Excellence is Made Here

Excellence is Made Here Main Photo

26 Apr 2024

More Is Made Here, Newsletter

School districts are often the backbone and a measure of successful communities. Conroe Independent School District (CISD), through its commitment to excellence, helps make Conroe a premier city. Strong leadership and a dedication to student success places CISD among the very best in the state and nation. CISD shows that Excellence is Made Here.

CISD spans 348 square miles and serves more than 72,000 students across 70 campuses, placing it among the ten biggest districts in Texas. The largest employer in Montgomery County, CISD employs more than 10,000 people. The district’s enormous size is a positive, as CISD uses the large platform to showcase its excellence.

Students graduate at a rate exceeding 97 percent. Schools throughout the district achieve team and individual success in athletics, fine arts, and academia, claiming numerous state championships every year. Student success is the primary focus for CISD and the single biggest driver for its sustained excellence.

“For us, it starts and ends with how successful our students are. If you’re focused on students living up to their full potential everyday, then you achieve excellence. That’s always the number one focus,” offered CISD Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Null. “All the accolades come because students are successful, but we don’t focus on student success to earn the accolades. It’s really about appreciating the fact that every child is precious and every parent trusts that you’ll treat their children for being as precious as they are.”

Student success in CISD is rivaled only by teacher excellence. The district makes it a priority to hire the best educators, giving students optimal opportunities to excel.

“We aim to create an environment where teachers want to be and where teachers can be successful. You want to be a great teacher when you’re surrounded by great teachers. If the teachers have the same focus as the students, to improve a little every day, then you really lift the bar. That’s what our teachers have embraced,” Null said.

Forbes recently ranked CISD the highest of any school district and the 37th best large employer overall in the United States. This national recognition offers a glimpse as to why top educators want to work for the district.

Delivering excellence through the rapid growth in Conroe and Montgomery County provides unique challenges. CISD’s leadership at the board and administrative level have met those challenges by maintaining a tight connection with the community it serves. The intentionality and transparency with which the district operates allows residents to take ownership and keeps the large district feeling small.

“We’ve been really fortunate that we’ve been able to hold true to our roots even as we’ve grown. In many ways we still operate like a smaller district. The feeling in the community is that it still feels more like a small town, even though we are very big,” offered Null.

Partnering with the community extends to the businesses that call Conroe home. As the ignition for Conroe’s future workforce, CISD understands the importance of collaborating with businesses to offer a curriculum that leads to career-ready graduates. Null explained that the district has expanded career and technical offerings and invested in new facilities to deliver on the needs of Conroe area industries. 

“We need to have relationships with the business world and we do. Some of that is nurtured by the EDC’s and Chambers of Commerce, where we get a chance to interact with the businesses and ask, ‘what do you need?’ so we can bring that into our curriculum,” added Null. “We adjust to meet their needs because we all want the same thing. We want our students to be prepared for the workforce and have options in this world and [businesses] need a great workforce. It’s a very symbiotic relationship.”

As CISD grows and expands their curriculum, the district continues to place emphasis on financial prudence. According to CISD, the district maintains the second lowest tax rate in the greater Houston area, helping to attract businesses and taxpayers to the district.

CISD is one of only two school districts in the state that has received a perfect score every year from the Texas Smart Schools Initiative, which identifies quality education and efficient financial management. Education Resource Group ranks the district among the top five in Texas for academic and financial performance.

“It has been a priority for our school board that we maintain the lowest possible tax rate, while also achieving great academic success. We’ve been able to do that for a long time now,” Null stated. “It’s an area that’s important to us, so we focus on it. We’re intentional about saving money where money can be saved and spending money where it's most impactful.”

The district passed a bond in November 2023 that will enable it to construct eight new schools, conduct five major renovations, improve infrastructure and safety of schools, and invest in technology devices at all campuses among other critical needs. The $1.9 billion bond is viewed as an economic driver, as the construction and opening of the new facilities will create jobs in the community.

CISD’s commitment to excellence begins with student success and carries through all aspects of the district’s operations. Managing growth, keeping a small-district feel, and delivering resources that enable students, teachers, and administrators to succeed are part of the district’s vision to thrive. CISD’s excellence is truly comprehensive and it is how, in Conroe, Excellence is Made Here.