By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (June 15, 2015) — For the first time since its establishment, Debra Miller will no longer be the superintendent of the Erath Excels! Independent School District, which includes Huston Academy on the outskirts of Stephenville and Shoreline Academy in Taft, near Corpus Christi.
While Miller leaves big shoes to fill, Erath Excels! trustees didn’t have to look far to find her replacement.
Taking over as superintendent of the district is Mike Scott, a familiar face in local education as a former Chamberlin Elementary School principal and Stephenville High School assistant principal. He was most recently high school principal at Santo.
Scott may be best known around Stephenville as the public address announcer for all Tarleton State men’s basketball games played at Wisdom Gym, but he’s serious about education and about the opportunity that now lies in front of him.
“I want to be a superintendent, but the opportunities to do that in a place you feel comfortable doing it are few and far between,” said Scott. “I was just fortunate this became available and that it’s a fit. It’s close to home, it’s a school that I’ve watched grow from the very beginning and I just think there are a lot of exciting things that can go on there.”
Most recently, Scott was principal for 12 years in Santo. He took that job in 2003 following five years in the private sector.
Scott was assistant principal at SHS from 1993-95 and principal at Chamberlin from 1995-2000.
Scott earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from TCU in 1982 and was defensive coordinator for Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) football program from 1984-87.
Scott transitioned to high school education, teaching biology and coaching at Granbury and Irving before becoming an assistant principal at Granbury in 1991.
A resident of Stephenville since 1993, Scott earned his mid-management administrator certification from Tarleton in 1994 and his superintendent certification from the Region 11 Education Service Center in 2012.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for myself and my family for me to be able to get back into Stephenville and hopefully add to the fabric of the community,” said Scott. “I absolutely appreciate the support of Debra (Miller) and the board and look forward to working with them and the staff at Huston Academy and Shoreline Academy.”
Scott sees Miller as a pioneer in local education.
“She’s grown this school from nothing in the beginning, and look at it now,” said Scott. “It’s definitely not like I’m going into something that’s broken, but I definitely believe that my experience throughout the years will allow me to bring something different to the table.”
None of that made it easy to leave Santo.
“I put 12 years of my life into Santo and I’m very proud of what we’ve done while I’ve been there. We’ve had success up and down the line in extracurricular activities, our test scores have always been strong and never stronger than they were this year and I worked for a great school board and superintendent,” said Scott. “But again, the opportunity to come home and to give the superintendent’s world a shot at this location was more than I could say no to.”
Mike and Jill Scott have been married since 1984 and are the parents of two daughters – Dana, 28, and Kara, 24 – and a son – Shane, 20.
Jill is the executive director of H.O.P.E. Inc., which just celebrated 30 years in Erath County. Mike often volunteers for H.O.P.E., and was a member of the Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department Advisory Board from 1999-2010, the Stephenville High School Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee from 1998-2011 and the SPARD 4th of July Family Fun Fair Committee from 1994-96.