Cantu named superintendent of the year

June 30, 2024
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(Photo courtesy of Mansfield ISD)

Mansfield ISD Superintendent Kimberley Cantu has been named the 2024 Region 11 Superintendent of the Year. The Superintendent of the Year Award, sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards, honors outstanding Texas administrators for achievement and excellence in public school administration.

Candidates are nominated by their school boards and must demonstrate strong leadership skills, dedication to improving the quality of education in their districts, commitment to public support and involvement in education and the ability to build good employee relations among teachers and staff members.  

“Dr. Cantu fosters a team-oriented environment within the board and staff,” said MISD Board immediate past president Courtney Lackey Wilson. “She depends on her cabinet to provide necessary information from their areas of expertise then weighs all perspectives before making decisions that are best for students. She ensures that every cabinet member understands all aspects of the organization so they can evaluate the systemic impact of all choices. While she exhibits great business acumen, she exemplifies compassion and provides a calm, confident presence for staff and community, even in the face of crises such as a pandemic, a massive cyberattack and a student shooting. Her resilience is an inspiration for everyone.”

The regional selection process also included an interview piece that allowed candidates to voice their views on great leadership, current events in education and highlights of their careers.

Cantu is in her 32nd year of service in public school education with 25 of those years spent serving the students of the Mansfield ISD. She began her career in 1992 as a teacher and coach at Llano High School. The following year, she accepted a teaching and coaching position at Mansfield High School where she spent five years in the classroom before being promoted to an assistant principal and then the academic associate principal of Mansfield High School. She served as a principal, a director in curriculum and instruction and executive director of human resources in a neighboring district before returning to Mansfield in 2012 as a director in human resources. She held various leadership roles in human resources before being appointed as the district’s deputy superintendent. Cantu was officially named the superintendent of Mansfield ISD on Dec. 17, 2019, becoming the second female superintendent in the district's history.

As part of TASB’s award process, regional winners for the SOTY award must be selected by a panel of local school board members. This year’s panel included trustees from districts throughout the north central Texas (Region 11) area.

Marilyn Tolbert, a judge from Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD, applauded Cantu’s dedication and leadership.

“It is obvious that Dr. Kimberley Cantu is committed and focused on the district, and she clearly demonstrates exemplary leadership and adherence to the core values of Mansfield ISD,” she shared.

As the Region 11 winner, Cantu will move on to the state level of the competition. The state winner will be announced at the Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards (TASA/TASB) joint annual convention on Sept. 28.

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