"Those who know him best have all remarked on his keen ability to provide systemic organizational structure, think strategically, monitor and improve the educational achievement of every student, and strengthen relationships with those around him..."
Tom Sharpe, Board President
The Board of Trustees for the Highland Park Independent School District (HPISD) unanimously approved Dr. Mike Rockwood as the district’s next Superintendent. He will assume the position on July 1, 2023. The District educates about 7,000 students at eight schools in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Rockwood has been serving as the superintendent of Lake Dallas Independent School District for the past two years. Prior to that, Dr. Mike Rockwood served as Deputy Superintendent in Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, one of Texas’ fastest growing school districts. HPISD’s new superintendent has also held several other central office positions throughout his career, including Chief of Staff, Executive Director, and Communications & Public Information Officer.
Dr. Rockwood has built an impressive resume with each of his roles in education. He has led the district he currently serves to record state accountability ratings at the elementary campuses, and the high school was named one of the “Best High Schools” in the county by U.S. News & World Reports. Under his leadership, the high school has seen impressive improvement on AP exam achievement. In his two-year tenure in the district, he balanced the budget, while renovating school campuses and building new facilities. He is also credited for initiating the District’s first ever Strategic Plan. While serving Lamar CISD, Dr. Rockwood was responsible for academic, operational, and financial initiatives. He led the district through the passage of bond funds, land purchases, and rezoning as the student population increased from 24,000 to 40,000 students.*
In an announcement of the selection of the new Superintendent, Board President Tom Sharpe shared his enthusiasm for the District under the direction of the experienced new leader. “Those who know him best have all remarked on his keen ability to provide systemic organizational structure, think strategically, monitor and improve the educational achievement of every student, and strengthen relationships with those around him, all towards the end goal of cultivating a strong culture of excellence,” stated Sharpe.
The announcement of a new leader for Highland Park ISD follows a collaborative search process that began in the fall of 2022 and involved the input of parents, staff, and community members. “We are grateful for the efforts put forth by so many stakeholders who contributed to the selection process and helped our district reach this important decision,” stated Board President Tom Sharpe. The Board of Trustees hired Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) to facilitate the search process. HYA’s President Max McGee and Associate Jim Largent conducted a community-wide survey and numerous focus groups to gather input from more than 2,000 stakeholders. HYA presented the district with a strong pool of talented candidates. “It was a pleasure working with the outstanding school board and community members in Highland Park ISD. Our search produced some extraordinarily talented and accomplished candidates from all over the country, and the board was diligent in their selection process. At the end of the search, Mike Rockwood was selected as the best fit for HPISD based on their leadership profile. Mike is an outstanding superintendent and leader, and we look forward to watching him lead HPISD into the future,” stated HYA associate Jim Largent.
“Leading in Highland Park ISD is a privilege and honor for myself and my family,” said Dr. Mike Rockwood. “It is clear to me that the Park Cities are full of caring and committed individuals who want the very best for our students. I’m so excited to honor and build upon HPISD’s tradition of excellence to ensure our future is brighter than ever.”