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HISD names new chief high school officer

Orlando Riddick brings experience as teacher, principal, and district administrator to new post

January 30, 2012 – Orlando Riddick, the Austin Independent School District’s director of high school operations, has been named Houston ISD’s chief high school officer.

In Austin, Riddick oversaw 16 high schools serving 15,000 students. Riddick will now guide 67 Houston Independent School District campuses with a combined enrollment of 55,000 students.

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said Riddick has a history of raising academic achievement levels for students from all backgrounds.

“Mr. Riddick has high expectations for all children and a genuine belief that any student can succeed under the guidance of a quality teacher working in a school led by a great principal,” Dr. Grier said. “He is the ideal person to lead our efforts to raise the achievement bar at every HISD high school.”

Riddick began his education career in 1997 as an English literature teacher in Dallas. He later served as an assistant principal on the middle school and high school levels in Fort Worth ISD. At Thomas A. Edison High School in San Antonio, Orlando served as the lead instructional coordinator with duties that included budgeting, data analysis, and staff development.

Riddick was appointed principal of Warren Travis White High School in Dallas ISD in 2007. He led that predominantly Hispanic campus of 2,500 students to produce the district’s largest measurable academic gain in all areas, creating an environment in which 82 percent of students were college bound. Sixty percent of the students enrolled in Warren Travis White High School were taking advanced-level courses when Riddick was hired to oversee high schools in Austin.

“I am excited to join HISD and continue the transformative work that is already under way in Houston’s high schools,” Riddick said. “HISD’s efforts to boost the level of rigor at all campuses through the Advanced Placement program, the Houston Innovative Learning Zone, and other innovative initiatives are setting a high standard for the rest of the nation.”

A U.S. Army veteran, Riddick grew up in El Paso and is proficient in Spanish. He and his wife Yvette have three children, ages 14, 12, and 10. Riddick will report for duty in HISD after Spring Break in March.