A biographical statement was provided by each finalist and is used verbatim on this page.
Dr. Erick Pruitt, area superintendent, Houston Independent School District, Houston, TX
Dr. Erick Pruitt is currently the Achieve 180 Area Superintendent for the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Achieve 180 is a research-based action plan designed to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming schools. In his current role, Dr. Pruitt has been tasked with improving 34 schools serving over 26,000 students and their families. Achieve 180 is centered on six main pillars: leadership excellence, teacher excellence, instructional excellence, school design, social emotional learning support, and community empowerment. An additional Achieve 180 focus for significantly improving outcomes for students is delivering high quality weekly professional development and providing equitable centralized supports. Prior to his appointment as Area Superintendent, Dr. Pruitt served HISD as a School Support Officer supporting campuses throughout the city of Houston for two and half years.
Dr. Pruitt is a native of Indianapolis, IN where he graduated from high school before enlisting in the United State Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps, he was stationed in North Carolina and served overseas in the Mediterranean on the USS Guam. Based on demonstrated leadership, Dr. Pruitt was selected to participate in the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) program in San Diego, CA and in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Dr. Pruitt began his career in the Chicago Public Schools as a first grade teacher at Woodlawn Community School.
After seven years in the classroom at primary, intermediate and middle school, Dr. Pruitt was selected to participate in the New Leaders principal preparation program due to his deep understanding of instructional practices and leadership. As a New Leaders principal resident, Dr. Pruitt worked alongside a mentor principal for one year before being offered a principalship at Luke O’Toole Elementary School. The campus experienced gains in student literacy and math performance on the state assessment by integrating technology into the curriculum, decreasing inappropriate student behaviors, and improving school and community relationships. In 2011, Dr. Pruitt was selected to become a Deputy Chief of Schools for 35 campuses in the Grand Boulevard, Bronzeville, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Washington Park, and Woodlawn neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago.
Dr. Pruitt earned his B.A. in Elementary Education from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. He also earned his M. Ed. from Loyola University Chicago, and his Ed. D. from National Louis University. Erick has been married to his wife, Kenya, a school counselor, for 23 years. Erick and Kenya have five active children.