ESL teacher prior to serving as a high school Assistant Principal and Principal for 12 years. She also served as the Dean of Instruction at Richland College followed by the Advanced Academics Administrator at a large suburban district. Prior to coming to Plano ISD, Dr. Edney worked with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on state-wide college and career readiness programs, including coordinating and launching the Texas College Bridge college preparatory program that serves all regions, school districts, and college systems across the state.
In her Plano ISD position, she focuses on ensuring all students dream about their future, recognize their college and career potential, and create informed plans to achieve their intended outcomes. She enjoys working with campus leadership teams in creating systems that support students in postsecondary planning and that continues to keep Plano ISD one of the highest achieving districts in the state.
She is proud to serve the Plano community and connect with partners from around Collin County.
Karen Buechman | Director of Career and Technical Education Plano ISD
Karen is starting her sixth year serving Plano ISD as the Director of Career and Technical Education. Karen began her teaching career in 2005 at Plano East Senior High School as an Agricultural Science Teacher and FFA Advisor. During her time as a teacher she advised students at the local, state, and national level. After her time in the classroom, Karen moved to the administration building as a CTE Coordinator where she oversaw the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture; Engineering; Automotive and Information Technology Career Clusters. Plano ISD currently offers over 100 CTE courses in 7-12th grade and supports multiple career and technical education student organizations where students have the opportunity to compete. Currently work has begun to develop the Plano ISD CTE Center which is slated to open for the 2026-2027 school year. Through all of these programs, students are provided innovative and rigorous experiences to prepare them for the global workforce in high wage, high demand career paths.