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Dr. Carrol Thomas
Dr. Carrol A. Thomas, is a highly sought-after educational leader who is renowned for his work in inspiring those in communities and government to achieve the best for those who depend on public education. He excites youth to learn, teachers to teach, staff persons to support and administrators to lead. Thomas is charismatic, intelligent and committed to the educational development of children. Thomas has served as superintendent of schools for the Beaumont Independent School District since 1996.
Thomas came to Beaumont from North Forest Independent School District in Houston, Texas, where his work earned him the title of Superintendent of the Year for Region 4. Under Thomas’ leadership, North Forest ISD was the first and only school district to move from “Accredited Warned,” the lowest level the State places on a district, to “Fully Accredited” in one year.
When Thomas came to BISD, the district was one of the lowest performing districts in the state. BISD is now ranked among the top school districts in Texas for improving student performance. The district has gone from only one campus receiving state recognition in 1996, to 24 of its 29 ratable schools receiving either recognized or exemplary status. With three Blue Ribbon schools, 16 BISD schools are ranked in the top 12% of Texas’ higher performance schools by the National Center for Educational Assessment. The district also had a large number of its campuses to receive the prestigious Successful School Award granted by the Texas Education Agency. In addition, the District’s Headstart Program received the Program of Excellence Award from the Texas Headstart Association for 100 percent compliance. BISD is also home to the State honor roll schools and a state and national demonstration school. Several of the schools in the district have received other recognition and honors, including being listed by Texas Monthly Magazine as a top 20 school.
Shortly after Thomas arrived in Beaumont, he began the design of a new student assignment plan, one that ended years of turmoil over integration in Beaumont. The entire community accepted the plan and it was endorsed by the local Chamber of Commerce, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as many other organizations. The plan, which gives students a choice of schools to attend, was selected by The Coalition for Public Schools in Texas as one of the top three in the state for “Expanding School Choice.” Enrollment is on the rise and both staff and student attendance rates have improved drastically; discipline problems are almost nil (contributed to partially by a district police department) and morale has improved throughout the District and community, as seen by a reduction of complaints by staff and parents.
In addition to Thomas’ duties as superintendent of schools, he finds time for civic and community involvement. He is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations and has received nearly every honor bestowed upon an educator in Texas—including Educator of the Month for the Texas School Business Magazine. Thomas was also cited by the Texas Legislature for outstanding leadership as a superintendent, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals recognized him as one of the nation’s top administrators. Thomas has been honored as an Exemplary Texas Superintendent by the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas-Austin. Thomas is also president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, an advisor for several education and government organizations and a national spokesperson for a number of educational initiatives.
Thomas is leading BISD through a $100+ million hurricane recovery operation and wrapping up a $389 million bond issue for facilities improvement. BISD is one of the most fiscally fit districts in Texas and continues to garner millions of dollars in grants to compliment its budget for the nearly 20,000 students and more than 3,000 employees. He is author of a book inspiring educators: T-Notes, Nuggets of Wisdom for Educators.
Thomas earned a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&I (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville) his superintendent’s certificate from Texas Tech and his doctorate from Texas Southern University. He is married to Linda, an elementary school principal, and father of two daughters, Carol Lynn and Gracie Elizabeth. Both living in Southeast Texas, Carol Lynn is a dentist and Gracie Elizabeth is also a school administrator.