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Sanger school chief advances

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Crutsinger to represent region in Superintendent of the Year state race

Sanger Superintendent Kent Crutsinger will represent Region XI in the state Superintendent of the Year race.

Last week, the Region XI Education Service Center, based in Fort Worth, informed Crutsinger he was this year’s Superintendent of the Year honoree for the region.

“I’m very humbled and very appreciative,” Crutsinger said. “This is more about the Sanger ISD family than me individually.”

Lori Burton, communications coordinator for Region XI, said Crutsinger’s portrait will hang in the Education Service Center office for the next year along with that of Region XI’s top school board. The Education Service Center serves nearly 80 school districts in 10 counties.

Burton said Crutsinger and superintendents representing 19 other education service centers across the state will be interviewed Aug. 23 and Aug. 24 by officials with the Texas Association of School Boards in Austin for the state award. Of those interviewed, five will be selected finalists and interviewed during the Texas Association of School Administrators/TASB Convention in Dallas.

The state superintendent of the year will be announced Sept. 28, and receive a $5,000 award, Burton said.

Board member Cristy Koonce, who served as Sanger school board president at the time Crutsinger was nominated for the superintendent of the year award, said several weeks were spent by various individuals with the district preparing the application nominating Crutsinger for the Region XI title. The application included information about his leadership in areas of student performance; school-community relations; school board-superintendent relations; school improvements and student, instructional, personnel, fiscal and facilities management, she said.

“I think he’s an excellent candidate to represent us. He’s done some excellent things for our district,” Koonce said. “His record speaks for itself. We’re blessed to have him in this district, and we’re looking forward to many more years with him.”

Crutsinger has led Sanger, a 3A district with nearly 2,700 students and 400 employees, since 2010. He’s lived in Sanger since 1984, and started his educational career with the district. For 15 years, he worked in Sanger as a teacher, coach and principal. In his 29 years as an educator — 26 in administration — he worked two years as assistant superintendent in Pilot Point and prior to returning to Sanger, he worked nine years in Little Elm in the capacity of deputy, assistant and interim superintendent.

“[The] most important thing is Sanger is my home, and I want to do the very best I can for the school district and the community,” he said.

Under Crutsinger’s leadership, the district has added a combined $925,124 to reserves, seen an increase in enrollment, began offering online registration for returning students and parents, launched an energy conservation plan that saved the district more than $300,000 in utility costs last year, implemented a school messenger program, and it has launched a technology campaign in which Sanger is expanding its wireless infrastructure and providing laptops — and in some cases electric tablets — to district employees, students and staff.

This summer the district intends to make security upgrades at five of the district’s seven schools.

Crutsinger said he’s attempted to provide students the best learning environment with the resources available. Despite a more than $3 million reduction in state funding the last two years, Crutsinger said the district has worked to maintain “reasonable classes” and “quality staff” while also staying on top of state accountability regulations.

Board President Ken Scribner said it’s comforting knowing the region’s superintendent of the year leads the Sanger school district.

“We have always felt Kent was a great fit for the district ... but this puts a feather in his cap,” he said.

Since 1984, TASB has recognized superintendents for excellence and achievement in public school leadership.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.