Highland Park ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg, the district’s eighth superintendent since 1914, is stepping down after the 2022-2023 school year. He’s led the district since 2015.
Trigg’s contract was set to run through 2027.
“I certainly have appreciated the opportunities the last seven-and-a-half years have provided, and I really do look forward to the remainder of this year and continuing working with my colleagues and you as community members,” Trigg said. “I plan to finish strong and do whatever I can to assist in the transition to a new superintendent for such a wonderful and worthy community.”
Trigg’s announcement marks the latest in a spate of superintendent turnover across North Texas. Other superintendents who’ve recently resigned, retired, or announced their departures include Michael Hinojosa of Dallas ISD, Kent Scribner of Fort Worth ISD, Ryder Warren of Northwest ISD, Steve Chapman of Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, David Vroonland of Mesquite ISD, D’Andre Weaver of DeSoto ISD, Kevin Rogers of Lewisville ISD, Sara Bonser of Plano ISD, and, most recently, Dr. Robin Ryan of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.
Stephanie Knight, dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU, spoke to the Texas Tribune about the high turnover.
“The most detrimental part of it is that the superintendents are dealing with extreme polarization around almost any decision that they make,” Knight told the Tribune. “It would be a mistake to say that they’re running away from the job or the situation. They may be running toward a job that would enable them to have the impact that they don’t feel they could have right now as superintendent.”
I plan to finish strong and do whatever I can to assist in the transition to a new superintendent.Dr. Tom Trigg
She also addressed what the increased polarization school districts are facing means for the skills district leaders will need in the future.
“They’re going to have to make decisions more rapidly than they have in the past, and then they’re going to have to be quick to change course when something isn’t working,” Knight told the outlet. “We haven’t moved this quickly in the past.”
In Highland Park ISD, there’s also been turnover in other high-level positions recently.
Lisa Wilson, formerly HPISD’s assistant superintendent for education services, moved to Plano ISD, and Jon Dahlander, the district’s chief of staff and director of communications since 2015, returned to Dallas ISD, where he’d worked in the communications office for nearly 20 years. His new role at Dallas ISD is chief of strategic partnerships and intergovernmental relations.