Dan Troxell, Ph.D.

Dr. Dan Troxell became Leander ISD's superintendent of schools Aug. 29, 2016. Before coming to LISD, Troxell served as superintendent of Kerrville ISD for 14 years. During his tenure in KISD, Troxell provided the service leadership that led to significant improvements in academic programs, the completion of numerous building programs, and sound fiscal management. Troxell was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards in 2008.

As a district, KISD was one of 24 Texas school systems, out of more than 1,200, to earn the distinction designation for postsecondary readiness. KISD is also one of ten districts that has earned the post-secondary designation for two consecutive years, as well winning many other state and national accolades.

Prior to his tenure in KISD, Troxell served as an assistant superintendent in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, in suburban Houston. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts with honors, and subsequently a Ph.D., from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Troxell earned a master’s degree in education from Texas State University in San Marcos. He began his career in education as a middle school teacher, later serving as a middle and high school assistant principal, and as a high school principal.

Troxell was named the 2006 Region 20 Advocate of the Gifted, and in 1997, he was named the Dallas Morning News reader-selected Best Principal. During his career, he has taught courses in school finance as an adjunct professor and as a part-time professor at Schreiner University, Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston.

Troxell serves on the Texas Association of School Administrators Legislative Committee, the UIL Legislative Council, which he chaired in 2013-2014, and the Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund Board. Troxell is also active in local organizations and serves on the board for the Kerrville Economic Development Corporation.

Troxell and his wife, Shelley, have two sons.

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Current Superintendent Column
Innovating LISD’s Pre-K Program

Week of: June 19, 2017

In Leander ISD, our priority is to provide the highest quality education to every student — from our youngest learners just starting on their journeys to our graduating seniors preparing to make their way in the world — to ensure they each leave our system with a bright future ahead of them. Maintaining this high standard often involves seeking out new and improved teaching methods. Starting this fall, we are very excited to roll out an innovative new system for our districtwide pre-kindergarten program.

At the start of the 2014-15 school year, after much research and planning, Leander ISD piloted an innovative new program called Pre-K Communities at Giddens Elementary School. The new program consolidates prekindergarten classes from several schools into a larger hub to create a world for 4-year-olds within an elementary campus.

The pilot expanded to Bagdad Elementary for the 2016-17 school year, with one bi-lingual teacher and three mono-lingual teachers. It proved so successful, LISD has opted to roll out Pre-K Communities for all pre-k classes starting in 2017-18. The Communities will be housed at five elementary campuses: Bagdad, Block House Creek, Faubion, Giddens and Grandview Hills elementary schools (the bilingual pre-k class at Reed Elementary School will remain unaffected). Pre-K students from, on average, three additional feeder elementary schools will join the Community at their host school.

Under the previous model, pre-k classes had one teacher per campus; class sizes remained fairly imbalanced between schools; and the half-day sessions were offered only in the morning or afternoon at some schools. With Pre-K Communities, students are assigned a “home” teacher, but classes spend more time together with two to four teachers collaborating together. Each campus will offer both morning and afternoon sessions, and class sizes will be more balanced because they will draw from several elementary attendance zones.

LISD’s senior early childhood coordinator, Erin Garner, who is overseeing the new program, has reported very promising results so far, with marked improvement in student learning outcomes, far fewer behavioral issues and increased best practice sharing between teachers. These innovations also allow us the opportunity to do more, to work smarter, by bringing students, staff and communities together. What a wonderful example of working to better serve our student while also making better use of district facilities and resources!

The host schools were selected because they currently have growth capacity due to smaller kindergarten through fifth grade student populations, which allows the Communities a larger footprint to establish their “neighborhood.” More space and more students sharing resources has also created an opportunity for the district to invest in additional and higher quality learning materials.

We understand that it can feel strange for some parents to send their child to a different school than they are zoned for; however, many of the parents I have spoken to said they enjoyed meeting new families from nearby neighborhoods and reported feeling an increased sense of community. Pre-k teachers involved in the pilot program also noted the feeling of community, praising their increased ability to learn and grow with their peers.

As a reminder, our free, half-day pre-k program is only open to students who meet certain eligibility requirements. Students must be 4-years-old on or before Sept. 1, 2017, to enter pre-k this fall and must meet one of the following: is unable to speak or comprehend English; qualifies for the national free/reduced lunch program; is homeless; is the child of an active member of the military, or one who was wounded or killed in action; or has ever been under the care of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

For more information about LISD’s Pre-K Communities and eligibility requirements, please visit our website and click on Prekindergarten under the Departments tab. I am so excited to see the amazing, inventive work of so many teachers and staff in our district. The 2017-18 school year is already shaping up to be one of our best yet!