Superintendent Receives Univ Alma Mater Award

DeSoto ISD Congratulates Superintendent As Recipient of University Recognition
Posted on 04/19/2024
This is the image for the news article titled DeSoto ISD Congratulates Superintendent As Recipient of University Recognition

 The DeSoto Independent School District celebrates Superintendent of Schools Dr. Usamah Rodgers recognition by her alma mater, Missouri State, and the entity’s alumni association, as a member of the institution’s 2024 Bears of Distinction honor.

The Missouri State University Alumni Association presents awards of special recognition to distinguished alumni and former faculty and staff each year via the Bears of Distinction program. Award recipients are selected annually and honored for their exceptional achievements.

Dr. Rodgers joined DeSoto ISD in May of 2022. Under her leadership, the district achieved the following:

  • its highest rating under the Texas Education Agency’s accountability scoring system; 
  • reintroduced, increased and enhanced academic choice offerings in DeSoto ISD by re-establishing the Woodridge Fine Arts Elementary Academy, the DeSoto West Male Leadership Academy, and the Amber Terrace Early Childhood Learning Center while introducing the Best Southwest’s only Talented and Gifted Academy and P-Tech program; 
  • made stark improvements to the district’s academic and financial strategy to support a viable future in both aspects of the district’s operations; 
  • spearheaded the advancement and advocacy of enhanced safety and security standards in the district including increased training for security personnel; 
  • Championed deeper and more robust communications, marketing and engagement strategies to widen awareness of the organization’s operations, opportunities and potential.

Dr, Rodgers’ Bio

Dr. Usamah Rodgers was named Superintendent of Schools in the DeSoto Independent School District on May 16, 2022. DeSoto ISD is a public independent school district in Texas serving over 6,000 students with 800 employees. The district comprises 11 campuses inclusive of an early learning center for pre-kindergarten students and an early college high school. DeSoto ISD’s mission is to ensure students, without exception, learn and grow at their highest level. 

Before being named DeSoto ISD’s superintendent, Rodgers served as a deputy chief in the second-largest school district in Texas. Dr. Rodgers is a known thought leader, collaborator, innovator, designer and disruptor. Most notably Usamah Rodgers is highly regarded for her work designing, launching and leading one of largest implementations of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program in the United States. Her work has created opportunities  for thousands of students to earn a high school diploma, an Associate degree and industry recognized certifications. Dr. Usamah Rodgers is a dynamic educator with a career that spans more than 20 years. Throughout her distinguished career Dr. Rodgers has presented at numerous national, state and local conferences speaking to thousands regarding the importance of access, advocacy, equity and excellence.

Rodgers was named as the best K-12 Education Leader in 2020 and 2022  by The Edvocate, a national organization that is devoted to advocating for education equity, reform and innovation. She was named Teacher of the Year in 1998 and Principal of the Year in 2009. Usamah was a recipient of the 2023 Texas Black Legislative Caucus Outstanding Texan Award representing District 111.   She has also received awards from various organizations namely the NAACP, National Council of Negro Women and the University of Texas at Austin. Usamah is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a charter member of the Pi Eta Chapter which was established at Missouri State University on May 17, 1990.   Dr. Rodgers received the Minority Leadership Scholarship and was  actively engaged in college life while attending the university. She was a member of the Association of Black Collegians, served as the Woods House Dormitory President, and served various campus committees.  and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.