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Paris Independent School District’s new superintendent is officially on the job.
“I already have three meetings tomorrow,” Paul Jones said during a reception held Monday evening in the Paris High School library. “We’re going to make it happen.”
He spent the hour-long meeting smiling and shaking hands as he chatted with district officials, employees and community members welcoming him to Paris.
Paul Jones replaces Paul Trull, who retired at the end of February. Before Monday, he was superintendent of Saltillo ISD, a 1A school district between Sulphur Springs and Mount Vernon.
His son Clayton, a senior, and daughter Claire, a freshman, will finish the year at Saltillo. Claire is expected to begin at Paris High School next year. Clayton has been accepted to Texas A&M University. His wife, Kathryn Jones, is an English teacher.
“We’re very excited and looking forward to it,” Kathryn Jones said. “We’ve seen such a nice, warm welcome already. We’re looking forward to a new challenge.”
The new superintendent spent Monday touring PISD’s various campuses and meeting staff with board President George Fisher. A midday meeting of the school board was held to officially extend a contract.
“It’s exciting. I think we made a great selection,” Fisher said. “It’s been a long, semi-strenuous process, but the results out-shadow everything we’ve been through – such as the long days and no pay. We’ve got somebody ready to move forward.”
After Trull announced his retirement last year, the school board chose Executive Search Services, a part of Texas Association of School Boards, to help find his replacement. William Smith, a field services representative with ESS, said the school board did a very good job throughout the selection process.
“It’s a super board,” he said. “They’re really sincere. They work together. They worked the process the best it could be done.”
Although he’s coming from a smaller district, the new superintendent isn’t really facing anything new in Paris ISD.
“You have to do everything at a small district you do at a bigger district,” Smith said. “Your numbers are smaller, and your problems. That’s the only difference.”
Near the end of the meeting, Trull patted the new superintendent on the shoulder and said, “Good luck.” Paul Jones said he appreciated that kind of support, which he saw all day.
“The community’s been great – emails, phone calls,” he said. “It tells you what kind of community Paris is.”