Fort Bend ISD Board selects Dr. Christie Whitbeck as lone finalist to become next superintendent

The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees named Dr. Christie Whitbeck as the lone finalist to become the district’s next superintendent, according to a Thursday press release. (KPRC)

The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees named Dr. Christie Whitbeck as the lone finalist to become the district’s next superintendent, according to a Thursday press release.

Previously, Whitbeck served as the superintendent of Bryan ISD and former deputy superintendent of Fort Bend ISD. After nearly four years at Bryan ISD, she is recognized for overseeing the two bond elections, improving transportation and safety and increasing academic achievement and college, career and military readiness rates.

Officials said state law requires a 21-day waiting period after a school board picks a lone finalist before the proposed superintendent can sign a contract.

“The board is thrilled to welcome Dr. Whitbeck back to the District,” FBISD Board President Dave Rosenthal said. “She is a tireless advocate for public education and her love for students is deep and genuine. The Board’s search was exhaustive, and we had the privilege of selecting from many highly qualified candidates. At the end of the day, we feel confident that we have found the right leader for our district.”

Officials said the selection comes after a nationwide search, with input from both internal and external stakeholders. The search firm, Hazard Young Attea and Associates, identified nearly 80 candidates, of which 60 applied for the position, per the release. In total, officials said they spent over 50 hours during the interview and selection process.

The board interviewed several candidates and narrowed the list to three for the second round of interviews, which included a site visit of the district.

After interviewing and selecting Whitbeck, the board conducted virtual meetings with members of the Bryan ISD community, including board members, executive directors, parent volunteers and others. The board said that “all spoke highly and admirably of Dr. Whitbeck, describing her as a relationship builder, a unifier and a skilled leader,” according to the release.

According to the release, Whitbeck is “an experienced, award-winning leader with a strong reputation as a consensus builder, while shepherding data-driven initiatives that support student learning and success.” She facilitated the opening of one of the state’s 10 Regional Career and Technology Centers in Bryan ISD, and she was named Career Technical Education Champion of the Year by the Career and Technical Association of Texas.

In 2019, Whitbeck was recognized with the Outstanding Alumni Early Career Award by Texas A&M College of Education for significant contributions to her field made within 10 years of graduating.

“I am honored that the Board of Trustees has selected me as the Lone Finalist,” Whitbeck said. “I remember everyone fondly from Fort Bend ISD and it is my true honor to return to the community to serve as your Superintendent.”

Before arriving in Bryan, Whitbeck worked as deputy superintendent in Fort Bend ISD for four years and assistant superintendent of Academics in Alvin ISD, per the release. She also was an award-winning principal in Katy ISD, where she opened schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She earned her first assignment in school administration as an assistant principal in Katy ISD after beginning her career as a teacher and language arts specialist in Alief ISD.

Whitbeck earned a Ph.D. in public school administration from Texas A&M University, graduating summa cum laude. She also obtained a master’s degree in administration supervision and a mid-management certification from the University of Houston, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Missouri State University, per the release.

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