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Northside ISD trustees name John Craft lone finalist for superintendent

John Craft wears a black suit and red striped tie while talking in a group of people in the boardroom of Northside ISD.
Camille Phillips
Kileen ISD Superintendent John Craft speaks to Northside ISD trustees and employees after being named lone finalist for superintendent of Northside.

John Craft, the superintendent of the Killeen Independent School District, is slated to become the next superintendent of San Antonio’s largest school district.

Northside ISD trustees voted Monday to name Craft the lone finalist for the position.

Board President Karen Freeman said 34 people applied for the position.

“Dr. Craft rose to the top on all accounts: When we talk about integrity, when we talk about his commitment to excellence in education, his commitment to not only academics, but also all the other opportunities that we have for our kids here in Northside,” Freeman said. “And he's committed to kids. He loves kids. And you can tell that by talking with him.”

Craft has been one of Killeen’s top district leaders since 2012, and he became the superintendent in 2015. He began his career in education in 1999 teaching biology. He has a doctorate in educational administration from Tarleton State University.

While Kileen is about half the size of Northide ISD, Craft said the districts are similar in that they are diverse with a history of growth and a strong military presence.

“So, you're probably asking, ‘What are you going to get with John Craft?’ Well, I can tell you, first and foremost, being a product of public education, I am a proud public educator,” he said. “Secondly, I consider myself a servant who leads with his heart. And third, any adversity that I have ever experienced in my life I've overcome with hard work.”

Craft said he was drawn to Northside ISD both professionally and as the place he wants his daughters to finish high school.

Freeman and Craft both said he would likely start working at Northside before the end of the school year. That will give him time to work alongside Brian Woods before Woods retires.

State law requires school districts to wait 21 days between naming a lone finalist and formally offering Craft a superintendent contract.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Education News Desk, including H-E-B Helping Here, Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation and Holly and Alston Beinhorn.

Camille Phillips can be reached at camille@tpr.org or on Instagram at camille.m.phillips. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.