Deputy Commissioner of Standards and Engagement


Jeff Cottrill is the Deputy Commissioner of Standards and Engagement in the Office of Academics, which oversees the areas of Assessment, Performance Reporting and Standards & Support Services (including Curriculum, Instructional Materials, Digital Learning and State Board of Education Support).

Cottrill began his work in education as a paraprofessional in an afterschool program in Danville, KY.  His early career includes experience in the Garland Independent School District as a teacher as well as the Bowie Independent School District as an assistant principal and principal.  

Prior to joining the Texas Education Agency, Cottrill served as the Superintendent for the Knippa Independent School District.  Notably, the small, rural district located in southwest Texas instituted the Knippa Critical Outcomes (90/75/60) strategic plan.  The school system thrives today in supporting more than 90 percent of pre-kindergarten students in independent reading before moving to kindergarten, more than 75 percent of 8th graders qualifying to take college credit as freshmen, and graduating more than 60 percent of seniors with an Associate of Arts degree.

While serving as superintendent of the Knippa ISD, Cottrill was twice designated Education Service Center (ESC) Region 20 Superintendent of the Year. Additionally, his work with the district’s governance team led to the board being honored as an ESC Region 20 Board of the Year. 

Joining the Texas Education Agency in 2017, Cottrill most recently served as the Associate Commissioner of Governance. During this time, he oversaw statewide efforts in Accreditation, Charter School Closure, Complaints Management, Districts of Innovation, Special Investigations, School Board Training, School Sanctions, and State Waivers.  In this capacity, Cottrill most enjoyed supporting local governance teams in pursuit of improvement as a Lone Star Governance Coach.

Cottrill holds the belief that there is a responsibility to expose opportunities in order to elicit exceptional outcomes.  This principle extends into his personal life as he serves as a youth mentor, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, and a board member on a local parochial school.

Cottrill earned his Bachelor of Arts from Centre College in Danville, KY, his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Louisville, and a Master of Education from the University of Texas at Tyler.  He has a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX.