Argyle Superintendent Wright Leaves Behind a Legacy of District Growth

Never in her wildest dreams did Dr. Telena Wright imagine staying in the Argyle Independent School District for 23 years. Good thing she did, however, as she stewarded its enormous growth.

This included playing a key role 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 schools in 2021. She’s also proud of the A/exemplary accountability ratings the district has achieved, plus the 13 Lone Star Cups, including a record 11 in a row and counting. 

“That attests to the balance of the district among fine arts including band, UIL academic team, and athletics,” she said. “I figured it out that 41% of our points came from UIL academics and from band. It’s very balanced. The infrastructure is very strong.”

Now someone else will lead the district after Wright retired as superintendent on June 30. She plans to work in the private school sector while teaching a class at the University of North Texas for people wanting to be school principals or administrators. Before then, she and husband Tommy will explore South America. 

“I’ve seen a lot of things come to fruition,” said Wright, who came to Argyle after 23 years in San Angelo and eight years at Marcus High School. “I saw the flip happen in 2021 with the middle school and high school exchanging places. It’s been quite an adventure, that’s for sure.

“It’s gratifying to see the students succeed at what they’re interested in doing and being engaged in something, whether it’s band or athletics or theater.”

The growth in the student population – which has moved the high school up to Class 5A this past season – has been primarily fueled by the addition of communities outside Argyle town limits like Canyon Falls and Harvest. District-wide enrollment doubled to 5,070 students in the last six years with projections for 12,000 within 10 years. 

Wright started as principal of Argyle High School when this 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. 

When Wright started, the district basically had only band and athletics. It has since added programs including choir, tech and production theater, drill team, career and technology classes, education, law enforcement, health science, family and consumer science, and computer science. She also initiated an AISD police department which will have six officers this fall. 

“We’ve done a lot for safety and security with the police department,” she said. “The classes have grown with many more course offerings than there were. The success has been phenomenal. We got a transparency star recently for fiscal responsibility. We have a balanced budget for next year.”

There was only one elementary school when she started and now there are three, with one having  opened 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 the year at 1,466 students.”

The second high school would be back at 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 is honored to have worked with the more than 700 district employees from administration, school principals, teachers, and staff plus the many students who passed through. She also collaborated with officials not only in Argyle, but in Flower Mound, too.

“It’s been a total 24/7 commitment, no doubt about it,” Wright said. “It’s amazing what the district has become.”

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