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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichitans have seen a number of changes in the year 2022 within the City of Wichita Falls, from the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District to the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, even the Wichita Falls Independent School District.
Several high-ranking local officials have decided to step down from their positions, to either retire or move on to other endeavors.
As the end of 2022 approaches, KFDX Chief Photographer Curtis Jackson takes a look back on the big shoes left to fill.
For nearly 25 years, Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom has played a significant role in the growth and development of the Wichita Falls community.
Gossom served as a Wichita County Commissioner for 9 years before taking over as county judge, a position he said will truly be missed, but said it was all worth it.
“There’s not a better job in the world than being county judge in Texas. I had a man that called yesterday that I’ve known for years, and we’ve passed each other. We don’t go to dinner or lunch together, but he just took the time to call and say thanks,” Gossom said.
And just a few blocks down from the courthouse is where you’ll find a new face in the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce after former President and CEO Henry Florsheim moved on to another role.
The Chamber’s new CEO and President, Ron Kitchens, said although he has some big shoes to fill, he’s ready to hit the ground running.
“It would be arrogant to say, but I don’t know nothing but winning. I came here to win and winning means more and better jobs. It’s about building a phenomenally great team, both internal and external, and finding ways to win every day,” Kitchens said.
Winning is something that WFISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said he’s used to after he was hired when former Superintendent Michael Kuhrt resigned.
“There’s plenty to do, and there’s a lot of excitement. A lot of challenges that I’m looking forward to, but there are endless possibilities at this district, and I’m looking forward to getting started,” Lee said.
And one of the most recent changes comes from within the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District after long-time Health Director, Lou Kriedler, who played an instrumental role in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in Wichita County, announced that she will be retiring.
“I’m getting older, and so it really is just time for me to move on and start a new adventure and play with my grandbabies and let people who are younger and have new and bright ideas move forward with the health department,” Kriedler said.
As Wichita Falls and Wichita County look to the future, new leaders are taking the reigns of these local positions, and residents hope they make just as much of an impact as the men and women who went before them.
2022 Year in Review: Big changes in local government
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