Tyler ISD names next superintendent: Marty Crawford leads small district in West

Published on Thursday, 24 July 2014 23:18 - Written by Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

Tyler ISD has named Dr. Marty Crawford as the lone finalist for its superintendent position.

Crawford is the superintendent of West ISD, a position he has held for six years. Crawford oversaw the recovery of the district’s school system after the fertilizer plant explosion that rocked the central Texas town in 2013.

In addition to killing 15 people and injuring hundreds, the explosion destroyed three West ISD campuses and leveled more than 150 homes.

Crawford said this opportunity is like a homecoming for him. He spent 11 years of his childhood in Lindale and Carthage before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

He said he is confident there is a lot of talent in TISD among the administrators, teachers and staff members, but acknowledged the district has a big challenge ahead.

“The educational marketplace in Smith County is very competitive,” he said. “I understand that. Tyler ISD is going to compete in this marketplace. I certainly welcome the challenge.”

The board interviewed six candidates and brought two in for second interviews before deciding on Crawford.

“We are excited as we welcome an experienced superintendent who is a proven educational visionary and an inspirational leader,” TISD Board President the Rev. Orenthia Mason said. “The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. Crawford will work untiringly to move Tyler ISD to achieve recognition as a premiere district in East Texas.”

West ISD has about 1,300 students compared to TISD’s more than 18,000. Crawford said there are advantages to coming from a smaller district. This includes having a solid grasp of all aspects of district operations.

Still, he said he has had urban education experience having worked as a high school principal in Dallas ISD.

He also has worked in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Highland Park school districts, along with Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Crawford has a bachelor’s degree in education from Baylor University, a master’s degree in education from The University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

He is married to Alanna, and they have three children: daughters Ashton, 17, a recent high school graduate, son, Jackson, 12, who will be a seventh-grader this year, and A.J., 4, who will start pre-K in August.

The school board must wait at least 21 days before they officially hire Crawford per Texas Government Code.

If ultimately hired, he will replace Gary Mooring, who resigned his position effective last month.

Mooring, 64, had served as the district’s superintendent for two schools years, but resigned amid health concerns related to Type 2 diabetes.

Some of the key issues at the forefront of the district include raising academic performance among all students, implementing a strategic plan approved by the board in March and completing construction on six bond-related projects including a Career and Technology Education Center