TASA’s “Inspiring Leaders” tagline is not just a reminder of TASA’s commitment to leadership development; it describes our members themselves — school leaders who inspire others as they work to prepare future-ready students. Meet Lori Rapp, one of those Inspiring Leaders.
Dr. Lori Rapp has spent her entire professional career in Lewisville ISD, beginning as a math teacher and moving through several administrative positions to her current role as deputy superintendent. In her work, Rapp leads 70 principals along with numerous program directors and support staff members to serve the district’s more than 50,000 students. She is proud of the way Lewisville ISD focuses on students and staff as individuals while seeking out innovative education methods to meet individual needs.
“The collaboration within our district toward a shared mission and vision creates a culture where you know that everyone is working hard every day to meet the unique and diverse needs of our students,” Rapp says. “I am extremely proud of the values that our district holds, where we believe that students are more than a test score and that we serve as advocates for public education.”
Robert Thornell, chief executive director of learning and teaching in the district, says Rapp is a calm and reflective leader, serving as a constant, stable influence in the district in times of challenge.
“Dr. Rapp is truly a servant leader, and she works with others to make them better and does so in a humble, understated way, but delivers the most powerful message I have witnessed because of the respect everyone has for her work ethic, her heart and her commitment to both individual and district success,” Thornell says. “Every single person in LISD would run through a wall for her, and that is not an exaggeration.”
The personal philosophy Rapp uses to keep focused on her goals in times of stress involves taking things one day at a time and remembering the bigger picture.
“Choosing to work in education was a calling for me and that only continues to grow deeper the more you realize that every day you are doing work that helps prepare students for their future,” she says. “The future of our communities and our society will be in the hands of our students, and to know that what I do can help, in even a small way, impact someone’s life for the better inspires me to serve each day.”
Mentorship and collaboration are crucial to Rapp, who says that working with and learning from others in her field has inspired her to tackle many of the difficulties that all educators face.
“Education is one of the most rewarding industries to work in because of how people help one another, find creative ways to serve students, and lift up their communities. It’s these stories of service and heroic acts that are important to share with one another.”