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This profile was last updated on 8/22/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Ms. Cara Cooke

Wrong Cara Cooke?

ISD Superintendent

Phone: (773) ***-****  HQ Phone
Kilgore College
1100 Broadway
Kilgore, Texas 75662
United States

Company Description: Kilgore College promotes great value primarily for its 20-member school district service area in Northeast Texas by providing educational opportunities at a...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Neches High School
  • master
    Stephen F. Austin State University
  • bachelor , education
    University of Texas Tyler
48 Total References
Web References
Throughout the next month, Kilgore ISD ..., 22 Aug 2014 [cached]
Throughout the next month, Kilgore ISD Superintendent Cara Cooke will be allowed to hire educators as needed based on a 22:1 ratio in Kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms. More...
Cara ..., 11 Aug 2014 [cached]
Cara Cooke
301 N Kilgore St
Kilgore, TX 75662
903-988-3900 Office
"This is a huge shift from ..., 23 Jan 2014 [cached]
"This is a huge shift from anything that's been done before across the state," KISD Superintendent Cara Cooke said.
"We believe what we have here is very feasible," Cooke said about the various plans and endorsements KISD will offer.
After a majority vote, the Kilgore ..., 26 Feb 2013 [cached]
After a majority vote, the Kilgore Independent School District board of trustees named Cara Cooke as the sole finalist for KISD's superintendent position.
Cooke graduated from Neches High School in 1982 then earned her bachelor's in education from University of Texas Tyler in 1987 and her master's from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2002. Cooke has worked in education for 25 years, and began her career as Palestine ISD before becoming the Neches ISD elementary principal.
Cooke next moved to Industrial ISD, where she worked as the assistant superintendent for five years. Cooke assisted Industrial ISD with various projects and initiatives to increase the district's academic scores. In 2009 and 2010, Industrial ISD received the Exemplary District accolade.
After Industrial ISD, Cooke's next stop was West Oso ISD in Corpus Christi, again as an assistant superintendent.
"I've been an assistant superintendent for six years," Cooke said.
Cooke has been married for 30 years to her husband Richard and is the mother of two 25 year-old twins, Chad and Ashley.
KISD's board of trustees voted to name Cooke the sole finalist Monday evening after meeting in executive session during their regularly scheduled, monthly board meeting. Cooke was approved with only trustee Reggie Henson voting no, against.
Now, Cooke is the sole candidate remaining.
State law requires that the school board make the finalist for the position known to the public 21 days before another vote is called to approve placing the finalist in the position.
Cooke will enter KISD at a crucial point in the district. Two schools are to finish construction over the summer and open for the next school year after school supplies are moved in. During her time as a teacher at Palestine ISD, Cooke took part in a campus-wide move to a new elementary.
"That's a big undertaking," Cooke said.
Again this could have been handled along time ago with a man that has worked for our schools for many years and is just as qualified as Ms.Cooke. I do not know Ms. Cooke and am sure she is an outstanding person and educator. I will support her in everyway, this current school board....not so much reply
Cara Cooke Cara ..., 17 July 2014 [cached]
Cara Cooke Cara Cooke The past school year, Kilgore ISD Superintendent Cara Cooke often compared the district to a mule that has fallen down a deep well - the animal's owner sees no solution but to bury the beast which then climbs out, using the mounds of dirt to lift itself progressively higher.
"Just like that mule, KISD has had some challenges this year," she told guests at the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce's July Biz- Connect Luncheon at Kilgore Intermediate School Tuesday.
Some of those seeds have borne fruit, such as capital projects and student enrichment; others, test scores in particular, Cooke said, have more growth ahead.
The 2013-2014 school year opened with the completion of Kilgore ISD's new campuses - opening them "and working through the traffic flow problems with community assistance," Cooke said - followed by renovations to Kilgore Intermediate School and Chandler Elementary "to feature state of the art technology and safety features that, unfortunately, are so very, very important in this state and time."
KISD invested additional funds in new technology and strove to implement the gadgetry effectively, part of "a new initiative of internal transformation" during a school year that saw 100 transfer students join the district while staffers launched "an enhanced K-12 curriculum that includes a very high level of rigor," Cooke said.
"We have put in place interventions and enrichments for all of our students. We have added more career tech courses into our high school program, and we are continuing to build a better partnership with Kilgore College so we can offer more dual credit courses for our students."
The school placed in the Top 10 of the 2014 UIL Lone Star Cup, based on achievements in athletic and academic programs, Cooke noted. Seniors earned more than $1 million in awards and 89 percent were accepted into colleges across the country.
At the same time, KISD partnered with community entities, such as Hearts Anonymous and the Backpack Program "which provides aid to our students and our families with some of their basic needs of life."
Plowing the field, the first crops have been realized, Cooke said, laying groundwork for the 2014-2015 school year that must continue to be cultivated.
The district is in the early stages of a facilities study for the vacated Maude Laird Middle School and Kilgore Heights campuses while at the same time exploring upgrade options for the high school campus, to bring it into the 21st century while maintaining its heritage and the historical elements of its construction.
Notably, KISD is continuing its investigation of career technical education, including the development of a separate Early College High School in coordination with Kilgore College - attempts for a planning grant were unsuccessful the past year, Cooke added, "but that has not deterred us from continuing to have those conversations and plan and move forward in how to make this dream a reality."
Responding to a question from the audience, Cooke allowed the district's preliminary glimpse of standardized test results puts in the district "in an average range" statewide.
It's the middle of the road, and "That's definitely not where we want to be," she said. With below average scores for certain student populations compared to high scoring areas (such as the high school's 95 percent return in U.S. History), "You do know when you start turning a ship around it takes a while … I'm confident that we're heading in the right direction. We've plowed that field very well, but we currently are sitting at about an average area."
After revamping instruction and procedures the past year, more retooling is ahead.
"We've made some changes in personnel and some different things that needed to be done to ensure that next year we will see progress," Cooke said. In the scores, "We're kind of all over the place right now.
Cooke continued.
"There's so many things that are going on and so many ideas we have as we move forward," Cooke said.
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