On July 13, TASA honored Dr. John Horn, the 1987-88 TASA president, for the instrumental part he has played over the years in TASA and specifically TASA’s Leadership Summit, by announcing that the event will now be called the John D. Horn Leadership Summit. The summit, previously called the Leadership Planning Meeting, is held each summer to prepare TASA leaders for their roles in the organization and provide them with professional learning.
Horn is probably best known for his tenure as Mesquite ISD superintendent, a position he held from 1986 until his retirement in 2001. Prior to that he served Texas students as the superintendent of Allen ISD and as a teacher, principal, and administrator in Mesquite schools. But since his retirement he has remained active in Texas public education, conducting superintendent searches for districts and serving as a senior associate with the Schlechty Center and a TASA consultant.
From 2006 to 2008, Horn was a member of the team that developed the design of the meeting series that led to the Public Education Visioning Institute publishing the “TASA Visioning Document,” Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas. He was the lead facilitator and coordinator for the writing of the visioning document. As an extension of that work, he facilitated TASA’s Academy for Transformational Leadership for a number of years. Horn also co-facilitated the work of the TASA 2025 Task Force, which developed the TASA Strategic Framework, a long-range plan that guides the association as it approaches its 100th anniversary.
Horn is a visionary leader who was selected as Texas Superintendent of the Year in 1996 and has provided state leadership for TASA and numerous other organizations and initiatives. In 1999, he received the prestigious Golden Deeds for Education Award. In 2000, Mesquite ISD honored him with the naming of John Horn High School.
Horn earned his bachelor’s degree from East Texas State (now Texas A&M Commerce) in 1963, and his master’s degree from the same institution in 1966. He attained his doctoral degree from the University of North Texas in 1971.
“John Horn is the epitome of a servant leader who leaves an enduring legacy of excellence, vision, and innovation,” says TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown. “Not only was John an exceptional superintendent, but his wisdom and leadership have influenced countless school leaders, school districts, and communities across the nation. A strong champion for public education, he made a clarion call to transform education to better serve children, our economy, and our democracy in the 21st century. Throughout his distinguished career, many of us have been influenced, mentored, and inspired by this incredible leader.”