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Princeton ISD welcomes 8,000th student

Sally-Rose and Mrs. Riano meet the Panther and superintendent.

Princeton ISD celebrated a milestone with the 8,000th student enrolling in the district.


Kindergartener Sally-Rose David Agana arrived at Harper Elementary this week, and she joined students in Jennifer Riano’s room for her first day of classes.


Sally-Rose was even treated to a special tour of the campus with a celebrity guide, the Princeton Panther mascot.

Student hugs Panther. 

Superintendent Donald McIntyre was on-hand for the special event to welcome the new student, who beat out several other newcomers as the No. 8,000 enrollee. This includes Menna Alshaikhly, who arrived at Harper minutes later for her first day in kindergarten, but she was in time for a high-five from the Panther.


The rest of the student population on campus, as well as the office staff, welcomed all the fanfare today and took advantage of the special guests for hugs and high-fives.


The Harper classroom is so excited to meet the Panther.

Officially, as of Jan. 18, the district’s enrollment sits at 8,011, compared to 6,912 on this same day in 2022 – a difference of 1,099 students.


Because of this unprecedented growth explosion in PISD, Sally-Rose wasn’t alone in her class as a newcomer. Her teacher, Mrs. Riano, moved to Texas from California recently and joined the staff at Harper after Christmas break two weeks ago.


Menna Alshaikhly gives the Panther a high-five.

The enrollment growth warrants hiring teachers to accommodate the additional students, so a few campuses across the district had new teachers this semester so classes weren’t bursting at the seams.


“Although this rapid growth brings with it a few challenges, getting to celebrate our students is always a special occasion,” Mr. McIntyre said. “Seeing the smiles is a favorite part of my job.”


Ms. Riano's class got a special visit from the Panther mascot.

About the photos:


Sally-Rose David Agana and her kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Riano, who is also new to PISD, got to meet the Panther mascot and Superintendent Donald McIntyre.


Harper kindergarten student Oluwafolayemi Akiwowo was the first person to greet the Panther when it arrived on campus.


Mrs. Riano's kindergarten class swarmed the Panther with hugs.


New student Menna Alshaikhly also got a special high-five after she enrolled at Harper.


Mrs. Riano's class stopped morning work for a quick group photo with the Panther.


The Harper admin and office staff didn't mind the 8,000th student fanfare as long as they could get a picture with the Panther, too.

Harper admin and office staff got a chance to meet the Panther, too.