A Legacy of Public Service
DESOTO– As the sun sets on his nine-year tenure as a member of the DeSoto ISD School Board, Trustee Aubrey Christopher Hooper is seeing the measure of his more than 20-year legacy of public service that extends well beyond the city walls, and even throughout the state of Texas.
Co-workers both past and present, elected officials, mentees, and family consistently described him as a champion for the cause, mentor to many, a man of integrity, and one who serves his community with distinction during his recent virtual send-off celebration.
“Each day of the last nine years and four months have been singularly focused on being a difference-maker,” said Hooper. “Every day I wake up, I ask the Lord to help me fulfill my purpose and be humble enough to accept what comes with fulfilling my purpose.”
Trustee Hooper’s passion for public service began when he was a child while his mother was employed by the late Dr. Emmet Conrad, the first African American Dallas ISD trustee.
“I can still recall the many stories about his legacy and his imprint on Dallas County through his work in the medical field and as the first African-American trustee in the Dallas Independent School District. Dr. Conrad’s service inspired many throughout the county to become invested in education and helped paved the way for me to have the opportunity to serve today.”
When he started this journey with DeSoto ISD, Hooper expressed that one of his goals was to help create a world-class school district that provided positive life-changing experiences for students that allowed them to pursue their greatest ambition.
“I Am Forever DeSoto”
“I have tried to move us closer to that reality and with my departure from the Board, my service to DeSoto will never cease,” said Hooper. “I am forever DeSoto.”
Trustee Hooper has impacted the lives of many students, teachers, and staff members and is noted for fueling district innovation. He is also credited with driving, conceptualizing, developing, and increasing the quality of the educational offerings in DeSoto ISD.
He is noted for his visibility and engagement in the work of the district, his support of core and extracurricular programs, athletic events, and aiding the launch of key programs that focused on mentorship, college and career readiness, professionalism, and academic growth.
While Hooper is proud of his work in global decision-making as a trustee, he shared his most proud memories are connected to the work centered around the students.
Passionate About Mentoring Students
“Those who know me more personally, know that I am extremely sentimental and find value in some of the smallest, yet significant things,” explained Hooper. “My most meaningful work was with individual students, helping to change the entire trajectory of some of their lives. This is the work that I am most proud of. The work that restored hope into the lives of students that had given up; but, because they knew they had a champion they persevered and today they are doing well.”
Kemonte Yow, a 2017 DHS graduate, reflected on the value of Hooper’s mentorship.
“When I met Trustee Hooper, I did not know what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do with my life. He led me and that is how I ended up graduating from DeSoto High School in the top 10% of my class and now I am a junior majoring in Engineering at West Point Military Academy.”
DHS Alum Trevon Thomas, a TCU graduate described Hooper as a man of integrity, truth, and hard work that he cannot forget. He shared that he is a friend and a mentor who helped him through college and contributed to him starting his career successfully.
In addition to his individual mentoring, Hooper founded an annual program in the district, DeSoto Male Leadership Symposium, that connects young men to real-world leaders, celebrities, and professionals who teach them life lessons to aid their progress as productive citizens.
Through this program, parents have applauded Hooper’s vision and shared the impact on their children who are now graduates.
DHS parent, Yolanda Hanspard appreciated his commitment to building the next generation of men.
“You have truly made the difference in DeSoto ISD and in our community. We appreciate your voice and your bold leadership. You have given opportunities to young men that would not have had them otherwise. I am appreciative because my sons were able to benefit.”
During his time of service, Hooper has worked with several district administrations as a trustee. Current DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. D’Andre J. Weaver admires his council and support.
“DeSoto ISD is in a much better place because of you and your leadership. You welcomed me into the district and have been very honest and transparent with me. You have provided me with great wisdom during my time here and I am forever grateful.”
Asked about his Desoto legacy, Hooper said. “I hope that my legacy will be one of leadership and mentorship. I truly understand the value of teaching a child how to unlock their gifts and manifest their destiny. Cultivating those leadership characteristics and skills is paramount to helping students fulfill their aspirations. This is done effectively through mentorship. I have been blessed and fortunate to have some wonderful mentors that have invested in me and I feel an obligation to do the same.”
Hooper’s Professional Career
For years, Hooper has served alongside elected officials Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, Texas Senator Royce West, and U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. He previously served as a Campus Administrator/Principal at the Medlock and Youth Village Campuses at the Dallas County Juvenile Department. In 2010, Hooper was named to the “Top 25 to Watch” and “Talented Tenth” lists by Dallas Weekly. In addition, he has been recognized and highlighted for his public service by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, Dallas ISD, and UTA. In 2017, he was named to the DeSoto ISD Hall of Honor. Mr. Hooper has committed his life and his work to serving his community and making a difference.
He graduated cum laude from Morehouse College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and received a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs from UT Arlington and has served in leadership capacities with community organizations and non-profit groups including, most recently serving as the NAACP Dallas president, the Second Vice President of the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches, Assistant Secretary of the NAACP National Board of Directors and the Vice Chairman of the NAACP National Education Committee and served as a member of the NAACP Finance, Advocacy and Policy, Image Awards, and Executive committees.
As Hooper plans the next phase of his leadership journey, he pledges to continue serving and supporting his community.
“I hope to continue learning and growing. I will be growing my consulting practice Blind Spot Diagnostic, LLC. and launching a non-profit work focused on educational equity, social justice, juvenile justice intervention, and community development. In addition, I plan to be very involved in the upcoming election process.”