Expert Assistance

TASA's Superintendent-in Residence Program

Through TASA’s Superintendents-in-Residence program, recently retired superintendents serve TASA part time, assisting members across the state on matters related to fulfilling TASA’s vision as outlined in Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas. These experts in the “visioning work” help support the work of districts that are committed to school transformation, serving as advisors to districts and school leaders. Specifically, they support participants of the Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network (FRSLN) and Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC), but are also be available to any TASA member for support, advice, and professional guidance related to school transformation efforts.

Alton Frailey

Superintendent in Residence

Alton is a well-known and highly regarded superintendent in Texas and across the nation. He was a founding member of the Public Education Visioning Institute and co-author of the TASA visioning document.

Alton retired after 33 years in education in 2016 from Katy ISD, where he served as superintendent for nine years. Prior to that, he was the superintendent of schools in DeSoto ISD and in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most recently, he served as interim superintendent of Nacogdoches ISD until spring 2020.

A Nacogdoches native, Alton is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University and, in 2015, was named to the board of regents, which he currently chairs. He was recognized as a Living Legend by the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators (HAABSE) and has been honored by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) as a Distinguished Administrator, as Region 4 Superintendent of the Year, by Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals, and with the Trailblazer Award from the South Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc.

A former TASA president (2014-15) and AASA president (2016-17), Alton is also a former treasurer of the Texas School Alliance, former president of the Urban Superintendents Association of America and Texas Association of Suburban/Mid-Urban Schools (TAS-MUS), and former chair of the UIL Legislative Council. He served on the boards of directors for the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, Katy Area Economic Development Council, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, West Houston Association, and The Bible Seminary.

Contact Alton at or 832.748.0602.

Karen Rue, Ed.D.

Superintendent in Residence

Karen is a leader on the local, state, and national levels in creating transformation in education, with a focus on preparing future-ready students, encouraging innovation and creativity, and developing more meaningful assessment and accountability measures. She was a founding member of the Public Education Visioning Institute and co-chaired the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.

Karen retired in 2016 with 37 years in education – 11 as superintendent of Northwest ISD and three years as superintendent of Tuloso-Midway ISD. That same year, she was named a finalist for AASA’s Women in School Leadership Award. She was the 2014 Region 11 Superintendent of the Year, selected to participate in Classroom Connectivity in Texas at the Governor’s Mansion and in the Connected Superintendents Summit at the White House, chosen as a finalist in the eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards program, and named one of the nation’s Top 50 Innovators in Education by the Center for Digital Education.

Karen served as TASA president in 2015-16 and is also a past president of the Fast Growth Schools Coalition, Texas Association of Suburban/Mid-Urban Schools, and Urban Superintendents of America Association. She also served as vice president for the Texas School Coalition.

Contact Karen at or 817.681.9553.

Mary Ann Whiteker

Superintendent in Residence

A champion of school transformation, Mary Ann has long been a strong advocate for a reduction in the emphasis on standardized testing in favor of multiple, diagnostic assessments and a supporter of digital learning and local accountability. She served as a member of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium Steering Committee and TASA School Transformation Design Team, and she participated in the Consortium Associates as well as in year one of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium’s work. She also initiated the creation of the East Texas Consortium for the New Vision for Public Education and served as facilitator for 50 districts in Region 7.

In 2017, Mary Ann retired from public education with 44 years of service, including 23 years as superintendent of Hudson ISD, where she worked to implement the principles outlined in the visioning document.

In 2015, Mary Ann was the Texas Superintendent of the Year and TASA’s nominee for National Superintendent of the Year.

During her career, she served multiple terms on the Region 7 ESC Executive Board, as a member of the Texas Association of Suburban/Mid-Urban Schools Board of Directors, and as a member of the Urban Superintendents Association of America and of AASA. She is a past president of both the Texas Association of Midsize Schools and the Texas Association of Community Schools. She served for two years on TASA’s Executive Board, a term as TASA’s Legislative Committee chair, and several terms as a member-at-large in the Commissioner’s TASA Cabinet of Superintendents.

Contact Mary Ann at or 936.635.2317.

Direct District Governance and Leadership Support Services

TASA consultants partner with you to provide the services that best meet your district’s unique needs — whether you want resources to implement transformation on your own, training or consulting for your staff, or assistance with the facilitation of organizational transformation in your district and community.

DIY by engage2learn

In partnership with TASA, e2L offers ready-made DIY products that can bring innovation to all school districts, no matter their size or location, at half the cost of e2L providing these services. e2L’s DIYs put the guiding principles for the transformation of Texas public schools into actionable, step-by-step plans that any district or campus can use and can help educators, learners, and leaders become future-ready.

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