Dr. Stoerner retires as superintendent

When Dr. Louis Stoerner became superintendent of Alief Independent School District in 2001, the district had 36 schools, more than 42,000 students, and a rating of Academically Acceptable. Stoerner retired November 19, leaving behind a district that has changed in many ways.  In the nine years since he began leading the district, Alief has built or created more campuses, added 3,000 more students suddenly after one hurricane and weathered damage caused by another, and brought its ratings up to Recognized.

“I’ve been the superintendent for nine years,” Stoerner said in an interview during his last week on the job, “and the best thing I can say about Alief is simply the wonderful and the great staff that we have. Both of those are big strengths of our school district and will continue to be.”

Stoerner is proud of the improvements the school district has made, and one of his favorite memories includes the recognition Alief has recently received.

“The most memorable memory would be that not only has Kerr was awarded as a Blue Ribbon School, as well as an exemplary one, but the district as a whole reached recognized status,” he said. “It was a wonderfully accomplished month.”

Stoerner admits being superintendent wasn’t always an easy task.

“One of the worst events was the Katrina Hurricane,” he reflected. “We had an influx of at least 3,000 students in a short time frame. It was tough to keep things organized.

Money was also an ongoing concern for the superintendent.

“We had challenges with school funding issues,” he admitted.

Stoerner admits to a few other things he will not mind leaving behind, including the political issues.

“Sometimes the [politics] would divide the community, because some of the people I worked with didn’t really have the best interests of the kids at heart,” Stoerner said.  “However, it’s always been a great job and experience, and I’ve enjoyed 98 percent of it and will miss it very much.”

After a career spent in education, Stoerner plans to remain involved in student learning through tutoring and mentoring. He says he will miss most the close friendships with his coworkers and those around the district.

“I will miss the people. I spend most of my day at work, so the friendships you have with coworkers – it’s hard to leave,” he said. “It’s similar to seniors, making changes in some of the friendships. You’ll still maintain it, but it’ll be different because you won’t see them.”