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District names Valenta for post

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

The Denton school district has named Richard Valenta of the Birdville school district its next assistant superintendent for human resources.

Valenta will replace Dennis Stephens, who is slated to retire in January after more than 40 years with the Denton district.

No official start date has been determined for when Valenta will begin work with Denton, according to district officials.

The last 13 years, Valenta has served as director of human resources for Birdville.

He said he’s ecstatic and happy about his new role in Denton.

“It’s a job I’ve been waiting for, for many years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with Dr. [Jamie] Wilson and his cabinet.”

He said he looks forward to working with district staff, the community and for the students of Denton. Valenta said he looks forward to building on what’s already been achieved by the current human resources department and “recruiting and hiring talent for the children of Denton.”

“I’m just very thankful for this opportunity, and I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible here in Denton,” he said.

School board members approved Valenta’s hiring 6-0 on Nov. 13.

Wilson said Stephens, who was unavailable for comment, announced his retirement in May and stayed to help the district start the new school year. Wilson said the district began looking for Stephens’ replacement in October. Of the applicants, two finalists were interviewed for the position.

Wilson said district officials are excited about Valenta joining the district’s team.

“Finding a replacement for Mr. Stephens is no easy task, and Dr. Valenta has very big shoes to fill,” Wilson said. “In January, Mr. Stephens will take a lot of experience out the door with him, and having someone with the experiences of Dr. Valenta to continue the momentum started by Mr. Stephens was our goal.”

Wilson said Valenta brings the experience of working for a district similar in size to Denton. He also brings experience in recommending market-driven compensatory plans for all employee groups, including paraprofessionals, teachers and administrators, and creating an engaging workplace, Wilson said.

Valenta’s career in education spans more than 30 years and includes positions serving as a human resources assistant director, an athletics and physical education assistant director, vice principal at an Irving junior high school, a head baseball coach and junior varsity football coach at an Irving high school and a biology teacher and coach in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district.

While at Birdville, he’s served as a human resources director, responsible for employee recruitment, hiring, salaries, benefits, staffing projections and employee services.

In 2011, under Valenta’s leadership, the Birdville school district received Gallup’s Great Workplace Award.

Birdville became the first school district to receive the award, which recognizes the world’s best workplaces for creating engaging workplace cultures.

Valenta has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of North Texas and a doctorate in education from Walden University.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is .