Mark Estrada, Ph.D., superintendent of Lockhart ISD, has been named the 2021 Regional Superintendent of the Year by Education Service Center Region 13.
Dr. Estrada has led Lockhart ISD since 2018, where he serves 6,043 students. He is a member of over a dozen professional organizations that support the school district. Dr. Estrada’s impact has extended widely throughout the district and can be noted, including:
- Taking an instrumental role in Lockhart ISD’s acceptance into the Holdsworth Center District Leadership Program to sustain positive growth and change.
- Proposed and garnered support for district commitment to grow every student by 1.5 years in math and reading and accomplishing the goal ahead of schedule.
- Expanded arts programming to include full-time music and art teachers at every elementary campus and created a secondary school orchestra program.
- Working collaboratively with teachers, technology instructional mentors, and the technology department led the Lockhart ISD Visionary Instructional Plan that created and implemented the next-generation classroom model for Lockhart ISD.
- Launched the ‘Lion Link” internet program and connected 100% of students to high-speed home internet by building internet towers to cover the entire district boundary
- Expanded food and nutrition program to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students PK-8 regardless of income status.
- Prioritized funding to purchase all beginning-of-the-year school supplies for all students.
- Launched the Emerging Leader program in partnership with Texas State University to grow campus leaders.
- Decreased the teacher turnover rate by 11%.
Dr. Estrada’s immersion in all levels of his educational community and his open demeanor for collecting feedback from all groups built trust and forged critical relationships to ensure the needs of students in Lockhart have remained the top priority. And his efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2020, he was awarded Texas State University’s Young Alumni Rising Star Award.
The nominating Board articulates why his influence has made such a difference, “Innovation is the key-not just doing the same things differently, but doing completely new things to push learning into new frontiers for our students.” They added, “Our teachers and students are at an advantage because of his leadership, and his contributions to public education reveal a man wholly committed to high expectations and helping everyone reach their full potential.”
“The path of success Dr. Estrada has put Lockhart ISD on is astounding. By encouraging open communication, he’s created a shared vision for the success of every member of the district, from students to leaders—a true example of #LockhartLeading!”Dr. Rich Elsasser, Executive Director of ESC Region 13.
Sponsored by TASB, the Superintendent of the Year program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984. 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.
TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.3 million students.