After Superintendent Abrupt Departure, New Braunfels School Trustees Name Acting Head

The New Braunfels school board has named an interim superintendent after the district head’s abrupt resignation last week.

In Friday’s special session, New Braunfels Independent School District trustees voted 6-0 to appoint James Largent, a former superintendent in north and east Texas, to the temporary position.

Cade Smith, NBISD superintendent for nearly two years, resigned on March 13, the first day of the district’s spring break.

NBISD Board Chairman Eric Bergquist said in a statement that Smith’s decision was not “an easy one,” but did not explain why the superintendent stepped down.

Largent, who previously served as the NBISD acting superintendent in March 2021 before Smith took over, he begins work on March 27. He served as superintendent for Rusk ISD from 2001 to 2012 and Granbury ISD from 2012 to 2018.

James Guerra, president and chief executive officer of JG Consulting, the executive search firm that hired Smith for the district, told the board on Friday that the search for a permanent superintendent would be free because Smith’s departure triggered a “guarantee of two years” in the company agreement with NBISD.

Smith lasted less than two years in the position.

“If it takes a year, we’ll continue for as long as it takes,” Guerra said of the upcoming research.

Applications for the position are open, Guerra said, and there is already interest from potential candidates as far away as California.

“It’s also because eight out of 10 people who leave California come here,” joked trustee David Heefner.

NBISD hopes to announce a lone finalist on May 1.

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