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After Two Decades of Leadership, Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson Announces Retirement

Dr. Jamie WilsonDr. Jamie Wilson, who has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Denton Independent School District since July 1, 2012, announced his retirement following 20 years of service to the families and employees of the approximately 33,000-student district.


The Board of School Trustees named him Superintendent – Emeritus until Jan. 31, which will allow for a smooth leadership transition. Based on the district's succession plan, Trustees also named Dr. Susannah Holbert O’Bara the Acting Superintendent and posted the Superintendent's position, welcoming internal applicants.


Dr. Wilson’s steadfast leadership and service to our community has been invaluable,” said Barbara Burns, President of the Board of School Trustees. “Under his guidance, our district has kept pace with fast growth, managed closure during the pandemic and achieved positive student outcomes despite inadequate funding from our state. His advocacy for public education and his love for students are evident in all he has done.”


During his 34-year career, including 20 years with the district, Dr. Wilson built a reputation through public education advocacy, growth management and instructional innovation. Dr. Wilson joined the district in 2005 as the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Academic Programs, where he immediately focused on improving educational programs for the district's growing student population.


Dr. Wilson led or has been part of three Capital Improvement Plans, which have helped open multiple new campuses including three high schools, five middle schools, 17 elementary schools, three early childhood facilities and the LaGrone Academy. Much of this growth occurred outside of the Denton city limits as the district expanded educational opportunities into more of its 186-square miles, which includes: Braswell High (Little Elm), Cheek Middle (Prosper), Navo Middle (Aubrey), Harpool Middle (Lantana), Myers Middle (Shady Shores) and Rodriguez Middle (Oak Point).


Under his leadership, the Denton ISD community has supported the replacement of aging campuses including: Newton Rayzor Elementary, Calhoun Middle, Strickland Middle and Denton High. In the next three years, both Borman Elementary and Ginnings Elementary school will be replaced due to Dr. Wilson’s foresight and planning.


“I am beyond grateful for the support I have received from our educators, staff and community during my time in Denton ISD. Every decision made was to improve the educational opportunities for the students of this district and I, along with our dedicated Board of Trustees, could not have done it without each and every person that plays a role in helping our young people be successful, and for that I say ‘Thank you,’” said Dr. Wilson.


In 2016, the National School Public Relations Association named Dr. Wilson among the “Top 25 Superintendents to Watch” for his innovative practices in the area of public engagement and outreach. He was the only honoree from Texas – and the only administrator selected from the South-Central Region of the U.S., which encompasses seven states. 


Dr. Wilson’s vision for Denton ISD reached beyond the classroom, as he worked to expand support for staff in their effort to provide excellence in classroom instruction. Under his leadership, the district expanded technology support systems, including strengthening network security and providing one-to-one instructional devices for all students. 


To provide more collaborative support for the district’s families, he established the Giese Support Services Building that houses the district’s Special Education, Bilingual/ESL, Health Services and Counseling/Social Work Departments. The building’s central location allows for families to have all of their essential needs met in one location upon a student’s enrollment.


In addition, Dr. Wilson has been very active in leadership across Texas. He has served in a leadership role with the Fast Growth Schools Coalition, the Texas Association of School Administrators and Friends of Texas Public Schools. Dr. Wilson is also a board member for the United Way of Denton County, Communities in Schools of North Texas, Denton County Children's Advocacy Center and DATCU.Dr. Susannah Holbert O'Bara


Years prior, Dr. Wilson served in various educational leadership positions for the Keller and Aubrey school districts. In Keller ISD, he was the Principal at Keller High and also served as Assistant Principal, science department chair, coach and teacher. He also was Principal at Aubrey High and a biology teacher and assistant coach at A&M Consolidated High School.


He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas, his superintendency certification from Texas Woman’s University and completed his doctorate of education administration from UNT, where he was awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Student in Educational Administration Award. His research area, Predictors of College and Career Readiness has served as a springboard for readiness initiatives across the district.  


Dr. Wilson has been married to Melanie Pettit Wilson, an outstanding retired educator, for more than 32 years. They have two daughters, Makenzie and Macie, a Denton High graduate.


Acting Superintendent Dr. Susannah Holbert O’Bara is a life-long resident and has extensive knowledge of Denton ISD and its history of academic excellence. Growing up, she attended Borman Elementary, Calhoun Middle School and graduated from Denton High School when the campus was on Fulton Street.

Dr. O’Bara has worked in a variety of classroom and leadership positions within Denton ISD over her 32-year career, most recently as the Deputy Superintendent of the district, overseeing district curriculum, instruction, staff development and academic programs of all 43 campuses.