Superintendent of Caddo Schools Dr. T. Lamar Goree receives a very special honor.
The Louisiana Association of School Superintendents named Dr. Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools, as the 2019 Louisiana Superintendent of the Year.
The announcement was made during the organization’s annual conference on Monday to a packed house of Caddo supporters, fellow superintendents and school leaders.
Dr. Goree said, “This has to be among the most humbling honors of my life. This award is affirmation for the work all of us in Caddo are doing and the progress made to advance our district. Thank you to the Louisiana Association of School Superintendent for making this possible and believing in what my team and I are doing for Caddo Parish.”
Monday’s honor comes as Goree prepares to mark his fifth year as Caddo Schools Superintendent.
Caddo Parish School Board President Steve Riall said, “He has been an extreme pleasure to work with. He has done an excellent job of bringing our scores up and shining a positive light on the great things happening throughout Caddo Parish. Dr. Goree also works hard to keep us informed of what is taking place in the district while seeking input and consulting Board Members on ideas to move the district forward. To have him named as Superintendent of the Year in a year where we also are the home to two Louisiana Students of the Year and the state Middle School Teacher of the Year speaks to the momentum of what is happening in Caddo and how he is moving this system in the right direction.”
A product of Caddo Schools and a proud graduate of Huntington High School, Goree came to the district in December 2013 as Caddo faced a crisis regarding the future of its chronically underperforming schools as well as diminished morale from staff who felt the crunch of budget woes.
Goree took action and created the Transformation Zone, a turnaround effort designed to fundamentally change the climate and culture of the district’s failing campuses and breathe new life back into communities. In the first years of the Zone, it has become a national model for turnaround work and has brought parent and community involvement back into the district’s highest poverty schools.
Goree also garnered support from the Caddo Parish School Board to unanimously move forward with not one, but two pay raises for employees who had seen their salaries stagnant for years. The raises were accomplished within the district’s existing budget and without asking for any new monies.
Changing the dynamic for the district, Goree continued his mission to improve opportunities for all students with the launch of programs including the Teacher Advancement Program to support and grow teachers as well as invest in the highest quality curriculum and resources.
Furthermore, Dr. Goree led Caddo through its first successful district-wide accreditation from AdvancED, the international leader in school accreditation.
Even with these numerous accolades, Goree said the work is far from over.
Goree said, “We’ve made incredible progress as a district, but I firmly believe the best is yet to come. “There is yet more to be done to support providing every child the resources needed to be successful, and we are just getting started.”
It is this drive to advance Caddo Parish that sets Dr. Goree apart, said State Superintendent John White.
White said, “Superintendent Goree is a true leader whose compassion and commitment is evident in all he does. He has worked tirelessly to unite his community and to employ innovative school improvement strategies, like the Transformation Zone, to ensure all students in Caddo Parish, including those most vulnerable, have access to a high quality education.”
During his tenure, Dr. Goree also has inspired countless individuals along the way, including the students he serves.
Louisiana’s Middle School Student of the Year and a ninth grader in Caddo Parish Ashini Modi said, “Dr. Goree is one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever known, but with that excitement and energy also comes a kindness, compassion and love for people. He represents 40,000 students but has the ability to connect with each one of us individually and cheer for us. I cannot say how much it meant to me to have him with my family and I when we were in Baton Rouge for the state Student of the Year competition and for him to be right there cheering with them when my name was called. He cares deeply and that shows in the work he does for our schools.”
Goree now advances to submitting his application for the National Superintendent of the Year sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators, and represent Caddo Parish and the state of Louisiana at the 2019 AASA National Conference on Education in Los Angeles.