Terry B. Grier, Ed.D., became the Houston Independent School District’s superintendent of schools after a unanimous vote of approval by the district’s Board of Education in September 2009. Since that time, the Board of Education has extended his contract through June 2016.
Before coming to Houston, Dr. Grier served as the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District for 18 months and superintendent of the Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina for almost eight years.
Under his watch, HISD’s dropout rate has decreased to its all-time low (11.8 percent) and its graduation rate has increased to its all-time high (78.5 percent). Scholarship dollars offered to HISD seniors have increased from $51 million to $180 million. And, the number of students scoring three or higher on Advanced Placement exams increased by 45 percent—from 4,915 to 7,106.
Dr. Grier is widely recognized for his leadership in turning around failing schools. The district’s Apollo 20 program has received state and national recognition. He is committed to placing an effective teacher in every HISD classroom and an exemplary principal in every school. HISD’s teacher and principal evaluation models contain indicators of student success.
In 2012, HISD was one of four school districts in America to be named a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize in Education. HISD received high marks for its progress in decreasing the achievement gap. In November 2012, HISD citizens approved a $1.89 billion school construction bond—the largest in the history of Texas—by an amazing 69 percent margin. These funds will be used to rebuild 28 of the district’s high schools, making HISD the only major school district in the country with all high-school buildings being rebuilt since 2000.
Dr. Grier has received numerous awards in recognition of his accomplished leadership, including the North Carolina Association of School Administrators and the North Carolina School Boards Association’s 2008 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year Award, and the American Association of School Administrators’ prestigious Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award for his support of women and minorities in education. He has received “Outstanding Alumni” awards from East Carolina University, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees, and from Vanderbilt University, where he received his Educational Doctorate.
He and his wife, Nancy, have four grown children.