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Rotan retiring as GRISD superintendent

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
Wayne Rotan

After 15 years of serving with distinction and class as the superintendent of the Glen Rose Independent School District, Wayne Rotan has announced his intent to retire, effective at the end of this calendar year.

On June 22, Rotan submitted his official statement to the Board of Trustees announcing his retirement “effective December 31, 2020 or any later date in which a replacement may fill the position. The Board will begin interviewing superintendent search firms on July 20, 2020. This retirement date is the best for Glen Rose ISD to transition a new superintendent to begin planning budget, staffing, and implement new plans for the 2021-2022 school year.”

Rotan, who will turn 52 in October, told the Glen Rose Reporter that he and his wife, Stephanie, have “no intention to leave Glen Rose. It’s the greatest place in the world. My wife and I love it here.”

Rotan indicated he is looking forward to having more time to spend with their children and grandchildren, but as for any new business ventures at such a relatively young age, he said, “I don’t have anything definite at this point. I’m looking at some options to see what I’m going to do next. Honestly, I don’t know. I’m going to take some time off.”

Both of their children graduated from Glen Rose High School — son Reagan in 2010, and daughter Shelby Burtscher in 2013. Rotan said they have twin grandchildren, Reid and Wren, born to Reagan. Both Reagan and Shelby married former GRHS classmates.

Rotan earned his master of education degree from Sul Ross State University in 1997. His superintendent certification was gained in 1998. His bachelor of science degree was earned in 1990 at Texas Tech.

APPRECIATION

Kelly Shackelford, who has worked with Rotan the past four years since becoming GRHS principal, stated in an email, “For the past four years, I've had the opportunity to work closely with Mr. Rotan and there are three things that are undeniable — 1. His level of expectation is second-to-none; 2. His depth of knowledge of school finance is remarkable; and 3. He truly loves the students and the community of Glen Rose.

“Glen Rose ISD is one of the premier school districts in the state of Texas because of the leadership Mr. Rotan has provided. His dedication to the school district will be missed greatly. Like many people who work for GRISD, I consider Mr. Rotan more than an excellent mentor and supervisor, but also a great friend.”

Kelley Snodgrass, president of the Glen Rose Independent School District Board of Trustees, provided the following statement:

“Mr. Rotan has served this district as a visionary with exceptional leadership and management skills, establishing a nurturing/safe/supportive school climate and environment, a wonderfully knowledgeable and dedicated staff, fantastic Board relations, A-rated academics, wildly strong fiscal management, and exceptional community relations.

“Day by day, year upon year, Mr. Rotan has never wavered in his resolute and steadfast dedication of service for students and staff — always seeking and expecting the best for the students. As members of the GRISD Board of Trustees, it has been our sincere honor and pleasure to have served this district with Mr. Rotan.”

Tommy Corcoran, GRISD Assistant Superintendent of Operation Tommy Corcoran stated:

“I have worked with Mr. Rotan for 15 years at Glen Rose ISD. I have had the privilege of working with seven great superintendents in my 30 years. Hands down Mr. Rotan is the best on of them all.

“First and foremost he was an advocate for kids. I don't believe in the 15 years I worked with him we ever made a decision in the district without first seeing the impact it would have on our kids. Mr. Rotan also had a strong desire to excel. His expectations for students and staff are were very high. He expected every student and staff member to give 100 percent whenever they stepped in the classroom or out on a field or court.

“He wanted to compete and win at the highest level. It didn't matter if we are playing someone in marbles he wanted to win and we better have the most marbles at the end of the day. This is the reason he put such a huge emphasis on hiring great teachers, coaches and personnel. He wanted everyone to feel that same passion in the classroom or in extra curricular activities. In his 15 year tenure Glen Rose ISD raised teacher and staff salaries that will compete with anyone in our region, he has tried to provide the best health care packages for our employees and in doing so assembled some the best teachers and coaches and personnel in the state, all because he wanted students to have the best opportunities.

“I hope that the students of Glen Rose ISD have recognized the opportunities they have been given in the last 15 years. There (are) not many places that can provide college classes to students at no cost. There are not many places that can provide students with certifications to enter the work force like Glen Rose students can. Glen Rose ISD is at the forefront of technology providing some type of device for every student in our district. Our students play in some of the best facilities in the state of Texas and have opportunities to excel in all extra curricular activities.  This is happening because the vision Mr. Rotan had when he got here 15 years ago.

“Many people do not realize the amount of work he put into the finance side of our school district. Mr. Rotan was always battling with the state to keep money with our Glen Rose kids and community instead of sending it to Austin. He gathered a lot of support from people and may have made an enemy or two in Austin, but it was always going to be in the best interest of Glen Rose ISD. He will retire with Glen Rose ISD on solid footing as far as long range financial security. With his hard work with the budget and school finance GRISD will not have to worry when it comes to adding additional classrooms because of growth or keeping our current facilities first class.”

Corcoran summed up his thoughts by noting that Rotan’s greatest contribution was the love he had for the Glen Rose students.

“You can hang your hat on all the contributions you made to Glen Rose ISD, but at the end of the day the only one that matters is that you did right by kids, and Mr. Rotan did that his entire career,” Corcoran stated. “Glen Rose ISD will not suffer from Mr. Rotan's retirement but will prosper from his leadership the last 15 years.”

ON THE WAY HERE

Rotan served as superintendent for Barbers Hill ISD from June 2004 to January 2006. He was Superintendent in Forsan from June 2002 through June 2004, after being the high school principal there starting in June 1999, and the assistant principal beginning in June 1996.

Prior to going into administration, he was a teacher and coach at Odessa High School, after starting off with Ector County Junior High in Odessa, in June 1991.

PARTING THOUGHTS

Among the other comments Rotan made in his retirement announcement on the GRISD website, he said:

“Serving as superintendent of Glen Rose ISD the past 15 years has been a true honor and blessing. Glen Rose ISD is truly a special place and I am extremely proud of the accomplishments made during my tenure. I honestly believe there is no better place to raise a family and I am very proud of the fact my own children graduated from Glen Rose ISD as well as my daughter-in-law and son-in-law. Often, I am asked “What makes Glen Rose ISD a district of choice?” and my response is always “the people.” Glen Rose ISD is blessed with an outstanding school board, staff, students and community. Certainly, the facilities, programs and available resources are second to none, but the true success of Glen Rose lies within the relationships, culture, pride and support.

“I am very proud of the academic gains, advances in technology, curriculum, extracurricular, salaries and financial soundness during my tenure and I am extremely confident that Glen Rose ISD will continue to move on to greater achievements in the future. The future is very bright for Glen Rose ISD and I am very excited to see what great future accomplishments will be achieved. The Glen Rose ISD Board of Trustees has shown great vision and leadership in planning and allocating resources for future success. Glen Rose ISD is in an outstanding position academically, financially and facility-wise to continue to thrive and raise the bar for future achievements.

“Words cannot adequately express the love and pride that I have for Glen Rose ISD and the community of Glen Rose ISD. This school and community mean so much to me and my family. Stephanie and I plan to continue to reside in Glen Rose and will always be avid supporters of Glen Rose ISD and the Glen Rose Tigers. It is my true hope that my own grandchildren have the opportunity to be Glen Rose Tigers because I have firsthand knowledge of the love, compassion and care that Glen Rose ISD staff have for each and every student.”