TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) – Temple Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott has been named the 2022 Region 12 Superintendent of the Year and regional nominee for the Texas State Superintendent of the Year.
Dr. Ott has served as superintendent of Temple ISD since 2018, and as an educator for 24 years. Region 12 says Ott has demonstrated leadership in military, rural, urban, suburban and fast-growth districts. His previous positions include assistant and deputy superintendent within the Temple, Copperas Cove and Killeen Independent School Districts. He also served as an executive leader for both the Texas Education Agency and University of Texas.
Upon joining Temple ISD, Ott’s vision was to challenge and inspire staff and students to think bigger, imagine brighter and reach higher. The Central Texas native invites all staff and students to adopt the mindset that leadership is not a position, but an opportunity and responsibility which everyone shares within the district and the community. The district’s shared vision is to instill the value of learning in each student and to prepare them to be future leaders of society. This shared vision is a top reason the district of 8,472 students has not experienced the teacher shortage that has plagued the profession.
Region 12 says the Temple Wildcat is known for his competitive nature and contagious perpetual energy, which was widely seen in action as he led the district to keep moving forward and gain momentum through the pandemic. He knew this would not happen without his team being intentional about connecting with and caring for students, especially during isolation. His team quickly mobilized meals to feed families seven days a week and made sure learning packets and online lessons were readily available. Throughout the pandemic, he took the lead to connect with staff, students and families, offering real-time updates to provide a sense of normalcy during a chaotic time. He continuously reminded staff that they were the reason the district could successfully navigate the unprecedented challenges and keep moving forward.
Under Ott’s leadership and support, the district has seen gains in closing student achievement gaps. The performance gap for kindergarten to first-grade Hispanic and first- to secnd-grade African-American students has decreased by 50 percent due to a continued focus on screening and intervention. The latest data also shows academic growth in reading in several student groups – including those receiving special education services and English-learning students.
Ott is well-known for being intentional about connecting with all groups and being collaborative. He works closely with the school’s board of directors, named the 2019-2020 Region 12 and Honor Board of the Year (a top five state finalist). Board members say the energetic leader is candid and timely with communications and committed to working cohesively as a team.
In addition to regular board work and relations, Ott often provides an in-depth analysis of district functions, such as school finance, enrollment growth and state accountability. The board credits his leadership style and interactive communications with helping them to work as a high-functioning team making decisions in the best interest of those they serve.