By Steve Pickett

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The new school year is bringing new leadership to some of the biggest school districts in North Texas. Among them is Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Walter Dansby.

His position might be new, but his face is certainly not. Now in his 39th year working as a teacher, principal and coach, Dansby leads the very school system that educated him. Dansby attended elementary school, graduated from high school, taught U.S. History and coached basketball — all in the FWISD.

Dansby has committed 40 years of his professional life to the FWISD. But this year might be the biggest of them all.

His leadership model, Dansby said, will not only center on improved test scores and college readiness, but a motto that he hopes the entire district is prepared to follow. “Success demands a singleness of purpose,” Dansby said. “Everything we do, every conversation we have, every single dollar we spend, should be focused to that end.”

“What’s very important is we stay very connected to our children. Even as a superintendent, to stay connected to what’s going on with the kids in the district.” No easy task, considering that the FWISD has 80,000 students across 140 schools and more than 6,000 classroom teachers.

Dansby said that his job will require building a better and broader support system for students inside and outside the district. “The main thing to get across is the culture has to change in the school system,” he explained. “We’ve got to be more effective in how we send that message out, but also realize the culture change begins with each and every one of us.”

“If we’re going to change things around to support our children in this district, we all have a hand in that,” Dansby added, “everyone of us.”

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