By Kathi Bliss
The public had the opportunity on Wednesday to meet the LISD Board of Trustees’ choice for the district’s new superintendent.
Texas native Tom Bailey of Olney ISD was the board’s top choice to fill the spot left vacant when Dr. John Hall retired in June. Bailey, a veteran teacher and experienced superintendent, was among five candidates presented this fall by the district’s headhunters.
“Dr. Carroll told us about the position during the [Lamar University Superintendent’s] Academy,” Bailey said. “[My wife and I] liked the district and liked the town, and thought this position would be a good opportunity to get into a community, get involved and do some good.”
Bailey began his career in education in 1990 as an elementary special education teacher in Clyde, Texas. Prior to his entry into the field, he owned and operated a funeral home in Clyde.
Bailey moved up the ranks quickly, being named principal of Clyde Intermediate School by 1996. In 2001, he was chosen Acting Superintendent while the district’s superintendent was out on medical leave, later being named Assistant Superintendent – a position he held from November 2001 – December 2003.
In January 2004, he accepted the position as superintendent at Olney Independent School District, where he has served for the last three years. In 2007, he was selected as one of five finalists for the Texas Association of School Board’s Superintendent of the Year.
Bailey said he is looking forward to getting settled in the community and becoming active in church and community organizations.
“We’ve always been involved in our church and in civic organizations,” Bailey said of himself and his wife of 30 years, Shelly. He suggested that during their research of Lockhart and Caldwell County, they became excited by the variety of opportunities for involvement that were available.
Bailey will assume his duties in Lockhart on Jan. 2, 2008, when students return to class after Christmas break.