Cochran to head west for superintendent job

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, May 10, 2014
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Decatur High School Principal Jason Cochran is the apparent pick to be the new superintendent at Eastland ISD.

The Eastland school board met Monday afternoon and officially announced Cochran as their selection to replace retiring Superintendent Donald Hughes.

Super Opportunity

SUPER OPPORTUNITY – Principal Jason Cochran stands among students walking to their next class at Decatur High School. Cochran has been named the lone finalist for a superintendent job at Eastland ISD. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Cochran said the district made him an offer, and they came to an agreement – meaning he will officially be named superintendent at a meeting later this month. State law requires school districts to announce the finalists for superintendent 21 days before a contract can officially be signed.

While he wasn’t actively looking for a superintendent job, Cochran said he saw the opportunity to lead a district with the same kind of core values he has seen in Decatur.

“I met with their board and administrators and went around the community. I thought it was a good match,” he said. ” … It’s a great community to live and work in. That’s part of what I’m most excited about.”

He said he wanted to make sure it was a good fit for both sides. After his first interview, he was asked to bring his family back for a visit.

“That impressed me,” he said.

Cochran and his family will move to Eastland, which is about 90 miles west of Fort Worth on Interstate 20. His plan is to finish out the school year at Decatur and transition out the second week of June. He’ll be trading his Eagle white and blue for Maverick red and black.

Cochran said he has valued his six years at Decatur and the opportunity to work with Superintendent Rod Townsend, who he described as a “mentor, father figure, role model and friend.”

“He taught me about making it a priority to ride for the brand,” Cochran said of his superintendent. “You must understand what comes with those brands – what it means to be an Eagle or a Maverick – and make sure people live it 24/7.”

He also credited former Decatur Superintendent Gary Gindt for continuing to be a mentor to him.

Townsend said the district has already begun the process of seeking a new high school principal. The job was posted Wednesday, and he said Friday morning the district had already received at least a dozen applicants for the position.

The plan is for a search committee consisting of teachers, parents and administrators to review the applications and narrow it down to five or six candidates. He said applications have been received from both within and outside the district.

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