I am League City
The City of League City has over 600 hard-working employees who are dedicated to providing excellent service to the citizens of our community. Many of our employees live in League City, and when they're not working, you might see them out and about around town . Learn more about the City staff members in our I am League City employee profile series.
League City Animal Services Manager Kim Schoolcraft is no stranger to law enforcement. The City’s animal shelter and all animal control efforts fall under the direction of the League City Police Department. But, you may be surprised to learn, Kim herself has over 25 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, serving as the first ever female sergeant, captain, and chief of police for the City of Galveston. Learn more about Kim in this week’s I am League City employee profile.
How long have you worked for League City? I’ve been the Animal Services Manager for five years, and before that I worked for Galveston County Animal Control. And before that, I worked in law enforcement for 25 years. I was the first female sergeant, captain, and chief of police for the City of Galveston.
What was it like being a female in a predominately male work environment? I would be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging. I couldn’t even apply at first to become a police officer because of the height and weight restrictions, but then in 1975, they relaxed the restrictions and I was able to take the exam and apply. I was 23 years old when I joined the Galveston Police Department. I loved being a police officer. Every day was a new adventure and I loved working outside and working with people. Family needs made me retire, but I left on a high note having served for three years as the first female police chief for the City.
Why not stay retired? I was too bored and depressed when I retired so I had to do something. I have always loved animals and have volunteered at animal shelters all my life, so it made sense for me to combine that with my law enforcement experience. I came to work for League City in 2013 because of the City’s commitment to make the shelter “no kill.” That was extremely important to me and I am proud I was able to play a role in making that happen. We have so much community support in League City and I am grateful for the number of volunteers we have at the shelter and for those individuals who serve as fosters for us.
What was your first pet? Growing up in a military family that moved every few years, we couldn’t have pets. Though I will admit, I tried having a lizard live in my closet once, but that didn’t work out so well. My first dog was actually one I found tied up, chained, and abandoned while I was on patrol in Galveston. Her name was Melanie. I was always finding stray dogs and cats during my patrol shifts and then I would spend my off hours trying to find them homes. I ‘ve fostered hundreds of dogs over the years. Currently I am fostering two dogs—a puppy named Aldie that came into the shelter with parvo and Gizmo, a hospice dog with cancer.
What is your favorite part of your job? When we reunite owners with their pets. We have a high return-to-owner rate in League City, and part of that is because the shelter is very active on social media. We recently found a cat off Highway 3 that had a severe facial injury. The cat was microchipped, but the chip wasn’t registered. Through Facebook we were able to find his owners in Friendswood. The cat had stowed away in a contractor’s truck who was working on their home, which had flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The family was very grateful not only that we found their pet, but for the medical services we provided as well.
Are you excited about the new shelter? I cannot wait. It’s not only going to be a great place for animals, but for people as well. I see it as a community gathering place, where residents of all ages can come to learn, volunteer, find a new friend, and even have their birthday parties. We hope to break ground in early 2019.
Any plans to retire? I am 66 and I have no plans to retire any time soon.
Not only can Joan Peeples help you find almost any book at the library, she can also teach you a thing or two about ballet or give you a tour of the West Bay Common School. This librarian has over 33 years of experience and is now focusing on helping kids read with the help of cute dogs at the Helen Hall Library. Learn more in this I am League City profile.
What do you do? I staff the children’s reference desk, help people find materials and books, and answer questions. It’s mostly helping people find things when they need it.
You are involved with “Read to the Dogs” program, what is that? Yes, I’m the facilitator for the program. Three times a month, therapy dogs come in to listen to students read. Students that participate are in the first through third grade and usually need more encouragement and motivation for reading. The kids love it and they usually get over their reading problems and develop a love for reading.
How did you start working for the City? I have worked here 15 and a half years. I started working part-time while I was a school librarian. I was a teacher and school librarian for 33 years, then I retired two years ago and became part time at Helen Hall. I love it. I have a lot of experience at the library, so even when the computers are down, I’m glad I can still find what I’m looking for.
Favorite part about your job? It’s working with the children and their parents. I’ve always done that in my adult working life. I’m retired, but I’m happy to still be able to help people.
