Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Raúl Peña


Dr. Raúl Peña was named Superintendent of Schools in September 2023, becoming the first Hispanic male to hold the top leadership position of Hutto ISD, which serves more than 10,000 students.

A believer in the power of collective forces working together to influence change, Dr. Peña has dedicated his life to supporting families and students. The son of immigrant parents and an English learner himself, he recognizes the needs of students and their parents who are learning English as a second language. Dr. Peña approaches every relationship through the lens of inclusivity, respect, gratitude and humility.

Dr. Peña has consistently focused on closing equity gaps and helping all students achieve college, career and military readiness. A collaborative leader, he works to identify and implement research-based programs and strategies to meet the social and emotional needs of all students with the goal of producing world-class problem solvers and 21st-century learners.

An experienced educator and organizational leader with more than 24 years in public education, Dr. Peña most recently served Fort Worth ISD as its Chief Talent Officer overseeing the Talent Management Department for the state’s fourth-largest School District that spans 210 square miles and serves 75,000 students and more than 11,000 employees.

As Fort Worth ISD’s Chief Talent Officer, Dr. Peña revitalized the hiring processes and improved staff retention. With a history of innovation, his partnership with the George W. Bush Institute reshaped administrative hiring and is expanding to other impactful leadership roles. Previously, Dr. Peña served as the Chief of Elementary Schools in Fort Worth ISD, overseeing 76 campuses in the District.

Dr. Peña also has experience as Executive Director of School Leadership in Dallas ISD. He also previously served as a Principal and Assistant Principal in Irving ISD, and Principal in Lewisville ISD. Dr. Peña began his educational career as a bilingual teacher in Dallas ISD.

A native of El Paso, Dr. Peña holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy, both from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Master of Education in School Administration from Texas Woman’s University. He also completed the Harvard National Institute for Urban School Leaders.

Dr. Peña and his wife, Misti—who is also a dedicated and experienced public school educator and administrator—have three children. An avid college football fan, Dr. Peña enjoys following and rooting for the Texas Longhorns. He and his family also enjoy traveling to new places and gathering for the holidays—especially Christmas. Dr. Peña’s arrival in Hippo Nation was meant to be: one of Misti’s favorite songs, “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas,” is also a favorite among Hutto’s youth and adults. And, “Texas Fight,” the tune for Hutto’s fight song is a familiar favorite from Dr. Peña’s alma mater.