Southlake — When David Faltys talks about 2014 he exudes confidence.
From where the Carroll Independent School District superintendent is sitting the district is heading in a positive direction.
“It just seems like our team has gotten more cohesive, our goals have gotten more clear and everything that we’ve seen, our needle is pointing up,” he said. “I don’t see any reason not to improve in every area.”
The district is coming off marquee academic success shown by the highest number of national merit scholars the district has ever seen as well as increased participation and scoring in Advanced Placement classes and exams.
To route the expected upward trend, the district will spend most of 2014 developing a strategic plan that will guide the district with a vision to 2020.
Faltys said the district regularly studies issues, but the strategic plan will be one of the most comprehensive and will set the district’s goals and values.
“This will be the most formal approach that we’ve had in several years,” he said.
A committee composed of 60 percent district staff and 40 percent community members will lead the process.
“Were incredibly excited for the opportunity with the strategic plan,” Faltys said. “We want to make sure we are moving in the same direction that our community wants us to move in.”
Faltys talks excitedly about the use of technology in the classroom.
He said the first step was laying the infrastructure with obtaining district’s own fiber network for Internet usage, and putting teaching technology in every class and creating policies for students to be able to use their own devices like tablets and smart phones in the classroom.
He said now that the infrastructure is in place teachers can better engage with their students.
“What was interesting was we had teachers who wanted kids to bring their phones, those innovative teachers were doing cool things with the door closed.”
At the start of this academic year, the district opened enrollment to Southlake residents who lived in Keller Independent School District. Carroll saw a 50-student gain from those transfers and saw an overall improvement in enrollment.
Faltys said enrollment is better than the past three or four years and is slowly increasing. The district has just under 7,800 students and Faltys said the district has the facilities to support roughly that number. He added that the district may do a demographic look in the spring to get more information about expected enrollment.
One of the challenges this upcoming year is the state’s passing of House Bill 5, which would gives the district the opportunity to reshape student assessment.
Faltys calls the bill a game changer, but districts are being tasked with creating plans without state rules in place.
“House Bill 5 is going to be a challenge,” he said “We have to build our own evaluation system by May, June, but the rules have not been set yet.”
Another challenge Faltys sees for the district is financing. As Texas school districts are in a lawsuit with the state over cut funding, the district is looking for ways to deliver quality education with less money in the coffers.
The superintendent says a challenge is establishing the best practices districtwide with less funding, but added that the district will always overcome these challenges.
“It’s just such a phenomenal district and it’s because of not only because of the staff, but the community and our kids,” Faltys said. “The kids that come to us are just amazing.”
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli
Carroll Superintendent David J. Faltys is one of three finalists for the Southlake Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Citizen of the Year Award. He was nominated by the seven members of the elected School Board and will be recognized along with Mayor John Terrell and Gateway Minister Robert Morris at the Southlake Chamber’s annual awards banquet Friday evening at the Southlake Hilton.
Faltys helped the district recover from low employee morale during a down economy, earning a high approval rating from teachers in the district, as well as parents. He guided CISD and the Southlake Community through a Long-Range Facility Planning process that ultimately resulted in passage of the largest bond election in school history. Most recently, he led Southlake citizens through a budget reduction process and advocated for our children and teachers in the face of unprecedented state funding losses. He has helped save thousands of local tax dollars through a $2 million solar energy grant for the new Carroll Middle School and incorporated green strategies into the district’s newest elementary design. His successful Balance the Budget proposal is drawing attention across Texas and the nation as public education funding comes under fire. But before Dr. Faltys was known for his budget plan, he held 32 public meetings with Southlake citizens to get local input and share the facts with them about their school’s financial situation. From home coffees to the Chamber’s State of the District luncheon, Dr. Faltys has taken his responsibility of leadership to heart, working to ensure the citizens of Southlake are informed and involved in their public schools.
“David is simply put, a Southlake dad,” the Board’s nomination stated. “Whether he’s attending a local dance recital, Dragon youth sports events, a Mom’s in Touch prayer meeting or a ribbon cutting for the opening of the new employee credit union, David Faltys is all about town, all about Southlake and all about the Dragon family. On top of the fact that he is personable and friendly, David genuinely cares about Southlake and the people who live here. He can often be seen tailgating at Dragon Stadium, attending city celebrations in Town Square or frequenting Southlake’s many restaurants with his family. He is respected by city leaders and regularly meets with members of the local PTOs and civic organizations.”
Faltys represents CISD and Southlake at state and national conferences, attends joint city-school meetings, participates in field day activities at a local campus, has joined Clifford the Big Red Dog at Barnes & Noble, emcees Southlake’s largest overnight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (Relay For Life) and raises funds to help support innovative teaching grants at the Foundation’s annual Culinary Celebration. He serves as an ex officio member of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce, the Carroll Education Foundation, the Southlake Executive Forum and Southlake Kiwanis. He is an active member of the All-Pro Dad’s Club, participates in Southlake’s National Day of Prayer and supports Dragon youth sports with his son, Kenton, and Dana’s School of Dance with daughters, Peyton and Lauren.
Faltys and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Timarron with three of their four children. Son Dave, a 2008 graduate of Carroll Senior High School, is a post-graduate dental student in San Antonio. The Faltys’ are active members of White’s Chapel Methodist Church in Southlake and can be seen shopping, dining and playing in Southlake. Dr. Faltys was named Region XI Superintendent of the Year in 2010 and represents Carroll ISD and the Southlake community as a member of the prestigious Visioning Institute for the state’s leading superintendents. His district was named the Chamber’s 2006 Small Business of the Year and under Dr. Faltys’ leadership this year, CISD has earned an unprecedented number of state and national awards in academics, fine arts and athletic competitions. In fact, CISD on July 1 was named the 5A Lone Star Cup Winner in Texas.