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'Overwhelmed with joy:' Marlin ISD superintendent reacts to school district's passing grade from TEA, a first in over 10 years

Marlin ISD received an 86 or "B" from the TEA. The last time the district was scored in 2019, it got a 56 or "F."

MARLIN, Texas — For the first time in over a decade, Marlin Independent School District received a passing grade from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding its accountability standards.

On Monday, the school district learned TEA gave it an accountability grade of 86 or a "B" for the 2021 to 2022 school year. This is a 30-point increase from its last score of 56, which was given to the district in 2019.

"When seeing an 86 this morning, I could not tell you that the joy I felt for our students, teachers and for our community," said Superintendent Dr. Darryl J. Henson told 6 News.

RELATED: TEA releases grades for Texas schools, districts for first time in 3 years

From 2011 to 2019, the district received either an "F" or an improvement required rating and even lost its accreditation status in 2014. This caused the State of Texas to intervene where they installed a Monitor, then later a Board of Managers and Conservator to help oversee efforts to improve the district, according to a news release.

Henson, who has a history of turning around long-struggling schools, was then brought on to become superintendent of Marlin ISD in 2020 to help save the district, according to a news release.

"Henson faced an enormous challenge, but made significant strides with his team by bringing a culture of trust and accountability," a news release said Monday. "The culture shift injected a jolt of optimism into the town of Marlin, Texas, and Marlin ISD manifested a massive turnaround by demonstrating  the most growth of any district in the state of Texas."

“I am overwhelmed with joy by the academic gains made by our students over the past two years," Henson said. "After a decade of unsatisfactory performance, to finally have the label of Improvement Required or F-Rated removed is a testament to our commitment to excellence. This transformation will go down not only in the history books of Marlin ISD, but in the history of Texas public school education. This is just the beginning, as I know that the best is yet to come for our students and school community.”

Marlin ISD wants to celebrate the district's success with a parade on Friday, Sept. 2. Details about the parade will be released later on the district's Twitter and Facebook pages.

RELATED: TEA releases school district accountability ratings, but be careful comparing grades

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