Board Appointment of Conservator

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July 27, 2020

DeSoto ISD School Community:

As we have always committed to doing, the DeSoto Independent School District Board of Trustees is intent on maintaining a level of transparency and communication with our school community.

When major developments regarding the direction and future of the district are made clear, we value and prioritize the opportunity to keep you informed.

Last week, the Board responded to the Texas Education Agency’s findings following an investigation of district operations. In an effort to be proactive in our body of corrective actions related to this review, the Board came together to move forward with a decision to appoint a conservator to assist the district in our quest to stabilize, strengthen and sustain positive growth for our school community.

During the Monday, July 27, 2020, Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board voted to approve and appoint Dr. Don W. Hooper as the district’s board-appointed conservator--a proactive  and cost-saving response to TEA’s findings and recommendations.

The duty of a conservator is to assist in the  reorganization of staff and resources; reduction of budget and spending;  and guidance of district preparations to rebuild a fund balance. Additionally, the conservator provides guidance and support to an administrative body and the Board of Trustees in pursuit of these efforts. Dr. Hooper is a TEA-certified conservator and served as a managing conservator under former TEA Commissioner Robert Scott.

Dr. Don W. Hooper brings more than 50 years of experience to DeSoto ISD having started his career in education in 1969 as a secondary math teacher and advancing to serve as an assistant principal, and principal before assuming his first superintendency in 1977. Hooper has led several school systems across Texas including Galena Park and Fort Bend ISD which served more than 63,000 students during Hooper’s tenure.


In addition to his extensive school leadership experience, Hooper served as president of the Texas Association of School Administrators as well as the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Hooper has authored a number of texts and books regarding school leadership and administration and has taught collegiate courses for more than 15 years at the University of North Texas, the University of Texas and within the University of Houston System to develop educational professionals in the areas of organizational culture, school leadership, educational administration, finance, curriculum and instruction, educational law and public relations.


Currently, Dr. Hooper serves as the president of the Center for Quality Leadership, Inc., an educational consulting firm that was formed in 1997, that manages a broad range of services for educational entities including strategic planning, management and performance reviews, organizational studies, facility and demographic studies, program design and delivery services, and professional development and training. The firm has worked in a number of states including Florida, Illinois, Texas and California with student enrollment populations ranging from 110 students to 200,000 students.


The Center for Quality Leadership is committed to assisting school district administrators with the planning required to focus available resources on improving student achievement and administrative leadership and management of school organizations. 


In February of this year, Hooper was hired as a consultant to provide managerial leadership and oversight for the district’s finance department until the district can attract and hire a full-time, long-term Chief Financial Officer.


Dr. Hooper began working in DeSoto ISD on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, as the district’s interim Chief Financial Officer.


As a Board, we want to reassure our school community that we are committed to preserving our community’s trust and confidence in our leadership and ability to provide an improved school experience for every stakeholder. We deeply apologize for the missteps of the past and look forward to a brighter, more cohesive and successful future.


Karen Daniel

Board President

DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees