Education Spotlight: Quintin Shepherd
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
Currently, Quintin Shepherd is the superintendent of Victoria ISD (+14,000 students) in Victoria, Texas. He also mentioned (in a below video) that he is also a full-time professor at UHV.
Previously, he was superintendent (or employed) in the following districts:*
Linn-Mar Community School District in Marion, Iowa (+7,700 students)
Skokie/Morton Grove, Illinois, from 2010 to 2015
superintendent in Amboy, Illinois
high school principal in Amboy, Illinois
elementary school principal in Amboy, Illinois
choir and general music teacher in Cambridge, Illinois
* data primarily from Victoria Advocate article below.
Quintin is married to Sarah Shepherd.
* data from Mrs. Shepherd's public twitter account (when it was public).
Victoria ISD is currently a DOI (District of Innovation)
Mentions of TEC 25.112 Class Size, (exceeding state mandates on class sizes in K-4), TEC 25.113 Parent Notification (not notifying parents of class size exceeding limits), Texas Education Code, Chapter 37.0012 (eliminating behavior coordinator), mentions of focus on equity and SEL, among other things are concerning for Victoria parents.
See "Education Spotlight: HB1842 in 84(r)" for more information on DOIs.
Under Shepherd's Leadership, Victoria ISD is currently utilizing 'Communities in Schools' Mental Health Services
DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is considered a vein to CRT (critical race theory).
Please see "Education Spotlight: Communities in Schools" blog for more information.
Victoria ISD Utilizing a SEL program named "Rethink Ed" & it's "Clever" App Concerns Parents
See "Education Spotlight: Rethink Ed & Clever App".
See our SEL Resources page.
Victoria Parents Concerned With Panorama Surveys
See "Education Spotlight: Panorama Surveys".
Victoria Parents Concerned With MTSS
Reimagining Strategic Innovation in the Classroom 07/18/2022
by The Path Forward
"We want to decrease the cost of failure so that we can increase the value. Because a lot of innovation is going to fail." - Quintin Shepherd
Victoria Community Comments on Minute 24:00
"His innovation is complete experimentation with our children's education." - Victoria Parent
Victoria Community Comments on Minute 31:35
"What if when we said elementary school, we said exposure.... we want to expose kids to careers, we want to expose kids to ways of learning..... middle school, lets call that experience because you've been exposed to this thing and middle school you kind of know a little bit, oh, I'm this type of learner, I'm a hands-on, project based learner, so lets experience that deeper, lets talk about this deeper interest. You think you want to be in the trades, lets have some experiences in that. And I think that's not too early to start talking about internships, externships, immersive learning experiences learning experiences..... let's reframe high school as pursuit because that what high school is at this point. Like it's pursuit to either military, technical trade school, job certifications or university. Let's make sure every student is on a pursuit pathway." - Quintin Shepherd
Victoria Parent Commentary on Minute 31:35
"It's clear that a solid foundation in reading, writing and math is no longer the goal. The goal is now to ensure your child is workforce ready" - Victoria Parent
Victoria Parent Commentary on Minute 31:35
"Elementary is kinder through 4th grade. I'm not real sure just how much exposing children to possible careers will help them ready for an internship or externship in middle school which is 5th and 6th grade? What? Are we sifting for the Texas version of a Chinese caste system?" - Victoria Parent
Victoria Community Comments on Minute 50:30
"It's wonderful that teachers were consulted, but parents (not children) should have had greater input - not asked if we had any questions after the fact." - Victoria Parent
Texas Education Conference Hosts Presentation on ‘How to Respond’ to ‘Controversies in the Classroom’
“This is the largest convening of Texas public education decision-makers.”
by Sydnie Henry
COMMISSIONER MORATH TO VISIT VICTORIA ISD
by VISD Communications
Victoria parents are concerned that the district is promoting increases in district accountability ratings (in this press release) when the district received an overall grade of 'C', dismal STAAR scores and extremely concerning attendance, graduation rates, college readiness ratings, and elevated salaries.
