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Q&A

INTERVIEW

WITH FORT BEND ISD SUPERINTENDENT

DR. CHARLES DUPRE AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What was life like for you as a child growing up? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: I had a complicated childhood. My mother died when I was five years old, and when I was seven, my father sent me to live in a faith-based children's home. I lived there until I finished high school. I was blessed to be well taken care of, and I received a good education that provided the foundation for future opportunities; but, it was challenging to be raised by people who were not my parents. AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What did you dream of becoming as you were a child growing up? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: From a young age, I enjoyed performing, and public speaking. I wanted to be a performer or broadcast journalist. AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Did you achieve your childhood dream, or did it evolve into something different? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: In terms of overall success, I have far exceeded my childhood dream, but I am definitely not doing what I originally dreamed! When I speak to students, I often remind them that it is likely they will end up in a job or profession they can't even conceive of today. In FBISD, our mission is to inspire and equip all students to pursue futures beyond what they can imagine. I feel blessed that teachers and others in my life prepared me in that way. I began my career as Certified Public Accountant. Today, I am Superintendent/CEO of one of the largest public school districts in Texas and the U.S. Who knew!? AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What is your mission in life? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: My primary mission in life is to glorify God in all I do. As a leader in public education, I feel I am fulfilling my calling to invest in the lives of others. The work we do as educators shapes the future of each child we touch, along with that of their families and any spouse or children they might have in the future. Our work also shapes the future of our community. If our community is to thrive, public schools must send productive, contributing citizens into the workforce. We must develop leaders and prepare students to give back to their communities and invest in the lives of others.

AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Do you have a recent accomplishment you would like to share? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: On a personal level, in 2014, I completed a doctorate degree after four years of graduate school. Professionally, I am proud that, during the past two years, FBISD has engaged more stakeholders than ever before in developing comprehensive plans for the future. An important result of the community engagement is that 74 percent of voters approved the November 2014 bond election. AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What is your outlook for 2015? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: In 2015, I will begin my third year as superintendent of FBISD, so I look forward to moving out of the "transition" phase of organizational development as we begin to bring to fruition two years of extensive planning done in partnership with a strong School Board, an engaged community and a dedicated staff. I will also complete my 20th year in public education, which is a major milestone. Even more importantly, I will celebrate 30 years of marriage to the beautiful woman who has faithfully shared life's journey with me in a loving, supportive way. AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What advice would you give to someone out there striving to achieve their dream? SUPERINTENDENT DUPRE: To achieve your dreams, you must be a person of integrity in all things and invest in authentic relationships with others, including colleagues at all levels of the organization. This is different than simply "networking." You must be a life-long learner, and demonstrate you are willing to work hard. It's also important to be flexible, nimble, and willing to stretch the boundaries of the status quo. You must possess the courage to take risks, learn from your mistakes and setbacks, and keep pressing forward.

ON THE COVER FBISD SUPERINTENDENT DR. CHARLES DUPRE – Dr. Dupre is the first African American to serve as superintendent for the FBISD School District.

2014 Year-End Review Edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine  

The distinguished Houston, Texas (Harris County) and Missouri City, Texas (Fort Bend) leaders in Business, Politics, and education highlight...

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