Clugston with PTISD Board

The Pine Tree ISD Board of Trustees approved the employment contract of the district's incoming superintendent on May 17, 2018. Pictured from left are board secretary Jim Cerrato, vice president Amy Brown, president Frank Richards, member Dr. Melanie Roudkovski, incoming superintendent Steve Clugston, members Adam Graves, Anthony Tanner and Dr. Kerri Daugbjerg.

Pine Tree ISD trustees unanimously approved the employment contract of incoming superintendent Steve Clugston Thursday evening.

Clugston is the current superintendent of Callisburg ISD in Cooke County near the Texas-Oklahoma border. He will succeed Dr. TJ Farler, who will retire after seven years in the position.

The incoming superintendent will start work June 2. Clugston said the contract employs him for a three-year term with a base salary of $175,000.

According to a Texas Education Agency report, Farler’s base salary was $185,474 as of last October. Clugston’s reported base salary at Callisburg was $155,263.

Clugston said loves to work with children and hopes to bring fresh energy to the Pine Tree district.

“My plan is to bring my true heart and soul, and a whole lot of passion for this business — passion and energy for the kids and for excellence,” Clugston said. “No matter where you’re at sometimes a little boost can be beneficial and be kind of like a ripple effect in the water, and it spreads. A good energetic staff always gets kids excited. Everybody tends to work a little harder and achieve a little more when they’re fired up about what they’re doing.”

Clugston said he and Farler met recently to discuss the direction of the district as well as its challenges and for her to give advice on how to move forward.

“She gave me advice on what’s been successful and what challenges they do have. When you come in knowing what your challenges are, it enables you to be little more prepared to meet those challenges. And challenges for Pine Tree aren’t different from any other school (district),” he said. “Kids that tend to struggle — getting those kids to the level that we want them to be — that’s a challenge that every school faces. The more that we do with those kids, the more successful we’re going to be.”


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.