Friendswood Independent School District’s Superintendent Trish Hanks announced to the Board of Trustees Monday, February 6, her plans to retire from her 40-year career in education and 32 years with FISD. Hanks has led the District as the Superintendent for 15 years and will remain in her capacity until the end of the school year.
“Trish Hanks’ name is synonymous with success,” says school board president, Dr. Rebecca Hillenburg. “Through her leadership, vision and decision making, Friendswood ISD has brought such opportunities to our students, staff, and community. Her grace, understanding, knowledge and consideration are applied each day. We want to thank her for sharing her gifts with our district for all these years.”
Hanks came to FISD in 1985 as a teacher, after serving eight years in Texas City ISD.
Throughout her 32 years of experience in FISD, she served as the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Personnel, Director of Special Education and Special Programs, and was a campus administrator, speech pathologist, and special education teacher.
Under Hank’s tenure, the district has been consistently recognized as one of the highest academically performing districts in the state as well as a leading district in efficiency and effectiveness.
The District has improved its financial position and earned the highest rating awarded by the Texas Comptroller’s office.
She successfully led the passage of two bond referendums, one being the largest in the district’s history, which modernized and expanded the district’s facilities.
Hanks has worked to proactively establish a 21st Century learning environment that includes integration of technology for all 6,100 students in the district along with a comprehensive Digital Citizenship Education Program.
An innovative and recent focus for the district is on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education programs. Project Lead the Way (PLTW) provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. through pathways in engineering, computer science, and biomedical science.
For 15 years, FISD has been offering PLTW programs, instilling STEM concepts and allowing students to pursue real-world experiences as they continue their educational careers.
FISD board approved a resolution during Fall 2016 to become a District of Innovation allowing the district to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budget or other ideas.
Hanks oversaw other innovative partnerships such as UTMB for a primary care clinic for employees and families to assist with rising healthcare costs, digital instruction and on-line textbooks, and a robust energy efficiency program are examples of her leadership initiatives. The numerous Academic Decathlon state championships, fine arts, and athletic program recognitions, including three Lone Star Cup State Championships, are all celebrations of which she is especially proud.
Hanks has served in various leadership positions throughout her tenure as Superintendent.
She has served as President of the Texas Academic Decathlon Board and as a designated mentor for beginning Superintendents numerous times.
She has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Texas Association of School Administrators, on the Executive Committee for the Region 17 UIL Music, on a Study Group Chair for Region IV, and on the Board of the Texas Association of Mid-Urban Suburban Schools.
She led the district to be an active member of school transformation work at the state level. She has also been involved in numerous community organizations and was named 2016 Distinguished Educator of the Year by Sam Houston State University.
Hanks reflected on her time with FISD as Superintendent.
“I am most honored to have served as Superintendent of this great school district. The 17 Board members that I have worked with over the past 15 years have all been dedicated selfless individuals who have represented this community and its children well, and I will be forever grateful for all of their support. I will miss the FISD staff who are second to none, and I will remain a strong advocate for our children,” said Hanks.
“The staff has heard me say numerous times since my first day as Superintendent, that we have all the right ingredients in FISD. I still believe that today. We have strong, dedicated teachers and administrators who work tirelessly for students, involved parents and community members who continuously demonstrate support for our schools, and students who are eager to learn, all a formula for success. With that said, I am grateful for any contribution I was able to make that may have led to some of the successes we, as a team, experienced. I am looking forward to celebrating more successes in the future.”