Rick Larkin


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5/14/2002 Larkin ready to start new job at CISD

Rick Larkin, Corsicana ISD's new human resources director, will spend much of his summer recruiting and screening applicants for faculty and staff positions in the district. Daily Sun photo/JOAN SHERROUSE



Rick Larkin, Corsicana Independent School District's new director of human resources, knows what he's looking for in a job applicant, because chances are, he has done the job himself at some time.

"I've had some wonderful experiences," he said of his 15 years in education. "I've worked at the middle school level, the elementary level and at the high school level."

He has worked in districts both large and small, but serving as superintendent of a small-town school district gave him plenty of hands-on expertise.

"I was the food service director, transportation director, maintenance director, curriculum director -- I've done it all," he said. "When somebody comes and sits down in my office, it doesn't matter what the job is, I can talk to them intelligently about it because I've done it, I promise you."

Larkin got his first taste of human resources work when he joined a Dallas electronics firm in 1979, a job he held for about five years. He had earned a master's degree in business and human relations while serving in the Army, and the work appealed to him.

In 1987, he returned to school, earned his certificate and started teaching in Arlington, launching a new career that would eventually enable him to touch nearly every aspect of education.

"This is the job I've been trying to get -- a human resources job -- since I was in education," he said. "This is where my heart lies and where my background is."

This year, there are about 15 openings in the district, including one for the principal's slot at Carroll Elementary, a curriculum facilitator at Navarro and a technology coordinator.

Of course, Larkin looks first at applicants' experience and credentials, but he also considers the environment where the individual will work.

"What you look for, on the personality side, is who would fit best in a particular situation," he said. "Every school is like a family, so you really have to look at who would fit in with that family."

He likes to create an atmosphere in which there is enough diversity to infuse new ideas without disrupting the group as a whole.

"The kids deserve the most qualified teacher that you can hire," he said. "That is my philosophy, and that's how I'm going to hire the most qualified person."

Larkin, whose chief responsibilities lie in recruitment and screening, said he intends to continue the trend toward attracting a well-balanced faculty and administrative staff.

"This is the most diverse staff I've worked with in my career in education," he said. "I think Corsicana is doing a better job than the other districts as far as hiring a diverse staff."

Children need positive role models, he said, people they can identify with, but hiring the most qualified person remains top priority. Larkin will be involved in every hiring decision made in the district, with the exception of the superintendent.

Larkin took over for Chip Curington, CISD's former human resources director, who replaced the retiring Earl Scarborough as assistant superintendent of business and operations

Joan Sherrouse may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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