See "Education Spotlight: Mike Morath".
Victoria ISD Texas Academic Performance Report stats:
See "Education Spotlight: Texas District Accountability Ratings".
Texas Parents Oust School Administrator With Sketchy Record
Victoria ISD Deputy Superintendent Michael Kuhrt resigned less than two weeks after he was hired, citing “overwhelming negative and defamatory social media unrest.”
by Erin Anderson
See "Education Spotlight: Michael Kuhrt".
The New Era of Leadership | Breaking The Grade with Dr. Quintin Shepherd
by Cascade Communications
"I'm also a full-time professor at UHV so I'm teaching..." - Quintin Shepherd 2:33
I would take the supreme court ruling that came out just this morning. I don't know if you've had a chance to see it or not. It was a case around school prayer. This coach wanted to go out on the 50 yard line and pray after a game and, historically, the way these cases have been decided, that's off limits because it is endorsement of religion in a public space by a public employee. And kids feel like they should they are compelled to be a part of it and, historically, for decades, we've said, "no, this is unacceptable." Every lower court case, it was sided with the school district, but this morning, just this morning, the supreme court came out and , "nope, it's ok, we're reversing that." And so as administrators learn this.....what's going to happen is total confusion." - Quintin Shepherd 5:39
Dr. Quintin Shepherd - Superintendent of the Victoria Independent School District and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Houston, Victoria
by High Performing Educator Podcast
"Wow. We set aside 5 million of our Sr funding and we’re, we’re literally gonna go to each of our high schools and say here’s $500,000. And we want it to focus on student mental wellness and mental health." - Quintin Shepherd
"I read between 40-60 books on average a year." - Quintin Shepherd
"So for our district, but that means more kids taking AP than ever in the history of the district. And the scores are higher, more kids taking dual credit than ever in the history of the district and their scores are higher." - Quintin Shepherd
What are some of the things you are working on right now with your school board school districts, superintendents that you’re excited about in the coming years or next next fall?
"So, so I think that some of the stuff that I’m working on is obviously getting the message of this book out. Like, and that’s actually, I’m focused on that and getting this message out there because I think I have something that people can understand and I love to do it in medium size groups or even large group formats. Where, where we create, I create this space called house of genius. And I just, it rather than tell people about it, we actually do it like whatever group I happen to be in front of. We just solve a massively complex issue for that group right there in the room, and then we solve it and we go through it and it only takes, you know, 40, 45 minutes, depending on what we’re talking about." - Quintin Shepherd
Quintin Shepherd Participating in Holdsworth Center Training
Twitter post indicating training at Holdsworth Center.
Shepherd pictures on Holdsworth website (see right):
Many Victoria parents expressed concerns that the Holdsworth Center is not a state funded training facility and that it's teachings, at times, do not align with traditional Texas values.
See "Ed Spotlight: Holdsworth Center"
A long post but if you hate corruption in government...
FB Post by Jaycob Garcia
Jaycob Garcia's full post:
A long post but if you hate corruption in government as much as I do, especially in good ol’ Victoria, it’s absolutely worth the read. I’ve bullet-pointed the post for better accuracy. I’ve also included a link to access the most relevant articles I used in my research if you’re interested in diving a bit deeper.
As property taxes soar, and inflation rises exponentially, VISD handed the reins to a few of its most important programs to former Dayton ISD (DISD) and Wichita Falls ISD (WFISD) Superintendent, Mike Kuhrt. The now deputy superintendent of VISD has a history of accruing large budget deficits throughout his tenure, has faced accusations of mismanagement of school funds as recently as June and has a history of betraying the taxpayer.
- On July 1st, VISD announced the hire of former DISD & WFISD superintendent, Mike Kuhrt, who resigned from his position after leaving taxpayers on the hook for a $4.9 million deficit (DISD, 2013-2014) & an $8 - $9 million deficit (WFISD, 2022-2023 & 2023-2024) created under his tenure.
