Keller schools are welcoming a familiar face back to the district after trustees unanimously approved Rick Westfall as the lone candidate for superintendent at a special meeting May 8.
Westfall will replace Superintendent Randy Reid, who will retire in July. Westfall served as principal of Keller High School from 2008 to 2011 before becoming chief learning officer and later deputy superintendent for Grapevine-Colleyville schools. Prior to his time at Keller High, he was principal of Carroll High School.
“I’m just excited to be back in Keller and hear what’s been going on in the last six years,” Westfall said. “I want to listen to campus administrators, campus teachers, students, parents and community members and find out what they want to see from the district.”
Board President Craig Allen said Westfall stood out “because he brought the best blend of somebody who’s very strategic and creative but also very relational, somebody who will be involved and engaged in the community.”
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According to state law, district officials must wait 21 days before Westfall can be hired. After the waiting period, officials will call a special meeting to formally declare him superintendent and determine his start date.
The search firm School Executive Consulting, led by David Thompson of Thompson & Horton LLP and former Texas Education Commissioner Mike Moses, coordinated the process. The same firm conducted the search that brought Reid to Keller in 2012 and the previous superintendent, James Veitenheimer, eight years earlier.
The firm advertised the position, conducted focus groups, sought candidates, scheduled interviews for the top candidates with trustees and performed background and reference checks for a fee of $22,000 plus expenses for travel and advertising.
Shelly Harrison, a Keller High English teacher, said that she was a brand-new teacher when Westfall became principal and that he often showed up in classrooms to encourage and support teachers.
“He’s one of the most dynamic leaders I’ve ever seen,” Harrison said.
Westfall has 24 years of experience in education and holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio, a master’s degree from Texas Christian University and a doctorate in education administration from Tarleton State University.