Center ISD Board of Trustees retains firm for superintendent seach process

Jim Largent Consulting of Granbury to help lead the search process

The Center ISD Board of Trustees last Thursday unanimously voted to retain the services of a Granbury consulting firm to aid in the selection process for a new superintendent.

Largent Consulting was selected for the task after the board met in closed session for more than an hour on Thursday, Jan. 9. Firm owner, Dr. Jim Largent, is a former educator who brings more than 30 years experience as a coach, teacher and superintendent to the table.

Center ISD Board President Matthew Mettauer said the board has not set a timeline for getting a new superintendent at the helm as the district's top administrator to replace Dr. James Hockenberry.

“We'll be using the consultant to help establish a timeline,” Mettauer said after Thursday's meeting.

Hockenberry tendered his resignation on Dec. 2 with an effective date of Jan. 6. Hockenberry, who had been superintendent for Center ISD the past 12 years, accepted the position of assistant superintendent of human resources and community relations for the Longview ISD.

At a special board meeting on Dec. 16, Center ISD school board members unanimously voted to retain Arnie Kelley as interim superintendent while the search for a more permanent replacement was conducted.

Last Thursday's special meeting represented Kelley's first time to sit in the superintendent's chair at a board meeting. While Largent could not be reached for comment, information on his website indicates the job before the Center ISD Board of Trustees is the most important they will face.

The most important job of a school board is hiring a superintendent,” he said.
Largent is retired from Granbury ISD and said his goal is to help school boards he works with to select the best candidate possible to become their new top administrator.

“After serving 31 years in public schools as a teacher/coach/administrator, and 21 years as a superintendent, I am excited to work with schools and corporate partners in a variety of ways to build relationships that will benefit our most precious resource--our students,” he said in a statement promoting his services.

I will assist school districts with the selection of superintendents and other district-level administrators as needed,” Largent said. “We will customize a program as directed by school leadership to meet your needs and get the highest quality applicants and ultimately the best fit for your position.” .

In the interim superintendent's role, Kelley brings experience in Garrison, where he served as Garrison ISD superintendent from 2003 until 2009. In his retirement Kelley has been called back into duty on an interim basis to fill in for Chireno ISD and in June 2018 back at Garrison ISD when then superintendent Richard Cooper resigned.

Kelley holds a bachelor's of science degree in agriculture from Stephen F. Austin State University. Kelley also earned his master's degree in education from SFA.

He hold Texas certifications for both being a principal and for superintendent. Among his civic duties, Kelley has served as vice president of the Nacogdoches Steer Show.

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