The El Campo ISD school board will consider officially hiring superintendent finalist Robert Callaghan Thursday in closed session after reviewing his district contract. The board will also consider retroactively approving Callaghan’s consulting contract with ECISD.

Texas law requires school boards wait 21 days before hiring a lone finalist as superintendent. Looking to prepare the district for future COVID-19 outbreaks, the ECISD school board engaged Callaghan as a consultant on June 22.

“Mr. Callaghan is in El Campo, working every day under a consulting contract,” Board President James Russell said. “The board hasn’t officially met, because all of the contract items were just finalized.”

Before unanimously choosing Callaghan on June 10, ECISD trustees reviewed 21 applicants and conducted in-person interviews with five candidates.

Considering Callaghan’s consulting contract is “just a formality, basically,” Russell said.

Callaghan served most recently as superintendent for Newton Community School District in Iowa and has 11 years of superintendent experience. He is a native Iowan, but lived in Texas for several years as an adult before moving to Newton for family reasons.

Callaghan’s contract with NCSD expires June 30, the same day outgoing Superintendent Kelly Waters’ contract ends with ECISD. Waters resigned on May 4, and is set to begin as assistant superintendent for Vidor ISD on July 1. Waters’ annual salary was $147,805, as of March, 2019. Her starting salary in 2015 was $140,000. Callaghan’s finalized salary and benefit information will be finalized at Thursday’s meeting.

“Throughout the search process, the ECISD board of trustees were committed to attracting the best candidates for the position,” Russell told the Leader-News. “In that effort, the board was committed to offering compensation package which was competitive with districts of like size and geographical region.”

The board will meet in closed session at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 2 in the Seminar Room at El Campo High School, 600 West Norris. To listen to or participate in the public portion of the meeting, call 1-413-338-0198 and enter pin 343921676# when prompted.

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