Every leader who has attained any level of success inevitability is contacted about other job opportunities. Your leadership story is just as much the opportunities you say no to as much as the ones you do decide to pursue. Several leaders often forget that it is as important to focus on how you leave your current organization as it is to have a successful entry.

In that spirit, I would like to share the letter in that spirit, I would like to share the letter my board president sent to our school district announcing my decision to step away. Getting such a positive sendoff is incredibly appreciated and allows for an excellent transition.

Dear Team Montgomery,

I have some very important news to share.

Dr. Heath Morrison has informed the Board of Trustees that he has accepted an offer to lead a national education organization and will be resigning as superintendent of Montgomery ISD. He will share more information on his new role at the appropriate time. In the meantime, the Board will work collaboratively on a process for naming an Interim Superintendent and outlining a timeline for hiring a new outstanding leader for our school district. 

While we are disappointed that he will no longer serve as superintendent, we are proud of him for the opportunity that he has accepted. The work Dr. Morrison has done over the last three years has set our educators, students, and district up for long-term success. Dr. Morrison joined our district in 2020, during a very challenging time in public education across the country. He proved to be the right leader for us, at the right time. 

Under Dr. Morrison’s leadership, so many great things have occurred. Just a few of our accomplishments under his leadership include:

  • One of the First School Districts to Re-Open for In-Person Learning in 2020: In the face of unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery ISD was one of the first school districts in the nation to re-open for in-person learning. Through our collective efforts, 95% of students were back for in-person learning by October 2020. This accomplishment stands as a testament to our commitment to providing safe and meaningful learning environments for our students.
  • Improvements to Employee Compensation: Since 2020, all employees in Montgomery ISD have received significant salary enhancements. In 2020, the district was ranked near the bottom of the region in teacher and staff pay. Today, Montgomery ISD ranks near the top of the region for salaries. There has also been an intense focus on providing meaningful professional development for employees.
  • Development of a Comprehensive Strategic Plan: Together, we developed a comprehensive strategic plan that outlines our shared vision for the future of Montgomery ISD. The “Pathway to Premier” has and will continue to serve as our North Star in delivering a well-rounded, quality education to our students.
  • Passage of the Largest Bond Referendum in District History: Through your support and dedication, we successfully passed the largest bond referendum in the history of Montgomery ISD. This landmark achievement has provided the necessary resources to accommodate for growth, enhance our facilities, expand educational opportunities, and ensure outstanding learning environments for generations to come.
  • Maintaining a Balanced Budget and Superior Financial Rating from the state: Before 2020, the district struggled to continuously balance the budget. Since October 2020, the district has maintained a balanced operating budget and earned the highest financial rating given by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Maintaining an A-Rating with the State of Texas: Despite the numerous challenges faced by school districts across the state, Montgomery ISD has consistently maintained its A-rating with the state of Texas, with 70% of our campuses receiving an A, and none below a B. This accomplishment speaks to the hard work, dedication, and expertise of our exceptional educators and staff who are committed to delivering a high-quality education to every student.
  • Unprecedented Collaboration with the Community: Under Dr. Morrison’s leadership, the district’s transparency and communication significantly improved. Dr. Morrison frequently engaged with business, community, and faith-based leaders and implemented the Let’s Talk platform. Districtwide survey results conducted by a third-party revealed that an overwhelming number of parents rate their child’s school as excellent.
  • Recognition as a Top School District: Montgomery ISD was honored to be recognized as one of the top school districts in the state through the prestigious H-E-B Excellence in Education awards. This accolade is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our entire community to providing an outstanding education for our students.

Because of these achievements, and more, the Board of Trustees proudly, and unanimously, nominated Dr. Morrison for Region 6 Superintendent of the Year earlier this year.

Though we were surprised by his news, I want you to know that we are confident in the future of our district. I have full faith and belief that our district will continue to excel. Dr. Morrison has built a strong team, with excellent senior leaders and principals. Our teachers, staff, and collective community make Montgomery ISD an outstanding place for our students and families. The strength of MISD has always been its employees and we know we will continue on our Pathway to Premier.

The board will meet soon to determine next steps. I commit as President of the Board to keeping you informed and involved as we determine who will lead MISD as the next superintendent. 

Thank you for your continued dedication to our students and families.

With Respect,

Laurie Turner
MISD Board of Trustees