James P. Terry
he began his career in Beaumont and taught for two years in
Dallas, Mesquite ISD is where Dr. James Terry's passion lies.
He came to Mesquite High School in 1967 as a math teacher
and advanced through a variety of administrative positions
within the district before becoming superintendent in 2001.
He held that role until June of 2005, when he retired
from Mesquite ISD after 38 years of service.
a highly visible, hands-on leader, Terry made it a priority to spend
at each campus during the school year. He also believed in
to each employee, offering praise for a job well done and giving
credit where it was due.
Securing higher teacher salaries was always a priority for Terry.
closely with the Mesquite Education Association to research salaries
Dallas area. Despite the extremely tight budget concerns and
challenges of a property-poor district, he continually encouraged
of Trustees to keep Mesquite ISD teacher salaries competitive. He
importance of attracting and retaining the best educators.
Although his heart is in the Mesquite community, Terry is known
the state an as exemplary leader in public education. In 1999,
recognized him for his dedication and service to education when
the Association of Texas Professional Educators presented him with
Administrator of the Year Award.
Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Terry served public education
through active membership in several organizations and leadership
roles, including service on the President's Education Advisory Council
for the Texas A&M University System and the Regent's Initiative
for Excellence in Education through Texas A&M-Commerce. He
was also a member of the Executive Council of the East Texas School
Study, a consortium of more than 50 school districts in North and
East Texas, and he served as president of the North Central Texas
Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Terry's service to public education made a visible statewide impact
served as a member and chairman of the University Interscholastic
Legislative Committee. The Region II 5-A superintendents elected
Terry for this representative role while he was serving as deputy
superintendent for Mesquite ISD. According to Terry, his involvement
with UIL was one of the most rewarding aspects of his career.
When Dr. James Terry received the 2004 Golden Deeds for Education
Award from Texas A&M University, it came as no surprise to those
who worked with him in Mesquite ISD. The award recognizes
an educator who has, through actions and deeds, improved the educational
system in Texas to enrich the lives of all Texas public school students.
Terry earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from
State University in Commerce (now Texas A&M-Commerce). He
and his wife,
Fran, have two children, Melissa and Chris, and four grandchildren,
Alexandra, Luke and Kailie.