Comanche Public Schools Superintendent Terry Davidson confirmed the board moved Friday in hiring his soon-to-be replacement after announcing his retirement in January.
Davidson, who retires effective June 30, will leave Comanche’s district with 24 years under his belt as a superintendent. Julie Bills, from Haskell, will take his place.
According to Davidson, the Comanche Board of Education contracted with Oklahoma State School Boards Association to assist in the search for a new superintendent. Davidson said the board met several times over the course of the last two months to interview candidates and screen their backgrounds. It came down to four individuals before the unanimous vote Friday, April 12 to hire Bills.
“My role in the search effort was primarily as a facilitator, so I have not been actively involved in the selection proceedings,” Davidson said. “However, just as I predicted, our school board has been dedicated and diligent during this process. Every single board member has been actively engaged, and I have great confidence in their decision.”
Bills has served with Haskell Public Schools since 1995 and has held positions including special education teacher, middle school principal and special education director. Her current position is the principal for Haskell High School.
“I am very excited and looking forward to becoming part of the team,” Bills said. “The Comanche School District has a wonderful reputation. I am impressed with what I have learned about the outstanding faculty and the impressive support of the community. It is an honor to have been chosen to lead the district and I’m so grateful to the Board of Education for their trust and confidence. I can’t wait to connect with school employees and community members.”
Bills and her husband, Rick, now spend time searching for a property in the Comanche district with hopes to move as soon as her time at Haskell is completed. Additionally, Bills plans on visiting the Comanche campus shortly where she will meet with leadership team members and other faculty and staff.
Though Bills will takeover, the district has asked Davidson to assist Bills during the next year with district finances.
Bills said: “I have much to learn in the area of school finance. Mr. Davidson is widely recognized for his expertise in that area and I am grateful he has agreed to help me. His assistance will allow me the time to concentrate on developing relationships both in the school and in the community, especially during the first few months.”
Davidson said after moments visiting with Bills, he realized she would continue to take care of Comanche Public Schools, which he holds as a special place.
“She is a great choice to not only continue the tradition of excellence in Comanche, but to take this school district to the next level,” Davidson said.
Charlie Gay, who serves as the Comanche Public Schools Board of Education president, thanked those who assisted with the search. Gay also said this was the right decision for the district.
“Our decision to hire Mrs. Bills for this position was made after we consistently received reports about her strong leadership ability, exceptional work ethic, and her reputation as a dedicated advocate for children,” Gay said.
For more information, call Comanche Public Schools at 580-439-3000.