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Texan Among Finalists in AASA 2014 National Superintendent of the Year Award

Houston ISD superintendent Terry Grier is one of four finalists for the 2014 AASA National Superintendent of the Year award. Education leaders from Texas, Florida, Maryland, and Georgia will be interviewed by a national blue-ribbon selection panel of educators, businesspeople and government officials in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16.

The four national finalists were chosen from among 49 state Superintendent of the Year candidates. The program, co-sponsored by ARAMARK Education, VALIC, and AASA, in its 27th year, honors the leadership and exceptional contributions to education of public school superintendents.

"We congratulate Terry Grier, superintendent of Houston ISD, on being named one of four finalists for the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year award given by the American Association of School Administrators, said TASA Executive Director Johnny Veselka.

"We are both proud and pleased to have Terry Grier represent Texas in the competition for this prestigious national award. From the expansion of Houston ISD’s summer meals program to the Power Up laptop initiative, Grier’s leadership initiatives have only one thing in mind: the students."

Under Grier's leadership, Houston ISD was awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, an award that recognizes gains in student achievement and comes with $550,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. Houston is the only district in the country to receive the award twice, winning the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002. The district was one of four national finalists in 2012.

Broad officials noted that HISD stood out for many reasons, including gains made in student achievement, particularly among low-income and minority students; an increase in its graduation rate; and the high percentage of minority students taking the SAT college entrance exam.

Overseeing the nation's seventh largest school district with more than 200,000 students, Grier's commitment to student success is evident by his push for more students to take the SAT and AP exams. Houston ISD is one of the few districts that offer the SAT during the school day. Keeping students at the forefront of his decisions, Grier also directed the expansion of the school district’s summer meals program because he saw that many of Houston’s children were missing out on healthy meals when they were out of school. Last summer, HISD served 1.4 million meals to children who needed them the most.

The 2014 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced at the National Conference on Education, Feb. 13-15, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.