Spring, Texas – September 15th, 2015: After 35 years in the Klein ISD and 47 years in public education, beloved superintendent Dr. Jim Cain announced his plans to retire at the September 14 Board meeting. According to Cain, “My final day as superintendent will be June 30, 2016. During July and August, I will serve as a special assistant to the School Board to ensure a smooth transition with the new superintendent.”
Board President Steve Smith issued this statement regarding Cain’s announcement. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I genuinely thank Dr. Cain for his excellent leadership over the last decade. KISD is indeed fortunate to have had such an effective and caring leader. Over the coming months we look forward to Dr. Cain’s wise counsel as we begin a search process to find a new superintendent sufficiently qualified to carry on the traditions, challenges and successes of KISD.”
Cain began his career in Klein ISD in 1978 as the Benfer Elementary assistant principal. Prior to that he worked in the Clear Creek ISD and in his home state of Illinois. He also served as principal of Greenwood Forest Elementary, assistant principal at Hildebrandt Intermediate and Klein Oak High School, principal at Nitsch Elementary, instructional officer for technology, director of school administration and assistant/associate superintendent of school administration. He briefly left the district to serve as an area superintendent for two years in Fort Bend ISD in 1997.
Cain was given the reigns as superintendent in July of 2004 and has led the district to many great academic successes. Graduation rates have increased and dropout rates reduced. Students continue to perform above the state and region in standardized tests and on college entrance exams. The district’s fine arts departments have thrived under Cain’s leadership, and the district has moved to a nationally recognized culture of 21st century digital learning.
Yet there is much more to this gentle man of extraordinary integrity. Employees enjoy coming to work, and it shows on their faces. Students thrive as their teachers inspire them to be hungry to learn. Under Cain’s leadership, the district has simply flourished. There are many reasons for this transformation but none is greater than the positivity and selflessness exemplified by Cain’s leadership. He is a superintendent in the trenches, and visitors are amazed at the sheer number of employees that he calls by name.
Board member Ronnie Anderson remarked, “One cannot demonstrate effective leadership without a moral compass. Dr. Cain exhibits the utmost integrity by consistently doing what’s best for students and making every effort to do the right thing all the time.”
A second great accomplishment under Cain’s leadership is the community support received with the passage of three bond issues totaling more than one billion dollars. During Cain’s tenure, more than 19,000 single family homes were built and the district grew by more than 13,500 students. The bonds support district growth by funding new schools, renovations on existing schools, technology, safety and security equipment and buses. Ten elementary schools, one early childhood/pre-kindergarten center, two intermediates and VISTAS High School of Choice opened under Cain’s watchful eye. Additionally, Klein High School was completely rebuilt giving students a modern school under one roof.
With producing students of good character as a major goal of the school district, Cain began the Unite for Understanding Council in 2007 to bring together the adults of the community. Serving as a focal point for our diverse community, this council promotes respect and understanding to build strong relationships that benefit and enrich our community. The council received the Houston Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Community of Respect designation for five consecutive years.
Additionally, Cain encourages all campuses to work towards receipt of the ADL’s No Place for Hate designation. He is proud that each of the schools have received that designation and work daily to ensure that students know and understand the importance of having and modeling good character traits.
Cain issued a statement regarding this decision, “I want to thank the School Board members for their support, and our excellent working relationship as a Team of Eight. In addition, I want to thank all Klein ISD employees with whom I have been privileged to know and work with over the years. This will mark my 47th year in public education, and I know of no finer profession in which to serve. My 35 years in Klein ISD have been very rewarding for my family and for me.”
The glass is always more than half full, the sun is shining, the temperature is 75 degrees and there is a slight breeze from the south. This is how Cain sees Klein ISD. He inspires greatness by being present, being real, and listening to teachers who he believes are the gatekeepers of learning. One teacher describes him best when she emailed him recently, “Thank you for your superior leadership! It is such a blessing to work in Klein ISD. Words can’t express how much we appreciate your visits to our school. You keep us well informed of the overall district plans, and you always impress us with how quickly you find answers to our questions.” Cain has strategically worked to build good employee morale believing this greatly contributes to student academic and character success.
Always thinking about the Klein ISD family of employees, he issued this statement, “I look forward to another great school year working with the employees in the Klein ISD family, focusing on academic excellence and character education for every child entrusted to us. I will see you soon on your campus or in your department.”