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story.lead_photo.caption Brandon Thurston

Liberty-Eylau Independent School District's Board of Trustees hired Brandon Thurston as the new principal at the elementary school during its regular meeting Thursday.

The school, now under construction, is set to open in August.

Thurston is a Texarkana native and a graduate of Arkansas High School. He earned an undergraduate degree in education from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., and returned to Texarkana to begin his teaching career.

"I know the building is going to be brand new and beautiful, and that is exciting; but, I am also grateful to be a part of some of the long-standing traditions in this district like the family bond," Thurston stated in a press release. "Liberty-Eylau has always had that bond through a dedicated community and a staff with a heart for children. I'm coming home."

He taught at L-E's C.K. Bender during the 2014-15 school year and also taught in the Texarkana Independent School District.

After he completed a master's degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, Thurston worked as an assistant principal in Gilmer and Tyler ISDs.

He has also completed research concerning parental involvement and high-yield instructional strategies, which he has presented at state and national conferences.

Next month, Thurston will graduate with a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

"We are excited to bring Brandon back to Liberty-Eylau as our new elementary principal," Superintendent Ronnie Thompson said. "We know he will bring a high level of leadership and community involvement to help make the new school the leader in elementary education."

Thurston has also served as the minister of music at Macedonia Baptist Church in Texarkana, Ark. since 2013 and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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