Gordon Grubbs could be considered a jack-of-all-trades in the world of school administration.
With more than 30 years experience, Grubbs was most recently the superintendent of the Newcastle Independent School District.
He was born and raised in Graham and attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received a master's degree in administration in 1980. During his pursuit of the master's degree, he got a taste for teaching and coaching in an all-grade school in Milford. After that, he taught and coached in the Graham ISD for three years.
Grubbs returned to UT Austin for two semesters and earned a spot in the school's Foundation of Educational Administration, an illustrious program in which only 20 students per year are admitted.
He held many assistant principal jobs in Denison ISD during his UT Austin training, and after finishing the program, Grubbs landed his first job as a principal in Kellisberg ISD, where he worked for a year.
One day out of the blue, he received a phone call from Olney Savings. The bank requested he became a branch manager for them.
“It paid a whole lot more than teaching and coaching, so I did that,” he said.
He stayed with Olney Savings for five years and then transferred to Graham National Bank for five years. It was during his stint at GNB that he received a phone call from Newcastle ISD district representatives asking him if he was interested in re-entering the education field as a principal.
“I decided that might be a good thing because the banking industry was going through major changes at that time,” he said.
He took the gig in 1991 and served as principal for two years. In his second year, the original superintendent was injured and couldn't return to work, so Grubbs wore both hats. That same year, Dr. Bobby Parker, GISD superintendent at the time, asked Grubbs if he was interested in returning to Graham as principal of Woodland Elementary, and he agreed.
“I thought this was a great opportunity to get back to home,” he said.
Five years passed for Grubbs at Woodland, and then true to form, he replaced Karen Howard as principal of Crestview Elementary School, where he stayed another five years.
During his reign at Crestview, Dr. Parker left, paving the way for Dr. Jenny Preston to become superintendent of GISD.
Perhaps scanning his nomadic resume, or maybe just in need of an experienced ISD man, Preston asked Grubbs to replace the exiting principal of Graham Junior High School.
Grubbs initially elected to stay where he was. He said he really enjoyed his position at Crestview because of the joy the younger children provided him. Preston, however, remained persistent. On her third attempt, she pulled rank and flat out required Grubbs to move to the school.
He gathered his items and made his way to GJHS. Two months later, he received a phone call from Newcastle ISD.
“They told me that they would like me to consider applying for the superintendent opening, and I saw that as a great opportunity to move from principal to superintendent at a place I had already been,” he said.
He made his way back to Newcastle School as superintendent in the 1999-2000 school year, where he has been ever since.
“This job provided me all of the good things that I had experienced in all those other places,” he said. “(I'm with students) from early childhood to 12th I was right here working as superintendent, so when I was having a bad day, all I had to do was go into the hallway (and) get all kinds of hugs from kids. At the same time I would go into the back hallway with junior high and high school kids. I had good relationships with them, too.”
Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.