Each work day, Waxahachie ISD Assistant Superintendent David Truitt arrives at his office on Gibson Street and enters the building through the same door which his parents entered each school day some 50 years ago to attend grade school.
Truitt stands by the door, pausing for a moment to run his hand over the wood as if to capture the context of the history being passed.
“My parents attended school in this building,” said Truitt of the WISD administration building that once housed Ferris Elementary.
Truitt stressed the significance of how special it is to work for the school district of his parents’ childhood.
“I consider it an honor to work for WISD,” said Truitt, who added, “That (family heritage) is so much a part of the appeal, that excites me. It’s a huge honor.”
The fact that Truitt grew up in the Houston area and was living in the west Houston suburb of Katy and happily employed by Katy ISD at the time he was presented with a job opportunity with Waxahachie ISD makes the chain of events that brought him “home” all the more incredible.
“One Friday afternoon in July 2006, I received a phone call from a friend with news of a job opening with another school district,” explained Truitt, who recalled that the friend mentioned, “You may not have heard of the town. Waxahachie. It’s near Dallas.”
Truitt, who was not searching for other employment, laughed at what his friend said of the town, “you may not have heard of it.”
Although Truitt had never lived in Waxahachie, he had spent almost every Thanksgiving, Christmas and weeks at a time of his summer vacation as a child, as well as many Easters, in Waxahachie visiting his grandparents.
“That phone call was on a Friday. I interviewed for the job on the following Sunday afternoon and within a week I was offered and had accepted the job,” said Truitt of the whirlwind of events.
“It was such a unique opportunity,” said Truitt, who reports that one of the main reasons he accepted the job - and made the decision to move his wife and children away from Katy, a place that they loved - was that the job was in his parents’ home town.
Truitt shares that he always thought Waxahachie was “a neat town” and a place where “I would love to live,” said Truitt, but never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d ever have the opportunity to actually live and work here.
Truitt’s parents, Larry Truitt and Melanie Huskins Truitt, grew up in Waxahachie and graduated from Waxahachie High School, in 1960 and 1963, respectively. Truitt’s father has worked as a dentist in the Houston area for most of his adult life. The Houston area, therefore, was Truitt’s childhood home and also where Truitt had been making a career.
Each the children of local grocers, Truitt’s parents met each other as children at First Baptist Church in Waxahachie and, while in high school, the two were members of the band.
Truitt’s paternal grandfather, L.D. Truitt, managed the Piggly Wiggly on Water Street from 1945 until the store sold in 1964. That same year, he then opened his own grocery store, Truitt’s on Marvin Avenue, where he worked until his retirement in 1985. The building is now the location of a dry cleaning business.
Truitt’s maternal grandparents, Mike and Elva Huskins, worked for the Old Bridge Store under the viaduct in the 1940s before opening Huskin’s Drive In (now H & H Grocery and owned by a former Huskin’s employee since the early 1990s) on South Rogers Street.
As a child, Truitt spent “weeks on end” during the summer at his grandparents’ stores. Fond childhood memories include sacking groceries for patrons and fishing minnows out with nets for customers buying live bait before heading out to the lake.
“We’d raid the comic books and candy counter and grab sodas,” recalls Truitt.
“I feel like a part of the community because of that heritage,” said Truitt, who has aunts, uncles and cousins residing in Waxahachie.
When asked to share his vision and goals for the district, Truitt replied, “WISD is already a very good district with the best teachers and a commitment level of parents that is second to none, as well as a supportive board and an active community. But, as with any district, there’s always room for growth.”
“We want to do what is in the best interest of the students, to engage all parents and offer the best programs around, both academically and extra-curricular, to meet their (students’) individual needs,” said Truitt.
“I’m all about relationships and I have an open-door policy,” said Truitt, who pointed out that he is here to serve the community and it is his policy to welcome parents and members of the community to “come talk” to him with their ideas and concerns.
“We want to make WISD the best it can be. We want to be the premiere school district in the state,” said Truitt, who is very excited about the new schools that are being built and the names that were selected.
“It was such a thrill,” said Truitt of participating in the school name selection process.
“We want people to move to Waxahachie because our schools are the best,” said Truitt, whose son Connor is a first grader at Shackelford.
A teacher by trade, his wife Laurie currently stays at home with their youngest, 1-year-old son Brian.
E-mail Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.