Walling to retire after 27 years with MISD

Deputy superintendent to depart district in December

Mirror report

Midlothian Independent School District deputy superintendent Judy Walling is calling it a career after 27 years as an educator in the district and 38 years total in education.

“Judy will be greatly missed,” said Dr. Lane Ledbetter, Superintendent of Schools. “It has been a privilege and honor to work with her and she has made a long-lasting impact for generations to come. She was instrumental in implementing a rigorous and relevant curriculum, essential in training teachers to integrate digital resources in the classroom to provide access to all children no matter their age or family income, and built one of the best curriculum teams in the nation. There is no doubt that every child in our district for the past 27 years has been impacted by Judy. She has and will always be a part of the MISD family.”

Walling started her career in MISD in 1994 as the Director of Special Education and in 2003 was named the Executive Director of Specialized Learning. After three years, Walling was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Learning and then served as Interim Superintendent from November 2014 - May 2015.  In 2015 she was named the Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

Prior to joining MISD, she started her career in Cedar Hill ISD in 1983 as a resource teacher and then quickly grew to their Director of Special Education in 1989. Then, in 1993, Walling became an educational consultant until she started her long-standing tenure in MISD.

“Since joining our district, Judy has been the heartbeat of our ‘we are family’ culture,” said Kaylynn Day, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Student Services. “Throughout her career, she has had a laser-focus on providing opportunities for students and staff to learn and grow. This is evident by the numerous program offerings when it comes to Destination Imagination, career and technical courses, and much more.”

In addition to creating an environment where each child could find their passion, Walling is known among teachers as a teacher leader never forgetting her roots in the classroom.

“She has always had and will have the heart of a teacher,” said Melissa Wolfe, Executive Director of Specialized Learning. “As a colleague and friend since she joined MISD, she has made such an impact on many lives and has such a gift in working with others.”

Throughout Walling’s career, she has been known as one of the greatest advocates for all children and been incredibly supportive of district leadership, which is representative of her commitment to public education and her community.

“I have known Judy since she worked in Cedar Hill. Since I have known her, Judy has always put student needs first - whether that was having special services, social and emotional needs and academics. She has been the greatest advocate for the whole child,” said Jim Norris, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations. “I put her on the same shelf as Dolores McClatchey in that regard, and that says it all.”

One of the hallmarks of Walling’s leadership is her ability to bring stakeholders together to discuss and design solutions that are in the best interest of the greater good with compromising what is best for children.

“The best way to sum up Judy and her legacy is that she is a great listener,” said Brian Blackwell, Executive Director of Finance and Operations. “When I was a principal, she let me brainstorm ideas and get feedback. But most importantly, I, along with all of MISD, call her friend and she will be missed.”

In an effort to celebrate Judy Walling and her contributions to our district and community, and with the challenges of COVID-19, MISD is having a card-dash for anyone who would like to send a note and card. One may bring your card or note to the LA Mills Administration Building located at 100 Walter Stephenson and drop a card off through Dec. 11.