Medina hires Cockrill as interim 'Closing the school is not on the radar!'
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
The Medina ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to hire Dr. Jack Cockrill as interim superintendent during its regular meeting Monday, Dec. 9. "My goal," said Cockrill, "is that by next September, we will have this district financially healthy."
Cockrill served as superintendent for Gilmer ISD, Kerrville ISD and McKinney ISD. Since his retirement, he has worked as an interim superintendent for Ingram ISD, Boerne, Kerrville and Lockhart. He has also worked as a conservator and monitor for the Texas Education Agency.
Cockrill began work Tuesday morning, Dec. 10, stepping into the vacancy left by the retirement of former MISD superintendent Ross Hord.
The board accepted Hord's letter of intent to retire during a called meeting held Monday, Dec. 2. During that meeting, the board and a large group of concerned citizens heard from Wes Hays, a noted educator and school finance expert who has also served as interim superintendent for financially troubled school districts.
Hays reassured those in attendance that the financial shortfalls facing the Medina district were not the result of anyone's wrongdoing and were definitely fixable. Hays hinted that the fixes could involve such unpleasant steps as increasing taxes and/or reducing personnel.
Hays said the financial problems were the result of falling daily attendance numbers which resulted in decreases in state funding.
Looking at solutions to those financial challenges will be Cockrill's priority. "I start with three simple goals," he said, "First, I want the students of Medina to have a great year. We need to take care of our students. Second, I want our staff to know how much they are appreciated. Medina school compares favorably academically to any school in the state." Cockrill's final goal is to adjust staffing to fit the number of students enrolled.
To accomplish those goals, Cockrill has already begun looking at "where we are currently. Then we want to be sure that we are getting every dollar we're entitled to from the state."
Once he gets a clear picture of the situation, Cockrill will begin looking at the possibilities for solutions. "We are not closing the school," he said. "Closing the school is not on the radar."
Jack Cockrill earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1961. He received a Master of Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1965. He then studied administrative services at the University of North Texas. He received his Doctorate of Education from Texas A&M University at Commerce in 1982.
Cockrill began his education career in Plano ISD in 1963 as a teacher, coach, and later as a principal, advancing to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Personnel. He then worked in Gilmer ISD, Kerrville ISD and McKinney ISD.
In 1992, he was named Region 10 Superintendent of the Year and was a finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year.
Cockrill likes to be actively involved in the communities in which he has works.
He and his wife, Nancy, celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2007. They have four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.