Dr. Kent Scribner, Fort Worth ISD’s new superintendent, spoke at a dinner hosted by Rainwater Charitable Foundation on March 30, 2016. Here’s a summary of what he shared with the TFA corps members and alumni and FW community members in attendance.
March 30, 2016
I tell people I have Teach For America envy. Teach For America didn’t exist back when I graduated from college. So, after attending Carlton College in Minnesota, I went to Philadelphia and taught in an alternative school called Community High School, paid for by City Council, for kids who had difficulty with traditional high schools. I went on to become a high school counselor, then earned a master’s and doctorate, and eventually became a superintendent.
I am most proud of my 13 years a superintendent in Phoenix. So when I moved here to Fort Worth five months ago, I wanted to continue leading a school district with strong values. I found a great place with a heartbeat—a big city and a small town—with people who really care about each other.
We are 87,000 students strong: 63 percent Hispanic, 23 percent African-American, 77 percent economically disadvantaged. We are 129 schools and 43 campuses. Some are on the right track, but others need work. We are hiring staff to help support those campuses to become successful. We are looking for smart, well-principled people with the right values of equity and excellence, and willingness to meet our students where they are and move them forward.
From my perspective, with Fort Worth ISD’s mission of preparing every student for success in college, career and community leadership, we are perfectly poised for success. It is about both equity and excellence.