We are delighted to announce the appointment of Rachel Ware as St. Pius X High School’s principal beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. As such, Mrs. Ware will collaborate with Head of School, Carmen Garrett Armistead, to enrich the school’s academic program, continue to grow overall school enrollment and move SPX forward in a bold direction in line with the strategic plan put into place during the 2018-2019 school year. The selection of Mrs. Ware is the result of a comprehensive, nation-wide search that included members of the Dominican Sisters of Houston, teachers, support staff, administrators, and board members.
“I am confident that Rachel will foster and cultivate the strengths of our school, building upon our history and taking us to the next level of excellence as Houston’s premier co-educational Catholic High School,” said Mrs. Armistead. “She is a gifted, hardworking, creative, and dedicated educator; I genuinely look forward to working with her as she leads us into a new era!”
Mrs. Ware has been with SPX for the past four years, serving as classroom teacher, dean and co-curricular advisor. Throughout her time as Dean of Students, Mrs. Ware has had a significant impact; she co-created and implemented a behavior management system grounded in the school’s honor code and restorative justice practices ensuring that infractions are teachable moments. She led a charge to digitize behavioral referrals and detention assignments, and carefully upgraded and managed the attendance reporting procedures. Mrs. Ware’s professional influence is most obvious in her role as Advisory Coordinator where she has integrated a new advisory system into the daily life of SPX -- assigning students to advisor groups, coordinating the schedule, creating developmentally appropriate sessions, and supporting advisors in their new and expanded roles with students.
Previously, Mrs. Ware was a language arts teacher at St. Ambrose Catholic School from 2009-2016, where she also served as a level and curriculum leader and Student Council sponsor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Secondary Education from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University in 2011.
Mrs. Ware, born and raised in the Oak Forest area, attended St. Ambrose and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. She and her husband, Jimmie, have two boys, Stetson and Stoney, who attend St. Ambrose.
“It is with great excitement and gratitude that I accept this leadership opportunity,” said Ware. “This area is my home; my heart. Serving the SPX community is not only a professional honor, but seeing its success is an incredibly personal one. I look forward to working with Mrs. Armistead and our faculty, staff, and families. I am confident that together we will further develop a thriving community of leaders and scholars for today and tomorrow, right here at home.”
This leadership change comes with the retirement of Principal Diane Larsen. Mrs. Larsen has been with St. Pius X High School since 1986, encouraging Panthers to be their best selves for more than 30 years. “I am deeply grateful to Diane Larsen for her dedication and devotion to St. Pius X and her leading roles as Librarian, Academic Dean, and Principal for more than three decades,” said Mrs. Armistead. “Diane has been a constant in our community and has truly made an impact on thousands of students and teachers during her tenure. I know that she will be a guide and mentor for Rachel during this transition.”