TYLER (KYTX) - Tyler ISD has a new superintendent going into this new school year.
Dr. Marty Crawford isn't exactly a stranger to East Texas.
"My formative years were spent in East Texas, in the towns of Lindale and Carthage."
He's got roots here, and says it feels good to be back home.
"This has been a dream of my families, dating back to my own parents to live and work in Tyler."
Dr. Crawford comes to us from West, the Texas town that was leveled by a fertilizer plant explosion last year.
"What did that teach you about being a superintendent and a leader?"
"Well, i think that whenever you have students at your core, and understanding that we're a kid-centered organization, that's where you have to lead from within." he says.
Emphasizing what's best for students is something he wants to make a priority in Tyler.
"When you're faced with that big of a challenge, when homes were destroyed, when lives were lost, when people were injured, you really got back to what your core mission was, and that was to educate students."
He says academic achievement will be a focus.
"Kid only get one shot to go through the public education system. And, we can't let a day slip by to where they can't get the very best from our staff"
Dr. Crawford calls himself a competitor.
"What a great challenge it is to compete with the other public schools that border our school district, along with the private schools and the charter schools, to see who comes out front."
He says it's a challenge he welcomes.