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Home News-Telegram News Saltillo ISD's Paul Jones named finalist for Paris ISD job

Saltillo ISD's Paul Jones named finalist for Paris ISD job

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    Paul Jones, Saltillo Independent School District superintendent, has been named the lone finalist for the position of superintendent at Paris ISD.

    Paris ISD trustees are slated to meet March 18, at which time the 21-day state-mandate waiting period will be at an end and the board can officially offer Jones a contract.
    Jones will replace the retiring Paul Trull, who has worked at PISD for more than 44 years, including a dozen years as superintendent.
    Trull notified PISD trustees in August of his plans to retired. He said in his letter to the board he listed June 30, 2013, as his last day, but if a suitable candidate was selected before that date, he’d have no problem making the transition.
    Paris ISD in September contacted Texas Association of School Boards to begin the selection process. The opening was posted and TASB vetted the applications and recommended the top applicants based on criteria provided by the district. Those candidates were called for interviews. The list was then narrowed to the top three, who were called back, and onsite visits conducted, according to Trull, who said although he was not part of the selection process was very familiar with it as it’s the
same process used when he was hired 12 years ago as superintendent.
    Jones said while no definite plans can be made until after the 21 day waiting period,  Saltillo ISD’s school board will likely call a special meeting to make plans for the transition from Jones to a new superintendent pending his contract offer from PISD.  The Saltillo board isn’t slated to meet again until after March 18, thus the call for a special meeting.
    “They can hire a search firm to help with the process or hire someone. They may choose to hire an interim or move someone up from within the district. That will be up to the board to decide,” said Jones, who was named Texas Rural Education Association’s Superintendent of the Year in 2008.
    Jones said Saltillo has been a great place to work for the last 17 years, but when an opportunity presented itself to move up to a larger school, he felt he had to take it.
    “In 17 years at Saltillo, I’ve been happy every day. When the opportunity came up in Paris, it seemed like the right time and place,” Jones said, adding that Kerry Garmon established many traditions for excellence at Saltillo in his 35-year career there which made the transition easy for him to make from principal to superintendent in 2001. As of last spring, Saltillo had received either exemplary or recognized ratings from Texas Education Agency in 15 of the last 17 years.
    Jones said he’s tried during his time at the helm to continue those traditions of “excellence in academic and extracurricular achievement.”
    “I feel I’m leaving it in great shape. We are in very good shape with employees, finances and curriculum,” Jones said.
    Jones said if offered a contract, he’s prepared to start as soon as arrangements can be made. He would go ahead and make the move to Paris this year. His son, a senior at Saltillo High School, would finish out the school year in Saltillo. His daughter, a freshman, and wife would make the move sometime after this school year ends.
    Jones’ transition will include moving from a 1A school to a 3A school district which serves about 3,500 students and employs 600 people, from bus drivers to administrators.
    “We are a school district with diversity. We pride ourselves on it, which prepares student to go out into the world. We have a college-ready high school, AP honors high school recognition, and one of the finest gifted programs in the state,” Trull said of Paris ISD.
    Some of the challenges Jones will face, as do those in most districts, will be the state accountability system and finances, Trull noted.
    “Every district in the state has challenges,” Jones acknowledged. “All are faced with state funding cuts.”

 

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