By Chris McGuinness

Harker Heights Herald

Members of the Killeen Independent School District board voted unanimously Wednesday to hire a new deputy superintendent.

John Craft, 35, of Hamilton, was chosen from a pool of 16 applicants to serve as the district's No. 2 administrator. He will replace Bobby Ott, who announced his resignation in January.

"We are very pleased that (Craft) will be joining the KISD leadership team," said Superintendent Robert Muller in a written statement Wednesday. "He comes to us with a history of success."

Craft has been the superintendent of the Hamilton Independent School District since March 2010.

The Hamilton district received an "exemplary" rating for the 2010 school year and a "recognized" rating for 2011, according to records from the Texas Education Agency. The district, which has three schools, enrolled 812 students for the 2010-11 school year, compared to 40,000-plus enrolled in Killeen ISD.

Prior to working as Hamilton's top administrator, Craft served as a high school principal in the Mansfield Independent School District from 2008 until 2010. Before that, he worked as an assistant principal, teacher and coach in the Carroll Independent School District.

Craft earned a doctorate in educational administration from Tarleton State University in August 2010, and a master's degree in the same area from the University of North Texas. He holds a state superintendent's certification.

"The Killeen district has a phenomenal reputation for serving students and giving them a quality education," Craft said. "I'm very excited to get an opportunity to be a part of that."

While Craft will no longer be at the top of a district's administration, he likely will see a bump in pay working in Killeen.

The deputy superintendent will make between $119,000 and $160,000 annually, according to the job posting on Killeen ISD's website.

Craft said Wednesday his compensation at Hamilton ISD was $109,000 annually. During Wednesday's meeting, the board authorized Muller to negotiate Craft's contract.

A tentative start date has Craft arriving in late July.

"Hamilton has been very good to me and my family and I want to make sure everything is in order," he said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at chrismKDH.

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