You also have some experience with ballet? I started ballet when I was 10 years-old and years later I enrolled at UT El Paso where my undergrad was in ballet. I also taught ballet for 10 years in El Paso at the YMCA, then I started doing nutcracker with Bay Area Ballet and Theaters for about 10 years. I would love to be able to teach ballet again, I’d love to offer some classes for the city. That’s on my agenda, to reach out to Parks and Recreation.
What are your hobbies outside of work? I did do ballroom dancing for a while. I want to get back to that. I love reading and I love to travel. I just got back from England, I was there for three weeks with my son and his wife.
You also volunteer at the one room schoolhouse? I’m a school marm at the West Bay Common School for the League City Historical Society. The one room schoolhouse is like a museum. I teach children who come in on field trips a history, spelling or mathematics lesson like it would have been a 100 years ago, so they get an experience going back in time to what school was like 100 years ago. Of course, I wear a long black skirt and long blouse like the teachers used to wear back then. I also give tours of the museum and describe the artifacts.
Favorite book? I like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, I used to read that every year. There are just so many, my favorite historical fiction book is Jane Eyre.
Some might call Jennafer Woitena a thrill seeker. The 14-year League City Police Department veteran admits she enjoys the adrenaline and rush of her two main hobbies—skydiving and rugby. Woitena joined the force when she was just 21-years old and now she’s on her way to becoming one of only a few dozen female bomb techs in the U.S. Learn more in this I am League City employee profile.
Did you always want to be a police officer? No, but I started taking some criminal justice classes at San Jacinto Community College and I thought they were interesting. Then one night I, after watching an episode of COPS, I had this intense and visual dream in which I was a police officer. I woke up the next morning and I just had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to pursue a career in law enforcement. A few weeks later, I saw that the League City Police Department was hiring, so I took the written and physical entrance exams, passed, and never looked back. I was only 21 years old at the time and I’ve been with the department ever since. That was 14 years ago.
What do you like about working for LCPD? I like the variety of work and the opportunity to advance and learn new things. I currently work in traffic enforcement and do accident reconstruction, as well as teach advanced accident reconstruction. I have served with the LCPD bike and marine patrol units and I currently am on the Texas City Regional Bomb Squad. I am in the process of getting my hazardous device school certification. When completed, I will be one of only 40 female bomb squad techs in the U.S.
How does your husband and family feel about you become a certified bomb tech? My husband Cliff, who also works for League City PD, is jealous. LOL. He wanted to do it as well, but they picked me and another colleague at LCPD. I am secretly glad he didn’t get picked because now I will have something to hold over his head. LOL. All kidding aside, my husband is an amazing police officer and spends time traveling all over the country to teach and train fellow officers in active shooter exercises. I am extremely proud of him, but I am also extremely competitive, so it will be nice to be able to have something to brag about that he can’t. But then again, he’s a lot humbler then I am. LOL.
As far as our family, I think our kids are just used to the fact that they have two police officers for parents. We have four kids—two older ones from Cliff’s first marriage that are 24 and 18, and two younger ones that are 9 and 7. We are blessed that my mom is around to help. Cliff travels a lot for his trainings and my schedule is crazy as well, so I am grateful for her help.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy skydiving. I’ve been doing it for around six years now and have about 118 jumps under my belt. I also started playing rugby a year ago. A daughter of a former colleague was looking for females to join her team, so I said why not. I played sports when I was in college and I really missed the competition and the comradery of being on a team. I have recruited two other female officers to join as well—Sgt. Gina Gonzalez and Officer Carina Martinez. We play for BARC, the Bay Area Rugby Club. We practice twice a week for two hours and games are on Saturday. I love it. It’s so much fun and super invigorating. Last year we won the Division 3 Championship.
Meet Ain McWilliams, League City's Multimedia Specialist. She moved to the United States from Malaysia only three years ago after meeting the love of her life through an online video game. Learn more about this adventurous gamer and how she is adjusting to life in Texas in this I am League City employee profile.
