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"Serving the All-America City of DeSoto with Pride!" 

Education and Employment: Curtistene Smith McCowan received a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University and an Associates Degree in Business Management from El Centro College. She was employed by the Federal Trade Commission for over 32 years, and served as Senior Investigator for over 18 years. After more than 32 years of meritorious service, Ms. McCowan retired from the federal government on January 1, 2005.

Religious and Civic Involvement: Ms. McCowan has been an active member of the Kirkwood Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for 47 years, where she currently serves as Chair of the Trustee Board. In addition, she has chaired numerous committees, projects and initiatives for Kirkwood.

Honorable Curtistene Smith McCowan was elected the 21st Mayor of DeSoto on May 7, 2016 – the first woman to hold the office. She has served on the DeSoto City Council since May, 2012, serving as Mayor Pro Tem from 2014 to 2016; during this same time period, she chaired the Audit and Finance Committee. Prior to winning a seat on the City Council, she served five years on the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, where she held the positions of Internal Audit Chair, Vice President and served four years as President. Currently, she serves on the Executive Boards of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Best Southwest; Partnership and the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition. In addition, she serves as Chair-Elect of the Advisory Board for Methodist Charlton Medical Center and is a member of the Planning Committee for Methodist Health Systems, Dallas, Texas and the Board of Directors for the African American Education Archives and History Program. A founder of Concerned DeSoto Citizens (CDC) -- a 501 (c)(3) non-profit community service organization, she has served as president and in numerous other leadership roles since the organization was chartered in 1989. She is a past member of the City of DeSoto’s Charter Review Committee and the Dallas County Grand Jury. Ms. McCowan is also a proud graduate of the Leadership Southwest Class of 2015.


Described as a passionate advocate for quality education for all students, Ms. McCowan has made a significant contribution to the advancement of education at the local, state and national levels. On October 29, 2007, Governor Rick Perry appointed Ms. McCowan to an unexpired term on the Texas Southern University (TSU) Board of Regents; in 2009, Governor Perry re-appointed Ms. McCowan to a full six-year term (unanimously  confirmed by the Texas Senate) where she served until May, 2015. Positions held during her tenure as a TSU Regent included 2nd Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Development and Legislative Committee and Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee.

Ms. McCowan was the first African-American elected to public office in DeSoto, when she won a seat on the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees in 1990. She served two three-year terms as a School Board Trustee -- two of those years as president. Her skills and expertise were evident statewide, serving on numerous committees as appointed by the Texas Association of School Boards from 1990-1997. She served on the Statewide Panel on Student Skills and Knowledge for the Texas Education Agency from 1993-94. In 2000, she was elected as the Charter President of the DeSoto ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors and has served on the Executive Committee since that time. In recognition of her 30 + years of volunteer service and commitment to education, the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously in January, 2007 to name a school in her honor. The Curtistene S. McCowan Middle School opened in August, 2007.

Currently, Ms. McCowan is an active participant on the DeSoto ISD’s Advisory Council. She has also participated in the district’s One-on-One Mentoring Program, the Discipline Management Committee and the Curtistene S. McCowan Middle School’s Site-based Decision Making Committee. Ms. McCowan is a former interview panelist for the prestigious Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Internship Program, sponsored by Texas State Senator Royce West.

In addition, Ms. McCowan has been an active and financial member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (“DST”) for 32 years. She is a Golden Life Member and has served in numerous elected and appointed leadership positions, including: President of Dallas Alumnae Chapter from 1999-2001; National & Regional Elections Committees, 2004 and 2005, respectively; Dodd Education & Support, Inc. Board of Directors, 2002-2011, Co-Chair of the 2003 Southwest Regional Conference; Southwest Regional Program Co-Coordinator from 2003-2005; Southwest Regional Social Action Co-Coordinator from
2005-2009; Southwest Regional Volunteer Services Co-Coordinator from 2009-2015; and the National Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair Committee from 2013 until the present.


Curtistene is married to Leon R. McCowan, and they have two sons: Danny Sebastian (Angie) and Leon Curtis (Stephanie) McCowan. They are the proud grandparents of Tiana, Kirsten and Taylor McCowan.