LaTonya Goffney, chief executive of Lufkin ISD, was named Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) in Dallas on October 7. She was selected for the prestigious award from a group of state finalists that included Robert Jaklich, Victoria ISD, Region 3; Thomas Randle, Lamar CISD, Region 4; Judd Marshall, Mount Pleasant ISD, Region 8; and Jim Vaszauskas, Mansfield ISD, Region 11.
With 15 years of administration experience, Goffney serves about 8,200 students. Noted by the selection committee was her commitment to making a difference in children’s lives every day. When Goffney speaks to groups, she asks them to take out a picture of their children or grandchildren. She tells them what they want for their own child is what we should do for all children. Her strong pride in being a product of public schools is based on a supportive learning environment that envisioned her possibilities.
Goffney, who is in her fifth year as superintendent of Lufkin ISD, earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees at Sam Houston State University. The districts of the winning superintendent and four state finalists receive an award from Balfour, program underwriter. Goffney also will receive a Superintendent of the Year ring from Balfour.
Members of the state selection committee commented that they were honored to visit with all of the dedicated superintendents nominated for the award. Regional winners include Arturo Cavazos, Harlingen CISD, Region 1; Maria Vidaurri, Robstown ISD, Region 2; Scott Campbell, East Chambers ISD, Region 5; Denise Monzingo, Rockdale ISD, Region 6; John Chapman, Ennis ISD, Region 10; Marcus Faulkner, China Spring ISD, Region 12; Tommy Hooker, Thrall ISD, Region 13; Jason Cochran, Eastland ISD, Region 14; Wes Beck, Early ISD, Region 15; Donna Hale, Miami ISD, Region 16; Julee Becker, Slaton ISD, Region 17; Amy Jacobs, Coahoma ISD, Region 18; Jeannie Meza-Chavez, Tornillo ISD, Region 19; and Jeff Cottrill, Knippa ISD, Region 20.
Sponsored by TASB, the SOTY program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984. Candidates are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance, and commitment to public involvement in education.
Superintendents from any of the state’s local school districts are eligible for nomination by their school boards. Local nominees are submitted to a regional selection committee, which chooses one nominee to send to the state selection committee.
TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve approximately 5.3 million students.