Jimerson nominated as state's best 'super'
Burleson ISD Superintendent Bret Jimerson will be nominated by trustees as a candidate for the Texas Association of School Boards' Superintendent of the Year award.
"I think we're all in agreement," Trustees Vice President Andy Pickens said, of the nomination by Trustees President Shawn Minor in coordination with the board. "It is an exciting time to be a part of Burleson ISD. He's assembled a great team."
The nomination cites Jimerson's "exemplary and visionary leadership toward improving student performance," as some of the criteria that makes him a strong candidate for the honor.
Trustees kept the nomination secret from Jimerson, he said, until Monday, when it appeared on the meeting agenda. It was a rare time during his tenure that Jimerson has appeared speechless. He responded only with "thank you," following a standing ovation.
"It is humbling," Jimerson said. "I'm obviously honored. The fact is this is a reflection of the school district and the wonderful work our team is doing on campuses."
Jimerson was hired in April 2013. A native of North Texas, he had served as superintendent in the Willis ISD in South Texas since 2011.
"Under Dr. Jimerson’s leadership, the district has a renewed focus on setting meaningful goals and tracking progress toward their attainment," Minor said. "In 2014, the district embarked on a strategic planning process identifying the BISD Core Values. Through a process that involved board members, community leaders, teachers, staff and students, key beliefs were articulated, and objectives were developed. With this clear focus, and Dr. Jimerson’s strong vision for the expansion of options, we have wasted no time putting the strategic plan into action."
In three school years under Jimerson's leadership, the Burleson ISD reopened the former Frazier Elementary campus as STEAM Middle School, college credit course participation has increased, career and technical education courses have been expanded and the district developed an educational vision plan with stakeholder involvement, among many of his significant achievements. On Monday, the first athletic team champions in the district's history was presented to school trustees.
"During our extensive search and interview process, Dr. Jimerson repeatedly stood out as the leader who would embrace our vision and who would take our district into the future filled with educational choices and technologically advanced instructional environments," said Beverly Volkman Powell, who was president of the school board who selected Jimerson. "And to say he has accomplished the goal in record time is an understatement."
The STEAM Middle School project may stand as an example. The district was financially unable to consider new construction of a third middle school, so it funded renovation of the former Frazier Elementary building to relieve overcrowding.
"His innovative leadership style, willingness to think outside the box and to get things accomplished in record time confirmed our belief that he was the perfect candidate for our district," Powell said. "He is truly a transformational leader with great compassion and personal commitment to the community. We are indeed fortunate to share this journey with him."
When it came time to act on the award nomination, it was an easy call.
"I think we would all like to make that motion," said Trustee Staci Eisner, and it was supported unanimously.
Jimerson has also served as chief of staff and legal counsel in 2007 and later as deputy superintendent of educational operations in the Grand Prairie ISD from 2008-11. A 1990 graduate of Grand Prairie High School, he was also employed as a teacher and executive director of human resources, technology and general counsel at the White Settlement ISD from 2005-07.
Jimerson's experience as a classroom teacher included criminal justice courses at Brewer High School and as an instructor at the University of Texas at Arlington, Dallas Baptist University and Everest College. He's also been a guest lecturer at five colleges in Texas.
He earned his educational doctorate from Texas Christian University in 2008, the same year he also earned a master's of business administration from TCU. He also earned a master's degree in public policy and a juris doctorate in 2002 from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. In 1997, Jimerson earned a bachelor's degree from UTA.