West Sabine ISD Superintendent


Carnelius D. Gilder, Ed.D

Dr. Carnelius D. Gilder, 2002 Graduate of WS, is an educator, transformational leader, and an access advocate who serves as the Superintendent of Schools for West Sabine Independent School District, a thriving rural district deep in the heart of the Piney Woods of East Texas. He has led WSISD as superintendent since December 2020. Gilder holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration all from Sam Houston State University.

Dr. Gilder currently serves as Texas Association of Rural Schools Regional Director, Executive Committee and Small Schools Design Team for the Texas Association of School Administrators, and ESC 7 Regional Advisory Executive Committee.

Gilder, a ninth-generation Texan and his wife, Kristina are proud parents to Corey, a Junior at WSHS; Kaleigh, a Freshman at WSHS; and Christiane, a 2nd grader at West Sabine Elementary.

Dr. Gilder was most recently honored as 2023 Pineland Day Grand Marshal and 2023 Top 50 Black Professionals & Entrepreneurs of Texas. More information in Professional Biography.

Superintendent Contract

Superintendent Contract 2024

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Tiger Nation,

As we shift into our 3rd full year together, I cannot help but highlight how our district as come together to be the force that we are. Our district has grown in all areas because of our relentless commitment to our strategic plans that direct us toward a future-ready entity dedicated to producing thinkers and doers.

This past year, we continued to lay the foundation for coming years through strategic planning, vision/mission strategies, and needs assessment protocols in the most important functions of a school system:  student achievement & outcomes in assessment and accountability, district advocacy and engagement, school safety/operations, and effective policy and best practice.  We were able to accomplish many goals through the establishment of the West Sabine ISD 4 Core Values of Effective Leadership to drive accountability, decision-making, vision attainment, and district stabilization:  Communication, Consistency, Culture, & Credibility.  As overachievers, we conspired to widen our focus to include COMMUNITY AND CRUNCH TIME! With the belief that we are nothing without the families, businesses, entities, and partners, we are able to make a much more holistic attack on the issues that face our West Sabine and WE MUST WORK NOW! with no time to waste. Further, we has begun to live out our district Belief Statements, Mission, Vision Statement, Visioning Document, and mantra as a means of distinguishing our district’s past, present and future.

With that said, we must practice what we preach. We must life the mantra, 'GREATNESS is the GOAL & EXCELLENCE is the STANDARD!' We become better with each step we take and each individual move we make toward becoming the machine we dream of. We will attain success at greater levels than ever before through the redundant quest. We will continue to strive toward our goals one step at a time and celebrating the victories along the way!

Yours in hope!

Dr. Carnelius D. Gilder, Superintendent of Schools, WSHS Class of 2002


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