A former state Superintendent of the Year has been named as the lone finalist to take over the superintendent role at Waco ISD.

The district’s board of trustees named former Laredo ISD superintendent Dr. A. Marcus Nelson. Dr. Nelson was with the school district for eight years and led Laredo ISD to new levels of academic success, the release stated.

Waco ISD Board President Pat Atkins said in his mind they set a goal to look as far as they needed to go to find the best candidate to be the new Superintendent, and they found him.

The search began after current Waco ISD Superintendent, Dr. Bonny Cain, announced her retirement. Nelson is lone finalist out of 59 candidates who applied to replace Cain.

“Marcus Nelson’s personality and track record of success put him at the head of a strong group of applicants,” Atkins said.

Nelson said he is excited and grateful to the Board of Trustees for the opportunity.

“I consider the Waco Community one of the premier locations in our state, and I am committed to continuing the transformative work already underway in Waco Public Schools,” he said. “My plan is to work together will all staff, students, parents and community members to create graduates that are extraordinarily competitive in a global society.”

Nelson has taught in elementary and high schools, then became an assistant principal and later a high school principal. He has two master’s degrees and a doctorate and he also speaks to education groups across the country as a leadership expert.

“He’s an outstanding champion for students and one of the brightest educational leadership minds in the country,” Webb County (Laredo) Judge Tano Tijerina said.

Three Waco ISD Trustees visited Laredo Monday and Tuesday as part of their decision-making process.

Nelson must wait 21 days before officially being hired.