- In June 2022, when questioned on WFISD’s budget deficit by angry members of the community at a special school board meeting, WFISD School Board President Mike Rucker stated, “I can’t tell you where it was spent at. We look at our budget, and it’s just spent," and explained that Kuhrts’ omission of disbursements and expenditures left the board oblivious to the financial hole WFISD was dug into under the direction of Kuhrt.
- Then WFISD Superintendent and now VISD Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhrt addressed the backlash he faced after proposing a major staff cut, telling teachers it was a, “shared sacrifice”, insisting it was the only way to fix the budget. ￼ NOTE: Kuhrt received approximately $110k in taxpayer funds from WFISD after announcing his resignation; AND His wife served as the director of assessments for WFISD, a position paying her just over $93k annually. The proposed staff cuts would only have saved $200k-300k of an overall $9 million budget deficit over the next two school years. Note, Kuhrts’ additional payments received post-resignation announcement makes up HALF of the funds save from the ‘necessary’ staff cuts Kuhrt proposed.
- VISD removed the ability to comment on their OFFICIAL Facebook page after the wave of backlash they received on their post announcing the hiring of Kuhrt.
VICTORIA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES MIKE KUHRT, FORMER WFISD SUPERINTENDENT TO SERVE AS DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT FOR VISD
- In a press release announcing his appointment, VISD listed former WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt as having achieved an “administrative accomplishment” for his role in the, “refine(ment) of (the) salary scale at his previous district to reflect and address market-driven recruitment and retention issues.”
- With this ‘accomplishment’ in mind, VISD has reportedly hired Kuhrt as the overseer of ^business services, talent, acquisition, support & ^staff retention, maintenance, ^technology, transportation and athletics.
- WFISD School Board president informed parents, teachers and students in June 2022 on the budget shortfall, “I can’t tell you where it was spent at. We look at our budget, and it’s just spent," and alleged that Kuhrts’ omission of the financial state of WFISD left the board “in the dark” on the hole WFISD was digging itself into under the direction of Kuhrt.
- Kuhrts’ resignation from WFISD followed community-wide backlash received from his back-door plan to consolidate multiple elementary schools and cut jobs in WFISD curriculum programs at the campus level, including instructional coaches, curriculum directors, specialists and technology specialists, informing them it’s their, “SHARED SACRIFICES”*.
No seriously, he said that.
- Jefferson Elementary School (WFISD) Principle, Erica Adkins, stated that Kuhrts proposed budget cuts would only save $200,000-$300,000 of a $6.2 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT (2022-2023) CREATED UNDER KUHRTS TENURE WITH WFISD.
- The final deficit total for WFISD for the period of 2022-2024 is expected to land between $8 - $9 million dollars. WFISD School Board voted in April to cut 25 ‘higher-level’ jobs, including Kuhrts’ wife, who served as the Director of Assessment for WFISD - a position WFISD disclosed allotted Mrs. Kuhrt an annual salary of $93,091 for a 240 day work year.
- As superintendent and director of assessment, the dynamic duo of the Kuhrts, oversaw three 'D' rated campuses and two 'F' rated campuses with below-average test scores compared to other ISD’s in the state.
- Prior to working as Superintendent for WFISD, Kuhrt was hired as superintendent of Dayton ISD, a role he vacated in August 2013 leaving a more than $4.9 MILLION budget deficit behind for the 2013-2014 school year. For reference, DISD’s 2012-2013 deficit was $2.7 million.
HIGHWAY ROBBERY OF THE TAXPAYERS OF WICHITA FALLS
Despite leaving WFISD with a $8 - $9 million deficit for the 2022-2023 school year, from the announcement of his resignation on April 4th - June 30th (His final day employed by WFISD) Kuhrt, reportedly received:
- Roughly $42,441.75 in unused vacation days at a daily pay rate of $943.15
- $10,000 of deferred compensation in accordance with an incentive bonus granted for his remained employment with WFISD on June 10th, 2022
- $40,000 on or before his June 30 resignation date in accordance with a June 2021 retirement plan contribution and a June 2020 retention bonus.
