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 Robert Sormani, one of those Inspiring Leaders.
Hutto ISD welcomed Dr. Robert Sormani to the associate superintendent of instruction and innovation position in 2017. A veteran educator with more than 20 years of experience, Sormani says he is exceptionally proud of the district, but never more so than in recent challenging times.
“I am most proud of the sense of unity in Hippo Nation. It has never been tested more than now during the pandemic and these turbulent political times,” Sormani says. “Our staff and community remain focused on what is best for our students by maintaining open and honest lines of communication allowing us to discuss tough topics and move forward.”
Dr. Lindsie Almquist, who serves as director of human capital in Hutto, says Sormani leads with a “students-first” focus that includes data-driven decisions, feedback loops and open communication.
“Dr. Sormani has allowed for innovation through providing resources, but allowing for autonomy, grace, innovation and leveraging of leadership to exist in order for positive change to occur,” Almquist says. “He doesn’t allow people to be held back when they are meant to fly. He provides a structure, and then encourages unique differences to flourish within the parameters of success.”
In times of challenge, Sormani says he keeps his focus on what matters most — student outcomes. He measures each day by how his actions have opened doors and provided opportunities for students in Hutto.
“No matter what criticisms or challenges I face, if I know I have positively impacted students’ lives, or sometimes a single child’s life, I can let it all go when I leave for home and do it all again the next day.”
Sormani says mentorship has been crucial in his career, especially in the early days of his work in schools, as he developed his educational philosophy and leadership values. Now, those continuing relationships help keep him grounded and connected to his work.
“As you become more experienced, good mentors and colleagues keep you honest,” he says. “They ask you if you are staying true to your own mantras. And just as importantly, they become lifelong friends that can help you laugh through the tough times and celebrate during the good times.”