SANGER — After nearly 30 years serving three Denton County school districts, Jackie McBroom said he’s retiring.
McBroom, 59, is the assistant superintendent for educational services for the Sanger school district. He officially retires June 30. Throughout his career he’s worked as an educator for the Aubrey, Pilot Point and Sanger school districts.
“I’ve been really blessed,” McBroom said. “I’ve been fortunate that my career has been in three great school districts.
“I’ve been blessed to be a part of good things going on in all those school districts.”
The district intends to host a retirement reception in his honor May 16.
Sanger Superintendent Kent Crutsinger said McBroom “has been the ultimate educator for Sanger, and he will be truly missed.” He said McBroom has had a major impact on Sanger’s academic success. In McBroom’s time with the district, it earned a recognized rating from the Texas Education Agency, and some Sanger campuses have received an “exemplary” accountability rating.
“He’s left a footprint for this district of success for all of us to follow,” Crutsinger said.
“We wish him well. He’s an ultimate team player.”
District officials report that 90 individuals applied to replace McBroom and of the applicants, six were interviewed. The district has hired Rhonda Bilbrey, director of human resources for the Little Elm school district, to succeed McBroom.
In the early 1980s McBroom started his career in Texas. He moved to Texas from Gainesville, Fla., where he started his career in 1980 as a high school athletic coach, looking to be closer to family in the North Texas region. McBroom said he had a map of Texas, drew a circle around the area of Fort Worth and interviewed everywhere he could.
He and his wife made Aubrey their home and raised their three children there.
Aubrey Superintendent James Monaco, former Aubrey High School principal, hired McBroom to teach English and coach various athletic teams in 1984. He calls McBroom one of the “best motivators” he’s seen.
“I’ve seen him give a motivational speech, and the athletes could run through a brick wall after that,” Monaco said. “I remember the kids just loved playing for him.”
McBroom worked at Aubrey High for four years, and he was the offensive coordinator for the first football team to make the playoffs in school history in 1988. He would return to serve on the Aubrey school board years later. He served nine years as a trustee before stepping down from the board in 2011. In that time, the district passed a bond referendum that resulted in Aubrey building two new schools.
Monaco said as a board member McBroom was someone who understood all angles. McBroom was someone who could offer a parent, local resident and educator’s perspective, he said.
The Aubrey superintendent said McBroom is a highly respected educator.
“I know that Sanger’s a quality school district, and I know he’s played a large role in that,” Monaco said. “The Sanger ISD and the state of Texas are losing one great administrator by his retirement.”
Following his stint in Aubrey, McBroom worked 10 years in Pilot Point. In that time, he served as the district’s athletic director and middle school principal. McBroom said in his time with Pilot Point he learned what a winning attitude and high expectations can accomplish.
He joined the Sanger ISD in 1999 and returned to the classroom as a high school teacher. McBroom said he was selected as Sanger High’s Teacher of the Year in 2003.
Returning to the classroom, McBroom said, gave him more time with his own children. It was an epiphany, he said, and brought him back to the reason he started his educational career — the students.
“It rejuvenated my soul and my career,” he said.
Jack Biggerstaff, former Sanger superintendent, has known McBroom since the early 1980s.
He said McBroom applied for a job as a coach with Sanger and Biggerstaff, who was the football coach at the time, interviewed him. The former superintendent said he had prior knowledge of McBroom and liked his approach to education and felt he was a positive person.Biggerstaff said while he did not hire McBroom for the job, McBroom was someone who struck him as a good person and a great educator.
“I didn’t hire him for the job, but I put it in the back of my mind that this was someone I would have some interest in at some point in time,” Biggerstaff said.
After Biggerstaff became Sanger’s superintendent in 1999, he hired McBroom because he felt he would be an asset to the district. Biggerstaff said one of McBroom’s strengths as a teacher was his ability to relate to students. He wasn’t just concerned about how students were doing in school but in their personal lives.
“He showed an interest in them, and they responded to him,” Biggerstaff said.
McBroom was a classroom teacher in Sanger for five years before being named principal at Linda Tutt High School, Sanger’s non-traditional high school. He described his work with students there as inspiring and said he was honored to have helped the students there.
The last seven years, McBroom has served as an assistant superintendent with the district. He said while he’s missed the one-on-one contact with students, he’s been in a position to impact thousands with the programs he’s initiated and changes he’s assisted with for the district.
Reflecting on his nearly 30-year career in Denton County, McBroom said some people spend their entire career in one place but for him, having the opportunity to work for three districts that are similar has been rewarding.
It’s unusual, he said, that he spent the majority of his career all in the northern part of the county, but he said it gave him a perspective about education in the North Texas area, and it was all positive.
McBroom said he’s most proud that the district’s students are better off than when he got there.
He calls his educational career “a blast.”
“There’s never been one day when I dreaded coming to work,” McBroom said. “Every day has been an adventure because every day is different.”
Upon retiring, he said, he intends to spend more time with family and complete a book he’s worked on the last five years on Texas school gymnasiums. The book, he said, looks at the architecture of old school gymnasiums and looks to share the stories of students who played in those gymnasiums and how gyms in some Texas communities served as the cultural centers and gathering place for meetings, dances, games and concerts.
“There’s a lot I want to do,” McBroom said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity for new challenges.”
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.