Northside Superintendent John Folks, a longtime educator and vocal advocate for public education, has been named the best superintendent in the state by Texas Association of School Boards.
The announcement of Folks’ selection as the statewide Superintendent of the year was made Saturday morning in Austin at the joint convention for TASB and the Texas Association of School Administrators. Earlier this year, Folks was named the Region 20 Superintendent of the Year and then was selected as one of five finalists.
"I am overwhelmed by this honor," Folks said. "It's really a recognition of the thousands of Northside employees and all that they do for children."
Folks has been an educator for 41 years and has served as Superintendent of NISD since 2002. Under his tenure, the District has received several prestigious recognitions. In 2005, NISD became the first district in the state to receive an H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. And in 2007, Northside was named one of five finalists in the nation for the Broad Prize – the “Nobel Prize” of education – which honors districts that have made the greatest improvements in student achievement while closing gaps among ethnic groups and high and low-income students.
NISD currently is the largest district in the state to hold a Recognized rating from the Texas Education Agency. The District has earned a Recognized rating for the past four years and, for the ninth year in a row, NISD has received the highest rating of “Superior Achievement” from the state’s financial accountability rating system, called Schools FIRST.
"It takes lots of people to make NISD the successful school district that it is, but the man at the helm provides the leadership, inspiration and guidance needed to be successful," NISD Board President Karen Freeman said. "People all around Texas know about Northside ISD and they know about our quality leader.”
Dr. Folks also is recognized throughout the state for his leadership and advocacy of issues that affect all public school children in Texas. Throughout the last legislative session, Dr. Folks made regular trips to Austin, often daily, to testify on the impact of legislation to Texas school districts, both large and small. He also spent hours on the phone and in Austin, talking one-on-one with legislators about the very real repercussions of a drastic reduction in education funding.
“We are so proud of Superintendent John Folks, his leadership and his passion for our students,” Freeman said.
Candidates for Superintendent of the Year are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving the quality of education in their school districts, commitment to public support, involvement in education and ability to build good employee relations among teachers and staff members.