It was an emotional afternoon on Tuesday as friends, family, long-time co-workers and even former students came to the Pampa Independent School District Administration Building to give out-going Superintendent Dr. Tanya Larkin one more good-bye.
Dr. Larkin will be advancing her career to be the executive director of the Region 16 Education Service Center, a position she didn’t accept lightly.
“When the opportunity came up it was something I prayed about a lot,” Dr. Larkin said before the reception formally began. “(I considered) what it would mean and if it was something that I felt like I could contribute to.
“It was really about being able to scale-up my influence and be able to help more school districts, superintendents, boards and meet the challenges that we’re all facing. That was exciting to me. Even thought it will be hard to leave my home district of the last 24 years, I feel like I’m still helping them and doing my part.”
Dr. Larkin is concluding what was her sixth year as the superintendent of Pampa ISD and said she is most proud of the growth she has seen the District take and the people who were a part of it.
“As I reflect over those last six years, I’m proud of many things,” Dr. Larkin said. “But mostly [I’m proud of] the people. Seeing how our student success has continued to grow despite all of the challenges: Covid, economic struggles, etc. When I think about how we got through all that, it was with great people who came together and loved Pampa.”
During the reception, current Board President Matt Brock lauded Dr. Larkin in her efforts as Superintendent.
“She’s put great people in a position to make us successful,” Dr. Larkin. “It was so great to see and I have no doubt we will continue to climb because of the great leadership she’s had over the last six years.”
Brock said he and the District hates to see Dr. Larkin leave but is proud of her.
After words, current and former student ambassadors came up to the podium and gave Dr. Larkin a gift.
“I’m just so happy for you Dr. Larkin,” student ambassador Luis Martinez said. “You’re an amazing leader, an amazing superintendent. Who can ask for anything better?
“What makes Dr. Larkin different from everyone else is there are leaders who are in a place of high power but use it the wrong way. Dr. Larkin uses her power to influence and inspire other students.”
Kaylee Wilhite, another student ambassador, said Dr. Larkin was always there for her and promised her the student ambassadors would be in good hands.
Dr. Larkin founded the Student Ambassador Program to be able to stay connected with students. Dr. Larkin said moving away from students to Region 16, which is an administrative role versus being involved at the school level, will be the hardest part for her.
“I love working with my students and they inspire me every day,” Dr. Larkin said. “I worked with them for five hours [Tuesday]. They made me laugh and made me cry a little bit, because I realized I may not be able to work with kids anymore.”
Dr. Larkin closed saying she would love to come back to Pampa and work with students as a guest speaker and thanked her staff for the hard work over the past six years.
The Pampa News would like to congratulate Dr. Tanya Larkin on her promotion and looks forward to the impact she will make for Panhandle schools.
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