In the last few years, education has seen many struggles and difficulties, not only for the students but for the teachers and administrative staff as well. We’ve seen teachers break down and even leave for a new career path. However, the new Superintendent for Lewisville ISD, Lori Rapp, did the exact opposite. Instead of running away from the hardships, Lori decided to take on a new role of leadership in hopes to bring the school district into a new and brighter future.
Lori knew from a very young age that she wanted to work in education because of the influence that her teachers had on her life. Growing up, Lori would often find herself helping her friends in math class and felt as though she could help others who were struggling to learn math. This is where her decision to choose math as the subject she would teach was born. She would go on to follow that dream at The Colony High School in 1996.
“I could have never imagined being where I am now teaching in the classroom all those years ago,” Lori commented. “I have had the privilege of working with and learning from some of the most incredible leaders here in LISD. While Dr. Waddell was in LISD, I had the opportunity, alongside him and Dr. Penny Reddell, to learn more about the work of the New Vision for Public Education in Texas.”
It was from this process that Lori learned and realized that a new generation of leaders would need to step up to advocate for public education and students. “I began my studying for my doctorate in that time period and that’s when Dr. Kevin Rogers asked me to take on a larger leadership role in his administration,” Lori recalled. “Working with Dr. Rogers gave me the opportunity to lead and serve in our community. As my role has changed throughout the years, my desire to see this district thrive has been deeply instilled in me. Sitting in this seat, I could have only dreamed of having been entrusted by the LISD Board of Trustees to lead this great district and I am honored at the opportunity to do so.”
One of the things that Lori is most looking forward to, not just in her new position as Superintendent, but as an educator in general, is being able to hear the success stories of the district’s students. “Our students have been through a few very challenging years recently, and to see the work our incredible staff puts in to ensure our students continue to thrive no matter the circumstances they face, is something that never ceases to amaze me,”Lori said.
It is a goal of Lori coming in as a leader of Lewisville ISD to be open and available to hear praises and also criticisms of LISD from the district’s staff and community members. “In order to continue moving forward, it is important for me to be engaged with our stakeholders and take time to listen to what is working and what isn’t,” Lori commented. “My goal in my first 100-days as Superintendent is to visit all 69 campuses, attend staff meetings, and host community meetings to keep lines of communication as open as possible. It is important for me to come up with solutions, not on my own or as part of our leadership team, but together as a community.”
As for her goals for Lewisville ISD as a whole, Lori is looking ahead to a brighter future than what the district has recently known. “The last three years of this pandemic have taken a toll on our staff and students, and on education as a whole. It has never been more challenging to be a teacher, it has never been more challenging to navigate the waters of adolescence, and it has never been more challenging for many families to simply survive day-to-day,” Lori said. “My hope for the LISD community is that we come together to take care of one another and provide a nurturing and caring learning environment for our students; a place where they can feel safe and thrive.”