Dr. Morrison's Departure

Superintendent Heath Morrison announces departure from Montgomery ISD
Posted on 07/12/2023
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Dr. Heath Morrison has announced that he is stepping down as superintendent of Montgomery ISD.

Morrison will announce the details of his next role in the near future but shared that he will be leading a national organization focused on addressing one of the biggest challenges to public education.

“My time in Montgomery has truly been an amazing journey and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to serve as superintendent of this outstanding school district,” Morrison said. “It was an extremely difficult decision, but I have been presented with an opportunity to lead an organization that is working to solve arguably the most serious challenge impacting education. As a servant leader, I felt called to consider this next step in my leadership journey.”

Board President Laurie Turner expressed her gratitude for Morrison’s leadership, and shared confidence in the district’s ability to continue building upon the momentum of the previous several years.

“While we are disappointed that he will no longer serve as superintendent, we are excited and proud of him for the opportunity that he has accepted,” Board President Laurie Turner said. “The work Dr. Morrison has done over the last three years has set our educators and students up for long-term success. He has made incredible improvements to our district, and I am so grateful for his leadership. He constantly proved that he was right the leader for us, at the right time.”

Morrison was named Superintendent in July 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He immediately enacted a return-to-school plan that led to Montgomery ISD being one of the first districts in the state and nation to re-open schools for in-person learning. By October 2020, 95% of students in Montgomery ISD were engaged in traditional, in-person learning.

Also, under Morrison’s leadership, the district adopted a comprehensive strategic plan in 2021. The strategic plan was developed in collaboration with nearly 400 individuals, including administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents and community members. The Pathway to Premier strategic plan encompasses priorities, goals and strategies identified by stakeholders. The district’s progress under the plan is posted online.

In May 2022, Montgomery ISD voters approved the largest bond referendum in the history of the district. The $326M bond program will add Creekside Elementary School, expand Lake Creek High School, add a Career and Technical Education Center and Agriculture-Science Center, and make improvements to all campuses in the district.

Employee compensation and school safety have been top budget priorities under Morrison’s leadership. Since 2020, Teachers in Montgomery ISD have received over 14% in salary increases, with all other employees receiving at least 12%. Additionally, since 2020, the district has added seven full-time officers to the Montgomery ISD Police Department, which is enough for a dedicated officer for every campus, including two at each high school.

Additional accomplishments under Morrison’s leadership include the following:

1. Maintaining a Balanced Budget and Superior Financial Rating from the state: Before 2020, the district struggled to continuously balance the budget. Since October 2020, the district has maintained a balanced operating budget and earned the highest financial rating given by the Texas Education Agency.

2. Maintaining an A-Rating with the State of Texas: Despite the numerous challenges faced by school districts across the state, Montgomery ISD has consistently maintained its A-rating with the state of Texas. This accomplishment speaks to the hard work, dedication, and expertise of the exceptional educators and staff in Montgomery ISD who are committed to delivering a high-quality education to every student.

3. Improve Communication and Collaboration with the Community: Under Dr. Morrison’s leadership, the district’s transparency and communication significantly improved. Dr. Morrison frequently engaged with business, community, and faith-based leaders and implemented the Let’s Talk platform. Districtwide survey results conducted by a third-party revealed that an overwhelming number of parents and employees rate their school as excellent.

4. Recognition as a Top School District: Montgomery ISD was honored to be recognized as one of the top school districts in the state through the prestigious H-E-B Excellence in Education awards. This accolade is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the entire community to providing an outstanding education for MISD students.

5. Employee Culture of Respect: Morrison formed a committee of staff members from across the district in 2022 to create a “Culture of Respect” compact intended to ensure that all employees in Montgomery ISD feel respected for their work and contributions. The work has improved the workplace culture in the district.

“The people in this district, everyone from the teachers to the students, parents and bus drivers, are truly what make this place special,” Morrison said. “This community talks a lot about

wanting Montgomery ISD to be recognized as the premier district in Texas. In my opinion, this district is premier.”

Trustee Linda Porten, who serves as the Board Secretary, acknowledged Morrison’s work ethic as a driving force behind the district’s success under his leadership.

“Every organization Dr. Morrison has led has achieved great results, including Montgomery ISD,” Porten said. “It’s why he was named Principal of the Year in Maryland, Superintendent of the Year in Nevada, and National Superintendent of the Year. His tireless work ethic, integrity and extremely high standard of excellence have provided our school district with a strong foundation for future success.

In April, the Board of Trustees unanimously nominated Morrison for Region 6 Superintendent of the Year.

Madeley Ranch ES Principal Shelby Smith shared her appreciation for Morrison’s collaboration with teachers and district leadership.

“As a campus principal, I was always grateful for Dr. Morrison‘s focus on collaboration with employees,” Smith said. “Throughout all my years here, I never felt more involved in major decision-making in our district, and it really had a positive impact on our workplace culture in MISD.”

Trustee Trey Kirby, who has been on the Board of Trustees since 2015, shared his appreciation for Morrison’s leadership in navigating unprecedented challenges facing public schools.

“Dr. Morrison joined our district during a very unique and challenging time in public education across the country,” Kirby said. “His leadership during that time was a key part of MISD being one of the top districts in the state. We’re disappointed to see him leave, but grateful for his service and work to improve our school district and wish him well in his new position.”

Trustee Matt Fuller, who served as the MISD Board President from November 2020 through May 2023, commented on Morrison’s tenure as superintendent.

“Dr. Morrison’s leadership through the past three years has left an indelible mark on our community,” Fuller said. “Working with others, he has charted a path of excellence for our district that we look forward to continuing and developing further. He will be missed, but his impact will be felt for years to come.”

The Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting in July to discuss the leadership transition and timeline.

“We are extremely confident that our district will continue to experience success, in large part due to the amazing teachers in our district and the outstanding campus and district administrators Dr. Morrison has assembled to lead Montgomery ISD,” Board Vice President Nate Robb said. “The positive impact he had on our district over the last three years will be felt for many years into the future.”

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