It’s official.

Carthage ISD formally hired new Superintendent John Wink at a special Monday meeting. Wink will be making $190,000 a year and has signed a three-year contract.

“I’m ecstatic,” Wink said. “I’m ready to get started and ready to learn from the people in the district what they like about the place and what we want to do to get better.”

School Board President Dr. Ben Donald said Wink has agreed to pay for his own insurance, housing and other benefits. The $190,000 is a flat salary.

School board members met in a brief executive session to discuss a personnel issue before voting to hire Wink unanimously. The district had to wait 21 days before officially hiring Wink as their superintendent because of state law. Board members and Wink were all smiles Monday night as that waiting period ended.

“We have one item on the agenda, and that is to employ the superintendent,” Donald said during the meeting. “So do I hear a motion to name Mr. John Wink as the new superintendent of Carthage Independent School District for a three-year term?”

Trustee Frank Willis made the motion, and Trustee Ken Andrus seconded it. After receiving a unanimous vote, Wink shook hands with Donald. He also thanked board members “for the tremendous honor to be sitting in this seat with you.”

“I am very honored to be a part of the Carthage community,” he said. “My wife and children are super excited to be wearing red, and they’re excited to start school tomorrow as Bulldogs. I will tell you I’m looking forward to working with the teachers and staff. We had a great day today, and I think they’re energized about the start of 2019. It’s going to be a very fun year.”

Wink is a graduate of Longview High School, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M — Texarkana and Texas A&M — Commerce. He began his career as choir director for Longview ISD, then worked in Hallsville ISD for nine years as an assistant principal and principal for the middle school, as well as principal at Hallsville High School.

Wink left Hallsville ISD to become principal at Gilmer Elementary School in 2011 and then was an assistant superintendent at Tatum ISD until 2016. He comes to Carthage ISD from Blue Ridge ISD near Dallas.

Wink also works as an educational author, consultant, leadership coach and speaker. Wink was appointed to the Texas Education Agency’s Policy Committee on Public Education Information in June. The committee is responsible for addressing policies on information and data collection requirements covering students’ educational needs.

Donald, after the vote, said he was excited about Wink joining the district.

“I’m excited one for the kids. I’m excited for our teachers,” Donald said. “What he’s going to be able to bring to the table and invest in himself with our staff is going to be amazing. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Wink said his specific goals for the beginning of his tenure include looking at what’s working and what the community wants to change.

“No. 1 is we need to first honor the work that’s been done,” he said. “There are a lot of great things in place, and before you start the process of improvement, you need to honor what’s working. In addition to that, I want to get to know the staff members and members of the community and kind of hear what are their interests in taking the district to the next level. Based on that, we start making — we’ll work with the Board of Trustees to make some long-term goals and start building some structures around to support those goals.”


Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.