A legacy in so many ways is about to close one chapter as Pauls Valley’s principal will step down at the end of the current school year.
Longtime teacher, coach and now administrator Chris Caldwell believes the times is right to try something else as his assistant principal, Kirk Moore, another PV native, is now set to be his replacement.
Caldwell, now 63 years old, was born and raised in Pauls Valley. He loves education and he loves Pauls Valley.
“I’ve always felt this community was very supportive of whatever need there was, especially with the education system,” Caldwell tells the PV Democrat.
“I wouldn’t know anything else but Pauls Valley. I’ve had other opportunities to leave, but I just couldn’t see myself at another place.”
Caldwell has been PV High School’s principal the last 11 years. Before that he spent eight years as the school’s assistant principal.
He also taught school for several years, but for some Caldwell is best known for coaching the Panthers’ boys basketball team for 15 years before moving into the role of administrator full-time.
“It’s tough,” he said about his decision to step down as principal. “It’s sad but I also know it’s time.”
His decision doesn’t mean retirement as Caldwell plans to work part-time in the local school district’s maintenance department.
“I may even mow some grass when I come back to school next year.”
Along with his age, Caldwell says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year has definitely played into his decision to step down.
“Last year and this year have not been normal years with the pandemic. I feel for the kids,” he said adding only recently the class schedules returned to in-person instruction all the time.
“When the kids came back I could see a pep in their step. To be honest I’ve been more excited to be here having them back in the class full-time.”
At the same time Caldwell is not sure if schools will ever go back to the traditional class schedule all the time because of the pandemic. He believes there will be some level of virtual instruction available through schools in the future.
“What I’ve learned is if you can’t teach you can’t coach. I’ve got a great staff and a great group of kids,” Caldwell said.
“It’s a good feeling to see all the kids. I’ll miss the kids and the interactions I have with them.”
Caldwell has nothing but good things to say about the next principal at PVHS.
“Kirk will do a good job. He’s also a Pauls Valley guy, and his heart and soul is here. He’s going to do what’s best for the kids.”