Fletcher to Retire from PfISD Board of Trustees
April 8, 2019
For 18 years she has served Pflugerville ISD and this June she will step down from her position on the Board of Trustees leaving behind a legacy that has impacted countless students and shaped educational practices in not only the region or state but the nation.
Dr. Carol Fletcher is retiring from the PfISD Board to focus on her educational research in her position as Deputy Director of the STEM Center at The University of Texas at Austin College of Education.
“It’s a great district to serve on the Board in. There’s wonderful people who are committed to doing the best for the kids in the district,” Fletcher said. “The family and community are very supportive of public education. You have board members who are there for the right reason. All the board members are trying to do what’s best for kids.”
Fletcher first ran for and was elected to the board in 2001 when her oldest son entered kindergarten at Brookhollow Elementary School. Now two years after her youngest son graduated from Pflugerville High School she feels it is time for her to allow someone else to step in and make an impact on the district.
“We will certainly miss Dr. Fletcher on our Board of Trustees and wish her well in focusing on her work at The University of Texas,” said PfISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Douglas Killian. “Through her service to the District as both a teacher and board member, she has impacted PfISD in ways that will last a very long time.”
During her time on the Board, Fletcher was instrumental in the creation of the Pflugerville Education Foundation, which has awarded more than $100,000 in grants over the years to PfISD teachers and administrators. Fletcher also helped establish Board Operating Procedures and Committees and secured $1 million in funding for PfISD new teacher mentoring.
Because of her experience in STEM education, Fletcher has been able to use her knowledge and expertise to support increasing access to AP courses and exams for PfISD students. Her efforts helped in the adoption of innovative curriculum like Geometry in Construction for high schools while also increasing access to engaging computer science coursework for every PfISD student.
Fletcher began impacting PfISD long before she joined the Board. The deputy director of the STEM Center in UT’s College of Education started her education career as a teacher at Pflugerville Middle School in 1994. There she was named teacher of the year serving as the school’s first sponsor for Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Club.
She has seen a lot of change in the District through the years. She believes it makes PfISD stronger and a better learning environment for its students because she saw how the diversity within Pflugerville helped her own children in their education and life experience.
“My husband and I specifically moved to Pflugerville because of its middle class work ethic and community. That was a huge advantage to my boys because they had friends and classmates of every race, nationality and income level,” Fletcher said. “Most schools in America have become more segregated, not more diverse. They benefited from that so much when they went to college because of the different types of people they were around growing up.”
The diversity of Pflugerville and ensuring students benefit from it has been a goal of the Board and one Fletcher is proud to leave behind as part of her legacy.
“Our No. 1 value is ‘Diversity is our strength,’” Fletcher said of PfISD’s mission statement and core beliefs. “I think there are a lot of places or individuals that may have seen the changing demographics as something that was a challenge to be dealt with. To some degree it is, but I think our board rather than looking at it from a deficit perspective, we viewed it as something that was a benefit to our kids. We had to make sure that every kid was getting our best effort to equally distribute resources.”
Now after 18 years on the board, Fletcher is ready to continue impacting students and teachers, just in her official role at UT Austin.
Fletcher received a grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a national network of 22 states and Puerto Rico in broadening computer science education. This exciting project is expected to take up much of her time and energy as she helps expand access for women in computer science as well as cyber security in Texas. Her work will ensure students have access to computer science classes and teachers have the resources they need.
In January, Fletcher received a guided tour of Brookhollow Elementary, where her own children attended, with students showing her special projects and classes going on at the campus. After her tour Principal Lisa Harris presented Fletcher with a ceremonial key to the school for her years of service to PfISD. It was a moment that surprised Fletcher and one that gave Harris an opportunity to honor someone who has impacted the District significantly with her service.
“Dr. Fletcher wanted to show our community that when you're working on a body of governance it's really important that the people working together are people who have diverse backgrounds and understand how to leverage their experiences to inform one another's leadership,” Harris said. “She believed schools play an important role in fostering a positive and productive environment for students to build a strong background in science. Schools need to prepare their students for the future -- a future that definitely includes science.”
PfISD is certainly better for having Dr. Fletcher serve in the many capacities she has over the years. During her time on the board, PfISD has passed six bonds, led five superintendents and oversaw the building and renovation of 23 schools.
“When we first moved to Pflugerville, you would have described the District as rural transitioning to suburban. Now it’s a suburban community transitioning to urban,” Fletcher said. “I think it’s a great place to raise kids. It’s filled with incredibly hard-working teachers and administrators that are dedicated to kids.”
Years ago when Fletcher left Pflugerville Middle School to attend graduate school, she received a plaque from her mentor. She has dedicated her career and life to following the quote on that plaque: “One hundred years from now it will not matter what was in my bank account, the kind of car I drove, or the type of house I live in, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
It is safe to say that Dr. Carol Fletcher has been important in the life of countless children at PfISD and beyond.
PfISD will honor Dr. Fletcher with a retirement reception from 4:30-6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 at The Rock Gym, 702 W. Pecan St. The community is invited to attend this come-and-go even to celebrate Dr. Fletcher.