Dr. Meria Joel Carstarphen has served since July 2009 as Superintendent of the Austin Independent School District, an urban public school district with an annual budget of $950 million, 12,000 employees, and 87,000 pre-K-12 students in 123 schools. Dr. Carstarphen previously served as the superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, and in accountability positions for public school systems in the District of Columbia, Kingsport, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Carstarphen’s professional experience includes teaching at the middle school level, as well as elementary education in Seville, Spain, and Caracas, Venezuela.
She earned a doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy with a concentration in urban superintendency from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Carstarphen earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and Spanish from Tulane University, and master of education degrees from Auburn University and Harvard University. She also has studied at the University of Seville, Spain, and University of Innsbruck, Austria. A public school graduate, Dr. Carstarphen hails from Selma, Alabama, where she began her teaching career.
Dr. Carstarphen currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty member in the University of Texas Department of Educational Administration. She is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization and serves on the boards of the Council of Great City Schools, Educational Testing Service, Austin Partners in Education, Austin Public Education Foundation, the Austin Symphony and Ballet Austin, and is on the Children’s Hospital/AISD Health Service Advisory Board. She is a student mentor through the Seedling Foundation.