Known as a leader in public education in Texas and across the nation, Dr. Stephen Waddell is recognized for his leadership in transforming classrooms by increasing student engagement, spearheading teacher innovation in instructional best practices, fostering community involvement, and redesigning learning spaces.
Throughout his 20 years as a superintendent, Dr. Waddell has served various-sized districts. His most recent position was as the Lewisville Independent School District Superintendent of Schools, the nation’s 97 th largest school district. He retired from this position in January 2015.
Dr. Waddell was asked by the U.S. Department of Education to join the President in a handpicked national superintendent summit to discuss technology access for students. He was one of 100 Superintendents in the nation to be part of this collaborative.
Additionally, he was featured in the national publication EdWeek for LISD’s one-to-one technology program known as 1:X. This is one of the largest full-scale one-to-one initiatives where students have access to the right technology device at the right time 24 hours a day.
In 2011, Dr. Waddell initiated one of the nation’s largest community conversations on the need to transform public education. More than 3,000 LISD community members participated in developing a Strategic Design, propelling teacher innovation with high levels of student engagement. Business and community leaders from across the Dallas-Fort Worth Area have applauded LISD’s effort to prepare students for a future they create.
Dr. Waddell was a founding member of the Texas Visioning Institute in 2006 and served as a member of its Design Team leadership group. The publication of its “Creating A New Vision For Public Education In Texas,” was a landmark event, spearheading massive change in legislation and classroom practice. He participated in passing legislation that created the Texas High Performing Schools Consortium, which the legislature continues to look to for new state standards and accountability models.
Recognizing the need for innovation includes classroom and building design, Dr. Waddell has a reputation for working with community members, teachers, principals, and students to design buildings with flexible areas for various learning needs. Architects work to emulate Dr. Waddell’s vision for future-based flexible learning environments to foster creativity and innovation.
Prior to joining LISD, Dr. Waddell was awarded the 2008 Superintendent of the Year, presented by the Texas Technology Computer Educator’s Association and the 2008 State Finalist Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards. Both of these honors were received during his years of service in Birdville ISD.
Dr. Waddell has been a frequent speaker in the state and national level. He specializes in speaking on designing innovative schools, future focused education, technology innovation and integration, leadership, and school architectural design.
During his 36 years in education, Dr. Waddell has served many roles, from teacher, counselor, principal, and superintendent. He has served in the following districts: Splendora, Lancaster, Sunray, Tuloso-Midway, Birdville and Lewisville.
Dr. Waddell earned his bachelor’s degree at North Texas State University, master’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, and doctorate degree at University of North Texas.
Since March of 2015, Dr. Waddell has served as a Facilitator with engage2learn, facilitating 10 districts with their Strategic Design. He also facilitated workshops with principals of the El Paso ISD in preparation of their rollout of the district’s Active Learning Framework.