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Marlin ISD News

Marlin Communications

Marlin ISD Superintendent Dr. Darryl J. Henson has been named the 2024 Region 12 Superintendent of the Year and is the regional nominee for Texas Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Henson was nominated by the Marlin ISD Board of Managers and selected from a slate of candidates by a committee of Region 12 area school board members.

“Region 12 is privileged to have exceptional leaders who are paving the way for excellence in education,” said Kenny Berry, Executive Director of Education Service Center Region 12. “It is a true honor to acknowledge Dr. Darryl J. Henson for his outstanding leadership and commitment to public education. His work in Marlin ISD is positively impacting the lives of students and the community.”

Dr. Henson has served as superintendent of Marlin ISD since 2020 and has been an educator for a total of 18 years. Prior to joining Marlin ISD, he served as the Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership at Cedar Hill ISD. His career also includes roles with Houston ISD, Ysleta ISD, Lockhart ISD, Pflugerville ISD, and Austin ISD.

“Having worked alongside Dr. Henson since May 2020, I’ve come to admire the leadership, ethical, and personal qualities he possesses,” said Billy Johnson, President of the Marlin ISD Board of Managers. “His relentless pursuit to ensure that all students receive a quality education and that the narrative of our district and community changes forever makes him an ideal candidate for Superintendent of the Year.”

When searching for a superintendent in 2020, the Marlin ISD Board of Managers recognized they needed someone who was not only knowledgeable in instruction but also had a love for people. They found that in Dr. Henson, who has embraced the Marlin community. The community trusts his vision, leadership, and heart, and he has become a model for students and educators.

Marlin ISD has three campuses and serves 925 students in Falls County. As superintendent, Dr. Henson's vision for the district is to provide students with the necessary academic and life skills to turn their potential into performance. Under his leadership, the district has made significant strides academically, athletically, and culturally.

Dr. Henson’s strengths as a superintendent lie in his persistence to achieve goals. He has worked to improve the district's image through his dependability, fairness, and honesty. He never gives up and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure all Marlin ISD students have the opportunity and resources to succeed.

Until recently, the district struggled to meet state academic standards. Since joining the district in 2020, Dr. Henson has encouraged the academic and social success of students and motivated faculty and staff to reach their instructional potential. With his efforts, Marlin ISD achieved an overall B accountability rating in 2022, regaining full accreditation for the first time since 2015. The district’s rating of 86 marked a 30-point increase from its 2019 rating, the highest student growth in the state from 2015 to 2022.

Recent academic achievements have led the Texas Education Agency to initiate the process of transitioning Marlin ISD back to a locally elected Board of Trustees. Marlin ISD is one of the few districts transitioning back to local governance after being under TEA intervention. Dr. Henson's relentless dedication to providing quality education is helping change the district’s narrative.

Additionally, Dr. Henson communicates effectively with the Board of Managers and the community, ensuring everyone is well-informed. He shares weekly board reports and holds individual meetings with board members. Under his leadership, Marlin ISD has earned the highest rating on financial audits. He has worked to meet the district's needs financially and strategically by adopting a balanced budget, securing additional grant funding, and more. Dr. Henson also communicates the district’s finances in a way that is easily understandable by the board and community. His engagement and authenticity were key factors in the passing of Marlin ISD’s $32 million bond in 2022, which provided for facility and security upgrades, marking the first bond passed by Marlin ISD since 1998.

Dr. Henson leads by example, inspiring his team to think outside the norm with his engaging, flexible, and adaptive leadership style. He showcased this mindset through Marlin ISD’s response to the teacher shortage. Instead of letting the shortage stall progress, Marlin ISD administrators returned to the classroom to teach and support student growth. Dr. Henson served as a 6th-grade math teacher while continuing his responsibilities as superintendent.

“Though the journey to academic and organizational excellence is hard, arduous, and challenging, I believe that the pressure of changing the trajectory of students’ lives is a privilege,” Dr. Henson said in his application.

He has shifted the culture of Marlin ISD to one focused on clarity, recognition, and support. He knows every employee’s name and celebrates them often, positively impacting the district's climate. Additionally, Dr. Henson is an advocate for the Marlin community. He leads with courage and integrity, shining a positive light on the district and the surrounding community. He stands up for students despite any backlash, committed to protecting their dignity and emotional well-being.

