Special to The Dallas Examiner
DESOTO — The DeSoto Independent School District Board of Trustees has named Dr. Usamah Rodgers as the lone finalist for the district’s superintendent position. Trustees voted to approve the decision at a special called meeting held April 20.
“I am extremely grateful that the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees has selected me as the lone finalist for the position of Superintendent of DeSoto ISD schools. I look forward to serving the students, staff, families and community,” Rodgers said. “I am excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively with all district stakeholders to continue building upon the district’s legacy and providing exceptional educational experiences for our students.”
A long-serving educator, Rodgers’ ascension through the educational ranks began with her work as a teacher before becoming dean of instruction, assistant principal and campus principal. She later transitioned to executive leadership roles as an executive director and, most recently, as the Deputy Chief of Strategic Initiatives in Dallas ISD, the 14th largest school system in the United States serving more than 150,000 students.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a master’s and doctorate educational leadership and administration.
The district pointed to her several professional awards and achievements to reflect her impact on educational leadership:
- 2021 Future School Leaders Network Legacy Leadership Award
- 2020 Edvocate Best K-12 Leader Award
- 2017 Dallas NAACP Juanita Craft Education Award
- 2017 Ken Manous Alpha Honors
- 2014 Excellence in Education Award – Negro Business and Professional Women’s Garland Club
- The University of Texas at Austin – Cooperative Superintendency Fellow
- 2008-2009 – Cedar Hill ISD – Principal of the Year
- PTA Life Membership Award
- 2009 – Raise Your Hand Texas
- 2009 – Harvard Principals Institute – Participant
“The Board’s hiring of Dr. Rodgers ensures that our kids’ needs are at the forefront of the district’s focus given her extensive work in shaping and preparing students for college and career readiness. As a Board, we are excited about the opportunity for Dr. Rodgers to join DeSoto ISD and lead the work of improving climate, culture, safety and security while increasing the rigor and standards of the district in an effort to continue our work of improving student outcomes,” said DeSoto ISD Board President DeAndrea Fleming. “Dr. Rodgers has demonstrated her ability to do this work at a high level throughout her proven tenure as a teacher, campus leader and central office administrator.”
The district began its superintendent search in January with community meetings designed to develop a profile for the ideal candidate before initiating the application and interview process and then narrowed the field of 27 applicants down to five before reviewing two finalists prior to the special called meeting.
The state requires a 21-day review period after which trustees are expected to offer Rodgers a contract for employment.