On Monday, Feb. 1, after a near two-hour executive session in a special called meeting, the Taylor ISD board of trustees approved the offer to hire Devin Padavil as the new superintendent, and agreed to extend the contract of Athletic Director Robert Little for one year.
Little, who also serves as head football coach, was on the agenda for the second consecutive meeting. At the Jan. 20 meeting, the board agreed to approve all certified and non-certified contracts with the exception of Little's. The item was brought back and discussed Monday night.
During public comments, long time Taylor Middle School coach Larry Safarik spoke in support of Little.
"Sometimes, it’s not always the record that's important, but the man that you are," Safarik said. "He's quite a man. He's truly someone I would want (to coach my kids) and my grandson, whose coming up, to be coached by him."
Safarik said Little was a man that players and coaches respect. In attendance at the meeting were several coaches from different sports at Taylor High School, who came to show support for Little.
Safarik said he is impressed that Little and his staff can get 50 to 60 high school players to come to practice in the mornings before school.
"We have great kids at Taylor High School. Some of the best in the world . . . but being a great kid does not always make a good football player," Safarik said. "Size, speed and all those other things have a lot to do with it. Sometimes no matter what the fight is in the kid, they can't overcome a lack of these things to be successful necessarily in football."
Safarik also noted that Taylor always has a tough district and non district football schedule.
"I'm hoping that you are considering give Coach and his staff, who I respect highly, maybe another year to try to get things going," he said.
Shorty Mitchell, board vice president, made the motion to extend the contract, and Anita Volek seconded. The motion was approved 7-0.
The board also voted to approve the offer for Padavil as superintendent. Volek made the motion, which was seconded by Mitchell. The motion was passed 7-0.
Padavil has already been busy since he was announced as the lone finalist. He has attended sporting events and helped with the Taylor Educational Enrichment Foundation's Food Dudes event this past weekend.
Padavil will serve as the 19th superintendent of Taylor schools.
"I'm excited to be a part of your team," he said. "I have high expectations for the culture we're going to build for our staff and the high expectations for the success we're going to bring our students."
Padavil brings more than 20 years of experience to the district. He served as assistant superintendent of secondary schools at Fort Bend ISD, high school principal at Frisco ISD, high school and middle school principal at Pflugerville ISD and also has three years as a middle school teacher.
"To our students and staff, I will not let you down," he said. "Especially to our students and parents, I will not let you down. I look forward to this journey with you together and fulfilling the promise of building on the tradition, the proud tradition of Taylor, the city of Taylor and Taylor ISD and forging a path for our students."
Padavil's entry plan and a letter to the community is available at https://www.taylorisd.org/apps/news/article/1376154.