Dr. Rick Reedy Led FISD Through Growth and Change

Sep 28, 2015

It was Rick Reedy who first said that Frisco ISD's job was to know every student by name and need. Borrowed from a presenter, it has now become the simply-worded mission statement that continues to motivate each teacher and administrator in FISD today.

Dr. Reedy’s 16-year tenure as superintendent of Frisco ISD schools was a working example of that charge. Reedy remains famous for remembering names of students, parents and teachers – even facts about their family members. He spent 43 years in education working to make sure that all students had the best opportunities possible for success in school and in life.

The District recognized Reedy and fellow namesake Charles B. Pearson on September 27 during dedication ceremonies at the schools named in their honor.

Both Reedy and Pearson served the District during times of change in the Frisco community and schools.

Reedy began his career in Frisco in 1976 as a teacher and coach. He went on to become principal of Frisco High School, assistant superintendent of the District, and finally the top administrator. 

“It is not an understatement to say that the school district that you see today was built by Dr. Reedy’s leadership,” said current Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Lyon. “His guiding hand is seen in almost every aspect of our operation and his fingerprints are all over the success that this school district has had. His accomplishments have resulted in opportunities for young people that are second to none.”

During Reedy’s time as superintendent, the District experienced unprecedented growth and change, growing from 3,700 students to almost 43,000 and from 433 employees to 5,400. As the fastest growing school district in the nation from 1990-91 to 2010-11 and with a community vision focused on smaller schools, FISD grew from five schools to 56 at the time of his retirement in January 2013, passing four bond referendums totaling over $1.6 billion.

Under Reedy's leadership and that of City Manager George Purefoy, the relationship between the City of Frisco and Frisco ISD resulted in several unique public-private partnerships including the construction of Dr Pepper Ballpark, what is now Toyota Stadium, and Dr Pepper Arena, saving tax dollars and providing great opportunities for students.

Reedy has been a strong advocate for public education and opportunities for students. He served on many boards and committees at the state and local level, including the UIL Legislative Committee. It was Reedy's vision to establish the Frisco Education Foundation, which has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships to Frisco ISD students.

In remarks at the dedication, Dr. Reedy thanked many people who he said were responsible for his success. Among them were family members, city leaders, School Board members, District administrators, mentors, colleagues, teachers and students.

“I didn’t do anything by myself,” he told the audience. “All of you carried the load and I got the credit for it.”

He noted earlier, “Serving students and families was a gift and I worked with some of the best at what they do – Reedy High School is a tribute to the work of many and I humbly accept this honor on their behalf.”

Reedy has previously been lauded with honors such as the Frisco Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award and as a Living Legend in 2009 by the Collin College Foundation. In 2013, he was presented the Frisco Chamber of Commerce’s Visionary Award and was awarded the National Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of PTAs. He was also named Person of the Year by Frisco STYLE magazine.

Reedy and his wife, the Rev. Judith Reedy, are the parents of three children, including two who chose to pursue education as a career. Their five grandchildren are in line to be graduates of Frisco ISD schools.

Frisco ISD dedicated the new Norris Elementary and Trent Middle School on September 20, honoring retired health coordinator Armetha Norris and retired Fine Arts Director Dr. Daryl Trent for their contributions to Frisco ISD. Read more about those ceremonies. 

Watch the video featuring reflections from former students, colleagues, mentors and friends.