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Kate Hope


Dr. Todd Stephens Announces His Retirement

Dr. Todd Stephens, a pillar in Magnolia ISD and the greater Magnolia community since 1999, announced his retirement during the March Board Meeting. He has significantly impacted the community and shared his philosophy of “keeping the main thing the main thing, " meaning “we do what is best for kids.” During his tenure as superintendent of schools, Dr. Stephens has overcome challenges, including the 2011 wildfires, led the district through a pandemic and weather-related events, and managed the housing growth in our area. 

“I am so blessed to have served as superintendent in this district,” shared Dr. Stephens. “Working with our trustees and administration in MISD has been a privilege. When we look at our life's work, it is measured by the success of our students. We can see the difference we made as educators in the lives of our students,” he added. 

Stephens has been in education for 43 years and was named Superintendent of the Year for Region 6 in 2015. He joined Magnolia ISD in 1999 as the assistant superintendent and was named superintendent in 2009. Under his leadership as superintendent, he brought new programs to help assist our parents and employees, including free early morning childcare, employee daycare, the after-school program, and providing transportation staff with a complimentary breakfast each morning.  

Board President Gary Blizzard shared, “Todd has built a culture based on values, and his leadership has been a big part of shaping the district.”


MISD established three instructional anchors for the curriculum --Professional Learning Communities, rigor, relevance in the classroom, and instructional technology. All training and actions revolve around these three areas and become part of the MISD culture. Dr. Stephens worked with the curriculum department to completely recalibrate the instructional coaching model from campus-based to district-controlled to enhance the district's instructional culture further. 

During the 2020 pandemic, he was able to pivot and lead district administration during this challenging time. Stephens worked to have Small Group Instruction Days, limiting the number of students in the building while balancing the importance of taking care of our most vulnerable students in our special education programs.

Under his leadership in 2014, Dr. Stephens brought the International Baccalaureate Diploma program to MISD. MISD is the only public school district in Montgomery County that offers this prestigious preparatory program at both high schools. He believes in giving parents a choice in their child’s education; this was another opportunity. 

The 2015 bond included new intermediate campuses, which changed the district’s elementary alignment from K-5 to K-4. This strategic realignment helped academically, was overwhelmingly favored by parents, and provided years of relief to elementary school facility capacity by removing an entire grade level from all eight elementary campuses. 

Under his leadership, the goal has been to provide a first-class, traditional Texas public school education that prepares students to be successful, responsible, and contributing citizens. This included his MISD Superintendent Leadership Program, where students had the opportunity to meet with elected officials and learn how to contribute to society. 


He worked with the Chamber to develop legislative agendas on property tax relief and lowering school taxes. Working with the school board, he helped implement an aggressive debt management plan and a bond defeasance program, saving taxpayers over $56 million. 

As part of the November 2015 bond, he envisioned bringing a much-needed facility to benefit the MISD community—Magnolia Event Center. This space has benefited our Chamber and booster clubs and has been the site for early voting and numerous events, including proms for both high schools. 

Under his leadership, the business office earned transparency stars in three separate categories from the Texas Comptroller for efforts of online financial transparency. MISD was one of only nine districts in Texas (and one of only two in Montgomery County) to have earned distinctions in three categories. The district also earned the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) Award of Merit for exhibiting responsible and effective use of public funds. This designation was received by only 52 districts statewide and only two districts in Montgomery County. 


Dr. Stephens led ten cohorts of our MISD Parent Leadership program. This program is a key component of communicating with our community and gives parents an in-depth look into the district. This program allowed parents to meet the people responsible for programs and services and see first-hand how MISD creates a climate of success for our growing district. 

Stephens believes in servant leadership, and our community's outpouring of help during Hurricane Harvey was overwhelming.  Dr. Stephens heard from many of our staff needing assistance, and a district-wide relief effort was implemented with employees and administrators helping our district employees in need. 

Stephens was also instrumental in the 2011 wildfires, ensuring that the American Red Cross was positioned to provide shelter and relief supplies for many of the Magnolia ISD community members affected by this tragic event.  

Stephens and the Charlie Riley Band, a group of local community members, have enjoyed volunteering and playing for community events for over 15 years where they performed every Christmas season for the Magnolia ISD elementary students as well as for the Senior citizens at the annual Valentine’s dance and Montgomery County Fair and Rodeo.    

In recognition of always putting Service Above Self, Stephens received the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 2013  for his outstanding selfless service and dedication to the Magnolia community. 

He and his wife, Becky, a retired kindergarten teacher, have been married since 1981. Their two children, Sam and Holly, are MISD graduates. He looks forward to enjoying his family, traveling, fishing, and being at his ranch in the hill country.

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