Dr. Toni HicksThe Jarrell Independent School District (ISD) Board of Trustees, at its Oct. 7, 2020 meeting, named Toni M. Hicks, Ed.D, of Liberty Hill ISD, as Lone Finalist to become their superintendent. State law requires a 21-day waiting period following the naming of the lone finalist. The Board is scheduled to vote to offer a contract to Dr. Hicks on Oct. 29, 2020. Dr. Hicks is slated to replace out-going Interim Superintendent Keith Boles.

“On behalf of the Board, we are excited to announce Dr. Hicks as the finalist,” Board President Crystal Phalen said. “The Board has been diligent in locating the right candidate for our district and community. Her history of proven success, solution-focused leadership and outstanding student achievement will be a huge asset to Jarrell ISD.”

The Board followed a thorough and lengthy process in determining the finalist. In August, the Board hired Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Executive Search Services to direct the search. TASB surveyed staff, parents and community members to assess the ideal leadership qualities of the new superintendent. Using this information, a profile was developed by the Board and consultants to evaluate the applicants for the position.

More than 70 candidates applied for the position. The Board selected six individuals for initial interviews and then three applicants were invited back for a second interview. Following the second interview, a top candidate was selected for further review. The third visit with Dr. Hicks took place at her district, Liberty Hill ISD. Board members met with numerous members of Liberty Hill ISD, including two representatives from the Board of Trustees, the superintendent, two principals, and five teachers.

A native Texan, Dr. Toni Hicks earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University. She began her educational career in El Paso ISD as an English as a Second Language teacher and then later as a middle school teacher in Leander ISD. While working as a full-time teacher, she completed a Master of Education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Dr. Hicks then went on to serve the Round Rock community as an assistant principal and principal in Round Rock ISD. As principal, the University of Texas recognized her as Mentor of the Year and her school was recognized as a “Best Public School” in Texas Monthly and a “Top 3” Central Texas Public School.

Most recently, Dr. Hicks has served Liberty Hill ISD as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability. While serving Liberty Hill ISD, a fast growth district, she assisted in a successful bond election, supported staff and students to achieve a Texas Education Agency “A” rating, and initiated a teacher-developed curriculum.

During this time, Dr. Hicks earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas at Austin.

With over 25 years of experience in the field of education, Dr. Hicks is a successful leader who is passionate about student and adult learning, collaborative environments, and continuous improvement. She has served on the Texas Teacher Mentoring Committee, which reported to the Texas Legislature, emphasizing the importance of mentoring processes to support and retain teachers. She is a member of the Future-Ready Superintendent Leadership Network that promotes creating and sustaining student-centered schools.

“The opportunity to join and serve the growing community of Jarrell is exciting. I’m looking forward to getting to know the students, staff and families of Jarrell ISD as we work together to continue the outstanding work across the district,” Dr. Hicks said.

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