You’re a Multimedia Specialist, what are some of the projects you work on? So far, I’ve been working on the City Manager’s update that goes out every Friday and revamping the layout design and graphics for City Matters. I also work on all the flyers for our events and graphics for our website.
What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part would be that I can use my creative juices and come up with many different ideas for publications and digital graphics. Each project is different and depends on what people you’re targeting. I also like that my job involves me going around the city taking photos and promoting events.
How did you become interested in graphic designing? I found out when I was 8 years old that I was good at art and art classes were my favorite in school. Graphic design is a mix between working on computers and the fine arts. I like working with computers, so it’s like the middle ground between those two interests. I went to MARA University of Technology in Malaysia.
You’re from Malaysia, when did you come to the United States? I was born in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. I lived there for 25 years and then I moved to Houston in 2015.
Why did you come to the U.S.? It all started when I met my husband in 2012 on an online video game. A game called Guild Wars 2. We belonged to the same guild and played together a lot and then fell in love! Then we decided to meet in Munich, Germany in 2013 for a vacation. After that, we met again in Italy and then in 2015 he came to Malaysia and proposed to me on a white sandy beach. After that, I moved to the United States to be with him and we got married.
What is Malaysia like? Malaysia is a hot and humid country, it feels like summer all the time. There are mountains and lush tropical jungles, and it’s also a melting pot where there are different ethnicities in one country.
How have you adjusted to your new life in the U.S.? There were a lot of different things here. The highways here are huge, food portions are huge. I had never seen a four-way stop until I came here because we have roundabouts in Malaysia, so that was confusing. I had to acclimate to the temperatures here when they dipped below 90 degrees, especially in the winter.
Hobbies outside of work? Video games, duh! And I love traveling, too. It feels romantic when I get to the airport and get on the airplane because it reminds me of when me and my husband met. I also love nature. I’m trying to become a Texas Master Gardener. I have a few volunteer hours to complete before I graduate in 2019. I’m also a big foodie, so I like to try different types of food.
What is the part that you miss the most from your home country? I miss authentic Malaysian food. The food there is very spicy, half the dishes you eat there taste like there’s habanero in it.
Fun fact about yourself? I’ve traveled to 12 countries and my goal is to travel to 50 countries before I hit 50. The next country I plan to travel is back home. I have a cat, who has a passport so he can travel with me. His name is Barry!
When Susan isn't managing some of the biggest Capital Improvement projects in League City, she's on her bike, swimming, or running to prepare for a triathlon. Did we mention she's also a wife and mom? Get to know her and how she manages her time to do it all in this I am League City employee profile.
What is your title and what do you do? I’m a Senior Project Manager. My goal is to deliver on the City’s CIP from project inception all the way to construction. I work on projects like Calder Road, the FM 518 hike and bike trail, League City Parkway and Brittany Lakes intersection improvements, those are the big ones.
How did you become Project Manager? I’ve been working for the City for just over a year. I’m from St Louis Missouri. I went to the University of Michigan, bounced all over the Midwest, then worked for 10 years in Chicago before moving here. I had 15 years of engineering experience in the private sector and wanted something different. I saw the tremendous growth in the city and thought they could use help and applied for the position!
Does your job get stressful at times? (Laughs) I think the most challenging part has been trying to make sure that residents know that we hear their concerns and that were doing the best to address them. It gets a little hard knowing that some people get frustrated at times, but we hope that the finished product is something that they’re happy and satisfied with.
Favorite part about your job? I like meeting with the residents and getting to put a face to a name, they get to put my face to a name and getting to personally interact with them so that they know we are genuinely listening to what they want and that we are taking their concerns and feedback and trying to implement them into our CIP.
You like to run, tell us about that. I come from a running background but I mostly do triathlons now, swimming biking and running. That’s really where my little free time is spent, training and racing. I train everyday pretty much, when my schedule and energy levels allow it. I also have a daughter, Madeleine and she’s 7, and my husband is in the Coast Guard, he’s stationed away in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’m a single parent during the week, so when I’m not working it’s all about Maddie!
