New Superintendent Will Have Dual Role

Mike Rockwood looks forward to involvement as parent, educator

Dr. Mike Rockwood has kept a busy schedule of community events and meetings with groups like the Highland Park Education Foundation, PTAs, Dads Clubs, and more since being named Highland Park ISD’s next superintendent. 

Trustees named Rockwood the lone finalist for the district’s top job on March 27, and he signed his contract during the April 18 school board meeting. 

His first day as acting superintendent was May 27. 

“When you think about Highland Park, you think about an area that is committed to excellence and student success,” Rockwood said, explaining what attracted him to the district. “Since I’ve been in the community a very brief time, it’s been amazing to see the relationships, the connections, and the value everyone has on service.”

He said he’s focused on getting to know district stakeholders in the short term and will continue the work on issues like the literacy and math curriculum frameworks going forward.

“Ever since I was named the lone finalist and then named the (district’s) ninth superintendent, I’ve devoted all my time trying to get around to just about every event possible,” Rockwood said. 

He said he valued hearing from district staff, students, parents, and community and business leaders about what they enjoy about HPISD, what they want to preserve and protect, and what the HPISD can improve.

Rockwood will earn $315,000 annually, including a $5,000 annual stipend for a doctoral degree. He’ll also receive a technology allowance of $150 per month. 

Highland Park ISD will also pay Rockwood up to $10,000 for relocation expenses to a home in the district.

Rockwood must live in the district as a condition of his contract. During his tenure, he will be allowed to live rent-free in a designated home owned by the district.

Rockwood said he and his wife, Jené, will have two children at Hyer Elementary – Luke and Lauren – and he and his wife intend to get involved with the Dads Club and PTA. 

“I’m looking forward to not just being the superintendent … but also being a parent here,” he said. “I think it gives you a really good idea of what’s happening day to day as you implement plans.”

Before joining HPISD, Rockwood served as superintendent in Lake Dallas ISD since 2021. Before that, he was the deputy superintendent at Lamar CISD, a 6A school district near Houston. Over the years, Rockwood also served in central office roles in Lamar CISD and Sheldon ISD, including chief of staff, executive director, and communications and public information officer.

He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Baylor University, a master’s degree in strategic public relations from George Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at

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