AP NEWS

Former Klein ISD superintendent Donald Collins dies at 83

May 9, 2019

Donald Collins, the former superintendent of Klein ISD who led the district for 29 years, died at age 83 on Saturday, May 4.

Collins led the district in 1971 until his retirement in 2000, taking the district from six schools to 28 schools during his 29-year tenure.

“He was a real visionary,” said Glenn Wilkerson, president of the Cypress Creek Cultural District.

Collins was born in October 1935 and moved to Houston in 1950 where he first worked in radio and television broadcasting when he was 16.

He then began working as as a teacher for Houston ISD in 1957 after graduating from the University of Houston with a psychology degree and later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, according to a release from Klein ISD.

Collins then returned to Houston ISD as an assistant superintendent before arriving at Klein ISD in 1971.

Wilkerson said he moved to the Houston area in 1973 and whenever he met with Collins, their conversations would center on education.

“We’d visit about his goals and vision for expanding the school district. The growth that has taken place over the years has just been phenomenal,” Wilkerson said.

According to a Klein ISD released, the district grew to 31,800 students from 2,700 students under Collins’ leadership.

While funeral arrangements are pending as of May 8, the district is collecting stories or condolences for the Collins family.

mayra.cruz@chron.com