WACO, TX — Waco ISD announced a new interim superintendent Thursday.
Dr. Hazel Rowe will lead the district as the search for a candidate to permanently fill the role.
The Waco ISD school board voted unanimously to hire Rowe as the district's interim superintendent. She is a longtime Waco educator and 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.”
She has more than five decades of experience in education, including 23 years at Waco ISD.
Rowe served as a fourth-grade teacher at North Waco Elementary, assistant principal and principal at Crestview Elementary and Waco ISD's director of elementary operations.
In 2001, Rowe became the associate executive director at Education Service Center Region 12 in Waco. After retiring from the service center 10 years later, she continued to train current and future educators teaching in the doctoral program at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor.
She holds a doctorate in education administration from Texas A&M.
Rowe has been a member of the board of directors for Transformation Waco. Through that partnership, those schools are eligible for additional state funding and a two-year pause in accountability interventions.
She 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.”
The decision comes after Dr. Marcus Nelson resigned from the position last week. Nelson was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Officials say a state trooper pulled him over for driving in a passing lane when he noticed a smell of marijuana coming from the car.