Serving Students Serving Southlake
Dec 06, 2016 11:48AM ● Published by Dia
Photos by BluDoor Studios
And for the past decade, the man leading the Carroll Independent School District has ensured that the schools here have thrived. That’s why this year, Southlake Style has selected that man, Dr. David Faltys, as the recipient of our eighth- annual Community Impact Award.
TAKING DRAGONS TO NEW HEIGHTS
Mayor Laura Hill recalls when Faltys was named superintendent and has since had many opportunities to work with him on issues affecting the community and schools. “Dr. Faltys personifies everything that makes Southlake great. He is so much more than our superintendent. David is a committed community leader who believes in Southlake and works every day to do what is best for our future,” says Hill.
If the face in the photos accompanying this article looks familiar, it’s likely because you’ve seen Faltys at a school or community event. He is, as Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations, says, a “very visible guy” in the district and the city. He’s even active on Twitter, posting in just one week 11 tweets about school accolades and activities— many of which he attended.
He’s not only “Head Dragon,” so to speak, but he’s also a Dragon dad. Faltys and his wife, Jennifer, have four children—David, Peyton, Kenton and Lauren—three of whom (Peyton, Kenton and Lauren) are current students in the school district and one (David) who graduated from Carroll Senior High.
“My dad is the most selfless, caring and hard-working person I know,” says Peyton. “I am so blessed to have a father who is such an incredible role model and who is so loving and supportive of everything I do.”
While he has served as superintendent, Carroll ISD has met all federal requirements at every campus for No Child Left Behind, earned the state’s highest rating of “Exemplary,” won five consecutive College Board AP District Honor Roll Awards and won four consecutive UIL Lone Star Cups for academic, athletic and fine arts success in Texas.
Under Faltys’ leadership, the district was also able to pass the largest school bond election in CISD’s history, approving $138 million during a statewide funding crisis. And throughout his tenure, the district has earned the state’s top Superior Rating on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST).
Further, in 2009 the district was named the Corporate Business of the Year by the Southlake Area Chamber of Commerce, and in 2010, Faltys was named Region XI Superintendent of the Year.
With such an outstanding record as superintendent, it’s hard to believe that Faltys may not have been in the field of education had it not been for circumstances out of his control.
A FATEFUL CAREER PATH
Faltys was born and raised in the small west-central town of Early, Texas, where his father was a maintenance director and his mother was, ironically enough, secretary to the superintendent of the town’s school district. After high school, Faltys left Early to attend Texas A&M to pursue the field of petroleum engineering. As Faltys puts it, though, “1985 was a bad year for petroleum engineering,” thanks to a deepening energy recession that hit especially hard in Texas.
Faltys’ counselor suggested instead that he consider teaching as an alternative and Faltys recalls making the decision to go into education after he realized that it would enable him to impact hundreds of kids.
His first teaching job was in the small town of Winters, Texas, where he also served as a coach. He later moved to Bryan and taught for nine years. While there, he pursued a master’s degree from Texas A&M so that he could take on more of a leadership role in education.
After receiving his master’s degree, Faltys joined Navasota ISD and served as principal for both the alternative campus and the high school before becoming assistant superintendent there.
As he moved up the ranks in the Navasota school district, Faltys continued his education at Texas A&M, earning his Ph.D. Then, in 2006, he was brought on to lead CISD as the superintendent.
While the advice he received from community leaders when he came on board was to lay low the first year and get a feel for things, it wasn’t long before Faltys dug in and began to outline and define the principles which have been guiding the students and faculty since he implemented them—the Core Values, as they are called.
“I think it will be his legacy,” says Thannum. “He put into motion our core values.”
Those values, which Thannum notes every CISD employee can state by heart, include Excellence, Relationships, Character and Integrity, Innovation, Open and Honest Communication, and Compassionate Service.