- Academy High School
March 6, 2018 - Board of Trustees Names Sara Bonser as Lone Finalist for Superintendent Position
Trustee Angela Powell, Trustee Tammy Richards, Board Secretary Nancy Humphrey, Trustee Jeri Chambers, Trustee Dr. Yoram Solomon, (at podium) Sara Bonser, Board Vice President David Stolle and Board President Missy Bender. View photo gallery and meeting video (19 minutes).
In a special called meeting today, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees tapped Interim Superintendent Sara Bonser for the top spot as the district’s new superintendent of schools, replacing Dr. Brian Binggeli whose resignation was announced in November and effective January 31, 2018. Ms Bonser's appointment was welcomed with a standing ovation by the many community leaders, educators and parents in attendance. View video and photo gallery.
Standing ovation after the board's appointment of Sara Bonser as lone finalist for superintendent of schools. Audience members included (front row left) Sharon Goldblatt, Education Foundation Board of Honor and former Texas PTA president; former Superintendent of Schools Richard Matkin; Plano Mayor Pro Tem Rick Grady; Plano Council Member Rick Smith, Council Member Angela Miner and (second row) former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Otto.
Ms. Bonser, who has been filling the role of interim superintendent since November 28, 2017, returned to Plano ISD in May 2017 to serve as interim deputy superintendent. Having served students, families and staff members in Plano ISD and Rockwall ISD for the past 27 years, Ms. Bonser brings a wealth of experience and motivational ideas to the position of superintendent.
“We knew the kind of leader we were looking for and we were very fortunate to have a remarkably experienced and capable interim superintendent in Sara Bonser,” said School Board President Missy Bender. “It was evident to the entire board that Ms. Bonser was a great match for our school district.”
“I would like to express my appreciation to the school board for this vote of confidence and for this incredible opportunity,” Ms. Bonser said. “I am filled with hope, energy and a zeal to further cultivate my passion for learning. As learners ourselves, we must continue our efforts to prepare students for a life that we cannot yet see on the horizon. As superintendent, I will devote my leadership to maintaining a legacy of greatness with high expectations, while remaining attentive to the individual and varying needs among all Plano ISD students.”
Ms. Bonser’s career leading to her recent placement in Plano ISD comprises serving seven years in Rockwall ISD as chief academic officer, chief administrative officer, assistant superintendent for student and family services and director of student and family services. Her leadership in Rockwall included instruction, accountability, strategic planning and continuous improvement efforts, to name a few. As Rockwall ISD’s first director of student and family services, she created that division from the ground up.
Prior to her leadership in Rockwall ISD, Ms. Bonser served in Plano ISD for nineteen years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, including seven years as principal of Williams High School.
Ms. Bonser’s professional honors and activities include participation in the Academy for Transformational Leadership (2015-2016); Raise Your Hand Texas Alumni Conference (2015); guest speaker for the Leadership in Me Summit at UT Arlington (2014); Principal of the Year Award from the College Board Southwest Region for excellence in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program; and Semifinalist for the HEB Excellence in Education Award Secondary Principal of the Year.
Ms. Bonser earned a bachelor of science with a major in business education and a minor in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas and superintendent’s certification from Texas A&M-Commerce.
The state of Texas requires school districts to name a lone finalist for superintendent, followed by a 21-day waiting period. The school board will vote on Ms. Bonser’s appointment as superintendent at that time.
The significance that Ms. Bonser is the first woman to serve in this role is not lost on President Bender. “I would be remiss not to mention that Ms. Bonser is the first female to serve in this role,” Bender said. “But this is really a statement about leadership, more than it is about commending firsts, and we have found an extremely strong and talented leader in Ms. Bonser. It has been very rewarding to work with her as interim deputy superintendent and as interim superintendent. She embodies the approachable and competent leadership style that we were seeking in a school district leader, and has the full support and respect of the Plano ISD Board of Trustees.”