Principals ‘best’ in state, Bower says

  • Linda Rankin
    Linda Rankin
  • Kelly Baird
    Kelly Baird
  • Cassie Bland
    Cassie Bland

All share philosophy for education


Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series to honor Hopkins County school principals.

Principals form the backbone of any school administration, and Como-Pickton CISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Bower brags a little on his team, calling them “the best set in the state.

Elementary principal Linda Rankin has been in education for 16 years and began her career as a secondary math teacher and high school coach, where she stayed for eight years. She has been the elementary principal at CPCISD for the other eight years. As she continues her education toward a Doctorate of Education, she strives to set examples of students and staff at CPCISD.

“Education is more than ABC and 123. It's more than a professional occupation; it is a calling,” she said. “I felt a strong calling on my life to become a teacher and later to become an administrator."

Junior high principal Cassie Bland has been education for 23 years and has served in various roles throughout her career that began in elementary. She transitioned to administrative work after 16 years and “believes that learning is ongoing and that all teachers and students can grow through self-reflection, trust and positive relationships, allowing both students and teachers to advocate for success both inside and out the classroom,” according to Bland. For her effort, Bland was named the Region 8 2018 Junior High Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).

High school principal Kelly Baird has worked 31 years in education and started his career as a mathematics teacher and coach for football, basketball and track. In 2005, Baird moved into the administrative side of education and has served as assistant high school principal and junior high school principal before his current role. In 2014, he was named the Region 8 High School Principal of the Year by TASSP, and according to Baird, his philosophy is “a productive school climate is achieved when teachers and staff work closely together to build a dedicated loyal and trusting relationship which then foster academic learning and personal development of students.”