TASB names Rodney E. Watson as new deputy executive director

Published 10:58 am Thursday, October 14, 2021

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AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) announced today the selection of Dr. Rodney E. Watson as its new deputy executive director to assist the organization in its work to promote educational excellence for all Texas public school children.
Watson joins TASB from Spring Independent School District (ISD), where since 2014 he has served as superintendent of more than 33,000 students in a diverse community approximately 20 miles north of Houston. He will step into his new role at TASB in January 2022.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Rodney to the TASB team where he’ll be able to bring his many years of experience as an educator, administrator, and superintendent to serve students and school districts across the state,” said TASB Executive Director Dan Troxell. “Rodney knows firsthand the many challenges and opportunities facing school districts, and I’m confident that he will help elevate the support and resources our members expect from TASB.”
Watson will oversee several key departments and initiatives at TASB, as well as guide large cross-functional projects, with the goal of ensuring an excellent and integrated member experience.
“Our entire mission at TASB is to make certain our members are well served with everything they need to ensure effective governance at the local level,” said TASB President Ted Beard, a Longview ISD trustee. “I’m very pleased with Dan’s selection of Rodney for this role. His experience working with trustees over the years will help ensure that TASB continues to connect with the frontline needs of board members across the state. Rodney has a track record as a leader and listener able to build consensus for the benefit of all students.”
During his tenure at Spring ISD, Watson has led advancements in early-childhood and special education, improved student data management, implemented innovative new-teacher development and postsecondary preparedness programs and overseen completion of a $330 million bond referendum. In 2021, Watson was named National Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association.
“I am deeply proud of all we have accomplished together as a team in Spring ISD,” Watson said. “I have worked shoulder to shoulder over the past seven years with the best principals, central office administrators and school staff to improve student outcomes — and I look forward to joining TASB to offer critical support needed for school districts across the state.”
Prior to joining Spring ISD, Watson served as the chief human resources officer for Houston ISD, the largest district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the nation, with more than 210,000 students and 30,000 employees.
Watson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and music education from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Webster University, and an Ed.S. in higher education administration and a Ph.D. in urban leadership and policy analysis and curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. His professional affiliations include work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Association of Black School Administrators and the American Counseling Association.
Watson is the past board chair for the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as the board chair for Northwest Assistance Ministries in Houston and executive pastor at Wellspring Church International in Richmond.