Early ISD’s Wes Beck has been named the 2017 Region 15 Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards and is now eligible for the Texas Superintendent of the Year award, which will be announced in October.   

Beck, who has served as Early superintendent since 2014, is a former Early High School principal and superintendent of Shamrock ISD. Beck will travel to Austin on August 25 and 26 and interview with a committee who will determine five finalists for the state award.   

Beck said the recognition is one of the biggest honors of his education career. “I’m really, really proud of it and humbled by it,” he said. “My job as superintendent here is just to stay out of the way and let the people go to work where the rubber meets the road. They do a great job, and the kids here do great.   

“I’m so appreciative of the school district and the board that nominated me. In my 37 years of education, this is one of the highlights of my career.”   

Beck praised the students, staff and parents of Early ISD for making the district thrive. “[The staff] does a great job of pushing our kids hard enough to get them to succeed, but at the same time being there for them if they need them,” he said. “It’s really a good place.”   

According to a press release, the Texas Association of School Boards has been recognizing outstanding superintendents since 1984. The TASB represents 1,030 districts and 5.3 million kids.   

“Candidates are nominated based on their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance and commitment to public involvement in education,” the release says. “Superintendents from the 43 school districts in Region 15 were eligible for nomination by their school boards.”   

Region 15 is based in San Angelo and includes Brown, Coke, Coleman, Crockett, Edwards, Irion, Kimble, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, Tom Green and Val Verde counties.   

Beck said he has struggled with apathy in other school districts, but admires the academic dedication of Early ISD students. “The kids here are so focused and so driven,” he said. “They hold each other responsible and hold themselves responsible. The thing that’s really fun for an educator to watch is … how they can monitor their time and prioritize what they do. The kids we have are involved in so many things, from athletics to academics to fine arts.   

“It’s really gratifying to watch that,” he said.   

Beck said he hopes to continue Early’s success by continually “moving forward” and staying on top of the latest developments in education. “We’ve got to be forward-looking enough to see where we need to go with our education plans and set our kids up to be successful,” he said. “To be successful citizens and successful in business. Our motto here is, ‘What happens here changes the world.’ And it does. I believe that.”   

The Texas Superintendent of the Year will be announced at the TASB State Convention on Oct. 6.