GISD begins search for its new superintendent

Bill Cough photo Craig Stockstill, field service representative for the Texas Association of School Boards, explains Monday evening the process of searching for a new superintendent to the GISD school board.

GOLIAD – Goliad Independent School District board trustees officially accepted the resignation Monday evening of Dave Plymale as superintendent.

Plymale  announced his retirement Nov. 11, citing health concerns. He recently endured back surgery requiring two months of recovery followed by two months of physical therapy.

The board met in special session to start the process of finding a new superintendent.

Craig Stockstill, a field representative for the Texas Associoation of School Boards (TASB) in Austin, presented a suggested timeline of the 11 steps TASB suggests are necessary to follow – all aiming at having a new superintendent in place by May 2020.

“This timeline is printed in color but it;’s not blood,” he told the board. “You certainly can change things.”

And, it did, planning on speeding up the process.

By meeting in special session, the board accomplished the first step.

The remaining steps include:

•Online community involvement

•A Feb. 3, 2020- deadline for receiving applications.

• Reviewing the applications by Feb. 11.

•Initial interviews of the applicants March 2-4.

•Visiting the home site of finalists  by the second week of March.

•Voting on the finalist March 23.

•Voting on hiring the new superintendent April 13.

Because TASB will post te notice of GISD’s superintendent opening online, it will conduct the initial gathering of candidates under the direction of Dr. Matian Strauss, TASB’s leader of executive search services.

“You will get to see all the applications,” Stockstill said.

He explained that applicants are grouped into four categories:


•Office staff



Interviewing the applicants, Stockstill said,  probably is the more time-consuming portion of the timeline.

“You will find the applicants are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them,” he said.

On average, he said, each interview would take about 90 minutes.

Usually, Stockstill told the board,  you will have around 30 applicants to consider, which you will have to narrow down to six good candidates “which is going to be difficult to choose from.”

He also presented a TASB-suggested standard contract for the board to use for hiring the new superintendent.

With Plymale’s resignation, the board was faced with a number of options.

It could name Assistant Superintendent Chris Ulcak to superintendent, it could name Ulcak as the interim superintendent, choose someone else as an interim superintendent and begin a nationwide headhunting search.

In open session it decided to start the search.

In executive session, the board approved Donald Egg as interim superintendent beginning Jan. 6, 2020.

Egg, who lives in Jackson County, previously served as interim superintendent while the board conducted a search that resulted in its hiring Plymale.

“We were fortunate that Egg was available,” says board member Trey Wimberly.

“We feel confident and secure in the job he will do as we go through this process of selecting a new superintendent.

Bill Clough is the Goliad editor at the Advance-Guard Press and can be reached at 361-645-2330, or at