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Fowler, Melody, Arlington ISD Board President - School Board Recognition Month
Posted in on January 10, 2024

Q&A with Melody Fowler

January is School Board Recognition Month, and we want to spotlight our Board of Trustees and all the great work they do. This year the theme for the month is Locally Elected, Community Connected.

We’re starting the month by catching up with board president Melody Fowler. Fowler has been on the board since 2018 and has been the president since 2022.

How was 2023 different from other years on the board with the transition with the superintendent?

It was different from other years on the board for several reasons. The first reason is due to the announcement from Dr. [Marcelo] Cavazos that he was retiring. I was not expecting that news. Although I was happy for him, I was sad that I would not be working with him on the board.

I have great admiration and respect for Dr. C. Arlington ISD has been fortunate to have Dr. Steven Wurtz to step in as interim superintendent. Knowing the district as well as he did allowed for a seamless transition. He stepped right in and continued the work. The close of 2023 also brought excitement as we interviewed and selected a new superintendent, Dr. Matt Smith. Dr. Smith will be a great Team of 8 member, and I look forward to working with him.

As the president, did you feel like you had more responsibility because of the changes?

As president, I have had a lot more responsibility during the transition. I met with Dr. Wurtz weekly, and we spoke on the phone several times a day to calibrate and keep the district running smoothly. It was a pleasure working closely with Dr. Wurtz. It has taken a lot of time, but honestly, I have enjoyed every moment of it. I knew the time I was putting in was needed to make sure Arlington ISD was continuing to move forward.

What kind of additional challenges did that bring?

The challenge I faced was time. Working full-time and volunteering on many boards made it challenging at times to get everything done, but being flexible helped. I think the public does not realize how much time it takes to serve on the board. The additional responsibility as president coupled with an interim superintendent plus heading up the search for a new superintendent can be quite challenging. Even with all the challenges, I can honestly say I love every minute that I serve. I love the Arlington ISD, and I am committed to seeing it thrive.

What are you looking forward to most about 2024 school-wise?

I am excited about 2024. We are going into a new year and welcoming a new superintendent. I look forward to seeing what Dr. Matt Smith brings to Arlington ISD.

The theme for the month is locally elected, community connected. How important is the community support to you?

Arlington ISD is blessed with tremendous community support. We are fortunate to live in a community that recognizes the value and importance of public education. Arlington ISD and the community truly are partners in education.

What’s your favorite thing about the Arlington ISD?

My favorite thing about Arlington ISD is opportunity. We provide opportunities to our students that many districts do not. From dual language and fine arts to IB programs to career and technical programs, Arlington ISD offers something for everyone. Providing access to these opportunities is just one of the things I am most proud of in Arlington ISD.