In March 2016, after a 32-year career serving as a school superintendent across America, Dr. Terry Grier decided to retire as a school district leader. From 2009 through 2016, he led the 216,000 Houston Independent School District—the seventh largest district in America.
In 2013, under Grier’s leadership, HISD became the first district in America to win the prestigious Broad Award a second time. The award recognizes increases in student achievement and closing achievement gaps. During his time in Houston, scholarship dollars offered to seniors increased from $52 to $313 million and graduation rates rose to all time highs. In November 2012, Houston citizens approved a $1.9 billion construction bond (largest in history of Texas) by a 69 percent approval rate. HISD’s PowerUp Digital Conversion program is widely considered to be the most successful in America and the district is widely known for its school choice program.
Grier has received numerous awards including The National Educator of the Year Award—presented by the Council of Great City Schools; East Carolina University and Vanderbilt University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award; the North Carolina and Texas’ State Superintendent of the Year Award; Education Week’s Leaders to Learn From Award; and, the National School Public Relations Association’s Bob Grossman Award. He is most proud of receiving the Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators for his support of women and minorities in education.
Since leaving the superintendency, he coaches several young superintendents, consults with a number of education related organizations and companies across the country and around the world, travels, and plays a little golf.
Eighty-one of the men and women who have worked with Dr. Grier have gone on to become school superintendents across America—22 from Houston ISD.
He and his wife Nancy live in Wilmington, NC. They have four grown children and two grandchildren. They have a very cool dog, Cooper, and Nancy has a cat.