Superintendent of the Year


Since 1984, the Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) award program has honored outstanding administrators' achievement and excellence in public school administration. These school leaders exhibit exemplary and visionary leadership toward improving student performance. They are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving the quality of education in their districts, and commitment to public support and involvement in education.

Award and sponsor

The district of the winning Superintendent of the Year receives a $5,000 award, which will be presented at the 2017 Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards (TASA/TASB) Annual Convention in Dallas. The award program is underwritten by Balfour and sponsored by TASB.

Performance criteria

In a letter of recommendation addressed to the SOTY Selection Committee, the school board president should cite details and examples of the superintendent’s leadership. Specific topics that should be expanded on in the letter are the following:

  • Leadership, Management, and School Climate
  • School Board-Superintendent Relations
  • School Improvement and Instructional Leadership
  • Fiscal Management
  • School-Community Relations

At the end of the letter, succinctly answer the following:
Why should your chief administrator be selected as Superintendent of the Year?

Selection procedure

TASB Regional Screening Committees. Nominations will be sent to the education service center (ESC) in your region.

The ESC will coordinate the regional screening part of the TASB selection process. School board members serving on the regional screening committee represent districts that do not have superintendents nominated for the award and do not have board members on the state selection committee.

Each regional screening committee will submit one nomination to the TASB State Selection Committee. A list of regional service centers and addresses to which nominations may be submitted is posted with the SOTY nomination information at

TASB State Selection Committee. The state selection committee is typically composed of TASB directors appointed by the TASB president to serve on the Member Services Committee. A director may not serve if the superintendent from his or her district is being considered.

Eligibility and nominations

A local school board that is currently an “Active Member” of TASB may nominate its superintendent for the award. Nominees must have served as superintendent of the district since September 1, 2014; be a TASA member; be certified and meet the State Board for Educator Certification continuing professional education requirement; and be an active superintendent at the time of the 2017 TASA/TASB Convention.

Superintendents who receive the top state award cannot be nominated again during the following five-year period. This rule does not apply to superintendents who were named regional winners or state finalists.

Entry requirements

Please note that the process has been streamlined. Entries must be completed by the school board and signed by the school board president. The letter of recommendation (no more than five pages) from the president must be submitted with a Resolution indicating the board’s decision to nominate the superintendent. Please note that board action is required for the Resolution. Participating districts should place an item to cover this on their board meeting agendas. In the letter of recommendation, use 12-point Times New Roman, 1.5-spacing, and 1-inch margins.

The submission also must include the Official Entry Form, Student Performance Work Sheet, superintendent’s resume (no more than three pages), and photo on a separate page. Please be sure to list current positions and professional organizations first in this section of the resume. Additional materials will not be accepted.

Entries should be sent to the executive director of the district’s respective ESC. Entries must be either postmarked by Monday, May 15, 2017, or delivered to the ESC by close of business that day. The Official Entry Form, Student Performance Work Sheet, and Resolution are available for download on the TASB website at


  • May 15: Nomination submissions due to designated ESC
  • June 30: Regional screening completed and nominations submitted to TASB
  • August 25-26: All regional winners interviewed and five finalists chosen by the TASB State Selection Committee
  • October 6 at Convention: Finalists interviewed and Superintendent of the Year chosen by TASB State Selection Committee
  • October 7: Presentation of the award at 2017 TASA/TASB Convention

Past winners

2016 Marcelo Cavazos, Arlington ISD
2015 Mary Ann Whiteker, Hudson ISD
2014 A. Marcus Nelson, Laredo ISD
2013 Keith Brown, Bay City ISD
2012 Greg Smith, Clear Creek ISD
2011 John Folks, Northside ISD—Bexar County
2010 Arturo Almendarez, Calallen ISD
2009 Oscar Rodriguez, Jr., Mission CISD
2008 Dan Troxell, Kerrville ISD
2007 Joseph Burns, Kirbyville CISD
2006 Daniel King, Hidalgo ISD
2005  Susan Simpson, White Settlement ISD
2004 Mike Harris, Slaton ISD
2003 Shirley Neeley, Galena Park ISD
2002 Michael Hinojosa, Hays CISD
2001 Charles Hart, Canutillo ISD
2000 Annette Griffin, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
1999 Carrol Thomas, Jr., Beaumont ISD
1998 Gerald Anderson, Brazosport ISD
1997 Barbara Erwin, Allen ISD
1996 John Harrell, Uvalde CISD
1995 Charles Patterson, Killeen ISD
1994 Rafael Cantu, Mission CISD
1993 James Smith, Harlingen CISD
1992 Joe Tison, Weatherford ISD
1991 Charles Matthews, Wilmer-Hutchins ISD
1990 Patricia Shell, Brazosport ISD
1989 Harold Guthrie, Spring Branch ISD
1988 Charles Bradberry, New Braunfels ISD
1987 Co-winners Donald Collins, Klein ISD, and Ronald McLeod, El Paso ISD
1986 Fred Hopson, Leander ISD
1985 Lee Williamson, Wichita Falls ISD
1984 Tony Rico, Weslaco ISD 

If you have questions, call the TASB Public Information Office at 800.580.8272 or e-mail