A joint retirement party was held for Arp ISD Superintendent Dwight Thomas and Agricultural teacher Ernie Haire on Wednesday, Dec. 20. The reception was not only to congratulate the two men on their retirement, but also to welcome and congratulate current high school principal Shannon Arrington who will become the district superintendent Jan. 1, 2018.
According to Thomas, he had tendered his letter of resignation in May and planned to retire during the summer, but the school board wanted a little more time to transition someone else in.
“It worked out well that the high school principal, who was basically my assistant superintendent, wanted the job, was interested in the job, and the board was happy with that choice,” Thomas said. “So we’ve had six months to get him acclimated to that position.”
Thomas is from Mineola and plans to return there.
“We have a small farm in Mineola that my son and I are going to start tinkering around with and we’ll try to put some cows on it,” Thomas stated of his retirement plans. “I love to play golf and I have two grandkids, so we’re busy.”
Ernie Haire, who grew up in Arp, has taught in the junior high and high schools and served as assistant principal for the elementary. His service to the AISD totals 29 years.
“Go to work somewhere else in a public job because I like people,” was Haire’s response when asked if there was anything he’d like to do during retirement. He mentioned he’d probably look for work in a motel because there are “different people every day.”
Shannon Arrington, who will be serving as AISD superintendent, has been with the district for 21 years and had served as principal at the elementary 3½ years and principal at the high school for three years. He states that the position of superintendent will be similar to being principal in many ways, but primarily in that he will still be dealing with people.
“The biggest point in any one of those roles is being able to develop relationships with people,” Arrington commented. “We have a unique gift here. We’re family, we love each other, we care about one another and when you develop relationships with people, it feels like home.”