Tolar Junior High School serves grades sixth through eighth and is run by Principal Casey Hamilton.
Hamilton first got into education by coaching for 12 years before making a switch over to administration.
"When I got into administration, I went from affecting 150 kids to 1,100, and so I was able to make a bigger impact and do more for kids. It's a passion," Hamilton said.
Previously Hamilton was a Junior High Coordinator in Temple where he taught physical education and coached every sport offered.
He earned his bachelor's, master's and principals' certificate from Tarleton State University.
Hamilton then made the move from Temple to Stephenville in 2010 where he taught math, history, life skills. physical education, coached at all levels and even served as the Assistant Principal of Stephenville High School.
He wasn't looking to move from Stephenville but when a friend sent him a job posting he described it as very appealing. "It was everything I could have ever imagined," Hamilton said. "The Lord works in mysterious ways and puts things in your lap that you need."
Just last fall was Hamilton's first year in Tolar ISD and he said working there has been nothing but a pleasure. "This town, these kids and this school district is a great place," Hamilton said.
What stood out the most to him about this school district was the students' character. "They come in and they do the work, they act right, they have good manners, and they display that everywhere we go."
Hamilton's goal for the upcoming school year is to improve. "That's always our goal is to get better and to help kids grow. We want to make this campus better, the district, and ultimately Tolar ISD. No matter what we do we can always get better."
Going into the new school year Hamilton is most excited to have the kids back after summer break. "I love seeing kids back on campus Kids are my mojo. When they come back to campus, they get my energy going up. When you're at the junior high level, it's cool to see them grow. There are also a lot of lifelong habits that are created at this age. It's a very important time in their life," Hamilton said.
Hamilton described one of the most rewarding parts of the job as seeing kids when their grown up. "When I see them when their 19, 20, 25, 28 and I'm getting wedding invitations, or when I walk into a restaurant and their sitting there eating with their family, and whoever I taught or coached or was an administrator for, they jump up and give me a big bear hug. That relationship that you create, you make an impact on their life forever. Having that opportunity is amazing," Hamilton said.
Tolar Junior High will kick off their 2023-24 school year on Aug. 10. Meet the teacher will take place on Aug. 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.