New superintendent ready to take on Waco ISD struggles

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 22:29:16-04

Waco ISD's new superintendent is here in Central Texas and we're getting to know him.

News Channel 25's Seth Kovar sat down with Dr. Marcus Nelson for a one-on-one interview Thursday to get his vision for a school district that has some under-performing schools.

"All of my love, all of my peace, all of my happiness I want to give it to Waco ISD," Nelson said.

That's a taste of Nelson's leadership style. It's a style he calls intense.

He brings his intensity to Waco ISD from Laredo where he oversaw a bigger school district with fewer lower performing schools.

"Where I'm from we had kids, 98 percent of them were poor and none of our schools were on the state list. And here seven of our schools are on the list. And I can't tolerate that. That keeps me up at night," Nelson said.

To improve the quality of his sleep, Nelson wants to improve on that number of what the state calls "improvement-required" schools.

"I just believe the kids of Waco are better than that. And I believe that we can create a school system that's one of the tops in the state. We've got a long way to go, but I believe firmly that we'll get there," Nelson said.

To do that, Dr. Nelson said it's important to motivate the kids, and adults, teachers, administrators and parents.

"It's going to require all of us to focus on the task at hand and not tolerate low-performing schools," Dr. Nelson said.

However, more and more Waco parents are turning to charter and private schools because of that underperformance and that's bringing down Waco ISD's enrollment.

Nelson said to bring them on.

"I'm a fan of competition. I believe that it's good whether we're playing dominoes, or football, or STAAR Tests. So I welcome charter schools and I look forward to partnering with them and making sure our kids are just as competitive as any other kid," Dr. Nelson said.

Dr. Nelson has two sons of his own who go to school in the Austin-area. He was born and raised in San Antonio, graduated from Abilene Christian University, and got his first teaching job in the Metroplex.

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