Glenn Barber, superintendent for the Pilot Point school district, has announced he’s retiring, effective Aug. 30.
He notified the school board of his resignation Wednesday.
According to his resignation letter to school board President Melinda Street, Barber said he’s notifying the board of his resignation early “to ensure the board an opportunity to conduct an appropriate search for a new superintendent and make a smooth transition.”
Barber said Friday that last year he became eligible for retirement, and after nearly 40 years in education, it was time.
“There’s nothing wrong here,” he said. “It’s just been a long time.”
Street said the board members were surprised to learn of Barber’s retirement, but they understand. She said a special meeting is set Wednesday to discuss planning the search for Barber’s successor.
Barber, 59, joined the Pilot Point school district in 2007. A superintendent for Greenwood school district in West Texas at the time, Barber was hired in April 2007 to succeed Cloyce Purcell who retired at the end of the 2006-07 school year.
He joined the district at a time of financial crisis. In November 2006, the district declared financial exigency as a result of an $800,000 deficit brought on by a decrease in student enrollment, overstaffing, state funding cuts and bookkeeping errors.
In 2008, Pilot Point voters approved a 9 cent increase in the tax rate, allowing the district to pull itself out of financial exigency the following year, cover increased operational expenses, give staff pay increases and add money to reserves.
Also under Barber’s leadership, the district improved its credit rating and increased its general fund reserves. Reserves when Barber arrived, he said, were about $97,000, and according to the district’s recent finance audit, Pilot Point has more than $5.1 million in general fund reserves. During his tenure, the district has maintained balanced budgets each year.
“It was a long road back, but I think the most important thing from my perspective was it wasn’t just me,” Barber said.
The board and the district staff worked together to help the district out of its financial crisis, he said.
Street said Barber had a “tremendous impact” in helping the district turn around its financial situation and improve in academics.
Since Barber’s arrival, the district improved its state accountability rating from academically Acceptable in 2008 and 2009 to Recognized in 2010 and 2011. No state accountability ratings were released in 2012 as the state worked to create a new accountability system based on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam.
In his resignation letter, Barber wrote many “wonderful things” were accomplished for students in his time with the district because of support from the board and community. He wrote he was appreciative of the board for allowing him to serve the district and community.
“The community has been a great community,” he said Friday. “I’ve had a great six years here. The community has been very supportive to me, my family, the staff.”
Barber started his career in education in 1975 as a teacher and coach at a Fort Worth Catholic school and has spent 17 years of his career serving as superintendent for three Texas school districts, including Pilot Point. He has a bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s and doctoral degrees in educational administration, all from the University of North Texas.
Barber said his retirement doesn’t mean he intends to get out of education, something he calls his life and passion. He said he expects to continue some form of work in education upon retiring, including consulting and interim administrator work. He said he also looks forward to spending more time with family.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.