Mike Gilbert has one month left as the superintendent of White Oak ISD before his retirement.

For trustees of the district, the search for his replacement is on.

White Oak ISD school board members plan to post the interim superintendent job online by the end of the month, board president Eric Swanson said.

Superintendent Mike Gilbert announced his retirement in August. His last day will be Dec. 20, the end of the fall semester.

“It’s been both an honor and a privilege to work with White Oak ISD for the past 13 years,” Gilbert wrote in a letter to trustees announcing his retirement. “This is a special place full of outstanding educators, top-notch students and great leadership, both employed and elected by the district.”

Gilbert has been the superintendent at White Oak ISD since 2006. Previously, he was the principal at Spring Hill High School.

During his 39 years of working in education, Gilbert also has been the principal at White Oak High School — from 2002 to 2004 — and taught and coached at high schools in Texarkana, Lindale and Wills Point.

Swanson said trustees plan to hire an interim superintendent until they find Gilbert’s permanent replacement. Typically, a former superintendent of another district will serve as an interim, he said.

In the meantime, 32 people have applied so far for the superintendent job, Swanson said. The deadline for applications is Jan. 1, and the goal is to hire a new superintendent by March 1, he said.

Once the application deadline closes, Swanson said trustees will start interviewing candidates in mid-January.

“We sent out a survey available to the community and the teachers and staff,” Swanson said. “We are in the process of reviewing those to get an idea of what people are looking for in a superintendent.”

Trustees received about 250 responses, he said. About 100 of those are teachers and staff; others are members of the community and students.

In September, trustees hired a search firm to help provide proposals for the job.