Trustees Name Dr. Kent P. Scribner as Sole Finalist for FWISD Superintendent
The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education named Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner, currently superintendent of the largest high school district in Arizona, as the sole finalist for the job of permanent superintendent at Tuesday night’s meeting. Following a state-mandated 21-day waiting period, trustees are expected to offer Dr. Scribner a contract for employment.
“Dr. Kent Scribner is a proven leader who is nationally respected --- and, quite simply, he is the right fit for Fort Worth. He will take our students to the next level. And, he will address the achievement gap,” said Board President Jacinto Ramos, Jr. “I am proud of the work that the ‘Team of Nine’ trustees did in selecting Dr. Scribner, and I look forward to us being a ‘Team of Ten’ as we go into the future.”
Dr. Scribner is the superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District in Phoenix, Arizona, a post he has held since 2008. Phoenix Union serves more than 27,000 students in grades 9 through 12.
“Although leaving Phoenix will be difficult, I am eager to serve the students and community of Fort Worth. Leading Fort Worth ISD is a tremendous opportunity for me both personally and professionally,” said Dr. Scribner. “My parents, sister and her family live in the North Texas area. I am convinced that Fort Worth ISD is poised for great success. The District’s impressive Board of Trustees, talented staff and engaged business community are among the ingredients required to build a prosperous school-community.”
Dr. Scribner also serves as commissioner for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He has a passion for empowering students; in fact, his Twitter account lists his vocation first as “student advocate.’
In making the selection, Fort Worth ISD trustees followed the timeline they established a few weeks ago. The search firm Ray and Associates initially reached out to 708 individuals regarding the Fort Worth superintendent position -- and 67 candidates completed the application process. After considering all the applicants the Board narrowed the field to semi-finalists, then finalists before making a unanimous decision to offer the position to Dr. Scribner. (See attached comments from each board member.)
Dr. Patricia A. Linares has served as interim superintendent since June, 2014; she made it clear from the outset she was not interested in nor would she apply for the permanent position.
“We wish to thank Dr. Pat Linares for her amazing stewardship of the District. By the generous gift of her leadership and expertise, she gave us the time to find the right person to become the next permanent superintendent of the Fort Worth ISD,” Mr. Ramos said.
Under Dr. Scribner’s leadership, Phoenix Union increased the number of “A” and “B” schools in the Arizona Department of Education Accountability Rankings. Honors and Advanced Placement course-taking more than doubled. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) curriculum was introduced on every comprehensive campus, and 250 teachers were trained in AVID strategies. The number of students applying for college and earning acceptance dramatically increased, along with merit scholarship awards – from $17.8 million in in 2009, to $53 million in 2014.
During his tenure Dr. Scribner has led several successful initiatives. Phoenix Union recently became the only district in Arizona to offer International Baccalaureate programs at two schools, and another campus became Arizona’s first Cambridge International Centre, adopting the prestigious Cambridge Curriculum. The first ever Montessori High School program in Arizona was established at Camelback High School in 2012.
Dr. Scribner was named the 2014 Out-of-School Time Champion by the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE).
Before joining Phoenix Union, Dr. Scribner was the superintendent of the Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix from 2003 to 2008. He also held the position of Executive Director of the Human Resources Division for the Tempe Elementary School District from 1999 to 2003. Prior to that, he was both a principal and district administrator in the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix.
Dr. Scribner was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to the Arizona School District Redistricting Commission in 2005. He has been actively involved with Valley of the Sun United Way, YMCA, and the Arizona Business and Education Coalition. In 2008, Dr. Scribner received the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council of Educational Administration.
In October 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Scribner to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Dr. Scribner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from Carleton College in Minnesota, a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University. He began his education career as a high school Spanish teacher in Philadelphia. He moved to Arizona in 1992 as a graduate research assistant at Arizona State University, where he examined issues of quality and diversity in Phoenix Union regarding the district’s court-ordered desegregation.
Dr. Scribner’s parents were both college professors. His father became dean of the College of Education at Temple University and, before his retirement, was a professor at UT-Austin in Education Administration. His mother is professor emeritus in special education at Texas State University in San Marcos. He grew up in a multicultural family—his mother is from Veracruz, Mexico, and his father is from Seal Harbor, Maine. His parents and a younger sister now make their home in Dallas, Texas.