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Dallas Leader Recognized as Urban Superintendent of the Year

  • After the tornado, after the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Hinojosa, the superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, thought 2020 could not get any fuller. But then he was named the nation’s Urban Superintendent of the Year at the Council of the Great City Schools’ virtual 64th Annual Fall Conference.

    Hinojosa received the 2020 Green-Garner Award, sponsored by the Council, Cenergistic, Curriculum Associates and K-12 Insight. The award is the nation’s highest honor for urban education leadership and Hinojosa was the winner among 20 finalists.

    “Never has my world been rocked like it has been this year. First we had a tornado, and then we had a pandemic, and neither one of those were on my calendar. So there are a lot of things we’ve all had to go through,” Hinojosa said in accepting the award. “But it’s also been very rewarding to see how everyone has responded … and very inspirational.” Green-Garner Award Ceremony

    The Council’s executive director, Michael Casserly, praised Hinojosa as “a true champion for education.” Said Casserly: “His passion for equity and excellence has had a profound effect on how all of us advocate for our urban students.” 

    The son of Mexican immigrants, Hinojosa graduated from the Dallas school system and taught in Dallas schools, coached and then went into administration. 

    In the last two decades, he has served 20 years as a superintendent and CEO of six public education systems, including two stints in Dallas. 

    In his recent tenure, Hinojosa helped steer passage of a $1.6-billion bond in 2015 and a $3.2-billion bond in 2020, the largest in district history. He also increased internet access across the district and worked to boost the number of people of color and women in the district’s leadership ranks. 

    “A big thanks to Team Dallas—we have tremendous talent in Dallas--and especially my central team that helps me on a daily basis,” Hinojosa said. “It makes me very proud to have grown up in this city, to be an immigrant, to be the leader of this district.”

    Along with the recognition, Hinojosa was awarded a $10,000 college scholarship to present to a 2021 graduate of the Dallas school system.

    The Green-Garner Award is presented each year in memory of Richard R. Green, first Black chancellor of the New York City school system, and Edward Garner, Black businessman and a former Denver school board member. The award honors an outstanding superintendent or school board member in alternating years.