Pine Tree ISD Superintendent Dr. Marian Strauss announced Thursday that she will be leaving the district for personal reasons. Strauss explained in a letter to staff that she decided to resign because of family issues.
“Over the past few months I have come to realize that the distance between me and my aging parents – who live in the central Texas area – is too great. I feel a huge responsibility to be closer to them so I have submitted my resignation as Superintendent of Schools at Pine Tree ISD. My husband and I have loved living in East Texas, but we have decided to shift priorities toward home to re- focus on our parents during their sunset years.”
She also added that this decision did not come easy, “I want to try to express the Pirate Pride I have felt over these last two years. Working together with the administrators, our classroom teachers, and all of our support staff here, I have come to understand the meaning of Pirate Pride; this district will continue to excel because of the work ethic and the dedication that exemplifies a tradition of excellence for our kids who are the first priority at Pine Tree.” she said.
Strauss was unanimously voted to serve as superintendent for Pine Tree ISD on November 3, 2009, replacing Lynn Whitaker. She started her career in education about 36 years ago when she became an elementary teacher at a rural Central Texas school, and also served as Superintendent of Wimberley for eight years prior to coming to Longview.
As the first female Superintendent in Pi
ne Tree’s long history, Dr. Strauss has been a positive driving force in the school’s culture. The following major initiatives were accomplished during her tenure at Pine Tree.
1- Teachers received step raises plus an additional raise approved by the school board in April, 2010.
2- A district strategic plan was developed for the purpose of aligning goals, defining key objectives and promoting a greater focus on Pirate Pride.
3- A new alternative high school – The ExCEL High School – which provides for an alternative path for students to earn a high school diploma opened in the fall of 2010.
4- A very close bond election in 2009 (missed by 16 votes) led to the formation of a second bond development committee of community volunteers to study options for long term solutions to major capital issues facing the district.
“The Pine Tree School Board is grateful to have had the chance to work with Dr. Marian Strauss,” said Melinda Burns, Board Drugs President. “She was the right person at the right time to lead our district. Knowing the kind of person she is, we respect her decision to make herself more available to her family. We certainly wish her and her husband well as they make this transition.”
Burns commented that the process of searching for a new superintendent will begin immediately. “We have scheduled a special Board meeting on February 9 to begin the official process of moving forward with the change in leadership,” she said.