- $20,000 for a retirement plan contribution if still employed by WFISD on the day of his set June 30th retirement date.
- Tuition to the Midwestern State University Doctoral Cohort at the University of North Texas paid in full by WFISD - A sum which will not be repaid to the taxpayers.
VISD REMOVING AND BLOCKING THE ABILITY TO MAKE FACEBOOK COMMENTS THROUGHOUT THEIR PAGE
- After receiving backlash from the appointment of Kuhrt, VISD removed the ability to comment from not just the post but the entirety of the official VISD Facebook Page.
- VISD’s posted Content Removal policy* states, “The use of social media must comply with applicable federal, state, and district procedures and expectations, and policies, as well as proper business etiquette. This includes adherence to established laws and policies regarding copyright, records retention, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), U.S. Constitution First Amendment, privacy laws, and information security policies established by Victoria ISD.”
- With the deletion and removal of the ability to make comments on any post, VISD both violated first amendment rights guarantees established by the U.S. Supreme Court AND, violated the Public Information Act in regards to record retention.
- In Packingham V. North Carolina, the Supreme Court noted both, the First Amendment applies to, “commonplace social media sites” such as Facebook and, “to foreclose access to social media . . . is to prevent the user from engaging in the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights.”
- Texas’ Public Information Act (2022)* lists ONLY Flood Control Districts as exempt from required disclosures of, “Social media account information”. I.e. VISD is REQUIRED under Texas code to preserve all comments posted on the listed “OFFICIAL Facebook page for Victoria Independent School District” - This argument falls flat if their social media manager followed their own posted policy on archiving the entirety of the page before any content deletion.
Regardless of the IMMENSE community outrage and pressure VISD felt after their recent hire was questioned on their post, the removal of the ability to comment throughout the entirety of the page without a posted notice or updated social media procedures - shows the complete lack of transparency exhibited by leadership.
Not only did VISD suppress the First Amendment Right of the outraged commenters, they also showed a clear disregard for the general taxpayer by limiting all discussion on a legally protected public forum. Moreover, with VISD’s decision to hire Kuhrt, despite his history of driving school districts further into debt - coupled with last month's allegations of his failure to disclose the financial state of WFISD with school board trustees and the public - VISD has appeared to make one thing clear.
The good ol’ boys club is alive and thriving in Victoria.
Our parents, students and hardworking teachers and staff deserve better.
Quintin Shepherd Elected to AASA Governing Board
See "Education Spotlight: AASA".
Three Campuses To Participate In Leadership Work As Part Of The Holdsworth Partnership
See "Ed Spotlight: Holdsworth Center"
See "Ed Spotlight: Charles Butt"
Victoria ISD Campus Communication
See "Ed Spotlight: Holdsworth Center"
The Secret to Transformational Leadership
by Quintin Shepherd
Quintin Shepherd has written his own book and has a website promoting it.
Victoria ISD Organizational Chart
Broward School Board To Interview Three Semifinalists For Superintendent Position
by CBS Miami
While still employed at Victoria ISD in Texas, Quintin Shepherd applied for a position in the state of Florida. He made it to the final 3 contenders, but was not offered the superintendent position.
Broward school board selects 3 semifinalists during do-over meeting
by Hatzel Vela
Guest column: Why I write
by Quintin Shepherd / Victoria Advocate
Word counts in this article:
magical power 3
powerful magic 1
magical conjurers 1
positive incantations 1
Other notable mentions:
being the light
The article was concerning for many Victoria parents.
Behind the Scenes: District Leaders' Priorities for ESSER Funding 12/07/2021
by Strategos Podcast Network
Victoria ISD Removing Staff
New VISD superintendent wants to learn from failed bond campaigns
By Gabriella Canales w/Victoria Advocate