Monday, May 20, 2024

Christine C. Leftwich appointed Hood County Clerk

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The Hood County Commissioners Court officially appointed a new Hood County Clerk during a special meeting two weeks ago.

Following a round of interviews held in executive session, the court convened into an open meeting April 29, where Precinct 2 Commissioner Nannette Samuelson made a motion to nominate Christine C. Leftwich to fill the vacancy in the office of County Clerk until the next general election. The motion passed in a 4:1 vote, with Hood County Judge Ron Massingill voting against the nomination.

The decision to appoint a new County Clerk was made after former clerk Katie Lang announced her resignation during a Hood County Commissioners Court meeting April 9.

“I want to personally thank all the citizens of Hood County for trusting me as your elected official,” Lang said on social media April 10. “I am honored to have served with some amazing people in the community. I will be retiring May 3. As Mike and I look forward to the next chapter in our life, I will look back proudly on what my office has accomplished during my service. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for us next!”

Massingill previously told the Hood County News that Hood County HR Director Melissa Welborn posted the available County Clerk position on the Hood County website Wednesday, April 10.

“(Welborn) takes applications for the County Clerk of Hood County and from those applications, the majority of the commissioners court will appoint somebody to be the County Clerk until the November election, because the County Clerk has to run for reelection in November,” Massingill told the Hood County News. “Whoever we appoint will be on the November ballot and they will take office Jan. 1. That’s the procedure.”

Leftwich, who’s lived in Pecan Plantation since 2003, was originally born in Virginia and moved to Texas when she was 10 — specifically, San Antonio.

After graduating from James Madison High School, she went to work for the U.S. Air Force in federal civil service at Kelly AFB, which she did for about eight years.

During that time, she attended college at night to earn an associate degree in paralegal studies at San Antonio College.

"When I completed that, I went to work in the legal profession. I moved to Austin and worked as a certified paralegal — mostly in Austin — but then I moved to Granbury in 2003. I worked for a firm in downtown Fort Worth, and that was about four years,” Leftwich said.

While working and living in Austin, she also earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences at Southwest Texas — what is now called Texas State University — in 1999.

But something else was missing.

After 15 years in the legal profession, Leftwich suddenly felt a desire to pursue a teaching career — and that’s exactly what she did.

She earned her teacher’s certification for Texas in 2007 and taught part-time in Granbury at a homeschool co-op called SHAPE Academy.

“At the time, it called to me,” Leftwich said.

She later went to work for Pearson Education, where she has taught online for about 10 years.

"While working for Pearson I earned my master's degree, so I have a master's in education, which I completed in 2018," she explained. “I was in the classroom for a few years. I did my student teaching at Weatherford High School, and then when I got hired by Pearson, I went to teach online and so I've been teaching online for about the past 10 to 12 years now.”

As an online instructor, Leftwich is certified in about 12 different states, as she teaches all over the nation through the internet.

She teaches math-related subjects like algebra and consumer finance as well as business electives like advertising and entrepreneurship.

"For a few years I was a math tutor at Weatherford College at the Granbury campus here, and that was a lot of fun because we had students that were coming out of high school, but also returning adult students (who needed help),” Leftwich said. “That's kind of been my involvement in education."

About five years ago, Leftwich started to attend the Hood County Republican Club meetings and eventually became the treasurer.

"Having a math background and just wanting to get more involved in the club, I put my name in the hat, so I did that for a couple of years,” she said. “When we would have these local elections, we would start having forums, so I moderated a lot of the forums.”

She recently moderated the Hood County GOP forum featuring candidates for sheriff, constable, and county commissioner precincts 1 and 3.

After she left the Republican club, she formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) called the Hood County Real Republicans PAC, where she also served as treasurer.

In 2022, Leftwich became the chair for Precinct 218 in Pecan. She currently still serves on the Hood County Republican Party executive committee but plans to step down before she swears in as County Clerk Tuesday.

"I have enjoyed my time just being involved with the party and working on local issues,” she said. “I heard about the (County Clerk) opening, and I've been teaching for a long time, and served as precinct chair. I thought this was an opportunity to become more involved. I've really enjoyed my teaching career and I just felt like this job would bring together my experience as a paralegal and my skill sets that I've developed as a teacher. It's kind of a perfect combination to just further my career.”

Leftwich will officially take the oath as the interim Hood County Clerk May 14, where she will remain until the November election.

"I know I've got some shoes to fill coming in after Katie, because she was the clerk for 10 years,” she said. “I'm just really excited to get in and learn more about the position and how the county is run as far as documenting records. I’m hoping to continue the excellence in that office.”