Northwest ISD’s Board of Trustees voted 7-0 on Monday to name Mark Foust the sole finalist in its search for a new superintendent.
The previous superintendent, David Hicks, only served for a few months before dying unexpectedly in September from a medical emergency. He was succeeded by Michael Griffin, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, who briefly ran the district in an acting capacity, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Foust previously served as Kerrville ISD’s superintendent for six years. Before that, he was a 21-year veteran of Fort Bend ISD, serving as an English teacher, coach, and administrator.
His taking the position at Northwest ISD marks another changing of the guard in a North Texas school district, a region that has seen at least 10 superintendents resign in the last year, some amid controversy, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Foust stated in a press release:
“Northwest ISD is a destination school district in Texas – it is a highly sought-after place for families to raise their children, and a district where teachers and staff team with other incredibly talented people to serve all children in the community.
“I look forward to Northwest ISD continuing to be a strong leader in preparing children for the next chapters of their lives and providing families with the best educational environment in the state.”
While only 57% of Northwest ISD students performed at grade level on last year’s STAAR exams, the district did boast a solid on-time graduation rate of 97% for the class of 2022, according to the district’s latest Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability report.
Both metrics put Northwest ISD miles ahead of the biggest school district in North Texas — Dallas ISD — whose class of 2022 saw an alarming 18.9% of its class of 2022 fail to graduate on time. Its latest STAAR exams also proved alarming, with only 41% of students scoring at grade level.
The Northwest ISD school board held three rounds of interviews before selecting Foust, according to Community Impact.
During Foust’s tenure as Kerrville ISD superintendent, the district implemented STEM programs. It increased technical and career education expansion while also passing a bond program that helped revitalize its schools, according to Northwest ISD officials.
His time presiding over Kerrville ISD earned him a distinction as an HEB Excellence in Education Small District State finalist and a top-10 UIL Lone Star Cup finisher.
The state mandates a 21-day waiting period before a new superintendent can officially assume their duties. Northwest ISD said it plans to follow this guideline before Foust officially becomes the superintendent.
Foust is expected to start his new position sometime in January.