Area ISDs announce changes to administrations

by Cristin Parker

Three school districts in northern Cherokee County are experiencing changes in leadership, just in time for the new year.

New Summerfield and Bullard ISDs last month announced their lone finalists for each district’s superintendents’ positions, while Jacksonville ISD is looking at restructuring the chain of command after a key staff member announced her retirement.

Monday, Jan. 6, New Summerfield trustees voted to hire NSISD Junior High Principal Joe Brannen the district’s superintendent.

“Today’s is my first official day and it’s been very exciting,” Brannen said Tuesday. “I always had it in mind to move up to superintendent at some point and the opportunity presented itself.

Brannen – who’s been with NSISD for six years -- took over as interim superintendent earlier last month after Dr. Brian Nichols accepted a job with Canton ISD.

“It’s perfect since I already know all the staff, admin, students -- that’s going to work well for us as a district,” he said. “Dr. Nichols did a wonderful job here and is ready to answer any questions I might have -- he’s going to be missed.”

Brannen is a 1990 graduate of Perrin-Whitt High School, north of Mineral Wells. He received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in education from Tarleton State University.

NSISD officials are already seeking to fill the NSJR principal position and will be accepting applications through January.

Bullard ISD’s Board of Trustees on Dec. 16 announced Jack Lee III as BISD’s lone finalist for superintendent. Lee is the current superintendent of Blooming Grove ISD.

“My family and I are very excited about becoming a part of the Bullard ISD family,” Lee said in a statement BISD released on social media. “We are excited to get to know the faculty and staff here at Bullard ISD, along with the community members. I also look forward to working with all the faculty and staff with the great things they are currently doing and moving forward in-to the future.”

In Jacksonville, as the retirement of the district’s long-time Associate Superintendent and CFO Lindy Finley approaches and in consideration of changes brought about by the latest legislative session, JISD Superintendent Dr. Chad Kelly recently announced a plan to restructure his top administrators. These personnel changes took effect this month.

“In an effort to maximize our strengths with the change in leadership, I have moved Sara Gill into the role of Associate Superintendent of Student Services,” Dr. Kelly stated in a news release provided by the district. “She will begin supervising elementary principals while overseeing the many student services provided by Jacksonville ISD.

“Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Lisa Cox will continue to lead curriculum and instruction, as well as supervising secondary principals. I am excited to continue working with Associate Superintendent of Personnel and Operations Brad Stewart, Lisa Cox, Sara Gill, and until her retirement, Lindy Finley to push the district forward in a time of change and transition brought upon us by the latest legislative session and the upcoming changes in our administrative staff.”

Finley retires in June after leading the district financially over the last 30 years. Transitioning into the CFO position will be Alison Jones, CPA, who has served as JISD Director of Accounting for the past two years under Finley.

Christa Wood contributed to this article.