Plano ISD Superintendent of Schools
Richard Matkin Announces Retirement
After 40 years, the career educator trades top spot in 55,000-student district for more time with family
Having reached a forty-year hallmark as a career public school educator and administrator, Superintendent of Schools Richard Matkin informed the Plano ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday, October 7, that he will retire effective January 30, 2015. Trustees are expected to officially accept his resignation at the October 21 school board work session with a formal vote.
Matkin has been superintendent of schools since the spring of 2012 after leading the district in an effective interim role. For eleven years, he served the district as the associate superintendent for business services. As the district's chief financial officer, Matkin managed a budget of approximately half a billion dollars and directed the implementation of four bond referendums, three of which were passed during his tenure. Under Matkin's financial and executive leadership, Plano ISD completed $1.2 billion in capital improvements and $163 million in technology initiatives. During this time, the district built eleven new schools, two employee childcare centers, a stadium, a staff development center and a warehouse—and completed sixty-one renovations and expansions. The district also launched the Academy Programs of Plano, opening three student-choice programs in the fall of 2013.
In 2014, Matkin and the Plano ISD Board of Trustees oversaw the creation of a Community and Student Engagement Accountability System (CSEAS) assessment tool in order to fulfill requirements of House Bill 5 passed during the 2011 Texas legislative session. Plano ISD's engagement model has been adopted by thirty school districts within the Region 10 Education Service Center area.
Matkin's forty years of experience have yielded him the reputation as a school finance authority. Indicative of this, Plano ISD has annually earned the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, and has earned the highest rating of "Superior Achievement" in the state's Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) program. In November 2013, under Matkin's leadership, Plano ISD became the largest school district in the state to pass a 13-cent tax ratification election.
"It was a privilege to serve Plano ISD in the role of superintendent for three years," said Matkin. "I'm very proud of the collective spirit and teamwork among our board and senior staff. They are well-poised to take the district into the future while remaining focused on supporting excellence in education."
Well known as an advocate for teachers, Matkin continued, "It has been the mainstay of my leadership to make sure teachers receive our best effort to stay connected and to champion them in their roles. It is in this way that I hope my term as superintendent will be remembered."
The Plano ISD Board of Trustees will be considering search firms with the hope of selecting a firm at the October 21 board work session, along with accepting Matkin's resignation. "We will reluctantly accept Mr. Matkin's resignation," said School Board President Nancy Humphrey. "He has brought our district a great deal of positive recognition and renewed relationships with community partners, state and national officials and has certainly strengthened our legislative presence. His approachable style and ease with people truly are powerful assets. We are so appreciative of his service as superintendent and we especially honor his forty years of service in public education."
Matkin expressed that working with the Plano ISD Board of Trustees has been a sincere privilege. Crediting the trustees for their unfailing support, Matkin championed their successful nomination to become the Outstanding Board in the Region 10 Education Service Center area and ultimately one of only five boards in the state to be recognized as a 2014 Honor Board by the Texas Association of School Administrators. "I was very proud of the well-deserved recognition of our hardworking trustees as an example of productive, quality and sincere leadership," Matkin said. "Their support has guided me through my administration."
A graduate of Austin College with both bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees, Matkin was honored by the college in October 2013 with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Matkin is a Certified Public Accountant and a certified teacher of math, history, health and physical education. He and his wife Debbie have two children and two grandchildren, about whom he said, "As I conclude my school years, my grandkids are just beginning theirs, and I look forward to having more time to enjoy every minute of it."