Superintendent House announces leadership changes, restructuring to meet student needs

As part of the collective work moving the district towards improved student outcomes, it is critical that Houston Independent School District have aligned structures and efficient processes.

Over the past several weeks, Superintendent Millard House has closely examined the district’s overall structure, identifying opportunities for the district to become more efficient and responsive to student needs.

The following district leadership changes will help lead HISD to become a more effective organization:

  • Deputy Superintendent – Dr. Rick Cruz (bio) will serve as the district’s Deputy Superintendent. In this role, Dr. Cruz will assist Superintendent House with carrying out the district’s strategic plan and operations across all major areas. He will also be directly overseeing the Academics, Schools Office, Student Support, and Talent teams to ensure that campuses are supported through a comprehensive and coordinated approach.
  • Chief of Schools – Dr. Denise Watts (bio), a nationally recognized leader in school improvement and school leader coaching, will serve as the district’s Chief of Schools. Additionally, the Schools Office will be reorganized by level (Elementary, Middle, High) and tiered so that the support provided to campuses can be tailored by types and levels of need. The Achieve 180 program will continue to provide targeted support to high-priority campuses.
  • Chief Talent Officer – Areas such as human capital, compensation, benefits, and performance management will be brought together under the newly established Talent Office to ensure there is alignment and a comprehensive approach to improving culture, developing talent, and supporting our staff.
  • Chief Business Officer – The areas of finance, facilities, transportation, nutrition services, and information technology will fall under a newly formed Business Operations Office. This will allow for increased efficiency, improved customer service, and the streamlining of business operations across the district.
  • Chief of Staff – The Communications and Government Relations departments will be combined into a newly formed Office of Communications and Public Relations that will fall under the Chief of Staff. This will enable the district to more effectively engage with external stakeholders, including elected officials and the media.