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Calhoun superintendent named lone finalist for Galveston job

By BY JJ VELASQUEZ
July 22, 2010 at 2:22 a.m.


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The Calhoun school board will meet Tuesday to discuss appointing an interim superintendent and the search for a new superintendent.

PORT LAVACA - Larry Nichols is expected to leave the home of the Sandcrabs soon to take on repairing the Galveston school district from 2008's Hurricane Ike.

The Calhoun County school district's superintendent may leave the post he has held the past 10 years by the first week of classes this August to lead the Galveston school district, the district announced via news release Thursday.

Nichols was selected as the lone finalist for the job, but the hire won't be final until after a vetting process.

"We're very disappointed," said Brenda Wilson, Calhoun school board president. "We have a terrific working relationship with the school board and superintendent. But we understand it's a bigger district, and it's a new opportunity for him."

This new opportunity leaves Nichols with mixed emotions, he said. While excited for the road ahead with the Galveston school district, he said he will miss Calhoun.

"I am a Sandcrab and proud to be," he said. "But this is a great opportunity. The Lord has opened this door, and I need to go through it."

He added, "I am sad to leave a lot of wonderful people. This is not because I'm unhappy in any way. This is an opportunity that came to me."

Nichols was contacted by the consulting firm searching for the Galveston district's next top administrator.

Andy Mytelka, president of the Galveston school board, said the district was pleased to land Nichols, who has a proven track record of managing school finances.

The Galveston school district faces financial trouble because of wealth redistribution laws passed by the state legislature in 2006, Mytelka said.

And 2008's Hurricane Ike caused more than $60 million in damages to the district's schools.

Nichols's history of working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency was another key attribute he possessed, Mytelka said.

Nichols worked with FEMA three times - twice after tornadoes and once after a hurricane, he said.

"Mr. Nichols brings the same record of achievement he has in Calhoun to Galveston, and that's something we need," said Mytelka. "We were very impressed with his integrity, his work ethic and obviously his proven results."

Nichols replaces outgoing Superintendent Lynne Cleveland, who left the Galveston district in June for a job in Little Elm, Texas.

"We'll miss Larry, but sometimes change is good and sometimes change is exciting," Wilson said. "We're looking forward to this search and bringing someone on board."

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