Bird, 64, was named to the position on Monday and officially began work Tuesday. He will serve as interim for about 10 months, said Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Katie Preast, who was temporarily serving as interim until a permanent interim was named.
“He'll be a good fit for Troup ISD,” she said, adding that two candidates were interviewed. “We're excited to have someone in place before school starts.”
Bird graduated from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. He taught in Sabine Parish for 10 years, and then moved to Carthage. Bird served in Carthage as the school district's band/fine arts director for 10 years and as principal at Carthage High School for 10 years.
His time in Jacksonville began in 2000 as principal of Jacksonville High School. He became superintendent of Jacksonville ISD in 2003 and announced his retirement in 2008.
Bird said he is excited to be back in education, particularly in the Troup area, where he has a lot of history with the community as well as a family farm.
“I know Troup's rich in tradition. They've got good people there and the district's in good shape …” he said.
“I'm looking forward to working with the board and all the staff and community. I'm looking forward to a great year with that school district.”
Former Superintendent Dr. Marvin Beaty was hired as superintendent in Bonham ISD last week.
Dr. Preast estimated that the district will begin advertising for the superintendent position after the first of the year and then interview candidates in the spring. The district anticipates having a superintendent in place next spring or summer.
Besides naming Bird as interim superintendent, Tro-up ISD board members on Monday also approved a public meeting date to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate. A public hearing is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Aug. 27 in the board room, 201 N. Carolina St.
The district is projecting $9.6 million in general fund revenue for 2012-13.
Its proposed tax rate is $1.108 per $100 valuation with 98.3 cents for maintenance and operations and 12.5 cents for debt service — the same as last year.
The effective tax rate, which is the rate needed to maintain current revenues, is $1.292868 per $100 valuation.
“We've had the lowest rate in Smith County for a while,” Brett Parsons, executive director of business services, said. “I think it's a good thing. We're growing enrollment-wise. It's a good place to live, (and) we think by keeping those rates low, people will want to come this direction.”
On the budget, he said Troup ISD is trying to maintain services and the status quo as it watches what the Legislature does in its next session, starting in January.