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Five school boards from across Texas have been selected as Honor School Boards as part of the 2023 TASA School Board Awards. Each year, the program recognizes outstanding Texas school boards for commitment and service that has made a positive impact on Texas public school students.

The five Honor Boards were selected by a committee of Texas school superintendents, chaired by Lake Dallas ISD Superintendent Kristin Brown, who was the superintendent of Lyford CISD last year, when the district’s school board was named the 2022 Outstanding School Board upon her nomination. The selection committee’s decisions were based on criteria that include: support for educational performance, support for educational improvement projects, commitment to a code of ethics, and maintenance of harmonious and supportive relationships among board members.

The five school boards selected as 2023 Texas Honor School Boards are:

Corsicana ISD Board of Trustees, Region 12, Diane Frost, nominating superintendent

The School Board Awards Committee was impressed by the Corsicana ISD board’s pursuit of their own professional learning, strong communication, community engagement, and their support of the district.

Superintendent Diane Frost said of the board in her nomination: “None of what we do for the children of this community would be possible without the leadership and guidance of the Corsicana ISD School Board. These men and women serve without compensation, giving of their time and their talents to support the mission and vision of CISD. They are strong advocates for public education and work tirelessly to ensure that we have the resources, systems, and policies in place to ensure that every child’s needs are met every day. In CISD, we are focused on Every Tiger. Every Day.”

Crowley ISD Board of Trustees, Region 11, Michael McFarland, nominating superintendent

The School Board Awards Committee was impressed by the Crowley ISD board’s focus on continuous improvement and innovation.

Superintendent Michael McFarland said of his board: “Their unwavering commitment to the individual success of each and every student comes through on a daily basis in how they serve and support the efforts of the students, parents, educators, and community members of Crowley ISD. I have had the opportunity to closely observe the countless initiatives undertaken by the trustees in their pursuit of providing excellence in education for all. Their strategic vision, collaboration, and communication have resulted in significant improvements in academic achievement, financial solvency, overall student well-being and community engagement. … Our board members are leading the charge to prove the case that diversity and excellence are not mutually exclusive, and it is because of this Board of Trustees, and their faith and fidelity through the tedious process of change, that students are excelling.”

Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees, Region 6, Heath Morrison, nominating superintendent

The School Board Awards Committee was impressed by the well-rounded program in Montgomery ISD with an emphasis on academics and how well the board members work together.

In his nomination of the board, former Montgomery ISD Superintendent Heath Morrison, who recently left the district to serve as the CEO of Teachers of Tomorrow, said: “Our trustees lead the district in its mission to partner with families and the community to grow and develop future generations of leaders and productive citizens by offering innovative academic programs responsive to every student’s individual needs. … They understand the tremendous responsibility that comes with this leadership role and are committed to modeling respect and understanding as they serve in this capacity. The trustees also understand the faith and trust parents place in them each day to teach children, keep them safe, and support community needs.”

Texas City Board of Trustees, Region 4, Melissa Duarte, nominating superintendent

The School Board Awards Committee was impressed by the Texas City ISD board’s spirit of cooperation and focus on students.

Superintendent Melissa Duarte wrote in her nomination of the board: “As a team, the Texas City ISD Board offers a cultural and experience mix that provides the basis for making decisions that build on important community history while incorporating new ideas that stem from different points of view. This mix of perspectives strengthens the group’s capacity to represent a growing and culturally diverse community in a district with a rich legacy.”

Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees, Region 19, Xavier De La Torre, nominating superintendent

The School Board Awards Committee was impressed by the Ysleta ISD board’s commitment to academic excellence and focus on continuous improvement.

Superintendent Xavier De La Torre wrote in his nomination of the board: “Since 2021, the diverse and rigorous educational programs made possible through the support of our board of trustees have not only led the way in the El Paso area, but across the state and nation, resulting in numerous honors and national accolades. … School improvement and student success are at the forefront of every decision made by our board.”

While this is the first time in the award program’s history that the boards of Corsicana ISD, Montgomery ISD, and Texas City ISD have been selected as statewide honor boards, Crowley ISD’s board was chosen as an honor board in 2001, and Ysleta ISD’s board was an honor board in both 2011 and 1973.

The five boards are now finalists for the program’s highest honor: 2023 Outstanding School Board. They will be interviewed September 29 at the TASA|TASB Convention in Dallas, where one board will be named Outstanding School Board the following day. The other Honor Boards, as well as the regional winners, will also be recognized at that time.

The seven boards to be recognized as 2023 Regional Honor Boards are:

Region Nominee Nominating Superintendent
1 Rio Grande City Grulla ISD Board of Trustees Adolfo Peña, Jr.
2 Ingleside ISD Board of Trustees Troy Mircovich
3 Rice Consolidated ISD Board of Trustees Bill Hefner
5 West Orange-Cove CISD Board of Trustees Rickie Harris
7 Mineola ISD Board of Trustees Cody Mize
16 Canadian ISD Board of Trustees Lynn Pulliam
18 Fort Stockton ISD Board of Trustees Gabriel Zamora

Since 1971, the TASA school board awards program has honored Texas school district boards of trustees that have demonstrated dedication to student achievement and that put students first. The program is sponsored by Paper for the 2023-24 school year.