Wall ISD Undergoes Radical Changes
Wall ISD has been going through a good deal of changes between the end of last school year and the beginning of the upcoming year in August. These changes include a retiring superintendent, which prompted other shifts in the administration, as well as the passing of a $19.7 million bond.
Superintendent Walter Holik chose to retire after 43 years of education during the last school year. Therefore, former Wall High School principal Russel Dacy was named as the finalist for the position in March. He officially became the superintendent on June 1, 2016.
“As superintendent, you’re going to deal with everything from maintenance to transportation and all the campuses,” Dacy said. “Elementary, junior high, and high school campuses have principals who I’ll be overseeing from that perspective.”
In turn, former Wall Junior High principal Ryan Snowden will be filling Dacy’s previous position as Wall High School principal.
“Mr. Snowden’s done a great job in the middle school all these years, and he’ll bring a lot of experience to that [high school principal] position,” Dacy said. “I think it’ll be a seamless transition for our school district.”
The last major change in Wall administration is the recruitment of a new Junior High principal, former Grape Creek assistant principal Matt Rivers.
“It was pretty much a unanimous decision among the committee that [Rivers] was the best applicant for our job,” Dacy said. “He seems like he’s very energetic, very personable. I think he’s going do an excellent job. Having been from a school our size, he’s a small school kind of a guy so that was a positive as well.”
The Bond and the New Elementary
After years of community meetings and debate in Wall, a $19.7 million dollar bond passed in May to build a new elementary school campus. According to Dacy, the current elementary campus is not only outdated, but is it also too small for the growing elementary student body.
“But, as we grow, we’re going to have to address needs of the junior high and the high school and grow,” Dacy said. “So, we’re hoping to use some of the monies to do some of those things. But our main focus is definitely to make sure the elementary building is built properly, and we [will] utilize those funds to do that first.”
Any funds left over from the construction of the new elementary school will be used to “address future growth in the middle school and the high school,” Dacy said.
San Angelo LIVE! asked Dacy if there has been any controversy concerning the bond.
“I wouldn’t say controversy,” Dacy said. “There’s people [who] have different opinions about what the school needs are.”
Dacy explained that without a lot of businesses in Wall to support the economy and tax base, the taxes from this bill “impact the homeowner tremendously.”
“Whereas, if you’re in San Angelo, that’s spread across a lot of different businesses, and the homeowner may not see the big bump that we would see out here in Wall,” Dacy said.
Regardless, Dacy said he was pleased the bond passed.
“I’m looking forward to building an elementary,” Dacy said. “The bottom line is it’s going to be good for our kids, not only now, but in the future for our young kids coming to Wall ISD. I’m excited to be able to offer that to our taxpayers and to our kids [who] are coming to Wall in the future.”
The Passing of the Torch
Holik said the passing of the bond was a great note on which to end his career. He also expressed confidence in Dacy’s ability as a superintendent.
“Mr. Dacy will do a great job,” Holik said. “I don’t have any doubts in my mind that he can handle it. He [has] a lot of experience and a lot of knowhow.”
Dacy has been learning from Holik about the superintendent position throughout the summer. According to Dacy, Holik is “the only real boss I’ve had in education.”
Holik’s last official day at Wall ISD is August 31.
“For someone like [Mr. Holik] to have been here for so long and to have done such a great job, it’s going to be a challenge to follow in those footsteps,” Dacy said. “We’re hoping to just continue to see Wall ISD, have the success it has had in the past and continue that tradition of pride and excellence that we’ve always had.”
For more about Wall’s recently passed bond, check out the school’s website.
Recommended for You
Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily newsletter, The LIVE! Daily.