Jerry Hunkapiller most recently served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Floresville Independent District in Floresville, Texas. He held this position from August 1, 2011 to June 26, 2013. The district falls under 4A classification and enrolls over 3,800 students. This population is a mix of various cultures and ethnicities:
- 64.5 percent Hispanic
- 32.6 percent Anglo
- 1.2 percent African-American
Of this mixture, 55 percent of the student body is part of an economically disadvantaged social class.
Jerry was in charge of overseeing a $4 million budget for the school district. Under his guidance, the district saw many improvements financially. Starting pay in the district increased from $41,000 a year to $43,000. He also directed the implementation of new processes and procedures to improve accuracy, transparency, and equity in the district.
Hunkapiller’s other duties included maintaining all aspects of the school district’s fine arts and athletic programs. The Head Band Director and Athletic Director reported directly to him. He was also a major contributor to his community’s Lions and Rotary Club. These organizations are focused on providing scholarships and academic assistance to children.
During his free time, Jerry enjoys spending time with his loving family. He is married to Wendy Hunkapiller, and is the father of five boys: Blade, Gage, Bryce, Grayson, and Briggs. Jerry's family is very close. They often participate in activities like visiting the zoo, strolling through the park, or going for a bike ride. Jerry Hunkapiller states that his family is the most important part of his life.
For Jerry Hunkapiller, life has always revolved around education. He thinks that the school system is a crucial part of any community. That is why he has dedicated so much time to improving the world of academia for future generations. His commitment to his schooling started at a young age and continued to develop and grow throughout his life.
Jerry Hunkapiller was an active member of many activities while he was in high school. His participation led to him receive several awards and honors. These achievements include:
- Boys State Participant in 1988
- All District Basketball in 1988 and 1989
- All District Football 1988 and 1989
- Sunray High School Fighting Bobcat Award in 1989
- Sunray High School Basketball M.V.P. 1989
- All Region Band from 1986 to 1989
He attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, with a minor in English, in May of 1996. He went on to complete his Master of Education with a focus on Mid-Management at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas in December of 1998. During his time at college, Hunkapiller attained multiple awards and recognition including:
- Army R.O.T.C. Professor of Military Science Award in 1990
- MSI Scholastic Army R.O.T.C. Cadet of the Year in 1990
- MSI Superior Army R.O.T.C. Cadet of the Year in 1990
- Pershing Rifles Member in 1990 and 1991
Jerry eventually completed his education in May of 2010 when he received his Doctor of Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, Texas. His dissertation was entitled, “Impact of a Newcomer Program on Secondary School Achievement of Recent Immigrant Students.”
Jerry Hunkapiller sports several professional awards and certifications that he has amassed during his time in the workforce. He is certified to teach Secondary Spanish for grades 6 to 12, and is also able to serve as Assistant Principal for Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade for the rest of his life.
In 1997, he received the Crosbyton Independent School District Golden Apple Teacher Award. From 2008 to 2009, he was a Lamar University Superintendent Academy Participant. He then received the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence in Public Education from the Millsap Masonic Lodge in 2011.
With a desire to spread his knowledge and experience, Hunkapiller works as a motivational speaker and volunteer for many organizations. Countless colleges and school districts have invited him to give speeches to the students about his endeavors. He is currently a coach for the Millsap Youth Association’s Football and Baseball Leagues. Jerry has also recently begun working on a large case for the Millsap Independent School District. He will present a case and testify in front of the legislators of the 82nd legislative session to enhance the funding for the district.
In 2008, he served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Hispanic Heritage Banquet. From 2005 to 2010, he served as Mediator for the Garland Association for Hispanic Affairs Mayoral, School Board, and City Council Forum Debates. Hunkapiller was an active participant of the Texas Association of School Boards rural panel as well. The panel of superintendents for the Equity Center’s School Finance and Legislative workshop welcomed him in 2010. Finally, he has organized many presentations to pass a Tax Ratification Election.
He entered the education workforce as a junior high school Spanish teacher in 1994. He taught within the Sunray Independent School District for a full academic year, and also acted as assistant coach for the school’s basketball team. He moved on to the Crosbyton Independent School District the following year, where he continued teaching Spanish.
From 1997 to 1999, Hunkapiller was the middle school assistant principal and lead administrator for Central Elementary in the Lamesa. This district fell into the 3A Classification, and helped him develop an authoritative presence in education. He became a junior high school principal in 1999 at the Stratford Independent School District. He oversaw grades five through eight up until 2001.
For the second half of the 2001, Jerry Hunkapiller was high school principal at the Presidio Independent School District. Despite serving for a short amount of time, Jerry was able to provide many services to the school during his tenure. He successfully recovered 30 students who had dropped out, and helped them earn their high school diplomas. He also helped induct 15 students into the high school’s reinstated National Honor Society.
Hunkapiller congregated with other staff members to institute a “Scholarship Night” at Presidio High School. This night honored graduates who received scholarships to college and the institutions who granted the scholarships. The first Scholarship Night saw over $75,000 worth of awards received by the student body.
Jerry Hunkapiller acted as Director of Student Services and School Choice in Garland Independent School District from 2001 to 2006. He utilized his advanced language skills to institute several programs for students and parents. He also started overseeing the translation and interpretation services for the district. This society’s task was to translate documents like brochures, notification letters, and booklets into Spanish and Vietnamese for families who used English as a second language.
The school district assigned Hunkapiller and his committee to the Primary Home Language Other than English program. This ensured that bilingual and English as a Second Language students were placed in the proper classes and programs. Healso acted as major contributor to a relief program for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The district accepted over 500 students who came from areas that were destroyed by the disasters.
Jerry held the title of Superintendent of Schools for the Millsap Independent School District from 2006 to 2011. He oversaw over 780 students from mixed backgrounds. During Hunkapiller’s time as superintendent, the schools were recognized several times for their accomplishments. The Millsap middle and elementary schools were rated as “unacceptable” when he first attained his position. They eventually achieved an “exemplary” rating during his employment.
The Millsap High School was home to the 2010 National Merit Scholar, and over 85 percent of the graduating class went on to pursue college careers. Jerry Hunkapiller was proud to see that the student body received an accumulated $650,000 in scholarships.
Jerry Hunkapiller will continue to participate in organizations and associations to help the school districts. He is a member of numerous committees that are dedicated to improving the public school system. These include:
- Texas Association of School Administrators
- Past Western Metroplex P-16 Council
- Past Region XI Director for the Texas Association of Rural Schools
- Floresville Rotary Club
- Floresville Chamber of Commerce
- Floresville Lions Club
- Our Lady of the Lake University Education Advisory Board
- ESC-Region 20 Executive Committee, 4A Classification
- Schlecty Center Superintendent Leadership Network
- Weatherford College Teacher Certification Program Advisory Committee
Hunkapiller’s contributions to these organizations will assist in shaping the future of education.
It is common knowledge that the future of schooling looks bleak. Lack of funding is just one of the major problems that are leading to a diminished education system. Jerry Hunkapiller believes that the community needs to work together to keep academia alive.
Articles and reports show educators’ beliefs about the factors that will help public schools prevail. These factors include making class sizes manageable, allowing teachers to teach directly, and providing high quality supplies. There are numerous educators who think that they are not given the proper resources to successfully perform their jobs. Many believe that simply purchasing better textbooks or more notebooks will vastly improve the academic environment.
Jerry hopes to see improvements in the future of education. Schooling is a crucial part of a society and it must not disappear. Dedicated citizens like Jerry Hunkapiller will fight to ensure a proper education for the future generations.