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Board tabs Kemp as lone APISD superintendent finalist

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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:25 pm | Updated: 12:28 pm, Wed Feb 12, 2014.

The Aransas Pass Independent School District will soon have a new superintendent.

Mark Kemp, principal at A.C. Blunt Middle School, was named the lone finalist for the position at a special-called meeting Friday. Kemp will assume the position after a 21-day waiting period, which began Saturday. He replaces Dr. Royce Avery, who left in September to become an area superintendent for El Paso ISD. The other two finalists for the position were Dr. Clint Houston, principal at Charlie Marshall Elementary School, and Assistant Superintendent Stetson Roane. Roane has served as interim superintendent since the fall.

“It’s a pleasure, number one,” Kemp said. “I’m just looking forward to the big deals of the organization, and I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Kemp has been employed by the district since the fall 2012 semester, and has a wide array of experience in the education field. He has served as superintendent, principal, assistant principal and teacher. He has also worked for the Region 13 Education Service Center and as director of education at the college level.

“My experience covers human resources, budgeting, curriculum instruction and assessment, and professional development,” he said. “Leading those particular four areas, we can uplift the entire organization and move it forward. That’s all I want to do is share my experiences and leadership skills in those areas. That’s the best part of the job, to be honest with you – seeing people smile, seeing the passion, their hearts and their eyes, to move forward to take the district over the hump, to get them over the other side, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Kemp is a native of Kansas City, Mo., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree at Missouri Western State University. He later earned a master’s degree from National University in California.

Kemp got his start at teaching in Brownsville. He moved up the ranks, and became director of education at Vatterott College in California. He then became a high school principal at Needles, Calif., before becoming superintendent at Baker Valley Unified School District in Baker, Calif. He was superintendent there for six years.

Looking to get into the educational consultant field, Kemp left California and moved to Texas. Once in the state, he took an unusual step to become an assistant principal at the middle school in Somerset ISD.

“Once I got here, things were kind of in limbo. The mortgage company said I had to have a full-time job to get a mortgage, so I took the first thing open,” he said.

In addition to his work in Somerset, Kemp began working in the consultant field. That is what led him to work at Region 13. Kemp did some work for Region 13, and was then asked to work there full-time. After three years at Region 13, he moved to A.C. Blunt as assistant principal in the fall of 2012. He became principal after one semester.

Kemp and his wife, Alecia, have three children: Lillian, 20, Myles, 13, and Victoria, 9.

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