Frenship Superintendent, John Thomas, announced his retirement Tuesday, effective at the end of the 2008-2009 school year.
After serving as Superintendent for the past eight years, and leading Frenship to five TEA recognized ratings, Thomas, 54, has chosen to pursue other interests to have more time to devote time to his family. Thomas, and wife, Leasa, have three children and three grandchildren.
Thomas has served public education for 32 years, beginning his career in 1977 as a teacher/coach and counselor in Dimmitt and then a middle school principal in Lamesa. His first superintendent job was at Ralls before he was named assistant superintendent for Frenship in 1997. He took over the reigns as superintendent in March 2001 and has served in that capacity for the past eight years.
Thomas has served as District 4-4A Executive Committee Chair for the past eight years along with numerous other regional and local leadership roles, including the Wolfforth Economic Development Committee and Wolfforth Chamber of Commerce Board. Thomas was named Man of the Year by the Wolfforth Chamber in 2004. He is an active member of the Wolfforth Methodist Church.
Under Thomas' leadership, the district established a comprehensive master facility plan that led to the passage of two bond elections exceeding at total of $176 million. The district has experienced a growth of over 1600 students during the past eight years. Thomas has managed the opening of two new campuses and a third to be opened this fall.
During his tenure, Thomas initiated the Early College Program at Frenship High School, receiving national recognition for its efforts in providing college readiness programs supporting a PK-16 system with over 100 dual credit hours being offered and opportunities for students to earn an associate's degree upon graduation. Also in 2008, Frenship opened a school within a school, the Frenship Collegiate Prep High School. In 2008 Frenship ISD and Terra Vista Middle School was selected by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching as one of only 8 school districts in Texas to participate in the nationally acclaimed Teacher Advancement Program (TAP). Thomas takes great pride in student accomplishments as evidenced in 2007-08 when Frenship students earned 33 national recognitions, 679 state recognitions, and almost 1400 post-district recognitions. Under Thomas' leadership, technology initiatives and character education have been strategically positioned in all aspects of school operations and instruction as the district focuses on "Building Leadership through Scholastics, Character, and Technology."
Frenship ISD Board President, Tommy Wilkins, states "Mr. Thomas has done a great job in serving our district for the past twelve years. He always has the best interest of the students and staff in every decision and has been a great role model. We support him and understand his decision because of his love for family but hate to see him leave our district. At our next meeting we will begin to formulate a plan for the process of hiring his replacement."
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