As is customary at this time of year, Saltillo ISD is expecting some staff changes. Something not typical for the district, however, is the board’s search for a new superintendent, athletic director, softball coach and three other positions due to those moves.
The superintendent opening was posted after long-time Saltillo educator Paul Jones was named in late February as the lone finalist to become superintendent at Paris ISD, replacing Paul Trull, who is retiring after 44 years with PISD, including a dozen years as superintendent.
Saltillo has only had to fill the superintendent’s post a few times in decades. Jones was named to the office vacated by Kerry Garmon, who officially retired in 2002 after 35 years with Saltillo ISD, including 15 years as superintendent.
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.
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.
He said having things in that shape should make any transition for a new superintendent go fairly smoothly.
Jones officially assumed his new role March 18 as head of Paris ISD, a transition that includes moving from a 1A school to a 3A school district which serves about 3,500 students and employs 600 people from bus drivers up to administrators.
With Jones tendering his resignation, Saltillo ISD posted the superintendent opening. That could mean hiring from within the district if a qualified suitable candidate applies for the post or hiring from outside the district. Potential candidates have until April 8 to apply for the superintendent post. The school board is slated to meet next week following the closing to discuss the situation.
To fill the gap until a new superintendent is selected, Saltillo High School Principal Kevin Woolley was asked March 18 to step up. Woolley said he will continue serving as interim superintendent while still performing his duties as principal until a new superintendent is chosen.
Woolley has served as high school/junior high principal at Saltillo since 2010, marking his return to Hopkins Couny. Woolley moved from a Mesquite school to Sulphur Spring Middle School, where he served as principal until 2005, ending a nine-year stint working for Sulphur Springs Independent School District. He completed his superintendent’s certification in 2004 and was named Oakwood ISD superintendent in 2005.
In addition to replacing the superintendent, Saltillo ISD is also tasked with replacing the athletic director and head girls basketball coach, Garry Davison, and softball coach and technolodgy instructor Donald Haynes. Davison, who has coached all 23-years of his career at Saltillo and earlier this year coached the Lady Lions to the state tournament, last week accepted the position of head girls basketball coach at Tenaha High School. Haynes also serves as Saltillo technology teacher; another position the district is in the process of filling.
The district will also have to find a new third grade teacher to replace the athletic director’s wife, Mistie Davison, and a sixth through eighth grade English language arts teacher to replace Kathryn Jones, the former superintendent’s wife. The teachers plan to finish out the 2012-2013 school year before joining their husbands in other citites, according to school staff.
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