PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

September 24, 2013

PAISD names single finalist for superintendent

District has 21 days to finalize hiring decision

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — The Port Arthur Independent School District board of trustees voted unanimously to name Mark Porterie as the lone finalist in the district’s superintendent search at a meeting on Tuesday.

Previously the district’s deputy superintendent, Porterie stepped into the role temporarily after his predecessor, Johnny Brown, resigned on June 30. The district never hired a search firm, opting instead to focus on preparation for the upcoming academic year, board president Lloyd Marie Johnson said previously. Board vice president Thomas Kinlaw and trustee Robert Reid brought the item forth for this week’s agenda.

“We don’t need to spend $50,000 on a search firm to find out that he’s the right candidate,” Reid said. “As a school administrator, I am very confident in his abilities.”

A lifelong Port Arthur resident — he graduated from the now-defunct Bishop Byrne High School in 1983 — Porterie earned his Bachelor of Science in education from Lamar University in Beaumont, a Master of Education in Administration from Prairie View A&M University, and his Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He is currently in his 22nd year of employment with PAISD, where he has filled many roles — teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and, now, superintendent.

Porterie thanked the board and the community for their support during his time as interim superintendent.

“I am very, very appreciative of how they have embraced me and worked to move forward,” he said. “They have been nothing but supportive.”

In his time as interim, Porterie has already implemented more stringent dress code requirements and worked to increase community involvement, both trends he wishes to continue as superintendent. It is his goal, Porterie said, to see a 100 percent graduation rate at PAISD.

“But life doesn’t end at 12th grade,” he said. “We want all students to be successful after they leave PAISD, and we cannot do it alone. Our goal is to involve the entire community.”

The district is required by state law to wait 21 days before officially installing Porterie as superintendent. During this time, Porterie and the board will discuss contract agreements and goals for the district.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA