After 36 years in the business, Neches Independent School District Superintendent Gary Holcomb has decided to hang up his educational hat and retire.

Holcomb, who has spent 28 years at NISD — the last seven of those as superintendent — announced his retirement to the board in January, but it was not finalized by trustees until March.

“My wife, who is also retiring after 27 years in education, and I both realized that it was time to take it easy,” Holcomb said about his reason for retirement. “There are so many things that we want to do — travel, work on the farm and do some church work — we thought now was a good time to do so.”

Holcomb, whose last day with the district is June 30, reported that the delay in officially announcing his retirement was a matter of timing.

“It allowed the board to go ahead and post the position and look for a replacement before I made anything official,” he explained. “That allows for a smooth transition in leadership for the district.”

At the board’s regular meeting Monday, trustees named current high school principal and Neches graduate Randy Lee Snider as the lone finalist for the superintendency.

“Snider has the full support of the community, staff and students here at NISD,” Holcomb said. “I think he will be a good superintendent.”

After a mandatory 21-day waiting period, Snider is set to be officially approved as superintendent by trustees. His first day with the district will be July 1.

“I am really excited to be named a finalist for this position,” Snider said Tuesday. “I hope to be able to keep the district as strong as it always has been.”

Holcomb said that he has no regrets about his time in education and promises to be available to Snider and the board to help make the transition in leadership that much easier.

“I feel that this position is a position of trust and I have been honored to serve the people of this district,” Holcomb said. “I could not ask for a better board and staff to work with and I wish everyone all the best.

“But I am not going anywhere,” he added. “I will be around help as much as they need me to.”

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Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com

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