By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Independent School District Board of Trustees formally elected Grapeland Elementary Principal Don Jackson as the district’s next superintendent during a meeting held on Monday, May 1.

Jackson had been chosen as the lone finalist for the superintendent’s position during an April 7 board session. Per state law, the process to appoint a school district superintendent requires a 21-day waiting period after before a school board can vote to hire a candidate and execute his or her contract.

The position opened in February when current GISD Superintendent Gregg Spivey announced his decision to retire at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

The May 1 meeting was opened by GISD Board President Eddie Childress, who informed those in attendance the only item on the agenda was the approval of the superintendent selection.

“We have the privilege and the honor to move forward in our district. So, I am asking for a motion to approve Donald E. Jackson as the superintendent of the Grapeland Independent School District effective July 1, 2017,” Childress said.

The motion was made by Board Vice President James Martin, seconded by Board Secretary Paul Oliver and unanimously a pproved.

“Mr. Don Jackson, congratulations! We are excited and I know this is going to be a great team,” the board president added.

After his selection, Jackson expressed his gratitude to the trustees.

“Thank you for the wonderful opportunity. I got drafted by the right team. We just saw the NFL draft and I got drafted by the team I wanted to get drafted by. I, my wife and my kids are so happy to be here in Grapeland. We left Huntington, Texas in 1983 and since then I haven’t really had a home,” the newly appointed superintendent said.

“Now, I go to work every day and I feel like I’m at home. I care about our students and staff like they are people I grew up with. I never want to lose that. I don’t want to ever look for another job,” Jackson said. “I just want to go on the record and say that because this is where I want to finish. I am so proud to represent this community with passion. Compassion for the kids, the staff and the community and passion for my responsibility.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.