2017-04-20 / Front Page

New high school principal hired

Zach Perkins

Jim Potts Jim Potts Port Aransas ISD interview committee members knew they had found their new high school principal immediately after interviewing Jim Potts.

“We knew when he walked out of the door, that he was our guy,” said Sharon McKinney, superintendent of PAISD.

The committee liked Potts’ professionalism, personality and that he showed a sense of humor during the interview process, McKinney said.

Upwards of 50 applicants applied to be principal of Port Aransas High School, McKinne y said. The interview committee consisted of 11 teachers and staff members of PAISD.

After meeting in closed session for 30 minutes, the PAISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the hiring of the new principal on Wednesday, April 12. He is anticipated to take over as principal on Tuesday, May 16, McKinney said. PAHS Principal Scott McNeely is retiring at the end of the school year.

McNeely has been principal since August 2015.

Potts spent the last four years as an assistant principal at Flour Bluff High School, where he oversaw 500 students.

Prior to his experience as assistant principal, Potts was a teacher and coach for four years each at Carroll High School in Corpus Christi and Canyon Randall High School in Amarillo. He also spent two years at the same positions at Dumas High School.

Potts received his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, and a master’s degree in education from Lamar University in Beaumont.

While he has never worked in a small school, he is familiar with small schools, growing up in Gruver. Gruver, located in the Panhandle, is similar in size to Port Aransas, he said.

“I had the best childhood and education in a small town,” Potts said. “I wanted to get back to a more family oriented environment.”

He looks forward to wearing different hats, as necessary in a smaller district. At Flour Bluff, he was known solely as a disciplinarian, he said. Disciplining the students is one of the main jobs for an assistant principal at FBHS, according to James Crenshaw, principal at FBHS.

“I’m ready to be involved in the positives,” Potts said. “I want to get out and be visible in the hallway.”

Potts received strong references from his former boss.

“We hate to lose Jim,” Crenshaw said. “We are very excited for him, taking on the responsibilities of a principal.”

Crenshaw said that Potts is a great guy who makes good ethical decisions and is fair to his students.

“It’s a tough loss for us,” Crenshaw said. “But we are very happy for him.”

Potts said he is excited to join a school where teachers are committed to being involved in different areas of a student’s education.

“Everyone involved in everything, that is true education,” he said about the PAHS staff teaching multiple subjects. In large districts, teachers typically teach one subject the entire day, he said.

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