Fort Worth

Condolences, praise pour in for Grand Prairie superintendent killed in motorcycle crash

Condolences and praise from all over Texas continued on Tuesday for Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Simpson Hull, who died from injuries in a motorcycle accident while on vacation in Arizona.

Hull, 60, of Midlothian, crashed on Sunday afternoon near Twin Arrows, Arizona, and died Monday from her injuries in the wreck, according to officials with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Twin Arrows is about 25 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona.

“We are all profoundly shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Dr. Susan Simpson Hull,” according to a statement by Fort Worth Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “She was not only an outstanding leader but a valued colleague and friend to all educators. Our prayers are with her family as well as with the Grand Prairie ISD school community.”

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath noted Texas education would not be the same without Hull.

“Susan spent her career in public education as a warrior for students across Texas,” Morath said in a prepared statement. “Over the course of four decades of public service in education, her dedication to improving and expanding opportunities for the neediest of students has been truly remarkable. All of us at the Texas Education Agency extend our sincerest condolences to Susan’s family during this difficult time.”

Susan Simpson Hull (black).jpg
Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Simpson Hull died Monday from injuries in a weekend motorcycle accident in Arizona. Courtesy: Grand Prairie ISD website

Hurst-Euless-Bedford Superintendent Steve Chapman praised Hull’s work.

“Education has lost a champion for Texas Public Schools,” Chapman said. “We extend our deepest sympathy to Dr. Hull’s family and the entire GPISD community.”

A University of Texas at Arlington official noted Hull was an advocate for the students, faculty and staff in the Grand Prairie school district.

“She celebrated excellence in the classroom and built connections across the community and state leading to student success,” said Teresa Taber Doughty, dean of the UTA College of Education, in a Tuesday statement. “Her legacy will be the thousands of students, families and communities she positively impacted as an educator and education leader in Texas. She will be greatly missed.”

The fatal accident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 40 in Arizona.

Hull was traveling eastbound on I-40 just east of Twin Arrows when authorities say for some unknown reason her motorcycle drifted off the highway and hit a guardrail, according to the Arizona DPS.

Hull, who was wearing a helmet, suffered critical injuries and was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Hull died on Monday at the hospital, according to the Arizona DPS.

“This is a significant loss for the entire Grand Prairie ISD community as well as the education community at large,” said Burke Hall, president of the GPISD board of trustees, in a statement. “Over the past 12 years, Dr. Hull has made a significant impact on GPISD and helped establish our reputation around the globe. She also made a lasting difference in school children around Texas through her advocacy and creativity. She will be sorely missed.”

Hull had been superintendent of the district for 12 years and had been a superintendent for more than 20 years in five school districts. Before becoming a superintendent, Hull was a teacher, coach and principal.

Hull and her husband had four children and four grandchildren.

Hull went to East Texas State University for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and attended University of Texas at Tyler for her superintendent certification, according to the school district. She also received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in 2003. In 2005, Hull was the Texas Superintendent of the Year and received a Gubernatorial Appointment to the State Board of Educator Certification, where she served for two years.

“Susan was a teacher’s teacher and an admired champion for educational excellence,” the Texas education commissioner said. “She had an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of every student she touched.”

North Texas lost another superintendent in a motorcycle accident in July 2009. Former Mansfield Superintendent Vernon Newsom, 61, was killed in the accident in South Dakota.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Diane Smith, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 1997. Smith, who has covered municipal government, immigration and education, has won multiple awards for reporting, most recently as part of a Star-Telegram team recognized by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for coverage of child abuse and Fort Worth’s Las Vegas Trail area.