How did you start competing in triathlons? I did my first one in 2012. It went better than expected, I was really nervous, I wasn’t a strong swimmer but I made it through and I wasn’t the last person to finish! It’s something I enjoy doing and helps me manage stress. My husband runs too and I think it’s a good example to my daughter. It shows her time management skills and shows her that if you really want something, you can find a way to fit it in and make it happen no matter your schedule.
What has been your best race? The one I’m most proud of is one I did last year, it was a half IRONMAN race in Conroe and I had a bike wreck 42 miles in to the race. I gouged my knee, got eaten up by ants and fell in a patch of poison ivy, but I finished with a decent time! That experience was self-affirming and made me realize I was tougher than I thought I was.
Any advice for someone who wants to run a triathlon or start running? I think the hardest part is getting started. My husband had been doing them since 2005 and I didn’t do them until 2012. I was interested in trying them, but didn’t have the courage. I didn’t want my daughter to live a limited life out of fear, so I did it to show her that even though you’re scared to do something, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
Do you have any goals you want to accomplish? I signed up to do IRONMAN Texas this year but I got injured, I'm currently doing physical therapy to recover. My goal is to stay healthy so I can compete next year.
Sheldon Freeman has been visiting the Helen Hall Library ever since she was a toddler. Fast-forward almost 20 years and now she’s the Teen Services Librarian. Get to know her story and how she decided to change her career path to get her dream job in this I am League City employee profile.
How did you become a Teen Services Librarian?
I’ve been working at the library a little over seven years. I started as a page, that’s someone that comes in and shelves the materials. This was a part-time job during my senior year of high school, but I ended up loving it so much that I changed my entire career path so I could get my master’s degree in Library Sciences.
You are very familiar with the library, when did you first come here? I started coming here when I was about two and my mom would take me to story time. I’ve been here ever since then. My favorite event even now is the Holiday Open House. I also still have my certificates from the library’s summer reading programs that I participated in throughout the years.
Looking back now, did you ever imagine that you’d become a librarian? I never imagined it, I don’t know why I didn’t but I should have! When I was little I had my personal library at home and I would have my brother check out books and then I would fine him when they were overdue (laughs). But what I didn’t know is that there’s a whole field around it.
What makes you so passionate about your job? Growing up in League City is a big part of my life and coming to the library is also a big part of my life, so I feel devoted to the community to help give back a little bit so that all these kids will have the same experience that I did.
What do you consider interesting about your job? Being a librarian is so much more than what people think it is. So many people think we’re just going to help you find books and then send you on your way, or that we just like to read. We do like to read, but there’s so much more to our job than that. We help people build skills, create community connections between people and we just help them overall through life from preschool to 100 years-old!
Any books you’d recommend? My favorite books are the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, but it's so difficult to narrow down all the books I would recommend! I had to, the top three books would be Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Maus by Art Spiegelman.
As part of her job as a plans reviewer for the City of League City, Barbara Roberts is known for her calm demeanor and problem-solving skills. But get her out of the office and into a pair of roller skates and Barbara can get aggressive. In this edition of I am League City, learn how this single mom of three got to be known as the “Sk8te Charmer.”
What does a plans reviewer do? Pretty much what the job title says. I review plans for residential and commercial development in League City to ensure contractors are following all the proper steps, procedures, and adhere to the codes. Prior to getting this position, I worked as an administrative assistant in the City’s Building Department. Before that, I worked for 22 years with the City of Kemah.
What do you like about working in League City. I meet a lot of interesting and diverse people and time flies by because the job keeps me busy throughout the day. I also spend a lot of time problem solving, which I like.
What do you do in your spare time? About ten years ago, a co-worker introduced me to roller derby and I have been hooked ever since. I compete in “bouts” with the Southside Roller League at the Pasadena Convention Center every other month. The ladies I skate with and compete against are amazing. We have nurses, psychologists, teachers and school principals who are part of the league. I have learned so much from them personally and professionally.
What’s your skate name? Sk8te Charmer. People say the way I skate around the track is mesmerizing and puts them in trance.
Have you ever been hurt? Up until last year, I had never suffered an injury, but then during a freak accident at practice, I broke my leg. I had to have surgery and a titanium rod placed in my tibia. I couldn’t skate for eight months.
