Press Release

Austin Chamber Recognizes Top Performing Educators Across Central Texas

Posted By Greater Austin Chamber | Nov 10, 2016
Education and Talent, Press Releases Print Article Press Release

AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 10, 2016) The Austin Chamber recognized several local school districts, high schools and educators for excellence in the Austin area. The honors were recently awarded during the Chamber’s annual State of Education program that provides the community with a report card on the status of education in the region.

At the event, Shaun Cranston, Chamber Education Vice Chair, provided an update on the progress of DTC70, a groundbreaking regional partnership among nine Central Texas School districts, Austin Community College and the University of Texas Ray Marshall Center. DTC70 aims to lift Central Texas' direct to college enrollment rate up from 61 percent to the national average of 70 percent.

“As of Nov. 3, approximately 60 percent of all area high school seniors for the class of 2017 have applied to at least one Texas technical organization, community college or university. We are more than halfway toward our goal of an 88 percent applicant rate,” said Cranston. 

“We are very proud of the hard work these dedicated educators have put into improving direct to college enrollments in the Austin area,” continued Cranston. “Austin currently has 40,000 open jobs, the vast majority of which require a college degree, so attending college is a crucial step for the continuing education of these young men and women who will continue to drive the economy forward across the region.”

The award winners are as follows:

Superintendent of the Year – Dr. Paul Cruz (Austin ISD)

Cruz was recognized for his regional leadership in making college readiness and enrollment a top priority in AISD.  He has included direct-to-college pathway metrics in his own evaluation and for those of senior administrative leaders and high school principals. Despite difficult budget challenges, Cruz also added an additional counselor at each high school in Austin ISD. 

Austin Human Capital Award – Dr. Denise Trauth – President of Texas State University

Trauth was recognized for her extraordinary impact on Central Texas’ college readiness, enrollment and success.  She was lauded for her leadership at Texas State in growing enrollment while improving the academic readiness of the entering class of students. Texas State has grown to nearly 40,000 students and is an emerging research institution.  

Previous recipients of the Austin Human Capital Award include Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes, State Senator Florence Shapiro, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Bazaarvoice CEO Gene Austin.

Apply for Texas Submission Rate for 2016 (100%)

Awarded to campuses that achieve a 100% submission rate of the Texas Common Application by their senior class.

  • Lanier High School, AISD
  • Garza High School, AISD
  • Ann Richards High School, AISD
  • Crockett High School, AISD
  • Connally High School, PfISD
  • Hutto High School, HISD
  • KIPP Collegiate High School

Highest Q1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid Rate for 2016

  • Hendrickson HS, PfISD 
  • Ann Richards HS, AISD

Highest Financial Aid Saturday Attendance – 338 students

  • Hutto High School, HISD

Greatest Improvement in Direct-to-College rate -Campus

  • Vandegrift, Leander ISD

Greatest Improvement in Direct-to-College Rate - District

  • Hutto ISD
  • Del Valle ISD

Highest Campus Direct To College Rate


#     #     #

About the Austin Chamber

The mission of the Austin Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for its more than 3,000 members. For more information visit 

Greater Austin Chamber

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.