Jeff Turner is Texas’ Nominee for National Superintendent
Coppell Independent School District’s Dr. Jeff Turner will represent Texas in the American Association of School Administrators’ National Superintendent of the Year Program.
Turner has led Coppell, a high-performing district of about 10,000 students since 2002.
Coppell Board of Trustees President Anthony Hill nominated Turner for the program. Hill praised Turner for his work at both the local and state levels to transform public education in Texas.
Hill said Turner has “the incredible ability to appreciate the past while challenging us all to build toward the future.”
Turner challenged the already successful Coppell system to raise the bar. Through discussions with staff and the community, Turner identified areas where the district could improve, such as participation in Advanced Placement classes and encouraging more students to choose the Distinguished Achievement Program to earn their diplomas. As a result, AP/IB participation increased 40 percent, while maintaining high scores, and DAP graduates increased from 11 to 45 percent in just four years, Hill said.
“He pushed us to consider more options and choices for our students and think about 21st century leaning rather than just allow ourselves to be satisfied with high performance on minimum measures,” Hill wrote in Turner’s application. “Dr. Turner could choose to manage Coppell ISD in a way that maintains comfortable operations in a good district, but instead he chooses to lead the district to new and greater heights.”
Turner was also one of 35 superintendents who formed a group in 2006 to frame a new vision of public education in Texas. The result of their work, the Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas document, inspired Senate Bill 1557. The Legislature passed the bill this year to create the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium. The ultimate goal of the consortium and the Texas Association of School Administrator’s Visioning Network is to develop innovative, next-generation learning standards and assessment and accountability systems for Texas public schools.
Turner recently formed the North Texas Regional Consortium, a group of nine districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, that have committed to moving the vision forward by sharing resources and working together to achieve new levels of performance.
Hill said Turner’s motivation is to make school a better place for children.
“He is entirely student-focused, which is evident in every decision he makes,” Hill said.
A Blue Ribbon Selection Committee will meet in Alexandria, Va. in December to select four Superintendent of the Year finalists. The finalists will be interviewed in Washington D.C. in January and the National Superintendent of the Year will be named at the AASA National Conference on Education to be held in Houston Feb. 16-19.