With one week under his belt and a trustee yo-yo clipped to it, Tom Bean Independent School District’s new Superintendent Kelly Lusk said he is looking forward to leading the district and getting to know the community.

Lusk was named Tom Bean ISD’s superintendent on Dec. 28 and assumed the role on Jan. 17. He replaces former Superintendent Troy Roberts, who left the district last year.

“I wanted to come to a one-high school town, where the superintendent still works with kids,” Lusk said. “That’s what I’ve got here.”

Lusk is the former superintendent of the Farwell Independent School District, which is located on the Texas-New Mexico border. He began his educational career in 1990 as a junior college baseball coach and has since taught history courses to multiple grade levels and has served as an elementary, middle and high school principal.

Lusk said throughout his career, he has always gravitated toward smaller school districts and communities for the opportunities they afford.

“I am just a huge fan of small schools,” Lusk said. “And other than a four year stint at a 4A-5A school in Texarkana, I’ve spent my entire career in small schools. I enjoy them because I get the chance to really know the kids and their families.”

He described his first week as a “whirlwind” of new faces and new names, but said the district has welcomed him with open arms. Lusk said he will fulfill the traditional duties of a superintendent, as well as whatever else the district needs.

“My job is to take care of the needs of the schools so principals can run their campuses, teachers can teach and the staff can do their job,” Lusk said. “But I’ll still drive the school bus, paint the field house and repair broken fences. When you’re the superintendent of a small district, you’re right in their working with everybody else.”

Lusk said he has plenty to learn about Tom Bean ISD and though that will keep him busy, he said he is always happy to sit down and have a conversation with students, their families and the community.

“I hope people are willing to come into my office to sit down and talk about whatever issues they have going on within the community or schools,” Lusk said. “I want them to know that my door is always open and I am willing to listen.”

And as for that yo-yo, Lusk said he’s carried it around for more than decade and it never fails to put a smile on students’ faces.

“Oh golly, I probably picked it up 15 years ago and I know some basic tricks — nothing fancy,” Lusk said. “It’s just a little gift I can give them every now and then — waltz through the cafeteria and bust out a couple of yo-yo tricks.”