In a special called meeting today, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees tapped Interim Superintendent Sara Bonser for the top spot as the district’s new superintendent of schools, replacing Dr. Brian Binggeli whose resignation was announced in November and effective January 31, 2018.
Ms. Bonser, who has been filling the role of interim superintendent since November 28, 2017, returned to Plano ISD in May 2017 to serve as interim deputy superintendent. Having served students, families and staff members in Plano ISD and Rockwall ISD for the past 27 years, Ms. Bonser brings a wealth of experience and motivational ideas to the position of superintendent.
“We knew the kind of leader we were looking for and we were very fortunate to have a remarkably experienced and capable interim superintendent in Sara Bonser,” said School Board President Missy Bender. “It was evident to the entire board that Ms. Bonser was a great match for our school district.”
“I would like to express my appreciation to the school board for this vote of confidence and for this incredible opportunity,” Ms. Bonser said. “I am filled with hope, energy and a zeal to further cultivate my passion for learning. As learners ourselves, we must continue our efforts to prepare students for a life that we cannot yet see on the horizon. As superintendent, I will devote my leadership to maintaining a legacy of greatness with high expectations, while remaining attentive to the individual and varying needs among all Plano ISD students.”
Ms. Bonser’s career leading to her recent placement in Plano ISD comprises serving seven years in Rockwall ISD as chief academic officer, chief administrative officer, assistant superintendent for student and family services and director of student and family services. Her leadership in Rockwall included instruction, accountability, strategic planning and continuous improvement efforts, to name a few. As Rockwall ISD’s first director of student and family services, she created that division from the ground up.
Prior to her leadership in Rockwall ISD, Ms. Bonser served in Plano ISD for nineteen years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, including seven years as principal of Williams High School.
Ms. Bonser’s professional honors and activities include participation in the Academy for Transformational Leadership (2015-2016); Raise Your Hand Texas Alumni Conference (2015); guest speaker for the Leadership in Me Summit at UT Arlington (2014); Principal of the Year Award from the College Board Southwest Region for excellence in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program; and Semifinalist for the HEB Excellence in Education Award Secondary Principal of the Year.
Ms. Bonser earned a bachelor of science with a major in business education and a minor in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas and superintendent’s certification from Texas A&M-Commerce.
The state of Texas requires school districts to name a lone finalist for superintendent, followed by a 21-day waiting period. The school board will vote on Ms. Bonser’s appointment as superintendent at that time.
The significance that Ms. Bonser is the first woman to serve in this role is not lost on President Bender. “I would be remiss not to mention that Ms. Bonser is the first female to serve in this role,” Bender said. “But this is really a statement about leadership, more than it is about commending firsts, and we have found an extremely strong and talented leader in Ms. Bonser. It has been very rewarding to work with her as interim deputy superintendent and as interim superintendent. She embodies the approachable and competent leadership style that we were seeking in a school district leader, and has the full support and respect of the Plano ISD Board of Trustees.”
Plano Independent School District (PISD)
The Plano Independent School District (Plano ISD) (www.pisd.edu) endeavors to foster the highest level of student learning. The mission of Plano ISD is to provide an excellent education for each student. Plano ISD is located 20 miles north of Dallas, Texas and serves the residents of approximately 100 square miles in southwest Collin County, including 66 square miles in the city of Plano, northern portions of the cities of Dallas and Richardson and parts of the cities of Allen, Parker and Murphy. Plano ISD employs more than 6,500 staff members who serve 54,000 students in 72 schools and 11 service facilities. Plano ISD schools empower students to be able to adapt to new learning and career opportunities throughout their lives, collaborate with, and contribute to, the global community and to be disciplined and creative in their thinking.