HISD Superintendent Terry B. Grier has been selected as one of four finalists for the American Association of School Administrators’ (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year.
Under Grier’s leadership, HISD was awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, an award that recognizes gains in student achievement and comes with $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors. Houston is the only district in the country to receive the award twice, winning the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002 and again in 2013. The district was one of four national finalists in 2012.
Additionally, HISD recently won nearly $30 million in federal Race to the Top funding, which will go to the district’s “Linked Learning” model of teaching from elementary through high school that enables students to begin early college and career readiness through project-based learning. Students explore aptitudes and life interests in middle school and focus on career academies in high school.
When Dr. Grier was chosen as Texas’ nominee for the AASA award, the Texas Association of School Administrators noted his commitment to student success, and his push for more students to take the SAT college-readiness test and Advanced Placement exams. HISD is one of the few districts that offer the SAT during the school day. Also cited: The expansion of HISD’s summer meals programs, which Dr. Grier directed after observing that students were missing out on healthy meals when school was not in session.
“All of these accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom, made Dr. Grier the clear choice as Texas’ nominee for National Superintendent of the Year,” said Dr. Johnny Veselka, executive director of TASA. “His focus on teacher effectiveness and his steadfast mission to keep students at the center of the district’s reform efforts, provide school leaders everywhere solid examples on how to close achievement gaps and prepare students for college and career.”
The AASA National Superintendent of the Year program is open to all U.S. superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The program also honors Canadian and International School superintendents. Applicants are measured against the following criteria:
- Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system.
- Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication.
- Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.
- Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national, and international issues.
The other three finalists for the 2014 AASA National Superintendent of the Year are: Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Miami, Fla.; Kevin Maxwell, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Annapolis, Md.; and Michele Taylor, Calhoun City Schools, Calhoun, Ga.
A national blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the four finalists for AASA National Superintendent of the Year from among the 49 eligible state Superintendent of the Year nominees. The four finalists will be interviewed in Washington, D.C., in January. The 2014 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced and the state Superintendents of the Year will be honored at AASA’s National Conference on Education in Nashville in February.
A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2014 AASA National Superintendent of the Year to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.