NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Interim Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Alton Frailey is on duty. He conducted his first school board meeting Tuesday.
Frailey's experience prior to retiring in 2016 included 9 years as superintendent for Katy ISD.
Before that, he served as superintendent for DeSoto ISD near Dallas and in Cincinnati, Ohio. Frailey graduated from Central Heights High School in Nacogdoches County and then obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in educational administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. He's currently serving for the school's board of regents.
The expectations for Frailey are high and hopeful from the school board, educators, the community, and himself. The challenges are abundant. Where does an administrator of his status start?
"We got to get focused. I think there have been too many distractions, too many personal agendas," Frailey said. "We can't have that going forward. We got to be focused on one thing. That's the right environment for our kids, the right support system for our staff, and the right resources provided for our schools as a whole."
Imminent is spring assessment testing. Carpenter Elementary could be placed on improvement required status for a sixth year, leading to possible Texas Education Agency control.
"It's a serious threat," said James Ervin, the Nacogdoches ISD school board president. "We never know what TEA will do, but we've been told that if not, then there will have to be some drastic changes."
"The state numbers are what the state numbers will be," Frailey said. "And I respect that."
However, the board believes Frailey is the one to stand up to the TEA.
"I don't need the state coming in here to tell us what to do and how to do it, but we'll get the job done," Frailey said.
Teacher morale will play a role in that success.
"I understand morale is questioned," Frailey said. "To me, morale is really something that is rather focused on why are you here? And my role is to make sure we have the right environment for Nacogdoches ISD to be the best. If that's an issue, we'll address that issue."
Change and improvement will take time. Ervin said previously Frailey can stay as long as he wants to be here.
Frailey was asked if he would accept the superintendent's job if it was offered to him.
"That is not why I came, and we may talk about that, but right now, I think the focus is what's happening right now," Frailey said.
Frailey plans to meet with principals tomorrow. He said he has no plans of reassignments or dismissals, but his main goal will be observation rather than reviewing.
He's also wanting to conduct town hall meetings with student leadership.