TPS Proud isn’t just a catchphrase for Dr. Romules Durant. In everything he says and does – and wears – Dr. Durant shows the pride he has in his hometown’s schools, the vision of excellence he has for the TPS district and the belief he has in the students and teachers to achieve that standard.

A native of East Toledo, Dr. Durant couldn’t be prouder of being a graduate of two Toledo institutions: Waite High School and the University of Toledo. He was an outstanding football player at both, attending the university on a football scholarship and earning four varsity letters. He twice received the Jon Binder Award at UT, given to a player who exemplifies “true heart and courage.”

Dr. Durant received three degrees from the University of Toledo: a Bachelor of Education degree in 1998, a Master of Education degree in 2002, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 2007. His doctoral dissertation, “The Collective Factor of Social Oppression and Urban Poverty on the Achievement of Black Students,” was considered for Dissertation of the Year.

Employed by TPS since 1999, Dr. Durant has been a teacher, administrator and assistant superintendent. When he was 20, he wrote out a career plan that saw him as a school district superintendent by the age of 37. He achieved that goal in December, 2013, when he was named the 30th Superintendent of TPS and was given a five-year contract.

Prior to being named superintendent, Dr. Durant played a crucial role in creating the district’s multi-year TPS Transformation Plan that aimed to increase community partnerships, broaden educational opportunities for students and establish neighborhood schools. He is passionate about collecting and analyzing test scores and other student information to increase state performance ratings. Yearly, Dr. Durant meets in New York with other professional educators from across the country to help devise plans for the U.S. Department of Education.

One of Dr. Durant’s proudest achievements is founding the Young Men of Excellence and the Young Women of Excellence mentoring groups for TPS students. The members of the two organizations are very involved in their communities through numerous service projects. The two groups have grown to 900 members.

Dr. Durant is on the executive board of the National Principals Leadership Institute (also serving as a national coach) and is on the executive board of the Ohio 8 Coalition and of Partners in Education. He is a member of the board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools, and serves on the executive boards of After-School All-Stars Ohio, Aspire, the City of Toledo Board of Community Relations and the United Way of Greater Toledo. He is a former trustee of the Economic Opportunity Planning Association and is one of the youngest members of the Rotary Club of Toledo.

The co-chair of the nationally-recognized teacher peer review program called The Toledo Plan, Dr. Durant is also involved in the Urban Leadership Institute’s development program, designed to develop future instructional leaders.

It is as TPS Superintendent that Dr. Durant is making his true mark. He developed a new mission and vision statement, both designed to reinforce the idea of always putting the students first -- by creating an atmosphere of excellence with an emphasis on technology and accountability -- so all students can be college or career ready. TPS Proud is not just a catchphrase.

With such an outstanding career, it is no wonder that Dr. Durant has received a number of awards. Those honors include:
- Induction into the Distinguished Waite Alumni Hall of Fame, the Morrison R. Waite Athletic Hall of Fame and the Birmingham Hall of Fame.
- Being named a Distinguished Citizen by the state of Ohio.
- Receiving the Emerging Leader Award by the African American Legacy Project and the Freedom Fund Award from the Toledo Branch of the NAACP.
- Earning the NAACP’s Youth Award for his work with the Student African American Brotherhood group. His SAAB mentor group was twice nationally recognized as SAAB Chapter of the Year and he was honored with the Outstanding SAAB Advisor Award.
- Being recognized with the 20 Under 40 Leadership Award and the Calla Lily Educator’s Award from the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa.
- Receiving the Community Image Award from the Perry Burroughs Democratic Women’s Club and being honored for his work with the North End Community Beautification Project.

While his honors are many, Dr. Durant has never lost sight of the fact that he has the same goal for today’s TPS students as he had for himself: to rise up from modest means to achieve success first in school and then in life.