Select Page

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 Mike Rockwood, one of those Inspiring Leaders. (Please note: On April 18, 2023, Rockwood was officially hired as superintendent of Highland Park ISD in ESC Region 10. He was nominated for this Inspiring Leader Spotlight while still serving as superintendent of Lake Dallas ISD.)

In 2021, Dr. Mike Rockwood stepped into the superintendency in Lake Dallas ISD, after serving as deputy superintendent in Lamar CISD for nine years. During his time in LDISD, every elementary campus in the district reached its highest ever academic rating, and U.S. News & World Report named Lake Dallas High School one of the best high schools in the country. Recognized on the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list for innovative business leadership in the Metroplex, Rockwood is looked to in his community as an insightful, visionary leader with a strong desire to support and champion the school district.

Shorr Heathcote, chief administrative officer in the district, nominated Rockwood as an inspiring leader due to the vision he created and promotes among staff and students.

“Dr. Rockwood exemplifies a strong vision for preparing all students to be future-ready,” Heathcote says. “He excels at empowering and supporting those around him and has proven leadership skills in creating a collaborative working and learning environment.”

When asked what makes him most proud of LDISD, Rockwood points to teachers and staff and praises how they’ve worked together to go “all in” for the kids.

“Through intentional conversations, collaboration, and care, we’ve seen every elementary school in our district reach record student achievement,” Rockwood says. “The accomplishment itself is wonderful, but what it represents, in the form of each individual student reaching his or her goal, is what truly inspires me.”

Work in the education field can be challenging, but Rockwood says that educators are uniquely qualified with the experience and energy to overcome any hurdles.

“As long as there is hope, there is an opportunity for success. There have been challenging times throughout history, and more are inevitably on the horizon, but I will never doubt our ability to rise above them. Education will always be a glass half-full endeavor, which is why we must remember to keep pouring into one another as leaders.”

As an inspiring leader, Rockwood stays connected with his peers and encourages others to approach every interaction as a teacher and a student, to remain open to learning and growing through any relationship.

“Education is all about relationships,” he says. “I can’t recall one significant achievement that was accomplished alone. Working with others is the spark that ignites success.”