The Plano ISD Board of Trustees voted Monday morning during a specially called meeting to name Deputy Superintendent Theresa Williams the lone finalist to be the district’s next superintendent. State Law requires a 21-day waiting period before she can be officially appointed to the role. She would replace outgoing Sara Bonser, who announced her retirement in January. She called Williams the exemplification of leadership at its best.
“In addition to her knowledge of effective curriculum and instructional practices, team and talent development, and fiscal and strategic budget management, one of her standout qualities is her collaborative and visionary leadership style,” Bonser said. “It has been an honor and privilege to lead with Dr. Williams. Her experience managing all operational facets of our district over the past four years places Dr. Williams in a unique position to successfully lead Plano ISD.”
Williams has worked as a teacher, school leader and district executive. Before coming to Plano, she served as the deputy superintendent for Lubbock ISD.
Her career began with Garland ISD, where she taught Spanish. She then advanced to various leadership roles including director of student services and director of special programs. She then moved to a cabinet-level position as executive director of educational operations. In that role, her responsibilities included career and technical education, advanced academics, magnet and choice programs, fine arts, guidance and counseling, strategic planning, special education and bilingual education.
She credits her parents for impressing upon her that education and hard work were the way out of poverty. Throughout her career, Williams says that she has felt driven as an educator to ensure students of all backgrounds feel safe and secure about who they are. She believes that students should feel welcomed, have a sense of belonging, and feel connected to their school.
“I have dedicated my career to ensuring students have access to programs that help shape and connect them to their future,” she says. “Without the support of a caring teacher who helped me see my potential and path to my future, I could have easily been lost. Every day, I bring that same commitment to ensuring that no student gets lost or left behind.”
Williams holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She currently serves on the boards of Leadership Plano and the Plano Family YMCA. She and her husband, Todd Williams, have two sons.