Martha Salazar-Zamora stepped into her new role as superintendent in early April, following the retirement of Huey Kinchen, who was appointed in 2013. Prior to coming to Tomball ISD in 2014, she worked in a number of school districts around the central Texas and Houston areas, such as Round Rock, Kingsville and Houston ISDs.

Tomball ISD Superintendent Martha Salazar- Zamora stepped into her new role in April. Tomball ISD Superintendent Martha Salazar- Zamora stepped into her new role in April.[/caption]

During her tenure as chief academic officer for TISD, Salazar- Zamora said she worked closely with Kinchen to develop the district’s five-year strategic plan as well as a number of other curriculum programs to prepare students for the future.

“As the chief academic officer, I was in an opportunity where I was already leading or a major part of many of our district initiatives,” Salazar-Zamora said. “This position is a much more global district position than just focusing on the academics of a district.”

Salazar-Zamora said previously working in a district as large as HISD—which has more than 200,000 students and 283 campuses—has made her appreciate the one-on-one relationships she has been able to cultivate in TISD.

“Every district has its own culture and of course, having worked at the largest district in the state, Houston ISD had its own unique culture,” she said. “One of the challenges that I faced personally as a leader in the district was that at any given time you could never know every administrator. In Tomball, I can tell you that I know the principals, I know about their families … We know about each other.”

Priority programs Priority programs[/caption]

At approximately 15,000 students, TISD has experienced fast growth in recent years, at a rate of approximately 6 percent each year, according to enrollment history.

Projections from the district show TISD enrollment will reach 20,000 students by 2026, and some schools will reach capacity in the next few years.

Salazar-Zamora said growth will be a key issue for the district in the coming years. TISD has already begun a facilities study with staff and community members to determine if the district will pursue a bond for new campuses and facilities this November.

“As we grow, we need our school community … to understand the need for additional facilities and all that comes with that,” she said. “We as a district need to talk about how large do we want certain campuses … [and] the number of facilities that we need to support the growth.”

However, as the district continues to grow, Salazar-Zamora said she is committed to staying involved in as many academic and extracurricular activities as possible throughout the year to maintain the same sense of community in the district.

“I want to be a highly visible superintendent so that our students know who I am [and] our parents know who I am,” she said. “I want to be in and out of classrooms, I want to be in and out of buildings—it’s important that parents of students with varied interests know that their superintendent is supporting that child.”