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Northwest ISD has been named a 2022 District of Distinction by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA), an honor given to Texas school districts that advocate for and integrate visual arts curriculum in their schools.

Only 59 districts across Texas received recognition from more than 1,200 eligible, indicating NISD is among the top four percent in the state. The district will be honored at the TAEA Administration & Supervision Division meeting and General Session during the TAEA Fall Conference General Assembly on Friday, November 10, 2022.

Northwest ISD’s visual arts program engages learners of all ages in art education. The district’s students are taught by certified art educators at each grade level. All Texas schools are required to teach art, but Northwest ISD makes it a priority, said Rebecca O’Donovan, director of fine arts.

“Northwest ISD believes that the visual arts are a vital component to our curriculum,” said O’Donovan. “They reinforce creative thinking, problem solving and self-expression.”

TAEA, the leading advocate for visual arts in the state, asked districts to share projects highlighting student involvement in visual arts advocacy, community service, field experiences and district art exhibitions. This is the fourth year that TAEA presented District of Distinction awards.

“More students are enrolled in art than in any other fine arts program in NISD,” O’Donovan said. “As our art program has grown in popularity, we have added new courses like Digital Art and Animation to meet the enrollment interest.”

NISD showcased more than 1,000 pieces of art at the district’s 23rd annual art show in April. The pieces were entered by elementary and secondary students from across the district’s 31 campuses. The projects utilized various techniques and mediums — including clay and ceramics fired on campus in kilns — to allow students to find their artistic voices.

“Our teachers work so incredibly hard to build our students up and give them the best experiences possible,” O’Donovan said. “This honor is a testament to our teachers and what they do every day.”

A headshot of Dr. Michael Griffin
Dr. Michael Griffin

The Northwest ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Dr. Michael Griffin, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, as the district’s acting superintendent of schools at a special board meeting on Thursday, September 15.

With the move, Northwest ISD’s leadership structure maintains a strong foundation, placing an experienced district leader at the helm until the board selects a permanent superintendent. Dr. Griffin will assume her new responsibilities immediately.

“Northwest ISD means the world to me, and I am honored to temporarily lead the district forward with stability as we search for a new leader,” Dr. Griffin said. “Our culture of excellence and commitment to academic and extracurricular achievement are unchanged, and our team is doing great work to continue a strong start to our school year. Dr. Hicks left a tremendous mark on our district in his time with us with his caring and compassionate nature, and I have the utmost faith in our school board in finding his successor.”

Dr. Griffin has served as Northwest ISD’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction since 2018, leading the district’s academic initiatives and ensuring students are prepared for success following graduation. Her role sees Dr. Griffin collaboratively working with campus leaders, teachers and community members, as she leads several committees to solidify the district’s commitment to continuous improvement.

In her roughly two decades at Northwest ISD, Dr. Griffin has served as a campus instructional teacher, assistant principal, principal and executive director of elementary education before leading the curriculum and instruction division. Her experience in a range of teaching and administrative roles guides her decision-making process to best support teachers and students.

Dr. Griffin earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in education from the University of Arizona.

Northwest ISD families can expect information about a superintendent search as trustees advance through that process. Trustees will again use Leasor Crass as their search firm, which they previously used during their most recent superintendent search.

Runners at the Reindeer Romp

Registration for Northwest ISD's 15th annual Reindeer Romp 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run is now open! Races will take place on Saturday, December 10, at the Alliance Airport. The one-mile fun run will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the 5K run starting at 9 a.m.

For additional information or to register, please visit

The Northwest ISD Board of Trustees is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Dr. David Hicks, our beloved superintendent, whose life ended unexpectedly on Friday, September 9, after a medical emergency.

Dr. Hicks had made an immediate impact on the staff and students of Northwest ISD, and we will miss him dearly. Many of you quickly came to appreciate his kindness and earnestness, traits that made him an excellent leader and friend. Our board is committed to supporting the Hicks family in their time of need, as well as you all as the teachers and staff of Northwest ISD, and our students and community as a whole.

Please know that schools and facilities will have grief counselors available for staff as we move forward, and we remain steadfast in ensuring you have everything you need to cope with this loss.

Trustees will meet in the near future to determine the next steps forward, though we are confident in the abilities of Northwest ISD’s district and campus administration as well as the teachers and staff members. A strong organization structure is in place, and our district will continue to operate with excellence in this trying time.

Northwest ISD will share additional information and commemorative arrangements as they become available.

Northwest ISD has partnered with SchoolMed to soon provide all students with access to telehealth services as well as other healthcare while on campus.

Through SchoolMed, provided by Goodside Health, on-demand healthcare workers can test and treat students for strep, the flu and COVID as well as common illnesses such as sore throat, headaches, skin rash, pink eye, upset stomach and the common cold. District nurses will continue to serve students on campus at Northwest ISD schools, and SchoolMed will soon provide additional services.

The cost of a telehealth visit to SchoolMed will vary depending on health insurance plan, similar to a traditional healthcare clinic visit. Some families may qualify for assistance programs with an application.

For working families, a parent or guardian can join the telehealth call from work using a video chat feature, preventing them from having to leave work. Telehealth visits may be scheduled whenever a child feels sick, as appointments are not required. Students must be registered for a visit, however.

Families can register their students by visiting, or they can fill out a paper form with the school nurse.