Pine Tree ISD trustees hired a new Birch Elementary School principal and filled the new student services director position Monday night.

Callisburg Elementary School Principal Derrick Conley was hired to succeed Jill Clay as Birch Elementary principal. Clay took an assistant principal position at Pine Tree Middle School, administrative assistant Teresa Rau said.

Superintendent Steve Clugston said Clay’s move to the middle school is lateral since she’s moving from one administrative position to another.

Bremond High School Principal Stephen English was hired on as the district’s director of student services, which is a new position, spokeswoman Mary Whitton said.

According to a job description, he will oversee several district efforts in areas including student attendance, community outreach and social health. English will report to Dr. Valerie Baxter, assistant superintendent for student services and human resources.

English said he previously worked with Clugston at Riesel ISD, as well as in East Texas districts such as Pittsburg and Arp. He’s excited to reunite with the superintendent and get to know staff and students, he said.

“It feels great. I can’t wait to make this place home,” English said. “Mr. Clugston and I ... worked together for four years and ran what I would consider one of the best schools in Central Texas. I know his strengths and he knows mine. We work well together as a team to get our kids where we need to be.”

Also Monday night, Eric Cederstrom, Palo Pinto superintendent, was hired to replace Dr. Daya Hill as PTISD’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Hill accepted the chief academic officer post at Nacogdoches ISD on June 21, according to the district’s website.

Trustees also considered filling the fine arts director position but tabled it. Former fine arts director Mark Melton retired, Rau said.

In other business, the board approved a purchase order of $660,323, which will fund the latter half of the district’s lighting upgrades. Excel Energy is replacing every building’s existing lighting to LED lighting. The district is expected to recuperate the expense through energy savings, Clugston said.

Reporter

Brittany Michelle Williams, a University of Arkansas alumna, serves East Texas as an education reporter at the News-Journal. She won Arkansas Press Association and Arkansas AP Media Editors awards for her work in El Dorado, Arkansas.