Texas City ISD superintendent honored as ‘2021 Outstanding Citizen of the Year’

Dr. Melissa Duarte, Superintendent of Texas City ISD, receives outstanding citizen of the year award (Texas City ISD)

The superintendent of Texas City Independent School District has made her mark on both the school district and the surrounding community after just one full year on the job.

Dr. Melissa Duarte, who is now in her second year with the district, was named 2021 Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce.

The award was presented at the Chamber’s 53rd Annual Membership Gala on Jan. 20 at the Doyle Convention Center in Texas City.

According to the Texas City ISD Communications Department, Duarte took over as superintendent of schools in July 2020 and has since made frequent appearances at campuses, extra-curricular events, and competitions near and far.

“She makes a point to engage with students daily. Not only is she making a difference within Texas City ISD, but her impact is also felt in the community. From collaborating with city leaders to use schools as warming stations during the February 2021 winter storms to personally delivering meals with other TCISD employees to the elderly during that same storm, Duarte has proven to be servant leader,“ said Melissa Tortorici, Texas City ISD Director of Communications. “Her high visibility is to make sure our students, their families and employees know that they are supported. Duarte’s impact in the community has not gone unnoticed since she is receiving this award after only one year in the community.”

Duarte and others honored at the gala spoke about why partnerships with the chamber are beneficial.

“The great thing about partnering with the Chamber of Commerce is that it brings our business partners and educational entities within the community to talk about what’s needed, to work together to bring success to the community, to our students, to our families,” said Duarte. “The partnership is pretty amazing.”

The theme of the Gala was “Jewel of the Nile” which was a tribute to the outgoing chairwoman of the board, Georgia Meyer Barzilay, who owns Karat Creations Jewelry. The incoming chairman is Ron Assad with Gallant Builders.

In addition to Duarte’s honor, other awards presented at the gala included the following:

2021 Small Business of the Year: Chris Sharp - owner, Sharp Inspection & Lube

2021 Large Business of the Year: Dr. Warren Nichols - president, College of the Mainland

2021 Jimmy Hayley Community Service Award: Barbara White - community organizer