What do your kids think about you competing in roller derby?
I am a single mom of three boys (ages 25, 19 and 10) and they love it. They keep me on my toes. When we go to the grocery store they try to hit me with the shopping carts to help prepare me for my upcoming bout. They’re friends think I am a cool mom.
With over 34 years working as a court administrator for the City of League City, Shirley Murphy can tell you a thing or two about what it’s like being in a courtroom every day. From meeting her now husband at work, to hearing the wildest excuses made to get out of a ticket, we think she has one of the most interesting jobs of all. Learn more in this I am League City employee profile.
How long have you worked for the City? I’ve worked for the City for almost 34 years, my anniversary is on June 18. I started as deputy court clerk, was promoted to senior deputy court clerk, and in 1989 I became the court administrator. I remember that because that’s when my first child was born. I had to juggle a new baby and a new job!
What does a court administrator do? I oversee the nine judicial functions of the municipal court. Docket scheduling, overseeing deputy and senior court clerks and the duties of warrant officer.
How did you decide to become a court administrator? Actually, there was a temporary job position open at the city secretary’s office one summer after I graduated high school. This was supposed to be a summer position until I decided what I wanted to do in my career, so I decided to give it a try. I ended up loving it and I’m here 34 years later! I love the courtroom and working with the public. My staff is wonderful.
What’s one of the most interesting things that has happened to you while working here? (Laughs) I met my husband in the city, he worked in utility billing. I had only worked here for a few months. He asked me out in the copy room, and we got married about ten months later. We’ve been together ever since.
What does it take to be a court administrator? You definitely need to be patient and understanding. You need to have thick skin and be able to handle hostile defendants.
Craziest part of your job? A couple of years ago, a guy came in with four, five-gallon buckets of pennies to pay for a ticket that was at least a couple hundred dollars. We had to dump it out and sit there and count them. The pennies were wet and full of gunk! It took like an entire day and all of the staff to count them. I think the vide of it is still up on YouTube.
Your job can be pretty interesting! What is your favorite part of the job? The courtroom environment. There’s a lot of different things that can go on in there, it’s very interesting and exciting. You meet different walks of life every day. I like to assist a people and help them turn their lives around. When we get kids who are going in the wrong direction, we try guide them.
Weirdest excuse someone’s made to get out of a ticket?
A lot of people say they were speeding because they had to use the restroom, or they use the “it wasn’t me” excuse.
What do you like doing on your time off? Spending time with my family and floating the Frio River. I love to go there, we go every year with my mom, children, and grandbaby. He turns two this month and that’s pretty exciting!
League City Arborist Heather McKnight spends her days ensuring that the City’s historic oak trees are protected and maintained. But in the evenings, you’ll find her “green thumb” wrapped around a pencil writing pages for a book she is working on. The topic? Here’s a hint, it has nothing to do with trees! Read more in this I am League City employee profile.
What does a City arborist do? No two days are the same. One day I might be consulting with a developer on a tree permit, another I’m using a Lorax to educate a group of students, and yet another I’m investigating a mystery tree fungus that residents have called about.
A Lorax, what is that?(laughs) The Lorax is my favorite Dr. Seuss character. In the book, he was the voice of the trees, because they have no voice. A movie, based on the book, came out a few years ago. Whenever I talk to elementary school-aged students or scout troops, I use a stuffed Lorax to address the importance of protecting trees.
Investigating a mystery fungus? How often does that happen? More often than you know. Recently, I have been dealing with a lot of phone calls and emails from residents about a strange webbing on their oak trees. It’s actually bark lice, and it’s a good thing. Bark lice are small mites that weave a net on a tree’s trunk and limbs. The webbing cleans out algae and fungus that is dangerous to the tree.
How does one become an arborist? I got my undergraduate degree in horticulture from Stephen F. Austin University and worked for several years in the private sector managing design projects for a commercial firm. I then came to work for League City.
You also moonlight as a college professor at San Jacinto College in Pasadena? Yes, I teach Writing, Composition 1 and 2, three nights a week. Most of my students are freshmen or high school seniors taking dual enrollment classes.
