FLORENCE — Public schools in Florence have a new leader.
The Florence Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously selected Sam Atwood as the district’s newest superintendent Thursday night.
Atwood, 65, a longtime educator from Bastrop, has been the district’s interim superintendent since December, replacing former top administrator Karla Moyer, who left the district to take a new job at the Region 13 Education Service Center in Austin.
Atwood called the Florence school system, which has three schools and less than 1,000 students, a “diamond in the rough.”
He said when he filled in as the interim superintendent a few months ago, he didn’t think he would apply for the permanent job. But the school system grew on him, Atwood said, noting the quality teachers and students.
“It has a tremendous amount of potential,” said Atwood, who began his education career 41 years ago as a teacher in Magnolia.
His last job was as superintendent of the Goliad Independent School District in South Texas.
“It’s a very rewarding profession. I’ve always been a teacher first,” said Atwood, a former football and track coach.
School board members seemed relieved with the pick, which capped off a five-month search for a new superintendent that began last October.
The board held 21 meetings, sifting through applications and coming up with a game plan for hiring the new superintendent, said board President Craig Clark.
He called Atwood “a very hard worker, very detail-oriented.”
Atwood’s yearly salary is $106,000, according to his contract. There is no car allowance or similar add-ons, Clark said.
“We felt that would be more transparent,” he said.