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On Monday night, Dec. 13, Dani Heathington informed the Muleshoe ISD Board of Trustees of her plans to retire on June 30, 2022. 

“Mrs. Heathingon is the face of Muleshoe schools,” said Superintendent Dr. R.L. Richards. “Her wisdom and life standards are the staple that has helped Muleshoe schools thrive. If an issue or problem arrives, you can count on Mrs. Heathington to solve the problem.” 

Heathington began her career at MISD as an educational aide in 1991. After two years, she decided to return to college to earn her teaching certificate. 

A Muleshoe High School graduate, Heathington graduated with a B.S. in education from Eastern New Mexico University, Portales. She taught second grade for two years and special education for eight years. 

In 2006, Heathington decided to pursue a degree in educational administration. She earned her master’s from Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, in 2009. 

Since that time, Heathington has served as Watson Junior High assistant principal and principal, Dillman Elementary principal, and assistant superintendent for MISD, her current position. 

Heathington has been instrumental in developing several MISD programs including Common Sense Planning, which involves collaboration among teachers in planning and developing equity for students. 

“It means making sure that all teachers have the same material so that students have equal opportunity no matter what classroom they get in,” Heathington said. “I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in Grow Your Own, a program that helps paraprofessionals get certified to become classroom teachers.” 

Heathington has also worked to assure Vertical Alignment in reading and math. 

“Vertical Alignment involves making sure the material we’re using to teach with aligns from K through 12, so that we don’t create our own gaps. We look at Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards and determine which areas are non-negotiable for learning.” 

Heathington hopes that in the future, teachers and administrators will keep their passion for kids and for the community 

“I’d just like to see that we continue to prepare kids for the future, whether they remain in Muleshoe or move somewhere else. I want us to do everything we can to see that they’re employable whether they just earn enough to make a living for their family or go on to become doctors and lawyers. I hope we do everything we can for whatever their future needs are.” 

A Muleshoe native, Heathington intends to remain in the community where she was born and raised following retirement. 

“I have three children, all of them married, and eight grandchildren. I want to go to Grandparents’ Day and the first day of school. I want to surprise my grandkids by picking them up after school. I want to spend time with my dad and my sisters and brothers. In some capacity, I will be ministering to parents and kids. My career has been my ministry, and I want to continue that in some manner. 

“I’d like to thank the whole school system and the community for trusting me in the  many positions I’ve held, making changes as needed and working together to make right decisions for kids. I’d also like to thank our school board for hiring me to do different things. It takes a team.”

Gail M. Williams, Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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