During her long tenure with the Argyle Independent School District and especially the last 15 years as superintendent, Dr. Telena Wright played a key role in its explosive growth. So, it’s no surprise the school board voted to recognize her for all her efforts by naming the administration building after her. That decision came in May and on Nov. 13, it became official when the letters of her name were unveiled at a special dedication ceremony including the facility’s second ribbon cutting. “I had already cut the ribbon on that building back when we first opened it in May 2022,” she said. “We didn’t have the dedication and the tour of the building back then. We had those in the early fall of 2022. The first time we did the ribbon cutting it didn’t have my name on it. The second time it was cut it had my name on it.” Attending the short dedication ceremony held right before the November board meeting were her husband Tommy, current and past board members, district employees, students, and community members.
Wright’s successor as superintendent – Dr. Courtney Carpenter – joined board President Sam Slaton and Wright as speakers. “It was very nice,” she said. “It looks good.” Previously, the administrative offices were located at 800 Eagle in a wing of the old upper elementary and middle schools. This included Wright, her administrative assistant, the chief financial officer, construction manager and others. Before that, those in central administration were housed in a double-wide trailer at 800 Eagle. When Hilltop Elementary School opened in 2005, staff moved out of the trailer and into the building. “We were very appreciative that in that 2017 bond, the administration building was authorized by the voters and that’s how we built that building,” Wright said. “It’s fabulous. It’s very, very nice and we’re very appreciative of it.
It was definitely built to be an administration building.” The newer facilities features more modern updates from the old one. “We didn’t add much more space but we were able to take advantage of technology with a nice board room with a big screen – a real update as far as the look of the administration building. The old one looked like a school,” she said. “The new one is fabulous. It’s very, very nice.” Wright started in 2000 as principal of Argyle High School when the district was transitioning from a K-8 to K-12 system. The first year it was just a ninth and 10th-grade facility with the initial class graduating in spring 2003. She became interim superintendent in March 2008 and superintendent the next year. She was instrumental in the approval of bond packages in 2014, 2017 and 2022 allowing AISD to build a new middle school/high school in the Canyon Falls community in 2016 and flipping the high school and middle school in 2021. There was only one elementary school when she started and now there are three with one opening in 2019 and another in 2022. A new sixth-grade center at the old intermediate school will open this fall. “We have a 10-year strategic growth plan to go to two high schools when we get to 2,700,” she said. “We’re projected to reach that in 2027-2028. We finished last year at 1,466 students.”
The second high school will return to its former campus which currently is the middle school. Another elementary school is slated for 2024, a second middle school for 2025 and another elementary school in 2026. “We would split to two high schools to maximize opportunity and participation,” she said. Wright also is proud that under her tenure, the district earned A/exemplary accountability ratings plus 13 Lone Star Cups, including a record 11 in a row, and counting. Since her June 30 retirement, Wright has traveled to South America, South Carolina, Memphis, and Austin. She also continues teaching a class at the University of North Texas for people wanting to be school principals or administrators. And she has become involved in various educational activities in the private school sector.