Conroe, December 10 – Dr. Don Stockton, Superintendent of the Conroe Independent School District is the seventh most powerful person in Montgomery County.
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, continues the tradition of listing the Power Top Ten, the ten most powerful people in Montgomery County. The Power Top Ten doesn’t commemorate the ten best people in Montgomery County necessarily, but the most powerful people who are actually able to accomplish political or policy goals. In other words, they can get things done.
At the end of this month, we’ll also commemorate the “Person of the Year Award” for the Montgomery County person who was responsible in 2017 for the most positive change for our community and the “Mad Cow Award” for the worst elected official in Montgomery County during 2017. If you have suggestions, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will treat your suggestion in confidence.
To begin the Power Top Ten this year, The Golden Hammer has already named:
#8 Sheriff Rand Henderson
#9 418th District Judge Tracy Gilbert
#10 State Senator Brandon Creighton.
Power Top Ten #7: Conroe ISD Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton
Dr. Don Stockton (Doctorate of Education, Texas A&M University) is a remarkable politician within the educational bureaucracy known as the Conroe Independent School District. For its large size, CISD provides an excellent public school education to approximately 62,000 children. For his services, Stockton’s base salary is $343,000 per year.
CISD’s annual expenditure budget for the 2017-2018 academic year is $473.03 million. With debt service, the annual expenditures of CISD are approximately $585 million per year. The district has over $1.4 billion in debt. The district’s cash fund balance is over $135 million. CISD operates 62 campuses and manages hundreds of parcels of real estate in Montgomery County.
Stockton, who maintains a firm grip on the District’s operations, manages a portfolio of real estate and improvements with a book value of more than $1.029 billion, suggesting a market value substantially higher.
Stockton began his career in the CISD as a math teacher and coach and worked his way up through the administration to become the Superintendent in 2003. He manages a giant administrative bureaucracy that assists him in operating and managing the multifarious assets of CISD. He manages a dedicated group of teachers whose salaries have not risen at the rate of the management during the past fifteen years.
Although Stockton holds numerous community leadership posts and is involved in dozens of community organizations, he is a genuine manager of CISD and not just a public relations face. His Board of Trustees has been somewhat weak and is clearly subject to the capture of the educational management bureaucracy which the Board should instead oversee.
The inner workings of Stockton and the CISD came out in the open a bit during the heated discussion between certain Board members and Stockton over whether the school district should provide for reappraisal relief for homes of taxpayers within the district that suffered damage during Tropical Storm Harvey. Stockton vehemently opposed providing such relief, as he wished to protect the school district’s large cash reserve by not reducing CISD’s taxes one iota. Despite Stockton’s and three Board members’ attempted strong-arming of Board President Melanie Pryor Bush, who supported the taxpayer relief, Bush and Board Secretary Ray Sanders eventually convinced a majority of the Board of Trustees to provide the taxpayer relief.
Those inner workings portrayed Stockton in a very unfavorable light. He didn’t look smooth and he didn’t show any care for families who had lost their homes and much more during the Harvey storm. He was far more interested in protecting the bureaucracy under his control
By his positive outlook, force of personality, and amazing communication and relationship skills, Dr. Don Stockton leads the schools of CISD and controls its assets, operations, and financial relationships. He most certainly has the ability to get things done in our community. His retirement at the end of this school year will likely bring little reform to the school district which probably requires a hard look from the outside at its internal management, operations, and finances.
Congratulations to Don Stockton for making the Top Ten List as #7.