Hardin Elementary makes the grade, now has ‘Acceptable’ rating

Hardin ISD's superintendent, Scott Mackey, is pictured with the Hardin ISD board. Pictured left to right are Elaine Tidwell, Dana Holst, Vice President James Campbell, Angie Amyx, Mackey, President Cody Parrish and Charles Bolds.

Hardin ISD is reporting a major accomplishment for its Hardin Elementary campus. A year after the campus was ranked “Unacceptable” by the Texas Education Agency based on students’ performance on the STAAR test, the campus has now earned an “Acceptable” ranking.

According to Hardin ISD Superintendent Scott Mackey, Elementary Principal Ronald Scott and the faculty and staff at Hardin Elementary have been working overtime to prepare the campus and students to perform at the highest level.

“While many districts and campuses saw decline in student performance due to COVID, Hardin Elementary was able to show gains in all grade levels and subjects on STAAR assessments. Hardin Elementary now boasts the Acceptable rating issued by the Texas Education Agency due to the academic gains in student performance,” Mackey said.

Mackey cited a report from SchoolDigger.com that ranks all public schools in the state of Texas. The report shows that Hardin Elementary performed better than 69 percent of all Texas elementary schools in 2021, ranking it 1,415 out of the 4,454 elementary schools in Texas.

“Overall, Hardin ISD is ranked in the top 63 percent of the school districts in Texas which is 356 out of 963 total school districts,” Mackey said. “Hardin ISD administration, the school board and the community are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our elementary campus and the district as a whole.”

Mackey said the District will continue to raise the bar so that students have the instruction and resources needed to be successful.

“Other campuses fared well in previous year’s testing and I expect a lot of progress in junior high this year,” said Mackey. “We are making a lot of changes in our curriculum across the district.”

He added that moments like these should make people extremely proud to be a Hardin Hornet.

Of the 1,280 students enrolled at Hardin ISD this year, 581 attend the Hardin Elementary campus.


  1. This was accomplished by the hard work of Ms. Karen Ivy and the Instructional Specialists at the Elementary. Without them, this wouldn’t have taken place. Thank you should be expressed to these individuals who attributed to this success!

  2. Also, I want to include the teachers as well under the guidance of the above. They all worked hard to achieve this success!

  3. Mr. Nixon deserves recognition for hiring Ms. Ivy as Hardin ISD’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the school year 2020 – 2021. Prior to Hardin ISD, Ms. Ivy had been one of the top performers at Cleveland ISD as both a teacher and Instructional Specialist achieving scores in the 90’s on a consistent basis as well as a number of TEA awards. Mr. Nixon recognized her extraordinary ability and commitment to academic excellence and wanted that for Hardin ISD. So, I want to thank him for this achievement as well.

  4. Last but not least, I forgot to thank my husband, Jerry Ursprung, for stepping outside of his comfort zone to seek help for the future of Hardin Elementary and its students. Thank you for caring enough to recommend Ms. Ivy to Mr. Nixon and making sure that the students, teachers, and faculty had everything they needed to be successful in the education of all of the students. You loved Hardin ISD and was committed to its academic excellence. I am so proud of all that you did to help achieve this success!

  5. This may be a first. Patting yourself on the back for becoming, ” Acceptable”. Not “Recognized”, just “Acceptable”. The real question should be WHY did you let it become, “Unacceptable”. And please stop the Covid excuse. Time to retire many on the board.

    • Board members are people from the community who devote their time without pay to make a difference in the education of the students within that community. Most of the time they don’t have experience in the operation of the school district, so they rely on their administrators who do. Thus, it is imperative that the administrators who are selected by the board have experience and have operated in a successful school environment. Jerry recognized this weakness, and that is why he recommended Ms. Ivy to Mr. Nixon. The selection of Ms. Ivy as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction was a start because she had been highly successful in achieving academic growth of all of the students including the special needs, which is a difficult feat. Of course, she couldn’t achieve this alone, but she was able to set the groundwork for Hardin ISD’s path to success. What the elementary accomplished in only one year under Ms. Ivy’s leadership with the complexities that COVID created was remarkable, and that is what I was trying to convey. Anyone who knows Ms. Ivy and has worked with her have great admiration for her abilities to reach all of the students and push them to academic excellence. Hardin ISD needs more administrators like her who have been successful to push the district forward, and the board needs to do a better job recognizing and selecting the BEST. Your concerns are valid because Hardin ISD does have the ability to be a “Recognized” district, if not higher. Unfortunately, Ms. Ivy’s value wasn’t recognized, and she is no longer there. Changes are needed! Get involved!

    • I honestly don’t know, but I do know that a number of campuses in the various school districts within Liberty County have been targeted for support and improvement by TEA. Whenever the new STAAR test was released, a lot of schools had problems because of its rigor. Also, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick removed CSCOPE from the schools, which was the curriculum that a lot of the smaller schools used. That caused a lot of problems as well. So, Hardin wasn’t alone in the struggle. With the demographics that Hardin ISD has, there is no reason why the district can’t improve. If Ms. Ivy would have been allowed to do her job, the elementary may have achieved an even higher rating. She was definitely the best person for that position because of what I stated above. Thank you for your interest and inquiry!

  6. The individual who was selected by the current superintendent to replace Ms. Ivy as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction was the principal of a campus that made a “D” rating the one year that she was there. Research needs to be done prior to the selection of crucial administration positions such as this, and the best “qualified” person needs to be selected. The community needs to expect and demand this from its administrators and the board.

  7. To Little: There was only one other school in Liberty County that had an “F” rating, which is unacceptable, and that was Hull-Daisetta Elementary. Numerous others have campuses with a “D” rating, which is needs improvement. You can find this information on the TEA website under Reports and Data/ School Report Cards. As you stated above, Hardin Elementary should have never been in that category. Again, Ms. Ivy’s leadership is what pulled them out of this, and I am concerned about the future of the district with her guidance gone. It will be imperative that parents of the students get involved and make sure that the focus of the district is on the academic excellence for ALL of the students. Their future depends on it.

  8. The school board made a HUGE mistake by listening to the new superintendent and allowing Ms. Ivy to leave, and my husband resigned because he couldn’t support this decision. Ms. Ivy’s leadership is what turned Hardin Elementary around to achieve this extraordinary accomplishment. We owe her a tremendous amount of gratitude.

  9. Ms. Ivy received ZERO support from the administration concerning what was taking place at the junior high. The only thing that saved it was the “C” rating that it had received prior to Covid. It could have experienced the same success if Ms. Ivy had been allowed to do her job there as well.

  10. Hardin High School earned a “Recognized” rating for the school year prior to Covid. They deserve recognition for that.

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