Dr. Ann Lê
Tomball ISD Student Support Program Specialist/Behavioral Specialist
Dedicated to the advocacy and awareness of positive behavioral and mental health, Dr. Ann Lê, has played an integral role in finding creative ways to address educational barriers, especially in Special Education, here in Tomball ISD.
Since her return home to Tomball in 2021, Lê has been able to share her personal and professional experiences related to mental and behavioral health, supporting students as a Student Support Program Specialist and Behavioral Specialist focused on restorative practices and wraparound services.
Lê is a 2000 graduate of Tomball High School and attended Lakewood Elementary, Tomball Intermediate, Tomball Junior High and THS.
Her parents relocated to Tomball in 1984 from the Philippines (and Vietnam before that) as refugees from the Vietnam War. They settled into the community of Tomball where Lê and her two brothers grew up, one, THS Class of 1999, and the other, THS, Class of 2011.
Identifying herself as a lifelong learner early, Lê remembers school being a place she longed for each and every day.
“I remember being such a Philomath; and being a student in Tomball ISD only fostered and nurtured that love for learning and studying,” she said. “I woke up early EVERY morning from the first day of PreK to the last day of my senior year in high school eager to see my teachers and soak in as much knowledge as I could.”
Lê was heavily involved in clubs and organizations while attending Tomball High School, but her most memorable was her participation in HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). She held office and represented Tomball ISD at a National Competition.
“Through HOSA, I was able to serve my community as a certified nurse and EMT as well as work alongside so many medical professionals and gain hands-on skills in ER, nursing, forensics dentist, ENT and so much more,” she recalls.
Following graduation from THS, Lê took that passion into college and attended Baylor University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience Pre-Law and Pre-Med.
After completing her degree, Lê became a new mom and due to cultural difficulties, working was not an option and became a stay at home mom. But Lê’s passion for helping others and pursuing a career and life she had dreamed of wasn’t out of reach.
“With every ending, comes an opportunity for a new beginning,” she notes. “My divorce led me back to Tomball and into education. I was faced with single parenthood and children who would be in school. Without hesitation, I picked up my life in Katy, and was determined to raise my children through the education system that prepared me so well in life. There were many factors that would be out of my control as my children and I embarked on this new journey, but the one stable thing I could control was where they would receive and build their foundation for education - Tomball ISD.”
She began working at Tomball Regional Hospital as a Certified Nurse Assistant and as a Respite Care provider doing volunteer work as well as substitute teaching in Tomball ISD schools.
“In college, my focus/specialty was behavioral neuroscience so it gave me a great foundation on addressing behavior as they are linked to how our brain works,” she said.
However, despite her education in the health profession, Lê believed education was where she belonged, afterall.
In 2012, Lê’s educational career began as a 6th grade GT science and social studies student teacher at Northpointe Intermediate. Drawn to her passion for helping others and supporting those with special needs, Lê transitioned into a Special Education Developmental teacher at Willow Creek Elementary and then to Decker Prairie Elementary as a Special Education Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) teacher. She also went on to pursue her Masters in Special Education from Sam Houston State University during that time.
As her professional career flourished, Lê had the opportunity to pursue a leadership role as an Educational Diagnostician and an Evaluation & ARD Specialist, respectively, at two neighboring districts over a six-year span. She quickly became a mentor for other diagnosticians and special education teachers, supervisor for diagnostician practicum students, and Texas consultant for special education assessment of Asian students.
As a lifelong learner, Lê continued her education and received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with Principal as Instructional Leader certification from SHSU in 2021.
Following that short-stint away, Lê returned home to Tomball in 2021 when the opportunity to serve in a district leadership role opened.
“I returned to Tomball bringing all the knowledge and experience I have gained so that I could give back to the people and community, and continue the #DestinationExcellence vision.”
Now, as a Behavioral Specialist, Lê shares her extensive experience with colleagues all over the nation. She has seven publications to her name and has made nearly 50 guest speaker appearances since 2015.
For her, advocating for positive behavioral and mental health is her truly calling.
“Positive behavioral and mental health allows adults and students to work more productively, cope better through everyday stress, maintain a positive outlook, and engage in healthy eating, sleeping and exercise habits,” Lê said.
In her new role, Lê has blossomed into a champion for supporting students through behavioral and mental health issues.
“In Tomball ISD, we serve our students based on their needs and not their eligibility,” Lê states. “How we approach discipline and misbehaviors has evolved, moving far from strictly punitive approaches and towards more restorative practices.”
Lê knows the value of education and the impact Tomball ISD had on her as a young learner. It was the driving force to her returning home. And now, within the next two years, she will have the opportunity to see her two boys wrap up their premier educational experience as they both attend Tomball Memorial High School, Classes of 2023 and 2024.
“Although Tomball still remains a smaller school district compared to neighboring districts, we serve our students, families, and community as if we were the biggest district there is,” Lê said. “We have such a strong community and dedication to education and I’m extremely happy to be home.”