LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's a moment Lufkin ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney describes as very surreal.
"In my mind there were some incredible superintendents across the state and ones who made to the finals have done great work and a couple I admire greatly and I did not think that I would be selected for sure," Dr. Goffney said on Monday.
Out of more than 1,000 superintendents across the state, Dr. Goffney was named the Superintendent of the Year. She received the award at the Texas Association of School Administrators, an association of school boards convention over the weekend.
Dr. Goffney was among five finalists: Robert Jaklich, Victoria ISD Region 3; Thomas Randle, Lamar CISD, Region 4; LaTonya Goffney, Lufkin ISD, Region 7; Judd Marshall, Mount Pleasant ISD, Region 8; and Jim Vaszauskas, Mansfield ISD, Region 11.
In fact it was school board who submitted Dr. Goffney's name six months ago, where she later became a finalist in August.
She recalls the moment when her name was announced.
"That was extra special. I saw the board and I try not to look at them honestly because it was an emotional moment. I hate to overuse the term but it was kind of surreal, dreamlike, is this really happening," Dr. Goffney said adding that she is truly humbled to her team.
With 15 years of administration experience, Dr. Goffney serves about 8,175 students. She has led Lufkin ISD for four years. Cited by the selection committee were her focus on transparency, removing barriers, and sharing best practices for continuous improvement in the district. Also noted were the community forums and state-of-the-district breakfasts to gather input and share progress. Dr. Goffney earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at Sam Houston State University.