When he was appointed superintendent in 2009, Dr. A. Marcus Nelson set high standards for himself, his staff and the 24,500 students of Laredo ISD. As Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Nelson is responsible for 32 campuses, which include 20 elementary schools, four middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, an Early College High School located on the campus of Texas A&M International University, three magnet schools, and a new Non Traditional High School. LISD is an urban school district in Laredo, Texas on the North bank of the Rio Grande River that serves a population of 97% economically disadvantaged students. Laredo is the principal port of entry from Mexico to the United States.

Under his leadership, Nelson has reorganized the central office for higher efficiency, reduced the district personnel costs by over $2 million, and improved academic achievement to exceptional levels including having one of the few exemplary high schools in the state of Texas. In 2010, Laredo ISD reached unprecedented academic gains with 43% of the schools earning the state’s top recognized and exemplary ratings. Dr. Nelson has also launched the district’s Non-Traditional High School that is specifically designed to meet the needs of students who have not been successful in LISD comprehensive high schools. This online credit recovery program personalizes the education for every student and recaptures students who have dropped out of high school for various reasons. In his first year, Nelson elevated the academic rigor in Laredo ISD by creating a college readiness initiative, which improved the number of Advanced Placement Exams taken by LISD students over 47%. This leadership system also increased the number of college scholarships and reached significant improvement in the district graduation rate.

At each stage of his career, Dr. Nelson has been an agent for change. As a nationally renowned recognized high school principal, Dr. Nelson has inspired audiences throughout the United States with his powerful message of quality teaching, teamwork, and high expectations. He has earned several college degrees including an undergraduate degree from Abilene Christian University, two master’s degrees, and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce.

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