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Speaker Bios

Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney

Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Aldine Independent School District. Since taking the helm in July 2018, Dr. Goffney has dedicated herself to nearly 67,000 students and more than 9,000 employees of the district as well as the entire Aldine community.

Under her leadership, Aldine ISD has developed new initiatives to offer parents and students more academic options. For example, in the fall of 2018, AISD rolled out a prekindergarten pilot for three-year-olds at several early childhood schools. The initiative will be a full-day program, starting in fall 2021, at three primary schools. In addition, the district began to offer a two-way dual language immersion program at five campuses in 2019.  The same year, the district launched the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) Model at two elementary campuses to increase student outcomes through realigning resources and support to ensure: effective principals and teachers, instructional excellence, extended school day, social-emotional supports, and parent and community partnerships.

Additionally, the district expanded opportunities for students to earn a college degree and industry certifications following graduation. AISD opened the Rose Avalos P-TECH School in 2019 and revamped Hall Success Academy, an alternative school for at-risk students. New choices for students opening in fall 2021 include the Aldine Young Women's Leadership Academy, focusing on STEM and college readiness; Carver P-TECH School, offering two new CTE pathways; and La Promesa, targeting newcomer students. AISD also partnered with EMERGE Fellowship, eliminating barriers for high school students applying to the nation's top colleges and universities. Starting in fall 2021, EMERGE will expand to all of the high school campuses. All of these projects fall under AISD's College, Career & Military Readiness (CCMR) work.

Dr. Goffney used the feedback from stakeholders to develop the five-year strategic plan, A New Way Forward. The dynamic document ensures that the district will continue to dramatically increase access to highly-rated schools, choices, and opportunities that prepare students for their future. The district is actively transforming how educators serve students and showing what is possible, no matter the zip codes or who the schools serve. A key to improving all students’ lives is a focus on literacy. The district launched its new literacy framework in fall 2020.

Her commitment to equity and increasing student access to high-quality schools saw results within her first year as superintendent. Working with her executive leadership team, campus principals, program directors, and community partners, Aldine ISD moved from a ‘C-rated’ school district to a ‘B’ based on the State of Texas’ 2018-2019 academic accountability ratings; the district effectively increased the number of ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools and made gains in closing gaps.

In 2020, Aldine ISD made the College Board’s AP® Honor Roll for the first time. The district continues to expand AP® course options. The district is also experimenting with initiatives and strategies to expand access and improve student performance. Additionally, Aldine will continue to build its advanced academic pipeline by identifying and encouraging elementary students to enroll in advanced academics courses in middle school.

Throughout her tenure in education, Dr. Goffney has increased student achievement by focusing on literacy, targeted professional development for teachers, and collaboration across the community, including developing business and school partnerships, parent engagement, and increasing transparent and timely communication.

She began her career as a language arts teacher in Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD, later serving as assistant principal and principal before leading COCISD as superintendent. In 2013, district leaders selected her as Superintendent of Lufkin ISD. In this role, she created systems dedicated to supporting teachers by developing a professional learning academy for educators. She was also instrumental in establishing several community cooperatives, including the district’s first education foundation.

In recognition of her efforts, Dr. Goffney was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards in 2017. That same year, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) selected her as the Texas nominee for the 2018 American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year award. In 2019, VYPE magazine named Dr. Goffney Administrator of the Year. Later that year, Sam Houston State University presented her with the Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2019, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, named Dr. Goffney a finalist for the 2020 Superintendent Award. Additionally, Young Audiences Arts Education has selected Dr. Goffney as the 2020 Arts Education Honoree. Her distinction has brought the national spotlight to Aldine ISD. In Spring 2021, the Suburban Houston Association of Bilingual Educators (SHABE) named Dr. Goffney recipient of the Diana García Marion Award for advocating for and demonstrating continued support for Bilingual and ESL education.

Dr. Goffney believes in maximizing opportunities, developing leaders, and providing opportunities for all students. As a result, she is active in many organizations including, the Texas School Alliance, the University Interscholastic League Legislative Committee, the Texas Association of Black School Educators, the Texas Council of Women School Executives, TASA Future-Ready Superintendents, and Chiefs for Change.  In March 2021, the TASA Executive Committee elected Dr. Goffney, currently serving as an at-large member on the Executive Committee, as 2021-22 vice president. In addition, she advocates for her community as an Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., the Mayor’s Advisory Council, and the Aldine Education Foundation. Dr. Goffney Goffney was recently named President-Elect of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) and is the newly-elected chair of the Texas Urban Council of Superintendents (TUCS).

Dr. Goffney formed part of a group working with the Greater Houston Partnership to develop a Reopen Houston Safely as the city deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, Dr. Goffney was part of the working group that focused on education. The group presented the plan to the City of Houston and Harris County by May 1, 2020. On August 26, 2020, Dr. Goffney’s nomination was unanimously to serve a two-year term (ending 12/31/2022) on the Greater Houston Partnership Board of Directors.

During the summer of 2020, Dr. Goffney worked with a group of teachers and leaders in Aldine ISD. The group was tasked with reimagining how the district would prepare students’ return to school or continue learning for the next school year. As the pandemic numbers rose in the Houston area, media such as MSNBC, CNN, and Univisión have invited Dr. Goffney as a guest speaker to discuss the impact of the pandemic in public schools and AISD’s Return to Learn plan for 2020-21. Since coming on board, The Texas Tribune featured Dr. Goffney inviting her to education discussion panels. Most recently, The Texas Tribune talked with Dr. Goffney for an episode of its podcast. The magazine’s CEO, Evan Smith, spoke with Dr. Goffney about the Texas 87th Legislature session. They also discussed public education's disrupted year like pivoting to online, learning loss, and budget woes. The conversation also touched on what it will take to put the whole thing back together by fall 2021.

The selective bipartisan organization Chiefs of Change added five new members from across the nation, including Dr. Goffney, who brought the membership list to 41. The respected network of education leaders who put children’s interests first. As a member of the organization, Goffney will have access to information, resources, and a network of school leaders from across the nation to brainstorm, partner, and dream of new ways to ensure all students in Aldine ISD have access to quality, equitable access, and equitable funding to provide high-quality schools along with new, innovative academic programs. She is also a voice for public education and the needs of urban school districts sharing her expertise and experience, such as taking part in panels like Effective Instructional Models in the Era of COVID-19.

Most recently, the education consultancy StandardsWork added Dr. Goffney as a board member citing the superintendent’s focus on improving literacy like few others the nonprofit has seen.

A native of Coldspring, Texas, Dr. Goffney is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s in educational administration, and a doctorate in educational leadership. Her passion for education and stewardship is evident throughout Dr. Goffney’s career and even in her family. The Goffneys are the parents of two children, Joslyn and the late Joseph Jr., who passed away in 2019. Joseph, her husband, is an educator in a Houston area school district and serves as a church pastor.

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