LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Members of the Lufkin ISD School Board named LaTonya M. Goffney as the sole finalist to replace Superintendent Roy Knight, who will be retiring at the end of June, during Thursday night's regular meeting.
"Mr.Knight has proven to beexcellent for our district and he is handing the reigns over to another dynamicleader," said Andra Self, School Board President.
Goffney has served as superintendent for the Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISD for the past five years. The district is considered Class 3A.
"My goal is to not be a goodAfrican American superintendent or a good female superintendent but be the bestsuperintendent I can be," said Goffney.
Thursday night, the Lufkin ISD school board met in closed session to discuss narrowing the field of applicants to one person. Once they re-entered open session about 10 minutes later, they announced Goffney as the sole finalist. Now that a finalist has been named, Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period.
LISD Superintendent Roy Knight said, "Our board did not settle on an alternative candidate they picked the best candidate."
Goffney understand the value of education in the Lufkin community, as she was once a student. Goffney spent a year in Lufkin as a 5th grader at Herty Intermediate School.
Goffney said she is eager to get to work to make a difference. "We're preparing kids for a future we can't even imagine, my goal is to work with teachers to make sure we are preparing them for life after high school." She explained.
According to Knight, Lufkin ISD had 40 applicants for the superintendent position. Before Thursday night's meeting, the board had narrowed the field down to seven candidates via thorough interviews.
"This is where I'm supposed tobe," said Goffney.
There is a reason for the lack of transparency in the superintendent selection process, Knight said in a previous interview. Giving some examples, Knight said if word gets out that an educator has applied for the Lufkin ISD superintendent position, the district where that person came from, especially if they are from smaller communities. In addition, if a name got out, and the person didn't get the job, it could make his or her current job more difficult.
Knight, who has 39 years of experience in the education field, announced his plans to retire last November. He has served as the superintendent of Lufkin ISD for the past seven years. Before that, he served as a high school principal in the Dekalb, Hallsville, and Lufkin school districts.