Jeff Cearley will succeed Eppie Calderon as Hobbs High School principal.
Cearley, principal at Houston since 2005, steps into the position left vacant with Calderon’s move to HMS administration as a parent-liaison coordinator.
HMS Supt. TJ Parks said Cearley has demonstrated success at making Houston a school that is inviting to parents, staff and students. “The leadership that Jeff has shown over there is a huge plus for our school district. One of his strengths is his ability to communicate so effectively with parents and staff.”
Cearley entered education administration after ending his football-coaching career in 2001. Prior to that, the former high school economics teacher coached football at Artesia and Lovington and spent eight years as Hobbs High School’s head football coach.
“I’ve always thought that coaches make good administrators because really, they are dealing with some of the same issues,” Cearley said Monday morning. “You’re dealing with organization issues, management and communicating with kids and parents.”
After resigning as HHS football coach in 2002, Cearley spent a year as an administrative intern at Houston Junior High, then was assistant principal for two years prior to being named principal in 2005. During that time, he said he looked to former HHS principal and HMS Supt. Cliff Burch as a role model. “He was a great example for me,” Cearley said.
Working with older-age students, many of whom are former Houston students, excites Cearley. “I just love these kids,” he said. “They are really at an age when they need leadership and guidance. I think that they have a lot to offer – and I have a lot to offer them. I’m real excited about the opportunity to share this with them.”
Houston Assistant Principal Donna Jones will step into the role of interim principal until Cearley's permanent replacement at Houston is named. HHS AP math leader teacher Rene Cantu has been named Houston interim assistant principal.