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Utopia names superintendent finalist

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A longtime Bandera Independent School District employee is on track to take his talents elsewhere but not far.

Michael A. Derry is the lone finalist to become the new superintendent for the Utopia Independent School District replacing current superintendent Jessi Milam.

“I have taken the superintendent position in San Vicente ISD in Big Bend National Park and start in July. I would like to thank the students and staff for five great years at Utopia ISD,” Milam told the Bulletin.

The Utopia ISD school board is scheduled to vote on Derry’s appoint as superintendent on Monday, May 18, after a state mandated 21-day waiting period, said school board President Steve Darden earlier this month.

“During the 21-day period, people can comment on the matter, and we cannot take any action until that period is over. So far no one has made any comments,” he said.

Thae school board president said the board got 22 applications and cut that down to five and then one, Derry.

“We voted for Michael to be the lone finalist because he is the perfect candidate for Utopia ISD superintendent. He was born in Medina, and he knows a lot about Utopia and Bandera County. He is one of us,” Darden said.

Derry said he never thought about being a superintendent but got calls from two Utopia ISD teachers he knows who asked him to apply for the opening .

“I have been with BISD for 26 years and am very happy to be in my current job as Career and Technical Education coordinator. My wife and I prayed about what to do, and we feel this is want God wants me to do,” said.

Derry said if the Utopia board votes to hire him on Monday, he likely will sign the contract that night, with a starting date of July 1.