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Superintendent Search Updates

Trustees announce Lone Finalist for Superintendent
Dr. Mike Rockwood

Dr. Mike Rockwood named lone finalist

March 27, 2023 the Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees unanimously named Dr. Mike Rockwood as the Lone Finalist for Superintendent of Schools to succeed Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg as the district’s next leader. The vote begins the 21-day waiting period required by Texas law. The Board is expected to vote on the final selection at their April 18 board meeting. Once approved, Dr. Rockwood will become only the ninth superintendent of Highland Park ISD following Dr. Tom Trigg.

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Dear HPISD Parents and Community Members,
As we close out the second week of focus groups and community and staff forums, we want to thank you for participating in this process, sharing your thoughts and asking questions. We would like to address some of the questions we have heard.
How is the community’s input being considered?
Your Board is committed to hiring a superintendent who matches our community’s expressed priorities. We selected Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (“HYA”) to facilitate our search because of their proven process for gathering input from a broad representation of community members and stakeholders. Over the last two weeks, more than 300 of you have spoken in 38 forums, focus groups and interviews and more than 1,700 of you have responded to the online survey.
When will we hear a summary of the input that has been provided?
HYA will present a summary of their findings this coming Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the 5:30 p.m. regularly scheduled board meeting at the Clements Building. This presentation is also posted to the Superintendent Search webpage. Click here to view the report.
Who determines which candidates are considered? 
While HYA is the clearinghouse for submissions, the Board will see all candidate names submitted, review all candidate applications, determine who is interviewed and ultimately decide which finalist is chosen as our next superintendent.
How can the community continue to contribute to a successful search?
While HYA will facilitate this nationwide search, community members may also submit candidates for consideration. If you have any names to share, please email them to the Board ([email protected]) and/or to Max McGee ([email protected]).
The Board is committed to hiring a superintendent who aligns with our local priorities, and we are grateful to everyone who has given their input thus far. By staying positive and collaborating with the community, we aim to attract the best possible pool of candidates for this most important hire. 
Dear HPISD Parents and Community Members,
As we close out this first week of community forums and focus groups, we are reminded how vital community-wide support is for the superintendent search process. We are grateful to the more than 250 stakeholders who participated in the 30+ focus groups held throughout the week and to those who attended the community forum. Information gathered this week, in addition to feedback collected from individual board interviews, next week’s virtual forums and the online survey responses will be used to formulate our district’s personalized leadership profile.
We know that finding, as well as attracting, the right leader for HPISD’s future will take all of us rowing together. Here’s how you can help in the coming weeks to ensure our next leader matches our local HPISD priorities. Share your thoughts in the following ways:
Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) was selected for its national reach and ability to tailor its process to reflect our local HPISD priorities. With more than 1,500 searches completed in 35 years, HYA has a proven track record of identifying candidates who match each district’s locally-defined leadership profile.
We hope you will show your support for the future superintendent by attending the next School Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Clements Leadership Center. During the public portion of the meeting, HYA will present a summary of all feedback gathered from all stakeholders.
The Board wants to assure our community that we do want to hear your thoughts; and we are committed to considering all stakeholder feedback as we search for our next superintendent. To achieve success, we must coalesce around the common goal of finding a strong leader who will provide strategic fiscal and academic leadership.
By staying positive and focused on our mission to work together, we can ensure we will attract the best possible pool of candidates for this most important hire.
Let’s go, Scots.
The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees, in partnership with the selected executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA), has developed a comprehensive timeline to conduct the search process for the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. The plan outlines a collaborative process that ensures all community members have multiple ways during the next several weeks to give input, including community forums and an online survey.
HYA executives will oversee and conduct these opportunities to gather community input and ensure all community members are heard. The information collected by HYA will be used to develop a candidate Leadership Profile Report that will be presented to trustees at the Dec. 13 school board meeting. The profile will be used to identify and recruit potential candidates. The interview process is slated to begin in late February and continue through March with the goal of identifying a Superintendent Lone Finalist by May.
Two of the opportunities for parents, staff and community members to participate in the process will be through an online survey and by attending a forum.
Online survey opens Monday, Nov. 28
