The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees officially named Dr. Bonny Cain as the interim superintendent on Thursday afternoon.
Cain retired as the superintendent of Waco ISD in 2017. She began with the district in 2011 and oversaw just under 15,000 students across 26 campuses.
Before Waco, Cain served in various administrative roles 25 years within Pearland ISD, which included 11 years as the superintendent (2000-11). At the time, the district had an enrollment of over 18,000 students throughout 23 schools.
She earned a doctorate of education from the University of Houston and began her career in education in 1977 as a second-grade self-contained teacher in Bay City ISD.
After the trustees concluded the called meeting, Cain addressed the board and thanked them for the vote of confidence.
“You will be amazed in the progress we will make. Not that there wasn’t progress, but this is a district of growth and high expectations," Cain affirmed. "And those high expectations are going to be met. Whenever we hire the permanent superintendent that person’s going to go, ‘wow, they’ve accomplished so much in the past four months.’ You’ve got my word on that.”
Waxahachie ISD Board President Dusty Autrey stated Cain set herself apart from the other two candidates. “It was her overall enthusiasm and her overall history in large districts," he added.
The other two finalists interview by the trustees included Ray Lea, the former Azel ISD superintendent, and Brett Springston, the former Bartlett ISD superintendent.
For Cain, the positivity within the community and across the board of trustees drew her to the position.
“The board is together, and everyone is saying the same thing, ‘How much can we accomplish in the next one month, two months, three months,’” she explained. “They made it clear 'you’re not supposed to be here as a placeholder, but you’re here to move us forward.'”
She continued, “The community expects that when they are paying everybody that there will be progress. And, a leader is a leader. It doesn’t matter if it’s an interim or permanent leader. You’re getting paid to move things forward and get things going.”
Cain added that there will be no "dilly-dallying" with any campus projects during her time as the interim. "Not saying we have been, but it sure seems to be taking a while,” she said.
Cain will start in her new role with WISD on Tuesday, Sept. 4. She currently resides in Tyler and will stay locally on the weekdays.
According to a Waxahachie ISD press release, the trustees will now work with a superintendent search firm to have a permanent superintendent in place by January.