Marble Falls Independent School District trustees welcomed new superintendent Chris Allen and his family during a special meeting July 13 when they approved hiring him. Pictured are trustees Larry Berkman (left) and Mike Savage; Allen, his wife, Natalie, and their two sons, Caleb and Joshua; board president Rick Edwards; and trustees Kelly Fox, LeeAnn Ross, Kevin Naumann and Karl Westerman.
CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls Independent School District board of trustees approved hiring former Lake Travis ISD deputy superintendent Chris Allen as the new MFISD superintendent during a meeting July 13.
Allen accepted a three-year contract with an annual salary of $182,000, officials said. The salary of former superintendent Rob O’Connor, who accepted a superintendent’s position at Sharyland ISD, was approximately $160,000 per year.
Allen, a Spicewood resident, was the lone finalist after a list of about 50 applicants was whittled down in a fast-tracked hiring process this summer.
He and his wife, Natalie, have two children: Joshua, 11, and Caleb, 10.
Natalie Allen was an advanced physics teacher at Lake Travis High School.
“I respect the high student and staff performance for which Marble Falls ISD is noted and offer my energy and enthusiasm to continue the excellence,” Allen said in a statement on the school district’s website. “As parents of school-aged children, my wife and I consider Marble Falls ISD an ideal community in which to live, work and raise our children.”
School board vice president Kevin Naumann said Allen “bonded” with the board as early as the first interview.
“Whenever Dr. Allen interviewed, there was just a synergy in the room. The entire board bonded with him right away, and we were pretty confident he was the man for the job,” Naumann said. “Dr. Chris Allen rose to the top. He has a ton of experience from coaching to teaching in the classroom to campus leadership as a principal and then working as the deputy superintendent most recently.
“He is a solid guy and has values that are reflective of this community,” Naumann added. “He has each individual child’s best interest at heart.”
Allen had served as Lake Travis’ deputy superintendent since May 2012. He was a principal, an assistant superintendent of administrative services and an interim superintendent for Midway ISD from 2008 to 2012.
He also taught and coached at Birdville ISD.
He even served a stint as curriculum coordinator for the University of Texas.
“During the interview process, Dr. Allen distinguished himself from the rest of the field when he talked to our board members about achieving a vision of high standards and expectations that give each child the opportunity to achieve success,” MFISD board president Rick Edwards said in a statement. “Chris is very energetic with great people skills that make you excited about educating our kids. He plans to be very visible within the district, communities and at the state level.”
Allen and his family live in western Travis County, but his family plans to move closer to the local school district.
“His address is Spicewood. One of the things we talked to him about was we were looking for a candidate who’s committed to the district and wanted to be here. He has plans to move closer to the area already,” Naumann said. “He is familiar with the area already, and his family is excited to be here as well.”
The hire comes at a time when the district is welcoming a number of new administrators, including new principals at two elementary schools and the middle school campus, as well as a reorganization of a number of central office administration staff.