Houston, TX

Houston Independent School District appoints chief operating officer

Marisol Gallagher

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HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Independent School District has announced the appointment of Wanda Paul, a Houston native and a veteran business operations officer, as its new chief operating officer. Paul will begin her work in her new role on September 20.

Ms. Paul’s career has spanned for more than three decades, and she brings an abundance of experience to HISD, including serving in the past as chief operating officer for many schools in Texas and Florida.

Recently, she served for four years as a chief operating officer for Florida’s School District of Palm Beach County. In that role, she oversaw over 1,700 employees, 187 schools, as well as a $63 million capital budget. Additionally, she implemented a program to track energy use and reduce utility costs. Before she went to Florida, Ms. Paul served four years in the same role for the Dallas Independent School District.

She started her career in various public schools in HISD, working in many different roles within operations and facilities in HISD and later in the Spring Branch Independent School District. She also served in many leadership roles during her time serving in the U.S. Army.

Ms. Paul earned her bachelor’s degree in Arts in Government from the University of Texas in 1986, a master’s degree in Education from the National-Louis University in 1994, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in 2005. In 2019, she graduated from the Atlantic’s National Superintendent’s Academy.

In her role as HISD’s chief operating officer, she will be leading over 6,000 employees from important public-facing departments, including nutrition, construction, transportation, as well as facilities. Her oversight includes over 1,000 buses, a food service operation serving thousands of meals every day, a $2.1 billion bond construction program, and the maintenance of 30 million square feet of facility space spread in more than 300 buildings.

HISD Superintendent Millard House II said that Ms. Paul’s tried and true experience in public schools and her love for Houston as well as a passion for education makes her the perfect candidate for the position of chief operating officer. He went on to say that the school district looks forward to her contributions in her role.

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