Board president reassures staff, parents, students about Superintendent’s impending departure
By Miles Smith
Speaking on behalf of the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees, President Brenda Spillman on Tuesday kept comments pertaining to the looming departure of Dr. Susan Bohn positive.
Bohn, who became Lockhart’s superintendent in 2015, last week was named the lone finalist for the Aledo ISD superintendent vacancy created this year when Dr. Derek Citty announced he would retire following the school year.
Spillman’s message was one of hope rather than defeat when discussing losing a superintendent whom many have credited with creating a culture of excellence at Lockhart’s schools.
“The expectation of excellence in the district was set into motion years ago when the Board of Trustees made a decision to prioritize teaching and learning in the district,” said Spillman in a letter to staff and parents dated Wednesday. “We selected Dr. Bohn to transform the Board’s vision and expectations into action that benefited the children of Lockhart in measurable ways. While the superintendent is now leaving, the culture of high expectations will absolutely remain, something strongly tethered to the Board.”
Aledo ISD, which is located in Parker and Tarrant Counties just west of Fort Worth, is categorized as a “fast-growth” school district and has nine campuses. As lone finalist, Bohn has not yet been formally hired. The contract is typically signed and made official at a school board meeting within 21 days of being named lone finalist, Bohn said.
Citty earned $185,000 per year as superintendent in 2016-17 according to the Texas Education Agency.
Bohn said she didn’t know exactly what she would be offered in terms of compensation. The superintendent currently earns $175,000 per year.
“I couldn’t speak to how (Citty) is being compensated,” said Bohn, who said she was approached by a job search firm about the position.
Bohn said she intends to remain Lockhart ISD’s superintendent throughout the school year, citing that she has a child in school and plans to be present for high school graduations in May.
“I have a personal interest in some of the students who are walking across that stage,” she said.
So what next for Lockhart?
The board will hold a special meeting on April 16 to listen to presentations from superintendent search firms and will appoint an interim superintendent, to whom Bohn will hand off leadership this summer.
“Once we have hired the search firm, we will have a better understanding of a timeline and will share that with you through the district’s usual communication channels,” Spillman said. “Typically, a search for a superintendent can take anywhere between 3-6 months, but we are working as quickly as possible and our priority is to have a new superintendent in place to lead at the start of the 2018-19 school year.”
Spillman commended the job Bohn has done in three years.
“The district is in a better place than it was when she came aboard,” Spillman said. “Additionally, the Board of Trustees is in a better place as a team, and we are working hard to select a new leader who will continue to serve the children of our community and take care of our amazing staff.”