Northside Independent School District trustees on Feb. 27 announced Killeen ISD’s current Superintendent John Craft as the lone finalist for Northside’s next superintendent.

NISD officials said Craft looks to succeed Brian Woods as superintendent of the largest school district in Bexar County and the fourth-largest school district in Texas.

Woods plans to retire as superintendent, a position he has held since July 2012, at the end of the current school year following a 31-year career with Northside ISD.

NISD officials said Craft’s selection as superintendent caps a four-month nationwide search that involved 34 initial applicants, focus meetings that drew 80 attendees, and an online survey that received more than 1,000 responses.

By state law, the school board’s announcement of Craft as superintendent finalist begins a 21-day period that will lead to the board’s final vote to officially hire Craft.

According to a news release, Craft has developed a 24-year career in education that includes Killeen ISD partnering with Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas to form KISD’s Early College High School in 2015.

Early College High School in Killeen ISD has since been named a model College and Career Readiness school by the organization Educate Texas and serves as the state's Texas Education Agency Early College High School demonstration site, the release said.

Craft said he and his family are appreciative and humble to be considered a candidate to lead NISD.

“As my wife and I visited [NISD], we learned more about the rich history and diverse cultures celebrated across communities, the district’s thoughtful efforts to provide engaging learning opportunities for all students, and the school board’s commitment to ensuring every child’s needs are met,” Craft said.

Northside ISD Board President Karen Freeman said she and fellow trustees are happy to welcome Craft and his family to the community.

“As a board, we recognized in Craft all of those qualities our community, staff and students expect in an educational leader. We are confident that his experience and commitment to public education will help us continue to grow the long tradition of excellence in Northside,” she said.

The release said, during his tenure at Killeen ISD, the district has opened two high schools, two middle schools and seven elementary schools while also renovating and upgrading facilities across the district to include a $100 million overhaul of the district’s oldest high school. The result has allowed for 92% of the district's portable buildings to be decommissioned.

Craft began his career in education as a biology teacher and football/baseball coach in Carroll ISD in 1999, then as an assistant principal for Carroll High School.

After nine years in Carroll ISD, Craft became principal of Timberview High School in South Arlington within Mansfield ISD. Craft then served as Hamilton ISD’s superintendent before becoming Killeen ISD’s deputy superintendent in 2012. He was named KISD superintendent in January 2015, overseeing 45,000 students and 6,100 district employees, the release said.