White Oak ISD school board taps former Gladewater superintendent to serve as interim

Former Gladewater ISD Superintendent Mike Morrison will take over the reins of White Oak ISD as interim superintendent after the Dec. 20 retirement of Mike Gilbert.

White Oak ISD Superintendent Mike Gilbert made his last school board meeting Monday night.

Gilbert said he has attended about 250 board meetings in his career. The 13-year superintendent will retire from the district Dec. 20.

The board approved former Gladewater ISD Superintendent Mike Morrison to serve as the interim superintendent until a replacement is hired by March 1. His first day will be Jan. 6, when students return from the Christmas break.

Board president Eric Swanson said the board was given three recommendations from the search firm hired by the district.

Part of the reason Morrison was chosen is because he is local.

Morrison’s contract says his pay will be $600 a day until the new superintendent is chosen, Swanson said.

As the interim superintendent, Swanson said Morrison will carry on day-to-day duties and will hopefully be able to provide some outside perspective on how the district could improve.

According to his resume, Morrison also has served as an interim superintendent at Kilgore ISD in 2018, Gladewater ISD in 2017 and Avinger ISD in 2008-09. He also served as a consultant for Longview ISD from February 2009 to August 2011.

Morrison was the Gladewater superintendent from January 2006 to December 2008. Before that, he was an assistant superintendent at the district from June 2000 to December 2005.

Morrison also served as the Jefferson ISD superintendent from June 1998 to May 2000.

In other business, the board approved the addition of a Secondary Life Skills teaching position and a purchase of a bus for $80,400.

The board also heard a 2017 bond savings report.

Overall, the district saved $571,367.82 on the projects, or 3.8% on the construction budget, Gilbert said.

White Oak Mayor Kyle Kutch also read a proclamation declaring the 2019-20 school year the White Oak Roughneck Band Year for the marching band’s performance at the University Interscholastic League state marching contest. The band placed fourth in competition.

Band director Jason Steele said the fourth-place award is a tie for the best the district has performed at the contest, but this year the journey was more meaningful for the band.

“Twice, they’ve been almost counted out,” he said. “And they got right back up. It’s just a real testament to what great kids we have here. We’ve got the best kids in the state, and I’ve got the best kids in the school.”