The Eanes ISD Board of Trustees has unanimously named Dr. Jeff Arnett as its lone finalist for the position of Superintendent of Schools to succeed retiring Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard.
In making the announcement, Eanes Board President John Havenstrite thanked the community for its input and said, “As I’ve shared from the beginning of this process, this is one of the most important actions we can take as a Board. We are grateful for the unique position we are in because we have someone who knows our District and our community and happens to be one of the strongest superintendent candidates in the country.”
Dr. Arnett has served as Eanes ISD’s deputy superintendent since 2016, overseeing district leadership, operations and committees such as Envision Eanes and the District Leadership Team. He has been instrumental in leading a cohesive strategic plan for the district, including all departments and operations.
Prior to joining Eanes, Arnett spent eight years in Barrington 220, a suburban school district outside Chicago, where he served as assistant superintendent of operations & outreach and as chief communications officer. Before Barrington, he worked as the director of communications, education & public programs for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
He began his public education career in St. Louis, Mo., where he served various school districts as director of communications, director of school and community relations and as a classroom teacher.
Dr. Arnett holds bachelor’s degrees in both education and communications, master’s degrees in education and corporate communications, and a doctorate in educational leadership. His endorsements include Certification in Administrative Leadership with a superintendent’s credential in Texas, and Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).
The process to select a superintendent began in October 2021, when the board hired Thompson & Horton LLP to facilitate the search. In December, the search firm launched a community-wide survey, conducted focus groups with community members, business leaders, elected officials, teachers, students, administrators and support staff, with the purpose of gathering community input on the desired characteristics for a new superintendent.
Nearly 1,800 individuals participated in the process. Using both survey data and input from focus groups, Thompson & Horton presented key findings and feedback from the process at the Jan. 13 meeting.
The Board interviewed Dr. Arnett Jan. 14 and 18 before naming Arnett as lone finalist.
“We are grateful for our unique position,” added Havenstrite. “We have someone who knows our students, our staff, our parents and our community. We have someone whose leadership characteristics align with the wants and needs identified by our community. And we have, in Dr. Arnett, one of the most sought-after superintendent candidates in the country.”
“I am incredibly excited for our community and Jeff,” said Dr. Leonard. “Having worked with Jeff for many years, across two states, I cannot think of a better match for Eanes ISD. I am confident the district will rise to new heights under his leadership.”
State law requires a 21-day waiting period after the finalist is announced before the Board can enter into a contract with the candidate. The Board is expected to vote on the final selection at the Feb. 22 regular board meeting.