EXCLUSIVE: Former Waco ISD superintendent hopeful for redemption

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WACO, Texas – The former superintendent of the Waco Independent School District is speaking out for the first time since his arrest and resignation.

Nelson was recognized at the Central Texas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Banquet, where he received the Outstanding Public Servant Award.

Nelson spoke out for the first time to the crowd of hundreds, and to FOX44 News.

Dr. Nelson was met with a standing ovation, which was much different from public reaction after his marijuana arrest in early March.

When Nelson was arrested by DPS, many were split on whether he should continue to lead Waco ISD. As those conversations continued, Nelson resigned.

Now months later, Dr. Nelson tells FOX44 he’s hoping to redeem himself.

“In my position, there’s a high standard of accountability and consequences. And I’ve certainly learned that. And I believe in that. I think that I have to be held accountable for the mistakes that I’ve made, and its humbled me,” Nelson says.

Nelson wants to get back to work. He soon hopes to land in a school district where his skills as an educator can benefit students.

“I’m not really sure what the future really holds. I’m kind of taking it one day at a time, but my hope is to find a school district that will allow me to utilize my talents in serving children,” Nelson says.

He says he also wants to serve in a district where he can use his recent experience as a teaching tool to improve students’ decision-making, as well.

“I believe in having drug-free schools, bully-free schools, schools where all the kids do what they’re suppose to do everyday. But I also believe in having schools that teach kids about resiliency and redemption. Hopefully I can be an example to kids who have made a mistake, that it’s not the end of the world,” Nelson says.

His hope now is to become a champion and advocate for students who some educators often struggle to reach.

“Those kids need to have an opportunity to get themselves together, get on the right track, and go on and get a college degree. Go on and become our future teachers, our future news reporters, our future elected officials, and one mistake doesn’t define any of us,” Nelson says.

Dr. Nelson says the lesson he’s learned is now the lesson he’s hoping to teach.

“I’ve certainly learned some valuable lessons, and I have a long way to go in my journey. But I can assure you that excellence is my battle cry. Despite my mistakes, despite my transgressions, I promise you this – I will be back,” Nelson says.

He says he’s in good standing with the Texas Education Agency, and his charges have since been removed.

Now Nelson is hoping to land in a school district in the future.

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