Q&A With Midlothian ISD Superintendent Dr. Fey


Jo Ann Fey headshot
Picture courtesy Midlothian ISD

Meet Dr. Jo Ann Fey, Midlothian ISD Superintendent

The Midlothian Faculty District is well-known for its ardour in growing college students and
getting ready them for all times after their days within the MISD.

So, once they went in search of a brand new superintendent, such considering was, in fact, on the high of their checklist regarding candidates. That mindset led them to Dr. Jo Ann Fey.

Fey took over as the brand new MISD superintendent June 1, coming from Southwest ISD in
San Antonio, bringing along with her a dedication to college students, academics, workers and their households that continues to develop as she enters her second quarter century in training. An perspective that meshes completely with the one already in place in Midlothian.

As an assistant superintendent in SWISD for seven years, the college district from which she additionally graduated in 1989, her success included the opening of a ninth-grade heart, a second highschool, and a STEM specialty faculty. Previous to changing into assistant superintendent, she led a college turnaround effort at a highschool with greater than 3,500 college students.

Fey has a bachelor of arts diploma in political science from SMU, a grasp of arts in enterprise administration from Central Michigan College, a second grasp of training in curriculum and instruction with an educational know-how focus from Houston Baptist College, and a doctorate in instructional management from Lamar College.

And, alongside along with her profitable profession in administration, she taught CTE courses and coached basketball.

Fey and her husband, a civil engineer, have three youngsters. Their youngest daughter might be a freshman in MISD, whereas their oldest son is a graduating senior at Texas A&M-Kingsville, and their oldest daughter might be getting into her sophomore 12 months at Rice College in Houston.

As Fey begins the latest chapter of her profession, she visited with Focus Daily News to provide of us just a little extra perception into who she is, her accomplishments and her targets for the MISD transferring ahead.

FDN: I see you had been assistant superintendent at SWISD for seven years. Have you ever ever been a superintendent earlier than?

Fey: That is my first appointment as superintendent of faculties. My profession has led me up to now by serving in central workplace roles essential to main a college district, together with government director of management improvement, assistant superintendent of each curriculum and instruction and administration, in addition to human sources and innovation.

FDN : Do you recall what drew you to training for a profession? What about administration?

Fey: After incomes my undergraduate diploma from Southern Methodist College, I labored with troopers at Fort Stewart, Georgia (now deactivated) as an instructional facilitator. Serving these women and men in uniform was inspirational and laid the inspiration for my profession in training. As a army partner, the training occupation allowed me to serve others wherever on the planet.

Returning residence to Texas, I moved again residence to the San Antonio space to assist my dad and mom after my father had an enormous coronary heart assault. I began my profession in public faculties presently, serving college students in grades 6-12, and dealing with center and highschool college students quickly turned such a ardour.

FDN: What sort of success did you will have as a basketball coach? Had been you a head coach?

Fey: As a former athlete, I used to be known as to be a coach and liked each minute being a head basketball coach, in addition to teaching cross nation and monitor and subject. Teaching allowed me to deal with the worth of teamwork among the many groups I coached, which then served me to construct robust campus groups targeted on scholar alternatives and successes.

Whereas the groups I coached had been robust competitively and ranked amongst among the greatest within the higher San Antonio space, the junior varsity and freshman groups had been essentially the most memorable. Constructing a group the place all gamers be taught and develop allowed me to make the best affect in younger lives. Merely put, they had been the core spirit of our success; that occurs effectively when management is at its greatest.

Moreover, I used to be a women athletic coordinator, which was when my curiosity in administration started. My athletic director, the late Manuel Valles, mentored and impressed me to stretch myself and enterprise to campus management. He all the time anticipated one of the best from his workers and he gave me unimaginable alternatives to drive strategic adjustments for our general women sports activities program. He let me take dangers, be taught from dangers and assist me course of these challenges with a real progress mindset.

FDN: Has being a coach helped you as you advance in training and administration?

Fey: Sure, certainly, teaching has helped me advance in training however I’d not say teaching basketball was the important thing. The important thing was that I needed to lead different leaders to have an effect on scholar outcomes.

The most important distinction in teaching group sports activities and training different adults, different leaders, or a complete system, is that your management is measured in each recreation performed and each play executed. There is no such thing as a extra weak place that I’ve served as a frontrunner than on Tuesday night time within the fitness center, Friday night time on the sphere or in a single throw at a monitor meet.

FDN: Do you come from a household of educators?

Fey: No, I come from a household of very humble exhausting employees. My father was a technician for AT&T for greater than 30 years and my mom retired from the cafeteria within the native faculty district the place I grew up. I’m a first-generation faculty scholar in my household, and my training has been a gamechanger for my life. Nevertheless, I’m extraordinarily pleased with my dad and mom, my background and my values.

FDN: What drew you to Midlothian and what are your main targets transferring ahead for the MISD?

Fey: I consider Midlothian has the chance to be a nationwide chief in educating all college students in our system. We’ve nice college students, nice parental engagement and downright superb academics in our school rooms. I wish to be a part of rising us to be one of many nation’s greatest faculty districts, the place individuals go to to be taught from our greatest practices, and this begins with main ourselves and taking possession of our personal skilled progress and improvement.

FDN: Are you able to elaborate on the significance of stability in a scholar’s training?

Fey: I’m a robust believer in having college students engaged academically in our school rooms, however I additionally consider that college students be taught so many priceless classes from outdoors the school rooms resembling on the sphere, on the halftime present, on the Last Pitch night time at The MILE, and serving our neighborhood. Stability is offering college students alternatives out and in of the classroom to foster the love of studying, servant management and being a productive citizen.

FDN: What had been your main accomplishments at SWISD and might you elaborate on the turnaround effort there?

Fey: As I used to be appointed the Southwest Excessive Faculty principal, the campus was not performing effectively based on state and nationwide requirements. Inside 4 years, our campus was acting on par with the state in addition to assembly the nationwide requirements. This turnaround effort was as a consequence of a number of strategic adjustments, however one of the vital was giving college students a voice to their studying expertise. Scholar voice is extremely vital and we offered alternatives for them to share so we are able to make studying related and rigorous.

Attributable to this effort, academics’ potential to satisfy the wants of our college students modified largely as a result of our turnaround was led and executed by academics. Academics are essentially the most very important ingredient to studying, and we should proceed empowering them to do unimaginable work with every scholar and with one another.

FDN: What do you’re feeling is the most important problem educators face right this moment and the way do you assume it may be resolved?

Fey: I believe the most important problem in training is making training a precedence throughout our state and nation. Instructor pay is a matter, and recruiting and retaining high quality educators is a problem. I believe the state is taking some steps to encourage equitable pay for academics via the Instructor Incentive Allotment, however that’s not sufficient to draw, choose and preserve high quality educators in our school rooms.

I additionally assume tutorial requirements are so extremely huge, not deep sufficient and alter too usually. As well as, accountability requirements have accomplished little to enhance public training general, however I do consider it has been good to show areas of progress for us.

I believe these challenges may be resolved by creating house for expertise improvement in class programs that aren’t essentially tied to a credential. If we develop leaders in our system, we are able to meet any problem head-on and achieve success.

FDN: Any further ideas/feedback?

Fey: I’m proud to be a Midlothian citizen, and I hope to serve my neighborhood effectively. Along with our academics, workers members, dad and mom and neighborhood members, we are going to encourage our college students and put together them to be the leaders of tomorrow.


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