Dallas ISD superintendent brings back a familiar face after a calming force announces her retirement

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Dallas ISD shuffled several members of superintendent Michael Hinojosa’s cabinet Friday after the head of the district’s HR division announced her retirement.

Karry Chapman, Dallas ISD’s chief of Human Capital Management, will be stepping down at the end of June after three years with the district.

Cynthia Wilson, former DISD chief of staff, will be Chapman’s replacement. Wilson served under Hinojosa from 2015 to 2017 before leaving to become Houston ISD’s chief of staff.

“Karry’s done a fantastic job with us,” Hinojosa said. “She was the one constant between [former superintendent Mike] Miles’ team and my team, and to replace her, I decided to reach out to somebody I knew.”

This will be the third retirement from the school business for Chapman, who worked in a variety of roles in North Texas schools for 37 years.

Karry Chapman, outgoing chief of Human Capital Management in Dallas ISD

“I guess you can say I failed at retirement,” she said with a chuckle.

Chapman first came out of retirement in 2011 to serve as the interim assistant superintendent for administration and human resources in Irving ISD. It was a job, Chapman said, that was supposed to last three months but stretched into three years. She stepped away when current superintendent Jose Parra was hired in 2014, only to be brought to DISD by Miles eight months later to take over an embattled department. The previous HCM chief and her executive director resigned after The Dallas Morning News obtained instant messages in which they disparaged coworkers and discussed ways to force out other employees.

Hinojosa praised Chapman, the last holdover from Miles’ administrative cabinet, for her experienced hand and steady leadership.

“She settled down some of the drama,” he said.

Chapman called it “a little poetic” to finish her career under Hinojosa — who gave her her first HR position in Grand Prairie ISD after she had worked as a teacher for 17 years.

In her latest retirement effort, Chapman plans to spend more time with her family in their Mansfield home.

“I was intrigued coming to Dallas, to be a part of such a large system,” Chapman said. “And I had heard some tremendous things about the people who worked in the district, and I found that to be true. There are so many valuable, strong, intelligent and caring people here.”

Hinojosa said h’s confident that his former chief of staff will do well as she comes back in a different role. Wilson has worked in Houston since March 2017.

Cynthia Wilson, new DISD chief of Human Capital Management.

“She was my right hand,” Hinojosa said. “And she knows the board members, and is very well respected by my team and the board. It’s not going to take her much to get up to speed.”

DISD also announced two other administrative changes on Friday.

Angie Gaylord will be officially named the chief of the Office of Transformation and Innovation after serving in an interim role since January.

And John Vega, the executive director for the Pinkston feeder pattern, will become deputy chief in Wilson’s HCM office.

“I was very disappointed that I’ve lost my last two OTI chiefs,” Hinojosa said of Mike Koprowski and Billy Snow. Koprowski left the district in early 2017 to launch local affordable housing non-profit Opportunity Dallas, while Snow left the district at the start of 2018 to become Cedar Hill ISD superintendent. “We gave Angie the chance, and she’s run with it. … We know she’s committed to the district and to Dallas."

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