• Garden Van Zandt-Guinn opened in 1979 as one of two Fort Worth ISD underground schools.

    Colors: Orange & Black

    Mascot: Tiger At Van Zandt Guinn

    Elementary School the administrators, instructional team, auxiliary staff, and SBDM team are committed to the belief that all children can and will achieve in a safe and orderly environment that is conducive to learning. We have been entrusted to nurture each child’s academic potential, identify and develop their other gifts and talents, hence empowering each of them to become productive and contributing citizens in our ever changing world. We accept the challenge!

Principal

Mr. Keith Besses

Phone: 817-815-2000

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Keith Besses

Keith Besses has spent the last 23 years making an impact and sharing his passion for learning in the lives of the children he has worked with. After starting his career in corporate America, he felt a calling to leave it all behind to serve and give back to his community. He’s never looked back and has had great pleasure in fulfilling the path the Lord has put Him on. Keith currently serves as the principal of Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary with a population of close to 600 students and lives daily by the motto “Every Child Every Day”.

Keith is currently working on his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Texas A&M Commerce

Assistant Principal

Mrs. Joyce Bowens-Thomas

Phone: 817-815-2012

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Joyce Bowens-Thomas

Mrs. Bowens-Thomas has served as a dedicated educator and instructional leader in FWISD for 18 years.  Mrs. Bowens Thomas earned her Bachelors of Business Administration with emphasis in Marketing from Texas Woman’s University, teaching certification from Tarleton State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Arlington.

 Mrs. Bowens-Thomas taught for eleven years at Como Elementary School as a literacy teacher also serving as grade level chair, literacy coach, gifted and talented coordinator. During this time, she was honored as Campus Teacher of the Year and FWISD Reading Chair of Excellence. She transitioned into administration at A.M. Pate Elementary School serving as Assistant Principal Intern and Dean of Instruction for eight years. 

Mrs. Bowens-Thomas feels privileged to serve as Assistant Principal at Van Zandt Guinn and to be a VZG Tiger.  She believes in educational equity for all students and works diligently to build relationships with faculty and staff, students, parents, and community leaders to create a successful learning environment.

Dean of Instruction

Ms. Devona Burgess

Phone: 817-815-2011

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Devona Burgess

Devona Burgess earned her undergraduate degree from CSU Stanislaus, her graduate degree from Cappella University and received her Principal Certification from Lamar University. She has served in the field of education for 18 years, as a Special Education teacher, Pre-K teacher, Early Childhood Specialist, Title 1 Teacher, Data Analyst and currently serves as the Dean of Instruction at Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary in the Fort Worth Independent School District.

As an EC Specialist, she served the Early Childhood Department for five years and played an integral role with integrating the Pre-K curriculum.  At the campus level she works collaboratively with her team to move students from not making adequate progress to meeting and mastering the state standards. During her five years at Van Zandt-Guinn, she has been recognized as Teacher of the Year, serves as an administrator in the absence of the Principal and has been an active participant with the academic growth of students, helping the campus earn distinctions in Student Progress in 2015 and 2017. She is dedicated in her efforts to improve student achievement through collective, team-based approaches, direct lines of communication and thorough planning.

Ms. Burgess has a passion for serving at-risk populations and it is her desire to help make a difference in the lives of disadvantage youth. Whether it is working as a curriculum writer or serving at the campus level, Ms. Burgess Core Beliefs remain the same, all students can reach their full potential of academic and personal success when given the opportunity and appropriate resources.