Harris Named Named Finalist for 2016 Superintendent of the Year Award

DeSoto ISD's new superintendent, David C. Harris, took over in April 2012, and parents, teachers, and board members all hope he can bring stability to the district. On Thursday, May 10, 2012, Mr. Harris posed for a portrait outside the district's administration building in DeSoto, Texas. (Mona Reeder/The Dallas Morning News)

DeSoto ISD’s new superintendent, David C. Harris, took over in April 2012, and parents, teachers, and board members all hope he can bring stability to the district. On Thursday, May 10, 2012, Mr. Harris posed for a portrait outside the district’s administration building in DeSoto, Texas. (Mona Reeder/The Dallas Morning News)

AUSTIN, TX — Five public school administrators from across Texas were selected as state finalists for the annual Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) award. Sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the SOTY program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984.
The 2016 finalists and their regions are Angi Williams, Galena Park ISD, Region 4; David Harris, DeSoto ISD, Region 10; Marcelo Cavazos, Arlington ISD, Region 11; Robin Battershell, Temple ISD, Region 12; and Greg Gibson, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, Region 20.
The state selection committee, which interviewed regional winners August 26-27 in Austin, targeted such issues as advocacy for public education, recruitment and retention of high quality educators, programs and initiatives that positively affect student growth, and steps to measure continuous improvement.
Harris, superintendent of DeSoto ISD for four years, serves approximately 9,750 students. He has 12 years of administrative experience. Of particular note to the committee were his proactive approach to the challenges and financial obstacles in the district and expectation that administrative staff be actively involved in the community. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University, master’s degree at Prairie View A&M University, and doctorate at Lamar University.
Candidates are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance, and commitment to public involvement in education. Superintendents from any of the state’s local school districts are eligible for nomination by their school boards. Local nominees are submitted to a regional selection committee, which chooses one nominee to send to the state selection committee.
Regional winners nominated by regional selection committees are Marla Guerra, South Texas ISD, Region 1; Suzanne Nelson, Tuloso-Midway ISD, Region 2; Jay Killgo, Vidor ISD, Region 5; Jason Marshall, Palestine ISD, Region 7; Don Jefferies, Greenville ISD, Region 8; Jeff McClure, Henrietta ISD, Region 9; Cathy Lauer, Nixon-Smiley CISD, Region 13; Shaun Barnett, Stamford ISD, Region 14; Bill Wiggins, Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips CISD, Region 16; Dewitt Smith, Wink-Loving ISD, Region 18; and José Espinoza, Socorro ISD, Region 19.
The 2016 Superintendent of the Year will be announced September 23 at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston. The winning superintendent and state finalists will receive an award from Balfour, program underwriter.