Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson has been announced as the 2021 National School Foundation Association (NSFA) Superintendent of the Year. Watson will accept his award on Friday, Feb. 26 when more than 450 attendees from across the nation convene virtually for the 16th annual NSFA national conference.
The award is designed to recognize a superintendent “whose visionary leadership and collaboration develops a partnership with their education foundation which provides every student the opportunity for success,” according to NSFA. Watson was selected from 21 nominations submitted by education foundations from school districts across the country.
“Dr. Watson has excelled in all categories that create a wonderful superintendent for not only the district, but also the community, “ said Toba Cohen-Dunning, NSFA president and executive director of the Omaha Public Schools Foundation. “After learning the accomplishments of Dr. Watson over the past six years, we are not only proud to name him NSFA Superintendent of the Year, but to nationally recognize his inclusivity of equality, support, and dedication.”
In selecting Watson for the award, NSFA noted his strong advocacy for community partnership and his ongoing collaboration with the Spring ISD Education Foundation, which submitted the nomination.
“Dr. Watson has been great to work with,” said Sandra Harper Scott, executive director of the Spring ISD Education Foundation. “His partnership and support has been invaluable to the Foundation as we continue to reach out to Spring ISD staff and our community for support. He leads by example when it comes to giving and supporting all of our fundraising efforts. He has allowed the Foundation to expand our visibility and become an active organization within the district and community.”
Watson, who has served as Spring ISD’S superintendent for more than six years, has consistently emphasized the importance of community support to the success of the school district. Some of his accomplishments include:
- A $330 million bond referendum approved by local voters in November 2016 to address a number of long-awaited facility, technology, safety and security needs across the district.
- The launch of full-day prekindergarten programs across the district, leading to a 17% increase in kindergarten students reading on grade level.
- An increase in the percentage of students taking AP exams and those scoring three or better, ensuring more Spring ISD graduates are ready for post-secondary education and careers.
Watson’s service to other organizations has included work with The Education Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NAACP, National Association of Black School Administrators, Asia Society’s Global Cities Educational Network, and the American Counseling Association. He also currently serves as Board Chair for Northwest Assistance Ministries, board member and Executive Pastor at Wellspring Church International Ministries, and formerly served as the Board Chair for Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.
Watson said he was honored to receive the award and thanked both the Spring ISD Education Foundation, as well as the district’s Board of Trustees, for their ongoing support and collaboration around shared goals.
“This is truly an honor and reflects the strength of our partnership with the Spring ISD Education Foundation, as well as the leadership of our trustees, who have always shared my belief that the school district is only as strong as the community and the community is only as strong as its schools,” Watson said. “We have achieved much by working together and I know we’ll continue to make progress by keeping our focus on how to best serve our students, families and community.”
Currently, the Spring Independent School District has an enrollment of approximately
33,000 students. Along with its 26 elementary schools, seven comprehensive middle schools and three comprehensive high schools, Spring ISD offers families two middle schools of choice, a nationally recognized early college academy and an award-winning high school career academy. To learn more about the district, visit Spring ISD’s ’About Us’ page.