HUMBLE, TX (KTRK) --Dr. Elizbaeth Fagen is just settling in, but she says she's ready for the challenge.
"I'm an educator at heart and have been for a long time," said Fagen. "Education is my passion. I love that work. I love it as a parent."
She's stepping into a new role and into a potentially tough situation.
Dozens of parents protested her hiring this past spring when the Humble ISD board chose her as the replacement for longtime district leader, Dr. Guy Sconzo.
Parents launch petition against Humble ISD superintendent position
Among their concerns were the critics in her previous district in Colorado, where she supported merit pay for teachers and a voucher program that gave public money to a limited number of families who preferred private schools. It was the first program of its kind in the nation and provided up to $5000 per student toward a private school education. It was limited to 500 families when it began in 2011. She says the merit program was a product of pay freezes and a weak economy.
And both programs, she says, were specific choices made for that district. They are not something she plans to bring to Humble.
"People have worried, or wondered ,or what word you want to use, is 'Does this mean that the Humble ISD board is interested in some of the things that the Douglas ISD County board is interested in and that is not the situation," she said.
Dr. Fagen, who will have two young daughters in Humble ISD, said she hopes parents will give her a chance before rushing to any conclusions.
"I know there are a lot of different things that people are concerned about, but the bottom line for me in leadership is that the only way to provide really high quality leadership is to bring a community together and decide collectively what we want for our students and our school district," said Fagen.
Fagen has been an educator for 20 years and she spent eight of those years as a superintendent. She has a five year contract with a base salary of $298,000 a year.