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 Michelle Cline, one of those Inspiring Leaders.
Superintendent of Throckmorton Collegiate ISD, Dr. Michelle Cline has led the district since 2017. During her time in the district, Cline has worked to make the community’s hopes and dreams for the school district become reality. Five years ago, she gathered with community members to develop the ideal Throckmorton learner profile, and has since used that model as a guiding light for every move the district makes.
Throckmorton Collegiate is a member of Collegiate Edu-Nation, and CEO Kim Alexander says Cline is an inspiration to other administrators in the program.
“In only their third year in the network, the class of 2022 at Throckmorton Collegiate is on track to become the first schoolwide early college in the nation in which 100% of their graduating class earns an associate degree prior to receiving a high school diploma,” Alexander says. “Dr. Cline is a fierce leader and champion for all means all.”
Fellow superintendent Todd Wilson, who serves in nearby Chillicothe ISD, says he believes Cline is a fearless agent of change in her district.
“Every time I am working near her, this old superintendent gets inspired again,” he says. “Her fire and passion for her school is unwavering, and she is making big changes in a small town school. Those changes can and will change the lives of rural school graduates of Throckmorton ISD.”
Cline spreads her inspiration to staff members in her district by sitting down each day to send an encouraging note, text message or email to recognize their achievements and efforts.
“If I can help them see their worth and their value, especially in our organization, that keeps me going,” she says. “Also I am intentional about resetting myself every day, focusing on the positive by visiting students and classrooms — the entire reason I do what I do.”
Because Throckmorton is a small district, Cline says she is fortunate to be able to know each student in the district and have daily interactions with them. Cline’s support and inspiration can be felt throughout the district. To her, mentoring others in her district is a must.
“If I am not helping others develop their leadership then I have not done my job,” she says. “I know that I will not be around forever, so my priority is mentoring others just as I had the opportunity to be mentored by so many excellent leaders. Leaders must empower their staff in order to fully embrace the mission/vision/goals of the district and be invested.”
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