Superintendent of the Year


Since 1984, the Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) award program has honored outstanding administrators for 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 Superintendent of the Year award receives a $5,000 award, which will be presented at the 2018 TASA/TASB Convention in Austin. The award program is underwritten by Balfour and sponsored by TASB. The winner also receives a ring from Balfour. The districts of the four state finalists each receive $1,000.

Selection procedure

TASB Regional Screening Committees

The ESC will coordinate the regional screening. School board members serving on the regional screening committee are from districts that do not have superintendents nominated for the award and do not have board members on the TASB State Selection Committee. Each regional screening committee will submit one nomination to the TASB State Selection Committee.

TASB State Selection Committee

The state selection committee is typically composed of TASB directors appointed by the TASB president to serve on the TASB 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 the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) may nominate its superintendent. Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Have served as a superintendent of the district since September 1, 2015 (interim positions do not count)
  • Be a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA)
  • Be certified and meet the State Board for Educator Certification continuing professional education requirement
  • Be an active superintendent at the time of the 2018 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

Recommendation letter

In a letter of recommendation addressed to the SOTY Selection Committee, the school board president should cite examples of the superintendent’s leadership. Explain why the chief administrator should be named Superintendent of the Year, expanding on the following topics:

  • 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 respond to “Why our superintendent should be selected as Superintendent of the Year.”

Nomination packet

The supporting documents should include the following:

  • The letter, signed by the board president (no longer than five pages, 12-point Times New Roman, 1.5-line spacing, and 1-inch margins)
  • A photo of the superintendent on a separate page
  • A basic resume of no more than three pages. List current positions and professional organizations.
  • A Resolution (doc) indicating the board’s decision to nominate the superintendent. Place the Resolution on the board meeting agenda early in the process.
  • Official entry form (doc)
  • Student Performance Work Sheet (doc)

No other photos or documentation will be accepted. Do not submit three-hole punched or spiral-bound entries.


Nominations should be sent to the executive director of the district’s education service center (ESC) by Monday, April 16. Entries must be postmarked by April 16 or delivered to the ESC by close of business.


  • April 16: Nomination submissions due to designated ESC
  • July 2: Regional screening completed and nominations submitted to TASB
  • August 24–25: All regional winners interviewed and five finalists chosen by the TASB State Selection Committee
  • September at Convention: Finalists interviewed and Superintendent of the Year chosen by TASB State Selection Committee
  • September 28: Presentation of the award at 2018 TASA/TASB Convention

Past winners

2017 LaTonya Goffney, Lufkin ISD
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, extension 2933, or e-mail