Former Superintendent, Spring Independent School DistrictTexas
Dr. Rodney Watson is the former superintendent of the Spring Independent School District (ISD), which serves more than 33,000 students in a diverse community approximately 20 miles north of downtown Houston. He currently serves as the deputy executive director for the Texas Association of School Boards.
During his tenure in Spring, Watson spearheaded successful programs in academics, early childhood, and special education; improved student data management; implemented innovative new-teacher development and postsecondary preparedness programs; oversaw the completion of a $330 million bond referendum to improve facilities, technology, safety, and security needs; and ushered in forward-looking initiatives to ensure the district was positioned to meet both current and future challenges. In 2021, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association.
Watson and the Spring ISD Board of Education launched a continuation of the successful Every Child 2020 Plan. The plan—Every Teacher, Every Student, Every Day—outlined six key priorities: student outcomes, equity, opportunities, leadership, wellbeing, and engagement. Watson formed an Innovation and Equity team, whereby a steering committee of both internal and external stakeholders worked to develop a proactive plan to close achievement gaps while improving support structures that meet the needs of every student within the community.
Prior to accepting the leadership role at Spring ISD, Watson served as the chief human resources officer at the Houston Independent School District, the largest district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the nation, with more than 210,000 students and 30,000 employees.
He holds a bachelor’s in psychology and music education from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s in counseling psychology from Webster University, and an Ed.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. His Ed.S. is in higher education administration, and his Ph.D. is in urban leadership and policy analysis as well as curriculum and instruction.