DONNA, Texas – Since taking over Donna Independent School District in 2018 , Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez has turned around the once struggling district. Dr. Azaiez says when he arrived morale was low. Teachers had not received a raise in three years. Despite that he was welcomed with open arms and was made to feel right at home. With that he told his staff change was on the way.
Dr. Azaiez had a vision of making Donna ISD the best district in the state.
“Everyone kind of bought into that vision and everyone kind of started working even harder and smarter to make things better for our students.”
Under Superintendent Azaiez, the district has seen an 8 percent increase in academic performance. Implementing full day Pre-K, creating a 5 year strategic plan, achieving a superior financial accounting rating and finally giving teachers and staff a well deserved raised through a balanced budget.
“We were able to save money to start putting more money into technology and putting more devices in the hand of our teachers our students and staff.” He said.
Students are also being challenged by offering high school courses at the middle school level, dual credit classes, more technical certifications and putting students first. Some call the work he’s done as remarkable. Transforming the district in a short period of time.
“Very few people can go into a district that is just really, really struggling and successfully turn it around.” said Dr. Azaiez.
Dr. Azaiez says the future for the district is bright, “It’s really our board members working with me along with the staff, the teachers, the leaders, the parents, the students, the community. I think everyone really embraced the change.”
Dr. Azaiez was recently selected as the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Educator of the Year award. The award is given by the Sam Houston State University College of Education. It is the highest honor given to its alumni.