TASA Member Mary Ann Whiteker Named 2015 Superintendent of the Year
Whiteker has led Hudson ISD for more than 21 years and has 30 years of experience in education administration. The state selection committee noted her slow, steady, and thoughtful approach to evaluation of all programs to ensure sustainability and her focus on a service-driven culture by requiring every school organization to incorporate community service to lift up their fellow students and community.
Whiteker was described as embracing a philosophy of individualized educational opportunities tailored to the unique needs of each student. The committee also noted her passionate belief that education is the great equalizer and her efforts to build a solid foundation in language and fluency at the primary level that minimizes the need for intervention later.
Whiteker is a member of the Commissioner's Superintendents Cabinet and has served on the TASA Executive Committee, Region 7 ESC Executive Board, and as president of the Texas Association of Community Schools. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Stephen F. Austin State University.
During the final round of interviews for the award, the state selection committee focused on such issues as the public school accountability system and student performance, the importance of mentoring, and visions of a world-class education for Texas students.
SOTY candidates are chosen for their dedication to improving educational quality, board-superintendent relations, student achievement, and commitment to public support and involvement in education. Superintendents are nominated by their local school boards. District nominees are submitted to a regional selection committee that forwards a nominee to the state selection committee. Whiteker received an award and a Superintendent of the Year ring from Balfour, program underwriter. State finalists also received an award from Balfour.
Regional winners nominated by the regional selection committees are Alda Benavides, La Joya ISD, Region 1; Lynn Burton, Orange Grove ISD, Region 2; Patricia Montgomery, Angleton ISD, Region 4; John Valastro, Lumberton ISD, Region 5; Todd Stephens, Magnolia ISD, Region 6; Blake Cooper, Commerce ISD, Region 10; Frank Molinar, White Settlement ISD, Region 11; Diane Frost, Corsicana ISD, Region 12; Douglas Killian, Hutto ISD, Region 13; David Walker, Christoval ISD, Region 15; Kyle Lynch, Canadian ISD, Region 16; Gilbert Trevino, Floydada ISD, Region 17; and David Carr, Stanton ISD, Region 18.