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Dr. Marc Faulkner is a West Texas native, graduating from Permian High School. After high school, he attended Tarleton State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Education in 1997. He received his master’s degree in Education and principal’s certification from Tarleton State University in 2003. In 2007, he completed his superintendent certification through Tarleton and received his doctorate degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013. 

Dr. Faulkner’s educational experiences include teaching 9-12 grade Agricultural Science for four years, serving as a high school assistant principal for three years, serving as the China Spring High School Principal for five years, serving as the assistant superintendent for CSISD for three years, and serving as superintendent of China Spring ISD since December of 2012.

One of his most honorable accomplishments in education was being named "Region XII Principal of the Year in 2008".  He also has fond memories of leading his high school campus to an Exemplary rating from TEA.  In 2017, Dr. Faulkner was named by the Education Service Center Region 12 as the "Superintendent of the Year" and represented the region in the state level Superintendent of the Year selection.

In his spare time he likes to spend time with his wife Amy and very active children Raelynn and Brayden. Dr. Faulkner also enjoys hunting and watching sports.


Dr. Kevin Pitts is beginning his 15th year with China Spring ISD and his 25th year as a public educator.  Prior to being named Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Pitts served China Spring as a biology teacher, coach, assistant principal, and Principal of CSHS. His previous experience includes teaching and coaching positions at Cibolo Steele HS, Mansfield HS, Duncanville HS, and Galena Park HS.

Dr. Pitts is a Waco native and a member of the 1990 graduating class of Connally ISD.  Kevin received a B.S. from Texas State University in San Marcos and a M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Lamar University in Beaumont. 

Kevin has been married to Jennifer for 23 years and they have two children; Jaxson (20) and Jordan (17).  Dr. Pitts spends his time away from work relaxing with family and friends, playing golf and attending his children’s extracurricular activities.


Jennifer Crook is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. She began teaching at China Spring in 1997. She has served the district in many capacities.  She has been a LIFE Skills teacher, a third grade teacher, and a second grade teacher. She has also served in the roles of high school counselor and intermediate assistant principal. Before coming to China Spring ISD Mrs. Crook taught resource math at Connally Middle School.

Mrs. Crook grew up in the Waco area. She graduated from Connally High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Paul Quinn College, and she received her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Tarleton State University.

Mrs. Crook is married to her high school sweetheart, Bret. They have three children: Austin, Tristen, and Madison. Austin and Tristen graduated from Sam Houston State University, and Madison is a student at the high school. Most of her time is spent with her husband supporting their children as they participate in various activities.  She loves traveling with her family, and she is happiest when engaged in new and challenging experiences.


Brenda Poteet was born and raised in the Waco area, graduating from Connally High School in 1983.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Baylor University in 1987 and received her Master’s in Business from Baylor University in 1995.  

Before coming to the education field, Mrs. Poteet worked in industry for 14 years.  Her positions included Assistant Controller for Time Manufacturing Company and General Accounting Manager for M & M Mars. She also served as Chief Financial Officer for Rapoport Academy Charter School in Waco for five years.  Brenda came to China Spring after six years at Region 12 Education Service Center where she served as Business Office Consultant for Region 12 school districts. 
Brenda holds several certifications including Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Registered Texas School Business Administrator (RTSBA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Brenda lives in Lorena with her husband, Billy, and her sons, Logan and Jared.  She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, reading and fishing. Brenda can be reached at or 254-836-1115.


Lisa Howard is a 1989 graduate of Bruceville-Eddy High School. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree at Tarleton State University.  After graduation Mrs. Howard worked at the Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth, where she saw her path and passion manifest more clearly. She returned to Tarleton to obtain her teaching credentials, and later became a Lamar Cardinal as she earned her Master’s in Educational Administration with Principal Certification.  Her career in education began in Waco ISD, where she served for 14 years as a multi-age K-1 teacher, public Montessori 1st – 3rd teacher, Elementary and Secondary Instructional Specialist, and Assistant Principal.

Mrs. Howard joined the Cougar Nation as the High School Assistant Principal with focus on curriculum and instruction in 2014. She served the High School for four years before joining China Spring Administration as the Executive Director of Special Programs in 2018.

Mrs. Howard lives in Woodway with her husband, Bob. They are the proud parents of two young men, Bobby and Joseph.  She is an avid fisherman, enjoys woodworking, loves crafting, and cherishes every moment she spends with her family.


Josh Gregory will begin his 20th year in education here at China Spring.  Prior to being named Athletic Director, Coach Gregory spent the last 5 years as the Offensive Coordinator and Head Track coach for Cedar Ridge HS (Round Rock ISD).  Coach Gregory began his career with China Spring ISD 19 years ago, where he would spend the next 14 years coaching/teaching, before moving to Round Rock. 

Coach Gregory is a Central Texas product.  He was a member of the Clifton ISD class of 1995.  Josh received his B.S. from Lamar University while competing in Div. 1 athletics.

Josh has been married to Amy (a 5th Grade teacher at China Spring) for 21 years.  They have two children, Tilson (17) and Tatum (12).  Josh and his family are extremely excited to “come back home” and serve this great community!


