Bringing in Brubaker

TISD introduces Dr. Doug Brubaker, finalist for superintendent position


Photo by Peyton Sims

Doug Brubaker speaks to an audience in the Sullivan Preforming Arts Center. He was announced as the TISD Lone Finalist on Nov. 10.

Story by Doug Kyles , news editor

Every single hand raised, and that was it. Through a unanimous vote on Nov. 10 at a TISD School District Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Doug Brubaker was approved as the lone finalist for the position of Superintendent of schools. This was following the resignation of previous Superintendent Paul Norton in July of this year. 

Through extensive qualifications and obvious professionalism, Dr. Brubaker made himself a clear choice for TISD’s head position.

“We were very impressed with his record,” President of the Board Fred Norton Jr. said. “And, we were very impressed with what he’s done in his former places of service. We believe it is time for us to have, truly, a transformation at TISD, and he seemed to fit what we need perfectly.”

And qualified he is. To date, Brubaker has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, department director, assistant superintendent, associate superintendent and superintendent in several school districts in Texas (Birdville ISD, Mansfield ISD, Carroll ISD, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Garland ISD) and Arkansas (Fort Smith Public Schools). He has worked in public school districts ranging from 7,000 to 57,000 students for 24 years of his career.

Through his qualifications, it’s evident why TISD was drawn to Dr. Brubaker as their choice. But Dr. Brubaker saw something in TISD, and decided it was truly the place to be. 

“One of the things that really impressed me about this district is the [board’s] commitment to doing great things for students,” Dr. Brubaker said.

Dr. Brubaker recognizes the unique programs and opportunities TISD students have, and praises the school district for their success thus far.

“Another reason I’m excited to come to Texarkana ISD is because of the culture of innovation that you find here,” Dr. Brubaker said. “In the short time I’ve been here I’ve talked to people whose family members are studying engineering in high school because of accelerated math opportunities; others have told me about a family member or neighbor who walked across the stage armed not only with a high school diploma, but an associates degree.”

But beyond previous success and accomplishments TISD is credited with, Brubaker is committed to driving this progress forward, and continually advocating for our students.

What I think is so exciting about Texarkana ISD is that drive toward continuous improvement: to survey the best practices across the country, bring them here and make them work for these students. I’m drawn to this community’s commitment to continuous improvement.”

— Dr. Doug Brubaker

“With all these great things in place, you might get the sense that the district would start to feel satisfied with their progress and is ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor for a while,” Dr. Brubaker said. “That’s not the case here. ”

Commitment to education is something Brubaker and TISD share, and it’s a defining part of what made Brubaker the best fit for the job. Public education is a passion of Brubaker’s and something he holds a strong faith in.

“To me, it’s the transformative power of education,” Dr. Brubaker said. “Personally, I’m a first generation college graduate. And there were people, and teachers and programs along the way, that if they hadn’t been in place, maybe I wouldn’t be here now. And so, I’m so excited about working with this board, community and staff to make sure that those opportunities are not only available for students here, but also expanded to the degree that they can be.” 

The extension of life changing education opportunities is certainly a noble goal, one that presents obvious challenges. Brubaker, however, has priorities in place to ensure his administration of TISD leaves a positive impact on the district.

“The first thing that I’m looking at doing is developing a 90 day entry plan,” Dr. Brubaker said. “ I think one thing that’s really important to share is that I’m not someone coming in from somewhere who already has a pre-written agenda. The idea is we all come together and figure out what this community wants for its schools, not within the next six months or next year, but within the next five years or so.”