HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - "I'm just absolutely so honored," said Mary Ann Whiteker, superintendent of Hudson ISD.
An honor no doubt for this former first grade teacher – who for her this marks her 43rd in the education profession.
"To have been selected from the many, many tremendous educators we have and to think about the wonderful things going on in our schools," Whiteker said.
A top honor in the state; one she says wasn't even on her radar.
"Never, ever! My world consists of going to see our students win fabulous awards and so this is really outside the norm for me. We're just not accustomed to this, it's usually us cheering on our students," Whiteker said.
Whiteker says the recognition goes well beyond herself.
"You could have the most wonderful vision in the world but it takes this tremendous staff I have, with the support 7 phenomenal board members for us to really accomplish great things for kids," Whiteker said.
It was those seven board members who unanimously voted to nominate Whiteker for the award. A dedication both they and fellow superintendent and mentee David Flowers have recognized for years.
"It was not a shock that Ms. Whiteker won the award. She's well deserving of that honor. We're blessed with county superintendents that work well together, so to have one of our own win this prestigious award, it's a great honor for her, Hudson ISD, Angelina County, and all of region 7," said David Flowers, Huntington ISD Superintendent.
Other colleagues showed Whiteker with support as well.
"It was a history making day for Angelina County in Austin, Texas at the TASA/TASB conference this weekend. Congratulations to Mary Ann Whiteker for being selected Superintendent of the Year! How wonderful to be recognized for the many years of hard work making a difference through education and advocating for all Texas students," said Dr. LaTonya Goffney, Lufkin ISD superintendent.
And if you think one award means her work is done, think again.
"Oh no, we have miles and miles to go," said Whiteker. "I share this with the community, with staff, with my school board. It's all of us working together."