Trustees for Cumby Independent School District Thursday night selected High School Principal Shelly Slaughter as the lone finalist for superintendent.
“I’m very excited. I’ve been here nine years. I love the community, faculty, staff and kids. I’m excited to work with all of them, not just at the campus level, but as superintendent,” Slaughter said Friday morning. “Everyone here is very supportive and has been complimentary.”
Campbell, who has been Cumby’s superintendent for four years, will finish out the contract year at CISD, with Slaughter officially assuming the reigns July 1, barring any changes following the mandatory 21-day waiting period, which began today.
“The decision to leave the district was a hard decision to make because the community and board have been very good to me and my family,” Campbell said Friday morning.
He said he’d often heard the term “team of eight” in reference to the school board and superintendent, but Cumby ISD is truly “a team.”
“I really felt that the school board and superintendent are that. I’ve had four years here, and it’s been consistent and shares a unity of vision. The unity of vision enabled a greater community support, which resulted in the TRE. The community blessed us with the TRE. I don’t know if the community is fully able to understand just how crucial that was. I don’t know that we would have been able to withstand what the 82nd legislature did to us. This was crucial,” Campbell said of the tax ratification election voters passed in August 2012.
The TRE allowed the district to increase the ad valorem tax rate by 12 cents, changing the rate from $1.1639 to $1.285, giving Cumby ISD and additional $219 to help the district fund operations. That meant less debt annually and fewer cuts overall in district programs.
“It’s been a difficult journey, but I look forward to great things ahead. We are set pretty well. Mr. Campbell has done a good job; I plan to continue the same with no cuts to faculty and kids. We will continue to be frugal. We will be good stewards to taxpayers and meet the needs of students,” Slaughter said.
Campbell expressed confidence in Slaughter’s ability to step up as superintendent, noting that she has served as an administrator at Cumby ISD for nine years and has on occassion shadowed him to learn more about the top job.
“We have worked together since I’ve been here. Since I’ve known her, she had aspirations to be a superintendent. I’ve made it a point to work with her, sit in different meetings so she will know how those decisions are done and made,” Campbell said.
“I’ve had my [superintendent] certification since 2008. I’ve not done anything with it. I looked at different things, but did nothing further. They say timing is everything. This timing is extremely good,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter has been an educator for 15 years. She began her career teaching special education at the middle school level in Cooper, a position she held for two years. She was a counselor at Sulphur Springs Middle School for four years prior to accepting the position of elementary principal for Cumby ISD. This year, she was asked to make the move to high school. Slaughter is finishing her ninth year as a Cumby principal.
Slaughter has taken on additional district-wide duties as well over the years. She has been in charge of planning all of the staff development activities for a long time at CISD. Three years ago, she began serving as director of CISD curriculum and instruction, and state and federal programs. Last spring, District 8 Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association selected her ast their Nominee for the Year, recognizing her for outstanding service.
“Shelly is an outstanding educator and instructional leader,” said Campbell in May 2012, upon the TEPSA’s announcement. “Without question, she is one of the strongest principals with whom I have ever worked. She brings joy and enthusiasm to Cumby Elementary and insures her students' and staffs' needs are met on a daily basis. She is an inspiration and pleasure to work with. Her contribution to the community of Cumby is immeasurable.”
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