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SUPERINTENDENT DR. JAMES LARGENT TO RETIRE
March 19, 2018
Granbury ISD superintendent Dr. James Largent announced his retirement at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting on March 19, 2018.
Largent came to Granbury in 2012 and has served as superintendent for six school years. His letter to school board members indicated his retirement will be effective at the end of July. “The past six years in GISD have been some of the most rewarding in my career, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together,” Largent commented.
“Jim Largent has done an outstanding job as our superintendent and will be hard to replace,” remarked school board president Nancy Alana. “His legacy in GISD will be realized for many years to come. We wish him continued success in whatever he chooses to do in the future.”
Upon taking up leadership in GISD, he led the district through a long-term strategic plan initiative that set the foundation for his administration. The G2020 plan focused on enhancing academic rigor through Project Based Learning and other programs to cultivate critical thinking, problem-solving skills, communication, and community service in an optimal environment. The initiative also called for a strong technology infrastructure to provide students with the tools necessary to compete in an ever-changing world.
The strategic plan led to Largent spearheading a $84.9 million bond proposal in November 2013 to transform Granbury High School, enhance career and technical education and fine arts programs, build a robust technology infrastructure for model classrooms, upgrade campus safety and security with controlled entries, and undertake many other improvements – including replacement of classroom furniture, new attached gymnasiums at Acton Elementary School and Emma Roberson Elementary School, and the consolidation of central administration offices in the former Crossland Ninth Grade Center. Construction began in 2014 and culminated with the 2017-18 school year with the re-opening of GHS with a freshman academic wing, a state-of-the art Career and Technical Education Center, additional space for fine arts program, a rifle range for the Granbury Marine Corps JROTC, and complete renovation of the entire campus.
“Our students in GISD are simply amazing,” commented Largent. “They prove to me each day that the future of our country is bright, if we will allow our students to explore their interests, enjoy learning, and believe that there is no limit to what they can achieve. It has been an honor to be a small part of so many student successes over the past six years.”
He continued, “I am immensely proud of our administrative team and our entire staff of educators and support personnel. We have a staff of incredibly dedicated and talented professionals who take their jobs seriously, while at the same time enjoying each other’s company. That is the mark of a true, high-achieving team.”
Largent spent his entire professional career in public education and held positions as a teacher, coach, athletic trainer, assistant high school principal, high school principal, and superintendent. He previously led the school districts in Chireno (1998-2001) and Rusk (2001-2012). His prior administrative experience includes four years as the high school principal in Queen City (1994-1998) and three years as high school assistant principal in Coldspring-Oakhurst.
He grew up in Kirbyville and graduated high school from there in 1983. Both his parents were educators – his mother a long time second grade teacher and his father a building trades teacher and later the tax assessor-collector for Kirbyville ISD.
The superintendent’s wife, Jeri, is a part-time educational diagnostician for the GISD special education department Their two children are both GHS graduates. Justin received a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University, and Jaci is pursuing her college education at Texas Tech University.
“Jeri and I plan to continue to live in Granbury, and we are excited about the next chapter in our lives,” he said. “I plan to continue to advocate for public education and will continue to write and speak out against those trying to diminish what we do.”
The superintendent is the current chairman of the Granbury Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the board of directors for Granbury ISD Education Foundation and Lake Granbury Medical Center. He and his family are members of First United Methodist Church.
Largent holds a bachelor's degree in history and physical education (1987) from Lamar University in Beaumont and a masters degree in administration (1993) from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. He earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (2001) also from Sam Houston State.
He has been honored by Who's Who in Executives and Professionals, has published articles in the Texas Lone Star and Texas Coach magazines, has an honorary FFA degree, and was honored as Citizen of the Year in 2008 by the Rusk Chamber of Commerce. He has also been nominated four times for Superintendent of the Year - twice in Region 7 while in Rusk and twice in Region 11 while in Granbury.
GISD school trustees will begin the search for the next superintendent immediately. “With a transition to my successor on the horizon, I offer you my full support in making the transition seamless,” Largent told the board. “I will be here to help in any way I can to insure that the improvements we have made do not stall but continue with the new superintendent.”