Richardson ISD has a legacy of leadership committed to student achievement, positive teamwork, and accessibility to stakeholders. For the first time in four years (since you elected me to the Board of Trustees), there are new faces on the RISD “team of eight” (seven trustees and the superintendent). Your questions to me have included: Who are these folks? Can we trust them? Will they be good stewards of our tax money? Do they care about kids? I want to assure you that I am excited about my new team members and RISD is in good hands.

To follow our outgoing leaders, however, is a daunting proposition. Dr. Carolyn Bukhair has retired after 29 years in RISD, the past eight as our superintendent. Dr. Bukhair’s legacy continues with the opening of our newest school, Carolyn G. Bukhair Elementary. Lake Highlands residents Anne Barab and Ron Hughes served as trustees for a combined 24 years. We will miss their varied and constant contributions.

Following a national search, we hired Jim Nelson as our new superintendent. Jim has a 20+ year career serving public education in a number of positions, including president of the Texas Association of School Boards and Texas Education Commissioner (appointed by then-Governor George Bush). Jim sought this job because of RISD’s history of excellence and a willingness to embrace our diversity, a microcosm of Texas. Jim is uniquely qualified to be the CEO of the RISD organization, which has 35,000 students and 4,500 employees. We are proud to have this champion of public education on our team. Jim is hitting the ground running and you will see him in our schools and throughout the community. In fact, Jim will serve as grand marshal of the Lake Highlands’ 4th of July parade.

Lake Highlands’ own Carol Kent and David Tyson are hard at work as your new trustees. They are newly elected, but they are not new to RISD, volunteerism and leadership. Carol has served in virtually every available RISD volunteer position, including chairman of the successful 2001 bond program. David has volunteered at several schools and been an active adult leader in Boy Scouts. They each have knowledge, compassion, enthusiasm, commitment and determination that will serve you well.

RISD leadership remains focused on our district goals and grounded in our common beliefs. Our new team of eight stands ready to make the most of each opportunity and face each challenge with confidence and conviction.