Centennial Outstanding Alumnus

Robert Duron, EdD ’00

This year the Baylor School of Education honored graduates and mentors whose work makes significant, observable changes in the lives of others while exemplifying the Christian mission and ideals of the Baylor SOE. Chosen by a faculty committee, educators were chosen from among a field of candidates for their excellence and ability to bring honor and distinction to the profession.

Current or former students, faculty, staff and SOE partners were asked to nominate candidates for the Centennial Outstanding Alumni Award, the Centennial Outstanding Young Alumni Award and the Centennial Outstanding Mentor Award. Waco native Dr. Robert Duron was honored as the Centennial Outstanding Alumnus.

Having grown up a block away from Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium, Duron never dreamed he would earn a degree from Baylor. The son of factory laborers who valued education, he said his journey is proof that God worked through others — and Baylor — to make his success possible.    

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive the prestigious Centennial Outstanding Alumnus Award for Baylor’s School of Education,” Duron said. “As I reflect on my years in education and the significance of this award, I am reminded that this opportunity is only possible because of the many people that supported me through my educational journey and career.”

Duron has 32 years of public education experience and has held significant leadership roles. He is currently the Associate Executive Director of Governance Services for the Texas Association of School Boards, which provides training, consulting services, productivity tools, research, and direct support to school districts and school board members.

He served as superintendent of the San Antonio and Socorro (El Paso) Independent School Districts and then as Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration for the Texas Education Agency.

Duron earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M Commerce before earning an EdD at Baylor in Educational Administration. He began his career as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal in districts across Texas and then served as assistant superintendent in Clear Creek ISD in League City for six years before becoming a superintendent.

Baylor’s Dr. John E. Wilson, Clinical Professor and Program Director for the Doctor of Education in K-12 Educational Leadership, said he had the privilege of hiring Duron as his assistant superintendent when he worked as superintendent of Clear Creek ISD.

“He enrolled at Baylor in the doctoral program, where my role now is to inspire young people to go out and become executive leaders in K-12 schools, to get them fired up and excited,” Wilson said. “When you look at all the things he’s done, when you look at the big picture, Robert has really had an incredible career.”

Duron said countless people influenced his career pathway, but few more than his mentor, Wilson. “He is undoubtedly a gifted leader and served as a steady mentor for me as I progressed,” Duron said. 

Duron also credited teachers in the Waco Independent School District for much of his success. Jean Reagan-Lessman, my English teacher, was the reason I fell in love with reading, and Bobby Jacobs served as a great role model and coach for me,” Duron said. “Both of these individuals had very high expectations, and they set the standard for what it means to be a great teacher and leader. They inspired my decision to become a life-long educator.”

Duron is married to Dr. Jodi Duron, superintendent of Elgin Independent School District. Jodi Duron earned her BSEd, MSEd, and EdD degrees from Baylor. “She leads with style and grace that makes me proud every day,” her husband said. They have two children.