“He can always be seen supporting our students from the classroom to the sidelines, to the barn,” Johnson said. “Dr. Henson truly loves his students and Marlin, Texas.”

Dr. Henson earned his Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. He holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Henson is a member of the Commissioner of Education’s Rural Superintendent Council and is involved in various professional organizations, including the Texas Association of Community Schools, the Texas Association of Rural Schools, the Texas Association of School Administrators, the Texas Education Policy Institute, and the Thompson Executive Leadership Institute Superintendent Academy. He is also an active member of several community organizations, including the Rotary Club of Marlin, Lion’s Club, Marlin Chamber of Commerce, and the Boys and Girls Club of Falls County.

ESC Region 12 will recognize Dr. Henson and other regional educators of the year in the coming months. The regional superintendents of the year will interview with a state selection committee in August, and five finalists will be selected. The Texas Association of School Boards will announce the Texas Superintendent of the Year in late September.

Leah Wayne

Marlin, TX – Marlin Independent School District proudly announces its acceptance into newly designated Rural Pathway Excellence Partnerships (R-PEPs) facilitated by the Texas Education Agency. This partnership represents a significant achievement for Marlin ISD and is one of the first three collaboratives in the state.

This initiative, under the R-PEP framework, is part of the broader Texas strategy to enhance educational and career opportunities in rural areas. Through this collaboration, Marlin ISD will receive the R-PEP allotment and become eligible for outcomes bonuses as outlined in Texas’s HB2209, aimed at expanding high-quality post-secondary pathways for rural students.

Dr. Darryl Henson, Superintendent of Marlin ISD, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration: "This is a monumental step for our district and our community. The R-PEP program allows us to significantly enhance the educational offerings to our students By joining forces with other entities, we can overcome the limitations often faced by rural schools and provide our students with the tools they need to succeed in today’s competitive environment."

As part of the Falls County Rural Collaborative, Marlin ISD aims to leverage shared resources to offer a wider array of academic and career pathways, addressing historical challenges such as lower college attainment and limited access to lucrative careers in rural settings. "Our inclusion in this initiative not only boosts our capacity to support our students but also strengthens the entire educational infrastructure of rural Texas," added Dr. Henson.

Leading up to the 2024-2025 school year, Marlin ISD will share detailed profiles of the pathways and partnerships developed through the R-PEP program, highlighting the tailored opportunities now available to its students.

Marlin Communications

Marlin, TX – The Marlin Independent School District (Marlin ISD) has been officially accepted into the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) program, a notable initiative by the Texas Education Agency aimed at fostering excellence in education through financial incentives. The program is designed to reward teachers who demonstrate exceptional effectiveness in promoting student achievement, as part of the state’s broader strategy to achieve long-term, systemic improvements in education.

The TIA program seeks to recognize and remunerate educators who go above and beyond in their commitment to student achievement and their professional practice. With this acceptance, Marlin ISD can further its mission of attracting and retaining top-tier teaching talent, crucial for elevating student learning and outcomes across the district.

“Being part of the Teacher Incentive Allotment is not just a win for our teachers but a significant gain for our students and the entire Marlin community,” said Dr. Darryl Henson, Superintendent of Marlin ISD. “This program will enable us to continue to support our educators in a manner that reflects their invaluable contributions to our schools.”

Marlin ISD’s acceptance into the TIA program reflects its ongoing dedication to educational excellence and its commitment to investing in the professionals who make a daily impact on our youth. This program not only incentivizes high performance but also ensures that our most effective educators are recognized and rewarded for their efforts.

“Our teachers have always been at the heart of our educational mission,” added Henson. “With the support of the allotment, we can provide them with the resources they need to continue their professional growth and maintain Marlin ISD as a leader in educational innovation and success.”

Leah Wayne

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has formally initiated the process to transition governance of the Marlin Independent School District from the state-appointed Board of Managers back to its locally elected Board of Trustees. This significant move marks the beginning of a return to local control, starting with the reintegration of two elected trustees, Billy Johnson and Rosalyn Dimerson, into the district's governance as part of the current Board of Managers. This strategic blend of the Board of Managers with elected Trustees signifies a pivotal shift towards restoring full local governance, creating a new five-member governing board.

