Criswell named interim Paradise superintendent

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, May 3, 2014
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Former Paradise ISD Superintendent Robert Criswell has been tapped to take over as interim superintendent following Monty Chapman’s departure.

Robert Criswell

Chapman’s contract runs out June 30, and Criswell will take over again July 1.

Board of trustees President Homer Mundy said Criswell will likely be the interim superintendent for six months or a year, until a candidate is selected to take over permanently. He will also lead the search for Chapman’s permanent replacement.

“We’ll let him look inside the district and outside the district. He’s more experienced and knows a lot more people,” Mundy said. “He knows the district very well and I feel it was a very good thing to do.”

Criswell was PISD’s leader for a decade, from 1999 to 2009, when he retired and Chapman took over. Chapman was Criswell’s assistant superintendent at the time. Until July 1, Criswell is acting as a consultant.

“I’m excited about being back,” he said. “I told the board I still bleed green and this is my district. I love it.”

Criswell comes in as budget season gets underway. Munday said the board faces challenges in figuring out funding solutions for fixing an ailing roof and buying buses.

Criswell said he is looking forward to being a part of the process again, comparing it to a bicycle he’s getting to ride again. That said, he still likes retirement and plans to make it permanent.

“Retirement is good. I recommend it for everybody,” Criswell said. “It’s still hard for me to get up and go to a job when I’ve been going to a golf course and to the deer lease.”

Criswell was integral to the process of building up the district’s campus to what it is now.

“It’s changed and it’s a good thing,” Criswell said. “We have a great thing going here.”

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