Tiffany Guillory
Tiffany Guillory

Jack Yates principal Tiffany Guillory is back in the building of the Third Ward campus, after the Houston ISD twice reassigned her and then unsuccessfully moved to fire her earlier this month.

Community members rallied behind Guillory, determined to get the 8-year principal back in her job.

HISD first attempted to reassign Guillory from the school where she has worked for about eight years in September, when Assistant Superintendent Geovanny Ponce sent a letter, obtained by the Chronicle, with the subject line “reassignment.”

A second attempt was made on Dec. 16, when Guillory was called into a meeting with Ponce and the school resource officer, Guillory said. The meeting and consequential reassignment took her by surprise. 

“The meeting was a shock, the media coverage was a shock, and I was embarrassed,” Guillory said. “I basically stayed home for two weeks.” 

Both Guillory and the district declined to elaborate on details of the personal moves. At a January board meeting parents and alum defended Guillory, saying she brought much-needed stability to a campus that has struggled. Politicians said their phone lines were jammed with calls, and notable alumni threatened to pull funding. 

And even though administrators recommended her termination, trustees voted 6-3 to keep her employed. It was unclear at that time whether she would be returning to Yates.

Guillory said she received an outpouring of support from students and the community. She has been with the district since 2003, getting her start with HISD at Westbury High School as an instructional coordinator, dean of students and associate principal. She has been at Yates High School for roughly eight years, where she started as the dean of instruction before she was principal.

While the district has been silent on the reasoning behind her sudden reassignment, administrators told Jack Yates alumni in a meeting that Yates students were behind on college readiness indicators. HISD did not immediately return comment about the meeting, but two alumni in the meeting confirmed HISD’s message.