Michael McFarland, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools, Lancaster ISD
Dr. Michael D. McFarland was named Superintendent of Lancaster ISD in May of 2010 and is in his fourth year of leadership in this district. He is an outstanding, energetic, dynamic leader with a proven track record of transforming educational organizations into high-performing institutions. He is currently leading the successful transformation of Lancaster ISD— one of the largest predominately African American school districts in the state, with more than 85% African American students and more than 87% of students receiving free or reduced lunch services. In spite of very challenging circumstances, the student performance over the last few years has consistently increased and acceleration toward the elimination of the achievement gap is ongoing.
During McFarland’s first two years at the helm, Lancaster students have shown outstanding academic growth. As a result of McFarland’s leadership, Lancaster ISD has been recognized as a Texas High Performing School Consortium member and is one of only 22 districts in the state to receive this selection. Also in 2012, Lancaster ISD was named as a recipient of a multimillion dollar STEM grant totaling $4.8 million. The district-wide STEM grant is the largest financial contribution made to an educational institution by the Texas Instrument Foundation in support of the implementation of the first STEM for all district in Texas. Lancaster ISD aspires to become the cynosure (center) for STEM for all education in Texas and has designed an innovative framework that will ensure exposure, equity and excellence for all students. McFarland remains committed to ensuring that when students leave Lancaster ISD that they will leave with more than a high school diploma. They will graduate with choices and opportunities.
Prior to working in Lancaster, McFarland served as Assistant Superintendent of Achievement for Champaign Unit 4 Public Schools in Champaign, Illinois. He has also been a high school and middle school principal, and is a professional developer and motivational speaker with the educational consulting firm E3, Empowering, Educational Excellence. McFarland is a native of Jasper, Texas and began his educational career in 1993 as an algebra teacher. He has a Bachelor Degree of Business Administration from Baylor University, his Master Degree of Education and superintendent’s certificate from Stephen F. Austin University and his Doctorate Degree from Baylor University.