After a five-month search, the Lake Worth school board selected a new superintendent this week to replace Janice Cooper, who left the district earlier this year.David Fitts, who is currently the superintendent in the Pewitt school district, was chosen as the lone finalist. The board must now wait 21 days until he can be hired on June 27.His salary has not been set but Cooper was being paid $150,000 a year, with a $500 monthly car allowance, according to her contract.Lake Worth School Board President Armando Velazquez said that the district’s search firm, Bob Griggs and Associates, received over 45 applicants and gave trustees a list of five candidates to consider.“David has the personality of a dynamic leader with one purpose in mind and that is the kids,” Velazquez said.The other candidates had good credentials, but Fitts comes from a district with a population and demographics similar to Lake Worth, Velazquez said.Pewitt is northeast of Mount Pleasant and Omaha. Fitts has been the superintendent in Pewitt since 2004, and he helped boost the district’s academic ranking from acceptable to recognized. The junior high and high school are ranked recognized and the elementary school has an exemplary rating from the state.Fitts said he wants to make sure that teachers and other staff have the resources they need to help students move forward.Fitts received his doctorate in education from Texas A&M University Commerce and got his superintendent certification in 2003.His honors include being Region VIII Superintendent of the Year and recipient of the Community Builder Award for distinguished service and Teacher of the Year while at the Winona school district.Cooper served as the superintendent of the district for 14 years but agreed to a voluntary separation from the district in January after trustees said they were unhappy with the district’s low test scores and Cooper’s performance.
Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz