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Member of University's First Graduating Class Inducted into TISD Hall of Fame

Published: March 14, 2017

Rick Sandlin

Rick Sandlin

Rick Sandlin, a member of the first graduating class of Texas A&M University-Texarkana (then East Texas State University-Texarkana), has been inducted into the Texarkana Independent School District Hall of Fame.

The TISD Hall of Fame award is given to a retired employee who has made a significant impact on the district and the Texarkana community. According to the district, the award preserves the history of great educators who have made TISD what it is today and ensures their names and contributions are here for others to see for many years to come.

Sandlin, a 1969 graduate of Texas High School, received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from East Texas State University–Texarkana in 1973.

He began his career in education with TISD in 1974 as a teacher at Highland Park Elementary School. He later completed his Master of Business Administration at A&M-Texarkana in 1977 to help further his career in education.

Leaving his teaching position at Highland Park Elementary in 1977, Sandlin went into the insurance business. However, he returned to education in 1983 as a sixth-grade teacher for Liberty Eylau ISD and then as a fourth-grade teacher for Pleasant Grove ISD. He returned to Texarkana ISD in 1990 and remained there until his retirement in 2014.

While with TISD, Sandlin served as a teacher for Highland Park Elementary and Kennedy Elementary School. He also served as assistant principal at Wake Village Elementary and principal for Highland Park Elementary, Nash Elementary, Wake Village Elementary and Morriss Elementary.

Sandlin was instrumental in the facility and curriculum development of STEM education at the Martha and Josh Morriss Mathematics & Engineering Elementary School. Because of his efforts, he was asked to present before the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council as part of the iSTEM Education Study, was key to the hosting of a Field Hearing at the Morriss Elementary campus for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology and was asked to become a member of the National Academy Committee of Engineering Guiding Implementation of Pre-K Engineering Education in the United States.

In his final year at TISD, Sandlin became the director of elementary campus operations. Today, in his retirement, he still plays a key role with TISD as the director of employee development leading the charge for the TISD Leadership Academy, which focuses on preparing TISD staff for future leadership positions.

Sandlin has been married to Kay Taylor Sandlin for 41 years. They have two sons – Taylor Sandlin, who is married to Alyson, and serves as a pastor in San Angelo, Texas, and Erick Sandlin who is an attorney in Houston. The Sandlins are grandparents to Sophie, 12, and John Curtis, 10.

In addition to Sandlin, former TISD administrator George Kirtley, who died in 2016, was posthumously inducted into the TISD Hall of Fame.

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