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Tomball ISD Superintendent and TASA President-Elect Martha Salazar-Zamora, Ed.D., has been selected as one of four finalists for 2024 National Superintendent of the Year®, an award given by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Salazar-Zamora and the other finalists were chosen from among the state Superintendents of the Year for the national award program, co-sponsored by First Student, Corebridge Financial, and AASA. The program measures candidates against the following criteria: leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement.

“It is no surprise that Dr. Salazar-Zamora has been named a finalist for AASA National Superintendent of the Year,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), which nominated Salazar-Zamora for the national honor. “I have known Martha for about 15 years and have seen first-hand what a remarkable servant-leader she is. She has that rare combination of exceptional leadership, people, and organizational skills, along with a strong sense of mission and work ethic. When all of those things are possessed by one person, you have a one-of-a-kind leader. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing leader serving our children and communities as a public school superintendent. Her peers and I have the highest admiration for Dr. Salazar-Zamora, and celebrate this well-deserved honor!”

Salazar-Zamora has served as superintendent of Tomball ISD, a fast-growing district of more than 22,000 students northwest of Houston, since 2017, when she became the first female and the first Hispanic to hold the position in the district’s history. Prior to that, she served as the district’s chief academic officer for three years.

Salazar-Zamora says what makes her most proud of Tomball is the staff’s dedication to students and commitment to working as a team to the benefit of everyone in the district. She works to cultivate “Team Tomball,” a sense of community and teamwork and a culture of learning in the district that helps benefit individual learners day in and day out.

“I make it a goal to lead Tomball ISD with a results-oriented attitude supported by strong relationships, management, accomplishments, and, of equal importance, heart,” she says.

Salazar-Zamora, who has worked in education for 36 years, previously served in Round Rock ISD as the deputy superintendent of curriculum and administration. Prior to that, she was Houston ISD’s assistant superintendent of school support services. She also worked in Spring ISD as an area superintendent, an assistant superintendent, and the executive director of student/school services. Salazar-Zamora led Kingsville ISD as superintendent for three years. Prior to that, she worked in that district as an assistant superintendent for curriculum/instruction and human resources, as well as a speech/language pathologist. While working in Bishop Consolidated ISD, she served as a principal and director of federal programs/special education. She began her education career in Alice ISD as a teacher, educational diagnostician, and speech and language pathologist.

Salazar-Zamora holds a doctorate of education from Texas A&M University, a master of education in educational administration and a master of education in special education from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a bachelor of science from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville).

She currently serves as TASA president-elect and will lead TASA as president in 2024-25. She is also the president of the Fast Growth School Coalition and vice president of The Council of Women School Executives. She is a past president and founding member of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. Salazar-Zamora serves on the TASA Commissioner’s Cabinet and on the executive committee of AASA. She is a member of the boards of trustees for both the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce and the Hospital Corporation of America Tomball.

In September 2023, following Salazar-Zamora’s selection as Region 4 Superintendent of the Year, the Texas Association of School Boards named her the 2023 Texas Superintendent of the Year. She is the first Hispanic female to receive the honor.

Salazar-Zamora and the other finalists for National Superintendent of the Year will be interviewed by a national blue-ribbon panel in Washington, D.C. in January. The 2024 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced, and the state nominees honored, at AASA’s National Conference on Education, February 15-17, 2024, in San Diego, Calif.