Fort Worth ISD Administrator to Lead Unique Partnership with Texas Wesleyan
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 13, 2019) – One of Fort Worth ISD’s top experts in school turnaround strategies will continue her work with the District’s Leadership Academies as a member of the Texas Wesleyan University team.
Texas Wesleyan selected Priscila Dilley, formerly with Fort Worth ISD’s Office of Innovation and Transformation, to serve as senior officer for the Leadership Academy Network—a first-of-its-kind partnership between the District and Texas Wesleyan to maintain and grow academic success at five once-struggling PK-8 campuses.
As the District’s executive director of innovation and transformation, Dilley launched and led the Leadership Academy initiative at Como Elementary, John T. White Elementary, Maude I. Logan Elementary, Mitchell Boulevard Elementary and Forest Oak Middle School. In 2017, the campuses adopted an innovative approach designed by Dilley and others at Fort Worth ISD to boost student outcomes as well as student, family and community engagement.
Leadership Academies feature highly effective educators, a commitment to instructional excellence, an extended school day and programs to strengthen student character and behavior, among other benefits. Under Dilley’s direction, every Leadership Academy came off the Texas Education Agency’s “Improvement Required” list in the first year of operations and demonstrated levels of student growth that placed them among the top half of campuses across the state.
“Kids are not problems to be solved; they are assets to be invested in,” said Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “Priscila and her Fort Worth ISD colleagues have done an amazing job investing in our Leadership Academy students, and the results speak for themselves. We are thrilled to work with Texas Wesleyan to take these schools to the next level, and Priscila is without a doubt the best person to lead that effort.”
In her new role, Dilley will oversee a specialized team in the Texas Wesleyan School of Education—known for its expertise in instruction, curriculum, administration and student development—to operate and manage the schools, maintaining Fort Worth ISD’s Leadership Academy model. While the schools will remain Fort Worth ISD schools, with Fort Worth ISD employees and students, the Leadership Academy Network will provide data-driven academic oversight, professional development, school counseling resources and independent management. The autonomy of the Leadership Academy Network means teachers and school administrators will be encouraged to identify needs and propose inventive, campus-specific solutions.
Texas Wesleyan is in the process of assembling Dilley’s staff and creating a steering committee made up of veteran educators and administrators to help guide the work at the Leadership Academies.
Dilley is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University who joined Fort Worth ISD in 2004 as a campus administrator. As principal of South Hills Elementary, she led the school to double-digit gains every year. With that success, Fort Worth ISD brought Dilley to its central office in 2013 to support multiple campuses. In 2018, she was named executive director of the District’s newly formed Office of Innovation and Transformation—where she helped revamp challenged schools and offer new education options, including the Leadership Academy model.
The Fort Worth ISD and Texas Wesleyan boards voted to establish the Leadership Academy Network in February 2019; in May, the Texas Education Agency gave final approval to the partnership. Schools will officially join the Network for the 2019-20 academic year.
The partnership is made possible by Texas Senate Bill 1882, or the Texas Partnership Opportunity, which provides financial incentives for school districts to expand the diversity of school options, bring in targeted expertise and empower school leaders and partners with greater autonomy.
About the Leadership Academy Network
Established in February 2019, the Leadership Academy Network is a first-of-its-kind partnership between Fort Worth ISD and Texas Wesleyan University, designed to sustain rising academic performance of the District’s five Leadership Academies. Piloted by the District in 2017, the Leadership Academy model is based on instructional excellence, extended learning, social-emotional support, highly qualified principals and teachers and parent and community partnerships. First-year results showed improvement at all schools. Texas Wesleyan was selected by Fort Worth ISD to sustain and support this model by managing the schools in accordance with a performance contract mutually negotiated by the partners. Dedicated to education and the community, Texas Wesleyan is a long-time partner to Fort Worth ISD. The Texas Wesleyan School of Education offers innovative and exceptional experience in classroom instruction, curriculum and administration. The partnership is made possible by 2017 Texas Senate Bill 1882, which enables districts to expand the diversity of school options, bring in targeted expertise and empower school leaders and partners with greater autonomy. Network schools are the Leadership Academies at Como Elementary, John T. White Elementary, Maude I. Logan Elementary, Mitchell Boulevard Elementary and Forest Oak Middle School.