Working with HYA, trustees have developed a short eight-minute online survey that will open at 6 a.m. CST Monday, Nov. 28 and close at 11 p.m. CST Monday, Dec. 5. The survey will be open to all HPISD parents, staff and community members. Students in grades 9-12 will also have an opportunity to participate in the survey to provide their input. The link to the survey is and will be active at 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28. The district will also publish the link on the district's Superintendent Search webpage.
Two community forums will be held
HYA executives will facilitate two community forums in HPISD. A public forum will be held from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 at the Clements Leadership Center, and a virtual public forum will be held from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6. The public forums are open to all HPISD parents and community members and will be published on the Superintendent Search webpage. The link to attend the virtual public forum Dec. 6 is
A separate forum will be held for staff as well.
The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees voted at its regular meeting Nov. 8 to retain the firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) to conduct the search process for the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. The selection of an executive search firm was anchored by a comprehensive Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that reached a wide variety of search firms with expertise in K-12, higher education and corporate leadership placements. Ten search firms responded to the RFQ and four (HYA, CarterBaldwin, Ray and Associates, Inc., and R. William Funk & Associates) were interviewed in person by trustees Nov. 1 and 2.
HYA is a national executive search firm specializing in superintendent searches. The firm has extensive experience working with K-12 school districts nationally known for high achievement, exceptional post-secondary student success and highly engaged stakeholders. The firm particularly impressed the trustees with its thorough search process and its ability to customize and tailor the process to meet the specific needs of the HPISD community.
“It is incredibly important that our efforts and this process ensure strong community involvement,” Board President Tom Sharpe said. “HYA has a track record of offering a robust and established process for gathering stakeholder input and for customizing their work to meet our needs. We also believe HYA has the greatest ability to leverage an extensive network across the country, offering us the broadest reach for our candidate search.”
With the selection of the search firm partner complete, HPISD is now in Phase 2 of the Superintendent Search Process. Trustees will meet with HYA executives the week of Nov. 14 to develop a comprehensive timeline outlining a collaborative process that ensures stakeholders have an opportunity to give input into the search for a new school superintendent. These opportunities will be shared with the community through the district’s communication channels and updates will be posted on the HPISD Superintendent Search Process webpage to provide transparent communication throughout the process.
The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees will hold two special meetings at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 and Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the Clements Leadership Center (6900 Douglas Ave) to interview and potentially select a firm to assist the board in its search for the next HPISD Superintendent.   
Search firm interviews will be conducted during the closed session of the Nov 1 and 2 meetings. Trustees will interview multiple firms that responded to the Oct. 13-23 Request for Qualifications (RFQ) conducted by the district. The public comments portion of the trustee's Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 meetings will occur after the completion of the closed-session interviews. The meeting agendas will be posted Friday, Oct. 28 on the HPISD website here.
Once a search firm has been selected, trustees will begin working with the firm to create a comprehensive search process timeline that will include opportunities to collect input from stakeholders. These opportunities will be shared with the community through the district’s communication channels.
HPISD has also developed a Superintendent Search Process webpage to provide transparent communication throughout the process.
Dear Highland Park ISD Community,
Dr. Tom Trigg announced at the October school board meeting that the 2022-23 school year will be his last as HPISD’s superintendent. The Board of Trustees would like to take this opportunity to formally thank Dr. Trigg for his more than seven years of exemplary service to our district and for his lifelong commitment to public education.
The Board of Trustees applauds and celebrates all that Dr. Trigg has accomplished during his tenure at HPISD including, most notably, the passage and implementation of a $361 million bond program, the passage of a Voter Approved Tax Ratification “Golden Penny” Election, the opening of the William B. Clements Jr. Leadership Center, the opening of Michael M. Boone Elementary School, the creation of the Moody Innovation Institute and the navigation of an unprecedented pandemic. In all of this, Dr. Trigg’s greatest contribution to HPISD has been and continues to be his personal legacy of integrity and character in all his endeavors.
Upon receiving Dr. Trigg’s announcement, the Board of Trustees commenced the process of identifying our next superintendent. This process will include retaining a search firm with national reach as soon as possible and creating a comprehensive timeline that provides opportunities for community and stakeholder input. The Board believes that initiating a search this fall will provide the greatest opportunity for identifying and assessing the most qualified candidates and will allow for a smooth leadership transition.
For more than 100 years, HPISD has pursued a tradition of excellence under the guidance of leaders like Dr. Trigg. We are committed to ensuring that our next superintendent continues this legacy by working together with faculty, students, parents and our community to provide an unrivaled experience in public education.
Thank you for your continued support in the months ahead as we collaboratively move forward.