Return to Headlines

GISD Appoints Two New Principals


Neighbors and VanNess Photo


GISD Appoints Two New Principals


GALVESTON, TX (July 12, 2018) - Galveston Independent School District is pleased to announce the appointment of two new principals; Matthew Neighbors as the new Principal of Austin Middle School and Cathy Van Ness as the new Principal of Rosenberg Elementary (formerly Coastal Village Elementary) for the 2018-2019 school year.


Van Ness is passing down the torch to Neighbors, after serving as Principal to Austin Middle School for the past 10 years.


About Matthew Neighbors:

Mr. Neighbors was most recently the Assistant Principal and Director of Media Arts and Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) Communities at Ball High School.   


"Austin Middle School is an exceptional educational opportunity.  I am excited to be joining the prestigious STEM Magnet program and to prepare future Ball High Tors for success.  My years in GISD have been extremely rewarding and I hope to continue to inspire others during this next chapter in my career" says Neighbors.


Neighbors has been in education for over 21 years and has been with Galveston ISD for the past 14 years, all served at Ball High School. He arrived at Ball High School in 2004, first teaching Social Studies and coaching Cross Country and Boys Basketball. He later became an AP Reader and served as an Instructional Coach.


Prior to serving GISD, Neighbors taught at Brownfield High School for 7 years and started his career at Dunbar Junior High in Lubbock ISD.  Neighbors received his B.S. from Texas A&M University College Station and his M.S. from Texas Tech University Lubbock.

 Neighbors in front of AMS

About Cathy Van Ness:  

Van Ness began her career in Galveston ISD in 1991 as a middle school teacher at Austin Middle School.  After 3 years at the middle school level, she worked at Parker Elementary School as a 3rd grade teacher, 4th grade teacher, an assistant principal, and at the district level as an academic coordinator. Van Ness transitioned to role of Principal at Alamo Elementary School from 2005-2007 and as the principal of Austin Middle School from 2008 to 2018.


“I look forward to this new endeavor. I am honored to work in partnership with the students, faculty, and parents of Rosenberg Elementary School to develop a culture of shared learning and leading. Austin Middle School will always be a special place to me, and I will always be grateful for the learning experiences on this campus” says Van Ness.


Ms. Van Ness was born and raised in Galveston and is a product of the Galveston Independent School District. She attended Island Elementary School, Weis Middle School, Central Middle School, and Ball High School. After high school graduation, she attended Sam Houston State University and earned a B.S. in Psychology. Upon college graduation, she pursued her teaching certification at the University of Houston-Clear Lake local. She earned her M.S. in Educational Leadership and principal certification through the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Cathy Van Ness Photo


Related story: Click here to read more about the name change of Rosenberg Elementary.