Special to The Messenger

As you may have heard, January is School Board Appreciation Month. I would be remiss if I did not take time to recognize this group of people. On May 7 of last year, while I was at a workshop in Huntsville, I got a call from Grapeland ISD Board President Eddie Childress. He called to let me know I was named as the lone finalist for the superintendent’s job in Grapeland.

I actually missed the call and he left a voicemail which I still have in my phone today. When I listened to the call – I’m not gonna lie – I cried. I was prepared to hear “no” and to continue to strive to be the best principal that I could be.

It turned out to be an opportunity of a lifetime, however. I was and I am honored to be entrusted by these board members to lead Grapeland ISD.

Today, I honor Mr. Allen Cheatham for his stern determination to see things done the right way. Today, I honor Mr. Josh Goolsby for his quick wit and technological and philosophical mindset. Today, I honor Mr. Mitchell Huff for his workmanship and honesty. Today, I honor Mrs. Melissa Cobb for her persistence and tenacity. Today, I honor Mr. Paul Oliver for his willingness to state his beliefs and stand behind the wisdom of his experience. Today, I honor Mr. James Martin as always being a listener and then the voice of reason in the room.

And finally – today, I honor Mr. Eddie Childress for his leadership, his partnership and the relationship we have built from his being Board President. His solid advice to me on any given topic has significantly influenced my leadership.

In conclusion, soon after being named superintendent, we (the GISD board and I) – along with our spouses – had to go on a trip to Fort Worth for a conference. I felt like I was with a group of strangers. Well, in six months’ time, things have changed.

Now, I feel like “We” are a Team of Eight who collaboratively and transparently come together, work together and stay together in the best interest of our students, staff and stakeholders. Please join me in giving this team a pat on the back for their selfless service.