Lindale ISD superintendent named the top leader in region

Published on Monday, 30 June 2014 23:33 - Written by Staff Reports

Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt has been named the Region 7 Education Service Center Superintendent of the Year.

Surratt will serve as this region’s representative in the Texas Association of School Boards statewide program, according to a Region 7 news release.

“This honor is a great tribute to the Lindale Independent School District, and the wonderful work and success of the teachers, students and staff,” Surratt said.

Surratt attributes his ability to help school districts achieve success to the people he has worked with and to empowering his staff and students.

“I have been blessed my entire life, and I have enjoyed every single part of this journey,” Surratt said. “I have been fortunate to work with so many wonderful educators, administrators and school personnel. I truly believe valuing people for who they are and believing in them is crucial to being a successful leader in a district. I think it’s most important to put others and their needs before your own, and to realize the biggest impact you can have on the community is through leading by example.”

The Superintendent of the Year award program has recognized outstanding Texas administrators for 30 years.

The award is based on leadership in several areas, including student performance, administration and school climate, school board and superintendent relations, school improvement, school and community relations, and management of finances, facilities, instruction, students and personnel. 

Elizabeth Abernethy, Region 7 Education Service Center executive director, said the region’s more than 100 school districts and charter schools are “blessed with wonderful leaders like Mr. Surratt who put the education and overall success of our students first.”

“In his 15 years as a superintendent, Mr. Surratt has continued to show exemplary leadership skills and his dedication to the education of the students he serves, as well as to the support of his staff,” she said. “We are proud for him to represent Region 7 at the state.”

Surratt has been Lindale ISD’s superintendent since 2007. He came to the district after 21 years in Fruitvale ISD, where he served as a math teacher and coach, principal and superintendent.

Surratt said it was his beginning in Fruitvale, a small 1A school district, that helped him learn about all aspects of a school district such as transportation, staffing, curriculum and finance.

“Becoming aware of each part of the district’s operations allowed me to have a better understanding of the specific needs of our public schools, which help me make more informed decisions that will truly benefit those I serve,” he said.

During his seven years as Lindale superintendent, Surratt has helped lead the district to achievements including: steady financial strength, the passage of the district’s largest bond package in history ($42.3 million in 2009), continuous Exemplary state ratings for all campuses and successful tax ratifications in 2008 and 2013.

“He has not only demonstrated his proficiency in the day-to-day administration of the district, but he has also been responsive to the board’s desire to grow our school’s reputation for excellence,” Lindale ISD Board President Matt Watts said.

Surratt credited the district’s financial success to the work of the district employees and community support.

In addition to his work related to finances and academics, Surratt played a key role in the district’s iPad Rollout Program, a multistep process to ensure every student has an iPad and access to the tools they need for college and career readiness. The first step was for every seventh-grader to receive an iPad.

Surratt said his emphasis on positive relationships between himself and the school board as well as the school board and the community has helped foster success.

“I have been blessed with a very supportive school board,” he said. “We truly have a Team of Eight approach. Much of the district’s success is due to the vision and support of the Lindale ISD Board of Trustees. … When the school board and the community are engaged, big accomplishments can take place.”

The state committee will interview regional superintendent of the year winners in August and select five state finalists.

The Superintendent of the Year will be announced Sept. 26 at the Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards Convention in Dallas.