Edna principal to move to Victoria's Patti Welder
May 17, 2012 at 12:17 a.m.
Updated May 18, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
A total of 66 people applied to become superintendent of the Victoria school district.
Superintendent Bob Moore is retiring at the end of this school year.
Board members pored over the applications in a closed meeting Thursday night and will select some to interview next week.
Forty of the applicants are from Texas, and candidates came from 16 other states.
Members of the firm said they were impressed with the quality and quantity of the applicants.
Edna's high school principal will soon be a Patti Welder Panther.
The Victoria school board at its Thursday meeting approved hiring Richard Wright as the new principal of Patti Welder Middle School.
Patti Welder has "great kids, and I know several people here (in VISD)," Wright said. "It's just a great educational opportunity to come over and start a new lifestyle."
Wright has been with Edna High School for 12 years - 10 of them as principal. In April, the Edna school board voted not to extend Wright's contract, a move that sparked confusion and outcry among parents and students.
Supporters circulated petitions calling for Wright's contract to be extended, and several showed up at a special board meeting to voice their support for their principal. Edna ISD Superintendent Bob Wells told parents and students Wright's record was unblemished but said he could not comment about a personnel issue.
According to a Facebook group, "If it's not Wright, it's wrong," supporters were planning to show up to Monday's Edna school board meeting in full force again to fight for his contract extension. The group has more than 300 members.
Thursday night, Wells said he knew about Wright's potential employment with Patti Welder, but he had a duty to remain professional throughout the questioning from the community. He wished to assure Edna citizens the district has been and will continue to be committed to providing a quality education to every student.
Wells said he's convinced the board will be able to hire a new principal before next school year.
"I just wish Richard Wright the very best," Wells said. "Victoria is to be congratulated on hiring a talented school administrator."
Though Wright said he'll miss his time in Edna, the husband and father of two teenagers said he's ready to get to work helping Patti Welder reach its full potential.
"It's so hard for schools, and especially teachers and kids not to have some kind of structure and to not know what tomorrow's going to be," he said. "I think stability and leadership are going to be my two greatest strengths."
Wright will begin training and meeting students and staff in the summer. He'll take over the reins at the beginning of the next school year.
Trey Edwards, principal at Mitchell Guidance Center, has served as the school's interim principal since December.