Frisco ISD is welcoming Dr. Mike Waldrip as the District’s new superintendent of schools this summer.
Dr. Waldrip, previously superintendent in nearby Coppell ISD, took over at the beginning of July following the retirement of Dr. Jeremy Lyon.
Dr. Waldrip, a 35-year educator, had been superintendent of schools in Coppell since 2014. He spent the previous 12 years in Frisco ISD, serving as middle school principal and director of secondary instruction before opening Liberty High School as principal in 2006. He went on to serve as assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent prior to accepting the reins in Coppell.
“Although I'm leaving a great school district, it's an honor to be back in Frisco,” Dr. Waldrip said. “I am humbled that this Board chose me to be the next superintendent in Frisco ISD and I look forward to working with them once again.”
A 1982 graduate of Texas Tech University, Dr. Waldrip earned his undergraduate degree in biology and physical education. Both his masters and doctorate are in educational administration from Sul Ross State University and the University of North Texas, respectively. Prior to joining FISD, he was a teacher/coach and assistant principal in Victoria, Goliad and Seminole ISDs.
Dr. Waldrip’s wife, Lisa, works in public education. The couple has two grown sons, who are both graduates of FISD schools.
“This school district has a strong tradition of providing quality instructional programs to its students and I am very blessed to be able to lead Frisco ISD in that work,” Dr. Waldrip said. “I am also looking forward to working once again with this community to keep our district strong and on the leading edge of education in Texas. Frisco ISD and the City of Frisco have always worked very closely to provide what's best for our community. My hope is that strong partnership will continue. My wife and I couldn't be happier to be moving back to the place we call home.”
The School Board named Dr. Waldrip lone finalist for the position on May 22 after a two-month search that drew applications from across the country.
Trustees worked with Jenny Preston Consulting to gather public input from community members, as well as FISD staff, to develop a wish list of qualities the District desired in a new superintendent.
“Hiring a superintendent is the most far-reaching decision a school board will ever make,” said Anne McCausland, 2016-17 president of the FISD Board of Trustees. “This Board focused its energies to find the best fit for our students, staff, parents and community. We are thrilled to have Dr. Mike Waldrip continue our commitment to student achievement and keep Frisco ISD a destination district.”
The Board unanimously approved a contract with Waldrip on June 12.
Questions & Answers with New Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip
Why were you drawn to Frisco ISD?
Frisco was our home for 12 years. Both my sons graduated from Frisco schools and we continue to have numerous friends and colleagues that live here. It’s the place we think about when we think of home.
What should we know about your leadership style?
It is very much a collaborative, shared leadership style. I have always believed that the collective intelligence and experiences of a group of savvy individuals, moving in the same direction, is so much more powerful than any one of those individuals alone.
Describe one of your most rewarding experiences as an educator.
There is nothing more rewarding as an educator than to have former students contact you years later and express how you impacted their lives in a positive way. It is very humbling and very satisfying to know that the work we do as educators has that kind of effect on our students. If this is our one legacy, I can think of nothing better to pass on to those we teach.
Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.
I have recently taken up scuba diving and wonder why I haven’t been doing it all my life. It is a surreal experience for me and one I highly recommend.
What do you envision for the future of Frisco ISD?
Frisco ISD has a long legacy of providing a quality education. There is no reason for this not to continue. We will soon be the 3rd largest school district in the Metroplex behind Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD, and I see no reason we can’t lead the way in providing quality, personalized educational experiences for our students. We have educators up for this task and a community that desires and supports this type of education for their kids.