Russell Kowalik assumed the duties of Goliad High School principal Monday after the Goliad ISD board of trustees approved the recommendation by Superintendent Emilio Vargas to hire Kowalik at the May 12 school board meeting.
“We went through a long interview process,” Vargas said. “We had a committee of department chairs from the high school to central office administrators and a school board member.”
Interim principal Celeste Rodriguez was among the four finalists for the job, according to Vargas.
Kowalik most recently served as principal at Hallettsville High School before leaving HISD in 2013. Kowalik’s son, Nate, was a second-team all-state quarterback last season for Hallettsville and Vargas said he wanted to make it clear that Kowalik wasn’t hired for his son’s quarterbacking skills.
“We are not a school district that is out to hire somebody for a year and get their kid and move them on,” Vargas said.
“I wanted Mr. Kowalik to be clear that we hired him and we are not hiring him for his son.”
Kowalik had been placed on administrative leave as principal at Hallettsville High School in february 2011 and left the school district during the 2012-13 school year.
“He had some issues there with the superintendent and they basically agreed to disagree and part ways,” Vargas said. “He comes very highly recommended. We did a background check and reference check. We go beyond to just whoever they list on their reference list. We are digging and looking. We feel he will have a great relationship with the students and staff and he will be effective with discipline.”