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Fort Worth ISD's new superintendent talks priorities for first school year

Dr. Angelica Ramsey says her own history will help inspire her work to make the district better.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Dr. Angelica Ramsey said she's excited about starting her new job at Fort Worth ISD and moving her family to Fort Worth, and about working with parents and teachers as they continue to prioritize student achievement.

Ramsey talked candidly about her life and starting the toughest job ever as an educator. 

Fort Worth ISD Trustees selected Ramsey as the new superintendent. She will replace Dr. Kent Scribner who is leaving the district after a 7-year run.

Ramsey's road to becoming an education leader is impressive. Her background is not that different from many of the children she oversees as a superintendent. She's currently the top leader of the Midland Independent School District. It's much smaller in size compared to Fort Worth, but has much of the same characteristics and needs when it comes to reaching students academically, socially, and educationally.  

"I was a free, reduced lunch kid," said Dr. Angelica Ramsey, 'The strengths that they wanted in their next superintendent. And I really felt that it was a good match."

Ramsey grew up with strong family ties. Her parents served as examples of making ends meet despite financial challenges. After marrying young, her husband supported her in pursuing a career in education. 

Since voicing her goal to help students reach their potential, Ramsey has gotten the attention of many leaders in Cowtown. 

Ken Kuhl serves as President of the Fort Worth Parent Teacher Association. He is one of the most engaged parents you will find in North Texas. That's one of the reasons he has no hesitation holding educators accountable.

"Parent involvement is really key to kids' success in schools," said Ken Kuhl.

Kuhl said he is anxious to meet Ramsey. But his biggest reason is his 9-year-old daughter who is a Fort Worth elementary school student. It's no surprise when his daughter runs into him in the hallway at school that they have a unique father-daughter relationship, which involves him being engaged not only via PTA but also as a volunteer dad at the school. 

"I understand that not every parent can be as involved as I am," said Ken Kuhl, "I'm able to speak to new parents as they come in and tell them just what a huge voice they have in their kids' lives."

Kuhl has decided to trust the FWISD School Board's choice for the superintendent and will require accountability. As PTA president he will work to make sure the board listens to parents and teachers.

As expected, the school board's hire comes with support and nay-sayers.  The board came under fire by people who signed up for public comment during their Aug. 30 school board meeting. The board heard from people for Ramsey and those opposed to selection results. 

Holly Plemmons said, "The results came in and we do not want it."

Pastor Charlie Johnson said, "Something doesn't have to be perfect in order to be good."

"Well, there are always nay-sayers," said Ken Kuhl. 

As the Fort Worth PTA leader, Kuhl believes Ramsey has students like his daughter at heart. He plans to meet with her shortly after her first day on the job.  Her appointment is also history-making. Ramsey is the first permanent Latin-American superintendent in Fort Worth. 

Dr. Ramsey has said she hopes to have an immediate impact by meeting and engaging with parents, teachers and other community stakeholders looking to improve the school district and the success of all students. 

"I'm unapologetic about my Quest to ensure that every child In the school district receives a world-class education," said Ramsey.

Fort Worth ISD has 146 schools serving 76,858 students. Ramsey has already committed to visiting as many campuses as possible. She is also huge on community partnerships that help advance the learning and continued education of students so they can be successful. 

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