Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright
Dr. Eric Wright, a career educator with nearly three decades of experience, became the superintendent of schools for Hays CISD on January 1, 2018. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously the previous month to hire him as the district's leader.
Dr. Eric Wright started his career as a classroom teacher and coach in 1989, at various school districts in Texas, including Terrell, Channelview, West Hardin, Hardin, Marshall, and Lufkin ISDs. He spent the early to mid-1990s developing his talents as an educator and embracing the fundamentals of instruction that would serve him well as he later earned progressively advanced leadership positions. In 1996, he became an assistant elementary school principal in Lufkin ISD. The following school year he was named principal of an elementary school in neighboring Huntington ISD. During the 2000-2001 school year, he served as principal of Huntington High School. From 2001 to 2004, he was the assistant superintendent for curriculum & instruction at Huntington ISD.
In 2004, Dr. Wright was named the superintendent of schools for Woodville ISD. He has been leading public school systems since then. From 2006 to 2014, he was the superintendent for Huntington ISD. From 2014 through 2017, he served as superintendent of schools for Fredericksberg ISD.
“My vision as an administrator is to equip all students with the knowledge and values to be successful,” said Dr. Wright, explaining his philosophy of education administration. “It is imperative that students learn from highly qualified role models and that their talents are recognized and used as a foundational cornerstone. Achievements are evident when you set a positive learning climate that is based on excellence, fairness, equity, justice, and trust. Managing a school district is not a solitary pursuit. People want to have a voice regarding their schools, including parents, students, employees, and community members. As an educational leader, my job is to communicate and challenge individuals. Working together, we are successful when our future graduates are well prepared to be happy, productive, and competitive in the global economy.”
Dr. Wright earned his superintendent certification from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2003, the same alma mater at which he earned a doctoral degree in educational leadership the year before. He also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Formula for Success
Preparation, tradition, pride and hard work are the key ingredients in Dr. Wright’s formula for success. He led Huntington ISD to Texas Education Agency recognized status five years in a row despite the district being one of the 50 lowest funded school districts in the state. In Fredericksburg ISD, the district has met standards and consistently performed at or above the state average on STAAR, ACT, and SAT testing measures. In addition to academics, he also places an emphasis on educational opportunities beyond the classroom, including extracurricular activities and community service.
Dr. Wright has served his communities in a variety of civic organizations through the years, including membership and leadership roles in Rotary Club, the United Way, UIL, the Hill Country CTE Consortium, the Texas Association of School Administrators, and the Lions Club.
Education is the Family Business
Dr. Wright has education in his DNA and he is proud of his family. His father is a retired school superintendent and his mother is a retired school nurse. His wife, Missy, is a middle school principal. Dr. Wright has two daughters and two step daughters. One of his daughters is a Texas State University graduate and teaches and coaches in San Marcos CISD. The other three children are all students at the University of Texas at Austin.
It is a desire to be close to his family that, in part, perked his interest in Hays CISD. He plans to “establish roots in Central Texas” and provide the district with “leadership and stability for years to come.”
The Search Process
The Hays CISD Board launched its search for a new superintendent in June 2017, by hiring Thompson and Horton, LLP, as the consultant for the process. The search for a new district leader included ten community and professional focus groups and an open-to-all, online survey to develop qualifications the community wanted to see in the superintendent candidates. More than 500 people participated in developing the qualifications which were used to customize the job posting. Some of the top attributes included: having a demonstrated background of experience that focuses on academics and student achievement; being a visible member of the Hays CISD school district family and community; and being a good communicator, listener, and leader.
The job posting closed October 10, 2017, with 34 applicants. In early November, the Board narrowed the field of candidates and interviewed six of them. Two candidates were invited to a second round of interviews. On November 14, 2017, three Hays CISD school board members conducted a site visit to Fredericksburg ISD to observe Dr. Wright’s leadership in person. On November 15, 2017, he was named the lone finalist for the position and then hired by unanimous vote on December 7, 2017.