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Waco ISD board hires longtime Waco educator as interim superintendent

Hazel Rowe

The Waco ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to hire Dr. Hazel Rowe as the district’s interim superintendent. A longtime Waco educator, Rowe previously served as the district’s interim superintendent in 2000-2001.

“We are excited that Dr. Rowe has agreed to serve as our interim superintendent,” board president Pat Atkins said. “Dr. Rowe has dedicated her life to empowering students through education and to helping educators hone their craft. She knows our community and our schools in a way that few do. Those relationships will be invaluable as we move forward.”

Rowe has more than five decades of experience in education, including 23 years in Waco ISD. Her first assignment in the district was as a fourth-grade teacher at North Waco Elementary. Dr. Rowe served as the assistant principal and principal of Crestview Elementary before becoming Waco ISD's director of elementary operations. That was followed by stints as the district's assistant superintendent for campus operations and as the associate superintendent for school improvement.

In 2001, Rowe became an associate executive director at Education Service Center Region 12 in Waco. After retiring from the service center ten years later, Dr. Rowe continued to train current and future educators teaching in the doctoral program at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor and in the alternative teacher certification program at McLennan Community College. She holds a doctorate in education administration from Texas A&M University.

Since Transformation Waco was formed last summer, Rowe has been a member of the organization’s board of directors. As part of an in-district charter partnership, Transformation Waco’s board oversees the operation of five Waco ISD schools. Through that partnership, those schools are eligible for additional state funding and a two-year pause in accountability interventions. Rowe will step down from the Transformation Waco board to serve as Waco ISD’s interim superintendent.

“I’ve lived in Waco for more than 40 years, including more than 20 years spent working in Waco schools,” Rowe said. “Something special is happening right now in Waco ISD. This community is united in support of our students, and I’ve seen the difference that it is making in their lives. I am excited to work with our staff and the community to build on that progress in the months ahead.”