Un[rapp]ing new possibilities

Dr. Lori Rapp named new LISD superintendent


Photo via LISD

Dr. Lori Rapp (front center) poses with the LISD Board of Trustees at the Feb. 15 meeting. At the meeting, board members went around to give remarks on the selection of Rapp as superintendent. Rapp then gave remarks, took photos with others and signed the contract with the board president.

When Dr. Lori Rapp began her career as a teacher in 1996, she never imagined she would one day become superintendent. 

After serving in education for 26 years, Rapp was named “Superintendent Lone Finalist” and began her tenure as LISD superintendent Feb. 16. She was named through a unanimous vote of the LISD Board of Trustees to succeed Dr. Kevin Rogers. 

“Being named superintendent is a really hard feeling to describe,” Rapp said. “I have received so much support because I have been [in LISD for] so long and know so many people, and that has been very humbling and overwhelming. It’s hard to believe the person who started out as a teacher in 1996 [now has] the opportunity to lead the school district.”  

Rapp began her career teaching math at The Colony High School, and she said she knew she wanted to become a teacher from a young age. 

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but it took me a while to figure out what content area I wanted to teach since I love them all,” Rapp said. “I ultimately chose math because I wanted to help students understand a subject that they sometimes don’t like but is still really important to their daily lives.”  

After teaching at the Colony High School for eight years, Rapp had the opportunity to become an instructional math coach, a role which provides professional learning and instructional support for math teachers within the district. 

“The [person in charge of] math curriculum came to the classroom and asked if I would be interested in helping support teachers in teaching math,” Rapp said. “I had just [gotten] my masters [degree] and wasn’t thinking about leaving the classroom at the time, but she really felt like I should come work with her. I decided to try that and one thing led to another.” 

Rapp was then named director of Pre-K through 12 curriculum in 2008, executive director of learning design and support in 2010, the district’s chief learning and teaching officer in 2015 and deputy superintendent in 2017. 

“At a certain point you start to look around and see an entire generation of educational leaders retiring,” Rapp said. “You start to think to yourself: if [new] people don’t step up and take care of public education, what’s going to happen? We need leaders and people to support our teachers and school, and at a certain point, I decided I wanted to have the opportunity to do that.” 

After Dr. Rogers announced his plan to retire Jan. 31, the district hired the firm Walsh Gallegos to lead the search process for a new superintendent. Interested candidates had to submit an application and there were two rounds of interviews to narrow down the candidates to a “Lone Finalist.” 

Rapp said she was extremely thankful to be named the new superintendent. 

“The idea of becoming superintendent grew on me over time, but I didn’t think it was something I wanted to do when I started as a teacher,” Rapp said. “I knew I wanted to keep helping people, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like. At some point in my career at LISD, it just became clear the main way to support kids and schools is to lead the school district.” 

Hebron teacher Donna Friend is friends with Rapp and taught with her at The Colony High School. Friend said she was excited when she heard Rapp was named the new superintendent. 

“When I think of Dr. Rapp, [I think of] her positivity and the fact that she’s always very excited about students and what they’re capable of,” Friend said. “When I found out she was named superintendent, I actually went yelling to my husband ‘She did it!’ and then called my dad, because he’s a retired educator, and I told him the same thing.”

Rapp said her favorite parts about being in LISD have been getting to know and work with teachers, the opportunities available to students and seeing how much the district has grown.

“When I started here, there was only The Colony High School, Lewisville High School and Marcus High School,” Rapp said. “There was no Hebron High School or Flower Mound High School. To have grown as a teacher in [LISD] while [the] district has grown so much has been the most amazing journey ever, and I [look forward to] continuing this journey.”