Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), announced today he will close out his 13-year tenure as superintendent of the nation’s 16th largest school district, effective December 2022.
Hinojosa’s announcement caps off a 42-year career improving public education systems across the nation as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, central office staff member, and superintendent for five different districts in both Texas and Georgia. During his two terms as the Dallas ISD superintendent, the district has seen significant academic improvement and been recognized for its innovative policies and programs. Hinojosa will serve as superintendent through the completion of the 2021-2022 school year while the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees conducts a search for his successor. He will remain on staff until December 2022, to help transition the district’s new leader.
“It’s been one of the proudest moments in my life to do this work bringing innovation, equity, collaboration, and achievement to the forefront of urban education,” said Hinojosa. “Today is bittersweet, because it’s been such an honor to work alongside some of the sharpest minds and talents. My departure comes at this time knowing the team is poised to move the district into the 22nd century,” Hinojosa continued. “As a young immigrant growing up in Oak Cliff, education was always the great equalizer. Now more than ever, let’s look to the future with hope and aspiration when shaping the lives of our next generation.”
During his tenure, Hinojosa established and guided the execution of numerous game-changing initiatives including: creating a universal curriculum; expanding dual-language programs; substantially expanding high-quality early learning; shepherding the district’s Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) and Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) program; establishing a robust early college and Pathways in Technology initiative; creating four career institutes where students access cutting-edge curriculum for 22nd-century opportunities; establishing one of the nation’s first school district racial equity departments; and eliminating discretionary in- and out-of-school suspensions.
In 2020, he led the historic passage of the largest bond in Texas history, which is bringing significant improvements to the district’s facility and technology infrastructure. In 2018, Hinojosa advocated for a tax ratification election, which helped increase millions of dollars into the district’s budget to scale its innovative strategic initiatives.
Dr. Hinojosa has changed what is possible for public education in America by cultivating an innovative, evidenced-based culture and having the boldness to continually make tough decisions that put kids first while bringing stability to our system,” said Dallas ISD Board President Ben Mackey. “We thank him for his many years of selfless service to the district and look forward to finding a successor who can continue the work he started and continue to drive Dallas ISD as one of the most innovative urban school districts in Texas and the nation.”
Hinojosa, is a graduate of Sunset Sunset High School and started his career in education as a teacher and coach at W.H. Adamson High School. He served an initial term as superintendent in Dallas ISD from 2005-2011, and returned as interim superintendent in July 2015. The Board of Trustees formally approved his second term, in October 2015.
The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees will begin a national superintendent search and outline details of the official process in the coming weeks.
Hinojosa’s community building efforts included partnerships with members of the private and public sectors who expressed their sentiments on today’s announcement:
“Dr. Hinojosa’s willingness to build a collaborative working relationship with the Dallas business community hasn’t just made our work together extremely effective, it has redefined what it means to ensure that a student is truly “career ready” in Dallas,” said Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber. “It is bittersweet to see his tenure come to an end, but he leaves the district much better than he found it.”
Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall added, “Dallas ISD and the Dallas Mavericks have made it a point to leverage our collective influence to improve our city in numerous ways, including during some of our most challenging times. I’ve been blessed to have Dr. Hinojosa as my partner in this effort, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Sen. Royce West, a longtime champion for Dallas ISD, stated, “Dr. Hinojosa came to do a job, and he accomplished it. He steered Dallas ISD through calm, choppy and yes, even treacherous waters and never lost site of the value of a good education. He will be remembered for his exhaustive work to ensure every Dallas ISD student receives the quality education they deserve. His efforts will live on in perpetuity as students and their families reap the benefits of his leadership for years to come.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who has worked with Hinojosa on numerous issues, including the County COVID response, stated, “Dr. Hinojosa’s partnership during multiple crises including the relocation of students impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the 2019 tornado, and the COVID-19 global pandemic was essential in ensuring our county response was effective. There is nothing better than having a person leading a major city organization who is willing to be a collaborative partner when the going gets tough. I’m happy to have had the chance to work with him for so many years.”
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price shared, “The Dallas Public School system has seen its share of dynamic changes in demographics, personnel, and paradigm shifts. Not to mention, its operation under a court order. However, Dr. Hinojosa has been the principal visionary throughout the district’s most challenging periods. Your ability to create strong teams and deploy superior talent has made all the difference.”
Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax echoed Judge Jenkins’ sentiments by adding that “Dr. Hinojosa made it clear to me very early that a strong city government – school district relationship was a major priority of his, and he’s stayed true to that belief ever since. I’m certain our collaboration has been to the benefit of the residents of Dallas.”
To learn more about Dallas ISD, visit www.dallasisd.org.