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
District’s Cost-Saving Construction Decisions Pay Off

Week of: Oct. 17, 2016

I have devoted a number of columns to Leander ISD’s campuses, amenities and stadiums in recent weeks because I want the community to understand that our students are able to learn and to grow in enriching environments. This week, I will focus on the purposeful steps the Board of Trustees and administration have taken to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely on these same facilities.

Location plays an important part in minimizing expenses related to our schools and facilities. In recent years, our Board has worked to build multiple schools and facilities on the same shared site when it has been feasible; Four Points Middle School, Vandegrift High School and Monroe stadium are an example of this strategy. Master planning in this manner saves the district expensive infrastructure costs and also maximizes the usage of amenities.

The location of our stadiums is another example of how location can help increase the efficiency of funds. I stated in my column last week that the LISD Board opted to build three larger regional stadiums instead of six smaller campus stadiums because it was more cost-effective for the district; three stadiums require fewer parking spaces, use less water and electricity, and need less maintenance and up keep compared to six.

I have already addressed why the district decided to install two artificial turf practice fields at Glenn High School as a more fiscally responsible solution to grass, given the wear-and-tear our fields endure during the school year and the amount of water required to keep them up to par. I also have already addressed in a previous column that it is not financially viable at this time for the district to install artificial turf at the other remaining fields because each would cost the district $500,000.

How we build our schools makes a difference as well. Many of our newer schools use a prototype footprint that saves us new design fees. Our newer elementary schools use our learning-focused neighborhood design, for instance. The district works with two architecture firms that each have a design for this type of school building. The designs are improved and modified each time they are built, but the overall construction layout has not changed significantly since it was first introduced in the district a number of years ago. Six elementary schools have been built according to that design, and a seventh is currently under construction.

It is also worth mentioning that the LISD Board and administration sought to make environmentally responsible decisions before it was considered the norm and in common use. For example, for decades LISD has used geothermal heat pumps and insulated tilt walls to make the heating and cooling of our schools more efficient. All of our campuses are Energy Star qualified, and as of this summer, we have 64 propane buses in our fleet. The district received a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that rebated 60 percent of the purchase price of our 20 new propane buses. Cleaner-burning propane fuel will be less expensive for these buses, as well (73 cents per gallon compared to $1.50 per gallon for diesel).

Thankfully, LISD has historically made the wise choice to spend more money upfront in order to save more money over the lifetime of a product, building or facility. For example, to help eliminate upkeep expenses, such as the need for repainting walls, elementary school interior hallways have a tiled wainscot, and in our middle school and high schools, plastic laminate is used on the walls. When we build a new facility, we install concrete parking lots and driveways to reduce the need for resurfacing asphalt. The carpet in our buildings has a life span of 20 years, and it is designed to prevent moisture from collecting underneath and producing mold. While these examples may be more costly at the onset, they pay for themselves through their years of use and reduced maintenance.

The decisions of our Board and administration to continually explore wise, cost-saving measures is one more way LISD is leading to a bright future.