Mansfield ISD Magazine Winter 2019/2020 | Page 11

educator. The two have been married for 14 years. They have a blended family of four daughters—Courtney, Kendall, Hannah and Harper. Harper is a fourth-grader in Mansfield ISD. “My wife has always been passionate about children,” said Jerry Cantu. “It was a natural fit for her to be in education because she loves the students. That’s something I think the community will be able to see even more in her new position. She’s loving, resilient and determined.” Dr. Cantu believes investing in children is key because they are the future. READY TO LEAD “My vision for the district isn’t Dr. Cantu is passionate about plan that is formed with input from preparing students to be productive citizens. She has also spearheaded the district’s social-emotional health program to address the holistic needs of children. When asked about what she will do in her first 90 days as superintendent, the answer is simple—listen. She believes that before acting, she needs to hear what people are needing and wanting. “My leadership style is collaborative, and I want to be able to keep the two-way communication open. By doing so, we can work together to make decisions with the focus of putting students first,” she said. “I want to listen to the students, to the parents, to the staff members and to created in a silo. It’s a collaborative students, parents, staff members and the community; and it’s ultimately approved by the MISD School Board,” Dr. Cantu explained. “We’re currently working on Vision 2030. That will be the district’s strategic plan for the next 10 years. The focus of the plan is to be very intentional in preparing students to be college, career, military and life ready. Students will, in essence, have ownership of their education and be able to track data at any time pertaining to how they are faring with being life ready.” Dr. Cantu is also a big proponent for community service. She is an active member of the Mansfield Rotary Club and volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and other service projects. “Mansfield ISD is home, and I’m honored to have the privilege to lead such a wonderful district,” she said. “It’s well known that MISD is a great place to live, learn and teach. I’m ready to continue building relationships with our students, parents, staff members and community members so that we can ensure that our students graduate confident to take on the world.” HOME, SWEET HOME A meet-and-greet reception was The longtime educator wears many was a time for the community to hats. She is the proud wife of her get to know her and begin the two- husband, Jerry, who is also an way communication process. held for Dr. Cantu on Jan. 13. It the community members. I want to get their feedback, and I want them to get a better understanding of who I am.” Dr. Cantu added that through the community surveys during the superintendent search, it was clear the community is pleased with the direction in which the district is going. Her goal is to continue on that positive trajectory while adding more educational choices for students and parents. Family time is one of Dr. Cantu’s favorite moments of the day. MANSFIELDTODAY 11