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Friday, December 2, 2022
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Local District Picks New Acting Superintendent

Education

Assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Michael Griffin | Image by WFAA

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School board trustees for the Northwest Independent School District settled on a new acting superintendent after the previous official to have that role died unexpectedly.

At a special board meeting last Thursday, the board picked the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Michael Griffin, to fill the vacancy. She will hold the position until the board identifies a permanent candidate.

Griffin stated, “Northwest ISD means the world to me, and I am honored to temporarily lead the district forward with stability as we search for a new leader.”

She previously worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and executive director of elementary education, all prior to her four-year stint leading curriculum and instruction.

Griffin will be filling David Hicks’ shoes following his unanticipated passing.

Hicks suffered a “medical emergency” and died on September 9, according to the district, having held the role of superintendent only since March of this year.

Like Griffin, Hicks served in practically every level of the education profession, starting as a classroom teacher before moving into campus administration and then district leadership. While his entire career was not confined to Northwest ISD, it did span more than 30 years.

Griffin stated, “Dr. Hicks left a tremendous mark on our district in his time with us with his caring and compassionate nature, and I have the utmost faith in our school board in finding his successor.”

Hearing of his death, Tyson Bennett, a former colleague of Hicks’ and Sherman ISD’s current superintendent, stated in a remembrance:

“Dr. Hicks was so gracious, a servant at heart, and included everyone because he cared so much for others. He impacted all of us in amazing ways that will bless our district and community for generations.”

For his part, Denton ISD superintendent Jamie Wilson stated:

“David had a tireless passion for serving others, and yet he always felt compelled to learn more so he could do more. Often, we talked about our goals for one another, our families, and our love for our profession. Make no mistake, David was driven by his love for education and the difference he could make in the lives of others – public education lost an amazing leader and an even better man.”

Hicks’ funeral was held on Saturday, September 17, in Sherman.

Part of Hicks’ legacy includes leaving Northwest ISD in admirable shape. The Texas Education Agency gave the district a “B” letter grade in its latest accountability report on student achievement, and 97% of Northwest ISD’s class of 2021 graduated on time.

In comparison, Dallas ISD received an accountability rating of “C” for student achievement, and roughly 20% of its graduating class of 2021 dropped out or otherwise failed to graduate in four years.

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