After nearly 40 years as an educator, the superintendent of the Alief Independent School District is retiring in December.
H.D. Chambers has been the district’s superintendent for the past 12 years and he discussed with KPRC 2 what he considers to be a highlight of his career.
“For a long time, our school system had one single focus, and that focus was to prepare every single student to go to a four-year college,” said Chambers.
Chambers said he realized that mindset was too narrow and robbed children of the chance to thrive in different ways.
“It was difficult for some people to accept the fact that not every student needs to go to a four-year college,” said Chambers.
However, Chambers said this effort went well beyond changing the way people think.
“It required a piece of legislative change in 2013 at the state level that literally changed the way in which the high school experience went for students,” said Chambers.
House Bill 5 was passed in 2013 and changed the requirements for graduating high school to “give students the flexibility to take more classes focused on their interests and career goals.”
“We worked together to re-shift the focus of this one-size fits all curriculum that means every child is going to go to a four-year college, and we created pathways for students in high schools to choose from based on their interests, based on their skills and based on what the workforce is telling us what they need,” said Chambers. “Students that want to be nurses, they want to be radiologists, they want to be pharmacy technicians; we literally have waiting lists for students that want to get into those programs.”
According to Alief ISD, Chambers will retire on Dec 21.