TISD Superintendent voted to lead another school district in Austin


(Photo: Lake Travis Independent School District)

TEXARKANA, Texas. (KTAL/KMSS) – Former Texarkana Independent School District Superintendent Paul Norton will be leading another school district in Austin.

According to the Lake Travis School District, in a unanimous 7-0 vote during a special called meeting held Wednesday, July 8 via Zoom teleconference, the Board of Trustees employed Paul Norton as the District’s new Superintendent of Schools.  Mr. Norton will succeed Dr. Brad Lancaster who will retire late July.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected by the Lake Travis school board as Superintendent of Schools,” said Mr. Norton.

“Lake Travis ISD is an outstanding school district with a rich tradition of excellence in all areas. This is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. In the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting the senior leadership staff and working with Dr. Lancaster and the board to ensure a smooth transition.”

TISD will name an Interim Superintendent at their July 21 regular Board of Trustees meeting. Details of a Superintendent search will be announced at that time.

LTISD says Mr. Norton is the District’s seventh superintendent since Lake Travis ISD was established in 1981. He is expected to begin his tenure on Monday, August 3, 2020.  He presently serves as Superintendent of Schools in the Texarkana Independent School District. The urban school district comprising 34 square miles serves approximately 8,200 students across nine elementary campuses, one middle school, one high school, and two alternative schools.

A lifelong resident of Texarkana, Mr. Norton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science degree in Education from Texas A&M University-Texarkana. Beginning his career in education in 1996, Mr. Norton became a member of the Texarkana ISD Tiger Family in 2001 as Associate Principal and later Principal of Texas High School before being named Superintendent of Schools in June 2011. A few of his most notable accomplishments as Superintendent include developing and integrating a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program which earned Texarkana ISD the Comprehensive School District STEM Leadership Award; passage of a $29.9 million bond which included a new elementary school and 6th grade center to address the district’s 12-year increase in student enrollment; and the opening of the eSchool Prep—an online, tuition-free program for students in grades 5-11.

“With the help of our search firm, we found a leader of the utmost character and highest professional caliber in Mr. Norton,” said Kim Flasch, Lake Travis ISD board president.

“He brings to us an impressive record of leadership outcomes, successful school programs, and dynamic community involvement. We firmly believe Mr. Norton will help us through the challenging times ahead and ultimately lead our students and staff to greater levels of performance and success. We are excited to welcome him to the Lake Travis family.”

Lake Travis ISD says Mr. Norton has garnered numerous awards and accolades during his tenure at Texarkana ISD including the following:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Acts of Kindness Leadership Award, Ozan Ingram Iron Mountain Development Corporation (2016
  • Superintendent of the Year, Region VIII Education Service Center (2015)
  • Texas Superintendent of the Year State Finalist (2015)
  • President’s Award, the Greater Texarkana Branch of the NAACP (2014)
  • Principal of the Year, Texarkana ISD Volunteers in Public Schools (2006-2007)
  • Region VIII High School Principal of the Year, Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (2005) 

According to LTISD, Mr. Norton is highly active in the Texarkana community presently serving as treasurer for the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member of the Wilbur Smith Rotary Club and the Texas A&M University-Texarkana Eagle Athletic Association. He is also a graduate of Leadership Texarkana and currently serves as president. Professionally, Mr. Norton is a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators and a graduate of its Future Ready Superintendent Academy. He serves on the Texas Policy Committee on Public Education Information, the Texas Curriculum Management Program Cooperative Board, the Region VIII Education Service Center Commissioner’s Representative for the TASA Cabinet of Superintendents, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Superintendent Advisory Panel. Mr. Norton is also a member of the National, Texas and Northeast Texas Alliances of Black School Educators, serving as their local president.

Mr. Norton and his wife Jenna, who serves as the Director of Planning and Communication for Boynton Williams & Associates architecture firm in Dallas, have three children: Emily, who will enter her freshman year at Arkansas Tech University this fall; Julia, an incoming high school freshman; and Caleb, a rising fifth grade student. Together, they enjoy being active, attending sporting events, hiking, as well as traveling and experiencing new places.

In January, the Lake Travis school board contracted with Thompson & Horton, LLP as consultants to search for a new superintendent. Specifically, attorney David Thompson and former educator Mike Moses conducted the search, working with the school board and the Lake Travis community. Trustees named Mr. Norton as superintendent lone finalist on June 17. Texas law required the school board to allow at least 21 days between the time a finalist was announced and an employment contract could be offered and accepted.

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