Breckenridge Texan

Will Paul accepts Windthorst superintendent job; BISD searching for new high school principal

Will Paul accepts Windthorst superintendent job; BISD searching for new high school principal
August 03
09:59 2021

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge High School Principal Dr. William Paul has accepted an offer from Windthorst Independent School District to become the new superintendent there; he is scheduled to start there in less than three weeks.

In addition to losing Paul, Breckenridge ISD will also be losing his wife, RaKel Paul, who is the assistant principal at South Elementary.

With Breckenridge ISD scheduled to begin classes on Aug. 18, Superintendent Bryan Allen and the Board of Trustees are considering all options for filling the vacancies left by the Pauls. Allen said he posted the job announcements last week, as soon as he was notified that they would be leaving. The school board will consider all applicants but is willing to hire a long-term temporary principal or even have other school district staff members share the job duties temporarily.

“I’m certainly happy for him, but it’s kind of put us in a bind,” Allen said. “Just the timing of it is not great. But we’ve got the job posted, and we’ve gotten some applicants who look fairly decent on paper, especially considering the time of year it is. So we are going to move forward and start the search.”

Breckenridge High School Principal Dr. William Paul addresses the school board in a meeting last year. He recently accepted an offer to be the new superintendent of the Windthorst Independent School District. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Pauls moved to Breckenridge in 2018 from Lexington, where he was the junior high principal and she was a teacher. While in Breckenridge, Will Paul finished his doctorate in education from Texas Tech University.

Windthorst is in Archer and Clay counties, about 30 miles north of Graham. The Windthorst school district had 434 students in the fall of 2020, just four more than Breckenridge High School had, according to the Texas Education Agency. WISD announced on July 27 that Paul was their lone finalist for the superintendent position that was vacated by Lonnie Hise, who resigned in May to take the superintendent job with Haskell ISD. WISD must wait 21 days from July 27 to officially hire Paul.

In a special school board meeting at 12:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, Allen explained to the trustees that when he found out Paul had been offered the job, he immediately began searching for a new high school principal. In addition to placing the position on job search websites, he also called other superintendents who recently went through the principal hiring process to see if they could suggest anyone.

Allen said, at this time, he has several potential applicants for the BHS position but that he acknowledges that the district may not find the perfect candidate on such short notice. Usually, the hiring of a principal takes six to eight weeks and involves at least two interviews per candidate. Allen said he’s condensing the process and is hoping to have a recommended candidate to present to the board at the special meeting already planned for Aug. 16.

There have been several local applicants for the assistant principal at South, including some current BISD employees, Allen said. However, he is concerned about creating additional staffing problems by moving employees from one position to another.

If permanent hires cannot be made by the beginning of school, Allen said, there are some short-term and long-term options. For a short while, current staff members could help out by taking on some of the duties of the jobs. If the wait for someone to start working in one of the jobs turns out to be more long-term, the district can hire an interim principal, such as a retired principal or retired superintendent who will agree to do the job for several months.

Board member Chad Townson asked Allen what the district will do if they cannot find any suitable candidates for the jobs on such short notice. Allen said that in the worst-case scenario, they will look at temporarily reorganizing the administrative staff, such as have the two elementary schools share an assistant principal.

“I think that would be worst case scenario and still be able to function and move forward, at least for this year,” Allen said. “And then, we would try to fill that position next year. … I know we’ve got to think about the worst case scenario, but I’m going to have faith that we don’t have to go that route, that we’re going to find somebody who’s going to work out.”

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Independent School District Superintendent Bryan Allen talks to the Board of Trustees about the current search for a new high school principal. The school board met in a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 2. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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