Longview ISD's lone superintendent finalist is waiting

Published on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 09:30 - Written by

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Starting today, Longview I.S.D. trustees could hire the man they unanimously named the only finalist for school superintendent. The question is, will they?

Some people worry new discord among trustees could delay hiring a new leader, and scratch scabs from old wounds.

Before he retired Monday, trustee John Harrison told our news partners at CBS 19 that on May 20, Longview I.S.D. board members were unanimous in promoting assistant superintendent Horace Williams to top executive. That changed last week, he says. A split has developed among trustees, and some people are worried it might be a sign of further discord.

Former LISD board member Sam Satterwhite reminded trustees who he now calls dear friends, that they were once adversaries.

"You can make the best selection possible from the best candidate in the world, and but if that person does not have your support, and a team pulling with him or her, that superintendent will fail," Satterwhite said.

After tomorrow -- trustees have the right under state law to hire williams as superintendent.

But they haven't scheduled a time to do it, even canceling a special meeting that was called for tomorrow night.

Tonight trustees voted to reorganize the board, after newly elected trustee Ginia Northcutt replaced Harrison on the board.

In a 4-3 vote split down the middle of the dais, Dr. Troy Simmons was elected board president over Dr. Chris Mack.

The vote came after comments from the public.

Upon taking his seat as president -- Simmons told the audience that l-i-s-d has come too far to fall victim to its past, referring to battles years ago among trustees.

"What we do ... it's for students and not for adults. It's for the benefit of kids and not for grownups," Simmons said.

Meanwhile, Williams sat listening, waiting to learn if he'll get that promotion.

Dr. James Wilcox has been Longview I.S.D.'s superintendent since 2007. Last fall, he announced he would retire from the district next January. We'll keep you posted on naming a new superintendent.