Pollan retires as Pittsburg’s superintendent

By SONYA ROBERTS-WOODS/Publisher

   After more than five decades in education, Pittsburg ISD Superintendent Judy Pollan is saying farewell.

   Pittsburg ISD board of trustees convened for a call meeting March 7 and immediately entered into executive session. The closed-door meeting lasted more than two hours.

   Once the seven board members emerged, Pollan read a letter, at times emotional, announcing her retirement from Pittsburg ISD after 13 years at the helm. In all, Pollan has spent 55 years as an educator and administrator. For over 40 years, she worked in various capacities at Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD ending her career there as superintendent. After retiring from the Morris County district, Pollan returned to the profession soon after and began working at Pittsburg ISD. During her career, she also taught for Texas A&M University-Commerce.

    Below are the contents of the letter she read to the board and staff:

    “After 55 years in education and 21 years as a superintendent, it is time for me to close this working phase of my life,” she said. “It has been a tremendous blessing for me to work with you during these years. Together, we have been able to accomplish some goals that will benefit the students of this district for many years in the future.

   Last summer, I told our board of trustees that I planned to stay until the new gym is completed in order to finish out all of the bond projects. Since that facility is in its final stages of construction, I informed the school board that I plan to retire at the end of June.

   Transition of administrations in a school district can be an uncertain time for employees, but PISD is blessed with an excellent school board that recognizes the importance of stability when making a transition. With that in mind, the PISD Board of Trustees has a plan in place to name the new superintendent by April 15. This board values the current staff at Pittsburg ISD recognizing that we have an excellent team that has made great strides in many areas.

   In any good school district, it takes a team of dedicated employees in every facet of school operations to create a successful learning environment and to meet the needs of all students. We have that time here at Pittsburg. Thanks to each of you for being a member of this team for the past 13 years.

   Although I will no longer be working at Pittsburg ISD, part of my heart will always be here. I will be taking with me the most wonderful memories and lasting friendships. I will always count it a great blessing of my life to have been a part of this supportive community and outstanding school district. My prayers will continue to be with Pittsburg ISD. May God continue to bless PISD in a mighty way–with my deepest respect–Judy Pollan.”

   The mother of two and grandmother of three wants to now spend more time with her family which also includes her husband of 53 years, Gary Pollan.

   “I just feel it’s time to spend more time with my family,” she said at the conclusion of the meeting. “I have enjoyed my time here at Pittsburg ISD and I wish everyone the very best.”

  By a unanimous decision, the board agreed to accept Pollan’s letter of retirement. Board president Jack Arnwine, who has served for 16 years as trustee, explained that the announcement is somewhat bittersweet.

   “Mrs. Pollan has brought stability to our district,” he said. “Under her leadership, we have made tremendous progress with our facilities. She successfully led us in passing two bond elections by a 2 to 1 margin on both.  Since she has been here, our student test scores have improved tremendously. She has good community rapport and has worked hard to build those relationships. There are now some big shoes to fill. We hate to see her go, but we wish her well. We understand that she wants to spend more time with her husband and the rest of her family. Remember, she was retired when she came here so I guess you could say she will finally get the chance to actually be retired. May God bless her.”

   Arnwine, who is a former, longtime Pittsburg ISD educator, indicated that the superintendent’s position will be posted effective March 8.