Dan Troxell began his new role as Leander ISD’s superintendent Aug. 29. Troxell earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas and his master’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos. He most recently served as superintendent of Kerrville ISD, prior to which he served as assistant superintendent of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, located outside of Houston. He said he also spent time in Round Rock ISD as a middle and high school assistant principal.
What has brought you to this point in your career?
I have been a public educator for 29 years. I taught middle school, I served as an assistant principal at both the middle and high school levels, and I served as the principal at two [Division] 6A high schools. Later I became an assistant superintendent, and in that role, spent several months working at the Texas state Capitol on behalf of my district. I then went on to serve as a superintendent for more than a decade.
What has been your favorite part about working in the Texas public school system?
My favorite event in education is graduation and seeing the joy of family members as they celebrate this major accomplishment for a loved one. … Second, I enjoy watching students perform in their chosen school activities. … I served as the chair for the University Interscholastic League, or UIL, Legislative Council in 2014 and currently serve as the chair of the UIL Standing Committee on Academics. These opportunities have allowed me to award state medals at the annual UIL High School One-Act Play, to impact all student UIL competitions and to vote to expand student competitions to programs such as robotics.
Do you have children?
My wife, Shelley, and I have two sons. Michael, our oldest, is currently in his third year at Southern Methodist University. … He is a graduate of Kerrville Tivy High School. … David, our youngest, is a senior at Kerrville Tivy High School.
What made you decide to pursue a position with LISD?
Leander ISD is the premier school district in Central Texas and a destination school system for parents who seek a quality public education for their children. … Being a part of this unique school system was the driving force behind my decision to pursue the LISD superintendent position.
What did you learn at Kerrville ISD?
Kerrville ISD taught me that the two most important skills a superintendent must have are a willingness to listen and a desire to form relationships. Both of these skills are critical to continuous improvement.
How are you preparing to transition from overseeing a district with about 5,100 students to a district with about 37,000 students?
During the past several weeks I have visited Leander ISD, reviewed district data and met with key members of the LISD leadership team. Additionally, I have taken a tour of the district to acquaint myself with the tremendous growth within district boundaries. … Now, as I enter the district, I plan to be visible. The first several weeks, I will be busy visiting campuses, meeting staff and attending as many school and community events as possible.
What initiatives do you plan to help foster at LISD?
Listening, learning and building relationships will allow me to gain a greater insight into where initiatives are needed in order to continuously improve. The focus of any initiative must be to enhance learning opportunities for children.
The Texas Legislature convenes in January. What education-related legislation do you hope lawmakers will pass, prevent or reform?
First, I hope the Legislature will continue to expand graduation options for students. A one-size-fits-all model simply fails to meet the needs of each LISD student.
Second, I hope the Legislature will take this opportunity to adequately fund Texas public schools while providing financial relief to fast-growth school districts, such as Leander ISD.