Muri named Region 18 superintendent of the year

Ector County ISD has announced that Superintendent of Schools Scott Muri has been selected as the Region 18 Superintendent of the Year.

Muri joined ECISD in 2019, from Spring Branch ISD in Houston. He has 33 years of experience in public education that includes key leadership roles in large districts like Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina and Fulton County Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as in unique settings such as Walt Disney’s Celebration School in Celebration, Florida.

“Scott’s positive impact on our school district is undeniable,” said 2021-22 school board president Tammy Hawkins. “He is a strategic thinker and planner. Every decision he makes is based on what is best for our students. We are seeing incredible growth in academic achievement, and so much of it is due to the strategies, resources and expectations established by Dr. Muri. ”

Under Muri’s leadership, ECISD:

>> Reduced teacher vacancies from 356 to 51 in two years.

>> Expanded PreK to include a full day program for 4-year-olds and half day program for 3-year-olds.

>> Increased kindergarten readiness by 13%.

>> Increased SAT score by 40 points, exceeding the state score by 15 points.

>> Increased the College, Career, Military Readiness score by 7 points.

>> Increased the graduation rate to 85.5%, the highest in over 20 years.

>> Expanded school year to include 180 days of instruction plus an additional 30 days during summer as a part of the Additional Days School Year (ADSY) program.

>> Expanded access to technology with the purchase of 37,000 individual student devices.

>> Incorporated virtual tutoring coupled with outcomes-based contracting to provide 6,000 students with 1:1 tutoring.

>> Became the first school district in the United States to partner with SpaceX to bring high speed, affordable broadband to students and families.


>> Developed the ConnEctor Task Force to bring high speed affordable broadband to every resident of Ector County.

>> Received in excess of $50 million in grant funds to support the district’s strategic plan implementation.

>> Received perfect score of 100 for last two years on the Texas Education Agency’s FIRST financial report.

>> Incorporated blended learning strategies to effectively personalize learning for students PreK-12.

>> Created a unique To and Through component that offers ongoing support to ECISD graduates.

The area of human capital management is where some of the greatest strides have been made. Opportunity Culture gives teachers the chance to lead a campus team, coach others, and earn more money without leaving the classroom. The Teacher Incentive Allotment pays a stipend to teachers whose students show outstanding growth; this year 120 ECISD teachers received more than $850,000 in TIA incentives. A partnership with the Permian Strategic Partnership is providing funding for teachers to pursue National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, the gold standard for teacher professional development. Highly effective teachers have a profound influence on student achievement. With these programs in place, ECISD teachers can earn in excess of $100,000 annually.

Further, the district has created multiple talent development pipelines to recruit, develop and retain teachers including Odessa Pathway to Teaching, which is one of just three district-authorized Educator Preparation Programs in Texas.

“Serving the students, staff, and families of Ector County ISD is one of the greatest honors of my career,” Muri said in the release. “The partnership between myself and the ECISD Board of Trustees has empowered the district to navigate significant challenges and create great opportunities for our students and staff. Our strategic efforts are having a profound effect on student growth, achievement, and opportunities as well as overall system performance. Great things are happening in ECISD, and it is a privilege to be a part of this exceptional team!”

Additional accolades he has earned include an appointment by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), an appointment by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to the Broadband Development Officer Board of Advisors, Dallas Morning News finalist for Texan of the Year for his leadership following Odessa’s mass shooting, and multiple invitations to testify before Congressional Committees and Texas House and Senate Committees regarding such topics as teacher recruiting and retention, strategies to accelerate student learning, and technology innovation.

National attention has come to ECISD in many forms, two of which are a New York Times podcast series titled Odessa, and recognition of the 2020-21 Back to School Plan as one of the top five innovative plans every school district should review.
Sponsored by TASB, the Superintendent of the Year program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984. Candidates are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance, and commitment to public involvement in education.

Superintendents from any of the state’s local school districts are eligible for nomination by their school boards. Local nominees are submitted to a regional selection committee, which chooses one nominee to send to the state selection committee.