Marlin, TX — The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has formally initiated the process to transition governance of the Marlin Independent School District from the state-appointed Board of Managers back to its locally elected Board of Trustees. This significant move marks the beginning of a return to local control, starting with the reintegration of two elected trustees, Billy Johnson and Rosalyn Dimerson, into the district's governance as part of the current Board of Managers. This strategic blend of the Board of Managers with elected Trustees signifies a pivotal shift towards restoring full local governance, creating a new five-member governing board.

In a letter to Marlin ISD Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced the selection of Johnson and Dimerson as the initial trustees to make this transition. Their addition to the Board of Managers underscores the collaborative efforts between the state and local entities to enhance the district's governance and academic performance.

“This transition signifies an important milestone for Marlin ISD,” Commissioner Morath said. “Through diligent oversight and the collaboration between the Board of Managers and Superintendent Henson, MISD has made substantial improvements in both academics and governance. I am confident the governing body of Marlin ISD will continue to propel the district forward and allow for a successful resumption of duties for the elected trustees.”

Further developments include Commissioner Morath's appointment of Marsha Ridlehuber to fill the vacancy on the Board of Managers left by Billy Johnson, who had vacated his seat following his election as a trustee. Ridlehuber, a seasoned educator with extensive experience in district administration at Marlin ISD and previous service on the MISD Board of Managers, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role.

"As we embrace this pivotal transition in governance, our focus remains steadfast on sustaining the academic excellence and operational integrity that have defined Marlin ISD's recent achievements,” Henson said. “The integration of our elected trustees with the Board of Managers symbolizes not only a return to local governance but also the unity and collaborative spirit that propels us forward. We are grateful for the guidance of the Texas Education Agency and remain committed to building on our successes for the benefit of every student in our district.”

This governance transition marks a significant milestone following years of dedicated effort to overcome challenges, a journey that began with state intervention in January 2017, led by Commissioner Morath in response to Marlin ISD's history of academic underperformance. The subsequent extension of the Board of Managers' oversight and the adjusted transition timeline, necessitated by the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, set the stage for a transformative era under the leadership of Dr. Henson. Hired after the initiation of the Board of Managers process, Henson's visionary leadership has been instrumental in catalyzing the district's remarkable turnaround.

Under Henson's stewardship, Marlin ISD has experienced unprecedented progress, culminating in an Overall B (86) in the 2022 state accountability ratings and the restoration of its Accreditation status, the highest accountability gains in the state of Texas that year. These achievements underscore the district's resilience and the effectiveness of its leadership amidst the challenges of state oversight. Henson's approach, characterized by strategic initiatives and a focus on academic excellence, has not only addressed the issues that initially led to state intervention but also set a new standard for educational leadership and community engagement within the district.

The transition process is carefully structured and mandated by state statutes, with Commissioner Morath overseeing the phased reintegration of elected trustees. This process will continue until the Board of Managers' term expires on January 31, 2026, at which point the district's governance will be fully restored to the elected Board of Trustees

Leah Wayne

Marlin, TX — The Marlin ISD Board of Managers approved a Four-Day Week Calendar at their regular board meeting yesterday.

The district is utilizing a "Strong Start, Strong Finish" framework for the calendar, where students will attend school every Friday in the months of August, January, and May. Students will also attend school on the first Friday of each month.

Many school districts across the country are transitioning to the innovative calendar for its array of benefits including operational cost savings and improved academic performance. For rural school districts, districts can more readily recruit and retain high-quality teachers and offset longer commute times. Currently, Marlin ISD is the only school district in the region to offer a "Commuter Incentive," with up to $1,500 for eligible teachers who commute.

"The adoption of a Four-Day Week Calendar is a significant step towards providing students with a well-rounded educational experience, while also meeting the needs of teachers and staff," Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson said. "We are excited to see the positive impact this change will have on the community of Marlin."

The Board of Managers' decision is expected to have a far-reaching impact on students, staff, and the community. By adopting the approach, the district aims to continue to foster a culture of academic excellence, streamline operations, and enhance overall efficiency.