Writing, not horticulture? How did that happen? I have always had two loves: trees and writing. I just wasn’t sure how to combine the two into one job. I love to write and I am currently working on a book. I have a Master’s Degree in Literature from the University of Clear Lake.
What kind of book are you writing?It’s not about trees (laughs)! It’s actually a novel loosely based on my crazy family that lives in the Florida Panhandle. It includes my Uncle Moonrock and his frequent run-ins with the law. Stay tuned!
You are in the sun a lot. What advice do you have for protection from dangerous UV rays? A big hat!
If you work for the City of League City, you know Billy Miles. He is the City’s courier with a passion for music and a knack for making people smile. Learn more about Billy in this I am League City employee profile.
How long have you worked for the City of League City? I’ve worked for the City for 24 years. I worked for the Streets Department for five years and then I had the opportunity to be the courier. I just liked working around people so I thought it would be a good fit for me. They were looking for someone that smiled a lot.
What do you do? I pick up things for the City departments like packages, important papers, food, etc. I take warrants to the sheriff’s department, deliver board meeting packages, I do so much!I never know where I’m going to be from day to day. I go to Houston, Galveston, Pasadena, Alvin, Pearland, you name it.
What is your favorite part of the job? The people; my coworkers. They seem like family to me, we just have a good bond and I enjoy working around the employees.
How much driving do you do? I just drive pretty much all day. I stay pretty busy.
When you are not working for the city, what do you do? I paint houses (it’s one of my hobbies) and I like to go gambling in Louisiana with my wife for a fun getaway.
You sing in a band outside of work. How did that start? I started at singing at a young age. My uncle and cousin got me on stage when I was 12 and I was terrified, but after I sang my first song, I loved it and have been doing it ever since. I formed my first band when I was 15 years old with my brother and school friends, we were called the Country Outlaws. Years went by and we formed another band called the Miles of Texas. I’m the lead singer. We play country music and a little bit of 60’s.
How can other people hear your play? We play around local clubs in the area and some fairs. I’ll be playing at the City’s July 3 Fireworks Spectacular so make sure to stop by!
What’s your favorite thing about League City? It’s just a good place to live and I like the people. I’ve been here all my life. I’ve seen the two-lane roads go to four lanes. I was born and raised here. I’ve seen League City grow, that’s for sure.
Describe yourself: Helpful, caring, friendly and always smiling. Never meets a stranger.
When Frank LeBlanc isn’t working as the Code Compliance Manager for League City, you’ll probably find him on a college football field. In this edition of I am League City, we learn more about Frank’s career as a college football referee.
How long have you worked for League City? I started as a code compliance officer 10 years ago and was promoted to manager about a year ago. Before that, I worked as a bailiff with the City of Houston’s Municipal Court System.
You used to be a sheriff’s deputy. What made you switch careers? I served with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in Beaumont, Texas for 17 years before I moved to Houston. While I enjoyed the job, it was time to try something new, so I applied to be a code compliance officer for League City.
What does a code compliance officer do? I like to think we are responsible for ensuring that the City always looks “pretty”. We make sure there is no blight such as graffiti, high-grass and weeds, abandoned vehicles, and dilapidated structures. These things can bring down property values and are unsightly.
What is your favorite part of the job? My co-workers. They are great people.
When you are not working for the City, you are a college football referee. How did that come about? Back in 1994, my brother was serving as a high school football referee and recruited me to join. I started off with Pop Warner and worked my way up to high school. Then in 1994, I joined the Southwest Athletic Conference and started officiating college football games. In 2006 I moved to the Southland Conference and in 2010 I moved to the Big 12 Conference.
What is the best and worst part of being a college referee? I genuinely love the game and I love being on the field with the coaches and players. The worst part is when I make a call the fans don’t agree with and I get booed. I am pretty used to that though.
Which coach and or player have you enjoyed meeting the most? I would say Mac Brown when he coached for the University of Texas. As far as players, there was a photograph of me taken by a sports photographer at a University of Oklahoma game where I am standing next to quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was the number one pick in the recent 2018 NFL Draft. I liked the photo so much, and Mr. Mayfield, that I had a painting of it created.