Leslie Smith has worked for China Spring ISD since 2017.  Her educational experience started while teaching middle school math in Irving ISD in 2000 and continued with teaching at the intermediate school level in Kaufman ISD.  Mrs. Smith and her husband moved to Waco in 2011 where she served 6 years as teacher, behavior coach, and Assistant Principal at Woodgate Intermediate School in Midway ISD.

Mrs. Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University in 1999 and her Masters of Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2011.

Mrs. Smith and her husband, Cory, have been married since 1996.  They have a daughter, Kimberlyn, and a son named Jace.  In her spare time, she loves hanging out with family, cheering on the Baylor Bears, and attending her children’s extracurricular events.



Melissa Adams is the Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology. She began teaching at China Spring ISD in 2004. Mrs. Adams taught third grade where she was named China Spring Teacher of the Year in 2012. Ms. Adams has also served at China Spring ISD as an instructional technology coach, and coordinator of innovative learning design. 

Mrs. Adams grew up in the Waco area. She graduated from Midway High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree and Master’s degree in Educational Administration with a concentration in Educational Technology and Leadership  from Tarleton State University.  

Mrs. Adams is married to her high school sweetheart, Larry. They have three children, Marshall, Mitchell, and Maddilyn. Marshall is a 2019 China Spring Graduate and is currently attending Sam Houston State University. Mitchell is a junior at China Spring High School, and Maddilyn is a 5th grader. Mrs. Adams enjoys attending her children’s extracurricular activities, traveling with her family, and always learning new things.


Dr. Max Rutherford has worked for China Spring ISD since 2005, and has been the principal of China Spring High School since 2016.  Prior to being named high school principal, he served China Spring as a Social Studies teacher, coach, and assistant principal.  Prior to coming to China Spring he taught and coached for Troy ISD and St. Louis Catholic School.

Dr. Rutherford grew up in Clifton, TX and graduated high school in 1998.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Texas Tech University in 2002, and Masters in Education Administration from Lamar University in 2010.  In 2013 Dr. Rutherford, completed his superintendent certification from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and in 2018 he graduated from Lamar University with his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lamar University.

Dr. Rutherford has been married to Jan, a 4th Grade teacher in China Spring, since 2002.  They have two children, Mabry and Ben.  He enjoys spending time with his family and friends when he is not at work.


Nickolas Smith is beginning his first year at China Spring Middle School and first year in China Spring this year. Dr. Smith is entering his 22nd year in education and 12th year as a campus principal. During his career, Dr. Smith has served at every level of public education including stops at elementary school, middle school, high school and central office. He began his career as a middle school teacher/coach in Midway ISD and also served that community as an elementary assistant principal and intermediate principal. Dr. Smith also served as a high school principal in Comal ISD, a principal with Gatesville ISD, and a principal in Killeen ISD, where he also served as a Director of School Improvement . 

Dr. Smith grew up in Houston, Tx. and attended Baylor University to earn his Bachelor of Science in Education degree. He obtained his Masters in Educational Administration degree from Tarleton State University and completed his Doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. 

Dr. Smith is married to Alison Smith, who also serves as a high school principal in a neighboring school district. The Smiths have 4 children to include Nate (14), Camille (12), Emerson (10) and Cooper (8). They enjoy getting outdoors as a family and attending their kids sporting events.


Heather Jenkins came to China Spring ISD in 2012 to serve as China Spring Middle School Principal. Mrs. Jenkins came to us after serving two years as the Assistant Principal at Alta Vista Montessori campus in Waco ISD. She started her educational career in 1997 with Denton ISD teaching elementary Special Education classes. She then moved to Waco in 2002 and spent the next 10 years in various roles as teacher, technology facilitator and Assistant Principal. 

Mrs. Jenkins received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas and her Masters of Educational Administration from Lamar University. Since she started at China Spring Middle School she has brought many different styles of learning that have helped students flourish. 

Mrs. Jenkins currently resides in the China Spring community with her husband, Bryan and their three children Cameron, Emily and Reese. All of their children attend China Spring ISD and are very active in extracurricular activities.


Kristen Dutschmann has worked for China Spring ID since 2016.  Her educational experience began while teaching and coaching in Missouri in 2008.  She and her husband moved to Texas in 2010 and decided to plant roots in China Spring.  Upon moving to Texas, she has worked in various educational roles at La Vega ISD and Lorena ISD prior to joining the China Spring ISD family.

Mrs. Dutschmann grew up in southwest Missouri.  She graduated high school from Monett High School.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, and she received her Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Tarleton State University in Stephenville. 

Mrs. Dutschmann's husband, Chris Dutschmann, is a China Spring graduate and a current 5th grade Math and Social Studies teacher at China Spring Intermediate School.  They have two sweet children, Autumn and August.  When not at school or school-sponsored events, Mrs. Dutschmann loves spending time hanging out with her family and watching Hallmark Channel seasonal movies with her daughter  (and Mr. D, although he might not admit to it).  They also love traveling and cheering on their favorite sports teams as a family.