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Rodney Watson earns an “A” in alumni achievement

Mar 6, 2014 by

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Rodney Watson (EdSp ’00, PhD ’07) was destined to land a career in education. Though he explored other career paths in his undergraduate years, he eventually gravitated to teaching, a path he credits to his family history. Watson comes from a long line of educators on both sides of his family, he said. His parents were educators in the Kansas City area.

“The field of education is my God-assigned destiny path,” said Watson, this year’s UMKC Alumni Achievement Award winner for the School of Education. “I am driven by an innate desire to see equity and social justice in America’s school system.”

Watson was a school principal in the Kansas City area when he was recruited to a position where he could have an even greater impact. In 2010, he became the school improvement officer/area superintendent for the Houston Independent School District in Texas, supervising 12 elementary schools.

Watson was later promoted to develop and implement Apollo 20 Elementary, where he provided direction and oversight to Houston’s 11 lowest-achieving elementary schools in partnership with Roland Fryer at Harvard University EdLabs and Eva Moskowitz with Success Academy in Harlem.

After just a year, Watson was promoted to Chief School Officer, a job in which he supervised 53 elementary schools and five school improvement officers. In 2013, Watson gave testimony in Washington, D.C. to the Congressional Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. The hearing, titled “Raising the Bar: How are Schools Measuring Teacher Performance?” addressed the evaluation of teachers. Watson testified about professional development and teacher evaluation efforts in the Houston Independent School District.

He is currently Chief of Human Resources for HISD, where he provides oversight of professional development, leadership development, HR business operations, compensation, talent acquisition, employee relations and human accountability. His office is responsible for an employee group of nearly 30,000 individuals.

Watson will be honored with his fellow 2014 Alumni Awardees on April 24 at Swinney Recreation Center. The luncheon is one of the university’s largest event and proceeds support student scholarships. Last year’s luncheon attracted nearly 600 attendees and garnered more than $200,000 in student scholarships.

Click here for awards luncheon tickets.

Published by Jimmy Kilpatrick
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by Education News
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1 Comment

  1. Will Rodney Watson join me in the fight to end illiteracy and cut the cost of education? For too long the “experts” have controlled massive failure!
    I live in Merseyside: 1 in 4 fails nationwide.

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