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Superintendent Sara Bonser Announces Plans to Retire

After 33 years of service in public education (25 of those years in Plano ISD), Superintendent Sara Bonser informed the Plano ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday, January 25, that she will retire as superintendent at the end of this school year in order to spend more time with family at a critical time.   

“Balancing work and family has always been important to me, but never more so than now that my sister is dealing with a critical illness.” Mrs. Bonser said. “Retiring will allow me the opportunity to help and support my family.” 

Surprise grants to educators Supt with student

Mrs. Bonser returned to Plano ISD in 2017 to serve as interim deputy superintendent before being appointed superintendent in March 2018. Prior to that, she worked for seven years in Rockwall ISD serving as chief academic officer, chief administrative officer, assistant superintendent for student and family services and director of student and family services. As Rockwall ISD’s first director of student and family services, she created that division from the ground up.

Before Rockwall ISD, Mrs. Bonser worked in Plano ISD for nineteen years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, including seven years as principal of Williams High School. A 30-year resident of Plano, Mrs. Bonser refers to her position as superintendent of Plano ISD schools as “my dream job in my hometown.”

“The board will accept Superintendent Bonser’s resignation with great reluctance, but we certainly understand Sara’s need to support her family at this time,” said School Board President David Stolle. “Plano ISD has greatly benefited from Sara’s results-driven leadership and passion for student success. She will be missed tremendously by this board, the staff and the community.”

“Sara is leaving behind a legacy of leadership,” Mr. Stolle continued. “ We are appreciative that the district remains in very capable hands thanks to her expertise in building teams, expanding capacity and developing talent.”

“I am proud to have served alongside the most hardworking, brilliant and committed staff in the region, state and nation,” Mrs. Bonser said. “Their dedication to providing an outstanding education to the children within Plano ISD, preparing them for college and careers, is unparalleled.” 

Walking schools

Mrs. Bonser said that in the days ahead, she will work with the Board of Trustees and administration to ensure a smooth transition for the district. She credits the school board for their inspirational level of commitment, stating that they “continue to be a strong and resilient Team of 8 with an unwavering commitment to children in support of the highest level of achievement for all students.”

“The next leader of Plano ISD can feel confident that the board and administration will continue to work together on behalf of all students,” she added. 

Superintendent Bonser is a public education leader and advocate in Plano ISD and across the State of Texas. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Texas School Coalition and serves as Vice Chair of the Region 10 Education Service Center’s Regional Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators Advocacy Committee, the Coalition for Behavioral Healthcare in Collin County and the Medical City Plano Community Advisory Council. Recently, she was chosen to serve in the new Superintendent Leadership Program launched last year by the Holdsworth Center, designed to support strong diverse leaders who are driving transformative change. 

As a member of the inaugural Raise Your Hand Texas Principal Leadership Development Program at Harvard University, Mrs. Bonser has an unwavering passion for redesigning instruction to improve student outcomes. This passion resulted in her receiving the Principal of the Year Award from the College Board Southwest Region for excellence in the Advanced Placement (AP) program. Superintendent Bonser was named the 2020 Business Executive of the Year by the Plano Chamber of Commerce’s Best of Plano, recognizing her outstanding leadership, strategic thinking, pursuit for excellence and professional integrity.

Superintendent Bonser earned an undergraduate degree in Business Education from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from The University of North Texas and her Superintendent Certification from Texas A&M Commerce. She was named one of Plano Magazine’s 2018 Girl Bosses for using her time and talents to make Plano one of the best places to live. She and her husband have been married for 29 years and have two children, both graduates of Plano East Senior High.

“I am thankful for every member of this community, every family and child I have met along the way, and wish only the best for Plano ISD in the future. I will always be proud to say that I live in Plano, taught in Plano ISD and led Plano ISD.”