Matthew Nelson — Principal
Matthew Nelson is excited to serve as principal for Austin’s flagship middle school. Prior to taking over the helm at Small, he served as principal at Pease Elementary school for two years, where he created numerous STEAM programs and initiatives similar to the courses offered here at Small. Before becoming a principal with AISD, he worked at O.Henry Middle School as an Assistant Principal, Special Education Teacher, Advisory Coordinator, and coached every sport under the sun.
Mr. Nelson’s philosophy is to take care of the child first. He works to ensure that teachers, parents, and staff value whole-child education above all else. This makes him the perfect champion for the unique and diverse programming here at Small.
Clint Small Middle School wants to provide the total “middle school experience” to all students and we are constantly exploring new ways to engage our students with our Green Tech Academy, Dual Language Program, Project Lead the Way, and award-winning Fine Arts Department.
Mr. Nelson and Small work hard to ensure each child feels accepted, enjoys academic challenges, and is provided every opportunity to excel. He comes from a family of educators and is honored to be a part of the Southwest Austin community. Having lived in this area for more 15 years, he knows the culture, the clientele, the climate, and can even navigate the traffic circle at the Y.
De'sean Roby — Academic Dean
De’Sean Lynette Roby began her teaching career as a long-term substitute for Blackshear Elementary and Lamar Middle School. Her first teaching position was 4th and 6th grade at Wimbush and Starrett Elementary in Arlington, Texas. Her career in Austin has been entirely in Title I schools, spending nine years at J.E. Pearce Middle school, teaching 6th grade ELA and Social Studies. Ms. Roby spent five years at Gus Garcia Middle School, where she joined the faculty as ELA instructional coach. She was later promoted to Academic Dean in 2010. She spent her first two years at Clint Small Middle School as vice principal before she was promoted to Academic Dean. Ms. Roby, often called just Roby, enjoys working with teachers and students and enjoys being a member of the Clint Small Middle School community.
David Sammon — Assistant Principal
David Sammon is entering his 15th year in education. Mr. Sammon graduated from the University of North Texas with his bachelor’s degree, UT San Antonio with his secondary education degree, and from Concordia University in Austin with his master’s in Educational Administration. Mr. Sammon brings a wealth of leadership experience and academic expertise that focuses on critical thinking, high standards, and collaboration. He began his career in AISD at O. Henry Middle School in 2002, and has been fortunate to work at high-achieving districts across the state including Leander, Northeast San Antonio, and Pflugerville ISD. His philosophy in education encompasses the whole child and focuses on positive behavior management, parent partnerships, and building relationships with students daily. Mr. Sammon has taught every grade level from 6-12 and understands the challenges and processes it takes to achieve success with students from every background. Mr. Sammon also has coached student athletes at the middle school and high school levels. His broad perspective on education stems from growing up in California, Hawaii, and Texas while interacting with a broad range of people. His wife is an instructional coach at Region 13 and his daughter will be an 8th grader this coming year. Mr. Sammon works to positively impact the lives of students long term and to raise the standards for students, so they ultimately will raise the standards for themselves.