Superintendent House’s last day

He’s out of there.

Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II is marking his last day in the office as the head of Texas’ largest school system on Friday, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner, nearly a week before the Texas Education Agency is set to take over the public school district.

“This will be (HISD Superintendent) Millard House last day. In 20 months as superintendent he has improved the academic performance of the schools that needed attention,” Turner tweeted Friday morning.

“He shepherded the district in difficult times. I want to thank him and apologize to him for how the State treated him,” Turner said.

Reached by phone on Friday, House clarified that he will be using vacation time in the days leading up to the takeover, and that Friday is his last physical day in office. He is set to give his last public remarks as superintendent on Tuesday night when he delivers the keynote address at Carnegie Vanguard High School’s graduation.

House said he plans to use the vacation time for doctor’s appointments and other personal matters.

“I will still be connected to the district until May 31st,” House said.


House took over HISD in July 2021 after spending four years as superintendent of Tennessee’s Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. In his roughly two years leading Texas’s largest school district, House guided the district out of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and lifted 40 of 50 schools off the D and F list.

In announcing the state takeover of HISD in March, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath applauded House’s performance as superintendent but said he was obligated to appoint a new leader alongside a new board of managers.

“Ultimately, a board of managers allows Houston to completely reframe the governing team to focus on servant leadership to truly believe that the board exists to serve the staff and students, not the other way around,” Morath said in March. “So it’s important that we set the district leadership team up with a fresh start.”

That “fresh start” is slated for June 1, when the TEA is expected to announce a new superintendent and an appointed board of managers to replace the democratically elected board that currently oversees the district. With less than a week until the takeover, the TEA has refused to publicly narrow down the list of board candidates beyond the 227 people who completed a two-day training session last month.

Many of the superintendent’s senior cabinet members and other high-ranking staff in the district are departing the district as the school year ends.

The main impression I have of Superintendent House at this point is that I still feel like I don’t know a lot about him or his vision for HISD. He was not nearly as communicative as some other Superintendents, like Terry Grier. I can’t recall him sitting down for a comprehensive interview of his plans and strategies and whatever else. He gets credit for the progress HISD has made during his tenure, but the main piece of his agenda was not implemented after public pushback, which again suggests a gap in his communications. We’ll never know what he might have done if he’d had more time. I wish him well with his next gig.

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One Response to Superintendent House’s last day

  1. Flypusher says:

    This is one of the biggest wrongs in the TEA takeover IMO. House inherited the problems they use as their excuse, plus he had to deal with both the pandemic and the obstructive officials at the state level. He deserved better.

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