Pirtle departing for Superintendent post

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By MIKE EDDLEMAN

Pleasant Grove ISD announced Sunday that Chad Pirtle was the lone finalist in their Superintendent search.

Pirtle, currently an Assistant Superintendent in Liberty Hill ISD who has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal in the district since 2005, said he is excited about the new opportunity for a number of reasons.

“My goal for a long time has been to be a superintendent and lead a school district and be able to implement what I know and use my leadership abilities and to impact an entire school district,” he said.

The family has deep roots near their new home. Pirtle is from Paris, and his wife Emily is from Oklahoma. That made the opportunity even more exciting.

“One thing that’s been on our heart is to get closer to home,” he said. “There are a number of superintendent vacancies open right now, but the one that I truly wanted was the Pleasant Grove job. We’re so honored and blessed to become pat of that community.”

As opportunities to seek a superintendent post came up, Pirtle said he looked for a situation similar to Liberty Hill, not only for himself professionally, but for his family.

“They have a phenomenal school district up there and their Academic Rating is very high,” he said. “Part of this decision is making sure that my kids, who are in a great place at Liberty Hill Elementary School, have an opportunity to go to a great place when we do go somewhere. Pleasant Grove is a great place for students.”

Meeting the board and administration in Pleasant Grove confirmed to Pirtle that it was a good destination professionally.

“What made it an exciting job for me was when I sat down and talked to the board for the first time,” Pirtle said. “They have a great board. They are a team, they’re on the same page, and they love Pleasant Grove. They want someone to join their team that fits there and has had experiences similar to what they are going through.”

Pleasant Grove is a 4A district in Texarkana with four campuses and just over 2,100 students. Pirtle expects March 25 to be his likely first day in the new job.

Fourteen years ago, Pirtle came to Liberty Hill, and began his time as a Panther as a teacher, coach and athletic coordinator at the Junior High.

“In my second year I was Assistant Principal at the Intermediate School, but I still maintained my coaching responsibilities,” he said.

Two years later, he was named Principal at the Junior High, where he remained for seven years before being named Assistant Superintendent.

It is easy for Pirtle to pinpoint the highlight of his time in Liberty Hill and it isn’t a new campus, district award or any new programs implemented.

“The best part of it to me has been the people,” he said. “We’re in the people business. We’re into growing people and it’s been the relationships I have with our students, with our staff, with our parents and our community. It’s been the relationships I feel like I’ve been influential with in growing with the city.

“I love the people of Liberty Hill. They have been wonderful to my family and I will be forever grateful and cherish the relationships that I have with the people in Liberty Hill. I know a lot of those relationships will continue even when we’re not here.”

He is seeing the same support as he says goodbye to Liberty Hill that he received when he arrived and through his stay.

“The outpouring of support since the announcement was made has been absolutely overwhelming to Emily and I, whether it be on Facebook, in an e-mail, a text or a phone call,” Pirtle said. “I am thankful for the love this community has shown myself, but my family. They have wrapped their arms around us for 14 years and supported us. They have changed our lives.”

Moving up through the administration, from teacher to assistant superintendent, Pirtle has had a front row seat and been deeply involved in all of the changes and accomplishments in Liberty Hill ISD, and the greatest thing he learned in that time was what can be accomplished.

“I’ve learned how good it can be,” he said. “I’ve learned that students will meet the expectations that are set for them. In general, people meet the expectations set for them. I will take with me that we are going to set the bar high and do everything we can to get our staff there to produce and learn at high rates and teach in exceptional ways.

“If you don’t ever get to experience how good it can be, then you really don’t know that it can be that good. But whenever you’ve lived it you know it can be there and it’s worth the fight to get it there.”

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